Articles Posted in Tips

insurance-agent-examine-damaged-car-and-customer-filing-signature-on-report-claim-form-process-after_t20_VL9777-300x200

Liability Insurance: A Necessary Evil

Let’s face it, just about nobody likes auto insurance.  For most people, it’s a cost you’re forced to pay for something you never get anything from.  Making matters worse, most people have no idea about what coverage they are paying for or what kind of options they really have.  For many, the only thing that matters is the cost.  However, if you are involved in a collision, having the right types and amount of insurance can make all the difference.  This post will address one of those types, liability insurance.

Liability Insurance

traffice-light-camera-225x300

Chances are that you have encountered driving through a city that has placed red light cameras at intersections.  The stated purpose is to increase safety at intersections by imposing a penalty for those drivers who run red lights.   The penalty fine varies from place to place but is typically $50 or $100 for a violation.  If not paid timely, then the fine amount doubles in most locations.

The Good.  When driving through an intersection, it is nice to know that other drivers may be less likely to run a red light if they fear being fined for that bad driving habit.  We know that 40% of the roughly 6 million car crashes that occur in the United States every year are intersection-related crashes.  Various surveys and data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warn us that intersections can be dangerous places.  If red light cameras cause drivers to be more careful not to enter an intersection on a red light, then that should be a good thing for all of us.

The Bad.  While red light cameras may make drivers more reluctant to enter an intersection on a red light, they can create situations where drivers slam on their brakes to avoid getting a ticket resulting in rear end collisions near these red light camera equipped intersections.  A review of studies on the topic by the Federal Highway Administration supports the conclusion that red light cameras reduce the number of right angle (T-bone) crashes, but also increase the number of rear-end collisions.  As a result of the conflicting safety data, many cities have removed previously placed red light cameras and at least 9 states have banned them altogether from being used.

53607309_429589447816937_3099377748028686336_n-1-300x235

Choose Wisely…Your Insurance Company Matters

It seems like any time you turn on a television, radio or computer these days, you can’t escape a commercial from an insurance company.  Think about.  I bet you can hum the jingle or say the catchphrase from half a dozen insurance companies without even thinking hard.  That’s not a coincidence.  There are a handful of insurance companies that flood the airwaves with commercials and have done so for years.  I’ll admit, some of these are pretty clever.   Whether it is a talking amphibian, a guy constantly causing chaos or an athlete giving neighborly advice, the goal is always the same: to sell you insurance.  And you know what, it works!  The biggest advertisers have the most insureds in the United States.

So you may be thinking, so what, who cares how much these companies advertise?  Here’s the thing: The top advertisers are also the most difficult insurance companies to deal with from a settlement perspective.  It’s my opinion that the biggest advertisers make up for all of those advertising fees by paying less on insurance claims.  How a claim is handled, varies greatly one from insurer to the next, yet the top advertisers are almost all the most stingy when it comes to paying claims.  I don’t think that is a coincidence.

close-up-of-hand-showing-insurance-word-and-car-people-house-through-magnifying-glass_t20_eo2mEa-300x200
As a personal injury attorney in North Carolina, I hear this from clients all the time.  Unfortunately, in most cases, it is not true.  At the very least, it is not what they believe it to be.  In North Carolina, as in most states, you are required to purchase auto insurance to legally be allowed to drive on public roadways.  Each state sets its own requirement as to the minimum amount of insurance and type of insurance that you must purchase to be a legal driver.  The primary purpose of these requirements is to protect innocent persons from your negligent driving.  In North Carolina it is called the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Act and can be found at NCGS §20-279.21.

North Carolina requires that all drivers carry at least $30,000 in liability insurance.  This is sometimes referred to as “minimum limits” or a “30/60” policy.  That means that you only carry the minimum amount of auto liability coverage required by law in North Carolina.  Under a minimum limits policy, the most any one injured claimant can collect is $30,000 and there is only $60,000 in available liability coverage for all the claimants involved in an accident.  For example, if you, your spouse and your children are involved in a car accident and spouse and children of the at-fault driver are in the other vehicle, there is a total of $60,000 in available liability coverage for all seven claimants (assuming two children in each car).  With the costs of health care rising, if all seven claimants are transported by ambulance and get checked out at the hospital, you can easily see how quickly that $60,000 is exhausted, let alone if there are any serious injuries or follow up visits are needed, or worse, if someone dies as a result of the accident.  None of those factors change the amount of money available to the claimants in a minimum limits policy.

