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Why You Need Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage

Posted by John Harris on Sun, Oct 10, 2010 @ 12:07 PM

A hit and run accident is a good example of why you need unisured motorist coverage. This example occured in Caroline County when a tow truck driver save the life of a young woman. He was injured and the young woman suffered a shattered left elbow and a compound fracture of her radius, a bone of the forearm.

An Example of Why You Need Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage

A car was broken down on the shoulder of I-95 near Fredericksburg in Caroline County. A tow truck was called to the scene. The broken down car was being loaded. A dark blue Volkswagen sedan was headed straight for them. The quick thinking, quick acting tow truck driver suddenly pushed Robyn Silcox out of harms way. Because of his heroic action, Robyn Silcox was not killed. She was struck by the Volkswagen’s mirror. The impact broke her forearm causing the bone to stick though her skin. The impact also shattered her left elbow. The tow truck driver was also injured. The Volkswagen driver never stopped.

This, or something like this, could happen to you. That’s why you need the protection of the UM (uninsured motorist) portion of your insurance policy. When there is a hit and run accident, the law presumes that the hit and run driver is uninsured. This causes the UM portion of your auto insurance policy to kick in. Your insurance company then acts as if it is the wrong doer’s policy. Your insurance policy defends the hit and run driver and pays any judgment against him. After it pays you for your claim, it then is allowed to try to get its money back from the wrong doer if they can find him. This much better than you trying to find him and collect from him. And, no, it will not raise your premium because you did not cause the accident and your UM insurance company is something you have already bought and paid for.

I am sure you would not try to put a cast on your own broken arm or leg. I am also sure it would be a good idea to discuss any auto accident with an attorney before you sign any papers or talk to an adjuster. If you would like a FREE copy of THE SMART CONSUMER’S GUIDE TO YOUR PERSONAL INJURY CASE, call 1-800-3-BOOK-45 (1-800-326-6545). You will not have to talk to anyone, just leave your name, address on the answering machine.

Topics: Car Accident Injuries & Deaths

Do you really need a lawyer?

Posted by John Harris on Tue, Oct 05, 2010 @ 11:15 AM

DO YOU REALLY NEED A LAWYER?

If you received only minor injuries, you might not need a lawyer. If your car or truck was damaged, but you were not hurt, you might not need a lawyer. It's been said, "The person who defends himself in court has a fool for a client." You don't pull your own teeth. You go to a dentist. But, be smart about it. When the person who caused your accident, or his insurance company, talks down to you or tries to hurry you into a premature settlement, that's a "red flag" that things aren't going well. The very minute you feel you are being taken advantage of, or are being ripped off, call a lawyer.

The question is: DO YOU REALLY NEED A LAWYER? Not in every instance--but, when you do need a lawyer, make sure you don't get just any lawyer. If you look in the yellow pages you will see lots of lawyers who say they handle personal injuries. They also handle family law, criminal matters, divorces, bankruptcy--the list goes on and on--in addition to personal injuries. How much time do you think they've had to gain expertise in handling complex injury cases? Not much. The law is so complex that it's impossible to become expert in all aspects of it.

Consider this:

1) Large multi-million dollar insurance corporations use lawyers--scores of them--to protect their interests.

2) When you're offered an unfair, sub-standard amount of money for your damages, injuries, pain and suffering--and you protest-- and the response is, "Take it or leave it!" what do you do then? A personal injury lawyer knows exactly what to do. He sues--and lets a jury of your peers decide what is fair and unfair.

You've seen ads on TV for lawyers with many branch offices who advertise like used-car salesmen. It's hard to separate all the promises, claims and assurances that are glibly bandied about on TV. Some TV lawyers are high volume "legal factories" that sign you up, turn your case over to a paralegal assistant, and then urge you to accept a premature settlement. Some of these lawyers never go to court, are not prepared to do so, and are scared to death they may have to! Some clients who mistakenly had previously gone to one of these "branch" offices report they NEVER saw an attorney.

Get a lawyer that handles ONLY personal injury matters.

As an attorney who is engaged solely in personal injury law he has developed extensive knowledge of medical matters as well as legal matters. He offers highly personalized and individual services to all his clients. John P. Harris, III was born and grew up in the Fredericksburg area. He is known to most of his clients as John or Jack. He meets and consults with each client personally and follows each case through every stage until total recovery. He concentrates on the quality of each case, rather than on a high volume of cases. He makes sure he maximizes each and every one of his clients' settlement. He has skill and experience in negotiating with insurance adjusters. Sub-standard offers will be passed on to you, but you are never urged to settle for any amount less than what your case is worth. You make the final decision whether to accept, reject, or litigate a settlement.

If John litigates your claim against the defendant, you have the added advantage of having hired a lawyer who is certified as a civil trial advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.

