Automobile insurance is a requirement for drivers in most jurisdictions, and a good idea in all. Naturally, the tens of millions of drivers in the United States can be assembled into thousands of insurance risk pools with hundreds of products in each, but the multitude of options for most drivers can be overwhelming, among policies that are hard to distinguish from one another. But unlike credit cards, for which consumers are also regularly solicited, car insurance is difficult to see operating on a regular basis. (Hopefully you’ll never have an auto accident and need to see it in operation.) While no composite of advice can address all the choices available, some high-level tips can help you keep your scrutiny focused. Consider the following.
It’s a lot to take in, and this is just the beginning. Researching options in detail also has to be paired with researching a sufficient number. Three is too few and 20 is probably too many. Fully researching and getting a written quote for 5 different policies across several insurers can help you understand the variety of options so your choice can be intelligent and informed.
Remember, the purpose of automobile insurance is to protect you financially in case of an accident. When choosing an insurance policy, you want to make sure that you’re getting the coverage you need, and that you are actually covered for what you think you’re paying for.
Drivers are required by law – in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and most other states as well – to have insurance in case of an accident. That insurance is supposed to protect you financially in the event of an accident. But sometimes an insurance company will deny a claim. If that has happened to you, know that you do have recourse and don’t just have to shrug your shoulders and try to figure out how to recover financially yourself. You do have options.
Auto insurance should protect you in the event of an accident, but if you’re having trouble recovering from your insurance company, please contact us for a free case evaluation.
Motorcycling is a brisk, thrilling, responsible mode of transport for millions of Americans, but the thrills come at a cost: the risk of deadly traffic accidents is exceptionally high. Although motorcycles comprise less than three percent of all road traffic, they account for 16% of traffic fatalities. Every step a motorcyclist can take to stave back the threat will be wisely spent if it makes the difference between sixty miles an hour and six feet under.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the following are basic measures all drivers should be familiar with:
Another approach to safety is not to make the mistakes associated with most fatalities—4,502 in 2010:
The composite of motorcycle-related fatalities is one of older men out for impulsive, heightened physical stimulation: intoxicated, speeding, with unhelmeted hair coursing in the night wind, combined with inadequate licensure and a history of speeding convictions. The line between thrilling recreation and weekend fantasy can be difficult to draw, but those who drive motorcycles like they drive their cars are the ones who live; the survivors are the ones who can find the thrill in moderation.
The MN personal injury attorneys at Lord & Faris represent Minnesotans who have been injured in vehicle accidents, including motorcycle accidents. But we’d much rather you stayed safe as you ride and avoid an accident.
When an auto accident results in an injury, it often sets in motion a chain of events that could lead to the injury victim having to proceed to trial in order to receive fair compensation. While most personal injury cases settle out of court, a few end up before a jury. When that happens, one of the important aspects is reconstructing the accident so that the jury can more accurately envision what happened.
Expert witnesses who are trained in accident reconstruction are usually called to testify in accident injury cases, and usually use visual aids such as charts, slides, photos, etc. to support their testimony. Advances in technology are providing more tools to help with this presentation, and one of the increasingly-popular ones is forensic animation, which was first used in a court setting in 1992.
Forensic animation is, in short, a digital presentation. While this may be a new concept for many people, there are indications that it may become more common in court settings, for both criminal and civil proceedings. One factor that may be affecting this trend is that young adults are accustomed to viewing digital images and find this technology easy to use and appealing.
The technology, however, does have its downside. For instance, there is not current a mechanism whereby the court can determine if the animated presentation is accurate. There are also factors that don’t come into play such as weather conditions, mechanical defects in the vehicle(s) involved, and just how the human body reacted inside the vehicle at the time of collision. Also, there is still some skepticism regarding this type of presentation – could be be something the witness simply made up to show what MIGHT have happened, rather than an actual reconstruction of what can be demonstrated did occur.
Despite the current drawbacks, this technology shows signs of becoming more prevalent as courtrooms move into the world of high tech.
Everyone goes through different stages of alertness, exhaustion, curiosity, and disinterest every day, but driving alone down a dark highway after a full workday can be a challenge. For too many, unfortunately, as streets get more crowded, the workplace becomes farther from home, and commutes become longer, driving is more monotonous than ever. But it’s also more dangerous when coupled with exhaustion, because recent studies indicate most Americans get insufficient sleep.
