From the first day of October, there are very few things that young children are focused on other than Halloween. With costumes, jack-o-lanterns, and, of course, candy — this night is often a crowd favorite. However, Halloween carries many potential dangers for pedestrians.

Fortunately, both drivers and pedestrians can do their part and make a commitment to improving Halloween roadway safety. Here’s what you should know:

Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treaters

No matter how big your trick-or-treating group is, each person can use these tips to have a safer experience:

  • Increase visibility to drivers by wearing bright colored or reflective costumes and using a flashlight when walking between houses.
  • Plan your route ahead of time, and if you’re in an unfamiliar neighborhood, stay in the more well-lit areas.
  • If you need to cross the street, look in each direction for cars and try to make eye contact with any drivers that may be slowing down to let you cross.
Safety Tips for Drivers

Whether you partake in Halloween activities or not, being on the road during this holiday may come with potential hazards. As a driver, remember to:

  • Eliminate the distractions you can control behind the wheel, such as silencing electronic devices or quieting rowdy passengers.
  • Drive even slower than you think necessary in areas where pedestrian traffic may be higher during certain times of the day.
  • Get to know your neighborhood: is trick-or-treating usually wrapped up by 6 pm or later in the night? Adjust your plans accordingly so you know when to leave or come back home.

This Halloween, make a plan to practice safer behaviors and help all individuals enjoy the holiday in the way they choose.

Accidents happen, and when they do, you want to be sure that you are prepared for the worst. The good news is that the right car insurance coverage can ease your words and provide you with peace of mind. Understanding car insurance laws in your state can help you protect yourself and your family should the unexpected happen. Our team discusses more below.

Minimum Requirements for Colorado Drivers

Every state has its own requirements when it comes to car insurance. In Colorado, all drivers must have the minimum liability coverage in the following amounts:

  • Bodily injury coverage of $25,000 per person. This covers the costs of injury to another person should you be found responsible for an accident.
  • Bodily injury coverage has a total maximum per accident of $50,000. Again, this covers the cost of injury-related expenses per accident, should you be found liable.
  • Personal property damage of up to $15,000. This will cover property damage done to another person’s vehicle if you cause an accident.

It’s important to carefully consider the amount of liability coverage that you want added to your policy. Oftentimes, the minimum liability amounts are not enough to cover the total damages caused in a more serious auto accident. Make sure to review your policy carefully and determine what you can afford when choosing your liability limits.

Optional Add-Ons to Your Car Insurance Policy

Keep in mind that the minimum liability coverage only covers damages that other people incur as a result of an accident that you cause. If you or your passengers also sustain damages in an accident that you cause, you are on the hook for the expenses out of pocket. The good news is that there other types of coverage that can protect you further:

  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM). This helps cover the costs of medical expenses and other damages should you be hit by a driver without insurance or one that lacks sufficient insurance to cover your total damages.
  • Collision Coverage. This covers the costs of damage to your vehicle if you hit objects, such as a fire hydrant, a wall, or another vehicle.
  • Comprehensive Coverage. This covers damages caused by events other than accidents, such as theft, extreme weather, natural disasters, or wildlife.
  • Medical Payments (Med Pay, or MPC). This helps cover a portion of your medical expenses that result from an auto accident, specifically those involving head trauma.
Need Assistance Filing a Claim? Get Help Today

Being injured in a car accident can be traumatic enough. You shouldn’t have to worry about all the paperwork and deadlines associated with filing a claim with an insurance company that most likely prioritizes its own profits overpaying out claims.

Being injured in a car accident can be a traumatic, stressful, and scary experience. Unfortunately, the battle doesn’t end there. Car accident victims will oftentimes have to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company in order to recover compensation for damages resulting from the accident, including medical expenses and lost wages.

One of the most important pieces of information we can give you is that insurance companies are businesses. What this means is that their primary goal is to maximize profits, which they do by going to any means necessary to deny or devalue even legitimate claims. Arm yourself with the information below to ensure that your case is protected from sneaky insurance adjusters.

Be Honest, But Be Wary of Their Goals

Immediately after the accident, an insurance adjuster from the at-fault driver’s insurance company will call you in order to ask you about the accident. Don’t lie to insurance adjusters, but ensure that you are aware of their motivations. Essentially, they want you to say something that could be used against your claim.

