4 Leading Causes of Today’s Car Accidents

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There seem to be more vehicles on the road than ever before. Even though there is a trend towards going green, electric or hybrid vehicles are pretty much the same as so-called gas guzzlers. They all can be susceptible to accidents on the road.

You might be the most defensive driver that you know. You practice safe driving techniques and always wear your seat belt. Your car does not leave unless your passengers are also buckled up. You take safe driving seriously.

This is commendable, but you know that there are risks for everyone when getting on the road. Unfortunately, there are other drivers out there that are not as conscientious. Or, perhaps most of the time they are good drivers but they are under a great deal of stress or their skills are temporarily compromised.

There are many causes of accidents on the road. Here are the four leading causes. Understanding them is just one more way you can prepare yourself on the road every time you drive.

Distracted Drivers

This is the number one cause of accidents. Distractions can arise when someone uses a cell phone to make a call or tap out a text. Other distractions include putting on makeup, reading or even eating. All it takes is that one momentary glance away from the road to cause a serious accident. Always do your best to keep your eyes out and your vehicle away from anyone that you see driving in a distracted manner.

Drunk Drivers

This is one of the most understood leading causes of car accidents. Unfortunately, while the numbers of accidents caused by drunk drivers have steadily declined, they have yet to be completely eliminated. Drunk driving is another form of distracted driving in that the individual is too impaired to be able to focus on the road and other cars ahead.

If you drink, don’t drive. Call for a ride from a sober individual or ride-share service. If you see anyone on the road suspected of driving while under the influence, call 911.

Teenage Drivers

These kids are just learning to handle being behind the wheel. They should get a little leeway because they are just learning. They often cause many accidents only because they do not have the practice or skills necessary to avoid them.

Unexpected Lane Changes

Is this you? Do you find an easy way to slide into the lane next to you when you clearly notice that no other cars are behind you? Try and stop this practice immediately.

Depending on road conditions or weather conditions, a car that was not there one minute suddenly appears and you can find yourself causing a major accident. Always signal when going to make a lane change, and always look twice before you actually get into the next lane.

By signaling even when no other car is around you keep yourself in the habit of signaling. This is a safe habit of holding onto for a lifetime of safe driving.

May 13, 2017

Proving Fault In A Car Accident Claim: What You Need To Know

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No one wants to find themselves involved in a car accident. Even in the best case scenario when the accident isn’t too serious and nobody is injured, you will still need to deal with insurance and in some cases expensive repairs and court cases (including civil trials). While the initial shock of a car accident can be a really big deal, you need to be prepared to be clear enough to talk to any police who show up, give your side of the story in a clear way, and catch any potential exaggerations or lies from the other individual involved. Proving fault in a car accident claim starts with the initial police reports, goes on to the insurance companies, and in some cases goes even further.

Police Reports

The official police report at the scene of the accident is crucial to everything that follows. Police are as reliable a witness as you can have, and they are trained to understand traffic laws thoroughly, and therefore the way they fill out a report can make a huge difference when it comes to getting payments from an insurance company or going to trial to determine fault later on.

Use common sense. Tell the truth, be polite, show your side of the story, be willing to argue with any contradicting information from the other party but be respectful about it and don’t shout or argue with the officers on the scene – that’s a good way to get a slant in the report that doesn’t go your way in a toss up situation.

Insurance Companies Determining Fault

When it comes to proving fault in a car accident claim, it is important to understand that while police reports of the accident scene are important, that alone doesn’t determine fault for insurance purposes. The insurance companies themselves determine liability and fault. This is part of the reason having an insurance policy with a consumer policy of being friendly to their customers.

Rear End Collisions

Generally speaking rear end collisions are cut and dry in most cases. In less you can prove something amiss, most of the time it’s the legal responsibility of the individual who hit the other car that is going to be at fault. In many states this includes even if the person cuts you off and you hit them, you may still be at fault based on insurance rules.

No Fault Accidents

No fault accidents are the ones where getting reimbursement can take longer and insurance companies may argue about who should pay what. When there is a clear driver at fault it is a lot easier to get the payment process pushed through without an issue.

Legal Definition Of Fault: In Conclusion

Proving fault in a car accident claim can be a bit difficult in some circumstances, and there is no denying that this is a crucial part to any insurance claim or determining possible legal ramifications. A little bit of knowledge about how the rules work and a good coverage policy go a long way to taking care of you.

May 6, 2017

What is a Contingency Fee?

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Most lawyers are paid by the hour whether they are drafting up a will, writing a contract, defending a criminal, or providing business advice. These types of lawyers will be retained with a down payment and then continue their services at an hourly rate. However, a personal injury lawyer receives a different type of compensation. A personal injury lawyer does not require any down payment and they do not charge their client by the hour.

A personal injury lawyer will finance their client’s case with money out of their own pocket. In a sense, they are making a calculated bet that they will win the case. Their hope is that they will receive a payoff down the road and in most cases, they do but there are a few cases where they do not.

Most people have a knowledge about this type of lawyer/client relationship. Whether they have heard it through an advertisement or from a friend, they are often familiar with the concept of paying no money up front but rather paying approximately 1/3 of any monies received. If a personal injury lawyer loses the case then the client will owe him nothing. The terminology for this type of arrangement is called a contingency fee basis.

