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

Articles Tagged with attorneys for car accidents

Whether you just got your driver’s license or have had it for years, there are some rules of the road that are so basic you will never forget. Come to a full stop on red, always use your turn indicator, never pass in a no-passing zone, and other regulations listed in the Florida Driver License Handbook are ingrained in the memories of most motorists. However, there is one source of confusion about one key point in state traffic laws: Right of way – who has it, who does not, and who is at fault when a violation leads to a crash?

The answers to these questions are far from clear, which is why it is critical to retain a Miami car accident lawyer to protect your rights if you were involved in a collision. Some general information can help you understand the basics about right of way and your legal options. 

What “Right of Way” Means

Being involved in a car accident is always frightening, but you could feel overwhelmed if the auto crash occurs in the heavy traffic of Miami streets. Unfortunately, these incidents are becoming more common. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of collision fatalities in urban areas has risen considerably over the last 10 years, and has surpassed the number of deaths from rural accidents every year since 2016. 

Despite the chaos and vehicles speeding around you, it is essential to take proper precautions after a Miami car accident. Getting necessary medical care should be a priority, but other important considerations include:

  • Take a Deep Breath: If you are not knocked unconscious by the impact of the crash, your heart may be racing and your adrenaline skyrocketing. Your first instinct might be to jump out of the car out of a combination of aggravation, anger, and frustration. It is important that you do NOT act on this instinct, as you could be putting yourself in grave danger from the traffic coursing around you. Instead, take a deep breath, and then do a quick check to determine whether you are hurt and how badly.

We live in an age of instant gratification, same-day delivery, and lightning-fast WiFi, so automakers do their best to keep the short attention spans of new car buyers when rolling out the latest model year. An August 27, 2020 article in US News & World Report discusses increased horsepower and longer range for electric vehicles. There is even a flying car, which recently successfully completed its first round of testing. These concept models will not be making it to the showroom floor for a few years, but they are interesting as a glimpse of the future.

Despite these flashy bells and whistles, many automobile purchasers are much more interested in the safety features and equipment that will protect their families right now. Some notable technologies are intended to prevent Miami car accidents, while others serve to reduce the potential for serious injuries in the event of a crash. Here are a few to keep in mind:

  • Lane Assist: This feature is most effective for inattentive drivers who veer over into another lane and motorists who may be drowsy driving. Through sensors and cameras, the technology will correct a vehicle’s path while simultaneously issuing a notification to get the driver’s attention about the slip.

Fatal car accidents are an unfortunately common tragedy across the US and Florida, and especially in large cities like Miami. According to the Annual Report 2018 prepared by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there were 2,917 deadly auto crashes that claimed the lives of 3,135 victims. Though the figures are not yet available for 2019, it is likely that the statistics will come close to the three-year average of 2,925 fatal accidents and 3,142 deaths. These numbers may not seem so high in the bigger scheme of things, until you realize the number of lives affected by one person’s death. For many more thousands of surviving family members, the future looks grim. 

You may be entitled to compensation if you lost a loved one in a fatal auto crash, and a Miami car accidents lawyer can assist with the legal process. Meanwhile, some statistics on fatal collisions should be informative.

Year-to-Year Accident Trends in South Florida

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) periodically assesses multiple holidays throughout the year to determine which are the most dangerous to be on the road, and its findings should be noted for the one coming up soon — the Fourth of July. In a Traffic Safety Facts publication on holiday car accident fatalities in 2019, NHTSA revealed that 594 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes over July 4, ranking #1 among all single holiday periods.

 
Some of the reasons for this increase in auto crashes around the holidays are obvious, while others might surprise you. If you were hurt, you should consult with a Miami car accidents attorney about your legal options. Meanwhile, you can review some of the key contributing factors that make the Fourth of July a particularly dangerous time for motorists.

 
Drunk Driving

You do have legal remedies available after being hurt in a Miami car accident, including the option to seek compensation for your losses. In a particularly serious crash, you may be able to pursue the responsible driver’s insurance company by filing a claim. The objective is to recoup monetary damages for the costs you have accrued and other ways your injuries impact your life. However, as you might expect, it is not likely that you will receive a check overnight. Instead, your compensation will be paid out after your claim is resolved – either through a settlement agreement with the insurer or in court. Therefore, you could have difficulty paying your medical bills, especially if your injuries prevent you from working. 

It is a relief to know that there could be other sources you can turn to when you need financial support as the victim of a collision. While your Miami car accident attorney is working through the claims process, you should also ask about getting funds through:

Your Auto Insurance PIP Coverage

Witnesses to a Miami car accident are valuable resources when you are filing insurance claims for your injuries, as well as if you resort to litigation. These individuals may have details regarding the incident that you may not know; plus, eye witnesses are typically neutral parties in your case when it comes to fault. Their statements and testimony are generally viewed as being more credible than your own because they do not stand to gain. According to the Florida Rules of Evidence, almost anyone is competent to be a witness – as long as they have personal knowledge of the circumstances. 

As such, it is important to communicate with potential witnesses at the scene, starting with names and contact information. This may or may not be possible depending on the nature of your injuries, but do what you can if you are physically able. Your Miami car accidents attorney will handle the legal details, but you should follow a few tips for talking to witnesses after the crash.

Find Out the Witness’s Location

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

esther-driehaus-WQ9Ialn_mMI-unsplash-copy-300x200Innovation and advancements in technology have made vehicles safer than ever, but a recent report published by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) raises concerns about back-seat passengers in car accidents. The focal point: Seatbelt use. The data indicate that 803 unrestrained individuals died in auto crashes in the US in 2018, and GHSA researchers estimate that 400 of them would be alive today if they had buckled up. Unfortunately, the figures also reveal that only around 76% of back-seat occupants do use seat belts – compared to 90% of people sitting in the front. 

If you were injured in an auto crash, it is important to consult with a Miami car accident attorney no matter where you were sitting in the vehicle. Still, you should be aware of the special concerns for back-seat passengers.

Florida Seat Belt Laws

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

Contact Information