Car Accidents

What To Do if You’ve Been Hurt in an Accident

Posted by on Feb 1, 2017 in Car Accidents, Personal Injury

Accidents happen even to the most careful drivers. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, there are a few steps you should follow. The first steps you take following a personal injury accident can greatly affect the reimbursement from your car insurance company if you file a claim.

First off, try to remain calm. This is important for making smart and rational judgements regarding the accident. Next, seek medical attention even if your injuries do not seem serious. You may feel fine now, but symptoms like discomfort and dizziness may appear days after the incident. Getting medical attention will also strengthen your personal injury claim. If you wait days or weeks, it will be more difficult to attribute your injuries to the accident.

If the vehicles are still operational, move them to the side of the road and out of the way of oncoming traffic. Next, you should document the accident. Take photos of the vehicles, your injuries, street signs, the other driver’s insurance, etc. Even if you think the accident may be your fault, do not say so.

After an accident you must decide whether or not to file a claim. If the accident was your fault and there damage does not seem major, you may be tempted to offer cash to the other driver. However, this can be much more costly than you think. According to Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, if you choose to file a claim with your insurance company, the sooner you make your claim, the sooner you could be eligible to receive compensation.

Taking legal action might be the last thing on your mind after an accident or injury, but it is important to take these steps quickly, as there is limited time to file a claim.

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Highway Defects Liability

Posted by on Jan 4, 2016 in Car Accidents

Highway maintenance is one of the most important municipal responsibilities due to the vast amounts of traffic and travel done along the roads. When there are defects in the highway or there is a lack of safety structures, the risk to the public is greater. Highways are places in which drivers are traveling at high speeds amongst many other parties. If one driver hits a pothole that offsets their vehicle, the damage to themselves and others could be severe.

One of the most common highway defects are potholes. These indents in the pavement can occur over the normal wear and tear of a road, however they should still be repaired often to avoid drivers suffering flat tires or losing control of their vehicles. Other highway defects include uneven pavement, lack of signs, lack of guardrails, and shoulder drop-offs. All of these defects are capable of causing the threat of increased injury in the case of an accident.

According the website of the Hankey Law Office, highway defects liability may be shared between multiple organizations. While a municipal is responsible for the maintenance of highways, they also need to contract construction companies to perform the physical repairs. This means that defects that were incorrectly repaired or not fixed within a reasonable amount of time may be the shared liability of a construction company and municipal.

Highway defects can cause a multitude of injuries to unsuspecting drivers and their passengers. Like any serious car accident, a driver can sustain head and brain injuries, neck injuries, broken bones, and other potentially permanent damage. You should not be responsible for the medical expenses and lost wages associated with an accident caused by a highway defect.

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Driving Distraction: A Treacherous Driving Mistake

Posted by on Sep 4, 2015 in Car Accidents

Based on the 2013 Traffic Safety Facts data released by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there is a decline in the number of fatal traffic crashes from the previous year – from 33,782 in 2012 to 32,719 in 2013. In fact, except for an increase in the number of those injured in distraction-affected crashes, all other 2013 statistical details, which include deaths and (all other) injuries due to accidents involving passenger vehicles (cars, SUVs, minivans and pickup trucks), large trucks, motorcycles and pedestrians, indicate declines from 2012.

These declines definitely show that either the government or vehicle manufacturers, or both, is/are doing things that are perfectly right, such as the stricter implementation of road safety rules and/or the installation of the latest safety technologies in newly manufactured vehicles. However, with millions of cars and other types of vehicles still running on US roads and highways every day and the number of traffic accidents still running above five million every year, the task of keeping the number of road accidents to a minimum remains to be a huge challenge for the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Causes of traffic accidents that top the NHTSA list include drunk-driving, reckless driving, speeding, driver error and distracted driving. Distracted driving, in particular, refers to any type of activity or movement which would turn a person’s attention away from driving. Distractions endanger lives, be it of drivers’, passengers’, pedestrians’ or other motorists’. And unlike drunk-driving, overspeeding and reckless driving which only a few drivers may be guilty of, distracted driving can be everyone’s grave mistake, but one that is most unnoticed. Chances are, all have been guilty of allowing distractions to make them turn their eyes and focus away from the road or take a hand off the wheel.

