Why Do Insurance Companies Make Bad Offers

A good friend of mine, who happens to be a paralegal at a personal injury firm in Virginia, was involved in a motor vehicle accident about 6 months ago. I won’t go into details about the firm but they have a decent reputation and certainly would have been willing to take his case from the start. When I asked him about the accident he told me the other driver ran a red light and slammed into the driver’s side of his car. He was injured but nothing too serious (broken bone, whiplash). The police report indicated the other driver admitted to causing the accident so he assumed it was a slam dunk!

With great resistance from his employer, he decided to handle the case on his own. He assumed, as would most people, the other driver’s insurance company would be ready to make a quick offer and settle this claim because their client admitted liability.

He told me when filing the claim he was looking for compensation that covered loss of wages (didn’t make it to work that day along with several follow-up visits at the doctor’s office), medical expenses (hospital, doctor’s, pain medications etc), property damage (what a joke), and money for transportation costs (car rental, cabs etc).

I remind you that this is a very good friend of mine. When he told me what the insurance company offered on the claim, I started cracking up. I couldn’t help to laugh because I’m pretty sure considering his tenure at the firm, they would have taken his case for free.

Let’s fast forward to now. It has been 6 months and he still hasn’t received a nickel from the insurance company. I must admit if there was one person that wasn’t a licensed attorney that had to take my case; it would be him (well maybe not anymore). Well you can imagine he took some heat from his employer and rightfully so. Today, his employer is now his attorney.

The moral of the story is quite simple. Why does it take an Act of Congress for some insurance companies to pay victims like my friend, full compensation on their claims? I know that some attorneys have a bad reputation for being tenacious, but let’s admit it; they need to be when dealing with some insurance companies.

If you were involved in an accident, think twice about handling your own injury claim. Why not at least take the time and talk with an attorney before diving into a situation you are unfamiliar with? While my friend ended up hiring his employer, he at least had some knowledge of what to say and not what to say when speaking with the insurance company. If you are handling your own claim and the insurance company begins asking you questions about the accident, what will you say? Remember everything you say, can be held against you during settlement time.

Getting back to the title of this post. Why do insurance companies make bad offers? I believe insurance companies make bad offers in hopes the victim will take it. If the victim really needs the money, chances are they may jump at the first offer. Insurance companies have a bottom line to protect and the more money they pay out, the less profit they make.

Car Accident and Personal Injury

Have you been injured in a car accident?  If you have, you can file a personal injury lawsuit.  This is done against the person who has caused your damages, in order to recover compensation.  This is where your Dallas car accident attorney comes in.  With the help of your attorney, you can try to prove that the other driver caused the accident due to not taking reasonable care.  It also needs to be shown that you did not contribute more than 50% to your injuries obtained from the accident.

You and your lawyer have to prove the person was not driving with reasonable care.  This is done by showing that there was a legal duty to use care, this duty was violated, and that there was a direct relationship between the injury that you obtained and the accident.  This is what your reward will depend upon.  There are certain variables that the defendant should have anticipated at the time that the accident occurred.

When looking at auto accidents, duty of care needs to be taken into consideration.  Did the other person take care while driving their vehicle?  To meet the duty of care, a person must be riving at a reasonable speed, keep the vehicle under proper control, and look out for potential situations that could cause an accident.  Even if you obtained injuries, your actions will be looked at as well.   You need to make sure that you have a Dallas attorney that is knowledgeable about car accident and personal injury law in Texas.

For someone to be responsible for your injuries, the other person must have been involved in careless conduct.  This is what you and your Dallas attorney need to set out to prove.  An example would be in the case of pedestrian injury.  The pedestrian would have to prove that the motorist caused the injury and that injury was no fault of his or her own.  Any person should be able to anticipate risk.  If someone is driving in a busy street with pedestrians, they should be taking reasonable care to ensure the vehicle is under control as people cross the street.  People need to drive according to the conditions around them.  If they are not, this is what leads to negligent driving.

Many factors need to be taken into consideration when it comes to Dallas car accidents and personal injury law.  Do not try to take the law into your own hands.  A delicate balance needs to be followed in order to win your case.  It is very important to obtain an attorney who has a lot of experience when it comes to car accidents and personal injury law in Dallas, Texas.

Never take the law into your own hands.  It is not a cut and dry situation.  The insurance companies are going to side against you in most cases.  You need a lawyer that will be the party fighting for your best interests.  There are many attorneys in Dallas experienced in personal injury and car accident cases.

