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Many drivers do not fully understand what huge impact car accidents have on the cost of their insurance. It is easy to understand why your own wrecks increase your rates, but harder to comprehend the correlation of the nation’s crash rate and insurance costs. What’s more, there are specific types of car accidents that happen more often than others and make the biggest impact on car insurance costs. Not only do your own accidents influence your car insurance rates, but those in the community around you, especially if they are one of these five specific types.

Five Most Common Types of Car Accidents in the United States

While the specific circumstances will vary, there are five different types of accidents that happen repeatedly in the United States. A large majority of these accidents are minor and end up in nothing more than a few dents and bruises. Unfortunately, a smaller percentage end tragically in a death or with serious and life-altering injury. Any accident can be deadly. The five most common types of car accidents are:

Car insurance can be hard to understand. What makes it even harder is that you don’t really know what can happen until you have an accident. The tiny fine print you skimmed over or the legal terms that you didn’t really understand can come back to haunt you at the worst possible moment. The pain and emotional stress of a car accident is overwhelming, add approximately unsettling and costly surprises from the insurance company and you have the recipe for a nervous breakdown.

Some people don’t realize it, but many of us cause our own policy cancellations and other issues that result in not as much coverage as we thought we had or not having any at all. Some things we all do, on purpose or not, that put us in danger of being without coverage. If the insurance carrier decides you’ve broken any of their diehard rules, they can drop you in a second. Some of these things are obvious to most people, others are surprising but all can have you without accident coverage.

DUI or Otherwise Impaired

Teen drivers are already at a higher risk of car accident than other age groups of drivers, but those with ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, are 36% more likely than other adolescent drivers to have an accident. This information comes from a recent study from JAMA Pediatrics, although latter studies have shown even higher percentages. Some stating teens with ADHD are as much as four times more likely than their peers to wreck.

The new study was able to use larger samples of teens and rely on more efficient reporting styles than older studies, making it more dependable. Information was compiled using 18,500 electronic health records for minors from six New Jersey primary care facilities. Almost 2500 had ADHD. Although this risk is substantial, the study shows it is manageable.

A chronic condition, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, manifests itself with symptoms of hyperactivity and impulse control issues. They have substantial complications sustaining concentration and focus. These symptoms while driving can impair the driver in much the same way as if they were intoxicated. Long-distance driving is particularly risky for people with ADHD because they become easily distracted. Distracted driving is illegal and consists of anything that takes the drivers attention from the task of driving. Examples include texting, talking on the phone, tuning the radio and talking with passengers. An interesting fact that came out of the study is that most teens with ADHD do not get their licenses until they are older.

 

Both sides of the medical malpractice tort reform debate are out in full-force lobbying Congress concerning a House GOP bill which aims to cap pain, suffering and all non-economic damages in a medical malpractice suit. The bill also lays out more limitations in malpractice suits involving care provided or funded by the federal branch of government.

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa authored the bill called The Protecting Access Care Act of 2017. It creates a three-year statute of limitations after the damage is done, or one-year after the injured party discovers the damage, whichever occurs first. While it limits non-economic damages to $250,000, it does not preempt caps established by states. There are also limitations on plaintiff attorney contingency fees and other provisions.

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi received word from over 80 advocacy groups against the bill referred to H.R.1215, stating it removes the rights of patients who are injured in malpractice cases, elder abuse cases, prescription of dangerous drug negligence, and defective medical devices. They further claim that even if only applied to medical care facilities and staff, studies show its provisions would cause more injury and death due to the wide loosening of care. The letter written by the advocacy groups cited a 2003 Consumer Watchdog study that disputes the idea that California’s malpractice cap is the primary reason behind the premiums for doctors being lowered. They go on to write that trial lawyers lobby for the bill in order to raise their fees.

Sexual harassment is a prevailing problem among both genders. Most people think of it as an issue that happens at work but it can occur anywhere people are together. Sexual harassment is any type of unwanted sexual advance, obscene remark, or illicit carnal innuendo. It doesn’t matter if it happens in the workplace, another professional environment, or in a social context. Unwanted sexual content of any nature during a human encounter can be considered sexual harassment. We like to think our little slice of heaven here in Sacramento and our beautiful surrounding area is impenetrable by such evils of the world but, unfortunately, sexual harassment happens even here.

The 2012 case of Lisa Beauchamp, who sued her boss at the Teamsters Union for maintaining a sexually charged environment, is particularly interesting. She sued her boss, Tim Tobin, and the Teamsters Union 150 and won. The strange turn this case took was that she filed her lawsuit after the statute of limitations ran out. So, even though she won, she was not allowed to collect any money for her pain and suffering. The Teamsters representative made a statement to the effect that the judgment meant nothing and his client was exonerated although he had been found guilty of having party girls sit on his lap, massage him, and consistently make lascivious commentary. The verdict required no punishment simply because too much time had passed. There is no protection for future workers at the Teamsters Union 150.

Another most unusual local harassment case happened at the Yahoo headquarters where a female employee, Nan Shi, accused a female executive, Maria Zhang, of sexually harassing her in 2014. Her complaint explains how the female executive promised a bright and successful future in the company for her if she was to provide her with sexual favors both physically and virtually. The female employee complained to authorities but no investigation ever took place. She was given unpaid leave instead. The unpaid leave eventually turned into termination of her employment. She also noticed that her previous performance reviews were changed to show poor work performance. Yahoo vehemently denied any wrongdoing on the part of the executive.


