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Articles Posted in Car Accidents

brandon-holmes-199535-unsplash-copy-300x200There are more than 31,000 people hurt in Miami-Dade County car accidents every year, according to the Crash Dashboard website maintained by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Though their injuries may range from mild to life-threatening, that means tens of thousands of victims are left confused, overwhelmed, and in pain in the immediate aftermath of an auto collision. If you are one of them, you are probably wondering what to do next and how you can protect both your rights and your health. 

While you should trust a medical professional to take care of your health, a Miami car accidents lawyer will tell you that it is possible to accomplish these two goals by getting treatment as soon as possible. Some background information can help you understand why.

Top Two Reasons to Get Medical Attention Right Away

esther-driehaus-WQ9Ialn_mMI-unsplash-copy-300x200Innovation and advancements in technology have made vehicles safer than ever, but a recent report published by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) raises concerns about back-seat passengers in car accidents. The focal point: Seatbelt use. The data indicate that 803 unrestrained individuals died in auto crashes in the US in 2018, and GHSA researchers estimate that 400 of them would be alive today if they had buckled up. Unfortunately, the figures also reveal that only around 76% of back-seat occupants do use seat belts – compared to 90% of people sitting in the front. 

If you were injured in an auto crash, it is important to consult with a Miami car accident attorney no matter where you were sitting in the vehicle. Still, you should be aware of the special concerns for back-seat passengers.

Florida Seat Belt Laws

kevin-lee-102433-copy-200x300Rear end car accidents are among the most common types of collisions in Florida and throughout the U.S. According to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, these types of incidents account for 29% of all crashes. As you might expect, the majority – 88% – of these accidents involve the rear vehicle colliding into a vehicle in front of it, rather than the lead vehicle backing into the vehicle behind it. Rear end collisions are usually the result of driver carelessness, inattention, or other preventable misconduct. 

Under the circumstances, it can be almost impossible to avoid a rear end crash if you are driving or riding in the lead vehicle. Fortunately, you do have rights if you were injured, and a Miami car accident attorney can assist you with the legal process. However, you might benefit from knowing the reasons rear end collisions occur and a few tips on avoiding them when you can.

Causes of Rear End Accidents

With 2020 already well underway, it can be helpful to review fatal car accident statistics from previous years as a way of comparing trends. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (FLHSMV) Crash Dashboard for 2018, there were 64,627 collisions in Miami-Dade County, killing 293 victims. The data for 2019 indicates a drop in the number of total accidents, down to 64,495; however, the number of fatalities was higher, as 335. So far this year, 29 people have been killed in 5,915 crashes. 

A fatal auto collision involves implications that extend far beyond the loss of life. Surviving loved ones lost a family member, often one they depended upon for financial support, care, and guidance. In such situations, it is important to discuss your rights with a Miami car accidents attorney. You can also review some fatal auto crash statistics to understand just how common these tragedies are.

Fatal Crashes in Miami and the Rest of Florida

ferdinand-stohr-652260-unsplash-copy-300x200On average, there are more than 64,000 traffic-related accidents according to the Crash Dashboard prepared annually by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle. That means that it is possible that you or someone you know could be involved in a collision involving property damage, injuries, or even fatalities. While this is the last situation you want to face, it is important to take certain actions in the immediate aftermath of a car accident. Your health is a first priority, but you should also be gathering as much information from the scene as possible. 

Fortunately, today’s technology has provided you with a very important tool for collecting evidence — your smartphone. The vast majority of devices include a camera, enabling you to capture images and video that will help your Miami car accidents attorney prove the essential components of your claim. Here are five things you should take pictures of after the incident.

  • All Vehicles: Getting a visual of damage to all vehicles is important because it demonstrates the serious nature of the crash. Though injuries can result from even minor collisions, pictures of severe dents and cracks are evidence of a particularly violent impact. In addition, these images may reveal who was at fault in the accident, which can sometimes be determined by the location of the damage.

avi-richards-438741-unsplash-copy-300x225Dogs are a part of the family in South Florida more than ever, which means many drivers take Fido along when they are traveling or making short trips around Miami. While it might seem adorable to see motorists petting furry friends and allowing them to sit in their laps, the truth is that these people are creating a serious safety risk. The comparison to the distracted driving dangers involved with talking, texting, and other cell phone use is very real. 

Still, there are few laws or regulations covering the topic across the US. Florida has yet to take legislative action, so you can be sure drivers will continue to operate their vehicles under such risky circumstances. Fortunately, you do have rights if you are injured in a Miami car accident, so some background information may be helpful.

Comparing the Dangers of Cellphone Use to Driving with a Pet

One of the most common questions prospective clients ask Miami car accidents attorneys is how long it will take to resolve an injury claim and receive payment as compensation for their losses. For a number of reasons, it is difficult to provide an exact answer. There are too many variables involved, and every case is unique. The only constant in terms of the duration of a case is Florida’s statute of limitations, which requires you to file a lawsuit in court within four years after the date of the auto crash. 

Still, a timeline is a useful way of explaining the different phases, and it can serve as a framework of how long a car accident claim will take. Though the details may vary, there are five key steps involved.

Medical Care

hunter-james-CHPtjF-bir0-unsplash-copy-2-300x200Backup cameras have been lauded both for their convenience in parking and because they may reduce the risk of injury-causing accidents, especially for drivers of SUVs. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has required these video features among other Driver Assistance Technologies since May 2018, citing statistics that show around 300 people are killed and another 18,000 are injured every year by motorists who back into them. 

It is hard to think that there could be a downside to rearview video systems (RVS), but there are pros and cons involved with the technology. Backup cameras do not completely eliminate the potential for collisions, which is why it is important to talk to a Miami car accidents attorney if you were hurt under such circumstances. You might also find it helpful to read up on some important information.

The Pros of Backup Cameras

alexandre-boucher-582082-unsplash-copy-300x200Every new year brings new laws in Florida, and 2020 is no different. A Miami Herald article dated December 31, 2019 described several key pieces of legislation that became effective on January 1, from an increase in the smoking age to a higher minimum wage. The article also pointed out that police would be stepping up enforcement of the state’s hands-free driving law. As you might recall, legislators passed the measure for an effective date of July 2019, but there was a grace period to allow motorists to get used to following it. As of the first day of 2020, officers would no longer allow drivers to get away with certain forms of cell phone use while operating a car. 

Still, there will always be people who do not comply with the law, so the threat of distracted driving auto collisions is still very real. You should talk to a Miami car accidents attorney if you were hurt in such an incident, but read on for an overview of the relevant legal concepts.

Summary of Florida’s Hands-Free Law

kyle-glenn-629501-unsplash-1-copy-300x200It is no secret that your insurance rates could increase considerably when you are at fault in a motor vehicle crash. As such, you probably understand the other driver’s similar sentiment when he or she was negligent in causing a crash in which you were hurt. There is a strong temptation to resolve the matter without getting an insurance company involved, and that motorist’s offer may seem very attractive at the time. The problem with not going through the proper claims process is that you could put your rights at risk through various legal issues – which you are certainly not considering when the at-fault driver pulls out a checkbook. 

A Miami car accidents attorney can explain the drawbacks of bypassing an insurance company after a vehicle crash, but you should be aware of the key pitfalls that could threaten your interests.

Reasons an At-Fault Driver Will Not Use Insurance: You can probably relate to some of the top reasons another motorist would refuse to exchange auto insurance information or suggest not calling the company about the crash: