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Articles Posted in Personal Injury

jacek-dylag-PMxT0XtQ-A-unsplash-copy-300x200The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Crash Dashboard indicates that there were 1,607 pedestrian accidents in 2019, leading to 87 fatalities and almost 1,200 injuries to victims. Many of these incidents are caused by driver errors, such as failure to yield, running a red light or stop sign, and many other careless actions. However, if you were hurt in an incident while on foot, you should realize that your own conduct may also be a factor. Even though you probably suffered more extensive injuries being a vulnerable road user, you do not get a reprieve when you were also at fault.

 
The reason is that Florida has a statute on comparative fault, and it could have an impact on the monetary damages you can recover. You should discuss the implications with a Miami pedestrian accidents attorney, but an overview may be useful.

 
Comparative Fault in Florida Personal Injury Cases

People over the age of 65 account for almost 20% of all pedestrian deaths, according to NHTSA data. A pedestrian dies in a car accident every 1.5 hours. Seniors are uniquely vulnerable to becoming pedestrian accident victims. If you are a senior citizen, or your loved one is a senior citizen, how can you avoid becoming the next statistic? Here are a few tips for keeping yourself safe from becoming a Miami senior pedestrian accident victim. 

Be Extra Cautious About Distracted Driving

One of the biggest causes of Miami senior pedestrian accidents is distracted or inattentive drivers. Reckless, distracted driving can cause drivers to fail to stop at stop signs or turn carelessly in front of pedestrians in an intersection. Distracted drivers often disregard red lights. Common causes of distracted driving include the following:

Since the advent of smartphones with cameras, there have been deaths associated with people taking pictures of themselves, or “selfies.” An intoxicated man from Mexico shot himself accidentally while taking a selfie. A Romanian woman was electrocuted while taking a selfie on the top of a train. A man in Indonesia fell into a crater while taking a selfie. A man was gored during Spain’s annual running of the bulls while taking a selfie. Deaths while taking selfies now outnumber deaths by shark attacks. These events even prompted the Russian government to launch a campaign to persuade people to be more cautious while taking selfies. As you can see, most of these deaths were ultimately caused by the environment in which the selfie was taken; it is important to note that dangerous situations are not the best time to take pictures.

Shark attacks result in deaths each year in Florida, as well. Interestingly, the most likely group of people to be injured in a shark attack are surfers. Fishermen, scuba divers, and swimmers are also at high risk of being attacked by a shark. While sharks get a lot of attention in the media for being dangerous animals, the likelihood of being attacked by a shark is extremely low, and the odds of being killed in that shark attack are even smaller. 

Comparing the danger of selfies against the danger of shark attacks is a good exercise in thinking about risk. Even though more people have been killed while taking selfies, that does not mean taking a selfie is inherently dangerous. Every instance in which someone was killed while taking a selfie, their own negligence. In legal terms, this is called contributory negligence or comparative negligence. For example, In Japan, a 66 year old man fell down some steps and had a heart attack after taking a selfie. If the steps were slippery because something had been spilled there, and the property owner was aware or should have been aware of the hazard, then the owner could be partly responsible for the man’s injury. In Florida, the court would compare how much each party was at fault and only compensate the injured party to the extent they were not at fault for their own injuries.

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

Anyone who rides a bike around the streets and designated bicycle lanes of Miami knows that it can be a truly harrowing experience. You are sharing the road with sizable vehicles rushing through heavy traffic, and your feeling of vulnerability is amplified by the fact that you are not protected by a metal shell. As such, you would probably not be surprised to learn that South Florida is a hot spot for bicycle accidents. According to a South Florida Sun-Sentinel article published on March 3, 2020, several municipalities in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties fall far below the statewide average of 4.8 when cyclists ranked them on a scale of 1 to 10. 

Though you cannot always avoid bike collisions that are caused by negligent motorists, you can pursue the responsible driver for compensation. Trust a Miami bicycle accidents attorney to handle the details, but some basics on the risks and your rights may be useful.

Extreme Risks Involved with Bicycle Accidents

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

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

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