Author Archive for mollyp

America’s Six Most Dangerous Roads

Highway in the eveningFor all of their scenic beauty and modern day accessibility, many of America’s highways have distinguished themselves as being deadly and dangerous. While many drivers today are blissfully unaware of these highways’ reputations, the fact still remains that these roadways witness numerous accidents and deaths each year. Before heading out on your own American driving adventure, you may want to know which highways are among the most dangerous and exactly why they invite such devastation to so many motorists each year.

Interstate 10 in Arizona

A 150 mile highway that runs through from Phoenix to the border of neighboring California, Interstate 10 holds one of the top spots for being among the deadliest highways in America. Surrounding by lonely desert with sparsely populated towns located few and far between along this stretch of road, this highway sees more than 85 deaths and just as many non-fatal traffic accidents each year.

Interstate 45 in the Houston Metro Area

Highways located in busy metro settings are just as deadly, as is the case with Interstate 45. This roadway traverses through Harris County and the Houston metro area, often witnessing hectic driving conditions and frequent accidents each day. In fact, the Texas Department of Transportation reports that more than 3000 traffic accidents have occurred just since 2006. Of those 3000 wrecks, more than 1900 of them involved teen drivers, proving that this highway is particularly deadly for young and inexperienced drivers who are unused to busy urban traffic. Texas motorists and state visitors injured in auto accident in San Antonio or Houston, find out quickly the value of having a good car accident attorney on retainer after driving this busy stretch of road.

Highway 550 in Colorado

Highway 550 is a short, 25 mile highway that weaves and winds throughout southwestern Colorado. However, given the inhospitable weather conditions and the fact that this mountain road has few guardrails to keep drivers safe, this highway has earned itself a reputation of being deadly and dangerous.

Highway 2 in Montana

Another mountain highway that fails to roll out the welcome mat for visitors is Highway 2 in Montana. It too lacks guardrails to keep drivers safe from steep ditches and falling rockslides. It also has few gas stations or even little towns to seek refuge in case of a mechanical breakdown or wreck. It can take rescue responders more than 15 minutes to reach motorists who experience emergencies on this road.

U.S. 431 in Alabama

An old two-lane highway that runs for 98 miles through Dothan, U.S. 431 stands out in this state as one of the most dangerous roads to travel. With its old and outdated bridges, narrow traffic lanes, and isolated location, the highway has seen more than 20 traffic accident deaths in the last 10 years.

Dalton Highway in Alaska

Hardly a highway by conventional means, Dalton Highway in Alaska travels from Fairbanks all the way to the North Slope. It was built in 1974 as a roadway for oil workers and truck drivers who, by necessity, had to travel in this region’s harsh conditions to reach workers in the northern part of the state. It is now open to the public for travel; however, given its constant frozen conditions and the icy weather than ravages this road, only the bravest of drivers seem willing to drive on this highway.

These roads stand out as among the deadliest and most dangerous in America. Knowing where they are located and what dangers you could face can help you plan your transcontinental travel itinerary accordingly.

Freelance author, artist, auto-enthusiast and lover of the open road, Molly Pearce addresses the topics of travel, the law, and automobiles in her work. She shares this post to provide readers with valuable info on the state of U.S. roadways and what victims should do whether they are injured in auto accident in San Antonio, Montana, or Alaska.

Photo credit- http://www.flickr.com/photos/music5one/5606208488/

A Perfect Gift for Father

As you age you tend to see things in a different light. Gift giving over the Holidays was never my thing, nor was giving on birthdays. I was glad to be on the receiving end but seldom gave anyone else gifts. Part of the reason for me not giving was for financial reasons but there was also a level of maturity that I had not yet reached. My father just recently turned 60 and he and I have developed a bond over riding. He rides a Honda Shadow and I ride a Honda 919.

Although our bikes are on different ends of the riding spectrum, we still have that bond and I know riding has brought us closer together. For his 60th birthday I wanted to do something special, I wanted to buy him something that I know he would definitely enjoy, a pair of motorcycle saddlebags.

