4.01.2014

END DISTRACTED DRIVING DAY: A MEDIA EVENT


Art Kosieradzki of the Lakeville office of Sieben, Grose, Von Holtum & Carey joins more than 750 attorneys from all 50 states and across Canada to help End Distracted Driving by talking with local teens at Lakeville North and South High School every year in April.

The 60-minute presentations – part of a national distracted driving awareness initiative and in conjunction with The Casey Feldman Foundation, EndDD.org and 60 for Safety’s End Distracted Driving Student Awareness Campaign – will offer high school teens an educational, yet sobering glimpse of the tragic results that can occur when driving distracted. Take a look at a few facts below, courtesy of distracted.gov:
• Distracted driving is responsible for more than 5,000 deaths and close to 450,000 injury-producing accidents in the U.S. every year.
• Text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.
• Drivers who use handheld devices are 4 times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.
• Sending/receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.5 seconds – the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field, including end zones, at 55 m.p.h.
• Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%.

If you would like additional information about this program, please contact me directly at the number below or kos@knowyourrights.com.

Art Kosieradzki
Attorney at Law
SIEBEN, GROSE, VON HOLTUM & CAREY
20876 Holyoke Avenue
Lakeville, MN 55044
Direct: 952-469-2288, Ext. 401





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6.25.2012

Safety and Insurance Tips for Motorcycle Riders


Motorcycle Riders Face Special Challenges

Common sense tells us that motorcycling is simply more dangerous than driving a car. Aside from four wheels over two, cars are equipped with numerous safety features including seat belts, air bags and a surrounding structure that protects occupants in a crash. Motorcycles are also less visible to other drivers, and require more mental and physical skill to operate safely. Finally, motorcyclists are more vulnerable to bad weather and hazardous road conditions.

Not surprisingly with motorcycle ownership at an all-time high, injuries and deaths are also on the rise. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatalities nearly doubled from 2,294 in 1998 to 4,502 in 2010. Injuries also shot up from 49,000 in 1998 to 90,000 in 2009. Yet, deaths in auto and light truck accidents are at an all-time low. Aside from the inherent dangers of motorcycling, riding without a helmet, while intoxicated or speeding are often cited as contributing factors as well.

Insurance May Not Cover Personal Injury

After strapping on your helmet, the next best protection you can have in case of a motorcycle accident is insurance. While all 50 states require minimum insurance coverage to operate a motorcycle, be aware that the minimums may not adequately protect you in a serious accident. Like any type of insurance, how much you'll need will depend on many different factors including the type of bike you own, how often you ride, your marital status, your personal assets and your budget.

Liability covers bodily injury and property damage that you may cause to others involved in an accident. Other coverages include uninsured or underinsured motorists, which covers personal injury and damages caused by the driver of another vehicle who either does not have insurance or does not have sufficient coverage; collision, which covers physical damage to the motorcycle involved in a crash with an object, tree or another vehicle; comprehensive, which covers a loss from non-collision sources like theft, vandalism, fire or hail; and medical payments or personal injury protection (PIP), which covers physical injuries to the rider and passenger.

Beyond liability, your first priority should be the coverages that pay you – and your passenger – for medical treatment, lost wages and other damages. These include uninsured/underinsured and PIP. Note, however, that the risks associated with motorcycling often make it very expensive to increase these coverages. In some cases, for example, PIP may not even be available or be so expensive that it is out of reach for most individuals. As with purchasing any type of insurance, seek the advice of a qualified advisor and carefully review policies from several different insurers.

Preventing Motorcycle Accidents – Tips for Riders and Drivers

To help combat the growing safety issues with motorcycles, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation has set out to improve safety through education, training and licensing. Since 1974, about 6 million motorcyclists have taken MSF training courses.
The Foundation offers the following tips for riders and drivers (download) to help prevent motorcycle accidents.

For Riders:

•Be Properly Trained and Licensed – Half of all riders have never taken a proper safety class. Take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Basic Rider Course and some states will waive the written portion of the motorcycle endorsement test.

•Wear a Helmet – The facts are irrefutable: helmets prevent fatalities an estimated 37 percent of the time for drivers, and 41 percent for passengers in motorcycle accidents, according to the NHTSA. And aside from being smart, it’s the law in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

•Never Drink and Drive – In 2010, 33 percent of cycling fatalities involved riders who were legally intoxicated.

•Ride Within Your Skill Limits and Obey Traffic Laws – Don’t ride faster or farther than your abilities will allow.

•Be a Lifelong Learner – Take advanced courses to brush up on the basics and keep improving your skills.

For Drivers:

•Watch for Motorcyclists – Motorcyclists are smaller than other vehicles and often harder to see. In 41 percent of the fatal accidents reported in 2008, a vehicle made a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle.

