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Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Like most South Florida motorists, you will probably experience a strong sense of panic if you see two headlights bearing down upon you in the same lane of traffic. This scenario is thankfully quite rare, but statistics from AAA still reveal some disturbing trends on wrong way car accidents. From 2015 to 2018, the number of fatal wrong way auto collisions increased 34% as compared to the time period from 2010 to 2014. In an average year, approximately 500 people are killed in these collisions, while thousands of other victims suffer serious and catastrophic injuries in wrong-way vehicle accidents. 

If you were hurt in a crash caused by a motorist traveling in the opposite direction of traffic, it is critical to consult with a Miami car accident attorney about your legal rights and remedies. Plus, you may benefit from some tips to bear in mind for avoiding a wrong-way collision:

What to Do if You Encounter a Wrong Way Driver

After years of debate, measures have moved forward in both chambers of the Florida legislature to repeal the state’s 50-year-old motor vehicle no-fault law. Senate Bill 54 has already passed, while companion House Bill 719 was approved in the committee stage on April 19, 2021. The proposed legislation has been the subject of some controversy among lawmakers, insurance industry experts, and consumer groups, who argue over how eliminating the no-fault law will affect insurance rates. 

Under the current no-fault rule, if you were injured in a Miami car accident,  you would seek compensation from your own insurance company through your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. If passed and signed by the governor, Florida would essentially become a so-called “at-fault” state: You would file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to obtain monetary damages after a collision.

Obviously, the elimination of no-fault principles is a major reversal of existing law and will have considerable implications if you were hurt in a motor vehicle crash. Here are some things to know as the bills move closer to passage. 

You would probably not be surprised to learn that many Miami car accidents occur because of a driver’s negligence. Common examples include those who speed, run red lights, use their cell phones, and engage in other unsafe acts behind the wheel. Though laws and public safety campaigns aim to deter this type of careless driving, you can expect that there will still be motorists who disregard the risks. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), 90 people die and another 6,337 people are injured in motor vehicle crashes every day. 

Many of these collisions can be prevented through the exercise of reasonable care, but you cannot always control what other drivers do on the road. You need to anticipate that you are sharing the road with dangerous motorists who put you at risk, and the best way to protect yourself is by engaging in defensive driving. This strategy goes a long way to reducing the potential for Miami car accidents, so keep the following in mind.

  • Focus on One Thing. When you are behind the wheel of a car, the only thing you should be concentrating on is safe operation of the vehicle. Eliminate all other distractions, so you are better able to detect and react to careless acts by other drivers. Even a split second matters in an auto crash.

For years, Uber and Lyft drivers have relied on their respective apps to match them with passengers needing a ride. When signing into the mobile app and frequenting the most popular spots for ridesharing services around Miami, these transportation network company (TNC) drivers could maximize their earning potential simply by making themselves available. However, a new app could soon change this workflow and help ridesharing drivers increase earnings: Gridwise incorporates technology that collects data on passenger trends and identifies key metrics to predict when and where Uber/Lyft can make the most money. 

While this is excellent news for TNC drivers, an uptick in traffic can also lead to a higher risk of auto collisions. There are multiple factors at play, all of which combine to create a potentially dangerous situation. You should talk to a Miami ridesharing accident attorney about your legal options if you were hurt, and read on for some of the basics.

Implications of Increased Uber and Lyft Traffic in Miami

After years of public awareness campaigns and enactment of numerous Florida laws prohibiting interaction with telecommunications devices, Miami drivers are well-aware of the dangers of using a cell phone behind the wheel. Specifically with regards to texting, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) points out that there are three areas that impact safe driving: 

  • Visual, where you take your eyes of the road and vehicle systems;
  • Manual, since your hands are not on the steering wheel where they belong; and,

While the majority of Miami car accidents are linked to careless acts by drivers, the most common root cause of these incidents is violations of Florida Rules of the Road. Traffic laws are well-known to all motorists, so they are aware of their legal duties. When they do not comply with regulations aimed at keeping people safe, drivers put other road users at risk. If you were hurt in such a collision, you probably expect that the at-fault motorist will be ticketed, and you can use this information to support your claim. 

However, you might be surprised to find that drivers often do not receive a traffic citation after a crash. You probably wonder about your rights under these circumstances, so trust a Miami car accident lawyer to explain how the laws work. Some general information may also help you understand the relevant concepts.

Traffic Tickets are Separate From Civil Remedies 

You probably cannot imagine living without an arm, leg, or hand after losing a limb in an accident, but there are many people in Florida and nationwide who face challenges every day due to amputation. The Amputee Coalition reports that nearly 2 million individuals live with limb loss in the US, almost half of which suffered their injuries through auto crashes, truck collisions, motorcycle accidents, and other related trauma. Another 185,000 amputations add to that total every year, and more than 83,000 of them are linked to personal injury accidents. 

Sadly, many leg amputees have limited options for artificial limbs; the prosthetics that are available can be extremely expensive, impractical, and unattractive. However, there is hope if you or a loved one lost a limb: The latest advancements in 3D printing are now producing the next generation of prosthetic legs. In some cases, you may even qualify for compensation to cover the costs, and a Miami catastrophic car accident injuries lawyer can explain in more detail. An overview of 3D printed prosthetics may also be useful.

Lower Cost Makes 3D Printed Prosthetics Accessible

When you are injured in a Miami car accident, you could be seriously injured. Hospitalization may be the best route to ensure you receive essential treatment and can get on the way to recovery as soon as possible. Of course, you probably realize that the costs involved with a hospital stay can be considerable. According to Becker’s Hospital Review, Floridians pay almost $1,700 per day at a for-profit facility, while expenses at a nonprofit hospital could reach up to $2,300. By the end of your hospitalization, you could incur an astronomical amount for costs – which typically does NOT include separate bills from various health care providers.

Fortunately, you may be able to recover hospital costs after a motor vehicle crash, as well as other amounts for medical care and related losses. Your Miami car accidents attorney can explain how damages work and what you can obtain through the legal process, but some answers to common questions may also be informative.

Can I Recover Costs for Treatment at an Urgent Care Center? 

When you discuss auto insurance rates with non-Floridians or look up costs in other U.S. states, one glaring fact becomes apparent: Florida residents pay far more for premiums, up to double compared to other areas. A recent Yahoo! Finance article confirms that Florida is ranked second on the list of most expensive states for car insurance in 2020, with motorists paying around $2,178 every year. There are many underlying factors, including the various types of coverage that are required by law or recommended reasons. 

As frustrating as it may be to pay more for auto insurance, you do reap the benefits in many ways if you are involved in a crash. A Miami car accident attorney can help you maximize compensation for your losses, but you get a basic grasp on why Florida auto insurance is higher.

How Insurers Set Premiums

Even when you take proper safety precautions, drive defensively, and follow all traffic laws, the risk of being involved in a car accident is still shockingly high. In reporting statistics for South Florida, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reveals that there are almost 212,000 auto collisions in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties every year. The death toll tops 1,000, while another 111,300 people suffer injuries. Fortunately, you have options under Florida law, so you may be able to recover compensation for your overwhelming losses. 

There is more to the legal process than filling out a few forms and submitting them to the responsible driver’s insurance company. Insurers often deny claims by asserting defenses to liability, and these issues could even become the focus of litigation. You can trust a Miami car accident lawyer to develop a sound legal strategy, but it is important to know what defenses insurance companies may use to your detriment.

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