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Head-On Car Accident Near Yakima, Washington

Head-On Car Accident Near Yakima, Washington

A head-on car accident occurred Sunday evening when a Richland man driving southeast of Union Gap crossed into oncoming traffic on Interstate 82 hitting a pickup driving eastbound. The couple driving the pickup were taken to Virginia Mason Memorial in Yakima. The Richland man was not injured but was charged with second-degree negligent driving for speeding in bad road conditions. All three involved in the car accident were reported wearing seat belts at the time of the accident said a state patrol officer.

How Head-on Car Accident Collisions Occur

Head-on car accidents generally occur when a car crosses over the centerline or median and crashes with an approaching car. Other head-on car accidents occur when a driver knowingly or unknowingly drives the wrong way in a traffic lane. Statistics from the Fatal Analysis Reporting System(FARS) showed that 75 percent of head-on car accidents happen on rural roads. This report also showed that 75 percent of head-on car accidents occur on undivided two-lane roads and 83 percent of two-lane undivided car accidents are on rural roads. These statistics indicate that most head-on car accidents result from a driver making an “unintentional” maneuver such as the driver falls asleep, is distracted, drunk, is driving too fast for road conditions or is speeding.

Strategies to Prevent Head-on Car Accident Collisions

Providing adequate passing zones is one way to reduce the number of head-on car accident collisions. Here are a few more strategies to prevent or reduce head-on car accident collisions.

  • Install centerline rumble strips for two-lane roads.
  • Install profiled thermoplastic strips for centerlines.
  • Provide wider cross sections on two-lane roads.
  • Provide center two-way left-turn lanes for four and two-lane roads.
  • Reallocate total two-lane roadway width (lane and shoulder) to include a narrow “buffer-median.”
  • Use alternating passing lanes or four-lane sections at key locations.
  • Install median barriers for narrow-width medians on multilane roads.
  • Better pavement markings.
  • Skid-resistant pavement surfaces.
  • Rumble strips to slow vehicles on approaches to hazardous locations.

Tri-Cities, Washington Law Office

Our Tri-Cities, Washington law office provides legal services to injury clients in and surrounding Tri-Cities, including clients injured in accidents in Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland, Washington. Visit or call our Tri-Cities office now. Parke Gordon LLC 8905 W Gage Blvd, #200 Kennewick, WA 99336 Phone:(509) 582-7274

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Rollover Car Accident Involving Three Cars in Kennewick

Rollover Car Accident Involving Three Cars in Kennewick

Rollover Car AccidentA rollover car accident occurs frequently and often end up fatal. A car accident in Kennewick involving three cars occurred Christmas morning near Columbia Center mall.   The accident occurred when an SUV was heading eastbound on Quinault when it was struck by a black car heading northbound. The drivers of both cars reported to police that they had a green light.  Another car was involved when the force of the SUV rolled it onto its side and into a red car stopped in the westbound lane of Quinault.  According to police, the occupants suffered injuries in the car crash.

Rollover Car Accident Statistics

Rollover crashes are very dangerous events. Eight percent of light vehicles (cars, pickups, vans, and SUVs) are said to roll over in a car accident. Twenty one percent of seriously injured occupants and thirty one percent of occupant fatalities occur in rollovers. According to the 2001 Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), 10,138 people were killed as occupants of light vehicles in rollover crashes. Seventy eight percent of the people who died in single-vehicle rollover crashes were not wearing the vehicle safety belt, and 64 percent were partially or completely ejected from the vehicle (including 53 percent who were completely ejected).

Hire Personal Injury Attorney, Mat Parke

When a negligent driver denies fault, it makes it more difficult to obtain a recovery from the negligent driver.  It’s important to get an accident attorney as soon as possible to begin interviewing police officers, drivers, and witnesses to build the case against the negligent driver.  If you wait, then the information is harder to obtain and witnesses’ memories fail.  Our law office has a history of successfully obtaining car accident settlements for clients when the negligent driver is refusing to accept liability and is not being truthful to investigating police officers. If you need help settling a car accident case, give us a call at 509-582-7274 for a free consultation. We don’t charge a dime until your case is settled.

