| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

Distracted Driving is Deadly

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and few things are more distracting when driving than using your phone. Let’s be honest, for most people their smartphone may as well be another appendage. Many of us take our phone everywhere. Smartphones are virtually a necessity in the world we live in and sometimes we are required to check them for work or need to check them for personal reasons. Very rarely is checking your phone a matter of life or death, but looking at your phone while driving can be deadly. Typing into your phone while driving is incredibly dangerous. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. Obviously, driving this far at this speed without looking where you are going can be deadly for you, your passengers, and other drivers. In 2015, 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. During daylight hours, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving. Teens are the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes. There are ways for people to cut down on the number of injuries and deaths that result from distracted driving. Teens can speak up when they see a friend using their phone in the car. Parents can lead by example and can set rules requiring family members to practice safe driving techniques by only using their phone in the car when the car is stopped. Employers can create a company policy that forbids the use of a phone while driving a company or personal vehicle. Finally, local and state governments can create laws that deter and punish distracted drivers. The car accident lawyers at Cory Watson encourage you to drive safely and to never drive distracted. Getting home safe is worth so much more than checking or sending that text message or email. And as always, if you’ve been injured in a car accident, we’re ready to help. Just give us a call for your free consultation, and we’ll get started on your case immediately. WE’RE HERE FOR YOU 24/7 At Cory Watson Attorneys, we have made it our mission to fight for the rights of injury victims and their families for more than 30 years, and have recovered over 3 Billion for our clients. Call (877) 562-0000 or fill out our online form to arrange for your FREE and CONFIDENTIAL case evaluation.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Car Accidents

Make Sure Your Car Lease Makes Sense: Check Your Paperwork

WHAT TYPES OF LEASES ARE AVAILABLE? When leasing a car, you generally have two choices: a single-payment lease and a multi-payment lease. In a multi-payment lease, you make periodic payments for the lease term. For example, if you lease your car for 36 months, you make a monthly lease payment for 36 months. But in a single-payment lease, you pay the full amount of the lease up front. The obvious question, then, is why would you choose a single-payment lease over a multi-payment lease? HOW IS A LEASE CALCULATED? There are three main parts of a lease: the gross capitalized cost, the capitalized cost reduction, and the adjusted capitalized cost. The gross capitalized cost is the price of the car. A capitalized cost reduction is anything you pay to lower this price, such as a trade-in car. The adjusted capitalized cost is the difference between the capitalized cost and the capitalized cost reduction—it is the number the dealership will use to determine your lease payment. There is also a finance charge, called the “money factor.” The money factor is like the interest you pay on a loan. Why is this important? Because, as explained below, the money factor is supposed to be what sets the single-payment lease apart from the multi-payment lease. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A SINGLE-PAYMENT LEASE? When leasing a car, the dealership may suggest that a single-payment lease will save you money, especially if you are trading-in another car. If you trade in a car, the dealership is supposed to use the trade-in value of your car as a capitalized cost reduction to lower the price off of which the lease payment will be calculated. Also, in a single-payment lease, you should expect to pay a lower money factor because you are paying the full amount of the lease up front. This is not always the case. WERE YOU OVERCHARGED FOR YOUR SINGLE-PAYMENT LEASE? It is not uncommon to be cheated out of the benefits of a single-payment lease. In some cases, the dealership may not use your trade-in car as a capitalized cost reduction. Because the dealership is not using your trade-in car to lower the price that the money factor is applied to, you could be paying more interest on your lease. In other cases, the dealership may cheat you out of your savings based on the way they calculated the lease payment. In this case, the dealership would add up the cost of each monthly payment and charges this amount as the single payment. This means that you are being charged interest on the full amount of the lease as if you had leased the car as a multi-payment lease. In both of these cases, you could be scammed out of thousands of dollars. Check your paperwork! If you traded in a car, see if the dealership used your trade-in car as a capitalized cost reduction. Or look to see if the dealership calculated your single-payment lease by adding up the monthly payment and multiplied it by the number of months in the lease. If either of these happened to you, we are here to help. WE’RE HERE FOR YOU 24/7 At Cory Watson Attorneys, we have made it our mission to fight for the rights of injury victims and their families for more than 30 years, and have recovered over 3 Billion for our clients. Call (877) 562-0000 or fill out our online form to arrange for your FREE and CONFIDENTIAL case evaluation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