I already knew where I was purchasing his saddlebags, from Viking Bags, I just didn’t know which style would best fit his Shadow Ace. I have purchased things from Viking Bags and I have never been let down, their selection is limited for the sport bike crowd but their quality classic bike gear is anything but.

Although I am not new to riding, nor new to saddlebags, I knew enough to know that fit is always an issue that concerns anyone buying saddlebags for obvious reasons. I have seen saddlebags installed so poorly that they look unsightly and make the rider uncomfortable as well, I didn’t want this to happen to me. I have even seen saddlebags installed backwards! I have also seen saddlebags that really didn’t fit the look of the bike and just looked out of place. If I was going to do one thing, it was be thorough in my selection process.

The selection process started by looking at the Viking Bags website. I used the drop down menu on the left and selected Honda Saddlebags. After clicking there it brought me to the Honda Motorcycle Saddlebag Page. From there was able to see which models Viking Bags has saddlebags for. This can be a blessing and a curse though, if you don’t know which model you’re looking for you can easily become overwhelmed by the amount of models available. I’m assuming it will probably be easier to stay with the left hand menu and navigate that way. I clicked on the 1100 Shadow section so it can only show me the Shadow models with the 1100 cc engines and further narrow my selection.  The next page gave me a listing of all of the saddlebags that Viking Bags has to offer.

If there is one thing I know about my father, it is that I know he’s not a flashy guy. He likes to keep things simple and effective and stays away from the flashy clothes, and accessories. Knowing his tastes, I wanted to look for a pair of saddlebags that would stay in theme with the rest of his clean bike, nothing too flashy. Since he doesn’t have anything studded on this bike up to this point, I wanted to keep that classic look by getting him a pair of saddlebags that were not studded. The last page I looked at was their saddlebags page where I was able to see which all the saddlebags available for my father’s Shadow. I picked the Charger series saddlebags because those have two simple buckles not minimal flash. They were under $200 for the pair with tax and shipping combined so I was happy and so was my father.

The opening of the present was quite a sight. My father had no idea that I was getting him some saddlebags so he was really shocked when he opened his present and saw them there. You should have seen him, he jumped for joy and ran over and gave me a bear hug, one that only a father could. We haven’t had the chance to install them yet but I’m sure that will be yet another bonding experience over the weekend. If there’s one thing that I know we can bond over it’s a passion for motorcycles.

 

Tips for Recovering from a Tarnished Driving Record

If you have had enough of going to court, paying fines, and suffering other legal consequences because of your bad driving, however, you may wonder what you can do to earn a fresh start with your local DMV. By heeding these key pieces of advice, you can look forward to a better future on the road and become a model motorist.

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Reduce the Points on Your License

Many states have a points system through which people incur penalties for each infraction they garner while driving. The courts can give you points for speeding, parking illegally, failing to yield at stop signs, and countless other wrongdoings that you may engage in while steering a car. Even if you have a lot of points attached to your record, however, you can have these infractions reversed by simply avoiding these illegal behaviors

As time passes, your penalties will fall off your record, which in turn improves your standing with the DMV. As long as you resist the urge to fall back into these bad habits, you can reduce the number of points until your license is clean.

Another consideration is the employment of legal counsel. If hired before your court appearance, an experienced attorney “may be able to get your charges reduced or have your case dismissed”, says Katz & Phillips, P.A., Florida DUI firm.

Do Not Drink and Drive

This tip seems painfully obvious to many people; however, if you have struggled in the past with staying sober prior to getting in a car, you may think that this tip is somewhat of a challenge. Your state, like many others, probably has little tolerance for repeat DUI offenders. If you truly want a fresh start with your state’s motor vehicle department, it is imperative that you avoid this charge at all costs.

You can still go out and enjoy the occasional party. However, you should at all times avoid getting behind the wheel of a car and driving yourself home after you have had a few drinks. Stay at the party host’s house or let a friend drive you home. As long as you avoid this charge, you can get the new and improved motorist record you want.

Get Legal Counsel to Expedite an Expungement

Most states let people request to have their driving records expunged of all traffic and DUI infractions. You most definitely have this option available to you; however, you may need to hire an attorney to do it for you. Having a legal record expunged can be a lengthy and complicated process. In all likelihood, you probably do not know the paperwork or departments in the state to communicate with to make this request happen.

