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Articles Tagged with West Palm Beach 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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Some of the first people you’ll likely see in the aftermath of a serious West Palm Beach car accident are the Palm Beach County EMS workers. These include firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics. Their appearance on site is a relief. It means help is finally here, and you trust them to give you the medical care you need and get you (or your loved one) to the hospital as quickly and safely as possible.car accident attorney blog

However, if these professionals fail to provide you with proper care or are in some way generally negligent, both on scene at the crash and during transport, you could have grounds for a personal injury claim or lawsuit against Palm Beach County (or whatever the respective government entity or private contractor).

This was exactly the scenario reported recently by The Palm Beach County Post after the county agreed to settle with a woman for $100,000 after she was allegedly dropped by paramedics loading her into the ambulance on a stretcher at a West Palm Beach car accident scene.  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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A husband and wife out for a leisurely stroll in their neighborhood would never return home the same again. It was a summer day in Maryland in 2009. As they passed a residential driveway, a driver in his 20s backed out of the driveway without looking. crashedbumper

In so doing, the driver struck the couple. The wife screamed and, as she would later allege in her complaint, hit the vehicle with her hand to alert the driver and make it stop. She reportedly then made eye contact with the driver, who stopped momentarily and then nevertheless seeing what had happened, continued moving his car, backing over her husband in an attempt to flee the scene.

Both husband and wife sustained serious injuries, though the husband had the worst of it. His injuries included a traumatic brain injury and other severe head injuries, as well as injuries to his neck, body and limbs. He was transported to a local hospital and then, later to a rehabilitation center, where he died two years later.

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Car manufacturers have been under fire in recent months, for everything from faulty ignition switches to exploding air bags to malfunctioning accelerators. In fact, 2014 had the most auto industry recalls in history. This indicates firstly there are many problems with vehicle design resulting in injury. Secondly, it tell us regulators are getting better at calling the industry out. airbag1

But a mere allegation of product liability is not enough to prove causation. Of course, it is easier if there are a host of prior similar cases, but even then, success isn’t a given. What will be necessary in almost each of these cases is expert witness testimony.

Usually, expert witness testimony isn’t necessary in car accident claims. But every case is different, and when a crash is the result of a dangerous or defective vehicle part, expert witness testimony bolsters the claim of causation and can help a case get passed the summary judgment phase and on to trial.

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