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How to Drive Through a Flooded Roadway

Posted on: July 31st, 2014 by Joe Cunnane

IMG_20110830_084407In the summer time we often don’t think about flooding because Western Washington gets substantially less rain this time of year; but did you know that flash floods can happen as a result of thunderstorms? The following are some tips on how to drive in a flood.

Avoid driving on roads covered by water. They are prone to collapse and may sweep away an average vehicle in only 12 inches of moving water. Driving through water may also stall your engine and cause irreversible damage if you try to restart the engine. If you come to a flooded street then take an alternate route.

If you must drive through water because there is no alternate route then take these extra precautions:
• Try to estimate the depth of water. Do so by paying attention to other cars driving through.
• Drive slowly.
• Avoid water if there are electrical or power lines down nearby.
• Look out for any objects that might be downstream. If they are moving then they may crash into your vehicle.
• If you have driven through water up to the wheel rims or higher, then test your breaks on a clear patch of road at a low speed.
• If your engine stalls in the rising water and you become trapped, immediately abandon your vehicle for higher ground.

The Cunnane Law Office has provided this content for informational purposes only. You should refer your questions to a personal injury attorney.

www.cunnanelaw.com

Why Do You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Posted on: July 21st, 2014 by Joe Cunnane

DSC_3995Here’s what a good Personal Injury Lawyer can do for you:

• Remove the constant stress and hassle of having to deal directly with the insurance company adjuster. (You’ll finally be able to focus on getting well with greater peace of mind).

• Stop harassing phone calls from collection agencies about your unpaid medical bills. (Make sure that the insurance company pays for all your outstanding medical bills).

• Have a strong advocate on your side making sure that the insurance company plays by the rules. (You’ll finally have someone who will watch your back).

• Hire economic experts who will evaluate your future loss of earnings. (Maximize a just and fair settlement in the event you are unable to function at 100% capacity at work).

• You’ll have someone to explain what your legal rights are in plain everyday language. (You won’t find yourself being taken advantage of by a fast talking insurance adjuster).You’ll know how the legal system works. (You’ll never find yourself blindsided by the insurance company).

• Collect critical evidence including: police reports, statements from eye witnesses, photographs, and videos, if available. (Cases are won or lost by the amount of evidence that is presented, and now you will have someone who will invest in making sure all the bases are covered).

• Make sure that you don’t sign any unnecessary documents that could potentially damage your case. (This is critical when it comes to obtaining a fair settlement).

• Determine the amount of insurance coverage that’s available. (You’ll never be fooled into taking a low ball offer because the other side says there is minimal coverage).

• Provide letters of protection to treating physicians if you don’t have adequate insurance coverage. (You’ll be able to get the medical treatment you need).

• File a bad faith lawsuit against the insurance company should they fail to pay your claim. (Avoid all the endless hassles of unpaid medical bills).

• If your case can’t be settled, file a lawsuit or demand arbitration. (This one is pretty straight forward).

• Prepare client for trial in the event that the case can’t be settled. (Remove your stress from appearing in court).

• Make sure that your medical records are updated. (Your medical records are a key component to settling your case, and everything must be accurate).

• If you are unable to return to work an attorney will help you collect disability benefits. (You’ll be able to put food on the table in the event that you are unable to return to work).

• Collect medical records from treating physicians and hospital. (Take care of all the leg work for you).

• Send your medical reports to the insurance company.

• Prepare you for independent medical evaluation. (Help you to understand what the insurance company doctor will be looking for to undermine your claim).

• Send a registered nurse with the injured victim to assist them during the independent medical evaluation. (This helps them to feel comfortable knowing that someone else is on their side)

• Prior to sending records to the other side make sure that they have been properly reviewed.

• Keep you informed as to how your case is progressing. (You can call or make an appointment to stop by to see how your case is moving along).

• Prepare and present medical experts (treating physicians) at trial. (This will help the doctor present evidence that is beneficial for your claim).

The Cunnane Law Office has provided this content for informational purposes only. You should refer your questions to a personal injury attorney.
www.cunnanelaw.com

Personal Injury 101

Posted on: July 18th, 2014 by Joe Cunnane

Injury claimThe most common type of personal injury case is a road traffic accident, but did you know the term personal injury also includes medical and dental accidents? Depending on the intent or negligence of the responsible party, the injured party may be entitled to monetary compensation through settlement.