Your attorney can file a formal request on your behalf and present your question to the court. If the court agrees, the charges can be taken off your record, giving you a clean motor vehicle background in the state where you live.

When you have grown weary of the expense, hassle, and risk that come with incurring charges like DUI and speeding, you may decide to turn a new leaf and drive better and safer. You can embrace this new start by having your record expunged and avoiding the urge to join in your former dangerous habits.

Freelance writer and auto enthusiast Molly Pearce knows the difference good standing at the DMV can make in a variety of ways- cheaper insurance, more job options, less profiling from law enforcement and she hopes this post can offer motorists some fresh ideas on moving towards a cleaner driving record. Attorney firms, such as Florida’s Katz & Phillips, P.A., can be a one answer to your driving record woes. The majority of Molly’s legal research for this post came from this firm’s website.
Photo credit- http://flic.kr/p/cYhTao

Save Your License: Cleaning Up a Messy Driving Record

Driving is an activity that most of us take for granted. The only way we realize that driving is a privilege and not an entitlement is when we run the risk of losing our driver’s license. 

It’s easy to become a careless driver, especially when we’ve been driving for decades. Getting a ticket for speeding or running a red light only makes some drivers angry rather than rethinking their driving habits. Even hearing about tragic accidents, like the one in November in Houston, does not make those drivers want to change. The Houston Chronicle reported a gruesome accident in which a driver was killed. The Harris County constable’s office told the Chronicle that the driver was speeding past an accident on a Houston tollway when he was decapitated by a sharp object from a pickup truck parked in the shoulder of the road.

Losing your driver’s license

Drivers can ruin their record and get their license suspended in a variety of ways. Among them are:
driver's license
1. Failing to pay for traffic tickets.

2. Failing to pay child support or alimony.

3. Accumulating too many points on one’s driving record.

4. Driving without insurance and vehicle registration.

5. Being convicted of a drug charge.

6. Refusing to take a breathalyzer test when police suspect a driver of being drunk.

How to restore your license

Drivers facing suspension of their licenses or who had their licenses suspended are given a second chance to redeem themselves under most state laws. Here are a few ways drivers are allowed to get their licenses reinstated or get a few points shaved off of their driving record: 
1. Go to traffic school. Defensive driving courses review traffic laws, safe driving techniques and show individuals the risks they are taking by being a careless driver. The state of New York offers a “Point & Insurance Reduction Program” for drivers with suspended licenses. Drivers who successfully complete the course receive a reduction of 4 points on their driving record and a minimum 10 percent reduction in the base rate of their auto liability and collision insurance premiums for three years.

2. Obtain a SR-22 form. Drivers convicted of drunk driving might be required by the Department of Motor Vehicles to file a proof of insurance form called, SR-22. Having to file the SR-22 form means that you’re a high-risk driver and have to pay a higher rate for auto insurance.

3. Plead no contest to a misdemeanor driving offense. Rather than admitting guilt to the offense, drivers are advised not to contest the citation or state their innocence. Pleading no contest may help avoid an insurance rate hike.

Special conditions for drunk driving

Drivers’ licenses are automatically suspended for individuals arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI). In these situations, drivers stand a better chance of getting their licenses reinstated, and possibly avoiding jail time, if they hire representation, whether this means a DUI Attorney in Houston or a criminal defense firm in Seattle. Drunk driving is a serious offense that drivers should not handle on their own.

Cleaning up a driving record first starts with a decision to follow traffic laws. Not only will this reduce points and restore a license, it may save the driver’s life and another person’s life as well.

Molly Pearce is a freelance author and concerned motorist who often centers her work around the topics of law and human rights. She gets most of her information from reliable online sources and for this post she referred to the legal site of a DUI Attorney in Houston to complete her research.

Photo credit- http://flic.kr/p/dcujSo

Growing Truck Industry: Greater Danger to Highways?

The United States economy is slowly recuperating after a decade of sluggishness and that means business activity will continually rising. In addition, the manufacturing segment of the economy is seeing a significant increase in new start ups and existing sector growth, which then fuels growth in the shipping industry with respect to parts delivery and shipment of final goods.

