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Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Witnesses to a Miami car accident are valuable resources when you are filing insurance claims for your injuries, as well as if you resort to litigation. These individuals may have details regarding the incident that you may not know; plus, eye witnesses are typically neutral parties in your case when it comes to fault. Their statements and testimony are generally viewed as being more credible than your own because they do not stand to gain. According to the Florida Rules of Evidence, almost anyone is competent to be a witness – as long as they have personal knowledge of the circumstances. 

As such, it is important to communicate with potential witnesses at the scene, starting with names and contact information. This may or may not be possible depending on the nature of your injuries, but do what you can if you are physically able. Your Miami car accidents attorney will handle the legal details, but you should follow a few tips for talking to witnesses after the crash.

Find Out the Witness’s Location

gemma-evans-IAKIkREkRzY-unsplash-copy-300x225There are more than 31,350 people injured in Miami-Dade County auto accidents every year according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ Crash Dashboard, a figure that may not surprise you given the number of careless drivers on the road. However, you might be shocked to learn that an estimated 95% of victims settle their claims with an insurance company rather than go to court. There are multiple advantages of settling, especially since you resolve your case faster and enjoy certainty in terms of the result.

 
The first stage in pursuing settlement will be preparing a packet with your claim and supporting documentation, topped off by a demand letter to the responsible driver’s insurance company. It is wise to trust a Miami car accidents attorney to handle these initial tasks, but you might find an overview to be helpful.

 
Supporting Documentation for Your Demand Packet

helloquence-51716-unsplash-copy-300x200According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Traffic Crash Facts, there are more than 248,000 people hurt in Florida car accidents every year, and almost 32,500 injured victims in Miami-Dade County alone. For many of these individuals, the legal process for recovering compensation starts with filing an insurance claim. You might be working with your own insurance company, since Florida is a no-fault state; however, in some cases, you will file a third-party claim with the insurer for the responsible driver.

In either situation, you may be presented with a “release,” a document that carries very important implications for your rights as a victim. As such, you should always consult with a Miami car accident lawyer before signing, and these warnings about releases should convince you of the reasons why.

  • You Give Up Your Rights: The point of a release is to resolve your auto crash claim with the insurance company. In exchange for your signature, the insurer will offer a payout to cover your losses, with the stipulation that you have no further rights or remedies. When you are injured and facing an uncertain financial situation, the settlement amount may seem attractive. However, by giving up your rights, you risk being under-compensated. 

When you read the data regarding the frequency of car accidents around Miami, you will probably be surprised by the numbers. In its Traffic Crash Facts for 2018, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reports that there are almost 65,000 auto collisions every year in Miami-Dade County. Based upon a three-year average, close to 300 people are killed and more than 32,000 victims suffer injuries in these incidents. 

However, it is even more concerning to know that most of these crashes are preventable, and that certain careless acts by drivers are behind them. You may qualify to recover monetary damages if you were injured or lost a loved one, and a Miami car accidents attorney can assist with the process. You may also benefit from knowing some of the most common causes of motor vehicle collisions, and what you can do to avoid them.

  • Distracted Driving: You know the importance of putting away all electronic devices when you are in the driver’s seat, but many motorists ignore both the safety issues and the laws prohibiting cell phone use. In 2018, there were 236 fatal crashes linked to distracted driving, and more than 45,000 accidents that involved injuries. Note that some of these were not associated with cell phone use, but using the radio, eating, and drinking can also be dangerous forms of distracted driving.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently issued a report on red light running and its impact on car accidents, and the findings may come as a shock to some. More than 14 people are killed every week on U.S. roadways by motorists who drive through red lights. Data collected from 2012 to 2017 reveals that there are almost 950 fatalities annually linked to red light running, which is a 10-year high. Thousands more suffer injuries in crashes under similar circumstances. Additional data shows that these incidents are preventable, and usually the result of careless or reckless driving. 

Fortunately, Florida law protects victims by providing legal options to recover monetary damages. A Miami car accidents attorney can assist with the process, but you might find the following information useful.

Statistics on Red Light Running

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.
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