Victims of Malpractice: How to Handle a Personal Injury Suit

Victims of Malpractice How to Handle a Personal Injury Suit

When you are injured through malpractice, a car accident or an accident at work, you need to make sure that you are taking your injury seriously. Most people who are injured tend to take the injury in stride. They move on with their lives and lose the money that they should have made working. They never seek compensation for their injuries, but they deserve this compensation. You need to make sure that you are doing more than taking your personal injury lying down.

Go to the Doctor

There is no way in the world that you can claim you are injured if you have never been to the doctor. Being rushed to the hospital is not an excuse to sue someone for personal injury. You need to be under the care of a doctor at all times, and that doctor needs to be able to testify to the fact that you were badly hurt. If the doctor can vouch for you, then you can start your legal proceedings.

Hire a Lawyer

When you hire a lawyer to help you with your personal injury case, you need to make sure that you submit all the information you have to them. They are going to look into your case, but they are also going to ask you what you want. You may want compensation, you may want your job back or you may want to have your medical bills paid. You must make sure that you are working with your lawyer so that they know what you want out of the suit.

The Settlement

When you file suit against a company or individual, they will likely want to settle. You do not want to spend a ton of money in court costs, and your opponent is not going to want to spend all that money defending a case they will lose. Your attorney can negotiate a settlement that is going to help you get your life back together. They can make sure that you have all the money you need coming in, and they will allow you to get back on your feet.

You deserve compensation when you are injured, and you need to make sure that you are doing everything you need to make that happen. When people are injured, they often ignore the legal angle. You can sue someone for your personal injury, and you can get the money you need to turn your life around.

This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her three-year-old husky Snowball.

Understanding the Legal Effects of a DUI Related Car Accident

Understanding the Legal Effects of a DUI Related Car Accident

Driving under the influence, or DUI, is a legal problem that can have a range of consequences. If you are involved in an accident while driving under the influence, your problems can increase exponentially, particularly if someone is injured. Each state has its own statutes regarding the handling of automobile accidents. If you are involved in a DUI-related accident, you should seek legal representation immediately to ensure that your rights are properly protected.

Blood Alcohol Levels
The basis of DUI cases against drivers who may be involved in an accident is the blood alcohol test. The very fact of being in an accident can be a situation of “reasonable suspicion” to allow a police officer to administer a blood alcohol test and arrest you for driving under the influence. Some states allow mandatory blood alcohol tests for drivers involved in an accident. Others allow administration of these tests at the officer’s discretion. Refusal to take the test can result in automatic loss of your license for three to six months, or even more, and will not protect you from a DUI charge.

Criminal Charges
Depending on the type of accident, the motorist may also be subject to more serious criminal charges, including reckless driving, assault with a vehicle or even negligent homicide if someone dies in the accident.

Second or Third DUI Convictions
If you have been previously convicted of driving under the influence, the consequences of a DUI-related accident can be even more serious. It is likely that the driver will face jail time or face permanent loss of driving privileges.

Civil Litigation
If an automobile accident involves the serious injury or death of another person, the driver may be subject to civil litigation for compensation beyond the extent of the insurance coverage or for loss of support to the family. These legal actions can cause severe financial burden to the driver if they are found to have driven under the influence.

Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
Your insurance company may compensate you if the accident involves a situation for which you are covered under your insurance policy. However, according to Knochel Law Offices PC the company will not handle the aspects of your case involving DUI charges. To ensure that your interests are properly protected, anyone involved in a DUI-related accident case should contact a personal injury attorney who is experienced in these matters.

Automobile accidents that involve a DUI charge can be a significant emotional event in your life. Having a personal injury attorney to represent your interests in this stressful time is advisable.

This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her three-year-old husky Snowball.

Major Signs that Your Car Accident Was Caused by a Negligent Driver

Major Signs that Your Car Accident Was Caused by a Negligent Driver

Car accidents happen more frequently than most people realize. According to a recent report, during the 2013 calendar year Las Vegas had approximately 22,600 automobile accidents. More than half of them resulted in injuries. And that is just one city. Many of these accidents were caused by negligence. However, negligence can be something that is hard to prove. So how can an accident victim prove that their accident was caused by the negligence of another driver?

