Many of us may be accustomed to seeing daytime TV commercials about why it’s so important to contact an attorney when involved and injured in an accident, especially those with motor vehicles. It doesn’t matter the mode of transportation from motorcycles to RV’s, boats, and off-road vehicles, drivers still need the representation of a qualified attorney in the aftermath of these important accident cases. By definition, the term accident could mean:
● An unfortunate event resulting from carelessness or ignorance that resulted in an accident
● An unexpected and medically important bodily event resulting from an accident
● An unplanned happening causing loss or injury which is not due to any misconduct on the person injured where legal relief may be sought
● Drugs or alcohol are sometimes at play with involuntary injuries caused by a negligent person while operator some type of motor vehicle
Confused? You should be! This is the exact reason why attorneys study for many years to obtain their legal degrees to fully understand all the difficult matters of the law when it comes to accidents. It’s important to note here that “at fault” isn’t highlighted in these definitions of an “accident.” That’s for a judge and jury need to determine. That’s also when lawyers are so important in fighting for your rights, provide the best legal defense, and get everything you’re entitled to as a result of these unfortunate incidents.
Turning Left, Reverse, and Tailgating — Am I Always to Blame?
There are many common misconceptions out there about operating a motor vehicle when it comes to a fault during a car accident. The top three are thus: A) If a driver is turning left, it’s always their fault. B) When the operator of a motor vehicle is going in reverse, the accident is always blamed on them in every case. C) Tailgating, this is where it gets weird and it’s not always their fault. When it comes to blame or fault in these accidents, these examples are not always true, and here’s why:
● Making a Left-Hand Turn: What if a driver is making a legal left-hand turn and a speeding motorist runs a red light and strikes them?
● Traveling in Reverse: Obviously, if a motorist is backing up and strikes a mobile or stationary vehicle they’re usually at fault. But what if they’re going in reverse and are hit by a vehicle speeding or otherwise breaking the law? Running a red light by the other motorist involved also comes to mind with this illegality.
● Tailgating: Let’s say you’re behind a vehicle sitting at a red light waiting to make a left-hand turn at an intersection. What if the car in front of you makes an illegal U-turn, suddenly slows or stops at the said traffic light and causes a pile-up as the other cars are moving forward — who’s to blame? Were you or the other vehicles “tailgating” or was the driver making an illegal turn at fault?
Here’s another sneaky approach worthy of mentioning that sometimes happens with neighbors, those in the delivery, or service industries. For argument’s sake, let’s say you’re getting into a car parked in your own driveway preparing to leave for work, running errands, taking the kids to school, or whatever. After fastening your seatbelt, checking your rear-view mirrors, and taking all the necessary safety precautions, you put your car into reverse and begin to pull out into the street.
Suddenly out of nowhere, a vehicle speeds into this spot behind you without your knowledge blocking your driveway. You didn’t notice this violation of your space and strike the vehicle while driving in reverse. Or in this case, who hit who? Are you responsible for this accident by driving backward or is the car or truck aggressively blocking your driveway at fault for trespassing and breaking the law by speeding and illegally parking?
These instances are highly effective defenses and should be considered in a court of law. Insurance companies offering minimal remunerations often don’t consider these unique circumstances before writing a tiny check for major damages, repairs, replacements, and injuries. These are many other instances when some insurance companies go after drivers for cases when they’re not actually at fault.
Why The Nasty Reputation and Insane Rates?
The way car insurance companies deny or award claims, or give their recipients access to coverage is sketchy at best. According to recent reports, these companies pay out premiums or accept clients relying on a number of different factors that have nothing to do with driving. For example, where you live can impact your rates. Whether you purchased your car outright or are leasing a vehicle also might make a difference in premiums.
While there’s no real proof of other problems, like denying claims outright for no reason whatsoever, there are more realistic problems for today’s consumers. Sometimes credit scores and age are problematic for those seeking insurance coverage. Back in the day, younger drivers were being charged with extra premiums due to a lack of behind-the-wheel experience.
On the other hand, often older operators are paying the price for premium coverage due to their advanced age. This may correlate with statistics about accident rates, but why the other weird rates? How can consumers save money and protect themselves from potential future harm and higher costs?
Consider a Higher Deductible — Often when consumers initially sign up for insurance coverage they’ll go after the less expensive alternative of lower premiums with a higher deductible. In some cases when customers are able to afford a higher monthly charge in case of an accident, overall this amount over time could save them thousands of dollars over the course of many years. It also depends greatly on the type of vehicle they’re driving and other circumstances.
Drive Carefully — While it may seem obvious, driving less-aggressively and obeying traffic laws will greatly reduce your risk of getting into an accident. In addition, many insurance carriers offer their clients safe-driver discounts if they’re devoid of accidents or tickets appearing on their driving record.
Doing Research and Discussing Discounts — Things may have changed since initially signing up for your original insurance contract for both you and the provider. Perhaps they offer cheaper rates for adding other drivers, or multiple cars, fewer miles that are driven, good student discounts, and other ways to reduce these costs. Just like attorneys, these agents are there to help customers including saving you money.
Shop Around — Other commercials claim they’ll save you money on auto insurance by shopping around for better rates. Not only should you take this time to see if you can save some cash annually, call your agent and let them know your considering making the switch. Maybe they’ll lower your rates to keep you as a valued customer. Maybe not, but it’s worth a shot.
Choose Your Next Vehicle Carefully — Speaking of shopping, if you’re in the market for a new automobile, truck, or other rides, choose