Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Florida’s personal injury protection (PIP) auto insurance model was designed to help lower insurance costs and discourage costly civil court claims for every little fender bender. And yet, research shows Florida drivers pay the third-highest auto insurance bills in the nation – roughly $1 billion annually. Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer

Recently, bills were introduced by state lawmakers that would reform the no-fault auto insurance system in favor of a bodily injury coverage model. It’s not the first time lawmakers have tried. For three years running, similar bills have failed to gain enough traction.

It has been eight years since the most significant updates were made to F.S. 627.736, Florida’s PIP law, which requires one’s own auto insurer to extend up to $10,000 in coverage following a Florida car accident, regardless of fault. In 2012, lawmakers imposed restrictions on how much PIP coverage one could receive based on the severity of one’s injury. Insureds can now only glean $2,500 in PIP compensation for medical and disability benefits if the claimant didn’t suffer an emergency medical condition.

To pursue coverage outside of Florida’s no-fault system from the other driver, one must first meet the serious injury threshold, requiring evidence of permanent loss of a significant bodily function, permanent injury, significant and permanent scarring or death.

The Sunshine State is one of only a handful to adopt a no-fault approach to auto insurance. The two new bills that seek to alter the current model SB 378 and HB 771. These measures would shift the emphasis from personal injury protection coverage to a bodily injury model and require at least $25,000 in bodily injury coverage. Continue reading

Every year, there are roughly 1.7 million rear-end collisions on U.S. roadways, killing some 17,000 and injuring another 500,000. That’s according to a report from the National Transportation Safety Board, which has been pushing for years for automakers to make collision avoidance systems standard in all vehicles. The NTSB estimates 80 percent of deaths and injuries resulting from rear-end crashes could be avoided with such systems, available in some makes and models, but not yet all. Fort Lauderdale rear-end collision

As Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers can explain, the occasion of a rear-end collision carries with it the rebuttable presumption of negligence by the driver in the rear. A rebuttable presumption is a legal presumption made by the court, taken as try unless someone can prove otherwise. Thus, it is presumed that the driver in the rear of a rear-end collision was in the wrong because he/she is required by law to maintain an assured clear distance.

An increasing number of rear-end collisions are caused by driver distraction, particularly with smartphones. Evidence that a driver was distracted at the time of a collision can be used as additional evidence of negligence in car accident litigation.

However, as noted in a recent Florida car accident lawsuit ruling by Florida’s 5th District Court of Appeal, the presumption that the rear driver’s negligence was the only cause of a crash can be rebutted if there is any evidence from which a jury can infer the front driver was also negligent. In other words, the rear-end collision rebuttable presumption doesn’t supersede the state’s comparative negligence system, as outlined in F.S. 768.81, wherein a claimant’s own fault contributing to an injury proportionally diminishes the amount of damages he or she can collect. Continue reading

Motor vehicle manufacturing and design defects can’t be overlooked as possible catalysts in fatal or injurious Florida car accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports there were 30 million vehicles recalled last year, down just slightly from the 29 million the year before, though a significant drop from the record-high 50 million recalled in 2016. A quarter of the cars recalled haven’t been repaired, and these figures don’t include the vehicles with defects not yet identified/admitted by manufacturers.Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers

Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers can explain that when a vehicle defect or defective vehicle part plays a role in a crash or exacerbation of injuries, product liability claims may be filed against the auto maker.

Tesla is among the latest to come under intense scrutiny after a number of serious injuries and fatalities resulting from a range of alleged defects that plaintiffs in numerous injury and wrongful death lawsuits say rendered their electric cars unreasonably dangerous. Continue reading

For those injured in a car accident, the term “subrogation” can seem foreign. Given that it deals with complex insurance benefits and contracts and that such negotiations often occur between insurers and attorneys behind the scenes, most never have much cause to consider it. But if you’re injured in a Fort Lauderdale car accident, health insurer or auto insurer subrogation rights can have a substantial impact on the amount you actually collect, so it’s important to have at least a basic concept of what it entails.car accident lawyer

What is Subrogation?

The term “to subrogate” means to substitute one party for another with regard to a legal claim or debt. The purpose of subrogation is to enforce final payment of compensation from the driver who was at-fault – and to prevent double recovery.

