Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

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.

Texting while driving is a primary offense in Florida. That means that a police officer can pull a person over for texting while driving. So if you have been in an accident and you suspect another driver involved in the accident was texting at the time of the accident, this could affect the determination of cause and therefore the amount of your compensation. It is critical to collect the proper documentation to prove texting while driving. 

Sources of evidence

If someone involved in an accident was texting while driving, this can be proven in several ways:

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