A law firm will provide the client with a contract regarding this type of compensation. The client will sign the contract if he agrees with all the details including the percentage paid to the lawyer. Some clients have the belief that if they agree to a one third �” two thirds split, then the final settlement will show this ratio. However, it is not that simple because there may be other costs and fees that can substantially lower a client’s final payout.

Business man signing a contract

A lawyer is under legal obligation to provide you with the information about how his fee is calculated. You as the client have the responsibility of making sure that you understand exactly what the fee arrangement means before you sign it. You will be signing a legal contract and once it is signed then you will be governed by its terms.

There are different types of personal injury lawyers and some will provide you with a simple, clear understanding about their contingency fee agreement. However, there are other lawyers who will only provide you with an agreement that their secretary has typed up. The later lawyer will not sit down with you and carefully go over the agreement.

It is therefore important that you thoroughly read your contingency fee contract and take whatever time is necessary to do so. If you need to take the agreement home and sleep on it then your lawyer should have no issue with you doing this. As you read the contract make sure that you write down any important questions regarding legal terms or information that you are unable to understand. Never be embarrassed about asking a question that you do not understand because after all, you probably do not have any legal training to assist you.

April 30, 2017

What Should You Never Do After An Accident?

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A car accident, even a minor fender bender in a parking lot, is a stressful time for everyone. Even when things go as well as they possibly good, there is a great deal of stress involved, starting with the initial shock of hearing metal crunching and glass breaking and building all the way up into the complexities of getting around while one’s vehicle is being repaired. For those who have been in an accident, there are often questions that one rarely has time to really answer with a clear head. Still, there are a number of things one should never do after a car accident. What not to do after an accident is a list that drivers shoulder memorize.

The first thing to do is to never drive away from the scene of even a small fender bender. Keeping a cool head and knowing that nothing terrible will happen if one simply talks to another driver is important. Most drivers are willing to keep their heads on straight even if their vehicle takes the worst of the incident. Leaving the scene without speaking to the other driver is an easy way to rack up a massive repair bill since few insurance companies will cover collisions with so many unknown factors. In a similar vein to not leaving the scene of the accident, one should absolutely stay calm and non-violent when speaking to another driver after a collision. Unless someone in your vehicle has been injured by the collision, your first priority should be put yourself in a mellow state of mind and speak civilly to the other driver and exchange insurance information rather than losing your temper.

However, in a similar vein, one should not openly profess to be the responsible party in a collision. This makes insurance companies very unhappy and unhappy insurance companies rarely pay much for repairs even on their most generous policies with their most responsible customers. While you should not openly deny it’s your fault, claiming that it is your fault is almost as bad for your wallet when it comes to getting your insurance company to pay for repairs. This can be hard for some people, but sometimes it’s better to quietly accept the blame on a moral level, but otherwise say nothing unless one has been grossly negligent, such as driving intoxicated or going out of your way to cause a collision in an incident of road rage.

Finally, unless the speed of the collision was parking lot speeds, one should never really assume they walked out of a collision uninjured even if they feel perfectly fine. The shake-ups that can happen to the human muscles and skeleton in a serious collision can go unnoticed for days until the injured person makes a single bad movement and all the damage from the collision comes into effect. Because these stealthy injuries can be crippling in terms of pain, one should always get themselves checked out by a physician after a high-speed collision rather than assuming they were uninjured.

April 22, 2017

What You Should and Shouldn’t Say To The Insurance Company After An Accident

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If you ever find yourself in a position where you get into an accident, there are some things that you are going to want to be sure to say and avoid saying to make things much more likely to go your way. These sort of auto claims can get very complicated whether it’s due to the fine print or something else. For this reason, you want to make sure that you are sticking to a few set of guidelines to properly communicate with your insurance company.

What You Should and Shouldn’t Say:

1. Stick To The Facts.

The main thing that you are going to want to do when it comes to speaking with your insurance company after an accident is to stick to the facts. While you might want to go over everything in the most extreme detail, it is best if you simply come out and talk about the facts. While you do want to be as honest as possible when going over the details, you are not going to want to think about details that may or may not be concrete. A lot of people are unable to recall specifics from the actual event especially if it is traumatic. Therefore, you will simply want to go over the things that you know happened for certain. By doing this, you will not only be able to protect yourself but you will be able to be completely honest as well.

2. Do Not Assume Blame.

One of the biggest problems that a lot of people make when they get into an accident is admit fault right away. Even if you feel that the accident was a direct result of your actions, there may be factors that influenced your actions. Being able to tell who was at fault is a very complicated matter. Your interpretation of the actual accident is not necessarily how it is perceived or even what happened. Most accidents are caused by both parties involved. Further investigation of the accident in question may reveal that the other driver did not do what they should have done to avoid the accident. Therefore, it might feel like the right thing to assume blame for the accident right away when you think you are at fault, it is not something that you are going to want to do. And this mistake can be very costly if it turns out that it wasn’t entirely your fault but you already admitted to it.

Overall, there is a lot that you are going to want to learn about how to act and what to do when you get into an accident. By understanding the guidelines of what you should and shouldn’t say, you should be able to maximize the chances that you are treated fairly by your insurance company and that you get your fair compensation should you get into an accident.

April 17, 2017