General damages may be emotional stress or pain and suffering whereas special damages are measurable costs which can be itemized. These may include medical bills, property damages and lost wages. Injuries sustained may last a lifetime and in some cases result in an inability to do one’s job.

Personal injury is usually covered by liability insurance, aka “auto insurance”. The term “personal injury” does not mean bodily injury damages but instead refers to mental injury damages. However, personal injury protection (PIP) does cover medical expenses from bodily injury. PIP is designed to be paid without regard to fault.

The Cunnane Law Office has provided this content for informational purposes only. You should refer your questions to a personal injury attorney.
www.cunnanelaw.com

Multi-Tasking and the Impact on the Human Brain

Posted on: July 12th, 2014 by Joe Cunnane

file0002139337140We have all read prospective employment resumes that state, “I’m great under pressure and handle multi-tasking efficiently.” As a nation, we pride ourselves for being able to accomplish multiple things at once. Furthermore, all of us believe that we can improve productivity by doing so. What really happens when we begin doing more than one thing at a time?

Researchers have utilized MRIs to observe the human brain while multi-tasking and performing various interrupted tasks. What they found is that when working on one task the brain devotes both frontal lobes to managing the work. When two tasks are performed each half of the brain manages each task. When a third task is introduced the brain starts crashing and mistakes begin to rise. Additionally this causes longer response times so productivity goes down.

So how does multi-tasking affect your ability to drive? A study by the University of Utah psychologists found that multi-tasking can be more dangerous than drinking and driving. “Talking and driving are mutually exclusive because the same part of the brain that is used in phone conversation is also used to focus on the road.” This means that when a person is in phone conversation they are paying less attention to what is happening visually in front of them. To learn more about the effects of multi-tasking, visit: http://www.multitaskingtest.net.au/the-science/impacts-of-multi-tasking

The Cunnane Law Office has provided this content for informational purposes only. You should refer your questions to a personal injury attorney.

www.cunnanelaw.com

Text and Drive Simulator

Posted on: July 8th, 2014 by Joe Cunnane

ae-texting-2jpg-2a653b32d0a2f670With texting and driving on the rise, there are now a number of simulators and games that have been released recently to show young adults just how difficult it is to text while maintaining complete control of a moving vehicle. The New York Times published one simulator that measures your reaction time and how it is affected by external distractions. You can find the link to test out your skills at: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/07/19/technology/20090719-driving-game.html?_r=0

I tested out the simulator and found that there is a delayed reaction when switching between viewing something close up and then something further away due to focusing your gaze. There is an additional delay that results in processing the information you are viewing.

Now of course the more you play the simulator the better you will get at it however this does not translate into getting better at texting and driving. Texting is a distraction that increases your risk of an accident by 23%. Try out the simulator to see just how much texting affects your reaction time.

The Cunnane Law Office has provided this content for informational purposes only. You should refer your questions to a personal injury attorney.

www.cunnanelaw.com

The Dangers of Drowsy Driving

Posted on: June 23rd, 2014 by Joe Cunnane

The Cunnane Law Office has provided this content for informational purposes only. You should refer your questions to a personal injury attorney.file4191256584229

Here in Seattle a lot of us commute to and from work. During long commutes we might get tired from a long work day mixed with a warm car. Sleepiness slows reaction time, decreases awareness, impairs judgment and increases your overall risk of crashing.

Factors that may affect your level of tiredness while driving include: sleep loss from restriction or too little sleep, interruption or fragmented sleep, chronic sleep debt, driving patterns or work schedules, undiagnosed or untreated sleep disorders, time spent on a task, and the use of sedating medications.

Sleepiness and fatigue can impair judgment, vision and reaction time. It may also cause problems with information processing and short-term memory. Sleepiness will decrease your performance and motivation while increasing moodiness and aggressive behaviors.

Many states now allow police to charge drowsy drivers with criminal negligence if they injure or kill someone while driving without adequate sleep.

The Cunnane Law Office has provided this content for informational purposes only. You should refer your questions to a personal injury attorney.

www.cunnanelaw.com

Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Posted on: June 19th, 2014 by Joe Cunnane

Joe PortraitOften times, after an auto accident an insurance adjuster will contact you on behalf of the at fault party who caused the collision. The insurance adjuster is looking to take advantage of your vulnerability because they know that it is easier to convince you to take a lower settlement during a stressful situation.

