Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

Here in Florida our roads are congested which calls for careful driving. The possibility of a car accident should always be taken seriously, no matter how seemingly insignificant. Anyone who has been in an accident should see a medical professional within 48 hours of the accident. Florida, a “no-fault” insurance state, requires that you carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which covers up to $10,000 of medical expenses and/or lost wages. However, you must see an approved medical provider for your injuries within 2 weeks of the accident in order to be eligible for any financial compensation. 

The degree of injury in an auto accident varies depending on the speed of the impact, the size of the cars involved, the degree of safety features in the car, the angle of the impact, and the size, age, and health of the occupants and how close they are to the impact. In short, every accident is different, but few people escape an accident with no injuries. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may even take a few days or weeks to become evident, which is why medical attention is critical. 

Types of Injuries

You filed a claim with your insurance company, expecting to receive reimbursement for your loss, but they denied your claim or offer way too little. Now what? Here in Florida, this is a common problem and we are here to help. Most importantly, if you are not happy with their response, do not sign anything until we talk.  

Whether it’s car insurance, business interruption insurance, homeowner’s insurance, or any other type of insurance, the company is in business to make money. I do not mean to paint with a broad brush, suggesting that insurance companies are dishonest or unwilling to help their customers, but the fact remains that they do need to make a profit for their stockholders. Thus, unless the coverage is very clearly defined in your policy, there may be ways to decrease or deny a payout. 

Let’s look at some of the reasons why your claim may have been denied and what you can do. Do not sign anything or cash any checks until you have attempted a dispute process or spoken to an attorney experienced in resolving insurance disputes. 

Thousands of young people flock to Florida every year during their spring break from school to experience the many pleasures that our beautiful state and our tourist attractions afford. For the vast majority, the experience is rewarding and provides wonderful memories. However, accidents do happen. As a personal injury lawyer, I have seen how negligence and carelessness have harmed many people’s lives. If you come to Florida for spring break, take reasonable precautions so that the carelessness or negligence of others does not harm you. 

Common injuries to avoid

Auto, motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian accidents: Auto accidents and fatalities around certain Florida attractions are nearly 10% higher during the spring break season. Primary causes include increased traffic, more young drivers, driving under the influence, and distracted driving. Don’t be one of the statistics. If you are driving, walking, or riding a bike, watch for erratic drivers and avoid traffic where possible. If you are a passenger, refuse to ride with someone who is intoxicated, under the influence of drugs, or distracted. 

Florida is the number one vacation destination in the country. Our beautiful beaches and hundreds of resorts, entertainment centers, and amusement parks draw people from all over the country and the world. And when it’s colder in northern climates, the snowbirds flock south to Florida’s beautiful climate. 

The increased population, traffic, and activities do increase the risk of injury, however. As a native Floridian and a personal injury lawyer, I encourage all visitors to take precautions so that their vacation is not marred by injury.

Vehicle accidents

With Florida’s tourist season well underway, it’s important to take extra precautions on the road, whether you are a Florida resident or a visitor to our beautiful state. Because of the influx of tourists, our roads become quite congested, which makes Florida one of the states with the highest car accident rates. This is not something we want Florida to be known for, so we encourage everyone to become aware of possible red flags in order to keep safe on the road. 

Common hazards on the road in Florida

When traveling by car in Florida, keep particularly vigilant for these red flags:

Florida is one of the most beautiful states in the nation. It is also one of the most favored for retirement and is the most visited by tourists. As a life-long Floridian, I’m proud of our state and encourage visitors and retirees to enjoy our beauty and our many attractions. But the downside of all of this activity is an increase in car accidents. Therefore, Florida residents and visitors need to take extra precautions to stay safe on the road, and they need to remember to take certain actions if an accident does occur. 

Causes of car accidents in Florida

Four of the five most dangerous highways in the nation are in Florida, with Route 1 being the most dangerous highway in the United States. This is a dubious honor, to say the least. But what causes our roads to be so dangerous? The reasons are varied and include both human error and the roads themselves:

I’m often asked if a driver who causes an accident can still get compensation for their medical bills. The short answer is yes. Florida is one of about a dozen states with “no-fault” motor vehicle liability laws. That means that no matter who is at fault in an auto accident, each person turns to his or her own insurance first to cover medical expenses and/or lost wages, up to as much as $10,000, depending on the various details of your case. This is called Personal Injury Protection coverage, or PIP. 

Whether you were the driver or passenger, at fault or not, on a bicycle or a pedestrian hit by a car, if a car is involved in the accident you should turn to your auto insurance policy first for coverage. If you don’t have auto insurance, you may be covered by the auto insurance of a household relative who has insurance. 

“Can I Sue for More than Just PIP?”

Since Florida is warm most of the year, we see motorcycles on the road almost year-round. This means we have a large number of motorcyclists but unfortunately, this also means that we are one of the leading states for motorcycle accidents involving injuries and deaths.

To a biker, a motorcycle represents more than just a way to get from Point A to Point B. To a biker, the motorcycle represents freedom – not in a rebellious sense, but in the sense of feeling the wind rushing by and the road under your wheels. Riding requires the use of your muscle groups, heightened awareness, and thought, while at the same time providing a sense of peace and relaxation. Even if it’s just a short ride to work, every ride feels like an adventure.

Unfortunately, riding a motorcycle is also more dangerous than driving a car, and too many bikers are involved in an accident at some point in their lives. In 2018, motorcyclists in the United States were involved in approximately 79,000 crashes involving injury, and an additional 5,000 involving a fatality.

Driving under the influence (DUI) is automatically negligence since it is a crime in Florida to drive intoxicated. If you are hit by a drunk driver in Florida and you sustain injuries, you may be able to sue for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages. Whether you were a pedestrian, in a vehicle, or on a bicycle or motorcycle at the time of the accident, be sure to see a doctor, report the accident to the police, and if necessary, reach out to a personal injury lawyer.

What Defines DUI

In Florida, a minor (under 21) is considered DUI if the person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is .02% or more. If 21 or older, BAC of 0.08% is considered intoxicated, and if driving commercially, the level is .04%. Many drivers will not even feel particularly impaired or only “buzzed” at this level. However, if police officers arrive on the scene and find that the driver’s alcohol level is over the limit they are automatically considered negligent and have committed a crime. 

Seeking compensation after being injured by an Uber or Lyft driver in Florida is similar to seeking compensation for any car accident, but the involvement of a rideshare company complicates things. There are many factors that affect who is liable and how much compensation you can seek, depending on the accident details. For this reason, it is best to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. 

Personal Insurance Protection (PIP)

After any car accident in Florida, drivers turn to their own insurance plans’ PIP coverage for the first $10,000 of medical expenses, regardless of who is at fault. There are factors and exclusions in the law, so the entire $10,000 may not be available in your particular case. After your personal insurance has covered as much as is allowable, you may then turn to other parties for further compensation.

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