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ahca are past injuries pre existing conditions?

HOW DOES THE PROPOSED AHCA AFFECT ME IF I HAVE PAST INJURIES FROM AN ACCIDENT?

Note: The AHCA or Trump care was passed by the House on May 4th, 2017 which modifies the ACA (Affordable Care Act aka Obama Care)

Are past injuries counted as pre-existing conditions under the AHCA?

The political battle continues as Republicans attempt another fight to push their proposed healthcare bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), through Congress and then to the President’s  desk.   Millions of Americans who have  pre-existing conditions will be affected. This item of the healthcare bill was a major protection under Obama care and continues to be debated among healthcare lobbyists and politicians.  Personally, I do not understand the debate.  Healthcare coverage that does not cover all of your health needs is really not healthcare at all.  Sadly, not all politicians agree.  But if you, or a loved one, has been in a prior accident and have a pre-existing back, neck, or head injury or any other injury from an accident, this article contains import information for you.  If you disagree with anything in the proposed bill, I urge to voice your concerns to our state legislators.  They can be reached as follows:

Senator Dean Heller
Offices: Las Vegas / Reno / Washington D.C. (addresses)
Phone: 702-388-6605 / 775-686-5770 / 202-224-6244
Fax: 702-388-6501 / 775-686-5729 / 202-228-6753
Email: Online Contact Form

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto

Offices: Las Vegas / Reno / Washington D.C. (addresses)
Phone: 702-388-5020 / 775-686-5750 / 202-224-3542
Fax: 702-388-5030 / 775-686-5757 / 202-224-7327
Email: Online Contact Form

Congresswoman Dina Titus – 1st District of Nevada

Offices: Las Vegas / Washington D.C. (addresses)
Phone: 702-220-9823 / 202-225-5965
Email: Online Contact Form

Congressman Mark Amodei – 2nd District of Nevada
Offices: Elko /  Reno / Washington D.C. (addresses)
Phone: 775-777-7705 / 775-686-5760 / 202-225-6155
Fax: 775-753-9984 / 775-686-5711 / 202-225-5679
Email: Online Contact Form

Congresswoman Jacky Rosen – 3rd District of Nevada
OfficesWashington D.C.
Phone: 202-225-3252
Fax: 202-225-2185
Email: Online Contact Form

Congressman Ruben Kihuen  – 4th District of Nevada
Offices: North Las Vegas / Washington D.C. (addresses)
Phone: 202-225-9894
Fax: 202-225-9783
Email: Online Contact Form

https://www.aclunv.org/en/contact-your-elected-officials

Most civilized countries provide Healthcare for their people.  In fact, the US is one of the few that does not.  It seems obvious that study of the systems in other nations could be precedent for structuring our own system to provide healthcare to all Americans regardless of income.  Most of our allies and even our enemies provide healthcare for their citizens.  Many democratic nations have determined and implemented a system to provide Healthcare to all of their citizens.

Below is a table that lists all nations who provide healthcare to all their citizens regardless of the condition being treated:

Country Start Date of Universal Health Care System Type
Click links for more source material on each country’s health care system.
Norway 1912 Single Payer
New Zealand 1938 Two Tier
Japan 1938 Single Payer
Germany 1941 Insurance Mandate
Belgium 1945 Insurance Mandate
United Kingdom 1948 Single Payer
Kuwait 1950 Single Payer
Sweden 1955 Single Payer
Bahrain 1957 Single Payer
Brunei 1958 Single Payer
Canada 1966 Single Payer
Netherlands 1966 Two-Tier
Austria 1967 Insurance Mandate
United Arab Emirates 1971 Single Payer
Finland 1972 Single Payer
Slovenia 1972 Single Payer
Denmark 1973 Two-Tier
Luxembourg 1973 Insurance Mandate
France 1974 Two-Tier
Australia 1975 Two Tier
Ireland 1977 Two-Tier
Italy 1978 Single Payer
Portugal 1979 Single Payer
Cyprus 1980 Single Payer
Greece 1983 Insurance Mandate
Spain 1986 Single Payer
South Korea 1988 Insurance Mandate
Iceland 1990 Single Payer
Hong Kong 1993 Two-Tier
Singapore 1993 Two-Tier
Switzerland 1994 Insurance Mandate
Israel 1995 Two-Tier
United States Currently yes Insurance Mandated

https://truecostblog.com/2009/08/09/countries-with-universal-healthcare-by-date/

THE QUESTIONS MOST PEOPLE ARE ASKING UNDER THIS BILL ARE:

  • Will Trump care cover pre-existing conditions?
  • If you have a pre-existing condition, how will your health plan change under the proposed bill?

