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Car and Auto Accident Lawyers
Looking for a car accident attorney in Southeast Idaho? The car accident attorneys and auto accident lawyers at Brent Gordon Law Firm in Pocatello and Idaho Falls believe every client deserves fair representation, not just big insurance companies. The auto accident attorneys in the law office of Brent Gordon have years of experience representing car accident clients and obtaining impressive results for those clients. Brent Gordon Law Firm is also able to help with wrongful death claims in the event your loved one has passed away from the negligence of another in a car accident.
Actions to Take After a Car Accident
Call 911 immediately after a car accident so that a law enforcement officer may conduct an investigation of the accident and document that the other driver was negligent. The police officer will take statements and usually issues a traffic citation to the driver responsible for causing the car accident. Without the police officer’s report, the other driver might lie and make it difficult to obtain a settlement.
If the police officer wrongly finds you at fault, Brent Gordon Law Firm can still help. We’ve helped numerous clients fight tickets and obtain settlements when an investigating officer makes a mistake as to who was at fault for causing a car accident.
The next step is to get your injuries evaluated. This is not the time to be tough and hold back. Be sure to document the areas of your body that are in pain by getting checked at the emergency room or an urgent care center.
After a medical evaluation, you should call a car accident attorney. The car accident attorneys and auto accident lawyers at Brent Gordon Law Firm in Idaho Falls and Pocatello have no up-front cost to hire an automobile accident lawyer. Your attorney will only be paid when the case settles.
Your car collision lawyer can deal with the insurance adjusters, help get you a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired or appraised, and ensure your injuries are properly diagnosed and treated. Once your injuries are resolved, the car accident attorneys and auto accident lawyers of Brent Gordon Law Firm can negotiate a settlement that pays you money for everything you’ve gone through.
Suggested Times to Take an Ambulance After a Car Accident
If you are experiencing any of the following signs or symptoms, you should take an ambulance ride to the emergency room to be evaluated for your injuries.
- Blurred vision
- Heavy bleeding
- Pounding headache
- Broken bones or suspected broken bones
- Loss of any senses including sight or hearing
If you do not feel comfortable or safe driving yourself away from a car accident scene, you should take an ambulance. Even if you feel stable and uninjured, you should not feel pressured to drive yourself before being evaluated by a medical professional.
Keep in mind that driving yourself to the hospital after an accident can be extremely dangerous for you as well as all other drivers on the road. You do not want to end up in another accident.
What is the Value of My Auto Accident Case?
Several factors determine the value of every auto accident case such as who is liable, the severity of your injuries, and how hard your attorney is willing to fight for you. A great attorney will build the value of a car accident claim by pursuing recovery of all damages by hiring doctors, economists and other experts to document all recoverable damages. Get the maximum value for your car accident! Our Idaho Falls car crash lawyers and Pocatello car accident attorneys are experienced in maximizing the value of your case and will fight to get you every penny you deserve.
Determining the Worth of a Personal Injury Case
The amount of your claim could be based on the expenses of a few factors such as:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Stress or burdens on you or your family
When Should You Contact a Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney?
Call the car accident attorneys and auto accident lawyers of Brent Gordon Law immediately after the accident. The longer you wait to contact an attorney, the more potential harm it can do to your case. Many people have lost money by not contacting an attorney and failing to properly document their injuries, failing to obtain the necessary diagnostic test, speaking to the adverse insurance company and saying something detrimental to their case. There’s no need to risk hurting the value of your car accident case. Call us now to let us begin working on your case.
Safety Tips to Avoid a Car Crash
- Check your car before driving. Make sure the dashboard is not showing any warning lights, your tires are properly inflated and have enough tread, and everything else is working properly such as your airbags and brakes. It is always a good idea to have your car well maintained in a timely manner as directed by the owner’s manual.
- Look both ways before entering an intersection. Even after a light changes green, look both ways to make sure another car is not running a red light.
- Be extra cautious when driving next to another car or truck. It may be a good idea to speed up or slow down just in case they don’t check their blind spot or become distracted and swerve into your lane.
- Be aware of emergency vehicles. Remember emergency vehicles may have to drive the opposite direction of traffic or through red lights. Always move out of the way if you see flashing lights or hear their siren sounding.
- Always remember to use your turn signals. Using your turn signals warns other drivers around you if you are planning to turn or wanting to change lanes.
- Use your side mirrors and check your blind spot before changing lanes. Cars coming out of parking lots or side streets might appear out of nowhere. Checking the lane you plan to move into before moving over will help you to avoid side-swiping accidents.