Tri-Cities, Washington Law Office

Our Tri-Cities, Washington law office provides legal services to injury clients in and surrounding Tri-Cities, including clients injured in accidents in Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland, Washington. Visit or call our Tri-Cities office now. Parke Gordon LLC 8905 W Gage Blvd, #200 Kennewick, WA 99336 Phone:(509) 582-7274

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Avoiding Car Crashes and Injuries:  100 Deadliest Days for Teen Drivers and their Passengers

Avoiding Car Crashes and Injuries: 100 Deadliest Days for Teen Drivers and their Passengers

Avoiding Car Accident and InjuriesAvoiding car accidents and injuries during the summer is the hardest time for teen drivers. Experts sometimes refer to June, July and August as the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers and their passengers because an average of 422 teens died in car accidents during each of the deadly summer months—compared to a monthly average of 363 teen deaths during the non-summer months.

High rates of speed are just one of the type of risky behavior teen drivers are more likely to engage in than the general population. For a generation that grew up with the expectation of instant communication, opportunities for distracted driving are a constant presence. Smart phones give drivers not only the ability to talk and text but also allow them to watch sports highlights or videos of friends. Functions specifically designed for drivers—such as maps with directions to a destination—can cause a driver’s eyes to be on a screen instead of the road ahead. That’s a scary proposition when you consider a car traveling at 60 mph travels the length of a football field every 3.3 seconds.

No wonder that after analyzing traffic crash data the American Automobile Association found seven of the 10 deadliest days for teen drivers and their passengers occur in summer. The 10 deadliest days for teen drivers and passengers are January 21, May 20, May 26, June 10, July 2, July 4, July 9, July 15, July 23, and November 11.

As part of its on-going effort to keep teen drivers safe, AAA offered the following tips to parents:

Restrict driving and eliminate trips without purpose

Nationally teens have three times as likely to have a fatal car accident as other drivers. To their credit, Idaho teens do better than the national average, but drivers under 19 are still two-and-a-half times as likely as all drivers to be involved in fatal or injury traffic collisions. The risk of a fatal crash is highest in the teen’s first year of driving. Parents should limit the number of trips the teen takes and ensure that the teen seek permission before taking the car.

Effectively coach your teen’s driving

Everyone needs practice to improve their driving skills and teens are no different. Just because a teen has managed to pass the driver’s test doesn’t mean they can’t improve as a driver. Any teen will benefit from a few years of close supervision. Parents are advised to ensure an experienced driver is supervising the practice. When deciding who counts as an “experienced driver” keep in mind that in Idaho, drivers aged 20-34 comprised 27% of all licensed drivers, yet managed to account for 33.8% of all collision-involved drivers in fatal and injury collisions. Drivers 35 and older were under-represented in traffic collisions.

Limit the number of passengers in your teen’s vehicle

Teens are more susceptible to peer pressure and more likely to engage in risky behavior when they are with others. Fatal crash rates for 16 to 19 year-olds are five times higher when two or more teen passengers are present. If multiple teens will be in the car, it is a good idea for a responsible older driver to accompany them.

Restrict night driving

A teen’s risk of a deadly crash double at night time. While the late-night hours may be riskiest, parents can lower the risk of a crash by further restricting driving at dawn and dusk.

There is no way of eliminating the risks associated with driving entirely, but close supervision and a little more effort can go a long way to making everyone on the road safer.

MP

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, call 509-582-7274 for a free consultation with the experienced attorneys at Parke Gordon.

Tri-Cities, Washington Law Office

Our Tri-Cities, Washington law office provides legal services to injury clients in and surrounding Tri-Cities, including clients injured in accidents in Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland, Washington. Visit or call our Tri-Cities office now. Parke Gordon LLC 8905 W Gage Blvd, #200 Kennewick, WA 99336 Phone:(509) 582-7274

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Before the Car Crash:  How Much Auto Insurance Do You Need

Before the Car Crash: How Much Auto Insurance Do You Need

Before the Car Crash- How Much Auto Insurance Do You NeedBefore the car crash: how much auto insurance do you need? Unfortunately a lot of people only start thinking about whether they have enough auto insurance after they have been in a car crash. By then it is too late to make sure you have enough coverage. In this post I will discuss explain the different kinds of coverages commonly sold with auto policies.

