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How to Avoid Personal Injuries During the Holidays

Decorating your home can be one of the highlights of the holiday season but it can also be the cause of serious injury if you are not careful. Emergency rooms see thousands of injuries that result from holiday decorating and 12% of decorative candle related home fires occur in the month of December. Here are a few simple suggestions from the National Safety Council to help safety and common sense prevail this holiday season.

Trucker fatigue can lead to innocent people's deaths

Semitrucks are a vital part of the economy here because they bring goods all around the country. The issue that comes with these trucks is that they are very heavy and very large. This makes them difficult to maneuver even in the best of circumstances.

When truckers don't have their wits about them, they can cause crashes. One thing that could lead to this is trucker fatigue. Drowsy driving accidents involving large trucks can lead to innocent people getting seriously hurt or killed. So, one thing that truckers must do before they start the rig is to make sure they aren't fatigued.

Self Driving Cars. Is safer safe enough?

In a recent study published by the Rand Corporation, they concluded that getting self driving cars on the road that have a safety improvement factor of even 10 percent above human driving safety performance can save upwards of hundreds of thousands of lives. A main concern about deploying self driving vehicles has been the need to test them to reach levels of 75 to 90 percent safety performance rates. Authors Nidhi Kalra and David G. Groves wrote an article referring to the Rand study that concluded, "In the short term, more lives are cumulatively saved under a more permissive policy (Improve10) than stricter policies requiring greater safety advancements (Improve75 or Improve90) in nearly all conditions, and those savings can be significant - hundreds of thousands of lives."
This is good news for Waymo, a subsidiary of Google's parent company Alphabet who have begun the first public tests of self-driving cars without backup drivers in Phoenix Arizona. Initially all test passengers will be Waymo employees but eventually Waymo will open its doors to Arizona residents. The model will follow a ride hailing service rather than producing vehicles for private ownership and use.
One of the largest obstacles with determining the safety of self driving cars is the fact that currently there is no standardized reliable testing system in place. A recent NPR article referring to this issue states, "There isn't a set system in place on just how safety can be measured without putting cars on the street. How can we know when an autonomous car actually reaches the point of being safer than a human, if ever?"
Current legislation is being explored to try to regulate the production and use of self driving cars. However, there are several other issues at play. Will the public at large accept self driving cars? Who is liable if a self driving car is in an accident? Is a safer self driving car really safe enough? It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the world of personal injuries. In the meantime, if you or someone you know is injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact our office for a free consultation. We can help. 

Lost Wages: An additional cost of motor vehicle accidents

Most people who are injured in an motor vehicle accident are aware of the costs associated with medical treatment. But an additional cost that is not always considered is lost wages as result of the injury. When a person sustains an injury they may encounter lost wages because they were unable to work during their recovery period. If an injury results in a permanent disability, a person might experience a loss of earning capacity because of a change in their ability to perform work related tasks. Others might experience a loss of opportunity for income if their injuries prevent them from attending job interviews.

How An Attorney Can Help You Find Alternative Treatments for Back Pain

If you suffer from lower back pain as result of an accident, you have probably sought a variety of medical treatments to alleviate your pain. These typically include physical therapy, chiropractic visits and pain management through medication. Sadly, back pain is often a chronic condition and these treatments are not always feasible as a long term solution for alleviating and managing pain. New research has discovered that certain types of yoga, specifically designed to address back pain, can be as effective as physical therapy in terms of easing pain. Developed by researchers at Boston Medical, as well as group comprised of yoga instructors, physical therapists and doctors, this new "gentle pose" relaxation focused yoga has seen positive results. The American College of Physicians has been encouraging people with back pain to employ alternatives to pain medicine including yoga, tai chi, and regular massage. These recommendations are generally targeted toward those with regular back pain and studies are geared toward measuring improvement among this population. However, those who have been injured and continue to suffer from back pain after receiving typical medical treatment, might also benefit from the practice. And though many of the yoga exercises and protocols are available online, treatment after an injury should be prescribed and supervised by a physician. But long term treatment can be expensive and not all insurance companies are willing to pay for alternative treatments. This is where an attorney can help. Legally, the treatment prescribed for an injury must be considered "reasonable and necessary." Insurance companies may not view yoga as a necessary treatment. A personal injury attorney can help you to negotiate with insurance companies to ensure that you receive the right treatment options that will provide you with the best possible recovery. If you or someone you know suffers from back pain as result of an accident or injury, contact us for a FREE consultation.

Were you in a collision with someone with minimum insurance?

Getting into an accident is a terrifying experience. One moment you're headed somewhere, and the next, you're hurt, and your vehicle is damaged. While you may drive thousands of times with no issue, every time you drive you risk an accident. When one finally does happen to you, you probably assume right away that your motor vehicle insurance will take care of you. After all, you've probably had a policy and paid a premium without any major claims for years. Money is probably the last thing you're worried about in the immediate aftermath of an accident, but it could still become a serious issue.

Utah requires no-fault insurance policies for all drivers. That means that if a driver is complying with the law, the vehicle has a policy with at least some coverage for both property damage and personal liability for injuries to others. The fact that both of you have insurance is a good thing. Getting into an accident with someone who doesn't have insurance can cause some serious issues for you financially. Just because the other party was insured, however, doesn't mean that the coverage will be enough to adequately compensate you after a serious accident.

Texting and Driving "Textalyzer": Does it keep you safe or violate your right to privacy?

There is no national ban on texting and driving, however, many states including Utah have created laws banning texting and driving. Even though a recent poll suggests that 90% of American drivers agree that texting and driving is unsafe, The Federal Communications Commission reports that:

Bicycle Safety Tips

Now that the weather is warming up, people are dusting off their helmets and pulling out their bicycles for transportation as well as recreation. And just like drivers have to adjust to the first snow covered road, seasonal cyclists need a refresher of the rules of the road. In many states, including Utah, bicycles are considered vehicles and cyclists must follow all of the same traffic rules and regulations as motor vehicles. Read here for Utah state bicycle laws.

Injuries from motor vehicle crashes can affect you for years

Every day, millions of Americans get behind the wheel of a car. People in Utah are no exception to that rule. Across the state every day, there are roughly 164 motor vehicle accidents.

In most cases, these accidents result in minor injuries or property damage. However, roughly 2.4 percent of these accidents result in incapacitating injuries or deaths. That means that several people in Utah have their lives forever changed by a motor vehicle accident every day.

Calling an attorney may not be the first thing you think of after a serious motor vehicle crash, but it's an important step to take. When you suffer serious injuries in a crash caused by someone else's negligence, distraction or intoxication, taking steps to legally protect yourself and your financial future is wise.

An attorney can do a lot more than just file a civil lawsuit, though that may prove to be necessary. Your attorney can help you document your injuries, negotiate with insurance companies and review any settlement offers to help ensure that you are receiving fair treatment and compensation.

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