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Articles Tagged with Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney

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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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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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Occasionally our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys are asked, “A drunk car hit me? Now what?”

First we need to clarify: While the car may have been the object that struck you or your vehicle, it was in fact the driver who was impaired. It is also the driver who would be held accountable if you’re asking what to do if a “drunk car hit me.” drunk car hit me

The good news is Florida law enforcement officials launch regular crackdowns on drunk drivers over holiday weekends – necessary because drunk driving accidents in Florida tend to be higher over these high travel periods. NBC-2 in Cape Coral-Fort Myers on Florida’s Gulf Coast announced numerous police departments plus the Lee County Sheriff’s Office would be launching their own, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign over the recent Thanksgiving holiday weekend, a national effort repeated by law enforcement agencies across the country. Heightened enforcement has been shown to reduce drunk driving crashes, injuries and wrongful deaths in Florida, but of course they don’t eliminate them entirely.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report 2.1 percent of Florida drivers admit to driving after having too much to drink, higher than the national average of 1.9 percent.  Continue reading →

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A Florida deputy is being hailed as a hero after he reportedly sacrificed his life by driving his cruiser in the path of a wrong-way driver – ahead of another driver who otherwise would have been struck.highway5

Deputy John Kotfila, 30, was killed in the crash, as was the 31-year-old wrong-way driver, Erik McBeth. The wrong-way car accident happened in Hillsborough County around 2:45 a.m. on the Leroy Selmon Expressway.

The 41-year-old woman who was saved said the deputy saw the imminent danger she faced and made a split-second and heroic decision to sacrifice his own life to save her. Continue reading →

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Recently, a high-speed chase by police tailing a fugitive through the streets of Miami spanned more than a half hour until the suspect was caught, according to the Miami Herald. The 34-year-old suspect is charged with attempted murder after he allegedly stabbed his girlfriend numerous times before fleeing. During the chase, he reportedly narrowly avoided striking other vehicles as he weaved through traffic, blew past intersection red lights and skidded with sharp turns. At one point, he exchanged gunfire with police in downtown Miami. police

This scene had a high potential for serious injury or death of innocent bystanders.

Most police agencies have policies that prevent chases – particularly high-speed chases – in all but the most serious of situations. A study by the National Institute of Justice found that most departments had written policies governing pursuits. While increasing the number of vehicles involved in the pursuit was more likely to improve the odds of apprehension, it was also more likely to up the risk of accidents, injuries and property damage.  Continue reading →

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If you are involved in an auto accident with another driver who is reckless or careless, establishing liability for injuries is fairly simple.carcrashinsurance

Minor damages are paid through one’s own insurer, per Florida’s no-fault rules. More substantial accidents may require claims or lawsuits against the other driver; their insurer should cover those damages. Where that driver lacks auto insurance or doesn’t have adequate coverage, drivers can file a claim for uninsured/ underinsured motorist benefits through their own carrier.

But what happens if the car that hits you doesn’t have a driver? The liability question is a legal snag regulators say must be resolved before these cars  hit the market en masse. Continue reading →

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A 27-year-old British tourist vacationing in South Florida was killed recently in a hit-and-run. Witnesses say the BMW that struck him was traveling at upwards of 100 mph. The driver reportedly got out of the vehicle after the collision and fled on foot, leaving three female passengers inside the car. Police are still looking for that driver.miami

Authorities say the tourist, who is an airline worker vacationing with a friend, was using a zebra crosswalk on Collins Avenue in Miami Beach when the collision occurred.

A witness later told The Daily Mail it appeared as if the driver was traveling up to 100 mph. The impact of the collision was so forceful, the victim ended up nearly 100 yards away from the point of impact. Continue reading →

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The recent case of Zaldivar v. Prickett, before the Georgia Supreme Court, dealt with issues of vicarious liability and negligent entrustment as they relate to car accident litigation. cardriving

Vicarious liability is a kind of strict, secondary liability that originates from the doctrine of respondeat superior. That isthe responsibility of a superior for the tortious acts of a subordinate. A person or business can be vicariously liable even if they haven’t actually engaged directly in any negligent behavior.

Negligent entrustment, meanwhile, is a direct form of liability that asserts one party negligently provided another with a dangerous instrumentality, and the person entrusted with that dangerous instrumentality caused injury to a third party with that instrumentality.

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