5 Kinds of Insurance Every Driver Should Consider

Everyone should have car insurance, and when you are purchasing car insurance, it is important to take the time to make sure you buy the right kind and amount of coverage for you and your family. There are 5 different kinds of coverage that every motorist should consider. 1) LIABILITY COVERAGE Liability coverage is the minimum coverage any motorist should have. There are two types of liability coverage – coverage for Bodily Injury and coverage for Personal Property. In Alabama, drivers are required to carry liability coverage.  The minimum coverage requirement in Alabama is $25,000.00 per person per wreck and $50,000.00 maximum per wreck. So for example, if you are quoted a 25/50 limit for bodily injury, it means that the insurance policy will cover up to a maximum of $25,000.00 per person injured in an accident and a maximum total of $50,000.00 in claims for a single accident. If a driver is legally responsible, or “liable” for damages, Liability coverage helps pay for them. Every driver should have the maximum amount of liability coverage they can afford because an individual can be liable for damages after the maximum limits of the insurance policy have been exhausted. 2) COLLISION COVERAGE Collision insurance covers your vehicle if you hit another vehicle or a fixed objected like a pole or guardrail. Collision coverage helps pay for damages to your vehicle. 3) COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE This insurance covers your vehicle for damages that may occur for things other than wrecks or collisions such as theft, hail damage, floods, vandalism, animal collisions, etc. 4) UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE This insurance provides liability (Bodily Injury and Property Damage) coverage for you if an uninsured or underinsured motorist is at fault in an accident. A 2014 study by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) found that at least 1 in 8 drivers are completely uninsured and around 30% of drivers do not have enough insurance. The Insurance Information Institute recommends that all drivers have at least $100,000 in UM/UIM coverage. Click here to learn more about this kind of insurance coverage. 5) MEDICAL PAYMENTS If you or anyone else in your car is hurt in a wreck, medical payments coverage can help pay for medical expenses. WE’RE HERE FOR YOU 24/7 At Cory Watson Attorneys, we have made it our mission to fight for the rights of injury victims and their families for more than 30 years, and have recovered over 3 Billion for our clients. Call (877) 562-0000 or fill out our online form to arrange for your FREE and CONFIDENTIAL case evaluation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

Three Questions to Determine Whether You Should Call a Lawyer

Cory Watson Attorneys offers free consultations to every accident victim who calls our firm. We do this because we know that after an accident you have a lot of questions about what your next steps should be, and we believe you should be able to get answers to those questions without any cost to you. THREE QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF WAS SOMEONE ELSE AT-FAULT FOR THE ACCIDENT? There are a couple of ways to determine this. The easiest way is to check the wreck report. If you do not have the wreck report a lawyer can assist you in obtaining the report. You may also know that the wreck was another driver’s fault based on the way the wreck occurred. If you are not sure who is at fault then you should call an attorney to help you determine who is responsible for the wreck. WAS I INJURED IN THE ACCIDENT? If you were hurt in the wreck and received any medical treatment as a result of the wreck then you should call an attorney as soon as possible. DO I BELIEVE I SHOULDN’T BE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT THIS ACCIDENT IS GOING TO COST ME? Even when a wreck is not your fault, you can still incur costs as a result of your medical treatment, lost wages, or property damage. It is important to have a lawyer on your side to make sure that you are not left as the responsible party for any bills or costs that resulted from another driver’s negligence. IF YOU ANSWERED YES TO THESE QUESTIONS, CALL AN ATTORNEY If you answered yes to all three of the above questions, then you likely have a personal injury claim. It is important to call an attorney as soon as possible after a wreck so that they can begin to gather evidence and safeguard your interests. Insurance companies are only looking out for their bottom line, shouldn’t you have someone looking out for your best interests as well? WE’RE HERE FOR YOU 24/7 At Cory Watson Attorneys, we have made it our mission to fight for the rights of injury victims and their families for more than 30 years, and have recovered over 3 Billion for our clients. Call (877) 562-0000 or fill out our online form to arrange for your FREE and CONFIDENTIAL case evaluation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

