Category: Auto Collision

They Are Not Your Friends

Dealing with the other guys insurance company.

Is there anyone out there that still believes that the insurance company for the person that caused you harm is really going to help you out?  The business model of insurance companies is simple, take in as much money as possible through premiums and pay out as little as they can through claims. It’s how they make a profit.

My video blog explains exactly how to handle this situation.

Large Truck Crashes in Virginia

Large trucks on the highway pose a significant threat to drivers of passenger cars. Although the trucks account for only four percent of registered vehicles nationwide, they account for nine percent of vehicles involved in fatal car crashes.

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In 2013, there were approximately 342,000 accidents involving large trucks, resulting in 3,964 fatalities. In those fatal wrecks, the person killed was an occupant of the other vehicle 71 percent of the time! The truck driver was killed only 17 percent of the time. Injuries from large truck wrecks are very similar. The injured parties are occupants of the other vehicle 72 percent of the time.

In Virginia, there were 1001 vehicles involved in fatal crashes in 2013, 100 of which were large trucks. Of the 89 people killed in these wrecks involving large trucks, 24 were occupants of the truck, while 61 were occupants of the other vehicle, and four were not occupants of either vehicle.

Nationwide, the majority of wrecks involving large trucks occur when the roads are most populated. Sixty-four percent of wrecks happen on weekdays, and 73 percent occur between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Alcohol is rarely an issue with truck drivers. In fatal large truck crashes in 2013, only two percent of the truck drivers had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher. Drivers of passenger cars involved in fatal crashes had a BAC of .08 or higher 23 percent of the time.

Collisions with big trucks are obviously something to be avoided. To do so, it helps to recognize the types of truck driver errors that most often contribute to wrecks. According to Virginia’s 2014 crash statistics, truck drivers were cited for a moving violation in 5,151 of the 9,750 crashes. Sixteen percent of those violations were for improper lane changes, and another 16 percent were for following too closely. Nine percent were for failure to yield the right of way.

These types of actions by truck drivers indicate two defensive strategies for passenger car drivers: 1) assume the driver of a big truck cannot see you due to blind spots, and 2) get out of the way. In a passenger car, you can’t afford to come into contact with a big rig. You might have the right of way, but that is of little consequence when 4,000 pounds goes up against 80,000 pounds! And the trucker might be wrongfully tailgating, but moving over and letting him pass is always the best play.

If you’ve been injured in a car wreck with a large truck, you should consult with an experienced, compassionate personal injury attorney who understands Virginia law. To learn more, ASK ABOUT IT! Call Sandler Law Group – toll free 800-9-THE-LAW or (757) 627-8900 to schedule an initial FREE consultation. You may also contact us online at www.sandlerlaw.net or by email at GSandler@Sandlerlaw.net.

What Happens in an Accident Reconstruction?

Auto accident involving two cars on a city street
Auto accident involving two cars on a city street

Accident reconstruction involves using investigative, engineering, and physics to attempt to determine the cause of an accident. The reconstructionist uses evidence to draw conclusions about what might have caused or contributed to an accident. Reconstruction is typically used for severe crashes or accidents involving fatalities. In Virginia, testimony of accident reconstruction experts is severely limited, and in most cases it will not be allowed, as the Court has been very reluctant to find that the circumstances upon which the experts base their opinions are EXACTLY like the real circumstances. Assumptions or reliance upon “averages” are not generally allowed, so the role of the reconstruction expert is limited.

Some evidence is physical — things you can see or touch — such as the cars themselves, skid marks, traffic signals, and medical records. Other evidence is testimonial, such as statements given by the drivers, passengers, and other witnesses.

In an accident reconstruction, all of the evidence is pieced together much like a puzzle. The reconstructionist uses principles of physics, engineering, and mathematics to determine issues like the following:

  • The speed of each vehicle at the time of impact;
  • Whether brakes were applied and, if so, the distance;
  • Whether the brakes of the vehicles had been properly maintained or might have failed;
  • The angle of impact;
  • Driver steering input;
  • Whether the roadway surface was slick, due to factors such as oil or ice;
  • Whether either driver was violating federal or state laws when the crash occurred.

