10 Mar 2016

Death of a Stay At Home Parent Can Cause Financial Hardship

Recovering for the Loss of Services Provided by a Stay-At-Home Parent

When a parent dies, the loss to his or her family is immeasurable. Whether a mother or a father, a parent’s role in the family is irreplaceable and the feelings of sadness and loss experienced by the surviving parent and the children may take years to diminish. When that parent was killed in an accident because of someone else’s negligence or carelessness, the surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover some of the financial loss that will result from the absence of the parent. When the victim is a stay-at-home parent, however, these financial losses may be difficult to quantify.

Calculating the Value of a Stay-At-Home Parent

When the primary breadwinner in a family dies in an accident and a wrongful death lawsuit is pursued, one of the damages that can be recovered is for the loss of his or her earnings. This is usually calculated by taking the victim’s salary and multiplying it by the number of years he or she had left until retirement, while also accounting for benefits and other services offered by the deceased’s employer. When the deceased parent was the primary childcare provider, however, calculating the financial burden that will result from his or her absence can be complicated.

According to a survey conducted by Salary.com, stay-at-home parents work an average 94 hours a week caring for children and the home. Taking into account overtime pay and using salary information for the various tasks a typical parent performs, they estimate that it would cost approximately $113,000 a year to pay others to do the same tasks. A far less generous estimate from Insure.com breaks down stay-at-home parents’ tasks and hourly pay rates and comes up with a salary figure of nearly $60,000. Some specific items from their survey include:

  • Cooking: 14 hours per week, 52 weeks per year, mean hourly wage of $9.03, for a total of $6,570 per year.
  • Cleaning: 10 hours per week, 52 hours per year, mean hourly wage of $9.88, for a total of $5,135 per year.
  • Childcare: 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year, mean hourly wage of $9.65, for a total of $20,072 per year.
  • Help with homework: 10 hours per week, 40 week per year, mean hourly wage of $18.25, for a total of $7,290.

In reality, these estimates are probably low, especially the childcare estimate that a parent only provides 40 hours of childcare per week. However, the important point is that when a stay-at-home parent is lost, all of the childcare tasks he or she performed will have to be replaced by paid workers and that cost can be devastating for an already heartbroken family.

Recovering From Your Loss

Coping with the loss of a spouse or parent is very difficult. Facing a financial burden on top of that makes it even harder. Call my office to schedule a free consultation. I will examine your case and give you my honest assessment of your chances in pursuing an accidental death claim.

26 Feb 2016

Motorist and Bicyclist Errors That Lead to Injury Crashes

Leading Causes of Bicycle Crashes in Utah

People choose to ride bicycles for all the right reasons. Fresh air, exercise, protecting the environment, and saving money are a few of those reasons. Unfortunately, even well-intentioned bicyclists face danger when they share the road with motorists. According to data collected by the Utah Department of Public Safety, nearly 800 bicyclists are hit by cars each year in Utah, and almost all of them suffer injuries or worse.

Who Is Most Often Involved in Bicycle Crashes?

Sadly, it is often young drivers and young bicyclists who are involved in bicycle crashes. Whether due to carelessness or inexperience, young people are clearly at risk on bikes. In 2013, the most recent year for which data is available, 61 percent of bicycle accident victims were under the age of 30, with 285 victims being under the age of 20. As for the drivers responsible for colliding with bikes, most of them were in the 20- to 24-year-old age group and half of them were under the age of 40.

What Are the Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Utah?

While motorists are more often at fault in collisions with bicycles than the bicyclists, they are not always to blame. When the driver is at fault, it is usually for the following reasons:

  • Failure to yield
  • Hit and run
  • Driver distraction
  • Improper turn
  • Vision impaired by glare

Over half of motorists who hit bicyclists were turning at the time of the collision, a clear indication that drivers have to be more aware of the presence of bikes, especially when turning. In 48 percent of car-bicycle collisions, the bicyclist did nothing to contribute to the crash, but when bicyclists are at fault, it is usually for the following reasons:

  • Riding on the wrong side of the road
  • Crossing the street improperly
  • Disregarding a traffic signal or sign

Bicyclists were most often hit in marked crosswalks in 2013, but were also hit in roadways, on shoulders, on sidewalks, and in unmarked crosswalks.