•Focus on Driving – Motorcyclists are easy to miss even when you are paying attention. Studies show that distracted drivers simply don't see certain objects like signs, motorcyclists and pedestrians. Hang up the cell phone or mobile device.

•Give Motorcyclists Enough Room – Maintain a safe distance between your car and a motorcycle and don’t change lanes too close. What would be a minor fender bender between two cars could easily be fatal to a motorcyclist.

•Use Your Turn Signals – For everyone’s safety, use your turn signals. It is also the law.

•Keep Trash in the Car – Road debris can kill a rider. And don't throw cigarette butts out of your car either.

If you have any questions feel free to stop by my Lakeville law office, email me at art@knowyourrights.com or call me at 952-469-2288.

Art Kosieradzki
Attorney at Law
SIEBEN, GROSE, VON HOLTUM & CAREY
20876 Holyoke Avenue
Lakeville, MN 55044





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6.08.2012

Wrongful Death Damages

In wrongful death actions, family members may be entitled to “pecuniary” damages. The court determines the proportionate pecuniary (money) loss among the family members and orders distribution accordingly.

Pecuniary loss may include expenses incurred by the death of the victim (funeral, medical, etc.); loss of future earnings anticipated over the lifetime of the victim; benefits lost due to the victim’s death (medical insurance, pension, 401K, etc.); loss of companionship, and the care or protection lost to the survivors as a result of the death. In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the person or corporation causing the death.

Note that in wrongful death cases, the survivors are not recovering damages on behalf of the deceased. For example, the pain and suffering of the deceased would not be the basis of recovery in a wrongful death action.

If you have lost a family member and are wondering about your rights, contact one of the wrongful death attorneys in our firm. We have decades of experience in pursuing claims under wrongful death statutes.

Jim Carey
Attorney At Law

Sieben, Grose, Von Holtum & Carey
800 Marquette Avenue, Suite 900
Minneapolis, MN 55402
612-333-9750

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6.05.2012

Texting and Driving -- Is the Remote Sender Liable?


Texting and driving is dangerous. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not paying attention to the facts. Approximately 500,000 people are injured a year because of this problem. Everyone should realize that if you text and drive the consequences will be your responsibility. But what about sending a text to someone driving? Is that person liable? Before we get into this liability issue, let's take a moment and think about what could happen.

If you are involved in a text exchange with someone you know is driving, that person will be taking their eyes off the road. And most importantly, if someone is texting and driving the chance of destroying a life has just gone up 23 times from when they are not texting. So why do we want to engage in behavior that could take a mother away from her child, leave someone disabled or end in some other catastrophic result? I hope the answer is you don't.

Back to liability. If you do choose to engage in texting someone while driving, who is liable if something happens? The law is clear that the driver will be responsible. The issue of the sender is a question that hasn't been addressed before. There is no legal answer in Minnesota at this time. In this state we have concept called comparative fault. Comparative fault means a jury decides the percentage of fault on each involved party and each party is then responsible for their percentage. Before fault is apportioned the court must find a legal duty on the potential wrongdoer.

Does the remote texter have a legal duty to the injured party thereby creating potential liability? Although there is no answer, the case will surely come to pass at some time in the future. I think the answer may rest in the facts. The first question is did the remote texter know the other person was driving. If they clearly did, I think the possibility of both duty and liability could exist.

So here's a question for you, why do it? If you know that someone is driving don't text them risking their life, someone else's life and possibly yours. Watch this video called The Last Text and think about it.

If you have legal questions feel free to email me at art@knowyourrights.com or call me at 952-469-2288.

Art Kosieradzki
Attorney at Law
SIEBEN, GROSE, VON HOLTUM & CAREY
20876 Holyoke Avenue
Lakeville, MN 55044


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12.19.2011

New Article Spells Out Insurance Industry’s 3-D’s:

Deny, Delay and Don’t Pay!

It’s no secret that insurance companies are in business to make money, but the lengths some insurance companies go to in order to increase profits is alarming. This article helps to spread the message that insurance companies are not concerned with treating the injured fairly. Rather, they are concerned solely with increasing their bottom lines at the expense of those who are truly hurt, and deserving of fair and reasonable compensation.

See the article: www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/13/insurance-claim-delays-industry-profits-allstate-mckinsey-company_n_1139102.html

If you have been denied, your claim delayed or the insurance company just won't pay, please contact our office. From the day we opened our doors 60 years ago, our attorneys have the commitment and willingness to take the tough cases and the readiness to go to trial to see that our clients receive the justice they deserve.


Jim Carey
Attorney At Law

Sieben, Grose, Von Holtum & Carey
800 Marquette Avenue, Suite 900
Minneapolis, MN 55402
612-333-9750