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Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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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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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’re in a serious car accident in South Florida resulting in damage to the spinal cord or paralysis, a consult with a spinal cord injury attorney is imperative. Depending on the circumstances, you may be have numerous options for compensation. Given the disabling and permanent nature of such injuries, full and fair damages recovery is critically important. Sometimes, all it takes is filing a claim, such as with the state’s brain and spinal cord injury program, as outlined in F.S. 381.76. In other cases, it may unfortunately require a drawn-out spinal cord injury lawsuit. Such claims may still resolve in settlement prior to trial, but a dedicated spinal cord injury lawyer may be needed to help ensure the compensation you get is complete and equitable. spinal cord injury attorney Florida

In addition to incurring much higher medical bills than the average Broward County car accident victim, those with spinal cord injuries are much more likely to require ongoing physical rehabilitation to cope with their new impairments. Many tend to find it extremely challenging if not impossible to return to their previous line of work. Many a Florida spinal cord injury plaintiff has asserted they weren’t able to return to work at all. Most patients need some form of ongoing psychological therapy to mentally and emotionally process the changes this will mean for their lives.

The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center reports annually yearly expenses just for health care for an average 25-year-old with paraplegia is about $2.3 million. This does not include indirect losses in wages, fringe benefits and productivity, which vary depending on one’s neurological impairment, pre-injury employment history and education, which average out to an additional $72,000 a year.  Continue reading →

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When it comes to hired driver accidents (such as those involving Uber and Lyft drivers, taxis and limousine services), Florida personal injury compensation guidelines and expectations will depend heavily on a number of factors. Among important elements: The type of service, whether the driver was an independent contractor or employee, whether a vehicle defect was a factor (and if so, how long ago the vehicle was manufactured), how many other people were hurt and how much fault is assigned each motorist if more than one vehicle was involved.Fort Lauderdale personal injury compensation claim

Recently, a hired driver accident in New York that resulted in 20 deaths, including all 17 passengers, the driver and two pedestrians, raised questions about whether the limousine company (a national firm with locations in Florida) had the appropriate level of auto insurance and whether the driver (who reportedly ran a red light) was properly licensed. There is a reason why the personal injury compensation guidelines pertaining to commercial and for-hire vehicles is so much higher, and it’s precisely because such crashes can result in utter devastation.

The Sarasota Herald Tribune recently asserted that the limousine crash in New York isn’t an “isolated incident,” detailing one incident in August 2016 when an Uber passenger picked up from the Tampa airport on his way home had to leap from the moving car on I-275 after the vehicle caught fire and the driver screamed the brakes weren’t working. The driver was killed. The passenger was rushed to the intensive care unit’s burn center, where doctors gave him a 20 percent chance of survival. He was able to recover about $1 million in medical expenses, but had no legal recourse to recover damages from the vehicle manufacturer (thanks to the Statute of Repose, barring product liability lawsuits for any vehicle made more than 12 years earlier). This was despite the fact the vehicle had been recalled for a faulty switch that could cause fires and electrical failures. Though they did not pursue a personal injury compensation claim against the driver, they did file one against the car service, learning it had minimal liability insurance. Continue reading →

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Distracted driving is a plague across America. Florida isn’t immune. In fact, with car accident injury attorneys noting the rising number of collisions overall, it’s no wonder traffic officials are citing inattention as a top concern heading into the busy snowbird travel season. Those in Orlando should be on special alert, given a recent report by WKMG Click Orlando, which revealed this county to be No. 1 in the state for distracted driving.car accident injury attorney

Reporters detailed the case of one such woman who was struck – and injured – twice in the course of just four months by other at-fault drivers – who in both cases were cited for distraction.

In an in-depth analysis citing Florida distracted driving statistics from state officials between 2013 and 2017, there were thousands of distracted driving collisions just in a single recent year. The Florida Department of Safety and Motor Vehicles revealed that since state legislators passed a measure allowing for secondary enforcement of texting-and-driving five years ago (F.S. 316.305), the number of distracted driving collisions and fatalities has not fallen. In fact, it has risen. Dramatically.

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Personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, as outlined in F.S. 627.736, legislation that was designed to reduce lawsuits in Florida, instead resulted in a record number of 60,000 lawsuits filed in Florida in 2017, according to a report by the Florida Justice Reform Institute. This amounts to a 50 percent increase in PIP litigation in a single year. car accident lawyer

However, insurers weren’t rushing to the halls of the state legislators to urge them back a repeal of the state’s no-fault PIP statute (which faltered in the state Senate this past session). But that’s probably because Florida’s top 25 automobile insurers raised their PIP rates 54 percent just since the beginning of 2017. On average, premiums increased 35 percent faster than other types of insurance premiums. Motorists in Florida are within the top six when it comes to the highest auto insurance bills for those within a no-fault system.