Three Common Misconceptions About Alabama Injury Claims

We field a lot of questions from people who have been injured in a car accident. Through those conversations, we’ve discovered a number of common misconceptions that people have about personal injury claims. Below are three of the top myths that many people believe when it comes to injuries resulting from a car wreck: YOUR INSURANCE WILL COVER ALL YOUR EXPENSES: False Folks are often surprised to discover their “full coverage” doesn’t pay all their medical bills, lost wages, and other accident-related expenses. The reality is the at-fault driver’s insurance company is on the hook for your injuries, and it’s within their best interests to pay you as little as possible for your injury claim. Often the responsible driver will have no insurance or very little insurance to cover the injuries they caused to your property and person. This is why it is very important to make sure that your “full coverage” includes UM insurance. THE ACCIDENT REPORT TELL THE COMPLETE STORY: False Yes, the accident report has vital information concerning your accident, but it only tells half the story. Was the at-fault driver texting just moments before the collision? How much sleep did he/she get the night before? Does he/she have a reputation for driving recklessly? None of these questions will be answered in the accident report. Getting answers to those questions requires a detailed investigation, and that’s not something you can do on your own. The accident report can also be filled out incorrectly by the investigating officer and those errors can cause an insurance company to deny your claim. I HAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO CALL A LAWYER: False In the state of Alabama, the time that you have to file a lawsuit relating to your wreck is two years from the date of the wreck. However, you should an attorney as soon as possible after you are injured in a wreck. Certain information, witnesses, and other evidence may be impossible to come by if you wait too long. Calling a lawyer soon after your accident ensures vital evidence is protected, witnesses are secured, and your legal team has a head start on the insurance company. Waiting too long to call a lawyer could jeopardize your entire claim. WE’RE HERE FOR YOU 24/7 At Cory Watson Attorneys, we have made it our mission to fight for the rights of injury victims and their families for more than 30 years, and have recovered over 3 Billion for our clients. Call (877) 562-0000 or fill out our online form to arrange for your FREE and CONFIDENTIAL case evaluation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

Traffic Fatalities Spike in 2016

TRAFFIC FATALITIES SPIKED TO OVER 40,000 In the recent past, we have seen more and more safety devices added to new cars in order to make them safer. Rearview camera, electronic stability control, more airbags, lane assistance, and blind spot monitoring are just a few of those technological advances designed to protect drivers. However, despite all of these advances, the number of traffic fatalities rose sharply for the second straight year. The National Safety Council’s annual report on traffic deaths estimates that approximately 40,200 people were killed as a result of motor vehicle crashes in 2016. That is a six percent increase from 2015 estimates, which makes a for a fourteen percent increase over the last two years. That fourteen percent increase is the largest in the last 50 years. THE CAUSES OF THE RECENT IN TRAFFIC FATALITIES SPIKE VARY The report states that the Nation Safety Council estimates that nearly half of all motor vehicle wrecks are related to passengers not buckling their seatbelts. They also estimated that and around one-third of all the traffic related deaths have some link to impairment by drugs or alcohol. Traffic fatalities have not eclipsed 40,000 since 2007 and it is a worrying trend to see this number increasing despite all the advances in safety. Researchers interested in the causes of the recent spike believe that a stronger economy may have simply resulted in more people driving more often and for longer distances, creating more chances for wrecks and traffic deaths to occur. Other potential causes include an increase in distracted drivers, whether it is millennials trying to navigate the various social media apps on their phone while driving or baby boomers trying to figure out how to turn their speaker phone off while driving. Other potential factors include low enforcement of traffic regulations, lax trucking regulations, and states failing to pass seatbelt laws. WE’RE HERE FOR YOU 24/7 At Cory Watson Attorneys, we have made it our mission to fight for the rights of injury victims and their families for more than 30 years, and have recovered over 3 Billion for our clients. Call (877) 562-0000 or fill out our online form to arrange for your FREE and CONFIDENTIAL case evaluation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

