Numerous cities across the country have installed safety cameras at intersections with traffic lights. These units remain quite controversial. Some motorists criticize them as unfair, intrusive devices that were created to boost fine revenue. On the other hand, supporters say that the cameras prevent many deaths and injuries. They accomplish this by discouraging motorists from disobeying traffic lights.

Insightful Statistics

Safety cameras can be found at numerous intersections in Arizona. The State’s government recently issued a yearly report about the consequences of using this equipment. It included data that bolsters arguments in favor of the cameras. The report was based on information about car crashes that occurred between 2012 and 2015.

The total number of accidents went up by one-third during this time period. On the other hand, there was a 3 percent reduction in crashes involving traffic light violations at intersections with safety cameras. In comparison to 2012, 33 percent more bicyclists and pedestrians were killed at U.S. intersections with stop lights during 2015.

On the other hand, about one-fifth fewer cyclists and pedestrians died at Arizona intersections with cameras. The report also supplied details on improvements in specific cities that recently installed these devices.

Analysis and Advice

The above-mentioned data clearly indicates that red-light cameras have a positive impact. They truly protect the lives of motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. Unfortunately, some drivers don’t take traffic lights seriously unless a camera or police officer is present. There doesn’t appear to be any way to justifiably dispute the findings of this report.

These cameras aren’t really intrusive to anyone who follows the law. No one should disobey traffic lights at any intersection, even if it seems safe. Never drive through a red light or speed up to make it through the intersection while a light remains yellow. People who make these mistakes often become involved in serious accidents with long-lasting consequences.

Many motorists commit traffic violations because they’re hurrying to reach destinations on time. It’s crucial to leave extra time when traveling. Remember that traffic or weather conditions can be worse than expected and cause a trip to take longer than usual. Safety should never be compromised to avoid lateness. It’s always far better to arrive late than to end up in the hospital.

Safe driving practices can usually prevent any problems with traffic light cameras. Nonetheless, police do issue unfair tickets from time to time. Drivers can find helpful information about camera-related traffic citations on the internet. In some parts of the country, it’s possible to dispute tickets and pay fines online.

The insurance company wants a written statement about my car accident

Surely, you’ve heard the Miranda warning, “Anything you say can and will be used against you.” You’re probably thinking, “But, that’s for criminal proceedings.” While that’s true, it also a smart way to view supplying a written statement about your car accident to the other driver’s insurance company. An insurance company will most assuredly use your own words against you at the first available opportunity if it saves them money.

Insurance Adjusters Don’t Work for You

Insurance adjusters are not looking out for your best interests. They work for the insurance carrier, and that’s where their allegiance lies. The adjuster’s role is to minimize the financial impact of a motor vehicle accident for their company. To that end, they are adept at eliciting statements that help the carrier and hurt the claimant.

Requesting a written or recorded statement is common practice after a car accident. Your own insurance company is likely to demand one too, and you must comply with this requirement in those situations. However, no such obligation exists when dealing with the adjuster for the other motorist’s carrier. Keep that in mind when speaking with their representative.

Potential Pitfalls

Often, these requests are part of a fishing expedition. The insurance company is looking for ways to defend against a claim or a lawsuit. They ask a series of questions that may trip you up and make it appear that you’re at fault for the accident. This is their job. It’s what they do day in and day out. You, on the other hand, are simply trying to tell your side of the story. One of the problems with that approach is that you don’t have all the facts.

You likely don’t know what issues the other driver could have been facing. That motorist may have been sleep-deprived, taking medication, talking on the phone, texting, or otherwise distracted. There could also be mechanical problems. The adjuster is not going to volunteer this information. Instead, they might ask you a litany of detailed questions to confuse you and elicit comments and statements that lets them off the hook.

Proceed with Caution

The other insurance company’s investigator or adjuster is likely to go after your recorded statement right away, probably during your first phone call. They want to catch you unprepared, and hopefully before you have retained a lawyer.

You need not be rude when declining. Simply explain that you would prefer to discuss your rights with a lawyer before making any statements. Be polite, but firm. Don’t allow them to press you or guilt you into a statement.

Keep in mind that you can always change your mind and offer a statement later. The opposite is not true. Once you’ve provided a recorded or written statement, you can’t take it back. The opposition has locked you into a version of events and any confusion or missteps on your part can and will be used against you.

Seek Counsel

Be smart. Be cautious. Be prepared. It’s also a good idea to discuss your accident with a skilled and experienced car accident attorney. Most personal injury lawyers offer free initial consultations, allowing you to determine whether you have a viable claim before accepting any offers from an insurance company.

Every year, between 2.4 million and 4.4 million people are injured in motor vehicle accidents, per 2015 statistics reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Safety Council. The range of injuries resulting from these accidents runs the gamut, but whiplash is one of the most commonly suffered. Chances are high that you are at heightened risk of a whiplash injury when involved in a car crash, truck accident, or other motor vehicle collision.