So after a car accident, let’s say your underinsured auto carrier covers a percentage of your lost wages. If you win a claim against the other driver – and part of the damage award includes lost wages – your UIM insurer would have a subrogation right to reclaim all or some of its money from your damage awards. Continue reading

Errors made while changing lanes are among the most common causes of Florida car accidents, one of the more frequently-cited of the 73,000 right-of-way violations issued in Florida last year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates approximately 9 percent of all crashes are caused by improper lane changes.car accident attorney

Causes of improper lane change accidents can include changing lanes without signaling, waiting to signal until after the lane change has begun, driving between lanes for an extended period of time, changing lanes on a stretch of road where lanes are separated by solid instead of dashed lines, driving impaired or driving distracted.

One of the first questions people think to ask in any crash case is how they can prove the crash was the other driver’s fault. Before answering this, it should be noted, that Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to auto insurance. That means you can usually recover some damages no matter who is to blame (up to $10,000 for medical bills and a percentage of your lost wages).

However, if your injuries or serious or someone died (meeting the threshold to step outside the no-fault law, as outlined in F.S. 627.737(2)), you will need to contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale injury attorney to advise you on filing a claim against the other driver. To collect any damages, you will be required to prove fault (legally referred to as “negligence”). Continue reading

Recovering physically is the first step after a serious car accident. But financial recovery is another key step.Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer

No one ever plans to get in a car accident, so it’s understandable few have given much thought as to how the civil claims process will unfold. Some of the most common misconceptions include:

  • “I have to sue the other driver to collect damages.”
  • “My car accident claim will go to trial.”
  • “My auto insurance will cover me if I have serious injuries – that’s what it’s there for!”

The truth of the matter is, you may not have to sue anyone at all, and even if you do, your case isn’t likely to go to trial. Most Florida car accident injury claims are resolved through settlement negotiation. Continue reading

A jury in Gainesville recently awarded $13 million in damages following a Florida car accident in which a woman died in 2016 when another driver struck her vehicle during an illegal pass. The case has made headlines, and sparked a discussion over personal injury lawsuit damages and how they are calculated.car accident lawyer

As long-time Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers, our Broward injury legal team recognizes that damages aren’t necessarily reflective of real-life losses. They never could be because, after all, how do you put a price tag on a human life or your ability to walk? Assignation of monetary values to such things may seem callous, but it’s the best means we have of helping to compensate people who suffered as a result of someone else’s careless or criminal actions.

Mostly in civil litigation, the damages we’re discussing are these type of “compensatory damages,” intended to “make whole” the individuals who are suffering, rather than about punishing the person who caused the injury. The exception to this is “punitive damages,” intended to penalize particularly egregious wrongs. Continue reading

If you’ve ever lived up north, you know potholes are something of a way of life. They’re less ubiquitous here in South Florida, as we don’t have the constant freezing-and-thawing cycles of our northern neighbors. What we do have that erodes our roads significantly is rain.Florida injury crashes

For example on the Gulf Coast, the community of Cape Coral’s record rainfall in 2016 resulted in nearly 3,000 potholes in the span of two months.

Although many cities have procedures you can follow to claim compensation for pothole damage, actually getting reimbursed can be tough. NBC Miami reported that of more than 300 claims made in Miami-Dade over a recent two-year span, only 63 – less than one-third – were reimbursed. The county reportedly repaired more than 26,000 potholes over that time frame. In Broward, there were 17 claims made for pothole vehicle damage, yet only 1 was paid. Continue reading

Florida’s new texting-and-driving law holds the promise of potentially safer roads throughout the Sunshine State. After years of pushing by public safety advocates – first for the original state texting-and-driving law and then to amend that law to make it a primary offense – Florida has a brand new distracted driving statute.distracted driving accident lawyer

The new measure, which went into effect July 1st, allows police to initiate traffic stops on the sole basis of observing a driver who is texting. Previously, law enforcement could only issue citations for texting-and-driving if the driver was stopped on the basis of another suspected offense.

Although this move is to be commended, Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers recognize Florida is among the last states to take this action. Continue reading

Plaintiffs in trucking crash accidents should be allowed access to the data in onboard electronic monitoring devices.truck accident lawyer

A federal judge has ordered the defendant in a Florida trucking accident lawsuit to turn over the electronic control module (ECM) data on the freight company vehicle involved in a crash that resulted in serious injury to the other driver.

The trucking company admitted fault/liability for the crash, but the question is how much defendant should pay to compensate the victim. As our Fort Lauderdale truck accident attorneys can explain, the question of victim compensation – formally referred to as “damages,” is often an issue of sharp contention in injury litigation and often the only reason some cases go to trial.

This Florida trucking crash lawsuit is noteworthy for the fact that federal safety regulations now require electronic data monitoring devices in large trucks to ensure compliance of hours-of-service regulations from the U.S. Department of Transportation, designed to prevent truckers from driving fatigued. Continue reading

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