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Articles Posted in Car Accident

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A very common occurrence that we assist people with in our practice is what to do when they are involved in a motor vehicle accident while working. Specifically, situations where the accident didn’t happen while going to and coming from work or at lunchtime, but it actually occurred while on the clock and while performing work duties. In these situations, the injured party has a choice between potential sources of recovery. If their employer has Workers’ Compensation insurance then they will likely be required to at least have an initial consultation with a Workers’ Compensation doctor to assess the extent of the injuries. In addition, most employers in the State of Florida require an initial drug test urine screen in order to establish the claimcar accident attorney

A common misconception that occurs in these situations is that the injured party is under the impression that they are required and only have the option to treat under their Workers’ Compensation insurance. However, this is not the case if the injured party is not at fault in the crash and the at-fault party has Bodily Injury insurance coverage. In these situations, in addition to the potential workers’ compensation benefits available, the injured party can also make a claim against the at-fault party’s Bodily Injury insurance. This would provide the injured party two potential sources of recovery for their damages.

In addition the above sources of recovery, an injured party may have yet another avenue to recover for their losses. If the injured party, or the vehicle that they were in when the crash occurred, had Uninsured or Under-insured motorist coverage in their policy this may provide an additional remedy. This coverage would apply if the at-fault party did not have Bodily coverage on their car insurance or if their coverage was not enough to fully compensate the injured party for the full extent of their damages from the crash.

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I am forced to have uncomfortable conversations regularly with clients and potential clients wherein I inform them that the party that caused their car accident does not have insurance, and that as a result, their chances of making a recovery for their damages is slim to none.  An Insurance Research Council study, Uninsured Motorists, 2017 Edition, examined data collected from 14 insurers representing approximately 60 percent of the private passenger auto insurance market in 2015.  The result was that Florida led the nation in uninsured drivers with 26.7%!how much compensation for car accident

Collision coverage is the type of coverage that you purchase to protect your own car from property damage resulting from an accident, regardless of who is at fault.  When another party is responsible for damaging your vehicle that party is supposed to address your damages.  In fact, Florida requires that every driver on the road carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and at least $10,000 in Property Damage (PD) coverage.  Property Damage coverage protects you in that it covers damage that you cause to the property of another.  Due to Florida’s requirement that everyone carry PD coverage, many people with older vehicles that are owned outright (no financing) choose to remove collision from their policy in an effort to save money.  Many people feel that they are safe drivers and will “self-insure” against damage they cause and hold someone else responsible should that person be at fault.  This sounds like a great way to save money… in theory.  In reality, it is a mistake that costs Florida drivers untold sums of money every year.

If a person hits your vehicle and they do not have any insurance coverage, your only remedy is to sue that person individually and obtain a judgment against them.   A judgment is essentially just a piece of paper that says what you’re entitled to.  Next comes executing that judgment and actually trying to collect money.  This is where it gets ugly.  This process can take many months and you could easily end up spending more than the cost of the repairs to your car in legal fees and costs alone.  You might find yourself in a situation where your car is totaled and you are not in a position to purchase another vehicle.

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The first thing you feel after being in a car accident where no one got injured is relief that the accident was not worse than it was. Only then do the worries about finances start. How much will it cost to fix your car? Will you be able to get to your job while your car is being repaired, and if so, how much will you have to pay for alternative transportation, such as rideshare rides or a rental car? Do you have the money to pay your insurance deductible? How much will your car insurance premiums increase as a result of the accident? If you have to go to court, how much time and money will that cost? Your options for the most cost-effective way to pay for property damage vary according to the circumstances of the accident. Freeman Injury Law can help you choose the best course of action.adriver

Florida Car Insurance Basics

Everyone who registers a vehicle in Florida must have two kinds of insurance. The first is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, which covers medical bills and injury-related lost income only; it does not pay for property damage. The other is property damage liability insurance, which pays for repairs to the other driver’s car if the accident is your fault. What do you do about repairing your own car, then? It depends.

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You probably have some kind of car insurance, since the law requires it. However, oftentimes you may not know what your car insurance actually pays until it’s too late. After a car accident, you call your insurance company, they might ask you follow-up questions by mail or phone, and then a month or more later, one of the people involved in the accidentgets a check covering the some of their eleigible expenses. Just what are all those details that the insurance companies are working out before they decide how much to pay? Different types of car insurance pay for different things, and in some cases, they can even cancel each other out. If you are not sure if the amount that the insurance company offered you after your accident is correct, contact an attorneybefore you accept the settlement offer.

