All drivers in the US are required to have car insurance. Drive without insurance in the US and you will find out more than you want about something called an SR-22 form. In addition to being injured and possibly needing the services of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.®, an SR-22 is one of the consequences of a car accident that you can expect to suffer if you are not a responsible driver. Incidentally, what SR stands for is not clearly established, but then again neither is FR-19, which is what the form is called in Delaware and Maryland.
That being said, an SR-22, also known as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility or Financial Responsibility Filing is issued by an insurance company at the request of a driver in compliance with a state’s Department of Motor (DMV) requirements. Not all drivers are required an SR-22, but being caught driving without a license will change that. Other offenses which may also necessitate an SR-22 include driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI), having too many traffic violations, and a suspended or revoked license.
An SR-22 is essentially a rider to your car insurance; it is not car insurance in itself. The SR-22 basically assures the DMV that if the driver ever lets the car insurance lapse, the insurer will inform the DMV. It is usually issued at great expense to the driver, raising insurance premiums up to three times the normal because the driver is now considered “high-risk.” The actual costs will depend on the insurance company. Failure to submit a required SR-22 within 30 days can lead to a license suspension. The SR-22 rider typically has to be maintained for 3 years, but it would depend on the state. Your insurer or SR-22 provider will be able to fill you in on the more specific details.
However, some states do not require an SR-22. These are Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. So if you have no insurance, make sure that you are driving in one of these states to avoid an SR-22. You will still get sanctioned according to state laws, but an SR-22 would not be on your list of problems.
Motor vehicle accidents are normally associated with auto accidents because they are the most commonly occurring. Auto accidents are among the leading causes of injury in the US. But the fact is boats are also motor vehicles, and boating under the influence of alcohol consumption or BUI also carries stiff penalties.
According to the US Coast Guard’s collation of recreational boating accident statistics in 2002-2003, alcohol consumption is responsible for more than 20% of all boating accident fatalities and injuries but since non-fatal boating accidents are consistently underreported, that percentage may be much higher.
Recently, BUI laws have been made more stringent in some states, most notably Washington where a BUI violation now carries penalties as severe as that for drunk driving or DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs). A fine could be as high as $5,000 and one year in jail, compared to the old BUI laws which merely imposed a fine of $250.
In some states, a BUI conviction carries over to the offender’s state license to drive. This includes Alaska, Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Texas and Utah as of 2007 and Washington as of July 28, 2013. A BUI charge in these states may have serious consequences, especially if the operator has prior DUI convictions. In Oregon, for example, when a combination of BUI and DUI convictions reaches four, it becomes an automatic felony. In Massachusetts, it could mean a suspension of the motor vehicle license.
A BUI charge should not be allowed to reach a conviction as much as possible, especially in the states with stricter laws. A BUI defense lawyer would know how to go about having the charge dismissed or at least mitigated. This is especially important if one or more people were injured as a result. Aside from keeping the driving record clean, a dismissed charge denies a possible personal injury claimant a significant piece of evidence to prove the case.
It seems ridiculous, with all the attention on how high the numbers are on car accidents and the value of defensive and responsible driving, to finally earn a place in the statistics by backing into your garage. It is undoubtedly a car accident and is usually covered under property damage insurance, but it is perhaps not something that one can easily admit to or live down.
There are no figures available on the frequency for this type of car accident, so it probably does not happen too often. Several scenarios can lead to this incident, and not all are necessarily a reflection on a person’s driving ability. After all, garage doors are mechanical devices with moving parts that can fail, and most people presume that it will always work as expected. On the other hand, it could just be bad driving.
The good thing about this is that no one is likely to have gotten hurt except possibly for a bruised ego, but the same may not be true for the vehicle. The bad news is that it is likely a garage door repair professional will be needed to fix the damage. Garage doors are heavy, so even just putting back a derailed runner can lead to serious injury if done by an amateur. As mentioned earlier, this should be covered by homeowner’s insurance, so the best move would be not to try doing any repair but to report the damage to the insurance company.
If the damage makes the garage door difficult or impossible to use or poses a security risk, do not wait for the adjuster to inspect it. Take pictures of the damage, and get a garage door repair company to fix it. Make sure to keep job estimates, invoices and receipts to support the insurance claim.