The Police Report

During the course of investigation, police officers will question witnesses, look at video surveillance tapes, and use forensic evidence to determine the cause of the accident. Things such as driving with excessive speed, driving in a reckless way, driving while talking on the telephone, ignoring traffic control devices, and failing to yield are just some of the things that may show up on the traffic report as proof of negligence on the part of the other driver.

Malfunctioning Car Equipment

By law, drivers are required and expected to keep their vehicle in working order. For example, it is illegal for an individual to operate a motor vehicle that has damaged or non-functioning headlights or brake lights. The brakes on the vehicle should be working. The blinkers on the vehicle should function properly. The automobile should have a horn that can be heard. If any of these things are not in place, it may be possible for the accident victim to prove that the accident was caused by negligence on the part of the other driver.

Driving While Under the Influence

If the accident was caused because the other driver was driving while intoxicated or while using prescription or illicit drugs, a strong case can be made for negligence on the part of the other driver. If you’ve been in a car accident with someone you suspect of being intoxicated, consider enlisting an accident attorney to help you get your due compensation.

Failure to Control Their Vehicle

The law expects a driver to be alert and to be able to be on the lookout for other vehicles. It is also expected that a driver will be able to maintain control of their vehicle under normal driving circumstances. Negligence may be inferred if a driver loses control of their vehicle and overshoots a turn, wanders into opposing traffic, or drives off the road and there were no extenuating circumstances that explain this loss of control.

Operating a motor vehicle is a large responsibility. Automobile accidents can have a devastating effect on the life of both the victim and the one who caused the accident. This underscores the importance of driving with diligence and avoiding anything that could be considered negligence.

About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica Oaks loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

Common Mistakes People Make Right After a Car Accident

Pissd-caraccident

If you are involved in a car accident, within no time your life becomes chaotic and disorganized. Some of the things that wreak havoc in your life are financial problems, injuries and no transportation to get to and from work. And, to make matters worse, people make some common mistakes right after a car accident that add to your woes.

In 2013, 2.31 million people sustained injuries in motor vehicle accidents and many of them must have made these common mistakes right after their car accidents that prevented them from getting compensated.

Not Getting Checked by a Doctor

Generally, people tend to leave the accident scene believing they are fine and have not sustained any injury. However, the following morning it hits them they are injured. It is best to seek medical attention right after the accident. This will not only ensure your wellbeing, but also make sure no problems occur with your insurance provider when you are filing a claim.

Taking Blame for the Car Accident

You may, at times, believe the accident occurred because you were at fault. Under such circumstances, it is best to keep quiet and not take the blame when the police is filing the report. Let the police investigate and check with witnesses to find out who was at fault. It could save you a lot of money in insurance premiums if it turns out the other party was at fault and not you!

Not Clicking Photographs of the Accident

Today, most people carry a smartphone or have a camera on their phone. Make use of technology to your advantage and click photographs of your car and the other person’s as well. In case injuries don’t allow you, visit the scene later, after seeking medical attention, to click photographs. During this time, make a note (with paper and pen) about the weather conditions, the state of the road and the time when the accident occurred. These are important and you may forget small, but important, details later on.

Not Consulting a Lawyer

You should always consult an auto accident attorney right after a car accident. Don’t delay. If your injuries don’t allow you to seek legal counsel, get a family member to do it on your behalf. An experienced and trained personal injury attorney will help you through the compensation process and ensure you get what is due to you.

Signing Waivers or Giving Statements to Your Insurance Provider

Many insurance companies use certain tricks to avoid paying compensation. They send waivers to people involved in a car accident with the hope these gullible people will waive their right to compensation. And, alarmingly, many people end up signing these waivers without consulting their personal injury lawyer. Don’t sign anything or give any type of statement to the insurance provider without first checking with your lawyer and getting his or her approval.

Car accidents can turn your life topsy-turvy. By avoiding these common mistakes right after an accident, you can put some semblance of normality back into your life.

This article was written by Amanda Kaestner. @AmandaJaylene shares her experience on injury and auto collisions from her home along the busy roads of Phoenix. From DUI laws, to red light cameras, to traffic collisions – she’s witnessed a fair share of accidents in Arizona.

Friday Fun

This little toddler can hit a golf ball better than I can!

Identity Theft Aftermath: How to Get Your Life Back

shutterstock_226723828

With the increase in technology, identity theft is a prevalent crime that targets many people. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, approximately 16.6 million people have fallen victim to identity theft. The Daily Finance reports that 66 percent of these people suffered a direct loss as a result of the identity theft. To protect yourself from identity theft, it is helpful to identify the types of theft, as well as how to get your life back after falling victim to this cowardly crime.

