Why Do I Need Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Just like drivers in all other states, Californians fear being involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist. This unfortunately common scenario can quickly have a serious financial impact on your life and family. But having adequate uninsured motorist coverage, in tandem with California’s uninsured motorist laws, are intended to offer you a blanket of protection.
Uninsured motorist coverage not only helps in the event of an accident with an uninsured driver, but also applies to drivers who are insufficiently covered. According to statistics, drivers without coverage or with inadequate coverage make up one in every three drivers on California’s roads.
How Much and What Types Should I Have?
Auto insurance is one of those things in life that we’d rather not pay for, but for many of us will eventually prove well worth the investment. It only makes good sense to protect yourself, your family, and one of your most valuable investments, particularly one that you depend so much on. But with so many different types of auto insurance available, shopping for the right kind to fit your needs and your budget can be a daunting task. So how do you choose?
First, as a requirement for operating an automobile, all states require that you carry at least minimal liability insurance on your car. The minimum level varies from state to state. This coverage protects you and others involved in an accident when you are at fault. It even covers structures that might also have been damaged. But the minimum requirement in many states is far too low to offer adequate protection, and you should probably consider additional coverage in your policy.
Southern California Truck Accidents
Are you a Southern California resident who has been involved in an accident with a large truck? Have you experienced personal injury that has not only interrupted your job, but has left you with substantial medical debt and possibly even a restricted outlook on life? Then you need to talk to a California personal injury lawyer. They are there to help you secure the compensation you deserve as well as recover your life.
Each year, thousands of people in Southern California are involved in collisions involving large trucks. A significant percentage of the occupants of these automobiles are either killed or see a drastic reduction in their quality of life as a result. It’s hard to imagine anyone coming into contact with such a mass of moving steel and not being seriously injured. These are the situations when personal injury law can provide protection.
Devastation and Serious Injury
These types of accidents are almost always devastating, even at slow speeds. When you compare the size of an automobile to a large truck, especially a tractor trailer, the automobile just doesn’t stand a chance. The car’s occupants can be seriously injured, even in what normally might be considered a minor accident.
You’ve Been Injured. What Next?
Personal injury cases are based on the premise that someone was injured by the act of another person or entity. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, you should seek out a top personal injury attorney who can fight for you and your rights. Since these cases are not necessarily clear cut, it is rarely advisable for you to go this alone.
When pursuing your personal injury case, the first thing on your list should be finding a good attorney. Even after you have narrowed down your choices, you still need to do a little research in order to make sure that he or she will be the right fit for you. This means looking for reviews from other clients, complaints, and even pending lawsuits that may have been filed. The Better Business Bureau is a great place to find this kind of information.
The Face to Face Meeting
You will next want to set a meeting with your attorney. Here, you will discuss the details of your case to determine if you do, in fact, have a viable claim. This is when your attorney will instruct you on what can be expected through each step of the process. This is also the time that your attorney will instruct you as to what will be expected of you. This will include any information you may have, the facts of your case, contacts who can help to verify your case, and any other information pertinent to your claim. The defendant’s attorney will also be contacting your attorney to swap information material to the case.
Mobile Phones Behind the Wheel – An Evolving Danger
Anyone who has ever been behind the wheel of an automobile will eventually come across an auto accident. A majority of the time, these are the result of not paying close attention to the road. With the advent of mobile phones with texting and email capabilities, the dangers of “distracted driving” are more apparent than ever. The combination of driving and constant communication has created a recipe for disaster.
In 2010 alone, about 1.6 million traffic accidents in the U.S. were caused by the use of mobile phones while driving. That figure represents more than 28 percent of all traffic accidents. While the culprit used to be talking on mobile phones, now the problem has evolved into texting, sending and receiving emails, photos, and browsing the internet while behind the wheel.
Need to Text? Pull Over.
Now, technology allows us to remain in constant touch with others. While this is intended to be a matter of convenience, it can quickly place others in a danger. Consider the fact that in 2009, the number of text messages sent totaled 1.5 trillion. By 2010, that number had increased by four-fold, to 6.1 trillion. With more and more individuals getting mobile phones with text and email capability, that number will continue to climb rapidly.
I Can Do This. Right?
Personal injury law encompasses a broad array of circumstances. These may include, but are not limited to, injury in an auto accident or some mode of public transportation, slip and fall on property owned by someone else, injury from dog bite or other animal that does not belong to you. These, and more, all fall under the umbrella of personal injury and the severity of your injury may have a big impact on exactly how your claim is processed. There may be occasions when you could handle a claim on your own, either through an insurance company or small claims court. In other situations, you would be well advised to seek the counsel of a qualified legal professional. This will depend on the seriousness of your injury, and your comfort level in dealing with bureaucratic red tape.
When Is It Smart To Do It Yourself?
Auto accidents are by far one of the most common causes of personal injury, even for good, careful drivers. If you’re rear-ended by another driver and injuries to you and your passengers are slight, and the damage to your car is minor, you may feel comfortable simply filing a claim with your insurance, or the other driver’s insurance. If you feel that compensation is sufficient to cover repairs to your vehicle and any medical treatment received, and you are satisfied with the timeliness and professionalism of the service, then this would constitute a good outcome for you.
