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Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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:

lucija-ros-FzQiiLqcRtE-unsplash-copy-300x200Broken bones, cuts, abrasions, and burns are some of the most common injuries in a Miami auto crash, and they are certainly among the most obvious. However, there are other forms of trauma that can be just as devastating, but not as noticeable. Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries serve as examples, particularly since you may not even be aware that you were hurt until long after the collision. Under the circumstances, you may face challenges in recovering compensation from an insurance company. It is difficult to persuade an insurance adjuster that you deserve monetary damages for whiplash when the harm is seemingly invisible. 

Still, because you could experience long-term health effects and complications, you should not give up on your claim for damages. Instead, you should retain a Miami car accidents attorney who can help with the legal hurdles.

Whiplash Often Involves Delayed Symptoms

pawel-kozak-556563-unsplash-copy-300x200If a new car is on your wish or gift list for the 2019 holiday season, there is a good chance you are already doing your homework to find the best model that suits your budget and needs. It is understandable that cost, size, brand, and other factors will impact your decision, you should also make safety features a key consideration. There are many online tools you can take advantage of as you are conducting your research, notably SafeCar.gov, a website managed by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.  

Some of the most important safety features can help you avoid a Miami car accident entirely, while others are critical in reducing the likelihood of severe injuries if you are involved in a crash. As you are engaged in your holiday car shopping, pay special attention to:

  • Forward Collision Warning: This technology incorporates sensors that detect when a collision may occur to the front of the vehicle. It then issues a warning, through a visual or audible alert – or both. On many vehicles, the forward collision warning is linked to automatic emergency braking features described below.

joris-v-541657-unsplash-copy-300x200There are numerous car accident scenarios that can lead to serious bodily harm for victims, but a rollover crash is one of the most likely to result in catastrophic injuries. Statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveal that rollovers cause more fatalities than most other types of collisions: While the number is low at 2.1%, rollovers are responsible for causing almost 35% of all deaths due to motor vehicle crashes. 

If you were injured or lost a loved one in such an incident, you do have rights under Florida law. A Miami car accident lawyer will help you enforce them, but some information on rollover crash claims may be useful.

Factors That Contribute to Rollover Accidents

erik-odiin-349174-unsplash-copy-300x200Many people assume that teen drivers present a considerable safety threat, and data compiled by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reveals that there is some truth to the assumption. There are approximately 662,000 auto crashes in Florida every year, and almost 63,000 involve drivers who were between 15 and 19 years old. That is roughly 10%, rather high for an age group that spans just four years. However, despite the belief that teens are more reckless or dangerous because they take unnecessary risks, studies have shown that inexperience is a top factor in teen auto crashes. 

For worried parents of new drivers, experience is something your teen can only gain through practice – along with guidance, support, and appropriate rules established by you. As your child is learning and becoming more proficient at driving, there are some vehicle safety features that can also reduce the potential for car accidents in Miami. 

  • Lane Maintenance Alerts: This technology employs sensors or video to assess whether the vehicle swerves over into another lane of traffic. It will then issue a lane departure warning to alert the driver and get him or her back on track.

Being injured in a Miami car accident is a horrific experience, but the aftermath can be even more overwhelming as you are trying to enforce your right to compensation. The process of filing an insurance claim is extremely complicated. To make the situation worse, you may be at a disadvantage if you are operating according to certain misconceptions about auto crashes. Though family members and friends mean well, they may not always provide accurate information if they do not have experience in the legal field. 

A skilled Miami car accident attorney can eliminate some of the confusion and will fight to protect your interests in the insurance claims process. However, it may be helpful to debunk common myths about motor vehicle collisions.

Myth #1: Lawyers Cost Too Much. Auto crash lawyers typically work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay if you recover compensation in your case. Instead of paying upfront or supplying a retainer, your attorney takes a percentage of the award you receive from an insurance claim or in court. According to the Florida Rules of Professional Conduct, a contingency fee arrangement must be reasonable and in writing.

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