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Articles Tagged with 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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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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A South Florida car accident reportedly left one woman disfigured and disabled. The Florida Record reports that in a subsequent lawsuit she filed against the alleged at-fault driver, she is seeking “loss of life enjoyment” in addition to damages for serious injury, medical expenses, pain, disability (lost wages) and disfigurement.West Palm Beach car accident attorney

This particular type of damages is worth exploring because while medical bills and lost wages are quantifiable losses, the impact of one’s “loss of life enjoyment” is far more subjective. Nonetheless, it can mean a sizable increase in the sum of one’s total calculated damages. It can be a significant portion of one’s damage award, too, if the individual didn’t suffer any significant loss of income, such as a young person, someone who is retired or a stay-at-home parent.

Loss of life enjoyment is a component of pain and suffering damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Not all states recognize this as a distinct and calculable compensable loss, but Florida does. Here, pain and suffering refers to the direct pain resulting from injuries sustained as a result of a Florida car accident. Loss of life enjoyment, meanwhile, pertains to the emotional, physical and psychological losses one endures long-term as the result of that crash.  Continue reading →

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A $19 million damage award to the widow of a man killed when a train struck him as he attempted to cross the tracks has been affirmed.

Defendant railroad company had sought a new trial based primarily on a typo and alleged “intentional non-disclosures” by a single juror. The Missouri Supreme Court found these arguments unpersuasive.

Court records reveal decedent was a 53-year-car accidentold businessman who died when his pickup truck was struck by a northbound freight train at an unguarded crossing on a county road. The crossing is marked by “passive railroad crossbuck signs,” but no flashing lights, bells or crossing gates to warn people of oncoming trains. Furthermore, the road crosses the tracks at what is described as “an extreme angle,” which plaintiff alleged created a hazardous intersection that was made even more dangerous by visual obstacles, such as overgrown vegetation.

Plaintiff presented evidence of numerous “near-misses” at this intersection before this fatal crash in 2012. The crossing, decedent’s widow argued, did not meet basic industry safety standards (specifically because they did not trim the vegetation that had become overgrown around the crossing), the railroad company defendant knew that and yet failed to seize on numerous opportunities to correct this danger. Continue reading →

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In many Florida car accident claims, there is more than one tortfeasor (wrongdoer) who may be compelled to pay damages to the injured victim. Prior to 2006 and the passage of F.S. 768.81, Florida’s pure comparative fault statute, injured car accident victims could seek the full amount of damages from a single defendant – even if that defendant was only partially responsible for the crash. That defendant then had a right of action to pursue action against the other responsible parties to pay their fair share. This is the doctrine of joint and several liability, but it was effectively abolished with the introduction of Florida’s comparative fault law, along with the 2009 decision of the Second District Court of Appeal in T&S Enterprises Handicap Accessibility v. Wink Indus. Maintenance & Repair Inc. In that case, the court held that defendants who intend to assert fault on a non-party joint tortfeasor need to do so as an affirmative defense. Another ruling in 2011 by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (relying on the decision in Wink) rendered any contribution-related claims “obsolete.”injury attorney

The issue of joint liability is one that varies widely from state-to-state. Recently in Illinois, the state supreme court held that a counterclaim for contribution by joint tortfeasors following an injurious truck accident was rightly dismissed, despite defendants’ claims that a prior settlement was not reached in good faith because the settling defendant’s conduct was intentional.

Here’s what happened: Plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle traveling on the interstate around 1:30 a.m. At the time, three lanes were closed due to construction. One defendant, a truck driver, was traveling in his semi truck behind plaintiff. He was operating this truck on behalf of his employer and the carrier of the truck, which are the other named defendants. At the same time, another defendant, a driver under the influence of cocaine, was traveling the opposite way on the interstate, made an improper U-turn through the median and collided with the vehicle in which plaintiff was riding. Plaintiff’s vehicle rotated and defendant truck driver did not have enough time to stop. He slammed into the passenger door of that vehicle, causing plaintiff serious and permanent injuries.  Continue reading →

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Can you sue your Uber driver if they cause a wreck and you’re injured in it? uber accident attorney

The short answer is yes – but you may not need to.

Let’s start by explaining that Uber and other ride-sharing services like Lyft have completely revolutionized the transportation system. It’s typically faster and cheaper than a taxi, but it may not necessarily be safer as ride-sharing services sometimes aren’t as well-regulated as livery vehicle services. However, many states, counties and cities have imposed regulation on ride-sharing services to bolster safety for the general public. And while Uber and other services have fought tooth-and-nail to avoid having drivers classified as “employees,” the technology giant does now have insurance coverage for each driver. As Uber explains, it breaks down like this:

  • If a rider is in the car, Uber offers up to $1 million in third-party liability for injuries of riders in the vehicle, other drivers, pedestrians or bicyclists (assuming the Uber driver was at-fault). There is also $1 million in UM/ UIM coverage if another party is at-fault but that person doesn’t have enough coverage to fully compensation for losses. It also covers hit-and-run accidents where the at-fault driver flees the scene.
  • If a driver is on the way to pick up a rider, Uber offers the same $1 million in third-party liability and UM/UIM coverage.
  • If the app is on and the driver is waiting for a pickup request, Uber pays at least $50,000 in injury liability per person and $100,000 total per crash plus $25,000 in property damage liability.

Continue reading →

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When you take your vehicle for repair or service, you have the right to expect the work will be performed competently. That’s part of the duty of care held by the party servicing the vehicle. When the servicer or repair shop fails in this duty, resulting in injury, it can be cause for legal action.car accident lawyer

Auto mechanic liability alleges the mechanic or shop is responsible to pay damages caused by negligence. For instance, if a mechanic rotates the tires on a vehicle but does not properly reattach the lug nuts on one of those wheels and it results in an injurious crash, that could be cause for injured parties to seek damages against the mechanic. Shops may also be liable if they negligently hire mechanics who are not properly qualified for the work they perform.

Recently in Massachusetts, parents of a teen killed in a car accident filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the auto repair service that had allegedly improperly installed tires on her vehicle.  Continue reading →

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