You can call the office of John Harris, at any time. John welcomes your calls. He does not rely solely on TV or radio to rope in new clients. Most of them are referrals from past satisfied clients. He does not have to turn your case over quickly in order to pay for a large advertising budget. His fee is in line with industry standards.

The bottom line is: John P. Harris, III can probably get you a better settlement, even after his contingency fee, than you can get yourself. In most cases, he will advance the costs necessary to pursue your claim so there are no up-front or out-of-pocket expenses by you. He will discuss your case with you, and you can decide for yourself--the initial consultation is free.

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Get a FREE copy of the THE SMART CONSUMER'S GUIDE TO YOUR PERSONAL INJURY CASE.  Just ask for your free copy at The Harris Law Firm

CALL 800-"SEND BOOK".  Leave your information on the answering machine and get your FREE copy of the THE SMART CONSUMER'S GUIDE TO YOUR PERSONAL INJURY CASE without having to talk to anyone.  Or, simply fill out the contact information and a copy will promptly be sent to you.  This $19.95 value is yours for free, just for asking.

Contact The Harris Law Firm now for a FREE consultation regarding your car accident case. There is no obligation to hire a lawyer.  There is no fee except costs until our personal injury attorneys successfully recover fair compensation for you.

Get more information on car accidents in our firm's car accident library.

HOW TO FIND THE "RIGHT LAWYER"
10 Things you must do after an auto accident
3 Things To Do BEFORE Talking to an Insurance Adjuster
Several Minivans Fare Poorly in Safety Tests

Topics: Car Accident Injuries & Deaths

What is the most important automobile insurance coverage?

Posted by John Harris on Sat, Oct 02, 2010 @ 12:21 PM

The most important automobile insurance coverage is uninsured motorist coverage. This article explains things you should know about the uninsured motorist coverage in your policy. It is most important when you are injured in automobile accident. Or when the driver of the car that hit you, hits and runs.

What is the most important automobile insurance coverage? Is it liability coverage to protect you from getting sued? No way, to a very large extent one can protect one’s self against causing an accident and getting sued by not speeding, not following to closely, obeying traffic signals and using good judgment. What you can not protect yourself from is “the other guy”. If he causes an accident and injures you, does he have insurance?

In Virginia, drivers don’t have to have insurance, but if they drive without insurance they can be put in jail for driving without insurance. However, instead of buying insurance they can pay an annual fee of $500. If a driver pays the $500, he can drive without insurance. The $500 does not buy any insurance. That driver is still an uninsured driver. The $500 is sort of a “get out of jail free”. If a driver pays the $500, he can drive without insurance without going to jail but he is still uninsured. The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) has looked at uninsured motorists -- people who are driving without insurance. Annually, about 40,000 Virginians pay the $500 uninsured fee.

In 2008, Virginia had 5.3 million licensed drivers. I.I.I. estimates that nine percent of the 5.3 million licensed drivers are uninsured. I.I.I. estimates means that in Virginia there are almost half a million uninsured drivers out there everyday. That number does not include those folks who are driving without a driver’s license. The percentage of uninsured drivers is even higher in North Carolina, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

O.K., so there are a lot of uninsured drivers. Why does that matter to you? It matters to you because when an uninsured driver injures you or your passengers, your uninsured motorist coverage kicks in and pays any judgment you get against the uninsured driver. Your insurance coverage can then turn around and seek reimbursement for the money your insurance company paid to you. It is much better to have the insurance company trying to get its money back from the uninsured driver (who probably has nothing) than it is for you to try to collect your judgment from the uninsured driver (who probably has nothing).

Here is the lesson to be learned -- make sure you have at least $100,000 in uninsured motorist coverage. In a serious accident, medical bills, lost income, inconvenience, worry, concern and those things that make up pain and suffering can easily exceed $100,000 so you really should have more than $100,000 in uninsured motorist coverage. I do not sell insurance, but this is an important question -- do you have enough uninsured motorist coverage?

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Get a FREE copy of the THE SMART CONSUMER'S GUIDE TO YOUR PERSONAL INJURY CASE.  Just ask for your free copy at The Harris Law Firm

CALL 800-"SEND BOOK".  Leave your information on the answering machine and get your FREE copy of the THE SMART CONSUMER'S GUIDE TO YOUR PERSONAL INJURY CASE without having to talk to anyone.  Or, simply fill out the contact information and a copy will promptly be sent to you.  This $19.95 value is yours for free, just for asking.

Contact The Harris Law Firm now for a FREE consultation regarding your car accident case. There is no obligation to hire a lawyer.  There is no fee except costs until our personal injury attorneys successfully recover fair compensation for you.

Get more information on car accidents in our firm's car accident library.

