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Minot Personal Injury Law Blog

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Car accidents caused by drivers texting a concern in North Dakota

Distracted driving is a hot topic in North Dakota and nationwide. Police all across the country are trying to find ways to cut down the number of car accidents caused due to these distractions. One of the biggest distractions being discussed is the issue of texting while driving.

People distracted by cellphones, particularly those who are texting, simply aren't focused on the road. Unfortunately, proving a driver was texting isn't an easy task. However, because of the increasing amount of accidents that result in injuries or fatalities due to drivers texting, cracking down on this behavior has become one of the top priorities for law enforcement personnel in North Dakota.

Man received work-related injuries in North Dakota oil fields

It is well-known that some professions in North Dakota carry a higher amount of risk than others. While workers in these professions tend to know and understand the risks or their work before getting started, safety precautions provided by employers are still expected. Unfortunately, despite safety training and equipment, accidents happen and the work-related injuries that follow can be life-altering.

The oil fields in North Dakota are booming and this increase in productivity has brought experienced drillers from all across the country to take part in the numerous job opportunities available. While this business has been good for the local economy, injuries that occur in this line of work are often severe, if not fatal. Recently, an explosion on one of the oil rigs left and employee suffering from serious burns to his head and both hands. He is currently recovering from his injuries at a medical facility in Bismarck.

North Dakota car accidents this winter by region

Local authorities and the North Dakota Department of Transportation like to review the numbers and causes of fatal accidents that take place across the state pretty often. Their purpose in doing so is to help prevent future accidents and determine what they can be doing better overall. Car accidents happen all year long, but winter driving in particular tends to see a slight increase in fatal incidents. While weather may be a contributing factor in these crashes, drivers are responsible for driving appropriately for any road conditions.

The Northeast region of the state has seen the highest number of fatal accidents this winter compared to other regions. A total of 10 people have died so far this winter in auto accidents in northeastern North Dakota, seven of those occurring in 2014. Weather is just one of many concerning factors in the cause of these accidents.

Minot car accidents on the rise means more training for rescuers

First responders are often a dream come true for individuals involved in an accident. Those who have been in serious car accidents, the kind that require rescuers to use the jaws of life to free them from the wreckage, are generally grateful for the knowledge and capability these first responders have. With traffic and associated traffic accidents reportedly on the rise in Minot, local firefighters, along with other firefighters across the state, have been involved in increased training in order to be better prepared to help the victims of these accidents.

New tools and technology are available to help in the process of extricating people who are trapped in their vehicles after an accident. Hydraulic tools and saws are generally the tools used for cutting through a vehicle, but knowing exactly where to place them and how to use them properly will help speed up the process, allowing victims to be treated faster. Along with tools training, lessons learned during these sessions also include protecting the victims from the elements.

Subrogation Rights

Many people are surprised to learn that they have to repay their health insurance or others such as Medicare, Medicaid or Workforce Safety when they recover money from somebody who injured them. Unfortunately, that is the case. This is called subrogation rights of the insurer. Under laws passed back in the early 70s, health plans have put language in their contracts which give them the right to recover the outlay for benefits paid when you are hurt due to someone else's fault. Many of them will work with us to reduce their claim to make it feasible. We spend a great deal of time helping people to get these subrogation rights resolved to the benefit of our clients.

Car accidents in North Dakota often result in injury or death

Sadly, far too many people are injured and too many lives seem to be claimed on North Dakota roads. There are several reasons these car accidents keep happening, including distracted driving, drowsy driving, speeding, negligence or even weather-related factors. Whatever the cause, these accidents can be devastating to those involved.

Recently, a two-vehicle crash in Grand Forks resulted in the death of a 62-year-old man and injuries to a 10-year-old. Local authorities were called to the scene of a crash at a local intersection involving a car and a pickup truck. The driver of the car, a 62-year-old male, had apparently tried to cross a main street and was struck by a pickup truck. He was transported to a hospital for treatment, but unfortunately succumbed to his injuries. The driver of the pickup was uninjured in the crash, but his 10-year-old passenger required medical treatment.

Underinsured Coverage

Many people in North Dakota don't carry enough bodily injury insurance. This makes them underinsured.  The minimum required for North Dakota is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. This means that this is what you should pay to somebody else. What you don't realize is that with this low limit if someone runs into you with policy limits that are too low you could be doing yourself a disservice. North Dakota lets you have uninsured/under insured motorist coverage for whatever amount you choose to purchase. If your UIM coverage matches the amount of coverage or is less than the amount of coverage that the at fault driver has, you can't make a claim against your insurance company. For example, if your claim is worth the $150,000 and the person who hit you had $100,000 in coverage, all you can collect is that $100,000 from the person who hit you. If your insurance coverage is $100,000 or less, you are unable to go after your own company. However, if you had a $150,000 policy limit, you could ask your company to pay you $50,000 of UIM coverage. This extra coverage is cheap and everyone should buy it.

Auto accidents in North Dakota lead to fatality during storm

Due to poor weather in North Dakota this time of year, car accidents seem to be on the rise. While there is nothing people can do about weather conditions, they can control what they do when behind the wheel. Unfortunately, weather-related or not, auto accidents happen and these accidents often result in serious injuries or even fatalities for the victims involved.

After one recent multi-vehicle accident, a man got out of his car to check on the condition of the others involved. Apparently, while outside of his vehicle, he was hit by a passing tractor trailer. Sadly, the man succumbed to his injuries as a result. It is unknown if any medical treatment was given or if he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Decrease in fatal car accidents in North Dakota last year

At the beginning of the New Year, local law enforcement agencies like to look at how things like the number of car accidents compare from one year to the next. There is some good news for residents of North Dakota in the fact that the number of fatal car accidents decreased in 2013 compared to 2012. While this is positive news, it also gives police time to consider what changes could still be made to further improve these numbers, as the ultimate goal for any state is zero preventable fatalities.

According to the North Dakota Highway Patrol, 148 people died as the result of car accidents in 2013. That is a decrease of 22 people compared to 2012. Of those 148 deaths, 46 percent of them were a result of alcohol-related accidents. Highway Patrol reported that they made 1,936 DUI arrests during the year, which was about the same as the previous year.

Car accidents in North Dakota lead to family tragedies

A vacation with family and friends ended in tragedy for two couples and their little girls. The families, driving through North Dakota on their way to the Mall of America on Dec. 28, were involved in two separate car accidents. The second accident proved fatal for two victims and left others with injuries.

The families started out by driving in separate vehicles. The first accident happened when a semi-truck rear-ended one of the vehicles, -- thankfully -- no one was injured in that crash, but their car sustained significant damage and was no longer safe to drive. The mother and daughter were able to fit in their friend's SUV while the father hitched a ride, with plans to meet up at a local hotel. The father made it, but the others did not.

Mark Larson / Your Personal Injury Lawyer
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