In short, the AHCA does not eliminate coverage for pre-existing conditions. Like the Affordable Care Act, Trump care will require all health insurers to cover people who apply regardless of their medical history.  But there are some key differences in coverage  under Trump care vs. the current law.

Is there a requirement to maintain health insurance or pay a penalty tax?

Answer:  NO. The proposed bill eliminates the tax penalties that the Obama Care (ACA) imposes on nonexempt individuals for not having health insurance, as well as employers with 50 or more full-time workers who do not offer health insurance to their employees.

Do insurance companies have to offer coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions?

Answer: Yes, but it’s complicated!!!  There is a penalty for not having continuous coverage. Under both the ACA and the GOP bill, insurers are not allowed to deny coverage to any person due to health status. Under the proposed GOP bill, they can charge up to a 30% higher premium for one year, regardless of health status, to those potential  insureds who did not have continuous coverage, which is defined in the bill as a lapse of coverage of 63 days or more over the previous 12 months.  What???? That means that if you have a past injury, you’ll pay a lot more.

Will young adults under the age of 26 still be able to remain on their parents’ plans?

Yes. The bill does not affect this provision of the ACA.

Is there still going to be an expansion of Medicaid?

Answer: NO. It will be phased out.  The legislation ends the enhanced match rate for Medicaid expansion for new enrollees starting in 2020. Those insureds already in the program could stay as long as they remain continuously insured under the Medicaid program. States that have not already expanded Medicaid would not be allowed to do so, starting immediately.

States could also require able-bodied Medicaid recipients to work, participate in job training programs or do community service.  Before Obama Care (ACA), Medicaid was available to groups including qualified low-income families, pregnant women, children and the disabled.

Obama care expanded eligibility to all individuals under age 65 who earn up to 138% of the federal poverty level (about $16,643 a year for an individual), but only in states that opted for the expansion. Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have opted in to the expansion, which includes enhanced federal funding, so far. More than 11 million newly eligible adults had enrolled in Medicaid through March 2016, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation of data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Under the Republican health care plan, no new enrollment can occur under this Medicaid expansion after Dec. 31, 2019. States that have yet to opt in to the expansion by that date also will not be able to do so afterward.

Although the bill doesn’t eliminate the Medicaid expansion coverage for those who are enrolled prior to 2020,  if they have a break in coverage for more than one month after Dec. 31, 2019, they won’t be able to re-enroll (unless a state wanted to cover the cost itself).  This is a harsh rule given that if someone is injured and can’t work for a month, they could lose their benefits.  At Hunt Law Offices, we can help injured people from losing their benefits.

The Republican plan includes another significant change to Medicaid. It would cap the amount of federal funding that states can receive per Medicaid enrollee, with varying amounts for each category of enrollee, such as children, and the blind and disabled. Currently, the federal government guarantees matching funds to states for qualifying Medicaid expenses, regardless of cost.  This is an extraordinary change that could adversely affect many families of handicap children and adults by cutting desperately needed benefits.

Are insurers forced to cover certain conditions?

Yes. The bill keeps the essential health benefits requirement under the ACA. Insurance companies would still have to cover 10 health services, including maternity coverage, prescription drugs and mental health care. However, state Medicaid plans are not subject to this requirement after Dec. 31, 2019.

How does the bill affect abortion?

The bill puts a one-year freeze on funding to states for payments to a “prohibited entity,” defined as one that, among other criteria, provides abortions other than those due to rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother.  This directly impacts groups like Planned Parenthood.  It should be noted that additional funding for education, food, daycare, etc. is not mentioned anywhere for births of these children.  Planned Parenthood under Medicaid, currently receives government funding.   Also under the GOP plan, tax credits can’t be used to purchase insurance that covers abortion beyond those three exceptions.

Are there subsidies aka Tax Credits to help people buy insurance?

Answer: YES. There are two types of financial assistance under the ACA: premium tax credits (which would change under the new GOP plan) and cost-sharing to lower out-of-pocket costs (which would be eliminated under the GOP plan).

Under the GOP plan, Premium tax credits would be available to individuals who buy their own coverage on the individual, or nongroup, coverage. But instead of a sliding scale based on income, as under current ACA, the Republican plan’s tax credits are based on age, with older Americans getting more. However, the plan allows insurers to charge older Americans up to five times more than younger people, so this is really not a benefit as the GOP claims.

There are income limits under the GOP bill.  People earning under $75,000, or $150,000 for a married couple, in modified adjusted gross income, get the same, fixed amounts for their age groups — starting at $2,000 a year for those under age 30, increasing in $500 increments per decade in age, up to $4,000 a year for those 60 and older. The tax credits are capped at $14,000 per family, using the five oldest family members to calculate the amount. This new structure would begin in 2020, with modifications in 2018 and 2019 to give more to younger people and less to older people.   Confused yet?  Just wait!!!