It is your decision whether to handle matters on your own or to contact a personal injury attorney. The following is four criteria as to why you should speak with a personal injury attorney.

1. You have been seriously injured, or a loved one was killed as a result of an accident.
2. The actions of the insurance company involved are unacceptable to you.
3. Your injury claim has been denied.
4. The at-fault party doesn’t have insurance.

A personal Injury Lawyer can help alleviate stress by dealing directly with the insurance company adjuster and stop harassing phone calls from collection agencies about your unpaid medical bills so that you can finally focus on getting well. Additionally you will have someone to explain your legal rights in a language that you can understand.

The Cunnane Law Office has provided this content for informational purposes only. You should refer your questions to a personal injury attorney.

www.cunnanelaw.com

Is Your Pet a Driving Distraction?

Posted on: June 3rd, 2014 by Joe Cunnane

Dog in carYour dog loves car rides. He loves feeling the wind on his face as his head sticks out the window and the privilege of going everywhere his owner goes.

Pets are a common driving distraction. Unrestrained cats and dogs inside a car can be just as distracting as swatting an insect or changing the radio station.

In the event of a crash, an unrestrained pet can become a serious hazard to everyone. In a 35-mile-per-hour accident, an unrestrained 60 pound dog will carry the force of a 2,700 pound projectile when they are sent flying. Additionally, they are more likely to be harmed or even thrown from a vehicle in even minor fender benders.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, dogs don’t have to be locked up in a carrier to keep them safe while traveling in a car. A restraining harness can be purchased from a pet store. There are several products to protect traveling pets including mobile pet beds and dog seat belts.

Cats are typically best kept in a pet carrier since they are uncomfortable riding in a car or being restrained.
To find out more about pets and distracted driving, visit: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/19/pets-and-distracted-driving/

The Cunnane Law Office has provided this content for informational purposes only. You should refer your questions to a personal injury attorney.

www.cunnanelaw.com

Is it Dangerous to Drive Under the Influence of Marijuana?

Posted on: May 30th, 2014 by Joe Cunnane

file6311270526402In Washington state, where marijuana is legal, many people might not realize that D.U.I. laws apply to any mind altering substance. While approximately 88% of drunk drivers can be identified through a field sobriety test, only 30% of people under the influence of THC failed the same test in a 2012 study published in the journal Psychopharmacology. The determining factor seemed to depend heavily on whether or not the driver was accustomed to being stoned.

This raises the question, how dangerous is it to drive while stoned. Independent researchers estimate that the risk of an accident doubles when there is any measurable amount of THC in the bloodstream. Compare this to 20 times more likely for 20-year-old drivers with alcohol of .08% and 9 times more likely for older adults, up to age 34. Although driving under the influence of marijuana is less dangerous than driving drunk, there is still a present danger.

While drunk drivers have a tendency to drive faster and over estimate their skills, the opposite is true for stoned drivers. Additionally, in laboratory tests, most people who are stoned can pass memory tests with some added effort. The problem comes into play when a stoned driver needs to multitask because their brain is processing information at a slower rate.

To find out more about the risks of driving under the influence, visit: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/18/health/driving-under-the-influence-of-marijuana.html?_r=0

The Cunnane Law Office has provided this content for informational purposes only. You should refer your questions to a personal injury attorney.

www.cunnanelaw.com

Are you Distracted by Food While Driving?

Posted on: May 16th, 2014 by Joe Cunnane

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAmericans eat more in the car than any other country. As a matter of fact, a study in 2009 published in the Daily News found that 80% of U.S. car accidents are caused by distracted drivers who are preoccupied with eating and driving.

Eating is problematic while driving because drivers are unable to react quickly and tend to be unable to turn sharply while one hand is on a burger. Additionally, drivers take their gaze off the road to look down and see if anything has spilled. Speaking of spillage, our love for wide cups doesn’t align with our love for European cars which typically lack wide cup holders. What does this mean? We are constantly doing a balancing act between our food, drink and steering wheel.

This is why New Jersey has even gone as far as to ban eating while driving. Offenders could pay up to $400 on a first-time offense.

Distracted driving will cause accidents. What habits are you practicing to avoid being distracted while driving?

The Cunnane Law Office has provided this content for informational purposes only. You should refer your questions to a personal injury attorney.

www.cunnanelaw.com