Don’t Get Stuck With The Bill

WHO PAYS FOR YOUR MEDICAL BILLS AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT? Medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy in our country. If you’ve been injured in a car wreck recently, that should give you pause, because there will be medical bills associated with the treatment for your injuries. It’s reasonable to assume that the at-fault driver’s insurance company will cover all your medical expenses (and they should), but that is not always the case. Often insurance companies will offer to settle your claim shortly after the wreck. What they do not make clear is that accepting their offer ends their responsibility to pay for any future medical bills related to treatment for your injuries. The at-fault driver’s insurance company is liable by law for your medical expenses. However, the extent to which they pay those bills depends on when the claim is settled. In any wreck related injury claim, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will try to determine what they are obligated to pay you at that moment in time. Although that amount can seem significant, it may be far less than you will actually need to fully recover. Your injuries will take time to heal but the insurance company will often pressure you to accept a settlement before you have made a full recovery.  If you agree to accept a settlement before you have fully healed, there’s no going back. Whether or not the settlement turns out to be enough, the insurance company is no longer required to pay you anything. This leaves you responsible for future medical bills. HOW TO VALUE ACCIDENT SETTLEMENTS Knowing when to settle your case, negotiating a settlement, and understanding whether you are receiving a fair settlement amount can be difficult tasks. This is why it is important to contact an attorney early in the process when you have been injured in a motor vehicle wreck. An attorney will help you understand the process, ensure that you do not settle your case prior to receiving all the necessary treatment for your injuries, and will negotiate a settlement that ensures you will not be responsible for medical bills that are the result of injuries you received from another driver. WE’RE HERE FOR YOU 24/7 At Cory Watson Attorneys, we have made it our mission to fight for the rights of injury victims and their families for more than 30 years, and have recovered over 3 Billion for our clients. Call (877) 562-0000 or fill out our online form to arrange for your FREE and CONFIDENTIAL case evaluation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

Make Sure You Are Covered: Uninsured Motorist Coverage

WHO IS AT FAULT? Imagine you are driving home from work when another driver runs a red light and crashes into you. The wreck totals your car and the impact breaks your leg. Who is responsible for the damage to your car and the medical bills for your broken leg? The obvious answer is the driver that hit you is responsible for the damages to your vehicle and for the injury you sustained. This means that the insurance company that is providing coverage for the driver that hit you will be responsible for paying for your property damage and medical bills. UNINSURED MOTORISTS IN ALABAMA? COUNT ON IT. Alabama law requires every driver to carry liability insurance (Ala. Code §32-7A-4). Unfortunately, if the driver that hit you does not have insurance then there will be no money available from the driver that caused the wreck to pay for the damage to your vehicle and your medical bills. This scenario is more likely than you might think since recent studies show that nearly 20% of Alabama drivers do not carry insurance. What can you do to protect yourself from this scenario? You can make sure that you have UM/UIM insurance on your own policy. UM/UIM stands for Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance.  Insurance companies are required to offer this coverage with every policy they offer (Ala. Code §32-7-23) but you are allowed to refuse this coverage and many drivers refuse this coverage just to save a few dollars. This coverage is important to have on your policy because in the scenario described above the UM/UIM insurance would pay you for your property damage and pay your medical bills. SAVE YOURSELF THE PAIN, THE TIME, AND THE MONEY Even if the driver that hit you has insurance, they may not have ENOUGH insurance. In Alabama, drivers are only required to carry insurance that pays a maximum of $25,000 to a single person in a wreck. It is very easy for your medical bills to total well over $25,000. If you have UM/UIM insurance it will cover any bills or damages that cost more than the amount of insurance of the driver that caused the wreck carries. The Insurance Information Institute recommends that all drivers have at least $100,000 in UM/UIM coverage. We have seen many cases where our client was badly injured in a motor vehicle accident where the driver that hit them either had no insurance or too little insurance. Do not allow yourself to be put in that situation. Call your insurance adjuster today and ask them how you can add UM/UIM insurance to your policy now. WE’RE HERE FOR YOU 24/7 At Cory Watson Attorneys, we have made it our mission to fight for the rights of injury victims and their families for more than 30 years, and have recovered over $2 BILLION for our clients. Call (877) 562-0000 or fill out our online form to arrange for your FREE and CONFIDENTIAL case evaluation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