Drowsy drivers face greater risk of hurting themselves and other drivers on the road, and its acknowledged that drowsy driving is a growing threat to road safety. You can, however, learn to recognize the signs of drowsiness as you’re driving: it could make the difference in getting home safely.
Four large areas of bodily function account for most of the particular risk that drowsiness poses to drivers:
Watching for these signs can help avoid an accident, but they’re measures of last resort. The real solution is to lower your risk of getting drowsy in the first place: find a job close to home and get a full night’s sleep during the weekdays. Catching up on sleep over the weekend won’t help you stay safe Thursday night.
Accidents are an inherent risk we all take when we drive, but all too often what are termed “accidents” were preventable. Drowsy and distracted driving falls in this category. The experienced and compassionate personal injury attorneys at Lord & Faris represent Minnesotans and their loved ones who have been injured or killed in vehicle accidents.
Most everyone who drives in the United States also carries car insurance, but selecting a plan that’s right for you can be daunting. Drivers can choose from a wide variety of options, but there are a few standard elements that all insurance buyers should be familiar with. Understanding the basics common to all plans can provide a solid foundation for comparison:
Although these definitions are found throughout plans, some insurers may vary their interpretations in subtle ways. Reading the fine print of any plan, even on the basics, is a step no buyer should ignore. Choosing the right auto insurance for you could be important in the event you are involved in an auto accident.
When there is a vehicle accident, perhaps the most important issue to be determined is who is at fault. Sometimes it is obvious, but assigning liability is not always clear, and to be able to make a successful claim against another party’s insurance company, you need to be able to prove that their insured was at fault. Here are some points to keep in mind if you find yourself in this situation.
Police reports can be the strongest evidence of fault. They are the official records of the accident based on the observations of one or more officers responding. Police reports will note such things as distance measurements, placement of vehicles, notations of skid marks (which could indicate speed), damage, and whether or not tickets were issued for violations. If witnesses are available, their statements are recorded. If a police officer is called to the scene, be sure to ask how to get a copy of the report. You’ll need it for your insurance company.
If there is no one injured in an accident, the police do not always respond. Then it’s up to the drivers involved to make reports. Occasionally insurance investigators will also get involved.
State Driving Laws
If there is a violation of your state’s driving code, this may be another form of evidence for liability. Most Department of Motor Vehicles have state driving manuals available, and most state government websites publish them as well.
Determining Fault in Rear-End Collisions
In almost all cases, if a vehicle is hit from the rear, the other driver is at fault. However, there are exceptions to this. Examples are: nonworking tail lights, or if your vehicle was parked in the middle of a road.
Left Turn Accident Liability
Generally, the driver turning left is at fault in these situations. Exceptions are if the turning vehicle was hit by a car which had come through a red light, or if the vehicle turning entered a clear intersection but then found an obstruction after beginning the turn.
Except in cases where liability or fault is clear, determining who is responsible for an accident can be a complicated process. If you’ve been involved in a vehicle accident and you’re unclear as to your responsibilities, it’s best to consult an attorney experienced in vehicle accidents.
Here are some “do’s” and “don’ts” to keep in mind when dealing with your insurance company if you’re involved in motor vehicle accident. You may want keep a printed copy of this information in your car.
What to Do
What Not To Do
If you have any questions about your responsibilities and protecting your rights in case of a motor vehicle accident, contact the MN personal injury attorneys at Lord & Faris.
Despite significant improvements in the safety mechanisms of cars, improved road safety and warnings, and extensive information taught in driver’s education, car accidents still cause a major percentage of injuries and wrongful deaths in the United States. If you have been injured in a car accident, there is important evidence showing who was liable for the accident and what the cause of the accident was. Someone must secure this evidence so that you will be able to receive financial help for your injuries.
Accidents Caused By Negligent Driving
One of the biggest causes of accidents today is carelessness while driving. If you were in a collision with someone who was disobeying, intentionally or inadvertently, a traffic law, then it is an accident caused by negligence. Other negligent driving habits include driving above or far below the speed limit, failing to use turn signals, using distracting devices such as music players or smart phones, or driving recklessly in hazardous weather conditions. A person who is found guilty of driving negligently will most likely be responsible to pay for the damage to the car and the injured party. In order for this to happen, however, the injured party and their attorney must prove that the other driver’s negligence was the cause of the accident.
