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Grayson, Kentucky, Legal Blog

Health insurance deductible concerns in divorce

One of the benefits commonly provided by employers could cause serious consequences for some marriages on the brink of divorce. Health care has always played a role in negotiations over custody, spousal support and property division, but the passage of the Affordable Care Act offered those with pre-existing conditions some amount of security. This law may soon be overturned and the prohibition against higher premiums for pre-existing conditions lifted. Some Kentucky couples have responded by showing more reluctance in untying the knot.

A University of Michigan study showed that around 115,000 women lost their coverage after divorce annually prior to the ACA. When these women are facing an expensive series of treatments, the loss of coverage could cost more to replace than what is available from alimony or property division. The ACA helped to address this situation by banning excess charges for pre-existing conditions.

IIHS calculates the human cost of higher speed limits

Lawmakers in Kentucky have generally chosen to restrict vehicle speeds to 65 mph even on rural roads, but speed limits may be increased to 70 mph on stretches of highway that meet certain criteria. However, six states have introduced speed limits as high as 80 mph, and drivers in some parts of Texas can travel at 85 mph without breaking the law. Road safety advocates have long claimed that higher speed limits make deadly accidents more likely, and a 2016 study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety seems to back up these arguments.

According to the IIHS, the number of road users killed in traffic accidents grows by 4 percent for each 5 mph that maximum permissible speeds are increased. The nonprofit organization came to its conclusion after studying accident data gathered both before and after maximum speed limits were raised. The group puts the death toll of higher permissible speeds at about 1,900 fatalities each year and more than 33,000 road users killed during the last two decades.

What types of damages could you suffer after a car crash?

Immediately after a car accident, you may not be in the best position to analyze your situation. However, it may not be easy weeks later, either, unless you know the legal definitions for your suffering.

Here is a list of damages you may want to consider when determining what you should include in your car accident claim. Any or all of these may apply to your case, and there may even be others you could seek, as well.

IIHS crash tests cast doubt on Tesla Model S safety claims

Electric cars made by manufacturers like Chevrolet and Tesla are becoming an increasingly common sight in Kentucky, and they are often purchased for their safety features as well as their low running costs. Tesla has referred to its top-of-the-line Model S sedan as the safest car ever made, but that was not the opinion held by researchers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety after the non-profit organization submitted it to a series of grueling accident reconstruction tests.

The IIHS put six American, German and Japanese full-sized sedans to the test, and the Tesla Model S was one of three that were not subsequently awarded a place on its list of America's safest cars, SUVs and pickup trucks. The Chevrolet Impala and the Ford Taurus also failed to earn a place on the coveted list. The Toyota Avalon, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the Lincoln Continental performed well during the IIHS testing and have been added to the organization's safest vehicles list.

Insurance claims increase over Fourth of July holiday

Kentucky residents may be interested to learn that the Fourth of July is considered to be the most dangerous summer holiday when it comes to auto accidents. Based on auto claim data from a leading insurer, the Fourth of July and the three days leading up to the holiday saw a 7 percent increase in the number of claims between 2012 and 2016.

It is recommended that those who intend to drive on summer holidays should take some steps to keep themselves safe. For example, they should ensure that their vehicle has been properly maintained recently, especially if they will be traveling long distances. Bringing a roadside kit and familiarizing themselves with the route can also help ensure that the holiday weekend is a success.

The impact of road rage in America

Busy traffic, bad or inconsiderate motorists and high levels of stress may cause a Kentucky driver to get angry behind the wheel. According to a study from AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, men as well as those between the ages of 19 and 39 are most likely to get angry while driving. The study, which was published in July 2016, collected data from 2,705 licensed drivers who reported driving within the past 30 days.

Overall, the study found that 80 percent of the drivers experienced at least one instance of angry or overly aggressive behavior while driving. Many drivers reported taking actions such as honking their horns or yelling at other motorists. More aggressive driving behaviors included bumping another vehicle on purpose or getting out of a vehicle to confront another driver. A representative of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety urged drivers to be tolerant and forgiving of others while on the road.

Insurance coverage when the at-fault driver has none

In the aftermath of a car accident, the insurance coverage of the drivers becomes an important issue. In a case where the other driver is at fault, Kentucky residents tend to rely on the at-fault driver's car insurance to pay for injuries and damages. If the at-fault driver lacks sufficient insurance coverage though, an injured person may still be able to recover through his or her own insurance company. There are at least two types of insurance that may apply in such a case: Uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage.

Uninsured motorist coverage may apply in a case where the at-fault driver does not have car insurance, or where the accident was a hit-and-run. It is designed to cover physical injuries. There is a different, related type of insurance, uninsured motorist property damage coverage, that may cover property damages. There may be a deductible associated with property damage coverage.

3 tips for sharing the road with large trucks

Driving near large trucks and buses is a common occurrence in Kentucky. While you may not think twice about this, you should be mindful of the risks of sharing the road with these big vehicles. Tractor trailers and buses take longer to stop, need significantly more space on the road and have sizeable blind spots. If an accident occurs, these heavy vehicles can cause serious injuries and fatalities

Thankfully, there are proactive steps you can take to stay safe near big rigs and other large vehicles. Keep reading for the best tips on sharing the road with large trucks by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Using dispute resolution processes for child support decisions

Informal negotiation and alternative dispute resolution processes may be ways that Kentucky parents who are getting a divorce can work out child support without going to court. The parents may make an agreement on their own, or they may work with their respective attorneys to reach an accord. This agreement should then be put into writing and submitted to a judge.

A similar written agreement may be the result of mediation or collaborative law. Using these processes, couples can work to resolve conflict and come to a compromise that satisfies them both. Arbitration is more like a court hearing in that both people present their sides, and the arbitrator comes to a decision. However, this is not often used in family law situations.

Facts about car accidents and children

Georgia parents may be interested in the results of a study regarding crash-related fatality rates among U.S. children. From 2010 to 2014, 2,885 children below the age of 15 died in car accidents, and the study broke these numbers down by state and region. The researchers found that in many Southern states, the rates and total numbers were highest, and the region with the fewest crash-related child deaths was the Northeast.

Researchers said many of the fatalities took place on rural roads and were due to a lack of or an improper use of child safety restraints. Other factors include state regulations and laws. The states with the highest number of child fatalities include Texas, California, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. Mississippi, Wyoming, Alabama, Montana, West Virginia and Oklahoma are some of the states that had the highest child mortality rates per 100,000 children annually. Rhode Island, Alaska, Vermont, Maine and Hawaii were some of the states with the least amount of deaths, and New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio were some of the states that had the lowest percentages of child fatalities.

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