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Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Driving is among the riskiest activities you do on a daily basis, but – unlike other things you avoid while pregnant – it is a necessity for personal and professional reasons. Unfortunately, while you are just as likely to be involved in a car accident as other Miami motorists, you and your baby are at extreme risk of serious injuries because of your vulnerable condition. According to Safe Ride 4 Kids, an organization dedicated to preventing injuries and deaths to children in auto collisions: 

  • Automobile collisions are the single largest cause of death for pregnant mothers; and,
  • Motor vehicle accidents are the top cause of traumatic fetal mortality.

Car accidents continue to be a primary safety threat for motorists across the US, and the problem even hits close to home in Florida. According to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there are around 72,000 people hurt in auto collisions throughout South Florida, a figure that includes Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. Many of these victims suffered injuries so serious that they were immediately transported to local trauma centers for emergency treatment. 

While urgent medical care is a priority, being rushed to the hospital does create a dilemma for victims of motor vehicle crashes: They cannot remain at the scene to gather the evidence that is essential for purposes of legal remedies. Fortunately, there are strategies for collecting proof, and a Miami car accidents attorney can tackle investigations. However, you should be aware of some key sources of evidence when you are taken from the site of a crash.

  • Occupants of Your Vehicle: If you were traveling with friends or family, you may need to rely on these individuals to collect evidence for you. Cell phone cameras are the best way to capture damage to the vehicles, traffic signage, physical conditions at the scene, weather, vehicle skid marks, and related factors.

Car accident statistics compiled by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) are useful for predicting trends and understanding the causes behind these incidents, putting you in a better position to protect yourself and your family. So far in 2020, there have been 44,731 total crashes in Miami-Dade County, causing 299 fatalities and injuring 21,018 people. For many victims, the process for recovering monetary damages is not complicated. Obvious damage to the vehicles should convince the at-fault driver’s insurance company that the victim’s injuries were severe. 

However, you could encounter significant challenges if you were hurt in a crash in which there were no dents, chipped paint, or scrapes. A no-damage collision makes it more difficult to prove the severity and nature of your injuries, potentially leading to a denial of your insurance claim. While you should always work with a Miami car accident lawyer for any traffic crash, it is especially critical to retain legal counsel under such circumstances. The following information reveals the reasons why.

The Role of Evidence in an Auto Crash Claim

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) tracks traffic accidents through the state, and its Crash Dashboard reveals some troubling statistics about collisions in South Florida. So far in 2020, there have been a total of 44,731 motor vehicle accidents in Miami-Dade County, leading to 299 fatalities and injuries to 21,018 victims. If you were hurt in such an incident, it is good to know that you have options for recovering compensation from the at-fault driver. As with any legal matter, there are numerous statutes, court rules, and technical concepts that apply to auto crash claims. 

However, you do not need to have in-depth knowledge of all of the laws or go to great lengths to learn them. Your Miami car accident lawyer will take the lead on the legal issues. There are just three basic laws every victim should know:

Florida’s No-Fault Law

Even if you are not a fan of Formula One racing, there is a good chance you would have been impressed by a recent incident that could have ended tragically – but did NOT due to advancements in safety technology. A December 6, 2020 article published by Wired magazine covered the racing event, which erupted into mayhem within the first few turns. In short, during the frenzied push to gain position on the opening lap, the tires of two cars slightly bumped at speeds exceeding 135 miles per hour. One vehicle careened away, slamming into a barrier positioned to absorb the energy of a violent impact. The race car and driver exploded into flames. 

Mere seconds later, the driver emerged from the fiery vortex and walked away – mostly unscathed, but for some scrapes and minor burns. Those who witnessed or viewed the video were shocked; the result was no surprise to those who understand the science behind safety measures used in racing. The incident highlights four different technologies designed to minimize the effects of fatal and injury causing accidents, including:

Halo: This device is a padded ring that is positioned above the driver, which protects the head, neck, and spine as it absorbs the impact of the crash. The Halo is a relatively new technology that gained widespread use, and it is required by some racing circuits after the tragic death of popular racer Dale Earnhardt, Sr. Deceleration at a rate of 25 times that of gravity, combined with the weight of the helmet he was wearing, caused Earnhardt to suffer fatal trauma to his brain, neck, vasculature, and spine.