Five Types of Identity Theft

1. Financial Identity Theft: This type of theft can happen via credit and debit cards, as well as bank accounts. Thieves can secure your information by diving in dumpsters for discarded trash, stealing bills out of your mailbox, or securing information while you use your smartphone. Many people use smartphones to manage their financial information on unsecured networks, and hackers can retrieve information when you check an account balance or make a purchase. Stolen and lost phones are vulnerable especially if you store password information on your device. Sometimes financial identity occurs with people who are familiar with your personal information. Yahoo Finance reports on one victim’s story about his ex-girlfriend who charged much money for spa treatments and a Caribbean cruise on his credit card. She intercepted his old statements and he realized that she charged these items when he received the bills at his new address. It has taken him numerous police reports, 300 hours with creditors via phone, and a letter to the Attorney General to get those erroneous charges cleared.

2. Child Identity Theft: How often are you checking your child’s credit report? Most parents do not consider children falling prey to identity theft, however, thieves find it more lucrative to steal a child’s identity because they have a clean credit report. Furthermore, most children do not have a need to check their credit report until they are applying for a student loan or applying for a credit card; therefore, thieves can rack up a lifetime of debt without anyone realizing the fraud until it is too late.

3. Social Security Identity Theft: A Social Security number is a powerful gateway into an individual’s personal information. You can open credit cards, bank accounts, and rent an apartment with this information, as well as access existing financial information. In addition, by using someone else’s Social Security number, you can avoid paying taxes to the IRS.

4. Driver’s License Identity Theft: A criminal can use a stolen driver’s license to sell to someone who looks similar to the picture. Then, the person receiving the license can use that license for traffic violations, to commit crimes, and for an application for insurance. When a court date is issued, the person whose license is stolen will be targeted instead of the actual person who committed the crime.

5. Medical Identity Theft: The New York Times reported a story that highlighted Brandon Sharp, a 38-year-old from Houston. He received bills amounting to several thousand dollars from the hospital and medical facilities even though he had never had any health issues and never entered these places. A criminal had stolen Mr. Sharp’s Social Security number and used his name for medical services. Since hospitals are required to treat with or without insurance, this information sufficed for treatment. Mr. Sharp is now faced with continually monitoring his credit report to determine what bills have been sent to collections because of this breach.

Five Tips on How to Recover From Identity Theft

If you fall prey to identity theft, what should you do to obtain peace of mind? Here are five tips to help recover from identity theft:

  1. Place a fraud alert with credit reporting agencies Experian, Transunion and Equifax. You can contact one of these agencies and they will report it to the other two.
  2. Create an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission. You can do this online or talk to financial counselor over the phone.
  3. Request your credit report from all three agencies. If you know the theft occurred on an identifiable account, call to alert them of the breach.
  4. File a police report. Alert the police of this activity so that there is a record of the crime that occurred.
  5. Review your credit card and medical statements for any strange charges.

Identity theft is a common crime, and it is up to consumers to remain vigilant about their accounts and credit cards. Monitor your accounts regularly and act quickly if you detect a breach.

Author: Rudri Patel is a former lawyer turned writer and editor, wife, mother and observer. She has written for Brain, Child; Huffington Post; First Day Press; and Mamalode. Seeking grace in the ordinary.

Record for Vehicles Recalled in a Single Year Smashed in 2014

Bloomberg News reported that, thanks to massive safety recalls this year by General Motors and Takata Corp., vehicle recalls in 2014 “surpassed the 60 million mark for the first time in a single year,” with the number of vehicles recalled in the US so far this year hitting 60.5 million vehicles, “almost double the previous annual record of 30.8 million recalled vehicles set in 2004.” According to Autotrader.com senior analyst Michelle Krebs, today “automakers do not want to be accused of dragging their feet, so they’re very quick to issue a recall.” In light of all this, US consumers have not reduced their car-buying habits.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

The Importance of the Social Security Disability Program

print-logo

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has published an excellent article about the importance of the Social Security disability program. You can read the entire article, with many charts and graphs, at the site, but here are the opening paragraphs:

Disability Insurance (DI) is an integral part of Social Security. It provides modest but vital benefits to workers who can no longer support themselves on account of a serious and long-lasting medical impairment. The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the DI program.