For those earning above those income thresholds, the tax credit is reduced by 10% of the amount earned above the threshold. For instance, an individual age 60 or older earning $100,000 a year would get a tax credit of $1,500 ($4,000 minus 10% of $25,000). The ACA tax credits also take into account the local cost of insurance, varying the amount of the credit in order to put a cap on the amount an individual or family would have to spend for their premiums. The Republican plan doesn’t do that. (See this explanation from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation for more on how the ACA tax credits are currently calculated.)

The cost-sharing subsidies available now under the ACA  will be eliminated in 2020 under the GOP plan.  Small-business tax credits would come to an end in 2020.

What does the bill do about  health savings accounts?

The GOP bill  increases the contribution limits for tax-exempt HSAs, from $3,400 for individuals and $6,750 for families to $6,550 and $13,100, respectively.  The GOP plan allows individuals to use HSA money for over-the-counter drugs, something the ACA had limited to only over-the-counter drugs for which individuals had obtained a prescription.

Who Does This Affect?

Both the current law and the Republican proposal primarily impacts the individual market, where 7% of the U.S. population buys its own health insurance. The GOP plan allows a wider span in pricing based on age by allowing Insurers can charge older individuals up to five times as much as younger people, and states can change that ratio. Under Obama Care (the ACA), the ratio was 3:1.

Older Americans do get higher tax credits than younger Americans under the Republican plan, but whether that amounts to more or less generous tax credits than under the ACA depends on other individual circumstances, including income and local insurance pricing. Those with low incomes could do worse under the GOP plan, while those who earned too much to qualify for tax credits under the ACA (an individual making more than $48,240) would get tax credits.

I  urge you to review the Kaiser Family Foundation’s interactive map to see how tax credits may change, depending on your individual circumstances. “Generally, people who are older, lower-income, or live in high-premium areas (like Alaska and Arizona) receive larger tax credits under the ACA than they would under the American Health Care Act replacement,” KFF says. “Conversely, some people who are younger, higher-income, or live in low-premium areas (like Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Washington) may receive larger assistance under the replacement plan.”

Which ACA taxes go away under the GOP plan?

Many of the ACA taxes would be eliminated.  The bill eliminates all fines on individuals for not having insurance and large employers for not offering insurance. Also, beginning in 2018, for high-income taxpayers, the bill eliminates the 3.8% tax on certain net investment income and the 0.9% additional Medicare tax on earnings above a threshold. That same year, the bill repeals the 2.3% tax on the sale price of certain medical devices and the 10% tax on indoor tanning services. It also eliminates the annual fees on entities, according to the IRS, “in the business of providing health insurance for United States health risks,” as well as fees on “each covered entity engaged in the business of manufacturing or importing branded prescription drugs.”

It reduces the tax on distributions from health savings accounts (HSAs) not used for qualified medical expenses from 20% to 10% and the tax on such distributions from Archer medical savings accounts (MSAs) from 20% to 15%. It lowers the threshold for receiving a tax deduction for medical expenses from 10% to 7.5% of adjusted gross income. And from 2020 through 2024, the bill suspends the so-called “Cadillac tax,” a 40% excise tax on high-cost insurance plans offered by employers.

I urge readers to follow this proposed law and voice your opinions.  It is an integral part of Democracy to be heard.  Being an attorney,  I love protecting people’s rights on a daily basis, including those of my own family and friends.  Following our political process and voicing objections is key to keeping to all of our freedoms alive.

References:

https://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/Universal-Health-Coverage-and-Health-Outcomes-OECD-G7-Health-Ministerial-2016.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_health_care

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/06/heres-a-map-of-the-countries-that-provide-universal-health-care-americas-still-not-on-it/259153/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3633404/

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/NV

http://www.bu.edu/law/files/2016/01/EllisPaper.pdf

 

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Accident on Vacation- What to Do

DON’T LET A CAR ACCIDENT WRECK YOUR VACATION

Vacations are best for getting away from everything stressful. You can enjoy the sun and the beach or get away the snowy slopes and fireside hot chocolate, or anything that your family enjoys. Often on vacation, you may try new adventures like jet skiing, snorkeling, snowboarding, or any other type of vacation fun. Unfortunately, we don’t often consider that accidents can happen anywhere, even on vacation.  Armed with information and a few necessities like your family health insurance cards, your auto insurance card (whether you are driving your own car or renting a car) along with shorts and sun block, can reduce stress in the event of an accident.