What is PIP Insurance?car accident attorney West Palm Beach

All registered vehicle owners in Florida must carry PIP insurance, as well property damage liability insurance. PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection, which covers up to $10,000 of medical expenses and lost income when someone gets injured at an accident, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. In order to get PIP insurance to cover your accident-related expenses, you must seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident. If a driver collides with a pedestrian or bicyclist who does not own a car (and therefore does not have PIP insurance), the driver’s PIP insurance might also pay the medical expenses and lost income of the pedestrian or bicyclist. If the drivers involved in the accident have additional optional car insurance, such as bodily injury or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, then the amount covered by PIP gets subtracted from what the other types of insurance must cover. This is called the PIP setoff.

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I regularly have uncomfortable conversations with clients wherein I inform them that the party that caused their car accident does not have insurance, and that as a result, their chances of making a recovery for their damages are slim to none. An Insurance Research Council study, Uninsured Motorists, 2017 Edition, examined data collected from 14 insurers representing approximately 60 percent of the private passenger auto insurance market in 2015. The result was that Florida led the nation in uninsured drivers at 26.7%!

Collision coverage is the type of insurance that protects your own car from property damage resulting from an accident, regardless of who is at fault. When another party damages your vehicle, that party is supposed to address your damages. In fact, Florida requires that every driver on the road carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and at least $10,000 in Property Damage (PD) coverage. Property Damage coverage protects you by covering damage that you cause to the property of another. Due to Florida’s requirement that everyone carry PD coverage, many people with older vehicles that are owned outright (no financing) choose to remove collision from their policy in an effort to save money. Many people feel that they are safe drivers and will “self-insure” against damage they cause, and they will hold someone else responsible should that person be at fault. This sounds like a great way to save money in theory In reality, it costs Florida drivers untold sums of money every year.

When someone does not have any insurance coverage, the only remedy is to sue that person individually and obtain a judgment against them. A judgment states what you’re entitled to. However, next comes executing that judgment and actually trying to collect money. This process can take many months, and you could easily end up spending more than the cost of the repairs to your car in legal fees and costs alone. You might find yourself in a situation where your car is totaled and you are not in a position to purchase another vehicle.

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‘Tis the season for good cheer – but don’t let this one be ruined by a holiday car crash. Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys know we tend to see more collisions over the holidays between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day than at most other times during the year. People are rushed, speeding, distracted and sometimes impaired – and the roads are crowded with folks shopping, visiting family and running other related errands. Fort Lauderdale holiday car crash

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported some 94 million people travel 50 miles or more during the holidays, a number that has been steadily increasing the last few years. More than 90 percent of those travelers get to their destination by motor vehicle. Travel rates may be impacted this year – increasing the risk of a Miami holiday car crash – thanks to low gas prices and an increasing tendency of people to travel further distances by car. This likely has something to do with the spiking cost of air travel, leading more people to opt for a road trip than a flight.

Last year, New Year’s Eve drunk driving case ended in tragedy, making headlines in the Orlando Sentinel. An alleged drunk driver in Winter park was reportedly traveling an estimated 130 mph on Orange Avenue in a residential neighborhood and crashed into another vehicle. The speed limit on the road was 35 mph. He allegedly t-boned a sport utility vehicle, killing the two 23-year-old women inside. He had previous speeding violations on his driving record, but for the last, had only paid a $254 fine. The reportedly impaired driver was charged with two counts of vehicular homicide. Continue reading →

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If you’re like many people in the wake of a collision, you may be wondering, “How much compensation for car accident can I expect?” Our Fort Lauderdale injury attorneys can explain there are a number of factors that are weighed – by the insurance adjusters, attorneys and the courts.how much compensation for car accident

The two basic types of car accident compensation in Florida are compensatory (actual) and punitive. Compensatory damages are intended to compensate you for losses you have sustained. Punitive damages are intended to punish the other person for conduct that was grossly reckless or flagrantly disregarded the rights and safety of others, as explained in F.S. 768.72. As our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers can explain, the only time that is ever really applicable in car accident injury cases is in drunk driving crashes. For the most part, when we determine how much compensation for car accident in Broward County, we’ll be looking at the varying kinds of compensatory damages. These include:

  • Special Damages. These are damages that compensate for quantifiable monetary losses. These would include thing repairs, lost wages, medical bills, etc.
  • General Damages. These would be non-monetary damages for the harm, such as pain and suffering, emotional and mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of life enjoyment, loss of consortium/ companionship.
  • Speculative Damages. These are damages that have not yet occurred, but that plaintiff can reasonably anticipate. These damages usually cannot be recovered unless plaintiff can prove they are likely. An example would be loss of earning capacity in your career. Continue reading →
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With the Thanksgiving travel rush now over and December holidays upon us, our South Florida injury lawyers sought to answer a question we often hear: What holiday has the most accidents? what holiday has the most accidents

Of course, it depends on the type of car accident we’re talking about, and the area of the country has a lot to do with it too. For instance, if we’re talking about what holiday has the most accidents in parking lots, those peak in December, though Black Friday is ripe for such collisions too.

