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Articles Tagged with car accident attorney

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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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medical-check-up_BF9hd70rj-300x200Most 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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Florida is a “no-fault” state when it comes to auto insurance and how people are compensated for car accidents. To be crystal clear though: Fault still matters in Florida crash litigation. Jurors are asked to “score” each party’s fault. Based on the comparative negligence finding, total damages plaintiff can collect are proportionately reduced. It’s rarely “all-or-nothing,” but an experienced car accident lawyer will work diligently to dispel or minimize any allegations of comparative negligence.car accident lawyer

Recently, a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer at Freeman Injury Law cleared a major fault-related hurdle when he was able to secure a multi-million-dollar settlement on behalf of a crash victim seriously injured in a wrong-way, head-on collision.

Let’s start with the fact that wrong-way car accidents are relatively rare compared to other types of crashes. Hundreds of thousands of crashes are reported to police every year, and of those, just 2,600 in 2016 were wrong-way crashes, many involving drivers who are novice, elderly or impaired. They are the sort of occurrence that just should never happen. From the perspective of a car accident lawyer, fault in wrong-way crashes is typically straightforward – and all on the wrong-way driver. But Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer Christopher Lassen‘s case was a bit more complicated. Continue reading →

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Florida has an estimated 21 million residents and another 116 million tourists a year. A huge portion of them drive a motor vehicle to get to where they’re going. If you’re involved in a West Palm Beach car accident (or a collision anywhere in the Sunshine State), it’s worthwhile to know the worth of the average claim for auto insurance.Florida auto insurance claim

As long-time injury attorneys in Palm Beach County can explain, claims for damages in Florida crashes work a bit differently than those in many other states because of the fact this is a no-fault state. That means every motorist is required to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, pursuant to F.S. 627.736.

PIP benefits impact the amount of the average claim for auto insurance because the initial amount – up to $10,000 – is paid by your own auto insurance company, regardless of who is at-fault in the crash. That includes up to 80 percent of your medical bills, 60 percent of your lost wages and death benefits, up to that $10,000 limit. However, that presumes your injuries are “emergent,” (as outlined in F.S. 395.002) meaning they require immediate medical services within a period of 14 days. Otherwise, the most compensation you can expect to receive in PIP benefits is $2,500 (a 75 percent drop in benefits). It is only if your injuries cross the “serious injury threshold,” as outlined in F.S. 627.737 that you can step outside of Florida’s no-fault system and pursue litigation against the at-fault party. Continue reading →

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If you’re involved in a crash wherein there are multiple victims and/ or multiple drivers, it’s likely you’ll be dealing with more than one auto insurance company. One insurer is often a handful enough. Facing many is more than just a headache, and even the smallest mistake could have a big impact in how much money you ultimately receive.car accident

That was the situation in a recent case out of Montana, wherein a plaintiff was dealing with multiple insurers to cover some $75,000 in damages. Plaintiff was a passenger in a crash resulting in five injury claims. Insurers involved included those covering the driver of the other vehicle, the driver of the vehicle she was in and her own uninsured/ underinsured motorist carrier.

This is the type of car accident case in which involvement of a South Florida injury lawyer is imperative. Continue reading →

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A recent decision by the Kansas Supreme Court held that a landowner whose property abuts a rural intersection does not owe a duty of care to passing drivers to either trim those trees or remove other vegetation from the property.Orlando car accident lawyer

Florida, meanwhile, has taken a different approach on this issue, as carefully laid out in the 2007 Florida Supreme Court case of Williams v. Davis. The conclusion involved the same issue – whether non-commercial owners of property that contains foliage that blocks motorists’ view of an adjacent intersection causing an accident with injuries should be liable. Citing the 1992 Florida Supreme Court decision in McCain v. Florida Power Corp. (which ruled that defendants who create a foreseeable zone of risk can be held negligent) and the 2001 case of Whitt v. Silverman, which based on McCain imposes a duty of care upon landowners to maintain their property free of unsafe obstructions to the view of passing motorists.

According to court records in the Williams case, a fatal Orlando car accident in August 1997 killed the daughter of plaintiff, who filed her complaint in 1999. Numerous defendants were named, but at issue before the Florida Supreme Court were allegations against just one of those, who owned property adjacent to the intersection where this fatal crash occurred. Plaintiff was in a procession of other rental car customers, driving their rented vehicles to an end destination to return her rented car. She entered an intersection as part of those procession and was struck and killed by a dump truck that struck her vehicle broadside from the left. Continue reading →

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An auto parts company recently agreed to settle a wrongful death car accident lawsuit involving a 29-year-old mother, her 12-year-old daughter and 14-year-old killed on a New York highway two years ago when their vehicle was struck by one of the company’s truck drivers. Multiple sources have reported the truck accident occurred when the mother called 911 for help after running out of gas. The woman was in the driver’s seat, her niece in the front passenger seat and her daughter in the rear. (The crash also killed two dogs that were in the vehicle.)West Palm Beach truck crash attorney

Traffic homicide investigators concluded the woman was stopped in the right driving lane with her flashers on when the smaller vehicle was rear-ended by the tractor-trailer, driven by AutoZone’s 52-year-old employee. Defendant company, based in Tennessee, did not comment on the settlement agreement which resolves the estates’ wrongful death claims. There is no indication based on media reports that the defendant conceded any wrongdoing, which is typical of most injury and wrongful death settlements prior to trial.

Why File Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida Trucking Accident?

While money is never going to come close to compensating survivors for such a profound loss, it’s nonetheless important to pursue wrongful death litigation in crash cases for two reasons.

The first is that in many cases, those who died were active, contributing family members whose loss has a huge financial impact to survivors. But even in a case like this, wherein those killed were teenagers/ not contributing family members, many survivors find legal action one of the key means through which to hold individual drivers and companies accountable for their negligence. Specifically as it relates to businesses and professional drivers, such sizable settlements serve as an incentive for implementation of and strict adherence to critical safety measures.  Continue reading →

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