A recent study revealed that texting and driving has now surpassed drinking and driving as the leading cause of death among teens. The study showed that more than 3,000 teens die annually from texting and driving as opposed to the 2,700 driving under the influence. The study highlighted the frequency of texting. Although a teen may drink and drive periodically, teens have their cell phones with them all the time. This makes is very easy for a teen to text and drive every time he or she drives.
Keep in mind that texting and driving in the state of Minnesota is illegal and you can be fined. However, even with this deterrent in place, the study revealed that these laws have no effect on a teen’s decision to text and drive. Also, despite a national ad campaign and education on the subject, teens continue to text. As a result, developers are working on software that would restrict texts and calls from coming in when it detects the phone is in a moving car.
Parents, please talk to your teens about texting and driving. No life is worth a text. However, even if you take all the steps in the world to prevent an accident, you cannot control the behavior of others. Sometimes accidents do happen and when they do, you may need legal advice. If you or someone you know is injured in a car accident, fall down or dog bite in Minnesota or Wisconsin, please contact an attorney at Paige Donnelly, Ltd., for a free consultation.
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Have you ever been stuck behind someone on the highway attempting to merge into another lane when they have a whole empty lane in front of them? Unfortunately this person slows down traffic for all of those behind him or her. This could simply be avoided by performing the zipper merge. What’s that? You don’t know what the zipper merge is? You’re not alone. Despite the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s campaign on zipper merging, many people do not know what it is.
Living in the Twin Cities, it is easy to get frustrated with traffic. This is why knowing how to zipper merge is so important. The zipper merge is where drivers are use both lanes until they reach a designated merge point, or the end of the lane. Then motorists are to take turns to safely and smoothly flow into the remaining lane. Unfortunately, many people do not perform this maneuver .This results in “bottlenecking” on merge ramps that increase the likelihood of a rear end collision, or sudden lane changes that could result in a collision. The bottom line is that if there is more lane in front of you, continue to drive and hold off merging until the end of the lane or until a space opens up. This allows traffic at merge ramps to move more swiftly.
For more information about zipper merging check out: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/zippermerge/
Even if you take all the steps in the world to prevent an accident, you cannot control the behavior of others. Sometimes accidents do happen and when they do, you may need legal advice. If you or someone you know is injured in a car accident, fall down or dog bite in Minnesota or Wisconsin, please contact an attorney at Paige Donnelly, Ltd., for a free consultation.
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According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Minnesota recently experienced one of its deadliest weekends on Minnesota roads. Minnesota State Patrol noted that the cause of the severity of the crashes that weekend could be attributed to four, all too common, factors: speed, seat belts, inattention and impairment. In fact, most accidents that come into our firm usually involve one or more of these factors playing an essential role in a collision. Just following the steps of buckling up, following the speed limit, staying off your cell phone and never driving impaired, you can greatly reduce the risk of being involved in an accident. If you follow these few steps, you will not only be doing yourself a favor, but also a favor for everyone else on the road.
However, even if you take all the steps in the world to prevent an accident, you cannot control the behavior of others. Sometimes accidents do happen and when they do, you may need legal advice. If you or someone you know is injured in a car accident, fall down or dog bite in Minnesota or Wisconsin, please contact an attorney at Paige Donnelly, Ltd., for a free consultation regarding your rights to recovery at 651-222-2797 or 1-800-488-8395.
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With the new year comes new laws. The House of Representatives has posted a summary of new laws. Listed below are a few of the more pertinent laws that may affect you.
There will be an extension to the number of absent days that child care providers can be reimbursed when children of young mothers, still in school, miss day care.
Currently, under the child care assistance programs, there is a limit of 10 absent days per fiscal year for
which child care providers may be reimbursed.
The provision allows children in families who meet specified criteria to exceed the limit upon request of the program and approval of the county.
The law specifies that if a child attends the child care program for part of an authorized day, payment
to the provider must be for the full amount of care authorized for that day.
All school buses used in the state that are manufactured after Jan. 1, 2013, will need to be equipped with a crossing control arm on the front right bumper that automatically expands out whenever the bus is stopped and the flashing red lights are in use. Additionally, adopted national school bus specifications are being updated to use 2010 standards instead of those created in 2005.
Business Solicitation Restrictions Clarified
Licensed health care providers will be prohibited from using third parties to solicit business from those
who have been in automobile accidents, unless they clearly provide their names and the clinics where
The law will require this information to be disclosed to consumers. Violating the statute could result in license revocation. The law will impact companies that may use unethical business practices, such as promising specific financial payments to those injured, or using actors posing as law enforcement to attract customers.
