Personal Injury Blog

truck insurance

What happens if you are in an accident caused by a commercial truck driver? If you are fortunate enough to come away with your life, there is the distinct possibility that the trucker doesn't have enough insurance to cover your expenses, let alone lifelong pain and suffering.

What makes matters worse, there's evidence that commercial truck accidents are on the rise. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), fatal truck accidents in 2011 rose a little over 11 percent from the 2009 numbers. Arguments as to why this is occurring aside, it means there may be an increased likelihood that the victims and their families will not get the compensation they deserve.

A Flawed Trucker Compensation Model

What may be at the heart of the problem is how professional truck drivers are compensated. Rather than being paid by the hour or on salary like most people, they are paid by the miles driven. This incentivizes truckers to cover as much ground in the shortest amount of time possible and be tempted to ignore safe driving practices.

But, back to the question at hand: why haven’t insurance minimums changed in over 30 years? The FMCSA requires that truckers only carry insurance for up to $750,000 per incident. It's been that way since 1980!


driving cellphone

There is a constant debate over whether laws work as a deterrent to change certain dangerous behaviors. Evidence shows that laws can have a positive effect in regards to testing and driving, particularly if the law is made a "primary offense."

According to a new study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the most effective way to prevent distracted driving fatalities is by making texting a primary offense, which allows law enforcement to cite the driver without needing another reason to pull them over.

Washington state law classifies texting as a primary offense, which researchers believe is significantly associated with reducing traffic fatalities by 3 percent. While that doesn't sound like a huge impact, study author Alva O. Ferdinand says that accounts for 19 saved lives in states that have such laws on the books.

According to Ferdinand, the biggest life-saving reduction for 15- to 21-year-old drivers comes from primary offense enforcement exclusively on young drivers. That form of texting ban was associated with an 11 percent reduction in traffic deaths in that age group.


structured settlements

They've gotten a fair amount of exposure in late night television ads, but do you really know what structured settlements are? If you were successful, or plan to be successful, in a civil lawsuit, it may be a good idea that you familiarize yourself with it.

A structured settlement is a powerful financial tool for people who have won a large sum in an injury settlement. Rather than getting that money in one lump sum, you can receive payments over time.

So, why would you want to consider a structured settlement?

  • Maybe you’re not great with managing your money and prefer having predictable smaller payments, rather than being tempted to spend it on non-essentials.
  • The payments are exempt from taxes for its entire lifetime.
  • It’s safer than investments vulnerable to market fluctuations.
  • Payments are highly customizable. You can set the length of the payments, how often you receive payments, and how much you receive in each installment.
  • If you will need medical attention over a long period of time, or for the rest of your life, a structured settlement ensures you will have money to cover the expense.


distracted driving accident

Most of us take for granted the risks and serious responsibilities we take on each and every time we get behind the wheel. Driving is simply what we do day in and day out. That complacency doesn't mean you are inherently a dangerous driver, but maybe we can all use an occasional reminder about the responsibility that comes with driving more than a ton of metal at high speeds.

That said, here are some of the most common causes of traffic accidents.


According to U.S. Census data, there were 10,591 traffic fatalities in 2009 that were related to speeding. It heightens the chance for an accident for two main reasons: the driver’s reaction time is shortened and everyone that comes within close proximity of the speeding vehicle has less time to react as well.

You may think that highways are where most speeding fatalities occur, but most actually happen on non-interstate roadways. According to NHTSA data from 2006, 47 percent of speeding deaths happen on roads with a posted speed limit of 50 mph or less. Over 20 percent happened on roads posted at 35 mph or less.

Drunk Driving

in 2012, 10,322 people were killed by drunk drivers. That’s close to a third of all traffic fatalities. In addition to the emotional toll it takes, drunk driving costs the U.S. $132 billion a year.


personal injury damagesIf you win a settlement in a personal injury case, you’re likely focused on the total sum of the compensation. However, what you are awarded is broken down into different types of damages. There are two broad categories of damages: compensatory and punitive.

Compensatory Damages

What was the victim’s financial, physical, and emotional state before the injury occurred? This is the starting point for the judge or jury in a personal injury case, because their job is to agree upon a sum that will bring that victim as close as possible to the quality of life and financial status they had prior to the incident.

Coming up with the figure for certain damages can be fairly straight forward, while others take deeper contemplation. Compensatory damages can be further broken down into two categories: monetary and non-monetary losses.

Monetary Losses - These losses usually have little ambiguity to them. For instance, what were the medical expenses incurred as a result of the victim’s injuries? Past medical expenses are straightforward, however if there are future expenses that will be incurred after the legal proceedings are done, they will need to be estimated, which will be based on expert testimony.

Additional monetary losses may come in the following forms:


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