This article is not intended as legal advice.

Legal Resource: Personal Injury Attorney Kristopher Barber. Serving clients throughout Texas and the United States.

Car Accident Lawsuit Funding

Content Provided By LawLeaf

LawLeaf is an on-line lawsuit funding service that matches victims with lenders. If you are currently seeking additional information for a cash advance, contact LawLeaf today at www.lawleaf.com.

There are many things that we can expect in life and a car accident is certainly not one. Car accident lawsuit funding is an advancement of cash prior to a settlement of a lawsuit. Over the last 10 years we have seen an increase of car accidents throughout the United States. As the rise in population increases so does the demand for transportation. It is quite simple, the more cars that are on our highways and roadways the better chance there are for car accidents.

Weather conditions, traffic patterns and multitasking are several reasons why car accidents occur. Whenever you get behind a wheel of a car it is imperative that you use caution when driving. Unfortunately for many people caution is a secondary instinct and negligence takes over. When someone is a victim of a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, they have the right to hire legal representation. An attorney can assist in evaluating your case and filing a claim against both the driver and the insurance company of the driver.

While many accidents turn out to be fender benders, there are unfortunately some that can cause catastrophic injury. When involved in such an accident there may be a long rehabilitation process which means your settlement will take just as long. An attorney will typically consult with their client and recommend they go through months or even years of physical therapy prior to a settling a case. The reason why most attorneys recommend a rehabilitation process is so their client can claim ongoing medical expenses without having to settle a case prematurely and risking getting stuck with these bills.

As many people know severe injury could result in loss wages or loss of job. While the victim is rehabilitating their injuries they also need to consider their financial position. For some people that are financially struggling lawsuit funding for a car accident could make sense.

Car accident lawsuit funding is a loan against a case that has not settled. For instance, if you were injured and needed money, car accident lawsuit funding could help pay for bills prior to a settlement. Another phrase for this type of loan is a car accident cash advance. Money that is loaned to you with the understanding once a case is settled you must pay back that loan.

There are many misconceptions about lawsuit funding. The first is that the rate of such companies charge higher than standard loans from a bank or even credit card company. While this is true for many cases, oftentimes, car accident lawsuit funding can offer lower rates than a standard loan and certainly that of a credit card. You may also hear that if you lose your case you still have to pay back the company that provided funding. There are many lawsuit funding companies that offer non-recourse funding. This type of funding means if you don’t receive monetary compensation from your case, you don’t pay back the loan.

Consider the following: If you are involved in a car accident, can’t pay bills, need your car fixed and can’t provide for yourself or your family, where do you turn. If you have bad credit or no credit a bank or a credit company probably won’t advance you a personal loan. Even if they do, certainly the loan won’t be that of non-recourse funding and oftentimes money is loaned at a much higher rate than a lawsuit cash advance.

There is no question that if you are in the financial position to where you don’t need a cash advance, its better to opt out. However if you are struggling to pay your bills or put food on your plate, certainly lawsuit funding for a car accident is a viable option.

Motor Vehicle Personal Injury in Minnesota

Motor vehicle personal injury is an issue that almost anyone can relate to. Many people have either seen, been involved in, or know someone who has experienced an accident. With the wide variety of motor vehicles in the world, and therefore large number of accidents, legal claims come from all over. Each case is different, however, so legal practice has adjusted by branching into different specialty areas within the motor vehicle personal injury category. In Minnesota, the predominant areas of practice include car, boat, bus, motorcycle, plane, truck, and train accidents.

Car

In the event of an automobile accident, the goal of an attorney is to ensure that you are fairly compensated for your losses. This compensation can include medical bills, loss of income or wages, and payment to others to do jobs you can no longer do, such as shoveling snow. If the crash was primarily or completely someone else’s fault, you can also seek compensation for pain and suffering. Cases can also be caused by intentional or reckless conduct. In these situations, the driver responsible for the conduct would be liable. If the accident occurred because of faulty products, such as an air bag malfunction or a tire blowing out, the case would fall under product liability law. Car accidents can result in serious personal injuries such as broken bones, neck and back injuries, brain and spinal cord injuries, and in severe cases, death.

Boat

Minnesota has more registered watercraft per person than other state. due to the presence of over 15,000 lakes. With this large number of watercraft and water traffic, however, the risk for serious boating injury is significant. Most boating accidents are caused by one of three factors. These include inexperienced boaters, intoxicated operators, or boat malfunctions. The most common boat accidents in Minnesota are collisions with other boats or watercraft, slipping and falling due to wet surfaces, boat fires and explosions, and sinking or tipping boats. These accidents can cause serious injuries, including death, broken bones, burns, head/neck injuries, and spine injuries.

