Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Car accidents are traumatic experiences. They can be frightening, stressful, and disorienting. In the immediate aftermath, when you realize not everyone is Ok, it can be an almost automatic response to blurt out, “I’m sorry.” Even if you know you haven’t done anything wrong, even if you know it was the other driver’s fault, you might still slip and say, “I’m sorry.” Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer

Lots of us were raised to apologize anytime we think someone has been hurt or inconvenienced, even if we didn’t directly cause their pain. And it’s one thing to say you’re sorry if you accidentally bump into someone in the grocery store or step on their toe in a movie theater aisle. But offering a mea culpa following a Fort Lauderdale car accident can cause you problems down the road when it comes to determining legal responsibility for the crash.

To be clear, whatever spontaneous utterances you make at the scene of the crash won’t be the last word in the case. Liability (or fault) is going to be based on the totality of the evidence. But an apology from one of the drivers involved can be used as a piece of evidence. Continue reading

Florida motorists take on numerous responsibilities every time they get behind the wheel. One of those is carrying the statutory minimum amount of insurance coverage, or having the ability on their own to cover losses up to a certain dollar amount. Unfortunately, there are far too many motorists who fail to do either. Per the Florida Insurance Council, the Sunshine State has one of the highest rates of uninsured motorists anywhere in the country. If the driver who hit you was not insured, you may still have several options for financial recovery. It’s important to discuss these with an experienced Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney.Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer

Florida Law Requires Vehicles Be Covered by Car Insurance

Before you registering a four-wheeled vehicle in Florida, you need to show proof of both personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability. PIP is going to cover 80 percent of what are considered “necessary and reasonable medical expenses” up to $10,000 – no matter who caused the crash. The property damage liability will cover damages to another person’s property if you or someone else cause a crash driving a vehicle insured by you.

You may notice that what is not required is bodily injury liability (unless you’re driving a taxi or commercial vehicle or if you’ve been convicted of a DUI). Bodily injury liability is the kind of coverage that will go to cover the expenses of others injured in a crash you cause. Continue reading

Florida lawmakers are looking to ditch the decades-old no-fault car insurance law that has dictated personal injury recovery from crashes since the 1970s. As our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers can explain, the new law, if signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, will do away with requirements to purchase no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and instead require bodily injury liability coverage. Ultimately, this will fundamentally change the way we pursue damages in Florida car accident cases. Florida car accident lawsuit

Both the Florida House and Senate signed off on SB 54, a bill subject to substantial back-and-forth to close out the end of this legislative session.

Current law requires all vehicle owners to purchase PIP that covers $10,000 for their own medical, disability and funeral expenses if they’re hurt in a crash – regardless of fault. But as any Florida car accident attorney will tell you, $10,000 isn’t nearly enough to cover healthcare costs after most accidents. (The amount hasn’t changed since 1979.) Besides that, only $2,500 is available if injuries don’t require emergency treatment. Furthermore, PIP isn’t always as easy to obtain as it should be, and many injured motorists need assistance from an attorney to ensure they’re fairly compensated. The only way to step outside the no-fault system and pursue compensation from the at-fault driver is if one’s injuries meet or exceed the serious injury threshold, as outlined in F.S. 626.737. Continue reading

With more than 15 million licensed drivers and even more annual visitors, Florida roads are never wanting in traffic. The problem is not all those drivers are insured. In fact, Florida is No. 1 for uninsured motorists in the country for driving uninsured. More than 27 percent lacking the proper coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers

There are many theories about why this is, but the bottom line for us as Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers is that many accidents involve an uninsured driver. This poses some definite challenges in terms of how we approach an injury case.

You can still often recover damages if you’re injured in a crash with a driver who isn’t insured, but it will depend on your own coverage, the personal finances of the at-fault driver, who owns the vehicle that was driven and whether any third-parties were at-fault. Continue reading

What do you do when the cost of your Fort Lauderdale car accident injuries exceed the amount of available insurance coverage? It is possible to collect more, but it will depend on the circumstances of your case and the skill of your personal injury attorney.Fort Lauderdale car accident

First, it’s important to explain Florida’s no-fault system of auto insurance coverage and the minimum coverage rates.

The minimum coverage for an auto accident is $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and $10,000 for property damage liability. PIP is the coverage you buy for yourself, per F.S. 627.736, and ensures a portion of coverage for medical bills and lost wages stemming from a crash. This is paid to you (and/or your passengers) regardless of who was at-fault (assuming you didn’t crash intentionally and weren’t committing a felony at the time of the accident). Your passengers may tap into their own PIP, even if they weren’t driving. You may not be entitled to the full $10,000 in PIP if your injuries did not require immediate treatment. Continue reading

Everything about a semi-truck is bigger. The tires, the wheels, the mirrors, the loads they carry and the insurance policies that must be maintained on them. That last one is for very good reason: The potential for substantial property damage and serious injury when a semi-truck is involved in a crash is also outsized. These are some of the reasons Florida truck accident lawsuits can take much longer to resolve than typical car accident cases.Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyer

In a single recent year, there were more than 500,000 crashes involving large trucks, including more than 4,500 that were fatal and 107,000 that resulted in injuries. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the majority of those injured or killed in these collisions (82 percent) are the people in other vehicles. The number of fatal truck crashes per people in the U.S. has risen 27 percent since 2010. Continue reading

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, one might assume that traffic accidents and roadway deaths are on the decline. After all, fewer people are traveling short and long distances and many are hunkered down under stay-at-home orders. Unfortunately, as our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys understand, it appears that may not be the case in some areas.Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers

For example, the Houston Chronicle reported that despite half as much road traffic, car accident deaths were only down about 20 percent this March compared to a year ago.

Some anecdotal observations are that while there are undoubtedly fewer vehicles on the road, some motorists are using this as an excuse to speed, blow through stop signs or fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents – which have always been a major problem in Florida – may even see an uptick as an increasing number of people are running and biking to maintain optimal cardiovascular fitness and also as an excuse to break the monotony of staying at home.

Just as in any other time, most accidents are caused by driver error or carelessness. There may be a feeling that traffic rules can be flouted because “nobody else is on the road,” so it doesn’t matter whether you make a full stop or look twice before making a left turn. The fact is, we should all assume we’re going to be sharing the road with others no matter how quiet the streets seem. Continue reading

Accidents happen. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, they happened more than 6.4 million times a year, killing more than 37,000 and injuring more than 2.7 million.Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer

Perhaps just as scary is the fact that nearly 27 percent of Florida drivers have no insurance.

Even drivers who carry the minimum amount of insurance won’t have enough to cover your damages in the event of a serious crash. Although Florida law requires drivers to carry $10,000 in personal protection and $10,000 in property damage coverage, it doesn’t strictly require bodily injury coverage, which is paid to others hurt if you’re negligent in causing a crash. Drivers are required to be responsible for up to $20,000 in bodily injury coverage per crash ($10,000 per person), but having insurance to cover that amount isn’t strictly required.

What this means, as our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers can explain, is that smart Florida drivers don’t waive or skimp on their uninsured/underinsured motorist benefits. It one of the best and sometimes the only way you’ll get anything close to full compensation for your injuries after a crash. Continue reading

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

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