The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system—anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving”.
Distracted driving is simple to understand but it is more difficult to manage. That morning coffee, snack, or on-the-go fast food can distract you more than people realize. Answering calls, texts, and engaging on social media while driving (however slowly) instead of waiting until your car is parked is easy to talk about but much more difficult to prevent.
There are some sobering statistics regarding distracted driving throughout South Carolina and the United States.
Injury Collisions in South Carolina Caused By Distracted Driving:
2011- 4,399 2012 - 4,952 2013- 5,145
2014- 5,287 2015- 5,573* 2016- 5,698*
Individuals Killed in Collisions Caused By Distracted Driving:
2011- 51 2012-46 2013- 53
2014 - 51 2015 - 64* 2016 - 43
Source: S.C. Department of Public Safety.
Nationally, 64% of all car wrecks involved cell phone use.
South Carolina is the #1 state in car accident fatalities per 100 million cars.
Nationwide, fatal accidents increased by 7% in 2016.
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
With this serious issue of distracted driving in South Carolina and the United States, how do we help prevent this? ( Click Read More to Find Out 4 ways to Reduce Distracted Driving)
By: Attorney Wil Alexander
MedPay (Medical Payments Coverage) is no fault insurance coverage. This means it can be used by an individual to cover medical bills no matter who is at fault in the car accident. (whether or not you caused the accident). MedPay coverage is generally paid out quickly by your insurance company, helping to cover some of the first medical bills you encounter after your personal injury.
MedPay coverage covers an individual up to the amount of coverage purchased (this amount is generally between $1,000 and $5,000). In South Carolina, MedPay coverage is not mandatory therefore you only have MedPay coverage if you choose to. Not everyone chooses to have MedPay coverage in their car insurance policy, so it is not available to all individuals who are injured in car accidents. If an individual was not at fault in the car wreck, MedPay coverage will cover medical bills in addition to what the at-fault drivers’ insurance company pays out.
Sometimes individuals are confused as to why their insurance company (the company they have purchased insurance from) is the first to pay out money for their injuries in a car wreck if they are not at fault. This is typically because the individual has MedPay coverage. Generally, your personal injury lawyer will help you navigate through MedPay coverage. Importantly, your lawyer will not take a percentage of MedPay as part of their contingency fee.
So how does med pay work in reality? Many times it is helpful to think of insurance coverage in a simple example scenario.
Attorney Wil Alexander joined the Rotary Club of Barnwell County on Thursday, January 18, 2018 and was one of two new members sworn in by Club President Mike Beasley. Wil was pinned as a new member by his sponsor Don Alexander.
A contingency fee is the most typical fee used by lawyers in personal injury cases and is important to understand before the start of your case.
A contingency fee is an agreement between you (the client) and a lawyer where the lawyer agrees to accept a set percentage of the recovery of your case as the lawyer’s fee. The recovery in a case is the final amount paid out to the client at the conclusion of the case. (In a typical car wreck case, this is the amount paid out by the insurance company). If your case results in a recovery (you win the case), the lawyer is paid a percentage of the recovery. This percentage of the recovery is the lawyer’s fee for the case. If you do not recover in your case (you do not win), the lawyer is not paid for working on your case.
When a contingency fee is used, your lawyer is only paid if you win your case.
Our firm always uses contingency fees in personal injury cases, so we do not get paid unless we win for you. If you have questions about how contingency fees work I am happy to answer them. Feel free to contact me anytime.
1. Never lie about what happened. If unsure say "I'm not sure what happened".
2. Never resist an offer to be examined for injuries - seek medical attention as soon as possible and listen to your health care providers advice.
3. Never give a written or recorded statement to the insurance representative.
4. Do not admit anything - you may think you're at fault but it's best to talk with a lawyer beforehand.
5. Never agree to a settlement without consulting a lawyer -it is important to talk with a lawyer as soon as possible to help you navigate the situation.
Dealing with Auto Accidents can be complex and stressful. If you have been involved in an Auto Accident and have questions call us today. Wil is glad to help answer any of your questions.
Are you on Social Media? If so, be sure to check out this article: Is Social Media Costing You Money? Why you should stay offline after an injury accident.
Attorney Wil Alexander wants to keep you up to date with new legal developments and other news. Please be advised these blog posts do not constitute legal advice and you should always consult a lawyer with your legal questions.