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The fact that the railroad industry has also experienced an uptick suggests that the trucking industry will be the primary benefactor of increased production, as trucks are absolutely vital to their economic operations. Increasing the number of large commercial trucks on the highway will naturally have an impact on national highway safety.

Big Trucks vs. Small Cars

There is a definite movement in the United States regarding fuel efficiency in passenger cars. However, this has not necessarily applied to the trucking industry, as most commercial trucks still run on diesel fuel. A vital component in increasing fuel efficiency is reducing the size of passenger vehicles, along with utilizing lighter manufacturing materials and improved horsepower. This means that trucks will always have a size advantage in negotiating traffic, but it also increases the possibility for tragic accidents.

All trucks have blind spots in the mirror configuration and smaller cars are more difficult to view. The increase in the number of big trucks versus the continuing downsizing of vehicles will naturally make the existing situation worse.

Fatal Trucking Accident Rates

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has provided supporting statistics on the increase in just the past two years, as the rate was up just over 3% in 2011 and nearly 9% in 2012. Additionally, the increase in fatal trucking accidents on U.S. highways has increased over 20% from the 2010 statistics. This is clearly a trend that cannot be continued, which may also be providing much of the impetus for increased safety technology installed in all new passenger vehicles.

The National Transportation Safety Board has also recommended that all states lower the blood-alcohol content level necessary for an impaired driving conviction to .05 for drivers of passenger cars, which is the current reckless driving conviction level. All other industrialized nations with a high concentration of big trucks on the highway use the .05 standard.

Trucking Accident Attorneys

Accidents involving big trucks and other commercial vehicles are always complicated and often involve multiple vehicles. These accidents are also complicated in legal proceeding with respect to determination of negligent parties. An experienced and effective truck accident attorney is always necessary to make sure that a victim’s claim is presented for maximum award from all negligent respondents.

 

Many times punitive damage awards are also appropriate, giving the attorney a stronger negotiation position when finalizing a settlement. Additionally, all trucking companies and their insurance providers have network attorneys who are focusing on as much claim payout reduction as possible.

A novice injured plaintiff is no match for professional negotiators. And, of course, a wrongful death victim will need an attorney to negotiate a proper payoff for the decedent estate and family members. As the increase in trucking traffic rises, the increase in highway accidents involving big trucks will rise also. And, so will the need for a solid truck accident attorney for anyone involved in one of these often terrible accidents. Anyone involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle should always retain an attorney quickly who is knowledgeable in evaluation and settlement of these legal claims.

 

Molly Pearce is a freelance author, artist, and lover of the open road who often writes on the topics of automobiles and the law. She reviewed the webpage of http://www.howellandchristmas.com/charleston-car-accident-lawyer to learn more about trucking accidents and their legal ramifications.

Photo credit- http://www.flickr.com/photos/toddmccann/7490249498

Top 5 Most Kid-Safe Cars on the Market

Families come in different sizes and with different transportation needs. When searching for the perfect vehicle, you will need to consider interior room, safety features, and family-friendly amenities. The following five vehicles have been selected for exceeding these needs.

1. Toyota Prius 

While considered a sub-compact car, this family friendly vehicle is perfect for small families. Rated as one of the safest cars on the road, the Prius is equipped with nine air bags, including bags in the front seat cushions that keep you in place in the event of the crash. Additionally, this hybrid has excellent gas mileage making it perfect for any family budget.

2. Subaru Impreza

The Impreza has many safety features available and also has any standard family-friendly amenities making it a desirable car for mid-sized families. The car is all-wheel drive, perfect for those in climates where snow and ice can be an issue.

3. Honda Accord

This car has been rated as a top family sedan due to its impeccable handling on dangerous roads, great safety features, terrific gas mileage for size of car, and family friendly features. The Accord has many perks for the front seat and back seat passengers.

4. Honda CRV

Perfect for a larger family, the CRV has been in the top five for several years for roominess, amenities and safety features. This crossover also has great gas mileage and many additional perks for the driver.