It’s not something we want to think about when packing for a vacation. It’s likely last thing we want to think about.  However, a couple clicks of your phone and you will not have to think about it again unless it happens. It is important to know your rights and responsibilities while traveling any time, including on vacation.

BEFORE YOU GO, TAKE THE FOLLOWING PHOTOS WITH YOUR PHONE:

  1. Your Family health insurance cards
  2. Lists of any family allergies
  3. Your auto insurance card

Spring break is a great time to take a trip to more open, cooler, prettier places like the beach or the mountains, or a visit with family in old hometowns or living it up on the Las Vegas Strip. Road trips are exciting, and air travel can get us their much quicker, and renting a car can save time.

An accident is likely the last thing on your mind as you prepare for your trip, and not something you want to think about. However, a little bit of knowledge can make a stressful situation, easier and not end a great vacation.  I hope to answer the most important questions you will have if you find yourself in an accident while on vacation. Whether you are driving your own car or renting a vehicle for an out-of-town vacation, the following is a list items you will want to know to be prepared in the event of an accident:

  1. Make sure the police or on-site security is called to the scene immediately. This will likely be your only opportunity to gather critical information.
  2. Take pictures of everything including the people themselves involved, the weather, the cars, the road, driver’s licenses, insurance cards, license plates, witness’s and their vehicles, any traffic signals or signs in place, the location of the accident, any article like a ride that caused injury, the floor in a slip and fall, all signs in the area.
  3. If anyone is injured, get medical help at a hospital or quick care and if you have your own health insurance, use it. Provide the medical provider all of your information and make sure to obtain any records you can while you are there.
  4. Take photos immediately of any injuries sustained such as bruising and lacerations.

TYPES OF CASES HANDLED BY HUNT LAW OFFICES

  • Swimming pool and spa drowning accidents and slip and fall accidents.
  • Injuries due to violence caused by negligent security or inadequate security.
  • Acts of crime by employees leading to injuries including sexual assaults and assault and battery.
  • Vehicle accidents involving transportation companies or rental cars.
  • Accidents on busses and/or public transportation accidents.
  • Accidents resulting from the use of personal watercraft, jet-skis, and water ski accidents.
  • Accidents involving amusement parks, theme park rides and attractions, equipment failure or maintenance accidents at theme parks.
  • Accidents involving hotel escalators and/or elevator accidents and slip and fall accidents.
  • Scuba diving and parasailing accidents resulting from faulty equipment.

Business owners, hotel owners, rental companies, and theme parks owners who cater to vacationers have a responsibility to keep their premises safe for visitors and their attractions working properly. They must provide a safe premises, and protection from dangers. Rides and rental equipment must function as intended. Unfortunately, some vacation destinations and resorts do not pay attention to the safety measures that they are required to implement for the protection of their guests.  Due to this type of negligence, an attorney is often needed to protect your rights.  Laura Hunt, Esq. is dedicated to helping tourists and vacationers injured in accidents, find justice, while visiting Las Vegas and California.  To tell us about your case or concern, please email lhuntlaw@cox.net or call 702-600-0032 24 hours a day and on weekends.

ISSUES OF VACATION ACCIDENTS

Wherever your flight, drive or voyage may take you, an attorney can you help if you’re injured on your journey. The following is important to keep in mind:

  • State Law in Different States– An attorney can Laura Hunt, Esq. can answer questions regarding laws that vary by state including traffic laws, statutes of limitations, helmet laws, floatation device laws, etc.
  • How Does Insurance work Out of State– What happens if you’re in an auto accident in a different state – or country for that matter? What state’s insurance laws do you follow? The answer is usually yes on your own policies with certain exceptions. An experienced attorney can answer these important questions.
  • Rental Cars — With a rental, you will likely need to deal with additional paperwork. As soon as you can, you should contact the rental company and inform them of what happened. Most rental cars are equipped with a sticker in the glove box that has emergency information on it. You will usually be covered on your own auto policy and you also need to contact your own insurance company as soon as possible

WHAT ABOUT GETTING THE CAR FIXED?

To help make things easier, here is are few issues you may be faced with dealing with:

  • Your insurance may advise you to fix your car locally. An insurance company will not want to pay to have your damaged car towed to your home town. If the car is drivable, take the vehicle home for repairs.
  • The body shop may not perform quality work, so double check the work before leaving the shop. If the body shop knows you are not local, they may not give your vehicle the treatment you would receive at your local repair shop. This is why you may want to wait for repairs until you get home. Don’t let a dent ruin a vacation.

 

  • You will be responsible for picking up from the shop when repairs are done. It is not likely that the insurance company will deliver your repaired vehicle back to your home town.