In December 2013, 8.9 million people received disabled-worker benefits from Social Security. Payments also went to some of their family members: 160,000 spouses and 1.9 million children.

DI benefits are financed primarily by a portion of the Social Security payroll tax and totaled about $140 billion in 2013. That’s 4 percent of the federal budget and less than 1 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). Employers and employees each pay a DI tax of 0.9 percent on earnings up to a specified amount, currently $117,000. Financial transactions are handled through a DI trust fund, which receives payroll tax revenues and pays out benefits and which is legally separate from the much larger Social Security retirement fund. Under current projections, the DI trust fund will need replenishment in 2016.

The following charts provide important background information about Social Security Disability Insurance.

Part I: Why Is Social Security Disability Insurance Important?
Part II: Why Have the DI Rolls Grown?
Part III: Who Receives DI?
Part IV: What Financing Issues Does DI Face?

Wrong-Way Crashes in Texas on the Rise

 

74597_94_r5-1_c_lg

We’ve had a rash of wrong-way collisions in Dallas recently and apparently the same is true throughout Texas.

There is evidence to show that lowering Do Not Enter signs to just above the ground (where drunk drivers tend to look) has at least some preventive effect. But the Texas Department of Transportation is not convinced enough to spend the money to make this a state-wide practice. Make your own decision after reading this article from a dallas NBC affiliate.

Ideas to Protect Your Valuables and Still See Them Again

Ideas to Protect Your Valuables and Still See Them Again

A heavy-duty locked cabinet or a safe deposit box can protect your belongings, but it won’t make them easy to access. Some items simply don’t fit in such vaults. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to safeguard your valuables without locking them up.

Visibility
Go outside and look in your windows. If you can see costly items like flat-panel TVs or high-end stereos, move them to a different part of the house. Thieves prefer to burglarize homes that obviously contain expensive goods. If you can’t move things out of view, use opaque materials to cover your windows or plant some big shrubs. Consider buying Venetian blinds or thick curtains. Remember that burglars can also look inside the home when you leave doors open or they knock on your door “by accident.”

Discretion
Exercise caution when talking about pricey possessions. It’s best to only discuss them with close friends and family members. An unfamiliar person at a restaurant or bar could be listening as you tell people about your new jewelry or flat screen.
Avoid uploading pictures of valuables to social media networks or photo sharing websites. Criminals can use these photos to case your house without even visiting it. Likewise, don’t post messages about a vacation until you return home.

Travel
Be sure to mow the lawn before you depart on a lengthy trip. If you don’t plan to return for more than a week, pay someone to cut the grass or shovel snow. Don’t make it easy for burglars to ascertain that your house is vacant.

When you bring electronics and cameras outdoors, carry them in opaque cases or bags. Avoid using pouches with expensive brand names on them. If possible, use a bag that isn’t specifically designed for high-tech devices.

Keep in mind that thieves can steal valuables before you even take them into your home. Use caution in store parking lots; conceal product boxes with bags or clothing. If you shop online, try to remain at home on the estimated delivery date.

Doors
Consider upgrading the locks on your home’s exterior doors. An Aurora locksmith can install deadbolts that are much harder to break than basic doorknob locks. According to Affordable Lock Services Inc, a peephole may also help you prevent robberies when you use it to screen visitors.

By following these tips, you can significantly decrease the risk of theft. Nonetheless, it’s still a good idea to prepare for a burglary. Take photos of belongings and record their serial numbers; this will help you report robberies to the police and file insurance claims.

This article is from Brooke Chaplan, a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Honda Investigating Sixth Takata Airbag Death

takatalogo

In continuing coverage of Takata Corp.’s exploding airbags, The AP reports that Honda is investigating a crash that occurred on January 18 in Houston in which the driver of a 2002 Honda Accord “was found unconscious” in the vehicle following a minor two-car crash. The AP reports that the victim, identified as Carlos Solis, was killed “when an air bag inflated and sent shrapnel into his neck,” according to Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL). Christina Garza, a spokeswoman for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Texas, said that the deputy responding to the accident “observed [Solis] had a large open wound to his neck.” In a statement, Honda said that the model involved in the accident had been recalled in 2011, but repairs had not been made on Solis’ vehicle; the automaker “urged anyone with a vehicle recalled for air bag problems to take cars to dealers as soon as possible.”