5. Toyota Sienna

This is the best minivan available on the market today. Safety features exceed all recommended standards and it has the room to seat a large family. Any of the amenities that are standard in this vehicle are add ons in other mini vans. In addition, this van has the best construction to prevent roll overs, a common event in mini vans.

While it may be very important to some families to have entertainment centers and game console plug-ins available in the back seat for their children, families are encouraged to review safety features first.Children are often the victims of personal injuries when the vehicle is involved in an accident due to the lack of safety features in the rear area of the car. While front seat passengers my go unharmed in the same accident, these children are sustaining serious injuries.

What is perhaps the most devastating about the injuries that children sustain in these accidents is the potential for long-term problems. Broken bones can slow growth, change growth patterns and even prevent a limb from growing at all. Head injuries can be very dangerous due to the nature of the growing brain, and spinal injuries could have life-long effects on the child.

In addition, children with injures often ignore the signs that there may be additional problems until it is too late. An achy neck or headache that is really something serious is ignored until the parents later find themselves in the emergency room.

Many vehicle manufacturers have taken this data seriously and have aggressively been trying to improve the safety standards of the rear seats. These vehicles have been included in the list above due to their excellent safety ratings.

 

 

 

Author and concerned mom of two, Molly Pearce shares this post to inform parents who may be shopping for a new family vehicle of the most kid-friendly possibilities available this season. She looked to http://www.bottarlaw.com/albany-personal-injury-lawyer/ for assistance with this post.

 

 

Photo credit- http://www.flickr.com/photos/neeta_lind/2532779206

 

Making the Best out of DUI School: What to Expect

It’s foolhardy to believe that there are any drivers out there who don’t realize that driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious crime. Even with this being the case, however, there are still around 1.4 million arrests for the crime every single year. There are a wealth of consequences that a person can face if convicted of the crime, and this includes DUI school. When many people hear of a “DUI school,” they don’t think it sounds so bad; but in reality, it can be one of the costliest consequences related to a conviction. 

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What is DUI School?

According to DUI defense attorney, Kevin Wilson, potential DUI consequences, in any state, include, “alcohol education treatment as a mandatory requirement or negotiation tactic.” DUI schools are educational programs often related to both drugs and alcohol. Many individuals wonder why they have to learn about drug awareness if they were arrested for drinking and driving, but it’s important to remember that it’s possible to get a DUI while under the influence of drugs as well. These classes are meant to educate a person on the dangers of driving under the influence. In the end, they hope to prevent repeat offenses.

Of course, most individuals wouldn’t willingly choose to take these classes, and this is why courts often use DUI school as a penalty for a DUI conviction. In many cases, a person convicted of the crime will take a “clinical assessment” to gauge their need for the school, but in reality, these assessments almost always end with the conclusion that a person could benefit from the classes.

What to Expect

There are various things to expect from a DUI course, and these expectations can vary depending upon which state a person is convicted in. In most cases, however, those sentenced to these schools can expect to attend DUI classes from anywhere from three months to nine months. These classes are often weekly and a few hours in length. At several of these schools, a negative drug test is required for graduation since some offenders are their for driving under the influence of drugs.

In addition, those attending DUI school can expect to come off of a substantial amount of money for the classes. These courses are usually offered by private companies which have been licensed by the specific state. This means that their charges can vary wildly. Many areas charge around $500 for a full course, but in some instances, the cost of these classes can exceed $1,000.

Avoiding DUI School Penalties

DUI school is often overkill as a punishment since the other consequences of a DUI, such as license suspension and huge fines, are often enough to put people back on the right path. The only way for a person to ensure that they don’t have to take these classes is to have the DUI charges dropped or beat them. In most cases, hiring a DUI attorney can considerably assist a person in this endeavor.

It’s important to note that attorneys can present a variety of DUI defenses that most individuals don’t even know exist. Certain diets, for instance, can cause Breathalyzer devices to give off false positives. Even in cases where a DUI can’t be beat, however, an attorney can often negotiate a deal which will require a person to attend DUI classes far less than they otherwise would’ve.