An Osceola County car accident on the Florida Turnpike left one person dead when a Ford Explorer driver carrying 10 passengers swerved to avoid another sport utility vehicle that abruptly changed lanes, causing the Explorer to flip multiple times. Nine people – including five children – were injured, and one died, according to FOX35 Orlando. Another crash the same day, same county, same stretch of Florida Turnpike also proved fatal, when a driver reportedly made an abrupt lane change and was rear-ended. That driver suffered serious injuries. His passenger, age 28, died. The other motorist suffered minor injuries. (As our car accident attorneys in Orlando can explain, there is a presumption in rear-end crashes that the rear driver was at fault, that presumption can be rebutted if the driver in the lead makes a move that is wholly unexpected or unwarranted, contributing to or causing the crash.)  Continue reading →

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If you drive a motor vehicle in Florida, chances are that when you arranged for auto insurance, as required by law, your policy came standard with uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage (also sometimes referred to by acronym UM/UIM coverage). As Palm Beach car accident lawyers know, Florida law requires all insurance polices that provide bodily injury liability coverage to also provide UM/ UIM coverage – unless one has supplemental coverage that already provides it OR the insured supplies his or her written rejection of the coverage on behalf of all insureds under the policy. Anyone leasing a car for longer than a year has the sole privilege to either reject UM/UIM coverage or to lower the limits.Palm Beach car accident attorney

Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage will help cover your injury losses if those at-fault have no insurance at all, or in the case of a hit-and-run crash. Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage is defined as a crash scenario wherein the at-fault driver is insured according to statutory minimum levels (notoriously low in Florida) but insufficiently to pay the injured person’s losses.

While more drivers have UM/UIM coverage than not, that doesn’t mean getting the auto insurance company to pay up is easy. Palm Beach car accident attorneys know the reality is all insurance companies are loyal their bottom line – not you, not matter how long you’ve been a faithful customer. This is why having an experienced car accident lawyer working with you from the start when you file your claim is important.

As outlined in F.S. 627.727, order to prevail in a UM/UIM claim, you must not only prove that you have coverage, but that the other driver(s) were negligent and liable for your injuries, that your injuries were serious enough to meet the “serious injury threshold” to step outside of the state’s no-fault system and that the at-fault driver(s) lacked adequate auto insurance to adequately cover your crash-related damages.

Hiring an injury lawyer with a track record of success in car accident settlement negotiations and in the courtroom is imperative. Continue reading →

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Florida Supreme Court justices recently weighed a Florida bad faith auto insurance claim in the case of a deadly crash 12 years ago. In a divided ruling, the court affirmed the jury’s decision, which concluded an auto insurance company acted in “bad faith” the way it handled a wrongful death claim against its insured. In a 4-3 ruling, justices agreed with jurors that the auto insurer improperly exposed the policyholder to an $8.5 million verdict issued reached in a fatal car accident claim. Florida bad faith auto insurance attorney

How Does Florida Define Bad Faith Auto Insurance? 

Florida’s bad faith insurance law is spelled out in F.S. 624.155, which creates a clear, unambiguous means by which any person (including third parties) injured as a result of an insurer’s bad faith dealings has grounds to file a bad faith claim. Third-party bad faith claims are those that can be established by showing violation of the Florida Unfair Insurance Trade Practices Act. Some examples of bad faith insurance as explained in provisions of that law include:

  • Materially misrepresenting to an insured or any interested person the proceeds payable under the contract or policy in order to impact the effecting settlement of such claims.
  • Failing to acknowledge and act promptly to communicate on issues pertaining to claims.
  • Denying claims without conducting a reasonable investigation based on the information available.
  • Failing to affirm or deny full or partial coverage, and if a denial or partial coverage, give a reasonable explanation of why.
  • Failing to promptly notify the insured of any additional information necessary to process the claim.

Florida recognizes claims for third-party common law bad faith (as noted in the 1938 Florida Supreme Court case of Auto Mut. Indem. Co. v. Shaw). Such claims stem directly from the insured’s claim (as an insurer owes no duty of good faith directly to an injured third-party). Continue reading →

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