Archive for the ‘Driving Safety’ Category

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How Much Will My Insurance Rate Go Up After An Accident?

Posted by Sean DuBois on Friday, August 29, 2014

Damaged cars at accident place, view from low angleDamaged cars at accident place, view from low angle

The consequences of getting into even a minor accident are more than just a few bumps and bruises and a dent or two. The consequences of getting into an at-fault car accident can affect your insurance as well. One of the first things someone asks when they are filing a claim with their insurance company is how much is my insurance going to go up because of this?

Your insurance premium is based on one thing; how much of a risk you are. Your insurance company will take into account your driving history, the history of accidents, the circumstances of the accident and who was at fault.

In many states, there is something called comparative negligence. This law allows companies to assess a percentage of blame on both parties. While you wont usually see this in a rear-end collision, it is very frequent in cases involving intersections and lane changes. You might have been only 60% at fault, but when calculating your premium, most insurance companies will assess the accident as simply at-fault.

If the accident was minor and youve had no major moving violations or accidents, it is very likely that your rate increase will be negligible. You might not see one at all. If youve had an accident or moving violation in the past 3 years, then you could see a rate increase of anywhere from 25 to 50%. This percentage will depend on the severity and the circumstances of the accident. If it was an accident with a bodily injury, the rate increase will be much higher than one without one.

If you have a significant history of accidents or moving violations, it is possible that your insurance company could choose to drop you from coverage. While it is easier for an insurance company to drop you in the first 60 days, they could also elect to issue a nonrenewal at the end of your policy period. They usually only do this to the highest of risk drivers.

When determining rates, most insurance companies work on something called experience modifiers. Drivers are grouped with other like drivers, so the insurance company can determine what risk they might pose in the future. How much you pay depends on the group youre in.

While being at fault in an accident might make you a higher risk, sometimes that risk is very small and you wont see any increase at all. If the severity of the accident was bad, if people were injured or if youve had more than a few accidents, you can expect to see a jump in your rate when you renew.

Volkswagen Ad Campaign Shows Effects of Texting & Driving

Posted by Sean DuBois on Monday, August 25, 2014

As personal injury attorneys, we protect the rights of those that have been wrongfully injured. At the same time it is our professional goal to educate the community and prevent these senseless acts from occurring again.

One of the greatest frustrations that we have as personal injury attorneys is seeing so many new cases of negligent drivers texting while driving. The act of texting while driving is becoming one of the leading causes of accidents that maim or kill other drivers and it is 100% preventable.

Volkswagen created a very powerful ad campaign that shows how quickly this senseless act can injure, kill and devastate the lives of so many in the literal blink of an eye. Please take a moment to share this video with others, the life you save could be that of someone you know.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/JHixeIr_6BM?rel=0&autoplay=1&iv_load_policy=3

What to do During a Recall

Posted by 11 Bridges on Thursday, August 14, 2014

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Date: July 31, 2014
Name: What to do During a Recall

Vehicle recalls are at an all time high. Last year, nearly 22 million vehicles were flagged for recalls. Based on that figure, you might have been one of those people affected by a vehicle recall notice. That can be a major concern, not just because its an inconvenience, but also because you could be driving a vehicle thats not safe. So how do you handle that recall notice when you get it in the mail?

First of all, keep in mind that recalls are often just precautionary. It doesnt mean that your car is dangerous or its about to break down. It just means that a problem in the manufacturing process has been identified and might become a problem for you. The recall might be a completely voluntary measure by the automaker, or it might have been mandated by the federal government.

Next, youll want to confirm that its your year and model car that was actually affected. Check out your vehicle at safecar.gov to verify. Recalls are often busy times for automakers and it is possible that your car is not actually subject to the recall notice.

If it is under recall, you need to find out if youre eligible for free repairs or replacement. If your vehicle is less than 10 years old from the date of purchase, then the automaker must repair, replace or provide a refund for the purchase price. If its older than ten years, you might be expected to pay for the repairs out of pocket.

After that, the automaker will have a grace period with which to create a plan of action for your recalled vehicle. Many dealers will do this right away, but keep in mind that they arent required to do anything until the official cut off date.

Finally, if youre having a problem getting the company to handle your recall, you should contact the dealers service manager and give them a copy of the recall notice. If they refuse to act, you should contact the manufacturer directly. You can also file a complaint with the NHTSA if you feel you are not being treated fairly.

Keep in mind that this recall information only applies before you have problems with the vehicle. However, if a defect in the manufacturing process causes you to get into an accident, you might want to talk to an attorney regarding product liability.

Oregon, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are all responsible for the safety of their products. If you or a loved one has experienced an accident due to a defect in the manufacturing process, contact an Oregon product liability attorney to protect your rights.