- Watch out! Always be aware of your surroundings. Know what is happening in front of you, on both sides and behind you. Constantly check your car mirrors and predict what other drivers might do based on how they are driving. This will also help you to know where other cars are in case you want to change lanes.
- Leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you. Especially when driving in heavy traffic it is a good idea to leave yourself plenty of space and watch out for cars that might cut you off. It takes several seconds after you push the brake for your car to react and stop. The faster the speed, the more distance you should leave.
- Plan an easier route. It’s a good idea to avoid heavy traffic by taking a longer route with less traffic to avoid a car accident.
- Avoid distractions. Never use your cell phone when driving or do anything else in your car that is going to stop you from having your eyes on the road.
Fatal Car Accident Statistics from DUI Drivers
In 2015, 10, 265 people were killed in a car accident involving an alcohol-impaired driver reported the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It was also reported that 28 people die every day in the United States in an alcohol-related car accident. The chance of being in an alcohol-related crash is one in three in the course of a lifetime. On the upside, drunk driving fatalities have fallen by a third in the last three decades.
DUI Affects Your Ability to Drive Safely
Driving under the influence of alcohol may seem harmless. However, the effects alcohol has on the function of the brain is greater than most people realize. When driving drunk, the brain is not able to function the same. Effects include improper muscle coordination, reasoning, and impaired thinking. These things are essential when operating a motor vehicle safely.
How Much Auto Insurance Do I Need?
Unfortunately, a lot of people only start thinking about whether they have enough auto insurance after they have been in a car crash. By then it is too late to make sure you have enough coverage.
A simple way to think about whether you have enough coverage is to ask yourself if you can comfortably afford to pay the costs of an accident that your insurance company will not pay. Could you handle it if you were suddenly forced to pay $45,000? What about if your insurance company paid the first $25,000 and you were left to pay the last $20,000?
Why Do I Need to Purchase Insurance?
The purpose of insurance is to transfer the risk of unexpected loss to someone else. The chances of the loss occurring may be small, but if you are unlucky they are catastrophic. Your savings, your home equity and all of your assets can disappear because someone was careless for just a moment.
Insurance companies solve this problem by spreading this risk over a large group of people. Everyone in the pool pays a little money to the insurance company and the insurance company pays a lot of money to the person who is unlucky.
When buying insurance, it is tempting to skimp. Instead of paying $100 a month we decide to pay only $50 a month. It is easy to think that if you have some insurance you are going to be OK. The reality is that insurance is only as useful as you have designed it to be. There are many kinds of coverages designed to protect you against different kinds of risks associated with car and truck accidents. If you haven’t gotten proper coverage, you are still exposed to the problem you were trying to solve. Thus it is useful to understand the different types of coverage and determine how much of each you require.
The Myth of Full Coverage
Before I talk about the different kinds of coverages available under an auto policy, let me clear something up: I often speak to people who have been in a car crash who tell me they have “full coverage”. I assume they are repeating something their insurance agent told them when he or she sold them the policy but it is a meaningless statement. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS “FULL COVERAGE” INSURANCE. “Full coverage” sounds comforting–like telling someone that they have all their bases covered no matter what happens–but it conveys very little about whether insurance coverage is adequate or not. It is just a sales phrase designed to get you to sign on the bottom line.
Six Kinds of Auto Coverage
Insurance companies offer six basic kinds of auto coverage:
- Bodily injury liability
- Property damage liability
- Medical payments coverage
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
Bodily Injury Liability
This is a very important part of any auto insurance policy. Bodily injury liability provides coverage for injury and death claims in the event that you or the driver of your car is legally responsible for the accident. Most states require vehicle owners to maintain some bodily injury liability coverage. Section 49-1229 of the Idaho Code requires that every motor vehicle owner maintain at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident in bodily injury liability coverage.
Because of the high cost of medical bills, the minimum coverage requirements are often inadequate. At Brent Goron Law Firm, it is not unusual for us to see cases where a single persons medical bills exceed $50,000 or even $100,000. If the bodily injury coverage falls short, an individual may be personally liable for payment. In most cases, I would recommend that a person get at least $100,000/$300,000 in bodily injury liability coverage.
Property Damage Liability
This is the part of a policy that pays for damage to someone else’s property if you or the driver of your car is at fault for the accident. For example, if you run a red light on State Street in Boise and crash into someone else’s car, you will be legally liable for the property damage to the other car and the insurance company will pay up to the property damage liability limits to repair the other car. The Idaho Code requires motor vehicle owners to maintain at least $15,000 of property damage liability.
