Commuter, Business Travelers Face New Dangers, Shrinking Legal Rights

Commuters, Business Travelers Face New Dangers, Shrinking Legal Rights

CommutingWoman
The average work commute hit an all-time high in 2018.

Americ has already earned the dubious distinction as the most overworked developed nation in the world: 85.8 percent of males and 66.5 percent of females work more than 40 hours per week.

And as if long work weeks weren’t enough, we waste more time than ever getting to work in the first place, whether on the road or by air. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, work commutes hit an all-time high in 2018, with the average commuter spending 54 minutes (225 hours per year) traveling to and from their job. Business air travel is also forecasted to climb from 462 million domestic trips per year to 499.4 million by 2022.

Now there’s MORE bad news for the beleaguered American worker in this blistering report from the Center for Justice & Democracy (CJ&D) titled Planes, Trains and Automobiles – And Other Transportation Hazards. Safety and legal protections are increasingly under attack by corporate interests more interested in profits than the public welfare while many of the government agencies created to enforce these protections look the other way. Here are top-line takeaways from that report:

Flying the Unfriendly Skies

Aircraft Maintenance
The FAA is delegating more oversight duties to manufacturers.

The Little Engine That Couldn’t

  • Slow implementation of safety technology:Congress passed the Rail Safety Improvement Act in 2008, setting a deadline of December 31, 2015, for the implementation of positive train control (PTC) technology on 30 commuter lines, Amtrak and other railroads. However, the industry has failed to quickly implement PTC, and in the years since, deadly crashes have continued in the years since that might have been prevented.
  • Out-of-date passenger cars: An aging fleet and unsafe repairs have lead to rail cars that fail to meet crashworthiness standards.
  • Forced injustice: In January 2019, Amtrak quietly added a loophole provision called a forced arbitration clause to its ticket purchase agreement. Passengers with any kind of legal dispute – even accident victims and their families – will be forced into secret arbitration with the company rather than appearing before an impartial judge and jury. Thus, passengers are unknowingly giving up their rights by buying a ticket.

Highway Hazards Ahead

CarMax
Federal law allows used cars to be sold with open safety recalls.
  • Tidal wave of auto recalls: In the last 10 years, over 280 million vehicles have been recalled. Unfortunately, recall completion rates are only about 70 to 75 percent, which leaves more than 70 million vehicles on the road with open recalls. The auto industry has repeatedly put hundreds of millions of dangerous and defective automobiles on the roads, only stepping in months or sometimes years after drivers, passengers and others have been hurt or exposed to risk. And federal watchdogs aren’t doing enough to hold auto manufacturers accountable.
  • Used cars unregulated: Used cars, which represent roughly 75 percent of vehicle sales, are allowed under federal law to be sold to customers with open safety recalls and known safety defects. For example, a 2017 study of 1,700 vehicles for sale at CarMax, the nation’s largest seller of used vehicles, showed that one in four had unrepaired safety defects.
  • More dangerous trucks, buses on the road: Fatalities in crashes involving large trucks or buses grew 11 percent from 2013 to 2018. Unscrupulous trucking companies push drivers into unsafe practices like speeding or driving while tired. Others skimp on regular maintenance, including proper brake repair.

Download a complete copy of the CJ&D report here. And if you or someone close to you has been injured during work travel – on the road, by train, in the air or by water – don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your legal rights.

Call Adkins Law Firm ! John Adkins is The Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer !

How To Deal With Insurance Companies After A Wreck !

Getting into a motor vehicle collision or car accident is a frightening and terrifying experience, especially on Atlanta’s roads and freeways. That is why it is important to know your rights and make sure you take the correct steps to ensure that you protect yourself, your family, and your claim against the insurance company. The following are some short and easy to remember tips from Adkins Law Firm that can guide you through an unfortunate experience, such as a motor vehicle wreck. Adkins Law Firm is your Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer!

It’s okay to report the accident to the authorities. It is important that you call the police immediately after an accident, especially if there are injured persons or if you are injured. The police and paramedics need to get there as soon as possible so the earlier that you call them then the earlier they will get there. When the police arrive, tell them your side of the story of the events that took place, and try to make sure that your version of the events are reflected in the police report or that the police officer writes down your statement. By giving your side of the events and making sure that the correct facts are in the police report, it will help ensure that the police report is written up accurately, which will reduce potential harm to you and your case. 

It’s okay to call the insurance company and report your property damage. Don’t be afraid to call your insurance company and file a claim for your property damage. If your car is damaged beyond repair, or if it is damaged but repairable then you should still file a claim, so that you can begin the process of replacing or repairing your car. Your bodily injuries should also be reported to the insurance company, but you should speak with your personal injury attorney, John Adkins and his team, before you discuss the details of your injuries with the insurance companies. John Adkins is your Auto Accident Attorney in Atlanta. 

DO NOT make a recorded statement about your injuries to the insurance company. Whether it is your insurance company or the other party’s insurance company, DO NOT make any recorded statements to them about your bodily injuries. Your insurance company and the other party’s insurance company is not on your side and they want to pay out as little money as possible for any injuries you have sustained. You can discuss the car/property damage with them, but DO NOT discuss your bodily injuries. Tell the insurance company that you have an attorney handling your personal injuries and give them your attorney, John Adkins’ information. He is The Atlanta Car Accident Attorney. The ONLY time you should make a recorded statement is if your Attorney is on the call with you. 

Order a Copy of the Police Report 3 to 5 days after the accident because the insurance company will need it to set up your claim. It is very important that you get a copy of the police report for your records. The report is typically available after 3 days, but you should not wait longer than 5 days to get the report. You can go down to the police department and get a copy of the report or you can get it online. www.buycrash.com is a website that allows you to get your police report online for a nominal fee. Once you get this report, you need to read it and make notes on what is accurate and what you believe are inaccuracies on the report. Create a file for all your records and keep the police report in that file. You will need to give the police report to your attorney, John Adkins. John is your Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer. 

Write down any witness information at the scene of the accident because they can be important when you are dealing with the insurance company. At the time of the accident, if you are able you need to speak to the witnesses at the scene of the accident. Ask them if you may get their contact information, such as their phone number or email address. Their information will be needed so that your attorney, John Adkins, can contact them and get their account of the events of the scene. This is important because sometimes the police officer will leave witnesses off of the report or the officer will not put the witnesses’ contact information in the report. If there are more than one witnesses, it could be that each witness has a different view of what happened, so you will need to give this information to your attorney, John Adkins, so he can speak with each of the witnesses to get their observations and testimony for your case. 

By following these few reminders, you will protect yourself, your family, and your case, so that you can receive the justice and compensation that you deserve. Call attorney John Adkins for help with your motor vehicle wreck case. The Atlanta Car Accident Attorney!