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How to hold your insurance company accountable for bad faith

Compared to the average policyholder – an everyday Bob or Joe – insurance companies are in a position of power. They have vast resources and superior bargaining positions. They also have a strong financial incentive to delay or deny claims. Put simply, the less they pay out in claims, the better their bottom line.

This puts the average Joes in a difficult position. You may find that your insurance company abandons you precisely when you need coverage the most.

Are you ready to hit the road this winter?

With the official end of fall just around the corner, you and many other South Dakota residents may already feel apprehensive about the winter weather ahead. In particular, you may dread having to get out on the roads with seasonal hazards and other travelers who may not take the time to accommodate for weather and road conditions. You have a right to feel this dread as incautious drivers could easily put you at risk of an accident at any time.

When these drivers are coupled with bad weather and questionable road conditions, you may have a significant chance of finding yourself in a dangerous situation on the road. In hopes of doing your best to avoid this type of predicament, you may want to make certain preparations before heading out and while on the road.

Increase your chances of a successful application process

Whether it was through an accident or an illness, you may find yourself unable to work. You may wonder how you will support yourself and your family if your condition keeps you from working for a year or longer.

Someone may have told you that you could apply for Social Security disability benefits. You may have read online what the application process entails, and while it may seem easy, you heard that the Social Security Administration denies most applications on the first try. The process could take up to a year or more to complete if this happens, but you need help as quickly as possible. This may leave you wondering what to do to increase the chances of receiving benefits on your first application.

Distraction may be to blame for your car accident

Distraction is a major problem, not just in South Dakota, but also across the country. Every day, innocent motorists are at risk of accident because drivers are engaged in various types of distracting activities, which include everything from looking at a phone to adjusting the radio. 

If distraction played a role in the accident that left you injured, you have rights. You do not have to face the aftermath of your accident alone, but you may seek to hold the liable parties accountable for everything from your physical injuries to damage done to your personal property. There are three main types of distraction, and understanding the differences between them could help you better understand the factors that led to your accident.

Your permanent injury may qualify you for workers' compensation

Every occupation has its risks and hazards that could potentially result in workers suffering injuries. In your case, you may work in construction and face the possibility of falling from a considerable height, having a structure collapse on top of you, suffering injuries due to equipment malfunction or any number of other serious scenarios that could easily result in your harm. Unfortunately, it only takes one accident to leave you with permanent injuries.

After involvement in an injury-causing accident on the job, you may have many questions when it comes to the potential for obtaining workers' compensation. South Dakota laws on this area differ from other areas, and therefore, you may want to ensure that you understand what you could face when seeking benefits.

Texting and driving statistics may offer some surprises

The exact cause of your injury-causing accident can depend on the specifics of the situation. If the actions or negligence of another person caused the incident, you may feel particularly compelled to determine what may have led that driver to act that manner. In some cases, such as when a medical emergency occurs, you may feel a modicum of sympathy for the other individual. However, when distractions such as texting and driving resulted in your crash, you may feel less than sympathetic.

Texting and driving continues to be a prevalent problem, and it often stands as the cause of many serious crashes. Texting results in drivers taking their minds off the task of driving, removing their hands from the wheel to send messages and taking their eyes off the road.

Why was my insurance claim denied?

If you recently submitted a claim and your insurance company denied payment, it may seem personal to you. However, this is what many insurance companies do to protect their own bottom line. You can be sure they will act quickly if you miss a payment, but you may not get the same speedy response when you need help.

You can always appeal if your insurance company denies your claim. However, rather than an outright denial, some companies simply take their sweet time investigating your case, requesting further documentation and frustrating you with the run-around. When dealing with South Dakota insurance companies, it is important to know your rights and your options.

Rate of child fatalities in car crashes high in South Dakota

A car accident is a scary time in anyone's life, and they are perhaps more concerning when children are involved. Nobody wants to see a child hurt, and kids themselves may have trouble understanding why an accident happened. This notion may be especially concerning for drivers in South Dakota and Iowa, where a higher percentage of children under the age of 15 die as a result of car crashes when compared to other states.

Alarming new data from researchers at Harvard and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center studied how children were affected by car accidents from 2010 to 2014. The data shows that children die in 16 percent of crashes nationwide. However, the fatality rate was nearly 1 in 4 for children in South Dakota and Iowa. Why is this the case?

South Dakotans should be aware of wind dangers while driving

Drivers are aware of the common dangers faced on the road, but residents of South Dakota and northwest Iowa face something that is unique to the Great Plains. Wind acts as an invisible danger to drivers along the I-29 and I-90 corridors, making South Dakota and Iowa among the top five windiest states in the country.

High winds resulted in the deaths of 54 people in 2014, according to the National Weather Service. The relatively flat geography east of the Missouri River allows for unbroken, high-speed winds to blow across the plains. While the wind carves its own path, drivers are forced to adjust on the same roads.

Common reasons workers' compensation claims are denied

Receiving notification that your workers' compensation claim was denied is both shocking and discouraging. Typically, when a claim is denied it's because the insurance company decided that your injury does not meet the necessary standards and therefore shouldn't be covered by workers' compensation. This is upsetting because you know in your heart that your injury was legitimately sustained at work and you don't understand how they could disagree.

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