Articles Posted in Information

According to the Sacramento Bee, more dog bites happen in North Sacramento than anywhere else in the city, citing 2,800 bite reports, many of which required hospital treatment, between 2012 and 2017. Of the twenty-three zip codes in the area, 95815 and 95838 reported the most dog bites, 647 total. One-fourth of all dog bite reports in the city. These two zip codes cover the area from American River to the city boundary in the north and from the east boundary to Steelhead Creek. City groups such as the Del Paso Heights Community Association confronted city officials about the dog bite problem in North Sacramento only to be told there was nothing they could do about it and there was not adequate funding for animal control in the city.

Gina Knepp, the manager of Front Street Shelter and person responsible for the city’s animal control, is quoted as saying proactive measures are limited because there are only six animal control employees and never more than two on duty at the same time. A backlog of more than 270 dog bite complaints existed earlier this year.

A report from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in 2013 showed that when crime and social disease are a part of the community, there are also problems with animal control. In the report, impounded animals at SPCA shelters and those by the city and county of Sacramento were investigated and the highest concentrations were found in Del Paso Heights and Oak Park. The information from the report was combined with a map of the city’s worst areas for building code violations. The most dog bite problems happen in the areas with poor housing maintenance and code violations. There tends to be less fenced in areas and more dogs roaming free on the streets.

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.

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.

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.

When people think of insurance scams, they usually assume it is the consumer doing the scamming. That is not always the case, however. There are a plethora of dishonest insurance agents and fake insurance companies that thrive by bilking consumers of their hard-earned cash. Scams run the gamut from misappropriation of funds to collecting premiums on fake policies without any intention or ability to pay out on claims. They will offer policies at incredibly low prices to lure unsuspecting consumers into thinking they are getting the deal of a lifetime when all along they are just getting ripped-off. Knowing their tricks and what to do when you suspect you are a victim are the best ways to prevent getting swindled.

Stolen Premiums and Lapping

Agents can steal premiums by taking them from one customer and appropriating them to a fake customers account. They are then able to steal the money from the nonexistent customer account and place it in their own pocket. They use the money to feed addictions like gambling and drugs or to better their own lifestyle with luxury goods and services. They can also steal the money you give them for premiums before it is ever credited to your account.

Waze is a traffic and navigation app that is crowd-sourced and aimed at making the daily commute to and from work easier. The recent Google purchase has opened up to all nine counties of the Bay Area as well as Sacramento and Monterey as of early February of 2017. Unlike Lyft or Uber, this service limits its drivers to two trips, essentially to and from work and area residents are hoping it will have a positive change on traffic and eventually curb environmental issues.

They ran a test of sorts, a pilot program, for several months beginning in 2016, part of which included partnering with several regional employers to promote the carpooling service. The app pairs users with others who live in the same area and work in the same place or places close to each other.

Using the app is simple. You are required to upload a photo, link to a LinkedIn or Facebook profile, and provide an email address and a credit card. Currently, the cost is 54 cents per mile, which is the IRS reimbursement rate for business travel by car, making this option cheaper than a cab or any other ride sharing company fee. As of yet, there is no revenue for the company but that will surely come soon.

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