Statewide, drivers are compelled to pay $10,000 in PIP coverage to foot the bill for their own injuries in the event of a Florida car accident, regardless of who is at-fault, regardless of how much health insurance a person already has. The PIP system was established in the 1970s as a means of reducing litigation following minor car accidents and fender-benders. Nearly 50 years later, the relatively small benefit insureds receive hasn’t changed (failing miserably to keep pace with medical inflation), which pushing consumer rate increases and – as we now know – resulting in even more injury lawsuits. Continue reading →

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If a person is seriously injured or killed as a result of the negligence of another, the injured person or surviving loved ones can seek damages in civil court. There are two types of damages: Compensatory and punitive. gavel211

Compensatory damages are those meant to indemnify a person for a particular loss or injury. There is no special process for obtaining these damages, as they are intended to replace what was lost. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are supposed to punish a defendant for grossly negligent acts and to deter similar behavior in the future.

Punitive damages are not available in all cases, as F.S. 768.72 points out. Requests for punitive damages have to be approved by the trial judge, and there has to be evidence of gross negligence, such that there was a lack of disregard for human life or safety, a lack of care by defendant who was consciously indifferent to it or intentional violation of the victim’s rights. Continue reading →

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Drunk drivers cause nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities nationally, or about 10,000 people each year. It’s surprising this figure isn’t higher when you consider research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates there were 112 million trips made by drunk drivers in 2010 alone. drinkinggirl

We know persons injured by drunk drivers – or survivors of those killed – may seek compensation through the impaired driver’s insurance company or against the accused himself. In fact, personal injury judgments stemming from drunk driving cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, like many other kinds of debts. The law takes it pretty seriously.

But what if you are the drunk driver, and you were injured? In most cases, you may have a difficult time securing any significant recovery for damages in Florida unless you can prove your intoxication was not a major factor in the crash. For example: You were impaired, but the other driver ran a red light and caused the crash. Perhaps the other driver was impaired too.

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Consumers who suffer from an injury as a result of a manufacturing defect have the right to take legal action against the automobile maker or other companies responsible for the defect. In a recent South Florida case, a woman was in a minor accident when her air bag deployed. A piece of metal shot out of the airbag and struck the woman in the forehead, leaving her permanently scarred. She has brought a lawsuit against the airbag company responsible for the defective product installed in her 2001 Honda Civic.

adriverThe airbag company is currently to blame for a nationwide recall of several vehicle models that have installed the defective product. Unfortunately, for many consumers, they will not realize that they are in danger until it is too late. In this case, the woman did not realize her airbag was defective until she was involved in a collision which resulted in serious injuries caused by the defective airbag. Victims of accidents will often suffer from physical, as well as emotional trauma. In this case, the victim says she is still in shock, sad, and afraid to get behind the wheel.

The victim’s Honda Civic was one of eight million cars that are part of the recall over air bags produced by Takata Corporation. According to victims, police reports, and a growing amount of evidence against the company, the inflators in the air bag have been known to rupture and eject shrapnel in the event of a crash. The list of vehicles that have been recalled include cars from Honda, General Motors, approximately 25 million vehicles in the U.S., as well as recalls in other countries, including China, Japan, and throughout Europe.

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Accidents involving public transportation can result in significant injuries, wrongful death, and complex litigation involving multiple plaintiffs and defendants. In a recent South Florida case, a bus crash near Fort Lauderdale sent six victims to the hospital. According to reports, the accident involved a city bus as well as a four-door Jeep. In addition to the number of injuries arising from the accident, the crash left the Jeep heavily damaged. This case is a reminder of the potential dangers of bus accidents, as well as the complications that may arise in personal injury litigation.

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Nationwide, public transportation companies, as well as city buses, have been the target of lawsuits for serious injury or accidental death. These cases can be complicated as they often involve multiple plaintiffs and formidable defendants. Our Fort Lauderdale bus accident attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims and maximizing compensation for pain and suffering, medical costs, lost wages, long-term care needs, funeral expenses, and other personal losses or property damage rising from a collision. We will take the time to review the facts of every case and identify all responsible parties.
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