These are just a few of the new laws that have gone into effect.
No New Year’s Eve Traffic Fatalities
On another note, Minnesota marked its fifth straight New Year’s Eve with no traffic fatalities. Just to give you an idea, from 2002-2007, Minnesota State Patrol averaged arresting 322 people each year for driving under the influence, from 2007-2012 that number dropped to an average of 295 people each year.
If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident on New Year’s Eve in Minnesota or Wisconsin or is the victim of a distracted driver, please contact an attorney at Paige Donnelly, Ltd., for a free consultation regarding your rights to recovery at 651-222-2797 or 1-800-488-8395.
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Sheila K. Donnelly – Coyne is one of nation’s most knowledgeable attorneys when it comes to accidents involving a semi-truck There are a number of things that need to be looked at the outset of the case. Thesethings can be overlooked if you do not hire an experienced attorney when it comes to an accident involving a commercial vehicle. This is true in the State of Minnesota, as well as any state in the nation.
Did you know that it is often found that the truck company, as well as the driver, created a danger to the public and ultimately the victim? For example, the trucking companies can be held liable for hiring a poorly trained or inexperienced driver, training a driver in a manner that violates safety laws, keeping the truck and trailer in an unsafe condition, allowing drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs to stay on the road and/or allowing drivers to violate the safety law limiting the hours of driving.
These are all issues that need to be looked at immediately following the accident. This is why it is even more important to contact an attorney following an accident involving a commercial vehicle. Evidence can “disappear” and/or become extremely difficult to obtain as time passes. As one of the most prominent commercial vehicle injury attorneys in Minnesota, Sheila K. Donnelly-Coyne will assure that your case in investigated immediately and crucial evidence that can disappear is preserved. As one of the nation’s leading truck accident attorneys, she knows what needs to be done at the outset and what needs to be done while your case is ongoing. Keep in mind that accidents involving commercial vehicles must be handled much differently than other types of accidents. With years of experience behind her and her pursuit of continuous education involving commercial vehicles, Sheila has the credentials and skills to aggressively prosecute your claim.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident involving a commercial vehicle, dog bite, fall down, bicycle accident or motorcycle accident in Minnesota or Wisconsin, please contact an attorney at Paige Donnelly, Ltd., for a free consultation regarding your rights to recovery at 651-222-2797 or 1-800-488-8395.
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With the weather getting colder and rainier out, there is no doubt that the roads are becoming more and more treacherous. Before you know it, there will be snow on the ground and the roads will get even more slippery. Here in Minnesota we never know how early we are going to experience snow. Everyone remembers the Halloween snowstorm of 1991 that dumped over 30 inches of snow in parts of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. With that in mind, we all know that the snow could come at any moment and it is never too soon to start planing and making your car safer for winter. Below are a few safety tips you can do to make sure that you are prepared to travel the roads in the State of Minnesota or Wisconsin.
Regular Maintenance – This means checking fluids, including oil, coolant, brake and transmission fluid. This will keep your car from breaking down and also keep you out of the cold should you need to change the fluids in the middle of the winter.
Check your Brakes – Have your brakes evaluated. Be sure that they are functioning properly. The winter weather and road conditions expose cars extreme conditions here and Minnesota and your stopping power is limited.
Check you Lights – Make sure all your lights are working properly to ensure good visibility. In snowy conditions, visibility can be extremely limited. This will ensure that you are easily seen by other vehicles on the road.
Check Your Tires – Have your tires rotated and inspected. Making sure your tires are in good condition is essential to providing stopping power and traction on the wet and icy roads. Remember that although four-wheel-drive allows you to get out of slippery situations and go, it does not increase your stopping power.
Stock your Car – Keep in your car a blanket, jumper cables, a flashlight, chains, a first-aid kit, a small knife, flares, snacks, gloves, small shovel, waterproof matches and an ice scraper.
A little preparation can save a big headache later and/or help prevent an accident. However, even if you take all the steps in the world to prevent an accident, you cannot control the behavior of others. Sometimes accidents do happen and when they do, you may need legal advice. If you or someone you know is injured in a car accident, fall down or dog bite in Minnesota or Wisconsin, please contact an attorney at Paige Donnelly, Ltd., for a free consultation regarding your rights to recovery at 651-222-2797 or 1-800-488-8395.