Bus

With gas prices constantly on the rise, the use of public transportation has been increasing as well. Although this is good for people’s pocket books, the puts more buses on the road, leading to a higher number of bus-related injuries. There are numerous rules and regulations developed by the Federal Department of Transportation’s Motor Carrier Safety Administration that help to ensure the safety of bus passengers. These include logging a certain number of hours in a bus before being allowed to carry passengers, acquiring a special license, bus safety features, and performing preventive maintenance on the bus. Due to these rules and regulations, some buses, such as school buses, are considered to be one of the safest groups of vehicles on the road.

Motorcycle

Motorcycle accidents can also be dangerous and deadly, due to no seatbelts and lack of a protective frame. These accidents most commonly occur because of negligence. Although it’s a frequent explanation for an accident, the excuse of “I didn’t see the motorcycle” is not valid. Some of the more common situations in which accidents occur include when an automobile is making a left turn in front of a motorcycle, when a motorcycle is in a car’s blind spot, when large vehicles are present and blocking the driver’s view, or when hazardous road and weather conditions are present. Helmets are one of the easiest and most effective forms of protection for motorcycle drivers, as it significantly lowers the risk of traumatic brain injury or fatalities.

Plane

In the event of an aviation accident, legal issues can be very complex and unique. Legal rules for crashes not involving airline companies or common carriers are similar to those for car accidents. In the event of a common carrier accident, however, strict standards and regulations are in place, and most carries have strong attorneys and insurance companies to protect themselves. In these cases, it is important to find an experienced attorney that can interpret the laws and obtain the best solution possible.

Common carries are required to demonstrate the greatest degree of safety for its passengers. Unique to this type of accident, plane crashes and governed by state, federal, and international negligence laws. In the event of an accident in Minnesota, a victim, or victim’s family, may file a legal claim if the cause included defective onboard computers, fuel tank explosions, poor equipment maintenance, improper loading, or pilot error.

Truck

When accidents involve large trucks (semi-trailer’s, big rigs, 18-wheelers, etc), claims are usually made against trucking companies or negligent drivers. These types of accidents are among the worst considering the size of the vehicle involved. Truck drivers cannot see as well as smaller cars, and do not have very quick maneuverability. Accidents are most often contributed to overloaded freight, driver fatigue, speeding, or substance abuse. Due to these factors, trucking companies and drivers have strict rules that must be followed, including logbooks, time sheets, and higher safety standards then those of other vehicles. Drivers are limited in the amount of time they can drive each day, and these records are crucial to claims against a driver’s alertness or fatigue level. These and a variety of other factors make truck accident litigation much different than a normal car accident.

Train

Most accidents involving trains are somewhat minor, but anytime that a car or person is involved, the results can be quite severe. There is not much that can stand up to the size and power of these massive machines. Train accidents usually include one of the following: collision with another train, derailment, an accident with a car or other motor vehicle, or hitting a pedestrian. Many of these accidents can be caused by the train itself, due to mechanical failure or negligence (such as the brakes failing), heavier than normal cargo loads, or defective railroad tracks. When other motor vehicles are involved, however, most collisions are attributed to aggressive driving of the other vehicle. Railroad companies are required to maintain strict standards of safety, and are the ones responsible for their passengers. Lawsuits involving train accidents contain some of the most specific guidelines and time constraints, since most accidents involve a government owned company.

Although each of these areas are different, there are major themes throughout the broad motor vehicle personal injury category that should always be remembered. In the event of an accident, seek medical assistance immediately, even if you are not aware of serious injury. It is important to determine if any injuries were sustained, some of which can occur subtly at first. If another vehicle or person is involved, exchange your name and number and other pertinent information. If property damage exceeds $2,000, personal injury occurs, or a fatality occurs, it is required by law to promptly report the accident to authorities. When these steps have been completed, contact an experienced personal injury attorney.

It is important to act fast after being injured in any type of accident. This will allow the attorney to preserve evidence easier, to obtain witnesses, and to address other important factors. Some cases have certain time limitations on them as well. An attorney that takes the case should have a desire to fight until the end to make sure you receive the amount of compensation you deserve for your losses. Some personal injury cases ultimately go to trial, and the attorney should not be afraid to take on major corporations or insurance companies either. In the eyes of a good attorney, your well-being comes first, and then your rights. Attorney’s are there so you can focus your attention on recovery from an accident. They will take care of the rest.

