Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hurry Up and Stop

I remember a nationwide poll taken a number of years ago that asked the public to describe the "most dangerous driver" in America.

The winner was,

An Old Man Wearing a Hat!

Now I fit that description perfectly, but they weren't referring to me, or a particular person. They had the "generic" old man in mind.

That might have been true back in the 70's, but the correct answer for today is:

Just about EVERYBODY!

Look up the major causes of auto accidents  and you will see many of the obvious causes, speeding, drunk driving, distractions, etc.  But I did a quick search on the internet, and never once saw one of the major "culprits" mentioned:


Tailgating is the other word for it, and in my opinion it has become a veritable epidemic! So much so, that I'm almost convinced that it's being taught in driving schools.  Another ubiquitous technique that drives me nuts is the almost universal desire to speed up when approaching stopped traffic waiting at a red light.....then
slamming on the brakes. That doesn't make a bit of sense.  But look around, and notice how many people do it.

There will almost always be "distractions" and un-anticipated actions by other drivers whenever you venture out in your automobile. Anyone who doesn't plan on them is just asking for trouble. Give yourself time to react to them by maintaining a reasonable speed and keep plenty of room between you and the car in front to allow for you make the correction when necessary.

 The speed limit is a pretty good rule of thumb to follow. How foolish to speed around blind turns etc. assuming that no other driver is going to run a red light or stop sign or do anything stupid to cause you to be involved in an accident.

Why in the world would you assume all the other drivers are perfect and never make mistakes?

Finally, you and I aren't perfect either, so make sure you have at least $100,000 in liability coverage.

That may seem like "overkill" to us "depression kids"....but in today's environment, I'm assured by lawyers and friends who've been sued in minor fender benders by the the "other driver" who suddenly comes down with the "insuranceitis virus"   (a mysterious virus that attacks an iindividual who is involved in an auto collision that they didn't cause and isn't showing any signs of injury until the police and EMS arrive. Usually due to the fact that when these two organizations arrive, they begin to see dollar signs.)... 

$100,000 is pretty much the minimum. Check with your insurance agent about an "Umbrella" policy.

Unfortunately, it ain't the 1950s anymore. I speak from experience. A couple of years ago I was involved in the most minor of fender benders with a truck. Only damage was a slight dent in my car, not enough to get my insurance company involved. No damage to the truck.

Months later, I was slapped with a $100,000 lawsuit claiming the driver of the truck was injured (get ready for this) putting on his brakes.


And speaking of today's environment:

 Just in Case.....(from the internet)

Fraudulent injury claims are not uncommon in minor accidents where a seemingly harmless fender-bender turns into a drawn out battle between insurance companies and the parties involved. It is possible for the at-fault driver to contest a fraudulent injury claimand win. The driver, however, will have to be prepared to prove the case.

At the Scene

When a minor crash occurs, many drivers exchange information and go on their way with little or no thought about a problem arising down the road. The unfortunate truth is that injury claims can come in weeks or even months after a crash, causing problems for the at-fault driver. Motorists can protect themselves from accident fraud and fraudulent injury claims by:
  • Making sure the police are notified of a crash. Keep in mind that police often will not respond to minor fender benders. If this is the case, physically go to the station and file a report to make sure something is on the record.
  • Taking pictures of the damage that did – or did not occur – as a result of a collision. Make sure to take pictures of all vehicles involved. If there is no visible damage at all, record this, too. The lack of damage can speak volumes about fraudulent injury claims.
  • Making sure to get information, including names, addresses, telephone numbers and insurance particulars from the other involved motorists. Also take down information from any witnesses on the scene of a crash.
  • Refusing to admit fault for the crash. When speaking with others at the scene, be very guarded about what is said and what isn’t said. Leave the investigating and assignment of blame to law enforcement.

What to Watch for

Even in very minor fender benders, motorists can sometimes notice behaviors that might be indicative of another driver’s willingness to make a false injury claim. Even if damage isn’t evident on the vehicles, pay attention for signs such as:
  • The motorist complaining of injuries or discomfort
  • The other motorist trying to assign blame even if he or she is clearly at fault
  • Insistence on the use of an ambulance even if physical damage is minimal or nonexistent

Why Disputing Claims Matters

While insurance will likely absorb the cost of a fraudulent injury claim if it is not disputed, the end result can prove costly to the driver blamed. Making sure to fight suspected cases of fraud can protect the driver from:
  • Inflated insurance charges
  • Cancellation of insurance coverage
  • Potential legal action to recover money above and beyond what insurance pays

Get a Lawyer

When a fraudulent injury claim is suspected, hiring a lawyer can be the defending party’s best course of action to take. A skilled automobile accident attorney can investigate a crash, request medical documentation and use collected evidence to successfully dispute claims of injury. Standing alone in this instance can prove costly for a motorist who believes injury reports are fabricated.