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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.

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?

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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Most Plaintiffs in personal injury cases that are in litigation are required to undergo a Compulsory or Independent medical examination also known as the CME. This is an examination that is requested by the opposing side and is done by a physician that is hired by the opposition.

The CME involves a review of records, a physical examination, face to face interview, review of test results, and conclusions. The goal of this examination is to confirm the initial injury diagnosis and determine whether such injury was due to the accident. The physician is also looking to verify that the current symptoms and findings are consistent with the diagnosis made. Lastly, they are looking to determine whether the individual is exaggerating or making up their complaints. This examining physician is not a treating physician and is also considered a hired expert for the opposition. Due to this, it is understood that there is always an element of bias involved in their conclusions.

It is important to keep in mind that by the time the plaintiff enters the examination room, the physician has already had the chance to review all treatment records and other records that were provided to him prior to the examination. The Plaintiff must be prepared for this examination and understand what could potentially be asked by the physician. Hired CME physicians are trained to look for and document potential indicators of fraud and deception during the interview portion of the examination and the availability of all these records prior to the appointment makes it easier for them to find. The physicians look for things such as verbal behavior indicators, omitting information such as prior injuries, too much information, overly specific answers, aggressive reactions to the questions, invocation of religion not to answer the questions and the use of qualifiers such as “honestly” and “truthfully”.

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How much Compensation for Car Accident Whiplash in Florida

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were over 400,000 car accidents in Florida in 2017. Whiplash just so happens to be the most common injury related to car accidents, but the symptoms are not always instant. Hundreds of thousands of whiplash cases each year result in chronic pain and disability, showcasing just how serious whiplash can be. If you suffer from whiplash after car accident, then you may be wondering whether it’s worth it to pursue a claim.

First, What Exactly is Whiplash?

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The mother of a 13-year-old girl who was killed in a South Florida crash involving her 17-year-old boyfriend is suing rideshare service Lyft, alleging the honor roll student would never have been out that night in the first place had a driver not taken her there at 1:30 a.m. without supervision. 

It is reportedly in Lyft’s policy that drivers are not supposed to transport unaccompanied minors to destinations. In this case, according to The Palm Beach Post, the girl’s parents believed her to be in her bed asleep on the night in question. Her grandmother was asleep. Her mother, a nurse, was working the night shift. Around 1:30 a.m., the girl contacted the raid-hailing service and requested a ride from her home in Boynton Beach across town to her boyfriend’s house in Greenacres. A driver with the service reportedly picked her up and dropped her off without issue or question.

She was there for several hours until around 5:30 a.m. At that time, the teen’s boyfriend took his mother’s Ford pickup truck to drive the girl home. He had a learner’s permit that required him to be accompanied by a driver at least 21-years-old in the front passenger seat. Instead, he and his girlfriend – neither of whom were wearing seat belts – ventured out alone on a rain-slicked road.  Continue reading →

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Thanksgiving is one of the most celebrated holidays in America. But the heavy traffic, late night alcohol consumption, and long-distance travel also make it one of the deadliest holidays of the year. According to the National Safety Council, it is estimated that over 400 people in the United States will lose their lives in a Thanksgiving weekend holiday traffic accident. Gearing up for Thanksgiving weekend, remember that you could face additional hazards on the road.

Being aware of dangers can help to keep your family safe and prevent a fatal highway accident. Our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys are dedicated to raising safety awareness and in keeping Florida residents safe throughout the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. In the event of an accident, our legal team takes a comprehensive approach to identify responsible parties and seek maximum compensation for injury and losses.

This year we are offering some safety tips to keep your family safe, whether you are staying in town or taking a long-distance family road trip.
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Holiday season means packing up the family and heading to the mall, busy parking lots, stormy nights, and driveways full of visitors. In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, there is a higher risk of back-up and backover accidents. While new technology has been made available to stop backover accidents, most drivers must continue to use rear view mirrors and watch carefully before backing up.

Backover accidents cause thousands of deaths every year—many of these tragic accidents involve children. Our Fort Lauderdale injury attorneys are experienced in helping victims of car accidents recover just compensation after an accident. We are also dedicated to preventing accidents and injuries. Our legal team is abreast of current developments in vehicle safety and in helping our communities prevent future accidents and injuries.