 

  • Obtain a police report. Find out from the officer where the records office is and request it as soon as you get home. It usually takes 10-14 days for them to have the report ready anyway.

 

  • If repairs are necessary, find a facility with a nationwide warranty plan. If you have to have your car repaired before you can drive it home, look for a body shop that has nationwide warranty coverage. By using a body that has nationwide locations, you can avoid a problem when you get home.

 

  • If anyone calls you to take a recorded statement besides your own insurance company, do not provide a recorded statement to them. Sometimes the at fault company will try to call you right away and ask slanted questions and get you to give information that you have not received yet. They will take advantage of your stressed state.

 

Being in an automobile accident is never headache free and being in one while away from home and on vacation is even worse. Hopefully with this information, you will be able to avoid some of the headache that people experience and continue enjoying your getaway.

An accident is frightening and more difficult when you are far from home. If injuries happen, it complicates your vacation and adds stress to the entire family. If you or one of your family members is seriously injured, an attorney can take care of paper work associated with medical bills as well as all the paperwork associated a repair the vehicle.

If you or a loved one have been injured any type of accident while on vacation, an accident that was caused by the negligence of someone else, you should contact an experienced attorney about your case in addition to your insurance or rental car company.  Operators of resorts and theme parks do not always put guest safety first.  Never assume they will act in your best interest if and accident occurs and e proactive.  Follow the steps above to protect you and your loved ones.

Free Initial Legal Consultation – and We Aren’t Paid unless there is a Recovery

Hunt Law Offices has handled hundreds of auto accident, slip and fall cases, catastrophic injury cases, personal injury cases, and have recovered millions of dollars for our injured clients. Laura Hunt’s consultation with potential vacation accident and resort accidents clients is free. If we take your case, we are only paid fees and costs of suit if we are successful in obtaining money for you. We advance the costs of your case, too, so there’s no cost to you of bringing your claim. To tell us about your case or concern, please email us at lhuntlaw@cox.net or call 702-600-0032 24 hours a day and on weekends.

 

 

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Is Personal Injury Compensation Possible After an Accident?

shutterstock_146252969

Truck accidents can occur for many reasons. One driver, two drivers or several drivers can be at fault, and personal injury compensation may still be available.

What Happens When a Truck Hits a Car on the Road?

No victim ever expects that a truck will run into the vehicle in which he or she is riding. Nevertheless, more than 130,000 people suffer injuries because of trucks. The trucks that are involved in the incidents include big rigs, semi-trucks, tractor trailers and 18-wheeler vehicles. The accidents occur for a number of reasons. Victims do not always realize that they have the right to contact a truck accident attorney in Las Vegas and ask for assistance.

Whose Fault Is a Truck Accident?

Determining the fault in a trucking accident will require careful examination of the incidents leading up to the accident. A personal injury lawyer will look for obvious signs of neglect by the truck driver or the trucking company. Examples of neglect are drunk driving, distracted truck driving, disobedient driving, truck malfunctions, or an ignored need for vehicle repairs. A judge could find the truck driver or the entire company responsible for a trucking incident.

How Much Compensation Can Someone Get for a Truck Accident?

Because truck accidents affect so many people, the compensation could vary. Truck accidents are some of the most devastating personal injury accidents of them all. The judge will want to look at the victim’s financial losses first. The lawyer will need to present documentation for medical bills, vehicle repairs, lost work wages, physical therapy, psychological assistance and more. Compensatory damages will cover all those areas. Punitive damages are extra monies that a guilty party may have to pay if the judge finds that the accused party was extra negligent. An example of extreme negligence is a truck driver that has a high blood alcohol content.

How Can a Victim Get Help?

An accident victim can get help by calling a law office that has a high success rate. Such an office will usually charge a 25 percent contingency representation fee. The attorney may offer a free consultation, as well. The consultation will reveal some information about the case such as the amount of potential it has

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7 Sure-Fire Reasons to Make You Road Rage

In a perfect world, we are the only ones driving on the road. Just yourself, the wheel, and the breeze blowing by your face. Unfortunately this isn’t a prefect world and we are surrounded by loads of people who seem to do everything except pay attention while they drive.

A lego man with an angry face sits behind the wheel of a toy car

Photo by SG

1: When someone forces you to listen to their music at a stop light

It doesn’t get much more irritating than when you’re quietly jamming to Bob Marley and a carload of teens creeps up with their One Dir-Bieber engulfing the sound waves.

2. The stoplight stare-down

There seems to be an unwritten commandment that everyone else follows: Thou shalt make direct eye contact with thy stoplight neighbor, regardless of consent from both parties. Ensuing awkwardness is inevitable.

