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Articles Tagged with West Palm Beach car accident attorney

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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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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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A fatal car accident killed both their parents and their 90-year-old grandmother. Three of the four sisters had been in the car at the time of the collision, headed to a family reunion in Texas. They were seriously injured, but survived. carinterior

It wasn’t long after the crash that questions started to arise about what had happened and why. Specifically, what was going on with the airbags and why didn’t they deploy? As the Star-Telegram reports, the family was traveling in a Kia Sedona minivan. They were struck head-on by a Pontiac Bonneville when the driver crossed the center line while traveling on U.S. 67. The oldest sister was working and not traveling to the reunion with them that day.

Recovering from physical and emotional injuries, the sisters allege the local car dealership disconnected the fuse to the airbag system. In a lawsuit filed two years ago, the sisters say that when the dealership removed the cable from the deployment sensor, they also fraudulently replaced the seat sensor. The pre-owned vehicle dealership sold the deceased parents the van at one of its discount lots. Plaintiffs say the dealership employees’ actions caused the injuries and deaths in the crash. They do not allege defendants caused the crash, but rather that the injuries sustained were much more severe than they otherwise would have been.  Continue reading →

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Jurors may be asked about – and dismissed for prejudices regarding – specific large damage awards in a car accident lawsuit, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled. jury1

In Khoury v. Seastrand, the court weighed an appeal by a defendant in a car accident lawsuit who alleged various errors by the trial court, including “indoctrination of the jurors” during the voir dire portion of the trial.

Voir dire is the preliminary, pre-trial examination of a juror by the judge or an attorney. Lawyers may request dismissal of certain jurors for biases – real or perceived – that could affect those persons’ ability to render a fair verdict.  Continue reading →

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When a 40-year-old Ohio man crashed into a semi-truck on a Florida highway last May, the initial assumption was that this was simply another tragic accident. drive9

But as investigators would later come to find out, the Tesla (TSLA.O) Model S sedan in the fatal crash was running on autopilot at the time of the collision. While troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol continue their investigation, authorities with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have launched their own inquiry.

A nine-page letter has been sent by the NHTSA to Tesla, requesting answers to a myriad of questions regarding the crash and the features that were reportedly supposed to be engaged at the time but seem to have failed. Specifically, the auto-braking system and forward collision warning system do not appear to have worked as intended. But Tesla has insisted that its vehicles are safe when used as intended. One unnamed Tesla executive quoted by The New York Times said that while the autopilot feature of the vehicle can operate a car on its own for up to three minutes on the highway, drivers have to be ready to take control at a moment’s notice.  Continue reading →

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An early morning car accident in Palm Beach County claimed the lives of two renowned equestrians in South Florida, including Olympic-caliber rider Andres Rodriguez of Venezuela.equestrian

The 31-year-old Rodriguez was driving with an amateur rider Sophie Walker, 30, in a gated community near the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club in Wellington. Authorities told The Palm Beach Post it was nearly 3:30 a.m. when Rodriguez rounded a curve, lost control of his 1992 Porsche sports car and slammed into a concrete pillar.

Walker was pronounced dead at the scene, while Rodriguez died at the hospital a few hours later. Sheriff’s Office investigators have stated alcohol was a factor in the single-car crash, but have not released the details upon which that assertion is based.  Continue reading →

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Emergency crews are the first responders on scene to aid those who are seriously injured, ill or in trouble. However, some of those same workers may be imperiling innocent people by engaging in actions that do little to promote public safety. policelights

Specifically, we’re talking about police and high-speed chases.

A recent report from USA Today found that from 1979 through 2013, nearly 5,100 innocent bystanders and passengers have been killed as a result of high-speed chases. Tens of thousands more have been seriously injured. Those figures do not include the number of officers killed, nor do they include the number of suspects who eluded authorities, initiating the chase. Continue reading →

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Auto insurance carriers are some of the most notoriously difficult to negotiate with following a crash resulting in injury. Often, they will extend low-ball settlement offers in lieu of policy limits, even when it seems clear full coverage is warranted.That’s if the carrier doesn’t deny the claim outright. road1

Policies are often drafted with many contingencies and exemptions, and the language can be extremely confusing to someone unfamiliar with contract and insurance law. Insurers bank on your lack of knowledge, which is why it’s so important to have an experienced lawyer advocating for you at the start.

In the recent case of Smith v. Maryland Casualty Co., before an appellate court in Missouri, an insurer dug in their heels to deny coverage to a crash victim under a commercial liability policy.

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