As such, it is highly recommended that you carry as much auto liability coverage as you can afford.  There are two reasons for this.  One is that most people do not go out and intend to cause a collision.  They generally the result of negligence.  Think of all the things people have to distract them, even momentarily, the radio, the weather, the other cars on the road, GPS, eating or drinking, texting, talking on the phone, children, the list goes on and on.  As such, if you have assets that you want to protect, you should carry higher liability limits so that claimants can focus on your insurance coverage instead of trying to get money from you directly.  The second reason is that, in general, you have to carry higher liability coverage in order to purchase higher Uninsured (does not have insurance) or Under-insured Motorist Coverage (does not have enough insurance to fully compensate you for your damages), both of which help to protect YOU and your family.

If you have ever ridden a motorcycle, chances are you’ve heard the phrase “loud pipes save lives.” If not, you might have heard a motorcyclist say it in defense of their loud exhaust pipes. So, is this statement true?

Well, in fact, this statement does hold truth.

Attentive Driving is More Than Looking

For the most part, motorists drive defensively to avoid accidents with other passenger vehicles and trucks. However, many times, motorcycles aren’t even on their radar. This is one of the leading causes of accidents between cars and motorcycles.

Motorcycles are the most susceptible to severe and even fatal injuries. With this in mind, drivers should always be actively looking for all sorts of vehicles on the road, including motorcycles.

In events when this isn’t the case, there are ways that motorcyclists can help keep themselves safe by increasing their visibility to drivers who aren’t necessarily looking for them.

If you’ve been injured on the job, you’ll want to file a workers’ compensation claim in order to get the care and treatment you’re entitled to. However, insurance companies and employers don’t want to pay for claims they don’t have to, so the burden may fall on you to prove that you’ve suffered the severe injuries you’re claiming. That means you’ll need evidence, and there are certain types of evidence that are particularly effective when it comes to supporting your claim and getting you the result you’re looking for.

Here are four important types of evidence to have when filing your workers’ compensation claim.

Medical Records

When you’ve been injured, you’ll want to make sure you see a medical professional and have your case documented as soon as possible. You’ll likely have to see a doctor multiple times for continued treatment, and each time your doctor will log your condition, how your recovery is progressing, and much more. This is critical because it not only documents how your recovery is proceeding, but what treatments have been done, and what your doctor’s recommendations are.

Many people ride motorcycles recreationally and as a means of transportation. While they can be enjoyable, they can also be dangerous. Riders do not have the physical protection that vehicles provide and are therefore more susceptible to injuries if they are involved in a collision.

Helmets are one of the ways that motorcyclists avoid sustaining injuries in these instances, but not everyone feels the need to wear them. There are different laws, both federally and at a state level, that determine when a motorcyclist is required to wear a helmet.

History of Helmet Laws

Most people don’t know road clippings in the street could cause any sort of hazard or legal trouble. It sounds innocent enough. Many will leave their road trimmings scattered about the roadway, yet recently, concerns about them have begun to arise. Online debates have taken place as to the legality of this practice, with many residents arguing that there is no such law to prohibit putting your day’s grass clippings in the road. So why is this causing such a heated debate?

Road Hazards

Besides the obvious aesthetics of grass in the road that some may not like, the real hazard of lawn clippings in the road comes from the slipperiness that the grass can cause, especially for motorcycle riders. On a curve, or even on a straightaway, riding over grass trimmings is no different than riding in the rain. There’s less friction between the ground and wheels. Motorcycles have two wheels and have a harder time balancing, so the risk of getting into an accident is that much higher for them.

At The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, we are dedicated to helping clients throughout North and South Carolina who have been injured in devastating car accidents. Car accidents are one of the leading causes of injury in the United States. In 2015, 123,589 people suffered serious car accident injuries, while 1,380 were killed in traffic accidents in North Carolina.

Now that Labor Day Weekend is approaching, it is important to know how to keep you and your family safe when you are on the road. Because Labor Day Weekend is one of the deadliest times of the year, we want to take the time to discuss accident statistics for Labor Day Weekend.

Consider the following accident statistics before you get behind the wheel this holiday weekend:

Contact Information