While the adjuster may seem helpful on the phone, they are not on your side. Their loyalty is to the insurance company, not claimants. With this in mind, ensure that you don’t give up any details regarding the accident, such as who was at fault or the extent of your injuries. Only provide basic personal information, such as your name, contact information, and vehicle details.

Refuse to Give Any Recorded Statements

When the at-fault driver’s insurance company first contacts you after the accident, they will most likely ask for a recorded statement. Remember that you are under no legal obligation to provide a recorded statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. In fact, it’s recommended that you refuse to do so.

Instead, you should hire a car accident attorney who can speak on your behalf to ensure that you don’t say anything in a statement that could be detrimental to your claim. Under no circumstances should you ever admit fault, even if you believe that you had something to do with the crash.

Keep Detailed Notes of Your Correspondence

Taking good notes after any sort of correspondence with the insurance company will help boost your chances of receiving maximum compensation for your claim. It can also protect you from having your statement twisted by the insurance adjuster. Have either a physical or electronic file that includes the insurance company name, the adjuster’s name, the adjuster’s contact information, and the insurance claim number.

Write down every date and time that you speak with the adjuster on the phone or in person. These documents should include who initiated the call, the content of the conversation, any settlement amounts that were discussed, and any other information regarding the claim, the crash, or your injuries.

Resist the Urge to Settle Immediately

Many claimants believe that the insurance company will provide an honest evaluation and fair settlement offer, however, this is rarely the case. One of the most common mistakes that claimants make is to take the first settlement offer from the insurance company. This is often because insurance adjusters trick injured people into believing that:

  • Their claim is not worth that much
  • They’re not going to get a better offer than the one on the table
  • The offer only stands for a certain period of time

Never accept any type of settlement without speaking with a seasoned car accident attorney first. If you do, you may be left with out-of-pocket expenses when the award money runs out.

Hire an Experienced Car Accident attorney

Remember that car accident attorneys deal with insurance companies on a daily basis. This person will be able to accurately calculate the full extent of your damages and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Oftentimes, just having an attorney on your side during this process will deter the insurance company from offering you a lowball settlement.

The sun is shining, teens are out of school, and vacations loom ahead during the summer. While you may be anticipating relaxing during this time, know that there is never a good time to let your guard down and put safety on the back burner.

In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there is a higher risk of getting into a car accident during the summer, compared to other months of the year. Here are four reasons why car crashes occur more frequently during summer and how you can reduce your risk of being injured.

More Drunk Drivers on the Road

Summer is the season for socializing with friends and having pool parties, backyard barbecues, and holiday get-togethers. Many gatherings involve alcoholic beverages, which can inevitably lead to more drunk drivers on the road.

Every day in the U.S., about 28 people lose their lives in drunk driving accidents. But during certain holidays, like the Fourth of July, this number increases. Between 2010 and 2014, drunk driving contributed to 47% of all car crash deaths during the Fourth of July holiday.

If you are drinking outside of your home this summer, plan ahead to avoid drinking and driving. For instance, designate a sober driver or call a rideshare vehicle to get home. Likewise, social hosts should ensure that those who have consumed alcohol at their homes are not driving afterward.

Inexperienced Teen Drivers

Year after year, the number of fatal teen accidents increases during the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer”—the time between Memorial Day in May and Labor Day in September. According to the AAA Foundation, more than 1,050 people were killed in crashes involving teen drivers during this time in 2016.

The most common causes of these accidents include speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving, and nighttime driving. Parents, remember that your newly-licensed teen drivers are still learning essential safety skills. It’s important that you educate them on safe driving practices and set rules that limit the potential for risky driving, such as:

  • Only letting them drive during daylight hours
  • Limiting the number of passengers they are allowed to transport at once
  • Making them pledge to drive without distractions (i.e., putting their phones on “do not disturb” mode while driving)
Increased Traffic and Road Congestion

During summer, students are on break and working adults commonly take time off of work to go on vacation. As a result, traffic increases during the summer because there are more motorists, truckers, and motorcycle riders traveling at once. More cars in close proximity to one another inherently leads to more collisions.

If you are traveling on the road this summer, make sure to always share the road and practice defensive driving. This means you should reduce your speed, increase your buffer, eliminate distractions, and never engage in road rage or other aggressive driving behaviors.