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We wrote a while back about Minnesota’s law banning cell phone use while operating a commercial vehicle. Following in suit and in an effort to prevent distracted driving, our neighbors to the east have passed an identical law as it pertains to inexperienced drivers.
The new law in Wisconsin takes effect on November 1, 2012. The law, similar to the same law followed in the Minnesota Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, makes it illegal for anyone driving with an instruction permit or probationary license to use a cell phone or other wireless device. Again, as you know, texting while driving is illegal for all drivers, however, this law bans any use whatsoever, with the exception that an emergency arises.
The new law penalizes first-time violators with penalties ranging from $20.00 to $40.00. As stated above, the law does make an exception for using a cell phone to report an emergency.
The new law intends to prevent teenagers and other inexperienced drivers from talking on their phones while driving, which can be a dangerous distraction. This is just one of many distractions that can occur when an teenager or inexperienced driver take the will. Hopefully individuals will be aware of the law and it will have some sort of effect on their behavior. Only time will tell.
The law was passed by a 94-0 vote. In passing the law Representative Chris Taylor, also said she believes it is necessary in order to help reduce the number fatal car accidents in Wisconsin, especially those caused by teen drivers. Specifically, she said, “What we know is that, particularly for teens, if they can focus on actually driving and not using their phones, the probability of decreasing accidents increases. “It is a huge distraction; we’ve had a ton of accidents in this state because of texting. When you get the word out to new drivers that you really need to concentrate on the road, that’s a good thing.”
Remember that accidents can happen in a flash and that even with the mere time it takes to look down at your cell phone, an accident can happen. The main point to remember is that when you are driving a motor vehicle, you are ONLY driving a vehicle. All it takes is a split second for your life to be completely changed.
If you or someone you know is injured in a car accident in Minnesota or Wisconsin or is the victim of a distracted driver, please contact an attorney at Paige Donnelly, Ltd., for a free consultation regarding your rights to recovery at 651-222-2797 or 1-800-488-8395.
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Here in the state of Minnesota, the law requires you to carry insurance on your vehicle. Just in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, there are countless individuals that are not covered. The only way to protect yourself if you are involved in a car accident is to take out the appropriate coverage that allows you to protect yourself.
We have written about no-fault benefits, uninsured motorist coverage (when you are the victim of a hit and run accident) and underinsured motorist benefits (when the person that hit you does not have enough coverage to compensate you for your injuries). Today I just wanted to discuss what other types of coverage you can purchase for you and your vehicle that are optional and explain some of the mysterious terms that appear on your insurance policy that may have you confused. The following is a list of some of the most common types of coverage that appear on your policy.
- Stacking – Auto insurance stacking is optional and must be elected by the insured. It stacks the coverage for each vehicle you own. In Minnesota, it is especially helpful for no-fault coverage. By combining coverage, you are able to substantially increase the payment limits of your auto insurance should you be involved in an accident. For example, if you had $20,000 in no-fault medical benefit coverage and decided to exercise the stacking option for a second car, stacked coverage for both cars would be $40,000.00 for any single accident. With three cars, the coverage would increase to $60,000 and so on and so forth for additional vehicles. There is usually a very small premium involved, but it is well worth it for the extra protection.
- Gap Coverage – A new car immediately loses value when it is driven off the lot. This can present a problem if you are involved in an accident with a new car that is financed. So what happens if a vehicle is totaled in an accident and you actually owe more than the car is worth? This is where gap insurance comes in. Gap insurance, or Guaranteed Auto Protection, covers the difference between the actual cash value of a vehicle and the amount the insurance company will pay for your vehicle if it is totaled. In essence, if you are upside down on your car (owe more than it is worth), gap insurance will pay the remaining balance still owed on the financing (car loan, lease, etc.). This is very important to have if you own a newer vehicle because you often owe more than the insurance company is willing to pay you for the property damage.
- Comprehensive – Comprehensive vehicle insurance is sold separately to cover property damage and cover can be for events such as fire, theft, collision and other property damage. There is usually a deductible involved when having something fixed. One of the most common instances where this is used in when there is a broken windshield.
- Collision – This covers your insured vehicle for physical damage that your car sustains when it hits, or is hit by, another vehicle, or another object. Collision also covers a single car accident, such as the unintentionally rolling or flipping of your vehicle. In short, this covers when your car is involved in any type of accident. Whereas comprehensive coverage covers other types of instances.
