Weekly business rail, with tips on your rights in a personal injury case, BBB advice on auto repairs, and more.

Tip of the Week


What should you do if you've been involved in an accident that left you with injuries? According to FindLaw.com, people who have been injured should act quickly to ensure that their rights are protected and they receive fair compensation to pay for medical treatment and lost wages. Here are some tips from FindLaw.com to keep in mind if you're involved in an accident:


- Seek medical help immediately. It's important to seek medical help as soon as possible to recover from your injuries - and to establish they were caused by the accident and not by a previous incident. Medical bills and receipts will be crucial in demonstrating the extent and nature of your injuries.


- Call the police. Sometimes it's critical to call legal authorities into a situation to not only provide immediate help, but also to establish a legal record of an accident or incident. For example, the neighbor's dog gets off its leash and attacks your child, resulting in a trip to the emergency room where your child receives stitches. Filing a police report may be the right thing to do to protect your rights and prevent the dog from attacking another child in the future.


- File an accident report. If you're involved in a workplace accident - either you were injured or were a witness to an accident - file a report with the person responsible for a safe working environment. Following this procedure will be critical to creating a safer work environment, and to recovering compensation for injuries and lost wages.


- Document the accident. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, it's vital that you document what happened. The longer you wait, the greater the possibility that memories fade and physical evidence disappears. This involves writing down what you remember about the accident, identifying all possible witnesses and obtaining detailed observations from them about what happened, and preserving evidence that may be essential to proving your claim (including photos and video). The more information you have to lend credibility to your claims, the greater the chance you will be believed and recover compensation for the damages you suffered.


- Find the instructions. Every year, thousands of Americans suffer personal injuries when using a product. If it happens to you, be sure to keep the item exactly as it was when the injury took place. You also should store any instructions, labels, warnings or packaging that came with the product in a safe place.


- Contact a personal injury attorney. An experienced personal injury attorney can help determine if your case is strong enough to file a claim. In addition, a personal injury attorney can help evaluate any offers you may receive from the insurance company representing the person or company that may have injured you. To find a personal injury attorney in your area, consider using the attorney locator at FindLaw.com.


- Keep track of the time. Every state has laws regarding time limits under which you can file a personal injury lawsuit. This is called the "statute of limitations." In some states, you may have only a year to file a lawsuit involving an auto accident. If you miss the deadline, your claims may be dismissed. That's why it's important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident.


- Recognize that you may be at fault. There's always a chance that you may be partially at fault in an accident. For example, if you were hit by a car while bicycling, you may be at fault if you did not follow the road regulations for cyclists in your state at the time of the accident. This could affect any compensation you may receive for your injuries. If it's determined you were 50 percent at fault, for instance, your compensation may be reduced by that amount.


- ARA


BBB Watch


When your vehicle needs repairs, you don't need a crash course in auto mechanics, but you should know how to find a reliable shop and mechanic. The Better Business Bureau recommends a few key points to ensure your automobile gets fixed without a glitch.


- Check your warranty. If you have a problem with your vehicle while it is still under warranty, follow the manufacturer's instructions, which may require that repairs be made at an authorized dealership.


- Ask around. Look for shops that display certification. For major work, such as brakes, transmission or engine repair, you will need to find a shop employing a specialist. If you are looking for a qualified, independent shop, get a list of BBB Accredited Businesses that do the type of auto repair you need at www.bbb.org.


- Ask all the questions that you need. Don't be embarrassed to request thorough explanations. Make sure you are clear on their appraisal of the problem, suggested course of action and cost of work before you reach a decision. Before authorizing repairs, get a written estimate for parts and labor. Tell the shop to get your permission before making additional repairs. Ensure you receive notification by having the service manager write a request on the bottom of the repair order. Give phone numbers where you can be reached and, before you leave, be sure to understand all shop policies regarding labor rates, guarantees, and acceptable methods of payment.


- Get everything in writing. When you pick up your vehicle, get an explanation of all work completed and get all guarantees in writing. Ask for any major new parts that have been installed be pointed out to you. Your repair bill should be itemized so, if a problem occurs later, you can prove the item is covered by the guarantee.


For more information about auto repair dealers, visit www.bbb.org.


The List


According to The Street, here are the 10 richest colleges in the U.S.:


10. Texas A&M


9. Northwestern University


8. Columbia University


7. University of Michigan


6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology


5. Stanford University


4. Princeton University


3. University of Texas


2. Yale University


1. Harvard University


Number to Know


1.1: Percent that retail sales increased in February, according to the Commerce Department. It was the biggest year-to-year gain since September.


Tech Talk


IT research firm Gartner predicts that by 2014, cloud computing will replace PCs as the major form of business computing.


GateHouse News Service