Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Florida lawmakers want to put the brakes on the state’s decades-old no-fault car insurance law. Both the state Senate and House passed a measure that would repeal the seventies-era statute requiring personal injury protection (PIP) coverage in favor of a system that would instead require all drivers to carry bodily injury liability coverage.West Palm Beach car accident lawyer

Our West Palm Beach car accident attorneys know the decision, which is now in Gov. Ron DeSantis’ court, could have a significant impact in the way we pursue damages in Florida car accident cases.

This state is one of only a handful remaining that uses the no-fault system of car insurance. As it stands, all vehicle owners are required per F.S. 627.736 to purchase PIP, which offers up to $10,000 in medical expense and wage loss reimbursements per crash and $5,000 for funeral expenses, regardless of fault. Those figures have stayed the same since 1979 (seven years after the law first went into effect), failing to keep a realistic pace with current medical expenses and other costs. Further, a more recent update to the law caps the recovery amount to $2,500 if the injuries don’t require emergency treatment. Continue reading

Many Floridians are tired, overworked or even exhausted. Behind the wheel, this can be deadly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports nearly 700 people are killed annually in drowsy driving accidents. The true number is probably much higher. Unfortunately, driver fatigue isn’t as easy to ascertain as conditions like alcohol impairment, even though the effects are similar. An earlier analysis indicated nearly 40,000 accident-related injuries in the U.S. annually are caused by sleepy drivers.West Palm Beach car accident lawyers

In Florida recently, three people – including two sisters – were tragically killed in an overnight highway crash while returning from vacation. Authorities speculated drowsy driving was the cause.

“We believe this driver may have been just tired,” an FHP official told the local news station. “Just drowsy. He did not state that, but that’s indicative of this type of crash that we see especially in the overnight hours.”

How Does Sleep Affect One’s Driving Abilities? 

As noted by the Sleep Foundation, drowsiness can have a significant impact on a driver’s judgment, coordination, attention, vigilance, decision-making skills, and reaction time. Continue reading

Personal injury litigation is the most common type of civil action in Florida courts. Car accident claims in particular are ubiquitous. Many of these will be settled prior to trial, but it’s important to understand that unless your degree of injury meets something called the “serious injury threshold,” your case won’t gain much traction.South Florida injury attorney

Florida is one of the few states that adheres to a no-fault system when it comes to car insurance. Vehicle owners are required to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, as outlined in F.S. 627.736. This provides up to $10,000 in coverage for medical bills and lost wages incurred in a crash, regardless of who caused it. Property damage liability coverage is separate.

For minor car accidents, PIP coverage may be more than enough. But if someone suffers serious injuries, that amount won’t go very far. Still, Florida law sets a serious injury threshold for personal injury recovery in car accident cases. In other words, your injuries must meet certain criteria in order to pursue damages against the at-fault driver. Some bruising on your arm and face probably won’t cut it, but if you’ve suffered broken bones or torn tendons, it might. Continue reading

Any car accident can be traumatic and stressful. But when you are pregnant, all of this is compounded two-fold. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reports that car accidents are a top cause of injury and death for pregnant women and a leading cause of traumatic fetal death. pregnant car accident Florida

As our West Palm Beach car accident attorneys can explain, crashes can present unique and scary complications for both mother and child. Knowing some of these unique risks and what should be done immediately after can help empower victims and increase your chances for fair compensation from negligent drivers.

See a Doctor – Even if You Feel Fine

First thing’s first: If you’re in a crash, get to the doctor right away, even if you aren’t transported to a hospital via ambulance. This is a critical precautionary measure for both you and your unborn child. Continue reading

Holidays are often cause for gathering, good food – and spirits. Although we typically think of New Year’s Eve as the most boozy, it’s Thanksgiving weekend that has the worst track record for drunk driving crashes and deaths.Thanksgiving drunk driving

More than 800 people died on U.S. roads over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend (Wednesday evening to Sunday evening surrounding the fourth Thursday in November) in a recent five-year period. That’s according to the National Safety Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Even more were seriously injured in drunk driving crashes. Forty-five percent of drivers involved in fatal drunk driving crashes over the holiday weekend were between the ages of 21 and 34.