When You Are Injured, William Enoch Andrews Can Help

As a personal injury attorney in Salt Lake City, William Enoch Andrews has represented many victims of bicycle accidents. He knows what kind of driver error to look for and how to document the victim’s injuries and medical treatments to ensure the highest possible settlement from the at-fault driver. If you or your child was hit by a motorist while riding a bike, contact our office now. Find out what William Enoch Andrews can do for you.

26 Feb 2016

Motorist and Bicyclist Errors That Lead to Injury Crashes

People choose to ride bicycles for all the right reasons. Fresh air, exercise, protecting the environment, and saving money are a few of those reasons. Unfortunately, even well-intentioned bicyclists face danger when they share the road with motorists. According to data collected by the Utah Department of Public Safety, nearly 800 bicyclists are hit by cars each year in Utah, and almost all of them suffer injuries or worse.

Who Is Most Often Involved in Bicycle Crashes?

Sadly, it is often young drivers and young bicyclists who are involved in bicycle crashes. Whether due to carelessness or inexperience, young people are clearly at risk on bikes. In 2013, the most recent year for which data is available, 61 percent of bicycle accident victims were under the age of 30, with 285 victims being under the age of 20. As for the drivers responsible for colliding with bikes, most of them were in the 20- to 24-year-old age group and half of them were under the age of 40.

What Are the Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Utah?

While motorists are more often at fault in collisions with bicycles than the bicyclists, they are not always to blame. When the driver is at fault, it is usually for the following reasons:

  • Failure to yield
  • Hit and run
  • Driver distraction
  • Improper turn
  • Vision impaired by glare

Over half of motorists who hit bicyclists were turning at the time of the collision, a clear indication that drivers have to be more aware of the presence of bikes, especially when turning. In 48 percent of car-bicycle collisions, the bicyclist did nothing to contribute to the crash, but when bicyclists are at fault, it is usually for the following reasons:

  • Riding on the wrong side of the road
  • Crossing the street improperly
  • Disregarding a traffic signal or sign

Bicyclists were most often hit in marked crosswalks in 2013, but were also hit in roadways, on shoulders, on sidewalks, and in unmarked crosswalks.

When You Are Injured, William Enoch Andrews Can Help

As a personal injury attorney in Salt Lake City, William Enoch Andrews has represented many victims of bicycle accidents. He knows what kind of driver error to look for and how to document the victim’s injuries and medical treatments to ensure the highest possible settlement from the at-fault driver. If you or your child was hit by a motorist while riding a bike, contact our office now. Find out what William Enoch Andrews can do for you.

22 Feb 2016

Modified Comparative Fault Laws for Car Accidents in Utah

As if it weren’t confusing enough to figure out Utah’s no-fault car insurance law, residents also have to wrestle with the concept of comparative fault when it comes to car accident liability.

While it is very clear in some car crashes who is at fault for the accident, other times it’s not so easy. If a driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs or is texting while driving, the police will most likely place the blame squarely on his or her shoulders. However, in cases where direct fault is difficult to determine, the responding officer may assign partial blame to each party. It is the percentage of blame assigned that becomes an important factor in a modified comparative fault state such as Utah.

What Comparative Fault Means

In a state that uses the legal principle of comparative fault—also known as comparative negligence—the law says that the two parties involved in the crash can share the blame and that any damage award given to an injured party will be reduced by the percentage amount that he or she is at fault for the crash. For example, if Jane suffers injuries valued at $100,000, but is found to be 30 percent to blame for the crash, she will only be awarded $70,000—a reduction of 30 percent.

Utah, however, is among the majority of states that practice modified comparative fault. What this means is that if one of the parties in an accident is found to be 50 percent or more at fault, he or she will receive no compensation at all. If the two parties are found to share equal blame in an accident—50/50—neither party can win damages from the other’s insurance company. However, if one party is only 49 percent at fault, he or she is eligible for 49 percent of the damages he or she has suffered.

Get Help to Clear the Confusion

If you are in a car accident and have been assigned partial blame, you will need the help of an experienced Utah car accident attorney to get the most you can for your recovery. Utah’s laws are too complex to take on yourself. Call Injury Attorney William Enoch Andrews for a free review of your case. You have nothing to lose!