3. People who insist that the speed limit is for speedsters

The speed limit exists for a reason. It helps keep traffic flowing at a rate that should at least meet those standards. Driving excessively under the speed limit (especially in the fast lane) can be just as dangerous as driving excessively fast. Obey the speed signs, please.

4. Drivers who cut to the front of the merge line

“Hey, I know how to drive in a big city, and the rest of these people are nice farm folk; they’ll let me in at the front.” No they aren’t, and no they won’t. Merge when you’re supposed to, and we’ll all have a good time together. Otherwise, everyone will collectively wish for your tires to fall apart.

5. The parking spot thief

You’ve stalked them as they walk to their car. You wait restlessly for their car to start and their reverse lights to shine. Blinker engaged, you make the move without hesitation. Out of nowhere, a Smart Car sneaks in front of you and poaches your parking spot. Emotionally paralyzed, you can do nothing but make the drive of shame to the end of the parking lot.

6. Blinker fail

Down is left. Up is right. The automobile blinker is a wondrous, simple-to-use tool that you’d actually have to try to avoid while turning the steering wheel. Not only is it a musical instrument (whose tempo always fails to match up to the blinker beat of the car ahead of you), it lets other drivers know where you’re going. It’s the alternative to driver-to-driver telepathy.

7. When it rains, it pours

It seems that rain, even in the warmest of weather, makes people believe they are driving on a sheet of ice. Please don’t brake 300 feet before an intersection, with anticipation that the light might someday turn red. Drive freely, little birdie; it’s only a little water.

It’s amazing (and rather alarming) that most of us are witness to at least one of these “crimes against the road” on a daily basis. Perhaps all it takes from us is to pay a little more attention to the road, and show a bit more courtesy to our fellow drivers. If one of these road-rage inducing incidents results in an accident, and you need an auto accident lawyer in Henderson, call Hunt Law Offices at (702) 450-4868.

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5 Things You Wish Your Car Could Do

Americans are getting lazier by the minute.  Good news, though: That means that our cars are getting cooler.  You can get a massage, surf the Internet and stock up a mini-fridge – all from the comfort of your driver’s seat.  Some things are still missing, though.  Here are five things we all wish our cars could do.

car the looks like it is from the 22nd century is admired by onlookers.

Photo by Sonja Stark

1. Cool Your Buns

We have seat warmers for the winter, and they feel absolutely delightful.  What about the scorching summer months when you sit down and the leather leaves third degree burns on your poor little legs?  It hurts for the next week, you do an excessive amount of complaining and nobody’s happy.  Every car needs seat coolers with three temperature settings: “I’m in the 7th Circle”, “I Have a Sweat Mustache” and “It’s Just a Little Stuffy in Here.”

On a similar note, a heating and cooling system for the steering wheel would also be nice.  Gripping with your sleeves works fine…until you actually need to start making driving maneuvers.

2. Talk to You

If you say you don’t talk to yourself while you’re driving, you’re lying.  The “conversation” can range from a quick burst of “I forgot those files!” to a full-on monologue concerning exactly how a thermos is able to keep things both hot AND cold.  (But seriously, how does it do it?)  Point is, it’d be nice if you had someone, or something, to answer you.

3. Go Invisible

We all have to go places where we don’t want to be seen.  Sometimes it’s the third trip through the Del Taco drive-thru on a lonely Friday night, sometimes it’s to slowly creep behind the bad guys because you are out fighting crime. Regardless of your reason, an invisible option on your car would be pretty cool.

4. Door Ding Deflectors

Your car starts to lose its value as soon as you drive it off the lot. Never mind the fact that you will probably park next to a horrible human being that has no concept of space (or physics) the day after you purchase your it. Enter: door ding.

I’ve named this hypothetical device “Door Ding Reflectors.”  Every time ANYONE gets close to opening his/her car door into your car door, a tiny person will run out and punch him/her in the shin.  Problem solved.

5. Sonar

Do you live in the northwest where it rains 25/7?  What if there existed a method for measuring the depth of water?  OH WAIT.

Unless your car magically turns into a submarine, you might be better off staying away from the roads.  Use your vehicle’s built-in sonar to determine whether or not you’re down for braving the commute to work.

Unfortunately, there are no plans for these features to be added to cars anytime in the near future. In the time being, if you’re in an accident in your normal, not quite as cool car and you need an auto accident attorney in Henderson, call Hunt Law Offices at (702) 450-4868.

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What you Should NEVER do After a Car Accident in Las Vegas

two cars crashing“I want to go out and get into a car accident today.” These are not words anyone ever says or thinks about. After all, car accidents are scary and they are expensive. Between the medical bills and the repair bills, most people cannot afford to get into an automobile accident.

