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Why Car Accidents Increase During the Holidays

The holidays are usually known as a happy and exciting time, but unfortunately, this time of the year is also recognized for reasons that are less than jolly. The sad truth is that the days surrounding Christmas and New Year’s are among the deadliest in the country as far as traffic is concerned, and the numerous vehicle accidents that do not result in a fatality often still come with lasting repercussions. But just why do car accidents increase during the holidays in the first place? By recognizing the most common causes of auto collisions during this time of the year, you can better understand what types of claim you may be able to file in the event that you are the victim of one. And of course, knowing the risks will also help decrease your chances of getting into a new accident.

Traffic Increases During the Holidays

Many people are quick to point the finger at careless driving or getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (which we’ll go into momentarily), but the truth is that sometimes the cause is very simple. The holiday season equates to more vehicles or traffic volume on the road, which of course just increases the risk of collision. It is therefore important that you take certain precautions, such as allowing yourself extra time to reach your destination and leaving as much room between yourself and other drivers.

Holiday Gatherings Often Involve Alcohol

Many people enjoy a cup of spiked eggnog or holiday punch at parties and other gatherings throughout December, though of course there are plenty of other alcoholic beverages going around as well. There’s nothing wrong with having some fun with friends and family and enjoying a drink or too, but there is a problem when drunk driving is involved. In fact, the National Center for Statistics and Analysis has found that almost 40 percent of all accidents during the week of Christmas resulted from at least one of the drivers being under the influence of alcohol while operating the vehicle. So for those planning on drinking during the holidays, it’s important to be responsible and keep alcohol limited and/or have a reliable designated driver lined up.

Keeping Vehicles Maintained Is Not a Priority

Many of us often are not as on top of vehicle maintenance as we should be, but the truth is that it tends to fall even more to the wayside when holidays like Christmas are swiftly approaching. After all, why spend all your money on new brake pads or replacement tires when you have gifts and decorations to buy instead? But while it can seem like the prudent choice at the time, making sure you have enough funds for holiday spending by skimping on vehicle maintenance can prove to be a deadly decision. After all, many of us live in areas where the weather is more difficult to drive in this time of year, and again, the roads are also more congested with general traffic and drivers who may already be making unsafe decisions. You can drive as carefully as you like, but the fact is that not investing in proper vehicle maintenance can leave you with a car that is unresponsive when and where you need it to be.

Holiday Stress is Very Real

The holidays are fun and all, but let’s face it– most of us are also very stressed out over a lot of things during this time. There are presents to buy, cooking to be done, things to finish at work, events to attend (or host) and for many people, traveling to do. It’s all a lot to deal with, and it’s imperative to take time for yourself to de-stress and calm down before you get on the road. If you find that this is hard to do, try doing some slow breathing techniques or even squeezing a stress ball before you start the engine.

The Bottom Line

Sometimes accidents still happen despite precautions being taken. If you are involved in an auto accident, it is important that you reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options. This is particularly true when you are the victim, as you may be entitled to compensation. While nothing can take back the accident from happening, your attorney will be there to help you navigate what happens next. In the meantime, stay safe this holiday season!

What Is A Medical Lien?

After being in an accident where you’re injured, you will file a claim with your insurance company or the faulty party’s insurance company to pay for the medical costs incurred by the accident, as well as any property damage and other compensation. However, there are times when a third party may make a claim for part of your settlement, which is referred to as as lien. Generally speaking, a lien is considered a demand for payment from the settlement amount you receive after an accident. For example, if you owe money to an individual, company, or organization, this party may file a lien against your settlement.

When it comes to a medical lien, this party is usually the one who provided you with medical services. The fact is that you are obligated to repay the lien. Otherwise, the party filing the claim will take you to court to receive the money owed. However, in the event that you require emergency medical care after a hospital or other medical practice places a lien on your settlement, it is important that you speak with an experienced attorney who will help you through this time.

Which Parties Can Place a Lien on Your Settlement?

There are a couple of different parties that can place a lien on your settlement. This includes your insurance company who may seek repayment on your medical care costs. However, the amount of the lien will depend upon the accident’s circumstances and the extent of medical treatment you received. Oftentimes, even when the accident is not your fault, your insurance company will step up and pay for your medical costs with the expectation that you will file and win a claim against the party at fault. The reason your insurance company may pay upfront costs is because they can put a lien on your settlement, guaranteeing they will get their money back. If you need medical treatment right after an accident has occurred this is usually the process that will come about.