Drunk Driving And Irresponsible Driving
A large proportion of fatal accidents are alcohol related. Intoxicated driving will usually lead to a criminal investigation, since drinking and driving and driving under the influence of drugs are against the law. The bar which served the drinks to the drunk driver may also be put under investigation.
Reckless, irresponsible driving refers to driving which is intentionally haphazard and erratic. Instances of reckless driving would be someone driving excessively fast, swerving through traffic, or driving with aggression. If you were injured by someone who was driving irresponsibly, then they are liable to pay for the damage caused to you and your vehicle.
Other Causes of Accidents
There are some accidents which are not caused by either driver. In some cases, the car of either driver may have had a mechanical malfunction. Other causes might be road obstacles, broken traffic lights, construction, and fallen trees or power poles. For this type of accident, there are some vehicle laws that allow for lawsuits against the governing body responsible for the area in which the accident occurred.
Seeking Attorney Aid For Injuries
In any type of vehicle collision injury, it is important to find a good attorney to help you get compensation. They will help you determine your legal rights by researching all the applicable traffic laws and state codes to make sure you receive the care you need. The personal injury attorneys at Lord & Faris are highly experienced in helping people injured in auto accidents to obtain the financial help they are entitled to. If you’ve been involved in such an accident, call us today. Toll Free 1-800-257-LORD or in the metro area, call 612-333-LORD.
Fault and liability are two terms to understand when considering the issue of an automobile accident. While the two words are often used interchangeably , they do not mean exactly the same thing. Who is “at fault” is determined by the degree a person is responsible for an accident. Liability is the responsibility to pay for the resulting damage. It is based on legal or moral obligations are as a result of a contract. Liability may be someone other than the driver. For example, in the case of a teenager living at home and driving his father’s car, the teen may have caused the accident, but the father is liable because he has insured the vehicle and given his son permission to drive it.
Fault is the degree to which we are responsible for an accident that results in damages. The reality of life is that we all make mistakes, and often in an automobile accident there are several people involved, and responsible parties may include more than just the drivers. Common law recognizes four categories of fault. These are:
All states provide that anyone causing an automobile accident who does not In every state, anyone who doesn’t have liability coverage in at least the minimum amount established by law can have their personal assets seized and sold to compensate the injured party, who has a right to file a lawsuit to recover financial compensation.
Insurance companies who provide individual automobile insurance have endeavored to work with state governments so that most auto accidents do not end up in court. Except in major cases such as those involving fatalities (vehicular homicide) which are subject to criminal proceedings, automobile accidents are classified as “tort” cases and go through civil courts. While some major cases, like vehicular homicide, are crimes and are punished by criminal courts, all automobile accidents involving more than one party are tort cases and are handed in civil court.
There are laws in each state which the insurance companies use to determine whether or not their insured is financially liable for damages sustained in an accident. All insurance companies operating in that state use the same legal standards, which makes claim settlement fairly straightforward, even if multiple parties are involved. For example, in a case where negligence or recklessness is claimed , that driver is at fault and must pay for the damages unless it can be proved that the negligent or reckless act claimed did not in fact occur.
Fault and liability in automobile accidents can sometimes be complicated issues. An experienced attorney such as one of the auto accident attorneys at Lord & Faris can help sort things out and establish your case.
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Lord & Faris Law Firm
The Law Firm of Lord & Faris is a Minneapolis and St. Paul based personal injury law office that works for individuals and families throughout Minnesota including the following cities: Minneapolis, St. Paul, Plymouth, Burnsville, St. Louis Park, Golden Valley, Edina, Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Eagan, Richfield, Maplewood, Roseville, Brooklyn Park, Maple Grove, Blaine, Lakeville, Woodbury, Duluth, Coon Rapids, Lino Lakes, North Oaks, Stillwater, White Bear Lake, Minnetonka, Apple Valley, St. Cloud, Plymouth, Rochester, Wayzata, Excelsior, Chanhassen, Chaska, Mankato, Marshall, Hibbing, Brainerd.