Due to the fact that an automobile accident is something no one ever wants to happen, most people do not bother thinking about how to prepare for an automobile accident either. More importantly than just hiring a car accident attorney in Las Vegas, you need to know what you shouldn’t do after a car accident as well.

Leave the Scene of the Accident

Easily the biggest mistake an individual can make after being in an accident is leaving the scene of an accident. Even if you are in an accident that does not seem like a big deal, the last thing you should do is drive away. You need to pull over, exchange information, and make sure the other driver is alright. If the other driver seems hostile, stay in your car and call 911.

Decide Not to Call 911

If you end up deciding later that you want to file an insurance claim to get the dent on your car fixed, you are going to regret deciding not to call 911. A police report stating what happened can only be filed if you call the police to the scene.

You make some sort of agreement with the other driver and then later you get a phone call from an insurance company telling a very different story than what actually happened. Calling the police is about protecting yourself.

Getting Emotional

The last thing you want to do is get angry or upset when you get in an accident, especially towards the other driver. Even if you are 100 percent certain the accident was their fault, chances are pretty good they feel bad about it. There is no reason to shout at them.

When you approach the other driver, you only really need to ask them one thing. Are they alright? Yelling at them or telling them it was all their fault is not going to change anything. It certainly is not going to make the accident go away.

You also do not want to fight with the other driver if they are hostile or losing their cool. Just sit in your car and wait for the cops.

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A Helpful Guide to Handling your Insurance Company after a Las Vegas Auto Accident

las vegas car crashThe unthinkable has happened. You’ve been in an automobile accident. Now what happens? The first steps are fairly simple. Move your car out of the way (if possible), see if anyone has been injured, call 911, snap a few pictures, and exchange contact information with anyone who saw what happened. Eventually calling your insurance company makes that list.

The question is: what happens when your insurance company calls you?

How to Deal with the Insurance Company

Even if you have gone through the motion of hiring a Las Vegas auto accident attorney, you are still going to have to exchange words with the insurance company. At some point in time, you will need to give a formal statement about what happened. Giving the wrong kind of statement can end up hurting your chances of getting any financial compensation.

When you talk to the insurance company for the first time, they are going to collect personal information. They are going to ask you a few questions:

  • Where is your car right now?
  • Did your car get damaged?
  • How did the accident happen?
  • Did anyone get injured?

Each of these questions need to be answered to the best of your ability. You need to make sure you are supplying the insurance company with honest answers. Eventually, someone will find out if you lie about how the accident happened.

Your insurance company is going to want to know where your vehicle is because if it was damaged and it is at a tow yard, they are going to want to move it. They want to move it to one of their body shops. This will make the repair bill that they have to pay cheaper.

That is Not the Battle You Want to Fight

If the insurance company wants to more your car or tow your car to a certain auto shop, just let them do it. This means that chances are pretty good that they are going to foot the bill.

You have the right to tell them not to record your statements given on the phone. They are required to ask you if they can record. You do have the right to say no. It is a good idea to talk to the Las Vegas auto accident attorney that you have hired before you may any sort of agreements with or statements to your insurance company. Your attorney would be more than happy to speak to your insurance company for you.

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Nevada Hosted an Alternative to Distracted Driving Tickets

driver textingIt’s no secret that distracted driving has become an issue. Car accident lawyers have seen a rise in these types of cases due to texting, talking on the phone and other distractions, while driving. Many cities and states have started issuing tickets for distracted driving and they have started cracking down quite a bit.

However, the state of Nevada has decided to take a different approach. Instead of just issuing a ticket for use of a cellphone while driving, the state has started an online program to help drivers clear their record.

This program was introduced in early July and allowed Nevada Highway Patrol troopers the opportunity to offer those with clean records the chance to keep it that way. Drivers pulled over for distracted driving have to complete online tasks for 28 days in a row to avoid the fine they would pay and the black mark on their driving record.

The tasks they must complete pertain to a time when a driver was able to stay safe because they were not distracted by their cellphone. Some of the tasks include sharing a video about distracted driving on social sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, while others have the driver take a quiz about driving distracted.

This new program is called “It Can Wait for 28,” and may be adopted as a normal program throughout the state. The state has received support from the Nevada Department of Public Safety, the Clark County Justice Court and the Highway Patrol.

How Will This Program Help Keep Our Roads Safe

With distracted driving becoming a problem, the “It Can Wait for 28” program is aimed at educating offenders about this issue. Instead of just giving them a ticket, this program allows the driver to save the money they would pay on the fine and become educated about the seriousness of distracted driving.

Not only does the program help to educate the offenders, but also their friends and family. Since the program includes sharing videos about distracted driving on social media sites, it helps to spread the word to those that have yet to be caught.