Whiplash Overview

Whiplash is perhaps most well-known as a car accident-related injury. But most people don’t really know what this injury involves, or how serious it can be. When you are in an automobile involved in a collision, you typically experience an abrupt, lurching motion inside the vehicle. This movement jerks your body, jolting joints between ligaments, cervical muscles, vertebrae, and discs in your neck and the upper area of your spine. This soft-tissue injury damages ligaments, muscles, and tendons.

Someone suffering from the painful condition of whiplash often notices neck strain or sprain, but may also experience any of the following symptoms as well:

  • Neck pain
  • Neck stiffness
  • Upper back pain
  • Lower back discomfort
  • Shoulder pain
  • Numbness/pain in the hand and/or arm
  • Dizziness
  • Sleep issues
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Memory problems
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue

Whiplash Trauma Injuries

More than 90 percent of whiplash sufferers report neck pain. Though this is somewhat of a misnomer, as it generally radiates to adjoining parts of your body, into your head, shoulders, and between your shoulder blades. Disc injury and facet join pain are common causes of this neck pain. These injuries cause discomfort, stiffness, instability, and difficult and abnormal movement.

Headaches closely follow neck pain in prevalence for victims of whiplash, impacting more than 80 percent of those afflicted with this condition. This head pain is often a direct result of whiplash injuries to your cervical spine facet joints, and the supporting muscles and ligaments.

Low back pain is reported by more than 50 percent of those suffering from whiplash that results from rear-impact crashes. Side-impact crash-related whiplash victims see a rise in that rate to nearly 75 percent. This is caused largely by the compression your lower back experiences during the collision.

More severe injuries can also result, such as temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), brain injury, and lasting chronic pain, weakness or limited movement. Early medical intervention is key in mitigating and minimizing severe damage.

After the Accident

Most commonly, you will experience much of the neck pain, strain, and headaches described above, immediately or soon after your car accident. You may make the mistake of minimizing your injury and presuming it will correct itself. This is a dangerous presumption. Failure to receive prompt medical treatment, such as chiropractic care and soft tissue rehabilitation can lead to more serious and long term injuries.

It’s also a mistake to turn to a car insurance adjuster to look out for your best interests, whether they work for your carrier or that of the other driver. Adjusters owe their allegiance to their insurance companies. Their goal is to settle your claim as quickly and inexpensively as possible.

A skilled and knowledgeable car accident lawyer is far more suited to help you receive the care that you need, and the compensation you require for the best possible recovery. He will advise of your rights, direct you to medical professionals experienced in the treatment of whiplash, and work to obtain a fair and equitable settlement or award while you concentrate on your recovery.

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Car Accident Case In Court?

court-caseYou were in an accident. You hired a lawyer, went to physical therapy. Turned in all your bills. Now, what?

If you’re wondering how long it will take before your case settles, it can be fairly quick, but there can be extenuating circumstances that delay your case. Things like waiting for the attorneys, missing paperwork, and a few other factors…

So let’s take a look at a few examples of what happens in accident cases to help you understand how much time is really involved:

What Delays an Accident Claim?

  • When liability comes into question: In some accidents there are factors that can delay a settlement offer. For example, if liability isn’t clear this can slow things down as both sides may not claim liability. If a car accident occurred when a vehicle stopped to avoid a vehicle that swerved in its path, a third-party crash can sometimes take longer to prove.
  • When government agencies are involved: If an accident occurred due to a traffic light that malfunctioned or a missing stop sign, liability may also be questioned and an insurance claims adjuster may deny a claim which can take more time to prove.
  • Missing paperwork: Another scenario is when there’s paperwork that’s missing. If the adjuster doesn’t have all the medical reports or the police report, this can slow down the settlement process.

The reason you want to know how long it takes is obvious. You probably have medical bills that need to be paid and you want to put a traumatizing experience behind you. That’s understandable, too.

Most people in accidents are hoping for the settlement money sooner rather than later especially if their vehicle was damaged, they lost time off from work or they fell behind on bill payments due to them being off work or in some circumstances, out of work.

When to Expect Your Case to Settle

For starters, there are a few things that need to be in place to reach settlement talks and receive an offer:

  • all medical treatment should be completed with a doctor’s release from care
  • all medical records and police reports have been forwarded to the attorney
  • a settlement demand has been sent to the attorney’s office

The time frame can vary depending on how long you might be treated. If you only need a few weeks of physical therapy, that may mean you get a settlement offer sooner, but if you need a few months of care, then the process can take longer.

If you were in an accident and have turned in all your medical records, the police report and any other information that was requested, you may just want to call your attorney to confirm that the settlement demand was sent. If it was, they may call the other party’s attorneys to get an update on your case.

The Time Frame After All Paperwork is Completed

Typically, it may only take about three weeks after you finish your medical treatment and all paperwork and documentation have been turned into the insurance adjuster for the insurance claim to be completed. Your attorney may need to contact the insurance company if your claim goes beyond this. Once a settlement offer has been reached, it shouldn’t take long before you receive your payment.

When You Need a Lawyer: Contact Schenk Podolsky

Getting the right lawyer can help with your accident case. If you were involved in a car accident, get a FREE online consultation today at (480) 757-5000. Arizona accident lawyers are ready to help. Contact Schenk Podolsky today!