The county of Marin is being accused of violating state law for instances in which it did not inform the public of settlements in personal injury lawsuits. The accusations come from a Mill Valley lawyer, Carter Zinn, who claims the country stretches the limits of the Brown Act in its practices in personal injury settlements. The Brown Act precedes over meetings of the California legislator on local levels. It maintains the laws for public access to information.

After a recent meeting, it was reported County Counsel Brian Washington admitted the county reveals personal injury settlements only rarely but still claimed the county follows the Brown Act. He maintained that when another party approves to the final settlement agreement it is not general practice for the county to then announce it.

Carter Zinn is representing a man from Mill Valley, Allan Rosenthal, who had sued the county for his 2014 bicycle accident where he was hit by a car and suffered serious head injury on the Panoramic Highway on Mount Tamalpais. The area where he was hit is known as Four Corners. Three roads meet there, Panoramic Highway, Sequoia Valley Road and Muir Woods Road, and it is known for being a dangerous spot.

Today, I would like to speak to you about how details are important when it comes to the practice of law. Sometimes, all it takes is one tiny little thing that can change the outcome of an entire claim.

For those who don’t know, an Oxford comma is what we also refer to as the serial comma. It is a stylistic recommendation that a comma should be used before coordinate conjunctions (usually and or or) in a series of three or more terms. This advocation exists to try and avoid ambiguity. But the world of writing seems to keep fighting a constant battle on whether this comma should be taken as a mere recommendation or something more.

The latest story comes from Maine, where a local dairy product company is facing a lawsuit for over $10 Million due in overtime hours to truck drivers, and at the heart of the dispute is the lack of this comma in a state law. In essence, the clause states that the following tasks are not eligible for overtime:

California is in the forefront of the self-driving car movement. Only a few U.S. cities have these little modern wonders tooling around their streets and it will take more than the recent accident to keep them off the roads despite being suspended for a few days.

An Uber self-driving Volvo moving around Tempe, Arizona was involved in a three-vehicle wreck in March of 2017 when a driver made a left turn without being able to clearly see all lanes of oncoming traffic. The Uber approached her in the one lane she could not see and the driver crashed into it. The driver, Alexandra Cole, cited that she saw the Uber coming too late to break and struck it, sending it into a light pole, bumping into two other cars and landing on its side. The Uber was in autonomous mode but did carry two Uber employees. The company has estimated the Uber’s speed was approximately 38 mph in a 40 mph zone. No one was hurt in the accident. Uber has been operating self-driving cars in the Tempe area since December of 2016 although they have been developing the technology for a shorter time than other companies.

In response to the accident, Uber shut down its self-driving car services in Tempe, Pittsburgh and San Francisco for the whole weekend. They reopened Monday after Uber execs investigated the wreck to make sure the car was in proper working order when it was hit. The accident was determined to be Cole’s fault and she was cited.

Even the smallest car accident can send your life into a tailspin. More serious accidents can affect you for a lifetime. Medical expenses due to injuries related to the accident, damage repair, loss of work… all of these things can alter your life for years if not an entire lifetime. Add to that, the stress and confusion of dealing with other drivers, insurance companies and police. Such a compendium of issues at one time is a tremendous mental strain on an individual. When all this occurs, victims often find themselves financially strapped with many unexpected bills threatening to destroy their lives. Seeking adequate compensation for injury and loss, the thought of suing for the car accident comes into existence. Several factors determine the likelihood of a successful lawsuit after a car accident.

Most often, people choose to sue after a car accident when going through the insurance process does not provide enough money to cover all the losses received as a result of the car accident.  It is especially pertinent if the other driver has no insurance and you may be forced to fit the entire bill. Unfortunately, it is a common occurrence today. Insurance companies are in the business of saving themselves money and strive to pay accident victims as little as possible. There are times, however, when an insurance company will want to avoid the hassle of trial and make a settlement offer that is satisfactory. Many car insurance claims end in a settlement, sometimes however, the victim doesn’t realize until later that the settlement was inadequate.

Settlements

Insurance company statistics show more fraud occurs in down economies. As the economy gets shakier, people start to look for more and varied ways to turn some quick cash. Insurance fraud often looks like an easy payday when times get tough but the truth is, it can not only cost you some hefty fines but some jail time as well. Fraudsters believe that if their fake claims are small, they will slide by under the radar but that just isn’t true. When times get tough, insurance companies know fake claims will be on the rise. That is why they have special teams of agents with experience in law enforcement to conduct thorough investigations and sniff out false claims.

Insurance fraud is any deliberate action from a consumer, agent, company or adjuster made to obtain an unlawful financial gain. This deliberate action can happen at any juncture of the insurance process including selling, buying, using or underwriting. Insurance fraud will either be from an individual committing fraud against the consumer or against the insurance company. It is estimated that over a hundred billion dollars in false claims are made each year causing higher prices for consumers and an inability of the companies to properly compete with other companies as well as their future feasibility.

Stopping insurance fraud and even recognizing it, is harder and harder as fraudsters come up with more elaborate and efficient ways of ripping off the companies. Insurance scams occur in every realm of insurance. Workers comp fraud is rampant as well as medical and health insurance fraud. Auto insurance fraud is the most costly and prevalent. While difficult to prevent, auto insurers Special Investigative Teams have identified the most often used scams and are constantly on the look-out for them.

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