The uses of accident reconstruction are not limited to lawsuits. Car manufacturers sometimes use reconstruction to identify potential vehicle safety issues and to improve car safety. State and federal highway agencies also use accident reconstruction to improve the safety of roadways and related devices, such as guardrails.

Modern-day accident reconstructionists and their clients benefit from computer technology. There are many programs that help reconstructionist by performing computations, testing theories of the crash, and re-creating accidents.

At The Sandler Law Group, we believe in avoiding accidents whenever possible. However, if you or a family member were injured in an accident and you’re considering hiring a lawyer, ASK ABOUT IT! Call us toll free at 800-9-THE-LAW or (757) 627-8900 to schedule an initial FREE consultation. You may also contact us online atwww.sandlerlaw.net or email us at GSandler@Sandlerlaw.net to get started.

 

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What’s My Case Worth?

 

Client-Interview-Damages-300x232“What’s My Case Worth?”  This is easily the most frequently asked question from a new client who has been hurt and who is often faced with injuries that prevent him from working, mounting medical bills and uncertainty about the case will ultimately end for him. First and foremost you should know that no responsible attorney can tell, at the beginning of a case, what the case is worth. Continue reading “What’s My Case Worth?”

Accidents and Soft Tissue Injuries

Accidents and Soft Tissue Injuries

Accidents and Soft Tissue InjuriesWhile motor vehicle accidents often cause severe, noticeable injuries such as broken bones and lacerations, victims also suffer less obvious injuries to “soft tissues.” In my experience, no phrase has produced more unfair behavior from insurance companies, defense attorneys, and litigants than “SOFT TISSUE INJURY.” Because what is the implication? . . . that these injuries are minor, they don’t matter, they are faked, they can’t be proven, and a whole host of other misleading and mischaracterizing claims. Continue reading “Accidents and Soft Tissue Injuries”

$18 Million – What Happens When They Really AREN’T On Your Side

The next time that you hear one of the multitude of commercials on television, where the kindly spokesperson tells you that their insurance company wants to be your friend and that they are there to help you like your best buddy, feel free to yell back at the TV, because you won’t want to believe this.

After a 16 year fight, and 2 trials, a Judge in Pennsylvania ruled that Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company had violated the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, and had acted in Bad Faith, when it, get this, dragged out a vehicle property damage claim, for 18 YEARS, and spent $2.5 Million in legal fees to avoid paying a claim of LESS THAN $25,000.00.  No this is not one of those “made up Stella award” cases.  This is the result in the case of Berg v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., PICS No. 14-0999, in the Berks County Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania, issued recently.

BELIEVE IT!!! Continue reading “$18 Million – What Happens When They Really AREN’T On Your Side”

No Recovery – No Fee! – Is This For Real?

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Almost every advertisement for an attorney who represents people injured in car crashes, motorcycle collisions, falls, even medical malpractice victims, tells the reader “We Don’t Get Paid Unless You Do” or “No Recovery/No Fee”.  It is universal, because traditionally these types of cases are those where the outcome is often uncertain and the measure of damages (what a person may recovery either through settlement or through a jury verdict) is not able to be determined at the outset.  The attorney is assuming the huge burden of expending his effort, time, energy and skills on your behalf, when he has no idea whether you will win, or win enough to provide a reasonable fee. Continue reading “No Recovery – No Fee! – Is This For Real?”

8 Sure Fire Ways To Kill Your Case – Part II

The successful outcome of your injury case a year from now, has a lot to do with what you do NOW.  We will have enough to do fighting with the insurance company, the adjuster, perhaps defense attorneys, medical providers and reluctant witnesses, to keep us busy trying to make sure that you get treated fairly for what happened to you.  You can help the process by being mindful of a number of things that the other side will use against you, so that you don’t give them ammunition to use to kill your case. Continue reading “8 Sure Fire Ways To Kill Your Case – Part II”

8 Sure Fire Ways To Kill Your Case – Part 1

The successful outcome of your injury case a year from now, has a lot to do with what you do NOW.  We will have enough to do fighting with the insurance company, the adjuster, perhaps defense attorneys, medical providers and reluctant witnesses, to keep us busy trying to make sure that you get treated fairly for what happened to you.  You can help the process by being mindful of a number of things that the other side will use against you, so that you don’t give them ammunition to use to kill your case. Continue reading “8 Sure Fire Ways To Kill Your Case – Part 1”