Bloomberg News reports that a lawsuit filed by the Solis family against Honda, Takata, and the dealership from which the vehicles was purchased alleges that the incident was the result of a “relatively minor collision resulting in minimal damage to both vehicles.” In a statement, Honda Executive Vice President Tetsuo Iwamura said the automaker “will try to facilitate the recall and improve the ratio of cars fixed.” Takata also released a statement on the incident, saying, “We are working in close collaboration with Honda to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding the vehicle’s status at the time of the incident. Takata’s number one priority is the safety of the driving public.”

The Detroit (MI) News reports that Honda notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the event, and claimed, “We are currently working with representatives of the driver’s family to gain the access necessary to conduct a comprehensive investigation.” The news reports NHTSA spokesman Gordon Trowbridge “said the agency was awaiting information from Honda,” but he “encouraged all car owners to go to safercar.gov and enter their vehicle’s vehicle identification number to check for outstanding recalls — and for owners who receive recall notifications from manufacturers to get repairs made.”

A second article in the Detroit (MI) News reports that a “bipartisan group of U.S. senators led by the top Republican and Democrat on the Commerce Committee reintroduced” the Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act on Thursday which would “give automotive sector employees incentives to sound the alarm on vehicle defects.” Sen. John Thune (R-SD), the chairman of the Commerce Committee, said “Ensuring the safety of American motorists is a priority, but the public’s trust has been shaken due to the record number of recalls this past year,”noting, “There is much more work that needs to be done.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Death Claims from Faulty GM Ignition Switch Rise to 50

gmc-logo

The AP reports that “with only five days left before the deadline to seek payments, compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg has decided that 50 death cases are eligible for money due to crashes caused by faulty General Motors ignition switches.” Seventy-five injuries were also declared eligible in details released on Monday by Feinberg, who was hired by GM to oversee the claims. A fund set up by GM “has received 338 death claims and 2,730 claims for injuries,” the AP reports. “Of those, 58 death claims have been rejected as ineligible for compensation, as have 328 injury claims. Feinberg is either reviewing or awaiting documentation on 230 additional death claims and 2,327 injury cases.”

Bloomberg News piece picked up by Automotive News reports that the 50 death claims ruled as eligible on Monday is four times larger than GM’s initial estimate. According to Bloomberg, Feinberg said his findings – unlike GM’s – relied on circumstantial evidence. “GM engineers were looking for definitive proof of ignition switch failure,” Feinberg is quoted saying. “So of course there will be a greater number of eligible death claims.” The story was also reported by Reuters (1/26), Auto World News, and Autoblog.

GM: Nearly 900k defective ignition switches still in use. Auto World News reports that documentation filed by General Motors with the NHTSA last week “shows that almost 900,000 GM vehicles with potentially defective ignition switches are still being used.” GM “says that out of a recall of approximately 2,190,934 vehicles, just 1,229,529 vehicles have been repaired by dealers,” Auto World News reports. “The total number of ‘unreachable’ vehicles is up to 80,122, according to the Detroit automaker.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Friday Fun

This singer is completely overshadowed by the flamboyant drummer in the band. His performance starts a little after one minute into the song.

 

The Name Game: A Quick Guide for Legally Changing Your Name

The Name Game - A Quick Guide for Legally Changing Your Name

If you married or divorced recently, or find that you just can’t stand being reminded of your given name for one day longer, you can consider legally changing your name. While the requirements can vary depending on your motivation for changing your name, as well as where you live, it is a fairly simple process. Read on for a quick guide to help you successfully and legally change your name:

Do I Need a Court Order?

In the case of a recent marriage or divorce, you won’t need a court order to change your name provided you are taking your husband’s surname or are returning to your maiden name. When you sign your marriage certificate, be sure to sign it as you intend to be known. You’ll need to show your marriage certificate as proper documentation when changing your name, so be sure to have it with you.

A New Social Security Card

Report the change in your name to the Social Security Administration, either in person or by mail. In addition to copies of your marriage license or divorce decree, you will also need to send proof of your identity, such as your current driver’s license or passport and proof of citizenship, such as your birth certificate. If you don’t want to send in these sensitive documents, you can visit your local Social Security office and bring the paperwork and documentation with you.

What Other Paperwork will I Need?