The information you obtain from this article is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

Content by: A motor vehicle accident lawyer or attorney in Minneapolis MN at a local law firm can provide you with an experienced vehicle accident attorney or lawyer in Minnesota.

Additional Personal Injury Information for Consumers

Ride With A Drunk Driver And You May Be Legally Responsible For Your Own Injuries Or Death

A case decided last October by the Washington Court of Appeals affirmed a jury’s decision to hold a passenger 35% responsible for her own injuries after accepting a ride from a driver she knew to have consumed alcohol earlier in the evening.

With the holidays approaching soon, I expect that there will be many more opportunities for people to drive after consuming alcohol. Of course, most people know that a drunk driver who causes injury or death can be sued for this unlawful conduct. But, did you know that a passenger who knowingly rides with an intoxicated person can be held responsible for the passenger’s own injuries or death arising from a drunk driving accident?

Yes, it’s true. A case decided last October by the Washington Court of Appeals affirmed a jury’s decision to hold a passenger 35% responsible for her own injuries after accepting a ride from a driver she knew to have consumed alcohol earlier in the evening.

In the case of Hickly v. Bare, 135 Wn. App. 676 (October 2006), the driver admitted to consuming at least 6 beers earlier that evening. The passenger (Hickly) admitted to consuming 3 drinks before the accident but testified at trial that she was not intoxicated when she got into the vehicle. Another passenger (the drunk driver’s brother) testified that the driver appeared too intoxicated to drive, but he decided to get into the vehicle anyway. All 3 occupants had been at a tavern earlier in the evening where they consumed alcohol. The testimony established that all three were at the tavern for more than four (4) hours.

Shortly before they left the bar, Hickly spoke with the driver about whether he was able to drive. According to Hickly, the driver appeared fine to drive. She testified that he “walked fine, was able to handle his keys and functions of the vehicle, and did not slur his speech.” The driver’s brother however, disagreed with Hickly’s observations of the driver. He testified that his brother was too drunk to drive. Shortly after Hickly got into the car, the driver lost control of the vehicle and nearly hit a telephone pole. He went off the roadway where the car flipped at least 3 or 4 times. A passerby who stopped to render aid testified that the driver appeared intoxicated. Hickly filed suit against the driver and alleged that she suffered permanent neck and back injuries due to the accident.

The driver admitted that he was intoxicated and that he caused the accident. But he also claimed that Hickly had also negligently caused or contributed to her own injuries by agreeing to ride with a driver that was intoxicated. Thus, the only issue before the jury was apportionment of fault and damages.

At trial the jury was instructed by the judge that Hickly could be held negligent for causing her own injuries if they found that she rode in a vehicle operated by a person known to be intoxicated. Apparently the jury agreed with the drunk driver’s attorney by holding Hickly 35% responsible for her injuries when she accepted a ride from a person she knew, or should have known was intoxicated. Hickly’s damages were then reduced by 35% to account for her own negligence.

The appeals court also said that if the jury had found that Hickly was intoxicated when she was injured, then her intoxication might have operated as a COMPLETE DEFENSE precluding recovery of damages altogether. But only if the drunk driver had established that (1) Hickly’s intoxication proximately caused her own injuries; and (2) Hickly was more than 50 percent comparatively at fault in causing her injuries. Hickly was fortunate in this case because the jury did not believe that she was intoxicated even though she had consumed alcohol earlier in the evening.

The lesson from this case should be clear. Even if you don’t consume alcohol, if you knowlingly get into a vehicle with a person whom you knew, or should have known, was intoxicated you could be held responsible for causing your own injuries if there is an accident. You can bet the insurance company will defend such a case vigorously by arguing this new case. Don’t ever knowingly accept a ride from someone who has consumed alcohol.

A Basic Understanding Of Car Accident Cases

Although insurance companies and many lawyers consider auto accident claims routine, that just isn’t true. Every car accident and every individual injured in an auto accident is unique.

There were nearly 6,420,000 auto accidents in the United States in 2005. The financial cost of these crashes is more than 230 Billion dollars. 2.9 million people were injured and 42,636 people killed. About 115 people die every day in vehicle crashes in the United States—one death every 13 minutes.

* There is a death caused by a motor vehicle crash every 12 minutes; there is a disabling injury every 14 seconds.

* Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people ages 1 to 33.

* The age groups most affected by motor vehicle crashes are 15-24 and 75+.