Some have taken to calling these alcohol- and marijuana-laden holiday gatherings “Blackout Wednesday” and “Danksgiving.”. Upserve reports bar sales for beer increases 270 percent for  for beer 114 percent for liquor over the Thanksgiving holiday. Continue reading

If you’re thinking of allowing someone to borrow your car, you may want to think twice. Florida’s longstanding dangerous instrumentality doctrine allows vehicle owners to be held vicariously liable for the negligent actions of those permitted to operate their vehicle. It can even apply to Florida vehicle owners when crashes occur in other states (more on that later).Palm Beach car accident lawyer

The dangerous instrumentality doctrine holds that an owner of an inherently dangerous tool can be legally responsible for any injuries that result from operation of that tool. Most people don’t consider cars to be “tools,” but they were established as such by the Florida Supreme Court in the 1920 decision of Southern Cotton Oil v. Anderson. The effect of that ruling was that vehicle owners could be subject to strict vicarious liability, meaning that basically the owner – and everyone whose name is listed on the title – could be held financially responsible for a crash as if they themselves were in the driver’s seat. Continue reading

Driving while impaired carries a definite stigma. But driving distracted often still does not – even though we know it kills hundreds of people in Florida every year. October is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, an effort that aims to change that. West Palm Beach injury lawyers

Drivers who are distracted are a threat not only to themselves but everyone else on the road. Looking away from the road for even just a few seconds can double your risk of a crash.

As West Palm Beach injury lawyers, we understand that distracted and impaired drivers are actually quite similar to each other. like those who are impaired by substances, drivers whose attention is momentarily diverted have significantly reduced reaction times. They may swerve about the road. They may not realize they’re speeding or approaching an intersection or stopped traffic.

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, distracted driving was verified in 213 fatal crashes in 2018 resulting in 231 deaths. Among the riskiest distractions:

  • Use of a cell phone (texting in particular).
  • In-vehicle technology (including GPS).
  • Passengers in the vehicle (particularly hazardous with younger drivers with passengers of the same peer groups).

Continue reading

People are hurt every day in Florida in all different kinds of accidents. For example, there are nearly 700 people are injured in Florida car crashes every day. An average of 1.2 boating accident injuries occur in Florida daily. Nationally, there are approximately 30 million injuries every year due to unsafe consumer products. These are just a few examples, but despite the commonality, there remains a great deal of misunderstanding about personal injury claims.West Palm Beach injury lawyers

Our West Palm Beach injury lawyers are writing today to help clear up some Florida injury lawsuit myths. Continue reading

Teenage drinking and driving continues to be a serious problem in Florida and throughout the country. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1 in 10 teenagers (16 and older) in high school has driven after drinking at least once in the previous month. Young drivers (those under 20) are 17 times more likely to die in a fatal car accident when they have a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 compared to when they aren’t drinking. West Palm Beach injury lawyer

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported in December 2019 that 26 percent of fatal crashes in Florida involved a drunk driver (someone with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher). Seventeen percent involved someone whose BAC was nearly double the legal limit.

We all know there are criminal consequences to drunk driving, such as arrest, conviction and imprisonment. Administrative penalties can include fines, community education requirements and mandated ignition interlocks. But our South Florida wrongful death attorneys in West Palm Beach want to underscore that civil remedies may also be available to victims. As a recent fatal drunk driving case out of Gainesville shows, there may actually be several avenues of accountability. Continue reading

A city police officer struck by a van and seriously injured while directing traffic in Florida secured a claim for workers’ compensation and a settlement of $1.5 million against the at-fault driver. More recently though, he lost his claim for bad faith insurance. Florida car accident lawyer

Florida’s bad faith insurance law is designed to protect people why buy insurance and fulfill their contractual obligations (paying their premiums) by making sure the insurer acts in good faith when investigating, handling and settling an insured’s claims. Insurers are compelled to settle claims when a reasonably prudent person would. Failure to settle when extended a reasonable offer to do so can give rise to a bad faith insurance action.

In deciding whether an insurer has acted in bad faith, courts are supposed to consider the totality of the circumstances. The standard isn’t negligence but whether the insurer acted diligently with the same speed, care and rigor it would if it were in the insured’s shoes in working to avoid an excess judgment.

In many bad faith insurance claims stemming from auto accidents, the third-party injured person can obtain from the right to step into the shoes of the at-fault driver insured and pursue a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurer. That was what happened in the recent bad faith insurance case involving the Florida city police officer. Continue reading

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