More Construction Projects Underway

Summertime is also known as construction season. This is because construction projects typically get started while the weather is warm and completed before the colder months ahead. With more construction, it’s common for there to be road delays, lane closures, detours, temporary signs and signals, and other road hazards.

These complicated driving conditions can cause confusion and increase the risk of a crash. Always proceed with caution when driving through a construction zone. You can also check the city’s traffic report online to see if there are any construction projects underway so that you can make necessary detours in your route.

Injured in a Summertime Accident?

Because car crashes increase during the summertime, knowing what to do after the fact can help you take steps to protect yourself and your rights to compensation. At Larson Larimer Schneider, P.C., our legal team is standing by ready to advocate on your behalf.

We hope that you never need our services, but if you do, know that we’re here to help you get your life back on track and guide you through the claims process from start to finish.

The most impactful way is to learn how to eliminate distractions behind the wheel and teach others how to do so. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines three types of driving distractions:

  • Visual. Anything that takes your eyes off of the road.
  • Manual. Anything that takes your hands off of the wheel.
  • Cognitive. Anything that takes your mind off of the task of driving.

With that said, here are some effective techniques that you can implement to ensure that you are always a safe driver:

  • Put your phone away and on silent so you aren’t tempted to use it.
  • Only use your phone for emergency purposes.
  • Ensure that your children are properly secured in car seats or booster seats.
  • If you’re using GPS, put the directions in before you get on the road.
  • Adjust your mirrors, seat, and music prior to driving.
  • Limit the number of passengers in your vehicle.
  • Avoid eating while driving; if you need, pack a food item that is easy to eat with one hand and not very messy.
  • Pull over if you need to make any adjustments or send a text while driving.
Injured in a Distracted Driving Accident?

At Larson Larimer Schneider, P.C., we recognize that even the most focused drivers can still be injured due to other distracted or negligent drivers. If you are ever in this situation, our Denver car accident attorneys are here to help. We will review your case for free, determine your legal options, and guide you seamlessly through the claims process.

Staying on top of vehicle maintenance won’t necessarily prevent accidents, but it can ensure that your vehicle is performing how it should when you need it to! Here are some general maintenance steps to put on your checklist to ensure you are cruising for years to come.

Engine Oil

Motor engine oil acts as a sort of lubricant for all the many moving parts of your vehicle’s engine, which helps to avoid any damage and keep all the parts running smoothly. Depending on the type of oil used, you may need to get your oil changed every 3,000 to every 7,000 miles driven.

In general, synthetic oil lasts longer than regular or other synthetic blends and is considered cleaner and more efficient. This typically means you can get more mileage on your car before you need to get your oil changed. Of course, not all vehicles work the same way, so it’s important to check with your specific vehicle owner’s manual to ensure that you are using the recommended oil.

Vehicle Fluids

There are several other fluids that your vehicle runs on and needs, including:

  • Engine coolant
  • Antifreeze
  • Steering fluid
  • Brake fluid
  • Transmission fluid

While many of these are easy to refill yourself when they are low, some may require you to flush or drain the fluids. If there’s a leak, you will want to get a mechanic to look at and fix it.

Battery

Your car’s battery is one of the most important components of the vehicle and is integral to how it performs. This part supplies an electrical current for the engine to start and powers up other electronics within your car.

If your battery starts whizzing or is slow to turn on, it could be a sign that you need to replace your battery soon. Remember that extreme temperatures can put extra stress on the battery, so you’ll want to ensure that you take extra care during certain seasons.

Tires

It’s important to make a habit of checking your tires to ensure that they are well maintained. Every month, check the pressure in your tires and the tread are where they need to be, especially when you know that the weather is going to be a little rough or you will be traveling a long distance.

A tire pressure gauge will be needed to check the pressure, and your owner’s manual can tell you exactly how much air pressure your tires need. Additionally, note that air pressure drops during cold weather. Remember your spare, too!

Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers can take a real beating, especially in brutal Colorado winters. Old or worn-out wipers can limit visibility for drivers and increase the risk of an accident. For drivers who use their windshield wipers often, these components should be replaced about once a year.

That’s it! With just a few essential visits to the mechanic, your car is ready to go in even harsh Colorado winter weather. At Larson Larimer Schneider, we recognize that accidents can happen to even the most prepared drivers. If you or a loved one is injured due to another person’s negligence, our team is ready to stand in your corner and fight for your recovery.