Motorists throughout South Florida should take note of a recent press release from automaker Ford Motor Company, which announced that it will be launching its self-driving commercial business division in 2022. According to an October 20, 2020 article published by CNBC, the company will be integrating its fourth-generation of self-driving test vehicles in several US cities, including Miami. The latest technology, such as higher resolution cameras and improved sensors, serves as an upgrade to the fleet of Ford Escape Hybrid crossovers. 

However, safety concerns remain, and you could be at an increased risk of car accidents in Miami when you are driving around these test vehicles. Some information on the dangers, as well as some benefits of autonomous automobiles, may be useful.

Dangers of Self-Driving Automobiles

Even if you are diligent about complying with all Florida rules of the road when out driving around Miami, there is a good chance that there are plenty of other motorists who do not. Some may be in a rush to get to their final destination, while others did not see a traffic sign or vehicle traveling in their blind spot. At times, drivers may even engage in intentional violations of traffic laws because they do not want to be inconvenienced or believe that a phone call is too important to miss. 

Regardless of the reasons behind their actions, drivers who disregard the rules put everyone else on the road at risk of serious auto crashes. Not only do they threaten other individuals in motorized vehicles, but negligent motorists can cause severe harm to pedestrians and bicycle riders. A Miami car accident attorney can advise you on your legal options if you were hurt, but you can take action to protect yourself when you know the top traffic laws that drivers do not follow.

  • Speed Limits: Probably the most common – and certainly one of the most dangerous – traffic laws to break involves speeding. Authorities designate speed zones for various reasons, but they generally all center on safety. Going faster than the posted limit could increase the potential for accidents if the mph was set due to curves, traffic volume, a steep grade, narrowing of lanes, or many other factors.

You are at risk of being injured in a car accident any time you are driving around Miami, and statistics from the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reveal that the safety threat is high even when you travel for work. In 2017, there were 2,077 workers killed in occupational transportation crashes, representing 40% of all work-related fatalities. Plus, transportation collisions are in the top five most common causes of non-fatal workplace accidents. 

While you might assume that these incidents would be covered by Florida workers’ compensation laws, you may be surprised to learn that you may qualify to file a civil claim after an auto crash. There are multiple benefits for seeking legal remedies rather than workers’ comp benefits, and a Miami car accidents attorney can explain the advantages. You might also benefit from reviewing some of the basics about work-related vehicle collisions.

Florida Workers’ Comp Claims and Exceptions

Government officials and consumer groups often team up to raise awareness about public safety issues and empower people to protect themselves and their families. The Road to Zero Coalition,

managed by the National Safety Council (NSC) and supported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is an example of such an initiative. Together, these organizations have developed multiple strategies intended to end traffic-related fatalities in the US by 2050. The cornerstone of the plan hinges on NJTSA’s “Three Lanes,” which ideally would result in Zero roadway deaths if each path comes to fruition.

While public awareness campaigns about preventing auto crashes are important, the risk of serious crashes will persist as long as there are negligent motorists on South Florida roadways. It is essential to work with a Miami car accidents attorney to pursue your legal rights, but you might find it useful to review some basic information about the Road to Zero.

There are safety threats you expect while driving around Miami, including motorists who speed, drive after drinking, run red lights, and engage in other careless acts. However, there are many other risks that you do not anticipate because they are present outside the typical roadway environment. Parking lot and parking garage car accidents are more common than you think, and they can lead to injuries far more serious than you would ever imagine. If you were injured in such a crash and see your losses mounting, you are probably wondering whether you have any legal recourse against the responsible driver. 

In short, yes, you can pursue a negligent motorist for compensation after being injured in a parking lot crash. Your rights are the same as with any auto collision case, so you should seek legal help from a Miami car accidents attorney. Some information about the dangers of parking lot collisions may also be useful.

Parking Lot Accidents Caused by Driver Negligence 

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