The other entity that can place a lien on your settlement is the medical provider or providers who treated your injuries. Sometimes, however, your insurance company may put off paying your medical bills as you wait for you settlement to hit your bank account. Either way, it’s important to receive medical treatment for your injuries right away rather than waiting for a settlement award. The treatment you do receive will cost money and if your insurance company won’t take care of the bill right away, the medical practice will place a lien on your settlement for all outstanding medical bills.

How Common are Medical Liens?

In reality, medical liens are quite common. This is because hospitals and other medical facilities find it easier to treat you right away and then place a lien on your settlement rather than waiting for the settlement to hit before treating you. Medical professionals understand that delaying care after a car accident can lead to increased medical bills by letting your injuries go untreated. For this reason, you can expect to receive medical care right after your accident.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Negotiate a Lien?

In some cases, an experienced lawyer will be able to reduce the amount of the lien.  A good lawyer will negotiate with your medical providers to lessen the amount of the lien. Sometimes, although rarely, the lien you owe can be more than what you received in your settlement.  If this happens, your attorney will negotiate a smaller pay off amount. This is not something you can or should do on your own. Instead, use a lawyer who is experienced in handling these kinds of personal injury cases.

What To Do If You Are In An Accident With An Uninsured Driver

Having car insurance is a law in Arizona. Still, there are those who choose to drive without car insurance and sometimes these drivers cause accidents. The question then is, “What do I do if I’m involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver?”. This is a very good question and one that needs to be answered immediately if you’ve found yourself the victim of an uninsured driver car crash.

In Arizona, approximately 20 percent of drivers are uninsured. This is a big number when you think about it and doesn’t include those who are underinsured. It means that there are thousands of people driving on Arizona roads without car insurance or with not enough coverage. While uninsured drivers have absolutely no coverage, underinsured drivers have some coverage, typically only the state minimum that is required. When considering the numbers, the chances of your being involved in an accident with one of these drivers is one-in-five. While the odds may still be in your favor, accidents with these drivers do happen and present some challenges.

Filing a Lawsuit Against an Uninsured Motorist

When an uninsured motorist causes an accident that involves you, there are many questions you are probably asking, such as who will pay your medical bills, cover your lost wages, and atone for any trauma and suffering the accident caused, especially when there is permanent injury damage.

Sometimes, it is your insurance company who ends up paying compensation. However, they may be reluctant to do so. In this case, your best option is to work with an experienced attorney who has dealt with many of these cases. Your attorney will help by filing a claim against the uninsured motorist as well as negotiating with your insurance company.  Because this type of case can prove complicated, it is best to leave it up to an established attorney. At Hastings and Hastings, we work for your best interests. Therefore, if you’ve been the victim of an uninsured motorist’s negligence in Arizona, call our team today at 800-975-0080.

How To Respond After A Truck Accident

Being involved in an auto accident can be extremely scary. If you are involved in an accident with a large truck, regardless of if it is a mid-sized delivery truck, or even an 18-wheeler, then the damage can be even more significant. If you are ever involved in this type of accident, it’s imperative you know what to do and what not to do after the incident occurs. Some tips and information to help you can be found here.

Respond to Medical Emergencies and Injuries

Most truck accidents involve injuries. This includes significant injuries that require immediate medical attention. Prior to taking any steps to protect yourself from a legal standpoint, figure out if anyone involved has been injured. If there are injuries, call for help right away. If your vehicle is in traffic and you can move it, do so right away.

Let the Police Know About the Accident that Occurred

After checking all the people involved in the accident are not hurt, you need to call the police. This is crucial, as you need an accurate and factual police report of the accident that occurred. This is imperative to give to the insurance agency.

Take Photos of the Scene and the Surrounding Area

The more evidence you are able to acquire after a truck accident the better. It will also give you the highest chance of a successful recovery. If you want to strengthen your claim, be sure to use your smartphone to photograph the accident scene. This should include all the vehicles that were involved, as well as the area where the accident occurred.

Contact an Attorney

After tending to injuries, contacting the police and photographing the scene is done, make sure to call an attorney for help. They can ensure that the victim receives the money they deserve for the injuries and damages they suffered.

Be sure to find an attorney that has experience with truck accidents, as they will be best informed to handle the situation and ensure you get the results desired.

In the long run, hiring an attorney is one of the best ways to ensure that you get a fair settlement after being involved in a truck accident.