If your legal name change is not related to a marriage or divorce, you need to fill out the proper forms for your state. Many times, these are available at your local courthouse, but check with your state to find out the exact forms you will need. Typically the form includes:
- your current name
- desired name
- identifying information (such as your Social Security number)
- date and place of birth, birth certificate number
- the reason for the request

You’ll also need to provide copies of:
- your original birth certificate
- photo ID
- your Social Security card

You must be present at the hearing in order for the judge to consider the request. There will be a court filing fee and you will be responsible for the cost of reissuing your driver’s license, vehicle title and registration and other legal identification documents. Also, be sure to change your name with your financial institutions so you can maintain access to your accounts with your new ID.

Are There Any Restrictions?

Minors must be accompanied by both the parents. Should one parent not be available, documentation must be presented of efforts to locate the parent. The court will want to ensure the name change is not being done to defraud individuals or escape legal obligations, such as the repayment of debts; is not a racial slur, fighting words or intentionally confusing, though some states allow spelling out numbers; and that it does not infringe on the rights of another person, such as changing your name to that of a famous celebrity.

As you can see, this is a serious and sometimes complicated process, but it will be relatively painless if you have all of the correct documentation prior to starting. Regulations differ slightly from state to state, so check on the websites of your local Social Security office, local DMV, and other administrative offices to obtain the proper paperwork, and see what kind of documentation you will need to bring with you. The information for this article was provided by the professionals at Registrations Are Us, who offer license renewal in Spruce Grove for those who need a new license after changing their name.

This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, women’s interests, and technology. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.

Photo credit: jensgender.wordpress.com

Rejected Insurance Claim? Learn the Common Reasons Behind Rejected Insurance Claims

Rejected Insurance Claim - Learn the Common Reasons Behind Rejected Insurance Claims

If you’ve ever filed a claim with your insurance agent or provider, you probably know that insurance matters can get messy. Usually problems arise when policy holders are misinformed, or have incorrect expectations when it comes to their coverage. Regardless of the type of insurance claim you are making, there are a number of common mistakes or misunderstandings that can result in your claim being denied. By avoiding these pitfalls in the first place, you can avoid losing out or having your claim take longer than necessary.

Vague Claims

You must remember that an insurance company is in the business of making money. For this reason, it will require quite a bit of effort on your part in order to get what you want or deserve. You need to do the initial legwork, so be very specific about the incident that gave rise to the claim, what you are claiming for, and provide the insurance policy number under which you are covered. The more specific the information you offer to the provider, the process will go more smoothly, and is less likely to end in a rejection.

Poor Documentation

This can require multiple interactions as the insurance company may, for example, demand additional estimates for a repair process. Many insurance companies will send an adjuster out to review physical damage, but some rely solely on submitted documentation. Information is key, so pay particular attention to dates and take note of any witnesses if relevant. Not everything may be required as part of the claim, but it can help if it is rejected. With smartphones everywhere these days, having pictures of damage is expected.

Are You Really Covered?

One unfortunate reason claims are rejected is that people are not actually covered when they think they are. Look for riders or exceptions that may modify your coverage. Be aware that lack of due care on your part may be grounds for a claim, or part of a claim, to be denied. For example, valuables left in plain view on the back seat of a car may not be covered for this reason.

Illegible or Incorrect Claims

A claim can be rejected for as simple a reason as it’s illegible, or information is incorrect. Don’t give them reasons to deny your claim. Double-check information before you send it in, and, if it is rejected, find out if the reason for denial requires a simple fix. Many policy holders become frustrated when a claim is denied due to misinformation, but you can’t expect your insurance agent to catch an incorrect address, one wrong number in the paperwork, or a slight mistake you have made. Do your absolute best to ensure all information is accurate—it will only help the process.

Policy Has Lapsed

Sometimes, people don’t realize that their policy has lapsed, therefore making it impossible for the agency to accept the claim. Keep up to date on your premiums or your policy may no longer be in force. Scheduled automatic payments can help with this, but you should also check periodically to make sure they are going through.

If your insurance claim is rejected, be sure you understand your policy in clear terms before you become enraged and make an angry phone call to your agent. In the future, make certain everything is documented to maximize the likelihood that your claim is accepted and processed in a timely manner. Don’t leave everything up to the insurance company—take responsibility for your side of the claim and put in the effort to make the process as easy as possible in order to increase your chances of a favorable outcome. The information for this article was provided by the professionals at Steers Insurance Limited who provide car insurance in Labrador.