22 Feb 2016

Driving Safely Around Big Trucks

When a big truck is involved in a crash, we tend to blame the truck driver. After all, he’s the big guy on the road and should be extra-cautious to protect the much more vulnerable small cars around him, right?

The reality is, truck drivers and truck malfunctions are to blame in roughly half of all accidents involving semi-trucks. The other half are caused by either road conditions or the careless driving of motorists sharing the road with them. You can protect yourself from truck driver error or making dangerous mistakes yourself by following our tips for sharing the road with big rigs.

What to Do When Driving With Big Trucks

Semi-trucks behave differently on highways and local roads because they are bigger, less maneuverable, and slower than the average car. When driving around them, take the following precautions:

  • Be aware of blind spots. Even small cars have blind spots. You’ve probably been in a situation where you went to change lanes only to find someone had been sitting in your blind spot. The blind areas around trucks are extensive and if you are cruising down the highway in a truck’s blind spot, you are putting yourself at risk. As truckers themselves warn, if you can’t see their mirrors, they can’t see you.
  • Leave extra space between you and the truck. When pulling into a lane in front of a truck, do not make the move until you can see the truck’s entire cab in your rearview mirror. Trucks cannot stop quickly and if you cut in too close, they will not be able to avoid hitting you.
  • Be prepared for anything. When cruising behind a truck or passing one on the highway, be aware that truck tires can blow out without warning and loads can shift or come loose at any time. Trucks can also easily lose control when swerving around obstacles that you might not be able to see. Your best bet is to avoid long periods of driving next to or behind big rigs whenever possible.

When a truck driver is distracted, careless, or under the influence of prescription drugs, it won’t matter what you do to avoid an accident, you could still be a victim. When this happens, you need an experienced truck accident attorney.

Call Attorney William Enoch Andrews

If you have done everything you can to safely share the road with big trucks and are still involved in a crash with one, get the experienced personal injury representation of William Enoch Andrews. He will fight for you.

22 Feb 2016

Choosing the Best Gear for Safety on a Motorcycle

You may have bought your first motorcycle because you thought it was cool and you loved the thrill of the open road. After many close calls around careless drivers, however, you now worry more about your safety than how you look on your bike. William Enoch Andrews is a biker and motorcycle accident attorney who cares about your safety. Knowing what can happen when a biker encounters a careless motorists, he is happy to provide this information on motorcycle safety gear.

Five Safety Gear Basics You Should Never Leave Home Without

Even though the state of Utah requires motorcycle helmets only for riders under the age of 18, smart riders know that the gear you wear is the only barrier between you and the hard pavement. Safety experts recommend that all motorcyclists arm themselves with the following:

  • Helmet. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a rider who is not wearing a helmet is 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head injury. It may not be required by law in Utah, but it is the first line of defense if you are hit by a negligent motorist. When choosing a helmet, make sure it is DOT or Snell certified and that it fits snugly but comfortably. A full-face helmet is the safest option as it protects your face and eyes as well as your head.
  • Boots. A high-quality pair of motorcycle boots will protect your feet and legs in a crash and from loose debris in the road, but their solid sole and good grip will also help prevent you from tipping over or slipping off the foot pegs.
  • Gloves. Proper motorcycle gloves will not only protect your hands from weather and debris, but could prevent hand fractures and finger amputations in a crash. They will also provide you with the necessary grip on the handlebars to control your bike.
  • Leathers. While a leather motorcycle jacket might feel like a stereotype, there is actually good sense behind it. The leather not only resists tearing when you hit the pavement, but the slick surface may help you to slide rather than tumble when you crash, which could prevent serious fractures and head injury. The man-made material Kevlar is also a good option.
  • Armor. As an added layer of protection for your back or head, memory foam armor can be built directly into jackets and helmets. This is a smart option when riding at high speeds or for long distances.

Remember that none of this gear does any good sitting in your closet at home. Even when taking a quick spin to the store, this basic gear should be worn.

Even Responsible Bikers Need a Lawyer Sometimes

You may wear all this gear and use defensive riding tactics on every ride and you could still be the victim of a distracted or impaired driver. When that happens, you will need the help of an attorney who understands your point of view. William Enoch Andrews is an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who will be there for you when you need him. Click the contact link on this page to learn more.