A simple way to think about whether you have enough coverage is to ask yourself if you can comfortably afford to pay the costs of an accident that your insurance company will not pay. Could you handle it if you were suddenly forced to pay $45,000? What about if your insurance company paid the first $25,000 and you were left to pay the last $20,000?

Why We Purchase Insurance

The purpose of insurance is to transfer the risk of unexpected loss to someone else. The chances of the loss actually occurring may be small, but if you are unlucky they are catastrophic. Your savings, your home equity and all of your assets can disappear because someone was careless for just a moment.

Insurance companies solve this problem by spreading this risk over a large group of people. Everyone in the pool pays a little money to the insurance company and the insurance company pays a lot of money to the person who is unlucky.

When buying insurance it is tempting to skimp. Instead of paying $100 a month we decide to pay only $50 a month. It is easy to think that as long as you have some insurance you are going to be OK. The reality is that insurance is only as useful as you have designed it to be. There are many kinds of coverages designed to protect you against different kinds of risks associated with car and truck accidents. If you haven’t gotten proper coverage, you are still exposed to the problem you were trying to solve. Thus it is useful to understand the different types of coverage and determine how much of each you require.

The Myth of Full Coverage

Before I talk about the different kinds of coverages available under an auto policy, let me clear something up:  I often speak to people who have been in a car crash who tell me they have “full coverage”. I assume they are repeating something their insurance agent told them when he or she sold them the policy but it is a meaningless statement. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS “FULL COVERAGE” INSURANCE. “Full coverage” sounds comforting–like telling someone that they have all their bases covered no matter what happens–but it conveys very little about whether insurance coverage is adequate or not. It is just a sales phrase designed to get you to sign on the bottom line.

Six Kinds of Auto Coverage

Insurance companies offer six basic kinds of auto coverage:

  1.  Bodily injury liability
  2. Property damage liability
  3. Medical payments coverage
  4. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
  5. Collision
  6. Comprehensive.

Bodily Injury Liability

This is a very important part of any auto insurance policy. Bodily injury liability provides coverage for injury and death claims in the event that you or the driver of your car is legally responsible for the accident. Most states require vehicle owners to maintain some bodily injury liability coverage. Section 49-1229 of the Idaho Code requires that every motor vehicle owner maintain at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident in bodily injury liability coverage.

Because of the high cost of medical bills, the minimum coverage requirements are often inadequate. At Parke Gordon it is not unusual for us to see cases where a single persons medical bills exceed $50,000 or even $100,000. If the bodily injury coverage falls short, an individual may be personally liable for payment. In most cases, I would recommend that a person get at least $100,000/$300,000 in bodily injury liability coverage.

Property Damage Liability

This is the part of a policy that pays for damage to someone else’s property if you or the driver of your car is at fault for the accident. For example, if you run a red light on State Street in Boise and crash into someone else’s car, you will be legally liable for the property damage to the other car and the insurance company will pay up to the property damage liability limits to repair the other car. The Idaho Code requires motor vehicle owners to maintain at least $15,000 of property damage liability.

Medical Payments

Medical payments coverage (often abbreviated to “med pay”) pays for any medical bills related to the accident incurred by you or passengers in your car regardless of whether or not you are at fault. If you have health insurance, your health insurance will often cover any injuries you sustain in an accident. Today many health insurance policies are not comprehensive and health insurance policies will often deny coverage of a necessary treatment such as a neck surgery. Med pay coverage, on the other hand, will pay for any accident related treatments up to the med pay coverage limits.

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage

This is a very important, often overlooked, part of your auto insurance coverage. Both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (commonly referred to as UM and UIM coverage) protect you against drivers who are legally responsible to pay for your injuries but do not have enough money to do so.

Uninsured motorist coverage is designed to step in and pay your medical bills and compensate you for pain and suffering when you are not at fault but the other driver did not maintain bodily injury liability coverage. In some instances, even if the at-fault driver did not maintain bodily injury liability coverage it may be possible to recover payment for your bills directly from him or her. This is only possible, however, if the at-fault driver has personal assets against which you can get a judgment. In my experience most uninsured drivers do not have significant financial resources—which explains why they did not purchase insurance in the first place.