This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, women’s interests, and technology. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.

Photo credit:mrindc.wordpress.com

Dangerous Intersections in the US: Tips for Defensive and Safe Driving

shutterstock_134678444

In 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that approximately 33,000 fatal accidents occurred in the United States. There are certain intersections where the fatalities and injuries occur at a higher rate. Time Magazine analyzed data from 2002 to 2012 and used longitude and latitude points to compile data to determine the incident of fatal accidents that occur at particular intersections.

The following represents the top 10 most dangerous intersections in America:

1. Bensalem, Pa. – Knights Road crosses Street Road

2. Elizabeth, N.J. – Intersection of East Jersey Street and Spring Street

3. St. Louis, Mo. – Intersection of North Grand Boulevard and Montgomery Street

4. Asheville, N.C. – Intersection of Patton Avenue and New Leicester Highway

5. Awendaw, S.C. – Intersection of North Highway 17 and Seewee Road

6. Lucedale, Miss. – Intersection of Route 63 and Route 98

7. Astor, Fla. – Intersection of State Road 40 and State Road 19

8. Orlando, Fla. – Intersection of North Semoran Boulevard and Old Cheney Highway

9. Kissimmee, Fla. – Intersection of Vista Del Lago Boulevard and Route 192

10. Frostproof, Fla. Intersection of South Scenic Highway and County Road 700

Drivers everywhere can reduce the chance of injuries and fatalities by practicing defensive driving. The cause of these accidents varied, but most were attributed to increased traffic flow, a higher incidence of pedestrians and cyclists, as well as poor signage and aggressive driving. Here are five tips to practice defensive driving at any intersection:

Slow Down

In today’s busy culture, many of us are pressed for time. In order to be on time for work or personal commitments, drivers might feel the need to speed to get to their destination. When traffic is heavy, decrease your speed because the incidence of an accident is higher due to increased flow of vehicles on the road. When weather conditions are treacherous, allot enough time to get to your destination so you don’t feel the need to rush and subsequently speed. During nighttime driving, visibility is reduced so it is best to decrease your speed.

Minimize Distractions

With the advent of technology, drivers are connected to their cell phones either talking or texting. Others are multitasking by engaging in personal grooming, handling food or beverages or daydreaming. Driving requires complete attention and even steering your eyes from the road for one second could mean the difference between an injury or fatality. An estimated 421,000 people were injured from distracted driving in 2012. The best policy is to keep your hands on the wheel, your eyes on the road and your mind on driving.

Don’t Tailgate

Tailgating is a common problem among drivers. Those who engage in this practice think they will arrive at their destination more quickly. Defensive driving means following the three-second rule (stay behind the car in front of you by a minimum of a three-second count). It is easy to forget some of these basics; brush up on the rules of the road on driving-tests.org.

Practice Alertness

High-eyes driving is a technique where you keep focused on the horizon instead of the car in front of you. By keeping your eyes “high” you can get an overall look of the entire traffic pattern instead of a single vehicle. It gives you time to react to sudden lane changes, stops and swerves. It keeps you alert!

Look Both Ways

Although your impulse is to move forward when the light turns green, it is a prudent idea to pause for a second to determine whether anyone is running a red light. If you are the first person at an intersection, you need to be aware of all lines of the intersection, looking right and left to avoid a potential accident.

Defensive driving is a practice that can avoid injuries and fatalities on the road. Always remember that safety is the primary concern for yourself and others.

Author: Rudri Patel, former lawyer turned writer and editor, wife, mother and observer. Has written for Brain, Child; Huffington Post; First Day Press; and Mamalode. Seeking grace in the ordinary.

Power of Attorney: What It Is and Why You Should Care

Power of Attorney What It Is and Why You Should Care

A power of attorney is a legal document in which you authorize someone else to make business, legal, and medical decisions for you. The designated power of attorney should be someone who is well known and trusted by the one authorizing the document. It can be revoked at any time or remain in effect throughout the person’s lifetime.

Busy people.

This type of document can be done under normal circumstances when a person is too busy to handle all aspects of his or her life and allows someone else to make decisions or sign forms as needed. For example, a high-level executive who is operating several businesses or who travels a great deal may need help with personal affairs while immersed in other activities or away from home. The power of attorney does not need to consult the person he or she represents but can conduct business on that person’s behalf, including buying or selling real estate, and related matters.