Medical payments coverage (often abbreviated to “med pay”) pays for any medical bills related to the accident incurred by you or passengers in your car regardless of whether you are at fault. If you have health insurance, your health insurance will often cover any injuries you sustain in an accident. Today many health insurance policies are not comprehensive and health insurance policies will often deny coverage of a necessary treatment such as a neck surgery. Med pay coverage, on the other hand, will pay for any accident related treatments up to the med pay coverage limits.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
This is a very important, often overlooked, part of your auto insurance coverage. Both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (commonly referred to as UM and UIM coverage) protect you against drivers who are legally responsible to pay for your injuries but do not have enough money to do so.
Uninsured motorist coverage is designed to step in and pay your medical bills and compensate you for pain and suffering when you are not at fault but the other driver did not maintain bodily injury liability coverage. In some instances, even if the at-fault driver did not maintain bodily injury liability coverage it may be possible to recover payment for your bills directly from him or her. This is only possible, however, if the at-fault driver has personal assets against which you can get a judgment. In my experience, most uninsured drivers do not have significant financial resources—which explains why they did not purchase insurance in the first place.
The reasons for getting uninsured motorist coverage also apply to underinsured motorist coverage. If a driver who maintains only minimum bodily injury coverage crashes into your vehicle, you can easily be saddled with injuries that cost many times more than the at-fault driver’s policy limits. Underinsured motorist coverage is designed to bridge the gap between what the at-fault driver’s insurance company is required to pay and the actual damages which result from the accident.
Collision coverage pays for damages to your own vehicle in a car crash. It is generally required if your vehicle is financed but always a good idea for anyone who drives a nice car. Keep in mind that this is one type of coverage where many people pay for more coverage than they can use. If the fair market value of your car is only $10,000, there is no point in purchasing collision coverage for anything more. Your insurance company will only pay up to the fair market value of the vehicle no matter what. This is known as “totaling out” the car. If you buy more than $10,000 in collision coverage you are paying the insurance company for a service they won’t provide. Far better to use that money and purchase additional bodily injury liability or UM/UIM coverage.
Comprehensive coverage pays for damages from things like vandalism, acts of nature and theft. It is almost always subject to a deductible.
Failure to Yield is Negligent Driving
Thousands of car accidents and injuries occur every year from drivers failing to yield. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported more than 3,100 fatal car accidents in 2011 due to failure to yield.
When a driver causes a car accident due to failure to yield the right of way, it is considered negligent driving. If you believe you have been involved in a car accident where the other driver failed to yield to your right of way, contact our law office immediately. The law office of Brent Gordon Law Firm will fight for your compensatory damages. These damages may include things such as out-of-pocket expenses, medical bills, lost income, pain, and suffering, etc. Call our Idaho Falls law office at (208) 552-0467 or our Pocatello law office at (208) 232-7274 today for a free consultation. We can usually tell you over the phone if you have a good case. This is your opportunity to discuss your personal injury case with an experienced, aggressive and trusted attorney.
When a Distracted Driver Caused the Car Accident
If you get rear-ended during a car accident, how would you know that the driver was following too closely or distracted by texting? This is exactly why you need an experienced attorney from Brent Gordon Law Firm to fight for you. Some things you could do to help your case include gathering evidence from the crash scene such as:
Talk to Witnesses
This is especially crucial for proving the other driver was distracted. Gather as many witnesses from those who saw the accident happen as you can. Along with their statement, also gather their contact information (name, phone number, email).
Take Pictures and Videos of the Crash Site
Gather photos of all cars involved in the accident showing damages. It is also very helpful to have photos or video of the inside of the other driver’s vehicle to help prove a distraction. For example, if you see open food containers or the other driver’s cell phone sitting on the front seat, take a picture for evidence.
File a Police Report
Always be sure to call authorities after an accident so they can create an official police report of the accident. The police will ask all drivers involved in a description of what happened. The negligent party will typically tell the officer if they were texting or eating prior to the accident.
Avoid a Car Accident in or Around a School Zone
With a new school year just starting, it is important to be aware of school zones. Nearly 54 million school-aged children walk or bike to school or pass through a school zone. A school zone is designed to ensure kids are safe as they arrive and leave school. However, sometimes a congested school zone puts pedestrians and motorists alike in danger of a car accident. Here are some tips to avoid a car accident in or around a school zone.
Pay Attention to School Zones
Many distracted drivers will often breezy through a school zone without noticing the flashing lights warning drivers to slow down. Remember to always keep your eyes and focus on the road at all times. Most school zones are preceded by numerous warning signals such as flashing lights, speed bumps, and/or warning signs to notify drivers of the school zone. Avoid a car accident by being aware of these warning signals.