DUI school is definitely no walk in the park, and those who are sentenced to it are expected to abide by all of the rules and fully complete the course. Unfortunately, this can put a serious dent in a person’s wallet, and for an individual who made a simple one-time mistake, this repercussion can sometimes be on the unfair side. When it comes down to it, DUI school may be a necessity after a DUI conviction, so it’s important for a person to avoid a conviction at all costs.

Author Molly Pearce shares this post to give those faced with a DUI charge an idea of what to expect for Alcohol and Drug Awareness treatment or DUI school and what can help them get through it. She got a lot of helpful info from online research on the site of Kevin Wilson, DUI defense attorney.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jinkazamah/2340242190/

Car Crash Injury? Recognition and Treatment

One of the largest mistakes anyone can do when they are involved in a car accident is avoid getting medical treatment at the scene of the event. Many people believe that they are just “shook up” or “tense” or even “just sore” when in reality they have sustained an injury. These people fail to seek medical treatment right away, and then find it much harder to seek medical care and compensation at a later date when the injuries have fully manifested.

Always Seek Medical Care Immediately
Lawyers For Injury San Luis Obispo California
If you are involved in an accident, it is best to seek medical care at that time, even if the injury seems minor. This helps eliminate the potential danger of your injury becoming critical at a later time and facing serious, long-term effects from this injury.

Seeking medical care promptly also helps you avoid being denied coverage from the insurance company. While in most cases you have seven days to seek treatment for an injury that occurred in an accident, most insurance companies begin denying coverage at the 24 hour mark. Even though they eventually have to pay, you may be denied critical care when you need it the most.

You would also do well to seek the services of a car accident attorney as soon as possible after the event. Hiring a personal injury attorney is the best way to ensure that your rights are protected. Experienced representation will not let you settle for less than you are entitled too and won’t let you sign away any rights to future claims. “Insurance companies try to get victims to sign documents stating they won’t make any other claims in the future, even if the injuries they suffered need future medical treatment,” says www.dallascaraccidentlawyers.net.

Common Injuries That Occur In a Car Accident 

• Head Injuries

Many people think that they have a headache from the stress of the event. In actuality, they have head trauma and a possible concussion. Left untreated, these injuries can lead to serious and sometimes fatal results. Untreated head injuries can cause a life time of problems.

• Neck Injuries

A stiff neck can be a sign of whiplash or disc injuries. A stiff or sore neck could lead to very serious complications if not treated immediately. Neck injuries can cause paralysis, long term pain and suffering, and potential loss of mobility in the neck and shoulders area.

• Back Injuries

The blunt force of the accident often causes backs to be jolted n such a manner that injury occurs. It may seem like a sore back at first, but damage to the discs or the soft tissue areas has occurred. This can lead to permanent disability if left untreated.

Texas Top In U.S. for Car Wreck Injury and Deaths

They say that everything in Texas is bigger. This also applies, unfortunately, to car accident statistics. Texas ranks highest in the nation for car accident injures and car accident related deaths. While there has not been any real data to confirm why this happens more in Texas, it is believed to be a combination of road and weather conditions and a large population.

What is more concerning is the amount of accident injures that are not reported. Texas also leads the nation in the amount of personal injury cases that are disputed because the insurance company denies coverage for an injury because the accident victim has waited too long after the event to seek treatment.

Whether you live in Texas or any other state, a car crash is no light matter and to protect your health and you finances you should always get immediate medical attention if there’s any chance you could have sustained injuries. The best way to face an car crash tragedy is head on with complete medical evaluation and treatment and experienced legal representation and counsel.
Author Molly Pearce is a busy Atlanta motorist who is no stranger to the severity of a major car crash. Drawing research from www.dallascaraccidentlawyers.net, she shares this post to raise awareness on common accident injuries and how to handle them best.
Photo credit- http://www.flickr.com/photos/injurylawyersanluisobispo/9474547998/

Choosing the Right Car Insurance Company

Selecting the right insurance company for your Merritt Island Floridaautomobile requires a certain level of research. With so many insurance companies claiming to offer discounted services, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them all. There are important differences in terms of coverage levels, the insurance provider’s programs, and after-claims service that must be considered when deciding to take out a policy. The best insurer for your needs is not necessarily the cheapest.