Although insurance companies and many lawyers consider auto accident claims routine, that just isn’t true. Every car accident and every individual injured in an auto accident is unique. Auto accidents may be caused by the negligence on the part of another driver, someone hauling a trailer, a trucking company, a motorcycle, or the design and condition of the road.I know that a wide variety of injuries can result from an car accident.

Insurance companies want you to believe that handling auto accident claims is a simple matter that does not require the assistance of a personal injury attorney that specializes in car accidents. But you should know that insurance adjusters are trained to reduce the amount that you are paid. The only way to make sure that you get a fair settlement or award is to have an auto accident attorney who understands the insurance system, is well prepared and experienced in trying these cases in court, and of course, will do everything possible to fight for your rights.

The insurance companies will do everything they can to deny or delay paying your claim. They can and will:

* Take a recorded statement of an unrepresented person so that they can obtain information that can be used against that person.

* Down-play any damage done to the vehicles in the accident and claim that it would be impossible for someone to sustain a personal injury in such a “minimal” impact auto accident.

* Fail to divulge all sources of insurance coverage or policy benefits that would serve to increase your total recovery or settlement.

* Insist that you sign a broad medical release so they can go fishing into your past medical history looking for anything to minimize your claim.

* Hire expert witnesses to testify that a person was not severely injured in an auto accident.

* Assert weak or unsupported liability claims or defenses to support extremely low settlement offers.

* Blame other potentially negligent parties to minimize the amount of pay out in settlement.

* Blame you for partially causing the accident and thereby lowering your settlement offer by 10, 20 or even 50%.

* Tell you that some or most of your medical treatment was “excessive” or “unreasonable” while having no medical training to support such a claim.

* Discourage you from working with a car accident personal injury attorney or law firm.

If you have been injured in a car accident take the time to research your case, find out about similar cases in your state, and research personal injury attorneys in your area before you accept an offer from the other party’s insurance company.

Additional Personal Injury Information for Consumers

America’s Blindspot: Backup Car Accidents

Backup collisions are when a driver puts the automobile in reverse and runs into an object, person, or other car. All cars are equipped with rear view mirrors which are adequate for detecting vehicles behind a car, but they are often inadequate when it comes to detecting small children or objects that are low to the ground and fall in the car’s blind spot. Large trucks have much larger blind spots that can hide entire vehicles and large adults.

According to research by Kids and Cars – an organization devoted to preventing (non-traffic) motor-vehicle-related deaths and injuries to children – 49% of the non-traffic, non-crash fatalities involving children under 15 from 2001-2005 were caused by vehicles that were backing up. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that from 2001-2003, an estimated 7,475 children under the age of 15 were treated for automobile back-over incidents.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that back-up collisions most often “occur in residential driveways and parking lots; involve sport utility vehicles (SUVs) or small trucks; occur when a parent, relative or someone known to the family is driving; particularly affect children less than five years old.” Typically the driver of the car backing up and hitting an object, a person, or another car is usually considered to be at fault.

Prevention organizations suggest that parents use common sense, and also take safety measures such as installing cross view mirrors, audible collision detectors, rear view video camera and/or some type of reverse backup sensors. In addition, safer backing up is done when the driver turns completely around and looks out of the rear window of the car, rather than relying on mirrors. This provides a wider field of vision and better control of the vehicle.

At this time rear-end cameras and audible warning sensors and other technologies that might reduce the number of fatalities are not considered standard safety equipment by automakers and are offered only as optional parking aids in some high-end vehicles. It may be years before they become as ubiquitous as seatbelts and airbags. Audible warning sensors and/or rear cameras are standard in some luxury brands. Warning sensors can add $100 to a vehicle’s price, a camera system about $300. Aftermarket cameras and sensors range from $150 to over $1,000.

Last November the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported to Congress that backover accidents are not a recent phenomenon but disputes the idea that the number of accidents is increasing as the size of automobiles and their rear blind spots grow (such as SUVs and minivans). But a study by Consumer Reports magazine suggests that SUVs, pickups and minivans are longer and taller and that their blind zones extend as much as 50 feet from the rear bumper and contribute to poor visibility.

Christopher M. Davis is the managing partner of Davis Law Group. He brings over 15 years of practical yet innovative experience to personal injury cases. He practices law in Seattle, WA. You can learn more about Mr. Davis at http://www.InjuryTrialLawyer.com or http://www.seattleaccidentnews.com

Additional Personal Injury Information for Consumers

Car Accident Injury Claims

Population in the universe is in the raise every year, so is the increase of cars, driving license holders, accidents and car accident injury claims. Increase in cars eventually places people in danger with the fast moving and congested traffic. Ultimate result is frequent car accidents, damages, injuries and losses. Inevitable net consequence is drastic increase in car accident injury claims.