Keep an Eye on Your Speed in or Around a School Zone
The speed limit in school zones is significantly slower than what is posted in other areas on the same roadway. It is a good idea to slow down and become more aware even before you reach the school zone. Children walking to school are often hit by vehicles before they even reach the school zone. Make sure you have enough time to safely slow down without having to slam on the brakes to avoid a car crash or hit a pedestrian.
Traffic Will Increase in or Around a School Zone
School typically starts between seven and nine in the morning and two and four in the afternoon. Even if the school crossing guard forgot to turn on the flashing lights, be aware of the time so you can be safe. Traffic is going to be more congested in a school zone as parents or other caregivers are dropping off kids for school. Remember to slow down and be careful during these times to avoid an accident.
Expect an Increased Number of Pedestrians in the Crosswalk
Many school zones have an increased number of crosswalks to allow students to walk safely from nearby neighborhoods. Remember to always yield to pedestrians on the road even if they are not using a marked crosswalk. It is also important to keep in mind patience as many kids will be walking across the road to get to school.
Be Aware of School Buses
Always yield the right of way to school buses at all times. These drivers have a harder time navigating in increased traffic due to their large size. When a school bus driver puts out the stop sign on a bus, you must stop when driving on the same side of the road. If you are traveling in the opposite direction as the stopped bus, you can only proceed if two lanes of travel are present.
Obey All Traffic Officers, Crossing Guards, and Policemen
Crossing guards and other officials who have the right to stop traffic should always be obeyed by all drivers. These officials take precedence over any traffic signs or signals that normally control the area to direct traffic in an orderly manner. Police officers park in or around school zones to ensure the safety of everyone. School zones often have severe fines that are double or triple the normal speeding fine for the area. Please understand these increased amounts are to persuade drivers to slow down and pay attention while driving through school zones.
What to Do When the At-fault Driver Does Not Have Insurance After a Car Crash
The best way to protect yourself from an uninsured driver after a car accident is to rely on your own insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage can be used to pay damages to your car and medical expenses you have incurred.
In some car accident cases, it may be worth pursuing a lawsuit against the negligent driver to recover damages. A court may order the at-fault driver to make payments to you or issue a lien against his/her assets to compensate for your loss. An experienced car accident lawyer from Brent Gordon Law Firm will be able to assist you to determine if it is worth suing the other driver. Unfortunately, in most cases people who don’t have auto insurance don’t have a lot of money or assets to their name in which case, it would not be worth pursuing a lawsuit.
Idaho Rules of the Road – Idaho Laws You Should Know
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, the following are links to the Idaho Rules of the Road for the state of Idaho.
Starting and Backing a Vehicle
Driving Upon Sidewalks
Obstruction to Driver’s View or Driving Mechanism
Stop When Traffic Obstructed
Drivers to Exercise Due Care – Driving Through Safety Zone Prohibited
Slow Moving Vehicles
Authorized Emergency or Police Vehicles
Following Fire Apparatus Prohibited
Exceptions to Driving on Right Side of Roadway
Passing with Care
Following Too Closely
Turning Out of Slow Moving Vehicles
Vehicles Approaching or Entering Unmarked or Uncontrolled Intersection
Yield the Right-of-Way
Emerging from Alley, Driveway or Building
School Safety Patrols
Motorcycles or Off-Road Vehicles
Passenger Safety for Children
Contact an Idaho Falls or Pocatello Car Accident Lawyer
Don’t wait to call an Idaho Falls car accident attorney or Pocatello auto accident lawyer. Waiting could hurt your case. Call our law firm now to speak with an experienced attorney about your car accident case during a free consultation. Our attorneys can take the stress out of a claim and we’ll fight to get you full value for your car accident injuries. Plus, you pay nothing until your case is settled. Call Brent Gordon Law Firm today at 23-CRASH (208-232-7274) to get started on your car accident case.
You Pay Nothing Until We Win Your Case
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Idaho Falls Law Office
Our Idaho Falls, Idaho law office services clients in and surrounding Idaho Falls, including for injuries and accidents in Ammon, Rigby, injuries and accidents in Shelley and Blackfoot, and injuries and accidents in Rexburg. If you are looking for an attorney in the Idaho Falls area, visit or call our Idaho Falls office now.
3423 Merlin Dr., Idaho Falls, ID 83404
Pocatello Law Office
Our Pocatello, Idaho law office services clients in and surrounding Pocatello, including for injuries and accidents in Chubbuck. If you are looking for an attorney in the Pocatello area, call our Pocatello office now. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. Call (208) 232-7274 for a free consultation.
151 North 3rd, Suite 202A Pocatello, ID 83204