HOW TO FIND THE "RIGHT LAWYER"
10 Things you must do after an auto accident
3 Things To Do BEFORE Talking to an Insurance Adjuster
Several Minivans Fare Poorly in Safety Tests

Topics: Car Accident Injuries & Deaths

10 Things you must do after an auto accident

Posted by John Harris on Sat, Sep 25, 2010 @ 12:27 PM

Learn what ten things to do and NOT to do after an automobile accident. The article makes suggestions regarding what to do at the scene of the accident, medical treatment, dealing with insurance, damage to your care, documenting your treatment, and establishing your wage loss. I would like to help you with your claim. Email me at John@JohnHarrisLaw.com or call 540-371-4941.

10 Things you must do after an auto accident[PDF]

Topics: Car Accident Injuries & Deaths

Several Minivans Fare Poorly in Safety Tests

Posted by John Harris on Fri, Sep 17, 2010 @ 12:32 PM

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released crash test ratings for seven different minivans. A rear impact test showed that several models have inadequate head restraints, which can cause neck injuries during a crash. The institute's chief operating officer is concerned about the results because "mothers frequently drive minivans, and women tend to be more vulnerable to whiplash injuries, which account for about 2 million in insurance claims annually."

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Head restraints in some minivans inadequately protect people against neck injuries in rear-end crashes, the insurance industry said Sunday. Several automakers took issue with the latest test results.

Earning poor overall ratings were seven models subjected to a simulated crash: versions of the 2004-2006 model years of the Dodge Grand Caravan and its corporate twin, the Chrysler Town & Country; a version of the 2005-2006 Toyota Sienna; and four General Motors Corp. minivans from the 2005-2006 model years -- the Chevrolet Uplander, Buick Terraza, Pontiac Montana SV6 and Saturn Relay.

The 2004-2006 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey received the highest rating, or good, from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

An edition of the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country with adjustable lumbar and head restraints got the second-highest rating, or acceptable. The 2005-06 Honda Odyssey received the second-lowest, or marginal.

'It's disappointing that so many minivan seats are rated poor for rear impact protection,' said Adrian Lund, the institute's chief operating officer. 'Drivers of minivans spend a lot of time on urban and suburban roads where rear-end collisions are common in stop-and-go traffic.'

The minivans were tested on a crash simulation sled. It replicates the forces in a stationary vehicle that is struck in the rear by a similar vehicle at 20 mph.

Vehicles got a higher rating if the head restraint contacted the dummy's head quickly and the forces on the dummy's neck and the acceleration of the torso were low.

Max Gates, a DaimlerChrysler AG spokesman, said the Grand Caravan and Town & Country are 'two of the safest vehicles on the road.' He pointed to their top marks in the government's frontal and side impact crash tests.

'No single test, including the new rear impact test developed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, can determine a vehicle's overall safety performance,' Gates said.

A Toyota spokeswoman, Allison Takahashi, said Toyota conducts extensive internal testing of the head restraint system. She said Toyota's seats incorporate a system that is designed to help reduce neck injuries in rear-end collisions.

'The protection provided by Toyota's seating systems has always been among the best in the world,' she said.

GM spokesman Alan Adler said the automaker's head restraints are engineered to offer high levels of safety. He said the institute's test is 'extremely sensitive to variation and can result in different ratings in the same vehicle, such as when one has leather-covered seats and the other has cloth-covered seats.'

The testing also evaluated the height of the restraint and its horizontal distance behind the back of the head of an average-size man. A head restraint should extend at least as high as the top of the ears of the tallest motorist and be placed close to the back of the head so the restraint can support it early in a rear-end crash, the institute said.

Models that received poor or marginal scores for the restraint design were given poor overall marks because they could not be positioned to protect many motorists, the institute said.

Those vehicles included the 2003-2005 Chevrolet Astro; the 2004-2005 Dodge Grand Caravan with fixed head restraints; the 2003-2005 GMC Safari; the 2004-2006 Mazda MPV; the 2004-2006 Nissan Quest; and the 2005-2006 Toyota Sienna models without adjustable lumbar.

Lund said many mothers frequently drive minivans, and women tend to be more vulnerable to whiplash injuries, which account for about 2 million insurance claims annually.

Topics: Car Accident Injuries & Deaths

HOW TO FIND THE "RIGHT LAWYER"

Posted by John Harris on Tue, Sep 14, 2010 @ 12:36 PM

How to find the right lawyer when you have a personal injury case regardless of whether it is, medical malpractice, boating accident, automobile accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, construction site accident, nursing home abuse and neglect, unsafe product, property damage, wrongful death, surgeons liability, tourists injury, dental malpractice, podiatric malpractice, obstetric, gynecology, orthopedic malpractice, legal malpractice or even a wrongful death case

HOW TO FIND THE "RIGHT LAWYER" [PDF]

Topics: Car Accident Injuries & Deaths