No two car accidents are similar, they are unique in nature. Car crash, car wreck and car collision are some of types of car accidents. Further, collision with another car or any other vehicle, lamp post, trees or buildings takes place when the driver looses control over his vehicle. Car accidents are also named as road traffic accidents, traffic collisions, auto accidents, road accidents, motor vehicle accidents and personal injury collisions. Whatever is the name or type of accident, it is the car accident injury claims that play the important role of getting the benefit of compensation to the victim. Car accidents occur owing to a range of reasons like bad road design, vehicle design, under maintained vehicles or driver behaviors.

Car accident injuries affect various parts of the human body. Some of serious injuries are head injuries that may damage the brain, neck injury may result in whiplash injury, back injury that may damage cervical discs and injury to limbs. Car accident injury claim can be made for any of these car accident injuries. However injury claim can be made for minor injuries that also do take place in car accidents.

Insurance for all vehicles are compulsory and the injured has every right for a compensation claim, hence the suffered person should pursue car accident injury claim without any hesitation. Injury claim not only covers the personal injury to the sufferer it also covers loss of income if any because of accident, repair charges of damaged car, hiring charges of replacement car, compensation for pain and suffering resulted in the accident and medical expenses incurred for treatment of injury.

It is important to collect details of evidence for a successful accident injury claim. Most important is to exchange details like name, address, telephone number, car insurance details of accident involved cars and insurance policy number with the opponent. If a witness is available collect his name address and other contact details, photograph of the accident scene if possible, sketch of accident location and any other details that could support as evidence. These details will establish that the accident was due to opponent’s fault and help to pursue the car accident injury claims to get maximum benefit.

Pursuing injury claim is a complicated process involving legal procedures. These procedures need to be handled meticulously and followed for a successful claim. Hiring a solicitor who is a specialist in car accident injury claims will be the best option to deal with the case. Preferably entering into a ‘no win no fee’ contract with the lawyer will be more beneficial. Even though the solicitor give full confidence of winning the case, in the event of the opponent layer outwits, the case may be lost. Under such circumstances also there will not be any lawyer’s fee.

Car accident injury claims are on the high and you need all sorts of proof like photographs, sketches, medical certificate etc to make your claim a winning claim.

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Additional Personal Injury Information for Consumers

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

When cars collide with pedestrians, there is high potential for serious injury. Pedestrian/motor vehicle accidents are a serious problem throughout the world. The United States has a particular problem with pedestrian deaths and injuries. About 5,000 pedestrians are killed and another 64,000 are injured in motor vehicle accidents every year in this country.

The following represents pedestrian accident statistics for the United States according to the National Highway Traffic Association and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

- Pedestrian fatalities account for 11 percent of motor vehicle fatalities.
– Over 180,000 pedestrians have been killed in motor vehicle accidents between 1975 and 2005.
– Pedestrians comprise the second largest category of motor vehicle accident deaths following occupant deaths.
– On average, a pedestrian is injured in a traffic accident every 8 minutes.
– On average, a pedestrian is killed in a traffic accident every 111 minutes.
– In 2005 a total of 4,881 pedestrian were killed in motor vehicle accidents.
– In 2005, the per capita pedestrian death rate was 1.6 per 100,000 people.

Generally, pedestrian deaths rates are higher in urban areas. There is a higher ratio of deaths to injuries in rural areas because of higher impact speeds on rural roads. However, pedestrian accidents occur most frequently in urban areas because pedestrian activity and traffic volumes are greater compared to rural areas.

The National Safety Council estimates that 85.7 percent of all non-fatal pedestrian accidents in the United States occur in urban areas and 14.3 percent occur in rural areas.

- Almost two-thirds of all pedestrian fatalities occur on urban roads.
– In 2005, 72 percent of pedestrian deaths occurred in urban settings.

Although a substantial number of pedestrian injuries occur at intersections, the majority of pedestrian accidents occur at locations other than intersections. This is due to higher vehicle speeds and the fact that drivers are not expecting any stops.

- Over 40 percent of the fatalities in 2002 occurred on roads without crosswalks.
– In 2003, 65 percent of accidents involving pedestrians occurred at non-intersections.
– In 2005, 71 percent of pedestrian deaths occurred on major roads, including interstates and freeways.

