Articles Posted in Car Accidents

luke-van-zyl-543508-unsplash-copy-169x300You rely on your car for work and personal use, which is why it is disturbing to think about the frequency of car accidents in Miami. Statistics gathered by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reveal that there were 64,151 motor vehicle crashes in Miami-Dade County in 2018, causing injuries to 31,072 victims. That is around 85 people every day who were hurt, confused, and overwhelmed in the aftermath of a collision.

Because it is hard to think logically under the circumstances, Miami car accident attorneys typically recommend that you follow this checklist when you have been injured in a crash.

Pull Over Safely

lionello-delpiccolo-Dv65oNf9UI4-unsplash-copy-300x200You may not be surprised to learn that accidents are the top reason that people in Miami and throughout the US visit the emergency rooms. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that unintentional falls accounted for almost 8.6 million nonfatal injuries and motor vehicle crashes caused harm to more than 2.5 million people in 2017.

What may come as a surprise is that, though many of these victims had rights under Florida personal injury laws, there are laws that may place limitations on recovering compensation. This is due to state law regarding comparative fault, which may apply in your case if you are injured in an accident. You should discuss your circumstances with a Miami personal injury attorney, but read on for some important information.

Legal Basis for Personal Injury Claims 

When you are hurt in a Miami auto collision, your first step in seeking compensation for your losses is to file a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company. Like many victims, you might expect the process to be clear and simple — complete the necessary forms, send them to the insurer, and wait to receive payment. You may be shocked and dismayed when the response is an outright rejection of what you believe is a valid, legitimate claim.

Though it may provide seemingly valid reasons for a denial, the primary motivation of the insurance company is to look out for its own interests. Your claim is a threat to profits, so the insurer will seek any possible reason to reject or make a low counteroffer to resolve your claim. Do not put your rights at risk by accepting anything less than what is fair and reasonable to compensate you for your losses. With help from a Miami car accident attorney, you can recover the highest amount of compensation allowed by law – even when the insurance company responds to with any of these excuses.

  • You Delayed Filing Your Claim: It is true that Florida has a four-year statute of limitations on motor vehicle crashes based upon negligence, but this time period refers to filing a lawsuit in civil court. You should file a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company as soon as possible after an accident. When you wait, key evidence may be unavailable and your recollection about the collision will become foggy.

erwan-hesry-IqB5MPcQp6k-unsplash-copy-300x200The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) hosts various events and initiatives throughout the year to promote safety on the state’s roads, and the upcoming “Stop on Red” Week will highlight the importance of obeying traffic signals. Starting August 4 – 10, 2019, FDOT will be posting helpful articles and tips on social media to remind drivers of the laws intended to prevent fatal and injury-causing accidents. 

Stop on Red Week has been successful throughout the US in raising awareness, but there are still drivers who intentionally or carelessly run through red lights. If you were hurt in a red light crash, you should consult with a Florida car accident attorney regarding your rights. You can also read on for an overview of the main points of the red light initiative.

Why Red-Light Runners Create Significant Risks

basil-samuel-lade-1132874-unsplash-copy-300x200For anyone who enjoys getting around the city, Miami’s WalkScore of 79 out of 100 points should come as no surprise. The year-round warm climate, spectacular water views, and luxurious beaches offer plenty of reasons to walk and enjoy the outdoors. Plus, the mayor closes major roadways to motor vehicle traffic once a month, allowing pedestrians and bicyclists to take to the streets. 

Of course, there can be a downside to foot-based transportation. Pedestrians are at risk of serious injuries when motorists are careless behind the wheel. Fortunately, state law provides you with rights as a victim, and a Florida pedestrian accident lawyer can help protect them. In addition, you may find it useful to review some general information about these cases.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

andras-vas-559764-unsplash-copy-300x200There is no question that getting around town by Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare is convenient, but that does not make it safer. Any vehicle on the roadway is at risk of an accident, including those that are part of a “transportation network company” (TNC), as these services are defined by Florida law. The same statute also regulates the operations of TNCs and provides certain requirements for insurance purposes in the event of the accident. It is good to know that you are covered in an Uber/Lyft crash that was not your fault, but the legislative landscape does make these matters more complex than a typical collision. You should discuss your circumstances with a Florida car accident attorney. 

TNCs and Insurance Requirements in Florida 

As of January 2017, Florida made certain insurance coverages required for TNCs and the drivers who use their digital services to provide ridesharing services. The insurance must cover the TNC driver as follows:

nathan-dumlao-1064615-unsplash-copy-200x300Miami city commissioners recently announced a six-month trial program to implement 300 electric scooters across District 2, a region that incorporates the downtown area, Coconut Grove, Morningside and Edgewater. An article appearing in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel outlined the plan involving Bird, Lime, and other companies that operate the dockless rental vehicles, familiarly called “e-scooters.” The announcement comes as good news for people looking for a convenient, affordable, and sustainable option for getting around town. A user simply downloads the app, pays low fee to unlock the e-scooter, and then drops it off when finished.

