Protecting Yourself, Your Family & Your Wealth
“You know, all that really matters is that the people you love are happy and healthy. Everything else is just sprinkles on the sundae.” Paul Walker.
How Do You Protect Yourself, Your Family & Your
Wealth After a Collision?
Review some Safe Driving & Biking Tips to Help Keep You & Your Family Safe!
“When you are young and healthy, it never occurs to you that in a single second
your whole life could change.” Annette Funicello
If you’ve been in a crash, what do you do now? How do you protect yourself, your family and your wealth? If you’re like most people, you have three big concerns. One, how do I get my car fixed ASAP? Without a car, I can’t go to the doctor. I can’t go to work. I can’t even get the kids to school. Second, how am I going to pay for the ambulance, the ER visit and my medical treatment? I don’t have health insurance. I can’t afford to go to the doctor. Third, if I have to miss work, how will I pay my bills? Will anyone reimburse me for my financial losses?
If you’ve been injured in a crash because of the fault of another, you have certain rights. I call these your Collision Rights.
KNOW YOUR COLLISION RIGHTS!
On an average day in Nevada, there are 142 car crashes injuring 76 people. More than 200 people are killed each year in Nevada crashes. The estimated economic loss in Nevada, in 2010, because of these crashes was $1.809 billion.
1. Right to a Rental Car. If your car was damaged in a crash caused by the fault of another, the other person’s insurance should provide you with a rental car until your car is repaired or you get a reasonable settlement offer for the damage to your car. If the other person’s insurer delays in accepting responsibility for the crash, you should check your own insurance to see if you have rental car coverage.
2. Right to Have Your Car Repaired. The at-fault driver’s insurance should pay to repair your car or pay you the value of your car if the carrier believes that your car should be totaled. If you don’t feel like you are being treated fairly by the other person’s insurer, I can help you, without charge, (i) get a rental car paid for by the other person’s insurer and (ii) get a fair settlement for the damage to your car.
3. Right to Have Your Medical Bills Reimbursed. If you’re injured in a car crash caused by the fault of another, you have the right to have your medical bills reimbursed by the at-fault driver. However, until you settle your personal injury claim, you will be responsible for your own medical bills. If you have health insurance or other benefit providers, such as Medicare or Medicaid, you should submit your medical bills to them. If you purchased medical benefits from your own automobile insurer, your insurer should pay to the extent of your coverage.
If you don’t have health insurance benefits, you may have difficulty getting proper medical care unless you can afford to pay cash for that care.
GETTING PROPER MEDICAL CARE AFTER A CRASH OFTEN IS ESSENTIAL TO A FULL RECOVERY AND YOUR LONG-TERM WELL BEING. You want to avoid gaps in your treatment because it may complicate your recovery and have long-term consequences.
If you don’t have insurance and you can’t afford to pay for on-going medical care, I have been able to help people, like you, continue with their necessary medical treatment. I work with medical providers in the community who are willing to provide treatment based on a lien you give the medical provider against any future settlement or judgment. If you have any questions about this, please call me at 702.821.1821 or contact me.
4. Right to Be Reimbursed for All of Your Lost Income and to Be Compensated for Your Loss of Earning Capacity. If you suffered a loss of income because of the crash, you are entitled to be compensated for that loss from the person who caused your injuries. You also are entitled to be compensated for any future lost earnings, including lost benefits and any loss in your earning capacity
5. Right to Compensation for Pain and Suffering. You have a right to be fairly and adequately compensated for your pain and suffering. This includes not only physical pain but also mental pain or anguish. Included in mental pain and suffering is the diminished enjoyment of life, as well as the humiliation and embarrassment resulting from permanent scars and disability.
6. Right to Compensation for Diminished Capacity for the Enjoyment of Life. You have the right to be fairly and adequately compensated to the extent that the crash has prevented you from pursuing your ordinary affairs and to the extent that you have been limited in your enjoyment of life. For example, if, before the crash, you were an avid basketball player, pianist, dancer, hunter, golfer, etc. and you no longer can engage in these activities, or it is difficult to engage in these activities because of the crash, you are entitled to be fairly and adequately compensated for this loss. Oftentimes the diminished capacity for the enjoyment of life is by far the greatest loss. This loss, like a rock thrown in a still pond, ripples through and affects all aspects of the injured person’s life.
After a crash, the insurance company for the person causing the crash wants you to settle quickly before you fully appreciate the extent of your harms and losses. You should not settle before you understand your rights and know the extent of your harms and losses. Once you accept money in settlement of your injury claims, the insurance company will require you to sign a release. Once you sign the release, you are on your own. If your condition worsens or you incur additional medical bills, you will not be compensated for that.
If you have any questions regarding your Collision Rights or you’re concerned about how you are being treated by the insurance company, I will gladly answer your questions for free. If you’re having difficulty finding a medical provider to treat you for your injuries, I may be able to help you with that also. Don’t worry. I will not charge you for my help unless you hire me and I recover money for you.
Some Safe Driving & Biking Tips to Help Keep You & Your Family Safe!