Cory Watson Honors Work of Auto Safety Pioneer Clarence Ditlow

Clarence Ditlow, a tireless consumer advocate who spent his entire life trying to protect the public by making cars safer, has died at the age of 72. Ditlow made a career out of advancing safety regulations for passenger vehicles as well as exposing and calling attention to safety defects in automobiles. He served as the executive director of the Center for Auto Safety since 1976. The organization is a watchdog group founded by Consumers Union and Ralph Nader in 1970. “His accomplishments included safety recalls of tens of millions of vehicles that saved untold thousands of lives, and lemon laws in all 50 states.  Since the center was founded in 1970, the death rate on America’s roads has dropped dramatically, from 5.2 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 1969 to 1.1 per 100 million vehicle miles in 2010. Ralph Nader and Consumers Union established the Center to provide consumers a voice for auto safety and quality in Washington and to help owners of “lemon” vehicles fight back across the country,” the Center for Auto Safety said in a statement today. The Center played a major role in major recalls, among others: 6.7 million Chevrolets for defective engine mounts, 15 million Firestone 500 tires, 1.5 million Ford Pintos for exploding gas tanks, and 3 million Evenflo child seats for defective latches. Ditlow and other representatives of the Center for Auto Safety testified over than 50 times in front of congress regarding warranties and service bulletins, auto safety, fuel economy, consumer protection and air pollution. While Ditlow spent much of his career fighting large automotive corporations on consumer safety issues, he spent just as much of his career criticizing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s oversight of the automotive industry as a whole. Ditlow was a consumer advocate at every turn and never felt that a dollar saved or spent should be prioritized over consumer safety. The attorneys at Cory Watson share the same values as the late Clarence Ditlow when it comes to consumer safety and holding the government and automotive corporations accountable for the safety of the public. By Curt Tanner, Attorney

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

Alabama Ranked High in Vehicle-Related Deaths

There are thousands of fatalities on U.S. roads every year, and unfortunately, we get our fair share in Birmingham. In recent years, Alabama has had the seventh-highest motor vehicle occupant death rate in the country. Many believe the extraordinarily high fatality rate in Alabama is due to the large number of rural roads in the state, as many of these roads are narrow or have blind curves, leading to more head-on accidents at high rates of speed. No matter the cause, every vehicle-related fatality in Alabama means someone’s not coming home ever again, leaving his/her family with more questions than answers. As personal injury lawyers who handle a large number of Alabama’s wrongful death cases, our first priority in a fatal car accident case is getting justice for the deceased. Most often, that means securing compensation for the victim’s surviving family members as quickly and as painlessly as possible. Achieving that takes experienced lawyers and a compassionate staff, and at Cory Watson Attorneys, we have both in spades. We Are Here For You 24/7 If you’ve lost a loved one in a vehicle-related crash, call our experienced Birmingham car accident attorneys today for a free consultation. We’ll fully investigate the cause of the accident and hold the responsible party accountable for their death. You don’t have to go through this alone. Give us a call today.

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