Poor economy means more drivers are dropping their car insurance, which is bad news if you have a personal injury accident
In the news today, word that a rise in the unemployment rate is leading to a rise in uninsured drivers as people try to save money. In California, roughly 25% of drivers aren’t insured. That means if you stand on a street corner, one out of every four cars passing you has absolutely no insurance if they injure you in an accident.
Your best protection is to make sure you have adequate uninsured motorist coverage on your own policy. This is something many people don’t pay attention to, or try to save money on by buying the lowest possible limits.
You need to be proactive in making sure you have enough uninsured motorist coverage on your policy. Check your insurance policy declarations page and then ask your carrier how much extra they will charge for limits equal to what they would pay another driver if your were responsible for their personal injuries.
On the bright side, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is reporting that small cars are faring better in crashes than they used to, though they still show some weakness in side-impact collisions.
Top safety picks are the Scion xB, Honda Civic, Mitsubishi Lancer, Volkswagen Rabbit, Toyota Corolla and Honda Fit.
As you can tell from my blog, one of my passions is studying courtroom communications, since being able to tell a client’s story effectively is one of the keys to effective trial lawyering.
One element of the complete trial lawyer’s skill set that is often overlooked is simple physical fitness. I think one reason why health and fitness is overlooked in courtroom advocates is because we view the attorneys as members of a learned profession and scholarly pursuits in our minds don’t necessarily blend with athletics.
Well, I think that sort of thinking is just plain wrong. Over the years, I’ve had the chance to observe many of the finest trial lawyers in the country, and with very few exceptions (I remember one business litigator who was MORBIDLY obese, yet seemed to get along in the courtroom just fine. I always sort of expected him to keel over during his arguments, but somehow he never did) they are individuals who are not just fit in mind, but also stay fit in body.
If you are hiring an advocate, it stands to reason you’d want someone who can go the distance for you in the courtroom, as opposed to a lawyer who when faced with adversity in a legal fight, get red in the face and is out of breath long before the finish line.
In my research, I am keeping an eye out for studies that would give me some insight into how physical fitness affects performance in stress situations, since trials are the ultimate stress producers in the peaceful society.
In the meantime, I’m sticking with my marathon training and working towards that Ironman Triathlon I’ve promised I would take on.
My wife woke me up this morning to tell me that the neighbor’s house was burning and L.A Fire was on scene. It was all over pretty quickly, lot’s of black smoke to start, turning white as the firemen doused the flames, now all is quiet. Hopefully they’ve got good insurance and there are no personal injuries.
The fire reminds me that it’s close to the beginning of a New Year, which is the perfect time to do our annual inventory of stuff, just in case we suffer a fire or some kind of catastrophe that requires documenting our belongings for the insurance company.
An easy way to do your inventory is the take a video camera into each room, then just photograph all of the contents. If you have a spouse or friend to help, one of you should take the pictures and the other read the serial numbers and identifying information aloud for the camera.
I know from experience that one of the hardest things people face in making an insurance claim after a catastrophic loss is recreating a list of all the items they had that were destroyed, stolen or otherwise damaged.
A printed list, photographs, or video can save you a good deal of trouble.
This year I plan to take my own advice and update our records right after the Christmas presents are opened. Hopefully my videographer son will help out.
You send your son to college and what do you get . . .
Introducing, the iCloset.
Thank you, Billy Daniels
FDA Food Safety Campaign too late to avoid personal injury to one infant and death of another from contaminated formula
The FDA has announced a new initiative to start a long overdue overhaul of the nation’s food safety system, while in the meantime, one infant has died and another was hospitalized from a rare infection that authorities are blaming on contaminated powdered food products. Personal injuries from food are a growing problem in the U.S. if media reports are to be believed.
This sort of thing used to be the province of lesser developed nations. But with the underfunding of FDA food safety regulators coupled with anti-safety tort reform laws that close the courthouse doors to families suffering personal injury from contaminated foods, we’ve seen more frequent reports of contaminated products finding their way onto store shelves.
The FDA announcement described a campaign to reshape its food inspection arm by increasing the number of inspectors in the field and updating software tools. Still, the government is going to be hampered from any increased effort by the very real budget problems that exist at both state and federal levels.
So, in response to the nationwide problem of increased food contamination risk, the FDA has committed to hiring an additional 130 employees to conduct inspections and collect samples. While this is a good start, clearly the tort system needs to find its own increased role in policing food safety, since a private sector solution isn’t hampered by governmental funding shortfalls or transient political priorities.
An example of the high stakes in food safety is found in a report that two New Mexico infants contracted rare infections that the Center for Disease Control and prevention said are associated with contaminated powdered formula products. On infant died, the other remains hospitalized.
While the CDC says other environmental sources of the infection are possible, without a robust public and private safety system in place — meaning government inspectors on the public side and private investigators working in the tort system on the private side — we may never know the actual source of the infection.
Time to get pro-safety in this country. The stakes are high.