Batesville Legal Blog

What will my car insurance cover in the event of a car accident?

If you have a car accident in Massachusetts, what your car insurance covers depends on a number of factors. The first factor is whether or not you were determined to be at fault. The second is what your insurance policy includes. Another consideration is what your deductible is. And finally, the insurance company will need to know who was driving. If this is not your car or insurance policy, you may not be covered.

According to CNN, the majority of U.S. states require drivers to carry bodily injury liability as part of their insurance plan. In this instance, the auto insurance company covers the cost of rehabilitation, medical treatment, or in the worst-case scenario, funeral arrangements. Lawyers’ fees and settlements related to pain and suffering may also be covered by the company. However, your deductible decides how much money you need to pay upfront before the insurance kicks in.

How to stay safe when sharing the road with large trucks

Sharing the road with large trucks is easier said than done, as these vehicles take up a lot of space and truckers don't always obey the law.

There are a variety of tips you can follow to maintain your safety when sharing the road with large trucks in Mississippi, with these five among the most important:

  • Avoid blind spots: Just because you can see a truck doesn't mean its driver can see you. There are blind spots on all four sides of a commercial truck, so do your best to stay out of these areas. For example, if you drive next to a truck for an extended period of time, the driver may lose sight of where you are.
  • Keep a safe following distance: This should hold true no matter what types of vehicles are around you, but it's particularly important with commercial trucks. By leaving enough space, you're in position to stop, without incident, in the event of an emergency.
  • Pass safely: When driving on the highway, there will be times when you need to pass a slow moving truck. It's okay to do so, as long as you follow the rules of the road. This means maintaining a safe speed, using the left lane and leaving enough space when pulling back in front of the truck.
  • Watch for wide turns: Truckers have no choice but to make wide turns when driving in the city. If you get stuck next to a truck when it's making a wide turn, you increase the likelihood of an accident.
  • Remain patient: For instance, it's easy to become impatient when driving behind a slow truck. If you let this get the best of you, there's a greater risk of an accident.

FMCSA targets trucking accidents with technology

Implementation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s electronic logging device rule is nearing the full compliance phase. The use of these devices, or ELDs, will be mandatory starting December 16, 2019. With few exceptions, the rule applies to carriers and truck operators who are currently required to maintain records of their duty status.

The aim of the new rule is to improve hours-of-service compliance, thus creating a safer working environment for truckers by ensuring they are not pushed into driving for more hours than is safe and recommended. By reducing the number of trucking accidents each year, the rule will also improve general traffic safety for drivers in Mississippi and throughout the U.S.

In Mississippi, what are the grounds for divorce?

Deciding to end your marriage may be a difficult decision to for you make, and you probably have thought carefully about your reasons for making that decision. However, when you file for divorce, you will be asked to supply a legally valid reason, called a ground, for divorce.

Mississippi recognizes 12 fault-based grounds for divorce and one no-fault ground for divorce. It is important to choose your ground carefully because it can affect the outcome of your divorce.

Technology could help to reduce truck accidents

In 2014, truck accidents surged to an all-time high all across the country. Mississippi was no exception. In fact, CNN estimates that there is a fatal truck accident 11 times each day. Death tolls from these accidents add up to almost 4,000 every year. Motor vehicle accidents involving trucks also injure another 100,000 people every year.

Why is this happening in the trucking industry? There are a lot of reasons on the table, but chief among them is that truck drivers are overworked. Truck driving means long hours on the road away from family and not always receiving a high salary to make up for it. In fact, the trucking industry is struggling to keep up with consumer demand.

What is negligent entrustment?

Many in Batesville may joke about having to watch out when a new teenage driver takes to the road, yet the reality is that teens do in fact present a greater risk to others than do experienced motorists. You understand the need to share the road with new drivers (after all, how are they to gain the experience needed in order to overcome the issues green drivers experience?), yet that understanding offers little solace when you are faced with the consequences of a car accident that such a driver caused. Seeking compensation in such a scenario may seem pointless due to the fact that the teen probably has little that they might be able to compensate you with. 

This prompts the question, however, if you might be able to hold their parents responsible. The legal principle of negligent entrustment assigns liability to third parties for entrusting their vehicles to drivers that they know may be more likely to cause an accident. In the case of a teen driver, that likelihood comes from their inexperience (which their parents should understand before letting them use their vehicles). 

Medical errors are a leading cause of deaths in the US

Many patients in Mississippi have suffered personal injuries as a result of medical malpractice. Though negligence may not always be the cause of medical errors, it nonetheless presents an issue that needs to be addressed. A harrowing fact reported by CNN is that most medical errors go unnoticed.

In the article, CNN referenced a study by doctors at John Hopkins, claiming that medical errors may account for more deaths in America than even bronchitis and emphysema. To accept this as truth is also to accept that this would make medical errors the third-leading cause of death in America, right behind heart disease and cancer.

Assessing when elderly drivers should be told to quit

Being able to drive anywhere in Mississippi without having to rely on friends, family or public transportation for assistance is something that many people appreciate. Driving provides a measure of independence that is not easily matched by other responsibilities. However, there does come a time when age begins to be hazardous in people's ability to make appropriate decisions while driving. Assessing when and how to encourage elderly family members to quit driving is a struggle for many families. 

A recent study revealed that people over the age of 65 make up over 40 million of the drivers on roads around the nation. While many people are conflicted about how to bring up their concerns to their loved ones, it is suggested that they first observe the driving habits and skills of their family member before starting a discussion about discontinuing driving. They should also take into account the person's medical conditions and any drugs they are taking. They can encourage their loved one to take a driver safety course and should focus on their concerns about their family member's skills and ability to make decisions rather than his or her age. 

Can a car crash leave you with lasting brain injuries?

Unfortunately, the answer to the above question is yes. If you suffer head injuries in a Mississippi car crash, the result could be a traumatic brain injury that could negatively affect you for the rest of your life, not to mention leave you facing lifetime medical and other injury-related costs.

The Mayo Clinic defines a traumatic brain injury as one that causes your brain to become dysfunctional in one or more ways. Given that no two TBIs are exactly the same, yours could leave you with lasting speech impairment, vision and/or auditory impairment, cognitive and/or memory impairment, or a myriad of other debilitating symptoms that make your continued employment impossible, thereby adding to your financial stress as well as your physical and emotional stress.

Keeping your car prepared for emergencies

Right now the roads are less than perfect and Mississippi weather is unpredictable. That makes it a good time to revisit how to keep your car prepared in case of an emergency.

While no one can predict when trouble will strike, by being prepared you can help lessen the impact of any roadside disasters.

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