You have to file a complaint (lawsuit) seeking a Domestic Violence Protective Order (otherwise known as a restraining order or as a "50B"). If it is at night or on the weekend, you do this through the magistrate's office. If it is during the week, you do it through the civil clerk of court. In the complaint, you set out the details of the act of violence or threat of violence that caused you to seek the Domestic Violence Protective Order. You will then appear before the judge or magistrate to describe what happened. If the judge or magistrate determines you are entitled to an emergency Ex Parte Protective Order, it will be issued at that time. Your abuser is not notified of or present for the emergency hearing. The emergency order is valid until there can be a hearing on the issue - at that hearing, the abuser will be present and have the opportunity to put on a defense. This hearing is normally held within 10 days. If the judge determines at the full hearing that you are entitled to a Domestic Violence Protective Order, one will be issued. This order will be valid for one year, but may be renewed at the end of one year for an additional time of up to two years.
All states require drivers to buy automobile insurance, but the reality is that, whether out of ignorance, inability, or unwillingness, many drivers ignore this requirement. If you get into an accident with such a driver and you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, you may find yourself needing to take the uninsured driver to court in order to recover damages. Seeing as how that driver could not afford insurance in the first place, it seems unlikely that you will recover anything from them. For this reason, it is prudent to purchase uninsured motorist coverage where you have the option to do so. In a handful of states, it is required.
How it Works
Most uninsured motorist laws give coverage for all sums the owner would be legally entitled to recover if the uninsured motorist was insured, but the specifics involving just what the motorist would have been entitled to recover differ state by state.
Definition of Uninsured Vehicle
Definitions of an uninsured vehicle change slightly from state to state, but most define it as a driver who did not have any insurance, had insurance that did not meet state-mandated minimum liability requirements, or whose insurance company denied their claim or was not financially able to pay it. Most laws also specify that uninsured vehicles include:
Coverage of Persons
It is very important that the person claiming benefits under an uninsured motorist policy fall within the policy’s definition of an “insured.” Those covered differ from policy to policy and it is vital that you understand who is covered before making a purchase. People commonly covered include:
Underinsured Motorist Insurance
You can also purchase insurance that protects you from underinsured drivers in addition to uninsured ones. An underinsured driver is someone who met minimum legal financial responsibility requirements but did not have payment limits high enough to cover the damage they caused. Underinsured motorist protection pays you for damages that exceed the payment limits carried by a driver who is considered underinsured.
Every state in the union requires that drivers carry some kind of liability insurance. Such insurance protects you in the event of an accident where you might otherwise be vulnerable to an expensive and lengthy lawsuit. At the same time, insurance policies can be difficult to manage both before and after an accident. Knowing how to communicate with an insurance company at all points in the process is very important.
Talking with your insurance company after an accident
Talking with the other driver’s insurance company after an accident
Managing Your Claim
By Elspeth Crawford
If you’re involved in a car accident, there’s a chance that you might file a personal injury lawsuit or that one could be filed against you. In order to win a personal injury lawsuit involving a vehicular accident, the plaintiff must show three things. First, the plaintiff must show that he or she suffered actual harm. Usually, this will not be difficult. The plaintiff must simply identify their injuries. Second, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed a duty of care but that the defendant breached this duty. Third, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s breach of the duty of care was the cause of the plaintiff’s harm.
Duties of Care
Drivers are required to use that degree of care as would a reasonably prudent driver acting in similar circumstances. The details of the duty of care change slightly depending on what kind of vehicle is being driven, who is driving it, and whether or not the vehicle is commercial. However, many basic rules remain the same. Drivers have the duty to:
In cases where an injury is clearly caused by a driver’s negligence, showing causation is easy. In cases where the origin of injuries is not so clear, it can be more difficult. There are a number of tests courts used to determine injury. They vary depending on the state and the situation.
Contributory and Comparative Negligence
In order for a plaintiff to recover from a defendant in an automobile accident, the defendant must have acted negligently, that is, in violation of some duty of care. However, it is possible that the plaintiff also acted negligently and that the defendant is only partially, but not entirely, to blame for the accident. The doctrines of contributory and comparative negligence determine how to spread the blame when this occurs.
Motorcycles are extremely popular. Millions of Americans own and operate them, and unfortunately thousands of those Americans get into motorcycle accidents each year. Much of the advice applicable to automobile accidents applies to motorcycle accidents as well, but motorcycle accidents have their own specific set of concerns that we will outline here.
Riding a motorcycle is a uniquely enjoyable and uniquely dangerous way to travel. Statistics show motorcycle riders are sixteen times more likely to die and three times more likely to be injured as automobile occupants. Knowing about common motorcycle injuries can help you make sure that they do not happen to you, which in the long run can save you from the cost of medical treatment, legal fees, and psychological stress.
What to do Immediately After a Motorcycle Accident
People involved in a motorcycle accident should follow the same steps concerning what to do following an automobile accident, including remaining on the scene, calling for help, and making as accurate a record as possible of what happened. In addition, motorcyclists should be wary of getting any repairs made to their motorcycles in advance of litigation, since dents to the motorcycle can be important in convincing a court of what occurred during the accident. Motorcyclists should preserve all damage to their clothing for the same reason.
Although research shows that wearing a helmet reduces injury in motorcycle accidents, not all states require it. Twenty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico required the use of helmets by all motorcycle operators and passengers. Another 27 states make it mandatory only for those under a certain age, usually 18. Colorado, Illinois, and Iowa do not have any laws requiring the use of helmets. These laws have been known to change fairly frequently, and there are advocates on both sides of the issue.
Except for Washington, all states and the District of Columbia require that motorcyclists have minimal comprehensive insurance coverage. Obtaining insurance and filing a claim under a policy work just as they do when an ordinary automobile is involved, but motorcycle insurance has a few unique features.
For more information on motorcycle accidents and motorcycle safety, please take a look at the following article How to Avoid the Top 10 Most Common Motorcycle Accidents.