WE CAN WORK TOGETHER TO MAKE OUR ROADS A SAFER PLACE FOR ALL OF US
How can you protect yourself and your family from the dangers of sharing the road with other drivers? Here are a few safety tips:
1. Put Down the Cell Phone. Pay Attention to Your Driving. In the U.S., in 2011, 387,000 people were injured and 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver. Distracted driving includes texting, using a cell phone, grooming, watching videos, adjusting audio, etc.
Texting is by far the worst of the dangers because it requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver. Texting increases your crash risk 6 times. Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, which is the equivalent—at 55 mph—of driving the length of an entire football field, blind. Driving while simply talking on a cell phone is as dangerous as driving drunk. It reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37% and increases your risk of a crash by 4 times. (DISTRACTION.GOV, official US Government Website for Distracted Driving) For more information on the danger of using phones while driving, please visit PhonesAndCrashes.com.
2. Slow Down. Many crashes are caused by speeding. Speed is the leading unsafe driving behavior that contributes to deaths. For every 10 MPH over 50 MPH, the risk of death in a crash is doubled. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 3 and 34. Slow down. Life already is too short. Let’s not make it shorter for you or anyone else by speeding.
3. Keep a Safe Distance Between You and the Car in Front. Many crashes are caused by following too closely. The recommended MINIMUM following distance, during dry weather conditions, is to remain at least 2 seconds behind the car in head of you. When visibility is low such as light fog, light rain or nighttime driving, you should double the following distance to a minimum of 4 seconds. When driving in bad conditions, such as snow or heavy rain, you should increase your safe following distance to between 6 and 10 seconds. DON’T TAILGATE.
Protect your children by placing them in a proper restraint device. You should use a rear-facing seat through age 1 and until your baby reaches the seat manufacturer’s height and weight limits. Never place a rear-facing child safety seat in the front seat of a vehicle with a passenger side air bag. Any child less than 6 years of age who weighs less than 60 pounds must ride in an approved child restraint system. Remember: Nevada law requires almost all motor vehicle occupants to wear a seat belt. “Click It or Ticket”.
5. Never Drink & Drive. In 2011, 32,367 people in the U.S. were killed in car crashes. Of this number, or 31%, were due to drunk driving. (U.S. Department of Transportation, Traffic Safety Facts for 2011) If you plan to drink, be sure to have a designated driver. If you have been drinking, ask a sober friend to drive or call a friend or a cab for a ride. If that fails, please look for a driver through the National Directory of Designated Driver Services, DrinkingAndDriving.Org.
6. If You’re Tired, Pull Over. If you’re driving and feel the least bit tired, stop. Many high-speed, single vehicle rollover crashes occur when a driver becomes drowsy, drifts to the side of the road, hits the rumble strip and then jolts the steering wheel causing the car to roll.
7. Use Extra Caution in Bad Weather. There is an old saying, “If the roads are wet, then drive like it’s snowing. If the roads are snow-covered, then drive like they’re icy. If the roads are icy, then don’t drive.” You should slow down at the first sign of rain, snow or sleet because these make the roadway slippery. Always reduce your speed in bad weather.
8. Watch Out for Rule Breakers. Even if you’re driving carefully and obeying all the rules of the road, many others are not. Because so many people chose to ignore the rules for safe driving, you must be prepared to respond to their stupidity. You must be prepared to respond to sudden stops, unpredictable lane changes, unsignaled turns, tailgating, someone running a red light, etc. You should always look beyond the car in front of you to see what is ahead. When driving, please keep yourself, your family and other’s safe by keeping 100% of your attention focused on your driving.
9. Be a Safe Driver. Before getting into your car, do a quick check of your surroundings to make certain there are no children in harm’s way. Check your car and tires regularly. Before you put your car into drive, properly adjust the driver’s seat, steering wheel, seat belts, head restraints, rear and side-view mirrors and climate controls. Drive with your headlights on to increase visibility. Use your turn signals. When a light turns green, look left, then right, straight ahead and then left again before proceeding through the intersection. Obey all speed limits and signs.
AVOID CRASHES – DRIVE SAFELY!!
PROTECTING YOUR WEALTH
Because of the many crashes that occur every day in Nevada, you should protect yourself by making certain you are adequately insured. The minimum limits in Nevada for car crashes is only $15,000 per person. If you’re injured by another, and the value of your harms and losses exceed $15,000, you probably will not be fairly and adequately compensated for your losses unless the person causing the crash has substantial personal assets.
You can protect yourself from this dilemma by purchasing additional coverage from your insurance agent. For example, you may want to purchase underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage protects you if you’re injured by someone who doesn’t have sufficient insurance to fairly and adequately compensate you. You also may want to purchase uninsured motorist coverage which protects you if you’re in a crash with someone who has no insurance. Underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage are relatively cheap when you consider the protection this coverage affords you. Under Utah law, your insurance company must offer this coverage to you and explain its benefits.
To protect your own personal assets, you should discuss with your insurance agent whether you have sufficient insurance to protect you in the event you are the person causing injury to another. You may even want to consider purchasing an umbrella policy which provides extra coverage in the event of a loss.
Please don’t hesitate to call me at 702.821.1821 or 435.986.2222 or contact me if you have any questions regarding your Collision Rights.