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Articles Posted in Car Accidents

The dangers of distracted driving are not new to motorists in Miami and throughout the US, claiming the lives of more than 2,800 people every year – including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and other road users. Motorists who text, talk on the phone, post to social media, and engage in other cell phone use remain a threat. However, it is worth noting that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) classifies many other activities under the umbrella of “distracted driving.” Any activity that diverts attention away from operating the vehicle could be a factor in a car accident. 

As such, you should be aware of numerous forms of distracted driving that do NOT involve cell phone use. You can avoid Miami car accidents by avoiding these activities yourself – and steering clear if you observe other motorists engaging in risky behaviors behind the wheel.

Eating and Drinking

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.

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 

Getting hurt in a car accident is an overwhelming, stressful experience and, unfortunately, it happens quite often around South Florida. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) Crash Dashboard, there have already been 76,269 motor vehicle collisions so far in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties in 2020. More than 27,000 people were hurt in these auto accidents, most of whom required medical care for minor, serious, or catastrophic injuries. 

Getting treatment after an auto crash is definitely a priority for many reasons, but you support both your health and your legal rights when you ask your doctor the right questions about your care. A Miami car accidents lawyer can explain in more detail about the following questions and answers:

  1. What is the extent of my injuries? Your doctor is the expert on medical issues, but you should at least get an overview of the nature and severity of your injuries. If you broke a bone in your arm or leg, make sure you know exactly which one. For back injuries, ask about the vertebrae that sustained trauma.

Traditional evidence may only go so far in a Miami car accident case, since there can be credibility issues, subjectivity or bias, difficulties with collecting items at the scene, and many other challenges. Plus, in a fatal auto crash, the victim is not around to provide details on what circumstances led up to and caused the incident. If you are an injured victim or surviving family member of someone killed in a collision, you might feel helpless about the evidence you have to support your claim for compensation.

Fortunately, there are other options that can fill the gaps – or even provide more solid evidence regarding the crash. Most recent auto models are equipped with electronic data recorders (EDR) that may give you an advantage with proof, and your Miami car accidents attorney can explain in more detail. Some basics may also be informative.

Overview of EDR Functions

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducts many different public awareness campaigns throughout the year, and an upcoming event should be of particular interest to parents of younger motorists. National Teen Driver Safety Week runs from October 18-24, 2020, a week during which the NHTSA reminds parents to have conversations with their kids about critical safety rules. The statistics should convince you of the importance of such discussion: 

  • Car accidents are the #1 cause of death for US teens aged 15-18 years old;
  • In 2017, 2,247 people were killed in accidents involving a teen driver – of which 755 fatalities were the teenaged motorist; and,
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