This holiday season, from trick-or-treating at Halloween, to family visits for Thanksgiving, and holiday shopping for Christmas, drivers should be especially aware of the potential for backover accidents. When roads are icy, snow mounds are lining the streets and visibility is reduced, vision can be even more impaired. All drivers must be aware of the potential risk of backing up, particularly in busy parking lots or private drives.
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From the moment a woman discovers she is pregnant, certain decisions are made to protect the health and well-being of the unborn baby. For many women, this means changing diet patterns and refraining from unhealthy activities. New studies indicate that women must also be more wary when they get into a vehicle. Whether a passenger or behind the wheel, a pregnant woman and fetus faces particular risks in the event of a car accident.

Car accidents can have an immediate and long-term impact on the life of a victim. Our
Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys are dedicated to raising awareness surrounding car crash injury and fatality. In addition to protecting the rights of victims in the event of an accident, we are also committed to staying on top of research and trends in motorist safety.

A new study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that motor vehicle crashes can be particular hazardous for pregnant women who are not wearing their seat belt at the time of an accident. Researchers found that car crashes are the primary cause of injury during pregnancy. In addition to immediate injuries caused by the accident, many women also suffered later complications.
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Truckers may know they are driving the most dangerous and threatening vehicles on the road, but they don’t always act like it. Many truck drivers are known to switch lanes, cut off cars, speed, and drive recklessly. This kind of driving behavior can pose significant hazards and ultimately result in accidents and wrongful death.

Despite training sessions, federal laws, and common knowledge that larger trucks are dangerous, many drivers will continue to flout state and federal laws just to get in another mile or two in the fast lane. In addition to frustrating other drivers on the road, these truckers are creating serious hazards and potentially risking the lives of motorists and their passengers. Our Fort Lauderdale trucking accident attorneys are committed to protecting victims who have been affected by these tragedies. We continue to remain dedicated to raising awareness to prevent future accidents and injury.

A recent crackdown on aggressive drivers has helped to reduce deadly big rig accidents by 40%. Police have started a campaign to catch and penalize unsafe truck drivers. The campaign, known as the “Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT)” program, targeted aggressive drivers of both tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles. Florida will be conducting a similar campaign through the upcoming Labor Day weekend.

The program is funded by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and aims to reduce the total number of fatalities and accidents by stopping and penalizing aggressive drivers.
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Whether state mandated or out of personal protection, car insurance is a necessary investment. Depending on the type of car you own, whether you have a loan, and what type of coverage you want, your policy will vary.

Unfortunately, misinformation and misconceptions about auto insurance can make policies and claims more complicated. If you have been involved in a car accident or you want to ensure proper coverage, it is important to have a clear understanding of your rights and obligations when it comes to auto insurance.

One-car, two-car, or multi-car pile-ups and intersection accidents can involve a number of automobile claims. If one or more drivers are uninsured, this can also create liability for your own insurance company. Our West Palm Beach car accident attorneys are experienced in helping our clients collect compensation they are entitled to, from insurance carriers and negligent parties.

What do you know about your own policy? Do you know how to get the most out of your insurance claim? Do you know what you are actually paying for? Here are some common myths about auto insurance that you should be aware of:

Myth #1: Agents and adjusters have your best interests in mind. While agents may seem friendly on the phone, remember that they are salespeople. This means that they may not be getting you the best deal. Similarly, claims adjusters are seeking to limit pay-outs and may even be working against you to limit your rights and compensation. Remember to shop around for best rates. After an accident, you should consult with an experienced attorney who can successfully protect your interests and ensure that you get the full coverage you are entitled to.

Myth #2: An accident caused by an animal is considered “no-fault.” When driving along a wooded highway you see a deer ahead slam on your brakes and veer off the road crashing into a median. This could cause significant damage to your car and property. In more severe accidents, you strike another vehicle. Do not make the mistake of believing that your insurance company will not hold you accountable. Hitting a deer or animal in the road will be considered “at-fault” in terms of insurance and any claim could impact your premiums.

Myth #3: You can collect value of loan if your car is “totaled.” When you are involved in an accident and your car is totaled, you may think that your insurance will cover the full amount you owe to the bank. Unfortunately, some auto loan holders find themselves in the position of having to pay off their loan out of pocket if the value of their car is less than the remainder of the loan. Remember that different policies have different coverage. Be sure that you have additional coverage to pay off a car loan.

Auto insurance can be complicated and has a number of variable features. Be sure to have the insurance you need for coverage and a clear understanding of your rights and responsibilities in the event of an accident.
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