wait a moment

Author: Jack Heichel

We try to get there fast, at what price!

We try to get there fast, at what price!

As we go through our daily lives, the concentration is usually on rushing to the next thing and not on getting there safely.

When you are driving too fast, the likelihood of an accident increases. To avoid a trucking accident in Atlanta, it is important to maintain reasonable speed on highways where trucks are present. And if you have been involved in a truck accident, it is important to seek the assistance of an experienced Atlanta injury attorney to help get you the award necessary to help pay for medical bills, rehabilitation and other out-of-pocket expenses. personal injury Lawyers

Fairchild v. South Carolina Department of Transportation is a recent trucking accident case out of South Carolina. In this case the court looked to the issues surrounding damage awards for negligence in trucking accidents.

There was a South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) driver who was driving a dump truck with an attached rear trailer. In an attempt to make a u-turn on a highway, the driver merged into the median of the highway. Because of the length of the dump truck and the attached trailer, the rear of the trailer stuck out into the left traffic lane on the highway. Fairchild (plaintiff) was driving in that left lane on the highway. Upon seeing the trailer in the road, the plaintiff slammed on her brakes to avoid an accident. In doing this, a truck that was behind the plaintiff driven by Palmer (Defendant), crashed into plaintiff. As this was also a truck with a rear trailer attached, the force of this crash caused the plaintiff’s minivan to flip over and roll onto the median of the highway. Plaintiff suffered serious injuries and property damage.

Plaintiff sued SCDOT and Palmer. Upon signing a covenant not to sue with the SCDOT, Plaintiff continued her negligence lawsuit against Palmer. She sought actual damages for her property damage and physical injuries, as well as punitive damages. personal injury lawyers

The court in this case heard the appeal by the plaintiff because of the lower courts failure to instruct a jury as to punitive damages.

There are several different types of damages awarded in personal injury cases. The main types of damages are compensatory damages, often referred to as actual damages. These damages are awarded to compensate a victim for injury, property damage and/or harm suffered. On the other hand, punitive damages are awarded in cases where the defendant’s actions were so egregious, malicious or reckless as to inspire the court to punish them. These types of damages were created to have a deterrent effect on the public at large.

The court in this case looks to statute and case precedent to guide its decision. Where punitive damages are sought, the jury is responsible for the decision of whether to award these damages. However, it is the responsibility of the judge to give the jury instructions as to the proof necessary and the way to quantify these damages. Because the lower court failed to instruct the jury regarding this type of damages, this South Carolina court reminds the state courts of procedural policy.

Additionally, this court analyzed the rules that are essential when determining the application of the damages. Every driver has a duty to drive as a reasonably prudent person in similar circumstance. Statute also indicates that in order to act reasonably as a driver, you are not to speed or follow another vehicle too closely. This is a duty of care imputed on all drivers.

Where a driver fails to drive at a reasonable speed or follows too closely behind another vehicle, reckless, willful or wonton conduct is inferred. Where this conduct is inferred, punitive damages are appropriate.

Thus, this court held that the jury is responsible for making this decision although the law surrounding standards must be set by the judge. See more on this website

The misconceptions of the “Down” Season

“The misconceptions of the “Down” Season”

It is a common misconception that the landscaping professional needs to slow down due to the fall and winter (“down” season). Another misconception says this is not a good time to start a yard construction project or begin a regular maintenance program for your yard. landscape maintenance
Landscaping seasonality actually enables you and your landscaper the best chance to get started on a project or maintenance. Here’s why . . .

Construction. Why you ask?
The best time to start a landscaping construction project is during the “down” season. A landscaping construction professional can work in any weather. Yes, it can be easier when the weather is nice, but steps can be made to handle adverse weather while still getting a project done. The cooler/damper weather makes it easier to work in the soil, dig and plant.
The bigger benefit of doing construction projects during the down season is you get to enjoy the benefits of using your completed yard during the nicest times of the year. If you wait to start your project during the best weather you typically won’t enjoy the “use” your yard when the weather is the nicest.
Why else you ask?