You can seek compensation for injuries from:

  • Design defects: when the poor or flawed design of a product makes it dangerous
  • Manufacturing defects: when a problem is introduced during manufacturing that makes a product dangerous
  • Marketing defects: when the warning labels or instructions are not sufficient or appropriate to protect consumers from injury

By pursuing damages from companies that allow unsafe products to be created, distributed, and sold in Oregon, you may be helping others who have had similar experiences. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 30 million people are injured every year in the United States due to defective products.

Do not wait to get help: contact a Portland product liability attorney for a free consultation as soon as possible. In product liability cases, it can be imperative to get pictures and start investigating what happened as soon as possible, because product liability cases have their own special (and very difficult) statutes of limitations (ORS 30.905), which can be much shorter than the more common statutes.

Bicycle Accident Insurance Coverage

Posted by 11 Bridges on Friday, July 25, 2014

Date: July 24, 2014
Subject: Bicycle Accident Insurance Coverage

Its summertime again and while lots of people in Portland bike all year round, there are many more people biking or walking to work than usual thanks to the season. So I always like to remind everyone this time of year, there is a wonderful Oregon law just for bicyclists and pedestrians. Im amazed at how many of my avid biking friends dont event know this.

The Oregon Law says if youre hit on a bike or on foot, your car insurance will pay for everything, if the at-fault driver doesnt have enough insurance or if they have no insurance at all. Thats wage loss, medical bills, pain and suffering and non economic damages. Your car insurance will pay for all of that. So what should you do?

You should call your insurance company and buy as much Underinsured and Uninsured motorist coverage as you can. UM/UIM is often how youll see it abbreviated on the declarations page of your insurance policy.

Buy as much as your can afford. Believe it or not, once you get above the minimums, its really, really cheap. If you have home or renters insurance, you can often even link those two together in whats called an umbrella policy. For very little money, you could get up to a million dollars in coverage.

If you get hit on a bike, by someone driving a car, medical bills add up quick. Believe me; we see a lot of people seriously injured in these accidents. When a car hits a person on a bike, the person on the bike always loses. So buy as much underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage as you can afford and youll be covered when youre riding your bike to work in the summer.

Semi-Truck Accidents Are Complicated, Seek Professional Help

Posted by Sean DuBois on Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Oregon Truck Driver Sustains Serious Injuries in Collision with Trees

On Monday, February 18, 2013, Oregon State Police responded to a serious semi-truck crash on Highway 58 that resulted in a commercial truck driver being transported via LifeFlight to Sacred Heart Medical Center with serious injuries.

Still under investigation, the semi-truck accident occurred in the early afternoon about two miles west of Oakridge when the truck driver, whose semi was pulling two semi-trailers, left the highway, went down a steep ditch and came to rest after crashing into a couple of trees. According to an Oregon State Police News Release, the reason for the crash remains under investigation and police had not released the name of the adult male driver of the semi as of Monday evening.

While this accident involved only the truck (still a tragedy for the driver), many semi-truck accidents involve much more than an injured truck driver and the death of a couple of trees.

In fact, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in 76% of fatal crashes involving large trucks and 80% of injury crashes involving large trucks, passenger vehicles are involved in 91% of the fatal crashes and 94% of the injury crashesmeaning that if you are involved in an accident with a heavy truck, the likelihood of injury is high. When you think about it, it stands to reason that a semi-truck or large truck that weighs thousands of pounds is no match for a car in a collision. (more…)

Recent Crash Reminds Us of the Dangers of Cell Phones

Posted by Sean DuBois on Thursday, January 16, 2014

For those of you who haven’t been following this, talking on a cell phone while driving is worse than driving drunk. Dont believe that? Well, heres another recent example:

Yesterday, a young woman driving along I-84 near Baker City, OR was distracted by her phone, and collided with the concrete barrier TWICE before crashing (and injuring herself and her passenger).

According the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, texting is six times more dangerous than intoxicated driving. And several other studies have found that reactions times are slower and drifting is more common in those texting than those driving drunk.

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3 Reasons to Hire an Oregon Personal Injury Lawyer

Posted by Sean DuBois on Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Most people dont know anything about the personal injury process and thats okay. In many cases, your car accident, including property damage and injuries, will be covered by insurance without any problems. Its when the insurance company starts trying to deny your claim that you may need to consider hiring an Oregon personal injury lawyer.

There are many reasons why the insurance company might try to deny your claim, from liability disputes to previous injuries, and an attorney can help show the insurance company why your claim is valid.

1) Liability Disputes

This is the #1 most common reason the insurance company will deny your claim: they do not believe they should have to pay unless their insured actually caused the accident (which makes sense) but unfortunately this means that they have to show that the accident was caused by the other person.

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