E-scooter programs in Coral Gables and Fort Lauderdale have been quite successful, especially among students. Opponents argue that e-scooters increase the likelihood of traffic-related accidents. Fortunately, injured victims may have rights under well-established legal rules regarding negligence, and a Florida personal injury lawyer can explain in more detail. Still, to reduce the risk of accidents, you should review some safety issues and tips regarding e-scooters.

Risk Factors with E-Scooters

jonathan-borba-1598686-unsplash-copy-300x200One minute, visitors to a Port Charlotte Harley-Davidson store were listening to a live concert; the next, they were running for their lives from a luxury sports car that an intoxicated woman plowed into the crowd. According to a June 12, 2019 article in the Miami Herald, none of the concertgoers were injured in the chaos that ensued. However, the local country music star who was headlining the event suffered injuries to his foot. Upon arriving at the scene, police detained the woman for questioning, and eventually arrested her for DUI, among other charges.

The penalties for DUI are harsh in Florida, including fines, jail time, and a driver’s license suspension. Unfortunately, these sanctions do nothing for victims who are injured as a result of a drunk driving collision. You do have rights if you are hurt in a DUI crash, and a Florida car accident attorney can assist with your claim. Some general information regarding these cases may also be helpful.

Comparing Criminal and Civil DUI Cases

Around 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 5, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to a collision between a Virgin Trains USA train and a silver SUV near Biscayne Boulevard and 141st Street. The SUV sustained significant damage, and the airbags were deployed. The back end of the SUV was crushed, the windows shattered, and the front bumper was detached and on the ground. One report stated the train was heading south when it struck the SUV on the driver’s side of the vehicle and pushed it 180 degrees. One victim was transported to Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, and their condition was unknown. A report stated witnesses saw the driver get out of the SUV and looked visibly OK. After the collision, the train stopped nearby. Virgin Train USA representatives came to the scene to assess damage to the train. There was visible damage to the train’s front car. There are no reports of any harm to train employees or passengers Commuter trains like Virgin Trains USA  are growing in popularity in Florida and around the US. However, they pose a significant risk at intersections where railroad tracks public cross streets. If you or a loved one were a victim of a train-vehicle crash in Florida, do not hesitate to contact a Miami car accident lawyer at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. You can reach out to schedule a free consultation by calling (877) 475-2905 or using our online form.

Virgin Trains USA Used to be Bright line

In March 2019, Virgin Group announced its first train line would be Virgin Trains USA in South Florida. The majority owner and operator of the train is Fortress Investment. Virgin Group is a minority investor providing the iconic branding for the train. This train line was originally known as Bright line and began service in May 2018, with test runs starting in 2017. It is a high-speed intercity system that currently stops in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. Virgin previously announced it intends to extend the train line to Orlando and Tampa. Individuals who are injured in an accident involving a Virgin train should contact an experienced lawyer in Miami. If the incident was a train-car collision, our Miami car accident attorneys are here to investigate the crash, determine what went wrong, and identify the liable party. Our lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. are highly experienced in handling all types of vehicle collisions, including those involving commuter and freight trains. We are not afraid to hold large and popular businesses responsible in court.

On April 25th, around 9:30 p.m., a Tesla driven by George McGee, 42, entered the intersection of County Road 905 and Card Sound Road near Key Largo, Florida without stopping at the stop sign. The Tesla struck Miami woman Benavides Leon Naibel, 22. The impact threw her approximately 20 ft into nearby woods and she was killed.Another pedestrian, Angulo Dillion, 27, was struck and injured. He was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital South in serious condition. Naibel and Dillion had been standing next to a parked Chevy Tahoe truck on the east shoulder of 905. McGee faces criminal charges. Currently, there is no information regarding whether the Tesla was in Autopilot or whether McGee was in full control of the vehicle. There also is no information on whether drugs or alcohol were involved.

After many accidents like this, it takes time to determine what happened and why. While car accident victims and their families may wait to see if prosecutors pursue criminal charges, they can and should reach out to a Miami car accident lawyer at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. for help.

Our experienced and skilled car accident attorneys are here to help crash victims pursue personal injury compensation. We also represent surviving family members in pursuing compensation through Florida wrongful death claims. To talk with us about how we can help, call us at (877) 475-2905 to schedule a free consultation.