The reasons for getting uninsured motorist coverage also apply to underinsured motorist coverage. If a driver who maintains only minimum bodily injury coverage crashes into your vehicle, you can easily be saddled with injuries that cost many times more than the at-fault driver’s policy limits. Underinsured motorist coverage is designed to bridge the gap between what the at-fault driver’s insurance company is required to pay and the actual damages which result from the accident.

Collision

Collision coverage pays for damages to your own vehicle in a car crash. It is generally required if your vehicle is financed but always a good idea for anyone who drives a nice car. Keep in mind that this is one type of coverage where many people pay for more coverage than they can use. If the fair market value of your car is only $10,000, there is no point purchasing collision coverage for anything more. Your insurance company will only pay up to the fair market value of the vehicle no matter what. This is known as “totaling out” the car. If you buy more than $10,000 in collision coverage you are paying the insurance company for a service they won’t provide. Far better to use that money and purchase additional bodily injury liability or UM/UIM coverage.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive coverage pays for damages from things like vandalism, acts of nature and theft. It is almost always subject to a deductible.

In a future post I’ll discuss specific examples of how coverages applied to actual accidents Parke Gordon has been involved in (I will modify certain details to ensure confidentiality). I will also discuss things to consider when determining how much of any kind of coverage you need. As a rule of thumb, don’t try to skimp when considering personal injury liability and UIM/UM coverage and don’t buy more collision and comprehensive than the fair market value of your vehicle.

–MP

 

 

Tri-Cities, Washington Law Office

Our Tri-Cities, Washington law office provides legal services to injury clients in and surrounding Tri-Cities, including clients injured in accidents in Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland, Washington. Visit or call our Tri-Cities office now. Parke Gordon LLC 8905 W Gage Blvd, #200 Kennewick, WA 99336 Phone:(509) 582-7274

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Getting Medical Bills Paid After a Car Accident

Getting Medical Bills Paid After a Car Accident

Getting Medical Bills Paid After a Car AccidentIf you received any sort of medical treatment after a car accident, you will have to worry about medical bills and health insurance claims as well as auto insurance claims. Auto insurance should cover your medical treatment, but hospitals prefer not to wait to work out who was at fault. If you were not able to give them your health insurance information (if any) when you arrived, they will probably try to bill you personally. You or your lawyer should be able to get the bill sent to the appropriate party later.

If you have both medical and auto insurance, you may be wondering which will pay for your medical costs. In Washington, the hospital will start by billing you personally or billing the medical insurance company whose information you provide. Later, after you make your auto insurance claim, you or your health insurer may be reimbursed by the other driver’s auto insurer. If you are among the few drivers who have medical payment coverage on your auto insurance policy, your own insurance company may reimburse you.

If you have no-fault insurance or Personal Injury Protection (called PIP coverage), your auto insurance company should pay. The hospital may bill you personally at first, especially if you could not provide them with insurance information when you arrived, but it should be simple to transfer the obligation to your insurer. You may still have a deductible under your PIP policy. If your bills are higher than the amount of PIP coverage you have, any medical insurance will take over after your auto insurance coverage is used up.

If there are problems, keep in mind that in Washington you (the patient) are ultimately responsible for your own medical bills, regardless of whether some insurance policy should cover it. That means you should take action quickly if the insurance company refuses to meet its obligations.

If your PIP policy has been exhausted, then in most cases your private health insurer should beging paying the medical bills.  Sometimes your private health insurer will need written confirmation from your PIP auto policy carrier that the limits have been exhausted.  If so, just call your PIP claims representative and ask him or her to send this letter immediately.  You should  also follow up with the PIP adjuster in writing so you have a record of your communications.

But what if you don’t have private health insurance or PIP coverage?  This is a difficult situation.  If this is the case, you may be obligated to pay your healthcare providers out of pocket.  Sometimes we can work out a suitable arrangement with your doctors to either wait for payment, or make small monthly payments.  It really depends on how reasonable and willing your healthcare provider is.

 

Tri-Cities, Washington Law Office

Our Tri-Cities, Washington law office provides legal services to injury clients in and surrounding Tri-Cities, including clients injured in accidents in Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland, Washington. Visit or call our Tri-Cities office now. Parke Gordon LLC 8905 W Gage Blvd, #200 Kennewick, WA 99336 Phone:(509) 582-7274

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