-Projects usually are easier to schedule during the down season.
-Suppliers often give bigger discounts on plant stock or material.
-Your yard gets a jump-start on what it needs to look good for the spring and summer.

Maintenance. Why you ask?

The down season also provides the best chance at a beginning or maintaining a solid yard maintenance program. Homeowners generally feel that there is nothing to do in the winter and they may be wasting money on beginning or staying with yard maintenance.
Eliminating your landscape professional during the fall or winter often ties their hands unnecessarily as they have to play catch up in the Spring usually costing you more time and money.
The fact is a yard can look good during adverse fall and winter weather. With consistent care you are taking necessary steps to ensure a healthy and up kept yard as you move into the spring and summer seasons.
landscape professionals

What else does a landscape professional do during the “down season”?

• Clean up hard surfaces and flowerbeds of excess leaves and tree debris accumulated during foul weather and tree seasonality.
• Winterize sprinkler systems.
• Turf care: Aerate, thatch, over seed, fertilize, moss control, control moss and broad leaf weeds.
• Turf repair: spot repair.
• Drainage work.
• Fertilize evergreens and shrubs.
• Clean gutters.
• Mow turf (Washington typically has a 1-2 month time where mowing is not necessary, but due to • our mild climate mowing can be year round).

We’ve listed below a checklist of other areas to assess in your yard going into this Fall/Winter:

• Pressure wash dirt and moss off driveways, walkways, and entrance areas.
• Decorate the yard with Fall/Winter color annuals.
• Repair landscape lighting.
• Winterize water features.
• Clean up any accumulated debris in yard.
• Prune larger tree limbs next to house or near power lines.
• Wrap/Cover outdoor water faucets.

How To Lower Auto Insurance Costs

How To Lower Auto Insurance Costs

It seems these days that it costs more and more to keep your car. With most new cars in the $22,000 + range, the monthly payments can be high. The cost of gas is now over $3.00 a gallon for regular and we’re in a time where a lot of people drive long distances to get into work. Then, there’s the cost of car insurance. Fortunately, you can buy a cheaper car, live closer to work, and by doing your homework, you can save money on car insurance.cheap car insurance

The first and easiest way to shop around for car insurance is over the internet. Most insurance companies have sites where you can easily plug in your personal information such as type of car, area you live, past driving record, etc. and you can get an instant quote. Some insurance companies even brag that they will give you quotes from three different companies at one time, even if their quote is not the lowest.

To reduce your insurance the first thing you can do is consider lowering your deductible. If you increase your deductible from $500 to $1000 you can save a great deal on your collision and comprehensive coverage. $500 more out of your pocket in case of an accident might seem like a lot, but consider the number of years you’ll accrue the savings while accident free. Also, if you pay for AAA you won’t need to have towing coverage under your auto insurance.

There are several things you can look for when you purchase your car that might help reduce the insurance costs. Does your car have an alarm system? Lo jack? Anti lock brakes? Air bags? Daytime running lights?

Try to keep your yearly mileage low, this helps lower the cost. Also, if you have a student driver what types of grades is he or she getting? Students with higher grades generally pay less. If you haven’t had an accident in more than three years this can be very good news for you. Even better is no traffic ticket and no points on your license. Most insurance companies will reward you for this with lower premiums.

Do you carry homeowners with the same company? This can get you a discount. If you live in an extended family situation is anyone else insured by the same company? This could mean another discount for you.

home-property insurance
Homeowners Insurance

When your policy comes in the mail don’t toss it in the drawer, go over your policy, make sure that you understand how they calculate your cost for the policy. It doesn’t hurt to shop around for better rates. All it takes is a quick phone call. When you do this make sure you have your policy renewal in front of you so you’ll know exactly what your coverage amounts are.
Contact your local Experts

Most importantly, drive safely!