Category: Insurance

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Workers’ Compensation – Know Your Coverage

Workers Should Consider Third Party Action in Serious Work Accidents

After a workplace accident, many injured workers assume that workers’ compensation insurance coverage will pay for all financial losses they have suffered as a result of the accident. This is not the case. Workers’ compensation covers only very specific medical and disability payments. It does not cover pain and suffering, property damage, or other losses. These losses can be expensive. Many workers may have to file a third-party action in order to access alternate sources of compensation for such losses. An experienced Arizona workplace accident attorney can help you determine how best to protect your legal rights after sustaining an injury on the job.

Workers’ compensation coverage is a trade-off for injured employees. They do not have to prove who was legally responsible (“liable”) for the accident. Simply being injured within the scope of employment enables an employee to access workers’ compensation coverage. But because of this, the coverage is limited. It is therefore important that injured workers explore other sources of compensation available to them.

What is a Third Party Action?

A third party action is a separate legal claim against another individual (or company, or other legal entity) which bears legal responsibility for the workplace accident. Many types of workplace accidents give rise to a third party claim, in addition to a workers’ compensation claim. For example; a negligent driver causes an accident with a work vehicle. The workers inside are injured and seek workers’ compensation coverage for their medical bills. The injured workers also have a third party action against the negligent driver, who is legally obligated to compensate their pain and suffering and other legal losses not covered by their employer ’s workers’ compensation insurance.

Workers may also have third-party claims against manufacturers who make defective equipment or vehicles which cause a workplace injury. These “products liability” claims apply to any manufacturer of consumer goods. Such companies have a legal duty of care to manufacture products which are safe for ordinary uses by consumers. Products which have defects in design or manufacturing can cause injuries (including injuries in the workplace). Such injury victims have a legal case against the product’s manufacturer.

What Workers Are Doing To Promote Workplace Safety

Lately, many federal regulations promoting workplace safety have been removed, exposing workers to unnecessary risks. Workers should not ignore these important policy changes. The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, for example, is observing Workers Memorial Day on April 28, 2018. This is a day to honor those who have suffered workplace injuries and been killed on the job. The AFL-CIO is also using the occasion as a call to action for workers who wish to fight for renewed safety regulations in the workplaces of America.

Want more?  Learn about your rights in an accident with a self-driving car.

The Right Representation  for Your Family’s Legal Rights

After any work accident, it is important to consult an experienced Arizona personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You have legal rights to compensation which might not be fully covered by worker’s compensation coverage. Schedule your free consultation with the Fite Law by calling (602) 368-1869, or sending an email to info@fitelaw.com. Our experienced attorneys will fight hard to access all sources of compensation to which you are entitled as the result of a workplace accident.

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What If Something Goes Wrong With a Self-Driving Car or Truck?

Self-driving vehicles have become an increasingly familiar sight on the roads in and around Phoenix.  This exciting technology holds the potential to reduce a large number of auto accidents which are caused by human error. But it does pose an important legal question: Who is at fault for an accident caused by a self-driving vehicle? For the most part, existing statutes and case law do not adequately answer this novel question. There are several possibilities.

Products Liability: Manufacturers of consumer goods have an obligation to make their products reasonably safe for the consumers who will use them. Because of this, auto manufacturers can be liable for accidents caused by defective parts, equipment or systems. This is why some auto manufacturers issue recalls of faulty equipment. In such a case, the company’s lawyers and accountants have determined that it will be less expensive to recall the product than to pay the likely costs of lawsuits.

In the case of a self-driving car or truck, the vehicle will consist of many more consumer products and systems than those vehicles which are piloted by a human driver. An autonomous driving program which malfunctions may incur liability to the software manufacturer which developed the system, the hardware manufacturer which designed its parts, the systems engineer who integrated both systems together, or the manufacturer of the entire vehicle. Which manufacturer is liable will depend upon the exact nature of the malfunction which occurred. In many cases, more than one manufacturer can be liable for an accident caused by an autonomous vehicle.

The Other Driver: Autonomous driving technologies have impressive success rates. They are programmed with an enormous amount of data to predict an impressive variety of driving scenarios. They also eliminate human error in driving tasks (if not in the design process). For these reasons, it is highly likely that many accidents involving self-driving vehicles will be the fault of the other driver involved in the accident, and not the driver or manufacturer of the autonomous vehicle. In this situation, traditional rules of liability will apply. The responsible driver will be legally obligated to compensate the victim for all property damage, medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages which occur as the result of his or her negligence.

Just How Safe Are Self-Driving Vehicles?

Many drivers, government regulators, and politicians are adverse to a driving technology which completely eliminates the need for a licensed driver to be in the vehicle. Yet time and again, research demonstrates that self-driving vehicles are safer than vehicles driven by humans. C-Net reports that 94 percent of accidents caused by human error could be eliminated by the use of autonomous vehicle technology. “Human error” can constitute a wide variety of bad driving behavior. Drunk driving, drowsy driving, distracted driving and road rage account for thousands of traffic deaths every year across the United States – deaths which could be prevented by autonomous driving technologies which are impervious to such disruptions.

For some helpful tips on driving your non-automated car safer, read this article.

Aggressive Defense of Your Personal Injury Claim Arising From an Auto Accident

If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto accident – whether involving an autonomous vehicle or not – it is important to seek advice from an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Schedule your free consultation with the Fite Law Group by calling (602) 368-1869, or sending an email to info@fitelaw.com. Our friendly staff and experienced attorneys will conduct a thorough review of your claim in order to best protect your legal interests.

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Recommended Arizona Car Insurance Coverages

Car insurance coverages vary in Arizona depending on how much you want to pay, but there are specific minimum coverages required. These can cover property damage, uninsured motorist coverage, medical payments coverage and more.

In the event of an accident, $5,000 is the amount advised for medical payments coverage. If you were to pay more, the money would be reimbursable to the insurance company. You must be insured for liability in Arizona in the amounts of at least $15,000 per person, or $30,000 per crash. Continue reading “Recommended Arizona Car Insurance Coverages”