Incapacitated individuals.

At other times a power of attorney is established when a person becomes critically ill or is temporarily incapacitated, mentally or physically. The person may know that he or she will be out of commission for a while and thus designate a power of attorney to handle his or her business and personal matters. This document gives the designee the legal authority to make decisions like funeral arrangements, banking decisions, and burial plans, as well as related family matters. However, a power of attorney does not extend beyond death.

Aging or disabled persons.

Someone who is elderly or who is confined to being at home most of the time may want a close friend or family matter to handle tasks like banking, bill paying, shopping, and general money management. Business decisions may be included as well. This may be a temporary or permanent arrangement depending on circumstances.

Medical power of attorney.

A special provision for medical matters can be included with a regular power of attorney or it may be established as a separate and independent authority over an individual that does not include business or other matters. The medical power of attorney may make decisions regarding medical treatment, a living will, or whether to prolong or end a person’s life who is on life support.

Decisions like those indicated above significantly impact a person’s life. Consulting a legal firm like Gittens & Associates can be helpful in clarifying the designee’s authority and limits, if any, to prevent misunderstandings and support the person’s best interests.

This article is from Karleia Steiner, who works as a freelance blogger and consultant. You can follow her on Google+.

Not at Fault in Your Motorcycle Accident? Four Tips to Recoup Your Losses

Not at Fault in Your Motorcycle Accident, 4 Tips to Recoup Your Losses

If you’ve had a motorcycle accident for which you are not at fault, you are probably concerned about how to recoup your financial losses. Knowing what to do to recover the loss can mean the difference between you being able to stay financially solvent or needing to file bankruptcy. An informative guide to taking steps to recoup your losses and playing it smart can be found at DMV.org.

The Scene of the Accident

It is important to gather insurance information, names of witnesses, and take pictures of the location of all of the vehicles involved. The insurance company of the other vehicle is going to be interested in the scene of the accident and may even call you asking for your version, but don’t be lulled into thinking they want to help you.

Get a Lawyer

Navigating the complexities of getting the money due you from insurance companies or other responsible parties can be daunting. A lawyer can question witnesses, investigate the scene, gather police reports, call expert witness, recreate the accident scene, investigate driving records, and negotiate with insurance companies. Most personal injury lawyers will take cases based on receiving a commission of the recovery. To find a motorcycle accident lawyer in your area check sites like Motorcycleaccident.org.

Investigate Negligence Possibilities

While most cases of negligence will involve the other vehicle involved, it is important to look at other possibilities that might have played a role. Were there hazards that the city, a nearby homeowner or business may have contributed to the accident? Was the driver of the other vehicle driving as a representative of a company? Is there a defect in one of the vehicles?

Avoid Social Media and Text Pitfalls

Social media and phone text have become routinely used in court cases. People have become used to shouting facts about daily life from the rooftop, not realizing that their public statements could be used against them. Regaining loss may depend on you not discussing the accident online or posting pictures that would cause anyone to doubt what happened, as well as on not sending an incriminating text to the other driver that leaves a written record.

Motorcyclists have an increased risk of injury and loss of property in accidents, so it is important to be aware of what you can do to minimize these risks. An accident has the potential to cripple one’s finances. The best advice is to not try to recoup your loss without the help of professionals.

About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica Oaks loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

ALJ Hearing Processing Times and Pending Claims: The Statistics Tell All

logo-3

The National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives is the most authoritative voice for disability claimants. According to NOSSCR, the situation is bad and getting worse for claimants. Fewer cases are being granted, and it is taking longer to get decisions from the Administrative Law Judges of the Social Security Administration. Here is the opening paragraph of a recent article in the NOSSCR newsletter:

Hearing processing times are increasing. ALJ allowance rates are decreasing. Cases pending more than one year are increasing. Senior attorney advisor fully favorable decisions are decreasing. The number of cases pending per ALJ is increasing. The number of available ALJs is decreasing. These and other hearing level statistics do not paint a pretty picture of the current situation at the ALJ hearing level. At the end of November 2014, the number of pending cases at the ALJ hearing level surpassed one million, as predicted.

Friday Fun

When fathers are left in charge of small children…