Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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

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.

bill-oxford-8u_2imJaVQs-unsplash-copy-200x300When you are hurt in an accident and want to seek compensation from the responsible person or entity, you will typically file a claim under an auto, business, property, or other insurance policy. Because the nature of your injuries is a key factor in getting monetary damages, you can expect that the insurer will want to see your medical records. On its face, this does not seem like an unreasonable request, so you may think there is nothing wrong with providing them. 

However, the exact opposite is usually true. You could be making a huge mistake that has extensive, negative implications for your rights. Instead of discussing the issue with the insurance company directly, you should trust a Miami personal injury attorney to deal with an adjuster. After reviewing the information below, you will understand why.

Reasons You May be Asked to Provide Medical Records

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

When you have been hurt in a Miami car accident, you are probably aware that recovering compensation for your losses starts with filing an insurance claim. Once you submit the initial paperwork, you can expect a call from the responsible driver’s insurer, since the company will want information regarding the crash, your injuries, and related details. Because you know that Florida law imposes a four-year statute of limitations, you are probably eager to get this discussion out of the way. 

While the adjuster may seem friendly and helpful during the conversation, you should note that this person is NOT just seeking basic information to get payment to you quickly. Instead, the insurance company’s employee is trying to figure out strategies to deny your claim. Because of the implications for your rights, it is best to have your Miami car accidents attorney handle the discussion. Still, you should be familiar with some of the questions the adjuster might ask.

Avoid Responding to Questions That Affect Your Rights

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

aliyah-jamous-1058056-unsplash-copy-300x200Just a year after the first season shocked and appalled viewers who got a glimpse into the disturbing world of hip-hop artist R. Kelly, the latest installment of Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning began airing its second season on the Lifetime Network. Entertainment Weekly covered the story in a January 6, 2020 article, revealing some of the key updates and developments that occurred over the last 12 months. The performer is now facing 21 counts of sexual assault and abuse at the state level, along with a federal indictment that includes 13 counts of sex crimes. 

In addition, many survivors of R. Kelly’s alleged sexual assault are taking legal action in civil court to recover monetary damages for their losses. A Miami personal injury attorney can explain how these cases work, the ways they differ from criminal matters, and why various hurdles could affect your rights.

Legal Liability in Sexual Assault Civil Claims

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

brandon-holmes-199535-unsplash-copy-300x200You can expect any head or brain injury to come with sky-high medical bills, but some forms of trauma are so severe that the costs of treatment run into the millions of dollars. According to researchers at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, victims who suffer traumatic brain injury (TBI) could incur up to $3 million in health care costs over their lifetimes. Plus, there are many associated and indirect costs that you may not consider. When a person sustains TBI, the circumstances affect entire households, causing extreme emotional and financial losses in addition to the physical harm. 

It may come as some relief to know that you may be able to recover compensation to cover these losses, and a Miami personal injury lawyer can advise you on the legal process. However, it is also important to review the direct and indirect costs of TBI, so you know the difficulties you could be facing.

Direct Medical Costs for Treating TBI