Coverage Levels
One of the most important things that you can do when choosing an automobile insurance company is ensure that they cover the types of damages that you are concerned about. Insurance companies are similar in terms of what automobile insurance policies they offer. Nearly all of them will offer collision, comprehensive, liability, uninsured motorist coverage, and any combination thereof. Motorists who want the bare minimum liability only policy required by their state can find it almost anywhere.

While the overall offerings may seem similar, the specific policies differ widely between insurers. Some companies will exclude coverage for vehicles participating in untimed motoring events while other insurance companies will exclude coverage for vehicles that were even on the grounds where such an event was held. Some insurance companies will refuse to compensate claimants for vehicle modifications that were not previously declared to the insurer while others will simply require documentation after the fact. Insurers will also vary in terms of how they view damage from weather conditions such as wind, water or fire.

If you have the right coverage type for your needs, you should also ensure that the coverage limits will fully cover the item in the event of a loss. Property lost inside the vehicle in the event of a theft or a collision may not be covered if the value exceeds a certain threshold; those who drive around with valuable tools or audio systems may only receive partial compensation in the event of a loss. A particularly cheap policy may not even cover the full damages to the vehicle. Before taking out any policies, research your insurer and read your policy carefully to determine exactly what is covered and for how much.

The Right Features

Some insurance companies have taken great strides to differentiate their services from those of their competitors. Most insurance companies offer rate discounts for safe driving practices or for insuring multiple assets with them, but these practices will vary from insurer to insurer. Anyone shopping for insurance should check to see whether the insurer has a discount that applies to them. Combinations of discounts can make an insurer who initially quoted a higher price the least expensive option.

Other insurers have specialized programs for different clients. Allstate’s Accident Forgiveness Program can help drivers who rarely err from being subjected to inflated rates if an accident occurs even if the accident is the policyholder’s fault. Progressive’s Snapshot program offers drivers the chance to plug an electronic device into their vehicle which will record the number of hard braking events, vehicle miles traveled, and vehicle miles traveled between midnight and 4:00 A.M. for a set period; drivers who rarely panic brake or who drive infrequently can save money. Identifying which programs you may use and determine how much they will save or cost you.

Reputation

Doing research on insurance providers beforehand can pay dividends down the road. For many people, insurance is largely about peace of mind and fulfilling statutory obligations to carry certain types of insurance in certain situations. However, its ultimate purpose is to compensate you or someone else in the event of a loss. An insurance company that does not pay claimants or which disputes or delays claims without a reasonable basis for doing so is worse than useless, as it has taken your payments and given you nothing in return. Reviewing the insurer’s reputation for paying damages prior to taking out a policy is always a good idea.

This is not to say that every customer complaint should be treated as a wholesale condemnation of a large insurer. When doing your research, look for a pattern of complaints.

Common underhanded tactics include erroneously categorizing damages as a type excluded from coverage under the policy while it was clearly of a different type, delaying payment for months while the insurer claims that it is investigating, offering low-ball settlements and refusing to provide full compensation, and refusing to provide compensation for certain types of damages, such as diminished value. Whether it’s Dallas car accident lawyers or San Diego personal injury attorneys, they will tell you that if a pattern of complaints focuses on any of the aforementioned types of misconduct or any other conduct that indicates that the insurer is dealing in bad faith, you may wish to look elsewhere so as to avoid litigation later.

Consider your situation when shopping for insurance. Do you carry valuables in your vehicle, have modifications, require high coverage limits, or simply want to fulfill your state’s minimum liability requirements? As one Dallas car accident lawyer says, for the most part, “the insurance company is not on your side.” Policies and insurers with too many exclusions, limits that are too low, and poor service will leave you without compensation when you need it most. Specific programs from specific insurers can make an insurer which initially quoted a higher price cheaper than the competition. As always, a bit of legwork goes a long way in terms of preventing future problems.