If this program becomes successful, it could help everybody put their phones down, while their driving. Statistics have already shown a distracted driver is at least as bad as a drunk driver, if not worse. This is a problem and the state of Nevada is leading the way in the hunt for a solution.

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What Should You do after an Auto Accident near Henderson, NV?

two cars crashedAfter you get in an accident with another vehicle, you may be inclined to call an auto accident attorney immediately. Even though this isn’t a bad idea, there are other things you should make sure to do after the accident. Here are five steps to help you handle a car accident in Henderson properly.

Call the Police

Before you do anything else, you should always dial 9-1-1 and get the proper authorities on their way. Even if nobody is badly injured, this is a smart thing to do. Make sure you remain on the scene after you call the police, as well.

Once the police arrive, they will help sort things out and they will create a police report. This will give you everything you need for the insurance company and it can provide many details about the accident, such as those involved, where it happened and when it happened.

Get Contact Information

After calling the police, you want to get the contact information from the other driver’s involved and passengers. You may need the passengers as witnesses, so make sure to get names and phone numbers from everybody. Even though the police report may contain this information, you don’t want to rely on it.

Seek Medical Help

If you’ve been injured, make sure you seek medical help as soon as possible. When the EMS arrives, make sure they know you’re injured, so they can treat your injuries properly. Medical records will also play a big part in the process if you file a claim.

Take Pictures, if Possible

If you have a camera or cell phone handy, take as many pictures as you can. Pictures are the best evidence you can have and you want to take pictures of damage, injuries, skid marks, the position of the vehicles and as much of the scene as you can.

Find a Good Accident Attorney

After you’ve dealt with the scene of the accident, it’s time to find a lawyer to help fight for your rights. If you were injured or someone in your car was injured, you need an attorney to help fight for lost wages, punitive damages, medical bills, future medical bills and other damages.

After an accident, you may want to call an attorney immediately. However, make sure you take care of the other steps on this list, as they will help you and your attorney if you decide to file a claim.

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Connected Cars: The Future of Driving?

A completely different way of driving may not be too far into the future, so long as app developers and vehicle manufacturers agree on the right proverbial course. The idea of the “connected car” could do for drivers “what the USB cable did for computers,”  but will it actually better the driving world? Let’s take a look:

Reasons to Connect

Cars used to be vehicles that took drivers from their homes to school, work, malls, on roadtrips, the beach and anywhere else they needed or wanted to go. Nowadays climbing into the driver’s seat is something of a multimedia experience, with vehicles offering features for iPods, DVD players, smartphones and even connections to home, such as turning the air conditioner on before you park in your driveway. Connected cars would expand on these features, including:

  • Self-Diagnosis: Connected cars would be able to diagnose what’s wrong, then alert you to the nearest service station or auto part shop.
  • Proactive Navigation: A connected vehicle could easily keep you away from traffic jams, accidents and anything else that results in slow-downs.
  • Safety: The car becomes a travel partner that tells you to “stay away from that swerving van” or to “steer clear of the bus full of children up ahead.”

autodrive

Today’s Technology Equals Driver-Centric Solutions

deCarta is a company currently “leading the charge” concerning connected cars. The company has patented software that searches the road as you travel, and provides possibilities within 20 minutes of wherever you are, such as gas stations, rest stops, hotels, restaurants, and any other resources you may need. The company’s CEO, Kim Fennell, hails today’s technology as “driver centric,” with the days of inefficient “old nav” results long gone.

Fennell’s company has enlisted the help of partners, such as Best Driving, to fine-tune in-car interfaces. Best Parking is a company that has garnered over a million downloads for its parking space location app. Its founder, Ben Sann, notes that trying to use a bunch of separate driving-related apps is frustrating and time-consuming, however such apps are much more accessible when everything is “integrated into your dashboard.” For example, your car will know exactly where you’re going and how long it will take to get there.

When Can We Expect This Change?

As exciting as the connected car possibility is for many drivers, it may take a bit longer for the option to happen. Industry standards such as software reliability, data security and safe driver behavior all must be accounted for, with Sann remarking how challenging it is to ensure such standards are given consideration.

Even if it does take awhile for the connected car vision to become reality, the proverbial (and perhaps actual) wheels are turning. Within a few years the connected car is expected to be the “norm,” and it’s simply a matter of which company offers the best version first.

If a decrease in car accidents is on the horizon with the implementation of connected cars, we’re in for a treat. Until then, the streets of Las Vegas remain a dangerous place for drivers and pedestrians alike. if you’re in an accident and you need a car accident attorney, give Hunt Law Offices a call at (702) 450-4868.

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