Driving distractions has countless forms, like eating and/or drinking, talking to a passenger, reading a map, adjusting a radio or any other electronic gadget, grooming, lighting a cigarette, and so forth. The most alarming forms of distractions, which take drivers’ focus off of driving, however, are conversing with someone over the phone and texting.

The website DISTRACTION.GOV: Official US Government Website for Distracted Driving says that the average time that one’s eyes are off the road while texting is five seconds, the same length of time needed to drive through a football field at the speed of 55mph.

Often, a brief act of carelessness is all it takes for a tragic accident to occur and, once one occurs, its physical and emotional repercussions, as the Portale Law Firm website puts it, can be serious and long-lasting.

Though the injuries and the trauma resulting from the accident can never be erased, an injured victim may at least have the chance of being found eligible by a court to receive compensation from the guilty party. This compensation is intended to cover all the damages suffered by the victim, such as high cost of medical treatment and lost wages.

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Clearing up the Underinsured/Uninsured Confusion

Posted by on Oct 26, 2013 in Car Accidents, Car Insurance

There are lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings when it comes to underinsured and uninsured coverage. Because of such confusion, many people opt to not have underinsured or uninsured coverage, which can put them in a disadvantage when they encounter an accident with an uninsured driver.

Uninsured coverage (UC) is a policy that pays for you and the other passengers’ medical expenses after an accident with an uninsured driver, while underinsured coverage (UIC) comes in when the driver at fault does not have enough to cover for all the expenses. There are instances where underinsured coverage can also be used during a hit-and-run incident. It may seem trivial, but having an uninsured and underinsured coverage can serve as a lifesaver in dire situations.

Among the many misconceptions of UC and UIC is the thought that they are not necessary because victims can file a claim or lawsuit against the reckless driver. Although it is possible, it can be hard to acquire compensation from someone who does not have enough funds to pay for damages, and going to court can only cost you more money.

It should also be noted that UC and UIC does not cover for car repairs and damages: they are only applicable for medical bills. It is also different from health insurance: UC and UIC maximize the payment for the medical bills without any deductibles, and it covers for lost wages if you are unable to go back to work because of injuries. However, you can only use UC or UIC if the accident was caused by another person, and not because of your own negligence. Nevertheless, it is still advantageous, since a significant percent of motorists in the United States does not have car insurance.

It can be expensive to cover the repair cost and medical bills from your own pocket, especially if the accident was caused by another person’s recklessness on the road. Greenfield car accident lawyers claim that having underinsured or uninsured coverage not only protects you from paying undue medical bills, it can also save other people you are traveling with as well. Avoid further stress after an accident by having a strong car insurance policy.

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Protecting Against Car Accidents

Posted by on Oct 24, 2013 in Car Accidents, Personal Injury

Car accidents are most commonly experienced by drivers between the ages of 17 and 31. Younger drivers are more likely to have less experience behind the wheel, take more risks, and drive while under the influence. Car accidents rank at the top of the list for annual transit fatalities. Some accidents caused by busted tires, mechanical defects, and weather factors are out of the driver’s control. However, drivers can take precautions to help avoid being the victim or culprit of a car accident.

According to the website of the attorneys at Habush, Habush, & Rottier S.C. ®, common causes of car accidents are reckless driving, distracted driving, excessive speed, drunk driving, mechanical malfunctions, and roadway defects. Drunk driving is one of the most preventable causes of roadway death. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is one of many groups that aim to inform people of the dangers and consequences of drinking and driving. According to the MADD website, on average someone is killed in a drink driving accident every 53 minutes. Drunk drivers often find themselves on the losing end of an expensive manslaughter charge or multi-thousand dollar fines.

Aside from drunk driving, those behind the wheel should abstain from text messaging. People paying more attention to their phones than the road are a danger to themselves and others. By 2012, many of the fifty states had laws restricting texting while driving. Some of these laws forbid drivers from using their phone at all while driving. In urban areas, distracted driving can greatly compromise the safety of commuters and pedestrians.

Being injured because of a driver’s recklessness is not your fault, and you therefore should not have to shoulder the immense burden thrust upon you by someone else’s irresponsibility. With the help of a lawyer, you may be able to prove that the car accident was not your fault, that you suffered injury, who is responsible for your injury, and how much the responsible person should owe you as compensation.

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