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What Motorcyclists Injured in an Accident Should Know

 

110505-F-DN954-661According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 81,000 motorcyclists were injured in vehicle accidents in 2011. Over 4,600 motorcyclists were fatally injured in that same period. Motorcycles are grossly over-represented in accident statistics; despite comprising only three percent of all registered vehicles in the United States, motorcycles comprise 14 percent of all traffic fatalities. While maintaining one’s presence of mind after a bike accident may be difficult, knowing several things can help prevent the damages from becoming much worse.

Other Vehicles Involved May Flee

After causing a motor vehicle collision, many drivers will ignore their legal obligations to stop and exchange insurance information. This is particularly common in accidents involving motorcycles, which usually involve a disabled motorcycle and a drivable passenger vehicle. One of the first things to do after an automobile accident involving a collision with another vehicle is to memorize the license plate as well as the make and model of the vehicle. If the other driver does run, he or she can be identified and held liable for the accident.

Prompt Medical Attention Can Identify Hidden Injuries

Any motorcyclist involved in an accident should seek medical attention as soon as possible after the incident. Some motorcyclists are lucky enough to walk away from accidents with few discernable injuries. However, the extent of your injuries cannot be determined at the roadside. Latent injuries can be fatal or result in prolonged difficulties. Nerve damage and even broken bones are often dismissed initially as temporary pain. Traumatic brain injuries often involve very little pain.

Documenting the Scene is Likely to Help Later

Accidents often involve differing interpretations of what transpired and about the conditions surrounding the accident. This can be frustrating for victims of negligent drivers and can hamper chances of recovering compensation later. If victims do not act quickly, witnesses can disappear and video footage can be overwritten.

Documenting the scene is not always feasible for the rider after a motorcycle accident. Motorcycle riders have little protection from collisions with solid objects and their own inertia and even low-speed collisions can result in serious injury. However, if you have the mobility and presence of mind to do so, you should take as many photographs of the scene and any other vehicles involved as possible. Obtain the names of witnesses and copies of the police report.

The Biker’s Riding Habits Will be Scrutinized

Every motorcyclist knows that responsible riding habits reduce the chance of being involved in an accident. However, they are equally important after an accident. When determining fault, law enforcement officers and insurance companies should look to which party adhered to state law and which party did not but can sometimes be biased. “Insurance companies often try to exploit motorcyclists and label them with a reputation for bad and reckless driving,” says one West Palm Beach auto accident lawyer. Motorcyclists generally have the same rights and obligations as passenger cars on the roadway, although the circumstances surrounding the incident may not be immediately clear. This underlies the importance of documenting the scene and obtaining information from witnesses.

The issue of fault will be pivotal in the event that the accident leads to litigation. As part of a claim for negligence arising from a motorcycle accident, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed a duty of care that he or she breached. The specific breach will be different for each accident, although careless driving habits are a common theme. Even mild misconduct can jeopardize a motorcyclist’s chances of recovery, however. Similarly, insurers may also assign a grossly disproportionate amount of fault or even deny a claim altogether.
Legal Representation Can Assist With Recovering Damages

If the accident was caused by another party’s negligent act, they or their insurance company may attempt to offer a token settlement in the hopes of resolving the matter quickly. These settlements often seem attractive to cash-strapped victims who have mounting bills and find it difficult or impossible to work. However, such settlements rarely cover the full extent of the damages caused to injured victims and almost never include compensation for lost wages and late fees for other bills.

Motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to be killed in an auto accident than passenger car operators per vehicle mile traveled. Many of these accidents arise due to the fully preventable negligence of other parties. Whether they are injured or not victims of such accidents should identify the parties involved and gather as much evidence as possible after the accident.

Before accepting any settlement, motorcyclists should consult with an attorney experienced in handling cases arising from automobile accidents, as being victimized twice by an incomplete settlement offer is possible. Competent legal representation ensures that victims are fully educated about their rights under the law and receive a fair chance in the courtroom.

Free-lance artist and author Molly Pearce is a lover of the open road herself and owning a bike is included on her list of future endeavors. She shares out of concern for the dangers that motorcyclists face on our roads and the difficulties they have in protecting their rights. West Palm Beach auto accident lawyer, Steinger, Iscoe, & Green, have defended hundreds of Florida bikers who were injured or harmed in motorcycle accidents, and have a track record of success in this practice area.

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