COVID-19 UPDATE: Gerson & Schwartz firm operations continue uninterrupted. Click for More Information.

Articles Posted in Personal Injury

People of all ages can sustain head trauma in an accident, but statistics from the Brain Trauma Foundation reveal that the risks for children are shockingly high. Every year in the US, 2.5 million individuals suffer traumatic brain injury (TBI) and around 50,000-60,000 children are hospitalized for these injuries. Plus, TBI is also the leading cause of death and disability among individuals under 18 years old, as they carry significant long-term physical and emotional implications.

 
Though you want to do all you can to protect your child when you know the risks of TBI, accidents can still happen. A Miami brain injury attorney can explain your legal options if your child was hurt, but knowing how these injuries happen may help you reduce the threat.

 
Top Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries to Children

For a potential passenger, booking a trip through a Miami rideshare company is a simple process that involves just a few clicks on the mobile app. From the perspective of an Uber or Lyft driver, interacting with the app is slightly more complicated. The underlying reason is grounded in the relationship between a rideshare service – defined as atransportation network company’ (TNC) under Florida law – and the person who provides the services using his or her own vehicle. TNC drivers are independent contractors instead of employees, eliminating the possibility that you can pursue the rideshare company if you were hurt in a vehicle collision.

 
However, the distinction does not take away your rights as an Uber or Lyft accident victim. Instead, the focus is on the TNC driver’s usage of the app, based upon three key periods of interaction. A Miami rideshare accidents lawyer can explain in more detail, but a general description may be helpful.

 
Three Key Periods for TNC Driver App Usage

Considering the year-round mild temperatures and gentle ocean breezes, it is easy to see why many South Floridians choose to get around by foot or bicycle. Walkscore ratings for Miami are proof, giving the city high marks at 78 for walkability and a 65 for bike riding. The downside is that the increase in foot and bicycle traffic can cause some tension with the number of motorized vehicles, especially in the heart of downtown and during rush hours. Add to that an explosion in the number of people using Uber and Lyft, and you have a potentially disastrous scenario that can lead to serious rideshare accidents with pedestrians and bicycle riders.

 
Fortunately, it does not matter if you were in a motorized vehicle to seek your legal remedies as an injured victim. Florida laws protect the interests of pedestrians and bicyclists, so you should discuss your options with a Miami rideshare accidents attorney

 
Vulnerable Road Users Have Rights After a Rideshare Accident

As part of its mission to provide safety information to insurance companies and auto makers, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) routinely conducts studies on how to reduce the risks of accidents and potential for serious injuries. A recent study should be of particular concern to any motorist or passenger, especially for those who use ridesharing services in Miami: The dangers of riding in the back seat of a vehicle, a common practice for Uber and Lyft passengers, are serious. IIHS researchers expressed serious concerns about multiple crash-related factors, after analyzing the details of almost 120 collisions that caused death to back seat passengers.

 
The increased risk for back seat occupants is alarming, but the truth is that you have rights after an Uber or Lyft crash no matter where you were sitting. It is important to speak with a Miami rideshare accidents attorney about the legal concepts, but you may also benefit from some information about the threat to back seat riders.

 
Seat Belt Usage and Rideshare Services

The benefits of ridesharing services are well-known to many people who use Uber or Lyft to get around Miami, but you may not give much thought about the advantages from the perspective of the driver. BuildFire, a mobile app developer, reported some interesting statistics that provide insight:

 

  • Globally, more than 3 million people drive as independent contractors for Uber, fulfilling 40 million ride requests per month;
  • The average Uber driver earns $364 per month;

Even if you do not use ridesharing services on a regular basis to get around Miami, you are no doubt familiar with the popularity of Uber, Lyft, and other transportation network companies. Statistics on annual Uber trips indicate that ridership went from 140 million in 2014 to 6.9 billion in 2019 – an explosion due in part to the ease-of-use, low cost, and many other convenience-based factors. However, your willingness to let someone else drive does not improve safety or act to reduce the potential for serious car accidents. Passengers who use rideshare services are not immune to severe injuries in the event of a crash.

 
From a legal standpoint, Uber and Lyft collisions are slightly different than other auto crashes. It is important to know what to do if you were hurt, and one of the first steps is consulting with a Miami rideshare accidents attorney about your rights. Some additional tips may also be useful.

 

  • Seek proper medical care. Getting treatment for your injuries is a top priority after a ridesharing accident, so head to an emergency room or urgent care center right away. Not only does prompt treatment support your health, but it also affects your legal rights. Delays can lead to the assumption that you were not hurt or only sustained minor injuries.

If you use ridesharing services to get around Miami, you are probably drawn to the convenience, reasonable cost, and ease of being able to bring up the app and arrange a trip. Millions of others apparently agree with you, leading to astronomical success for companies like Uber and Lyft – which boast $17.6 billion in combined global net revenue. Of course, when an industry demands such an enormous market share, you can expect that lawmakers will step in to regulate it. Key legislation and agency regulations govern everything from the relationships between drivers and rideshare services, to insurance and fare limitations. Some of the laws that apply to motor vehicle accidents will be extremely important if you were hurt in a crash while riding in an Uber or Lyft. Your Miami rideshare accidents lawyer will take the lead in handling the legal issues, but you should be aware of the following Florida rideshare accident laws.

Laws Regarding Compensation in an Uber or Lyft Crash

A ridesharing collision is a type of personal injury case, so your monetary damages are similar to what you would receive in any other auto accident. In a successful claim, you can recover compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.

Recovering from a car accident can involve many unexpected twists and turns, even when you did the right thing by seeking immediate medical attention after the crash. One of the biggest concerns for victims is when injuries appear to heal, only to redevelop later – possibly bringing more extreme pain and physical limitations. While the effects on your physical health are immediately obvious, there may also be implications for the legal process. Your damages are based, in part, on what you may suffer in the future. With recurring injuries, there are many unknowns in this respect.

 
The correlation between compensation and chronic medical conditions is a complicated issue, but it is one that Miami car accident lawyers deal with every day. Some background information may help you understand the basics.

 
Soft-Tissue Injuries

Victims of vehicle crashes, slip and fall incidents, and other accidents are often surprised to learn that most of these cases are resolved before trial via out-of-court settlements. The US Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that just 4-5% of all personal injury claims are decided by a jury or judge, so the remaining cases never get to the verdict stage. This might sound like good news if you were hurt in an accident, since it means you do not need to go to court and can recover compensation as soon as you agree to the settlement amount. 

However, there are significant risks involved with settling too quickly. Even though a settlement offer might seem attractive, you could make a critical mistake by accepting before you understand the big picture. Some general information should convince you why you should trust a Miami personal injury attorney to represent you in connection with settlement negotiations.

The Role of the Insurance Company

Even when you are extremely cautious and drive defensively on the busy streets of Miami, car accidents are still a threat. However, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) collects data to better understand when the risk of collisions is higher. Various factors impact the potential for crashes according to different days of the week, seasons, holidays, the time of day, and more. When you know the most dangerous times to be on the road, you can avoid non-essential trips and take extra precautions when you do need to drive.

 
Since you cannot prevent crashes entirely, it is important to work with a Miami car accidents attorney if you were injured. Plus, you can review the following information on when drivers are at the highest risk of being involved in a crash.

 
Holidays Associated with Celebrations

Contact Information