If, on the other hand, you’re not comfortable or not willing to negotiate with insurance adjusters to reach what you consider to be fair compensation for your loss, then you should turn this task over to someone who is skilled and professional and who can represent your best interests. Waiting until you’ve tried and failed to arrive at a fair settlement, and then seeking the advice of a personal injury lawyer can complicate your claim process. If you’re unsure about how to handle your personal injury claim, contact an attorney immediately and explain the details of your case. Most will offer a free consultation, and most will inform you if their services are not really required for your particular situation.
Plan For Fun. Prepare for Adversity.
The holiday season is upon us, and for many Southern California families holiday tradition sometimes means travel, whether driving to a nearby city to visit parents and grandparents, or flying across the country to participate in a large family gathering. In either case, there are potential stresses and hazards that can be mitigated, or even avoided altogether, with a little careful planning beforehand.
The Winter Roadtrip
If you’re planning to drive to your holiday destination keep in mind that winter driving conditions, even in parts of California, are the most dangerous. Auto accidents related to driving in snow and ice result in 6000 deaths each year in this country. Another half million Americans are injured, according to The National Center for Atmospheric Research.
A Holiday Travel Checklist
The Mandell Law family wants your holiday trip to be as safe, happy, and stress-free as possible, so here are a few tips that can help you enjoy a warm and joyous holiday trip.
Ensure Your Best Possible Recovery ~
It can certainly be a life-altering event, and the first thing you should know about spinal cord injury is that it does not always present symptoms immediately after sustaining damage. If you suffer a head, neck, or back injury, even if you feel that it’s minor, get the opinion of a qualified health care professional immediately. If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury, you should know what steps to take to ensure that you’ll receive the best medical care and rehabilitation efforts.
All brain injuries and injuries to the spinal cord are potentially dangerous. They can cause excruciating pain, take away your freedom of movement, speech, or hearing, and can even result in death. If you suffer an injury to the spinal cord due to an accident, on the job or elsewhere, you’ll not only need excellent medical attention but also the counsel of a skilled personal injury attorney. More often than not, there will be an intimidating maze of legalities that must be dealt with before you can get on with treatment and recovery.
Things to Keep in Mind
After you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a spinal cord injury, take the following steps to ensure that you won’t be left without help and without the means to ensure your best possible recovery.
Protect Your Health and Your Legal Rights ~
If you’re involved in any kind of vehicular accident, there are certain rules you should follow. Some of these rules are required by law, others are there to protect your rights. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in an auto accident, a bicycle accident, a motorcycle accident, or are hit by any one of them while walking down the sidewalk as a pedestrian. These rules apply in all situations. While you should always consult with a personal injury attorney for legal advice immediately following any accident, you also need to know, in advance, what to do in case of an emergency.
- Remain as calm as possible. Being involved in an accident is almost always an emotional experience. You may be afraid of potential consequences. You may also be in pain. However, staying as calm as you can is in your best interest. You will be less likely to say or do something that could be detrimental should legal proceedings result.
- First, if anyone was injured in the accident, call 911. “Anyone” means yourself and passengers in your vehicle as well as other drivers, and passengers in other vehicles. Emergency personnel should be contacted even if the injuries seem minor. Second, call the police so the facts of the accident can be documented. In most instances, a single call to 911 will likely dispatch both the police and paramedics. (Note: In certain instances, the police may refuse to come or prepare a report.)
- Even if you believe the accident was entirely your fault, do not make any statements to that effect. Doing so can have serious legal consequences, and might even affect your insurance coverage. You are not obligated to provide this information before obtaining legal advice.
A gravel truck rolled off an embankment and crushed a Santa Barbara home, killing a man, woman, and child inside, according to a story by the Associated Press.
The truck driver had just retrieved a load of gravel from a rock quarry. The driver was driving down State Highway 154 when his brakes may have possibly failed. His truck drove through two intersections, reaching a speed of 50 miles per hour. The truck avoided hitting a motel, struck two parked cars and then careened off the road down a driveway and completely flattened a house. The house could not be seen from the road. Rescue crews searched through the rubble in hopes of rescuing victims, but all three occupants of the house were killed. The driver was treated for a small cut on his face. The three individuals killed inside the house were identified as a father, mother, and son from Mexico.
According to reports, the driver suspected something was wrong with his vehicle’s brakes after picking up the gravel, but thought they were in a good enough condition to continue driving. This tragic California truck accident illustrates what can happen when large trucks aren’t properly maintained. If the driver had trusted his instincts, and had the brakes checked when he suspected a problem, this accident could have been prevented.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident involving a truck that you believe was caused by the truck driver’s negligence, contact an experienced San Fernando Valley truck accident lawyer. The dedicated team at The Mandell Law Firm can help you protect your rights. Contact us today at 818-886-6600 for a free consultation.