Driving is not as simple as getting from point A to point B. A lot can happen between your starting point and your intended location. Despite all the precautions you take to ensure that your vehicle is in good condition and that you follow all driving laws, you can still end up in a car accident.

But what can you do when you wind up in an uninsured motorist accident where the responsible party is an uninsured driver?

You have two options. You can either seek a settlement directly from the driver, or you can file a claim to receive your own uninsured motorist benefits.

Seeking a Settlement From the Driver

The process of seeking a settlement directly from an uninsured motorist is lengthy, frustrating and often unfruitful.
It is unlikely that you will receive a substantial settlement from an uninsured driver. Chances are, he or she does not have the financial ability to pay you. Even if you do win your case, you may end up needing a court order to compel the driver to pay the settlement.

Filing a Claim With Your Insurance Company

In these accidents, your best option is to file a claim with your insurance …

Elder CareWith the ever-growing number of aging baby boomers, quality elder care is becoming increasingly difficult to find.  While many elderly people remain independent and completely capable of taking care of themselves, a significant percentage of the aged population already need consistent assistance due to deteriorating health and compromised mobility. In many cases, their well-being is placed in the hands of family members or care centers that attend to their every need.  In a perfect world, the greatest generation receives quality health care, around-the-clock assistance by competent professionals, and services in a clean, welcoming environment.

There are, however, tragic cases where the elderly are placed in over-crowded nursing homes or are cared for by over-extended care givers resulting in elder abuse and neglect.

Many signs of elder abuse and neglect include the following:

  • Overall deterioration of the person’s health
  • Poor hygiene
  • Weight loss
  • Bruises, sores, cuts, or other injuries
  • Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities
  • A sudden change in alertness
  • Unusual depression
  • Frequent conflicts between the caregiver and the elderly person
  • Elder neglect—failure to fulfill a caretaking obligation—constitutes more than half of all reported cases of elder abuse. It can be intentional or unintentional, based on factors such as ignorance or denial

Rest and sleep are important for overall health. Go a day without adequate rest and you not only feel tired, but your cognitive abilities are also compromised. These factors can combine to cause driver fatigue and result in a considerable number accidents.

When drivers are fatigued, they have compromised judgment, lower attention, and slower reaction time making them liabilities on the road. A recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that driver fatigue is responsible for one in six — or 17 percent – of fatal car accidents.  In fact, nearly one-quarter of adults (23%) say they know someone personally who has crashed due to falling asleep at the wheel.

  1. Check to see if you or your passengers are injured. If there is any indication of injury or pain, call for medical help. If possible, check the other drivers.
  2. Immediately dial 911 and summon the police to the scene of the accident – regardless of whether or not there are injuries.
  3. If possible, quickly obtain all information about the other drivers involved. Get names, tag numbers, driver’s license numbers and insurance information. Most importantly, get names and contact information of any independent witnesses. Witnesses can make

Greg Stokes: That is a great question a lot of people want to know. They are afraid to call a lawyer because they think they are going to have to pay the lawyer money out of their pocket. Some people just do not know that basically the legal system and most personal injury lawyers are going to operate on a no charge, free consultation basis by telephone or in person. And most lawyers are going…

Greg Stokes: I would say, when in doubt of whether you should hire an attorney or not, without question, call an attorney and get their advice. It usually does not cost you anything to call the attorney. Then you get a feel for what is going on, and you have got your options ahead of you. If there is one thing I see, it is people trying to handle their own claims, making a lot…

Greg Stokes: Probably your state of mind and the condition of your vehicle are key to avoiding crashes. Being very aware of what is in front of you, what is in the back of you, what is to the left, what is to the right, and when you are going through an intersection, even though you have got the green light. You have a legal duty to look to the left and the right to…

Greg Stokes: Let us say it is a rental car.You go over to the airport. Yourented a car. Well you have got two options. You can either take out the optional coverage and if you are in a crash, the rental company will pay the claim.

Or you can give them your own insurance information and say, “well, I do not want to take out the optional insurance. I am going to use my insurance…

Greg Stokes: In general, personal injury settlements are not taxable. The IRS has a specific code section that deals with settlements that come from physical injury claims. If you have been injured and you receive a settlement, it is considered a loss to your body and it is not taxable income. The example I give is when your car is in a crash and it is a total loss, and they give you, say, $30,000…

Greg Stokes: Well, you want an attorney with a good track record. When you go to a law firm, you are looking at not only what their verdicts and settlements are, but you are looking at what their clients are saying about them.

The best situation is where it has been a referral because then you have a friend or a relative that said: “this attorney treated me professionally. We are happy with the end…

Greg Stokes: Yes. If you are not at fault, do not be afraid of reporting this to your insurance company. Back in the 1980’s, a law was passed in Georgia that prevented an insurance company from canceling you or going up in your rates because you made a claim if the crash was not your fault.

Some insurance companies have a claim forgiveness policy where they understand that over the lifetime you may get in…

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