Statistically, males are more likely to be involved in a pedestrian/motor vehicle accident than females.

About 69 percent of pedestrian fatalities are male, and the male pedestrian injury rate is approximately 58 percent higher than for females.

- In 2005, 70 percent of pedestrian deaths were comprised of males.
– In 2003, the male pedestrian fatality rate per 100,000 population was 2.27 – more than double the rate for females which was 1.01 per 100,000 population.

The vast majority of fatal pedestrian/motor vehicle collisions occur on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in later evening hours.

In 2005, the proportion of pedestrian deaths was much greater on Friday and Saturday. Also, 45 percent of the pedestrian deaths in 2005 occurred between 6 pm and midnight.

- In 2005, 49 percent of all pedestrian fatalities occurred on Friday (17 percent), Saturday (18 percent), or Sunday (14 percent).
– In 2005, 24 percent of pedestrian deaths occurred from 6 pm-9pm and 21 percent occurred from 9pm-midnight.

Young children and the elderly are the most vulnerable for pedestrian accident related injuries. Based on population, children under the age of 16 years are most likely to be struck by motor vehicles.

- In 2003, nearly one-fifth of all traffic fatalities for victims under the age of 16 were pedestrians.
– In 2003, almost one-forth of all traffic fatalities for children between 5 and 9 years old were pedestrians.
– In 2002, 40 percent of all pedestrians under the age of 16 occurred between 5 pm and 9 pm.

Elderly pedestrians, although struck less frequently than children, are more likely to die after being struck by a vehicle. This group accounts for 16 percent of all pedestrian fatalities and 6 percent of all pedestrian injuries.

- In 2005, the rate of pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people was about twice as high for people age 70 and older than for those younger than 70 – 2.9 per 100,000 population.
– In 2005, 35 percent of pedestrian deaths among people 70 and older occurred at intersections, compared with 21 percent for those younger than 70.

Speeding is a major contributing factor in motor vehicle accidents of all types and has serious consequences when a pedestrian is involved.

At higher speeds, motorists are not as likely to see a pedestrian. At higher speeds, motorists are even less likely to be able to stop in time to avoid hitting a pedestrian.

- A pedestrian has an 85 percent chance of death when involved in a motor/vehicle collision at 40 mph, a 45 percent chance of death at 30 mph, and a 5 percent chance of death at 20 mph.
– In 2005, 78 percent of pedestrian deaths in rural areas occurred on roads with speed limits of 40 mph or higher.

When a pedestrian is involved in a motor vehicle accident they are at risk for countless serious injuries. Pedestrians’ head, legs, and arms are the most vulnerable in an accident. Often, pedestrians endure extreme bodily injuries such as:

- Traumatic brain injury
– Spinal cord injury
– Paraplegia
– Quadriplegia
– Coma
– Fractured bones

Most pedestrians are struck by the front of a passenger vehicle. The initial contacts are with the vehicle bumper and/or the front edge of the hood, depending on the shape of the vehicle structure. When pedestrians are struck by taller vehicles such as SUV’s or pickup trucks, the initial contacts are higher on the body.

In an NHTSA pedestrian accident study, 40 percent of pedestrian injuries resulted from contact with the vehicle, 32 percent resulted from contact with the ground, and 26 percent resulted from contact with unknown objects.

- For a young child, the bumper will strike the thigh, and the front edge of the hood will strike the torso.
– For an adult male, the bumper will strike the knee area, and the front edge of the hood will strike the thigh.

There are numerous common factors that contribute to pedestrian accidents. Negligence is one of the most common factors. Motorists have a responsibility to adhere to the laws of the road and drive in a safe and observant manner at all times. Pedestrians are killed every day due to a driver’s negligence.

Some common negligent practices by motorists include:
– Inattentive or pre-occupied drivers are potentially very dangerous for pedestrians.
– A driver’s failure to observe posted speed limits can add to the severity in a pedestrian/motor vehicle accident.
– A driver’s failure to yield the right of way to pedestrians at marked cross walks can increase the chance of being involved in a pedestrian/motor vehicle accident.
– A driver’s disregard for traffic control devices can also increase the chance of being involved in a motor/vehicle accident.

There are many things that can be done to reduce pedestrian collisions. Improving the design and materials of roadways and implementing educational and community programs have great potential.

Some of the most important categories of engineering changes that can be made to roadways include separation of pedestrians from vehicles by time or space, measures that increase the visibility and conspicuity of pedestrians, and reduction of vehicle speeds. Separation countermeasures reduce the exposure of pedestrians to potential harm on the roadside and when crossing the street.