- Bodily Injury – This covers other people’s bodily injuries or death for which you are responsible. It also provides for a legal defense if another party in the accident files a lawsuit against you. In the event of a serious accident, you want enough insurance to cover a judgment against you in a lawsuit, without risking your personal assets. Bodily injury liability covers injury to people, not your vehicle.
If you have been involved in a car accident, regardless of whether or not you intend to make a claim against the other party, contact your insurance company and report the accident. If you are denied these benefits that you have paid a premium for, feel free to contact an attorney at Paige Donnelly, Ltd, for a free consultation regarding your rights.
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Have you ever heard the saying that patience is a virtue? When it comes to a personal injury claim, there is no exception. The fact of the matter is that no case can be settled until all the facts are known. You simply do not want to settle your claim early on, only to find out that you will need surgery after you have already signed the release. There is no recourse after a release has been signed
With that in mind, an attorney needs to understand as much as they can about your injuries so a fair and equitable settlement can be reached. It generally takes several months to gather the information needed to settle your claim and understand the permanency of your injuries. It can take from 12 to 18 months for your doctors to decide that you have healed as much as possible. Usually, at that point your doctors will be able to issue an opinion as to whether you have healed completely or whether you have injuries which are likely to be permanent.
If your case involves a motor vehicle, the Minnesota No-fault Act will apply. The No-fault Act requires that you meet one of the following thresholds before you can legally make a claim for injuries:
1. $4,000.00 in medical expenses; OR
2. A permanent disfigurement (such as a scar); OR
3. A permanent injury from which you more than likely will never fully recover; OR
4. A disability which prevents you from engaging in substantially all of your usual and customary daily activities for 60 days or more.
Usually, you will have to meet one of these thresholds before your case can be settled. It is very important that you seek medical attention for your injuries and follow through with your doctor’s advice. Your doctor is in the best position to determine whether you have met any of the thresholds.
Even though the above timeline is typical, it is not always followed. If you have a claim that involves substantial and immediately evident injuries, a case can be settled in a more timely fashion. You may also instruct your attorney to attempt to settle is sooner. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident involving a commercial vehicle, dog bite, fall down, bicycle accident or motorcycle accident in Minnesota or Wisconsin, please contact an attorney at Paige Donnelly, Ltd., for a free consultation regarding your rights to recovery at 651-222-2797 or 1-800-488-8395.
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The purpose of a deposition is to get your testimony and your point of view as to the facts of the accident and your injuries. You are under oath and the questions asked of you can be used against you in a trial for impeachment purposes. Here are a few easy to follow tips when you bring a claim in the state of Minnesota.
1. Between now and the deposition, think about all the facts surrounding the accident and your injuries and treatment in detail, so that your ability to recall is enhanced. Be prepared to testify about your treatment and how that treatment is helping you. I have enclosed a copy of your Answers to Interrogatories to assist you in your review.
2. If you have been keeping a diary of your aches and pains, please review the diary in anticipation of the questions that may be asked during your deposition. If you have not been keeping a diary, now might be a good time to jot down your aches and pains that you have throughout a normal day and the activities that trigger those pains.
3. You should have a thorough knowledge of the days you missed from work and the amount of wages you were earning at the time you missed work.
4. The questions will generally be phrased in a leading fashion so as to get you to answer yes or no. Occasionally, the questions will be asking you to recite a narrative account of the accident.
5. Answer the questions briefly and only answer the question asked. If you can answer the questions with a yes or no, do so, unless you feel that you need to qualify your answer.
6.Don’t argue with the defense attorney. The attorney will there to protect you from any unnecessary or harassing questions.
7.Allow some time between the asking of the question and your answer for two reasons. First of all, you should think about your answer before blurting it out, and secondly, it gives the attorney an opportunity to interpose any objections to the form of the questions, which must be stated at that time or they cannot objected to during the trial of the matter for similar questions.
8. Be prepared to discuss all prior accident and injuries you have had and your entire medical and work history.
9. The length of the deposition will generally be one to two hours.
Here at Paige Donnelly, Ltd., we are not afraid to go to trial and fight for your recovery. We have countless years of experience and know that sometimes the only way to put your life back on track and make you whole, is to go to trial. We will leave the decision up to you and offer you our honest advice regarding your case. If you have a difficult case involving a car accident or dog bite or are concerned about going to trial, please feel free to contact an attorney at Paige Donnelly, Ltd., for a free consultation regarding your concerns at 651-222-2797 or 1-800-488-8395.
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