Some effective separation countermeasures include:
– Sidewalks
– Overpasses
– Underpasses
– Refuge islands in the medians of busy two-way streets

Increased illumination and improved signal timing at intersections can be effective in increasing the visibility and conspicuity of pedestrians.

Some measures to increase the visibility and conspicuity of pedestrians include:

- Increased intensity of roadway lighting
– Diagonal parking
– Relocation of bus stops at traffic signals from the near to the far side of the intersection

Because traffic speeds affect the risk and severity of pedestrian accidents, reducing speeds can reduce pedestrian deaths.

Some effective engineering measures to reduce vehicle speeds in urban areas include:

- Construction of modern roundabouts in place of stop signs and traffic signals
– Traffic calming devices such as speed humps
– Multiway stop signs

Educational and community-based programs could greatly reduce the number of pedestrian collisions.

Educational messages that instruct children about street crossings could particularly reduce neighborhood accidents involving children darting out into the street.

Community-based programs could contribute by building and refurbishing playgrounds in urban areas to reduce the number of children playing in the streets. The establishment of supervised recreation programs would also reduce the number of children playing in the streets.

Long-term data shows a declining trend in pedestrian/motor vehicle collisions. Since 1975, pedestrian deaths have declined from 17 percent to 11 percent in 2005.

The rate of pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people decreased from 3.5 in 1975 to 1.6 in 2005. Even though the annual number of pedestrian accidents is slowly decreasing, the fact remains that there are 69,000 pedestrian accidents annually.

Young children and the elderly have always held the highest risks of pedestrian death and injury. Change and progress must be a priority for as long as it takes to eliminate pedestrian collisions altogether.

John Bisnar is a partner at Newport Beach Personal Injury Law Firm Bisnar Chase. The Bisnar Chase law firm has dedicated their practice to victims of serious injuries due to defective products, negligence and malpractice. Visit the main website at http://www.bestattorney.com or call 888-265-0161

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FOR CONSUMERS

Lawsuit Funding Lenders

There are a variety of different types of lawsuit funding in the legal arena. These types of lawsuit cash advances can consist of pre-settlement funding, structured settlements, commercial litigation and law firm loans. The difference between these types of funding is contingent upon each case.

Pre-settlement funding is typically a cash advance by a lender for a pending lawsuit case. These cases are almost always personal injury related cases. Personal injury related cases can include car accidents, slip & falls, medical malpractice, workers compensation, wrongful death and other catastrophic injuries. Lawsuit cash advances are determined by the strength of your case, because typically these types of loans are non-recourse loans. Non-recourse funding can be defined as lawsuit funding that you pay back only if you receive compensation from your personal injury case.

Structured Settlements funding is very popular in the legal funding arena because this type of funding is much safer for the lender than that of pre-settlement funding. Legal funding companies provide both structured settlement funding and structured funding annuity. These companies can provide cash advancements for several monthly payments or purchase the life of the structured settlement or annuity.

Commercial litigation funding provide funding to companies that are in need of cash advances against cases such as wrongful termination, breach of contracts, class action, discrimination and product liability. The money you get from commercial litigation funding are typically used towards the trial, expenses, company growth and employee salaries. These loans typically range from the thousands of dollars into the millions.

Attorney Funding or Law Firm loans are very popular to those attorneys that take on contingency fee cases such as personal injury cases. A personal injury case can go on for years and without a steady flow of cash coming into the firm, financial hardship can happen. Lenders that provide attorney loans typically offer several different services including financing, funding and lines of credit. This funding can be used for trial expenses, company growth, employee salaries and personal everyday expenses.

Whether you are seeking cash advances as a person that has been involved in an accident or an attorney seeking a line of credit, legal funding can help. Regardless of the loan its important that you understand that each lending source charges premiums or interest on their payouts. Some companies offer non-recourse funding while others offer limited recourse loans. These types of loans are dependent upon the loan type.

When you are seeking a lawsuit cash advance its also important that you consider shopping payouts, rates, payment schedules and contract terms and agreements. You give yourself the financial advantage of doing your homework and finding the right funding sources for your case.

LawLeaf is an online legal funding service that provides the consumer options. LawLeaf works with lenders that will compete for your business. We match you with the Right lending companies based upon the amount of money requested and your case type. For more information on lawsuit funding and LawLeaf visit our website at http://www.lawleaf.com.

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