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Articles Tagged with car accident attorney in Miami

When you discuss auto insurance rates with non-Floridians or look up costs in other U.S. states, one glaring fact becomes apparent: Florida residents pay far more for premiums, up to double compared to other areas. A recent Yahoo! Finance article confirms that Florida is ranked second on the list of most expensive states for car insurance in 2020, with motorists paying around $2,178 every year. There are many underlying factors, including the various types of coverage that are required by law or recommended reasons. 

As frustrating as it may be to pay more for auto insurance, you do reap the benefits in many ways if you are involved in a crash. A Miami car accident attorney can help you maximize compensation for your losses, but you get a basic grasp on why Florida auto insurance is higher.

How Insurers Set Premiums

Even when you take proper safety precautions, drive defensively, and follow all traffic laws, the risk of being involved in a car accident is still shockingly high. In reporting statistics for South Florida, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reveals that there are almost 212,000 auto collisions in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties every year. The death toll tops 1,000, while another 111,300 people suffer injuries. Fortunately, you have options under Florida law, so you may be able to recover compensation for your overwhelming losses. 

There is more to the legal process than filling out a few forms and submitting them to the responsible driver’s insurance company. Insurers often deny claims by asserting defenses to liability, and these issues could even become the focus of litigation. You can trust a Miami car accident lawyer to develop a sound legal strategy, but it is important to know what defenses insurance companies may use to your detriment.

Statute of Limitations

Car accidents continue to be a primary safety threat for motorists across the US, and the problem even hits close to home in Florida. According to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there are around 72,000 people hurt in auto collisions throughout South Florida, a figure that includes Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. Many of these victims suffered injuries so serious that they were immediately transported to local trauma centers for emergency treatment. 

While urgent medical care is a priority, being rushed to the hospital does create a dilemma for victims of motor vehicle crashes: They cannot remain at the scene to gather the evidence that is essential for purposes of legal remedies. Fortunately, there are strategies for collecting proof, and a Miami car accidents attorney can tackle investigations. However, you should be aware of some key sources of evidence when you are taken from the site of a crash.

  • Occupants of Your Vehicle: If you were traveling with friends or family, you may need to rely on these individuals to collect evidence for you. Cell phone cameras are the best way to capture damage to the vehicles, traffic signage, physical conditions at the scene, weather, vehicle skid marks, and related factors.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) tracks traffic accidents through the state, and its Crash Dashboard reveals some troubling statistics about collisions in South Florida. So far in 2020, there have been a total of 44,731 motor vehicle accidents in Miami-Dade County, leading to 299 fatalities and injuries to 21,018 victims. If you were hurt in such an incident, it is good to know that you have options for recovering compensation from the at-fault driver. As with any legal matter, there are numerous statutes, court rules, and technical concepts that apply to auto crash claims. 

However, you do not need to have in-depth knowledge of all of the laws or go to great lengths to learn them. Your Miami car accident lawyer will take the lead on the legal issues. There are just three basic laws every victim should know:

Florida’s No-Fault Law

Even if you are not a fan of Formula One racing, there is a good chance you would have been impressed by a recent incident that could have ended tragically – but did NOT due to advancements in safety technology. A December 6, 2020 article published by Wired magazine covered the racing event, which erupted into mayhem within the first few turns. In short, during the frenzied push to gain position on the opening lap, the tires of two cars slightly bumped at speeds exceeding 135 miles per hour. One vehicle careened away, slamming into a barrier positioned to absorb the energy of a violent impact. The race car and driver exploded into flames. 

Mere seconds later, the driver emerged from the fiery vortex and walked away – mostly unscathed, but for some scrapes and minor burns. Those who witnessed or viewed the video were shocked; the result was no surprise to those who understand the science behind safety measures used in racing. The incident highlights four different technologies designed to minimize the effects of fatal and injury causing accidents, including:

Halo: This device is a padded ring that is positioned above the driver, which protects the head, neck, and spine as it absorbs the impact of the crash. The Halo is a relatively new technology that gained widespread use, and it is required by some racing circuits after the tragic death of popular racer Dale Earnhardt, Sr. Deceleration at a rate of 25 times that of gravity, combined with the weight of the helmet he was wearing, caused Earnhardt to suffer fatal trauma to his brain, neck, vasculature, and spine.

Motorists throughout South Florida should take note of a recent press release from automaker Ford Motor Company, which announced that it will be launching its self-driving commercial business division in 2022. According to an October 20, 2020 article published by CNBC, the company will be integrating its fourth-generation of self-driving test vehicles in several US cities, including Miami. The latest technology, such as higher resolution cameras and improved sensors, serves as an upgrade to the fleet of Ford Escape Hybrid crossovers. 

However, safety concerns remain, and you could be at an increased risk of car accidents in Miami when you are driving around these test vehicles. Some information on the dangers, as well as some benefits of autonomous automobiles, may be useful.

Dangers of Self-Driving Automobiles

You are at risk of being injured in a car accident any time you are driving around Miami, and statistics from the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reveal that the safety threat is high even when you travel for work. In 2017, there were 2,077 workers killed in occupational transportation crashes, representing 40% of all work-related fatalities. Plus, transportation collisions are in the top five most common causes of non-fatal workplace accidents. 

While you might assume that these incidents would be covered by Florida workers’ compensation laws, you may be surprised to learn that you may qualify to file a civil claim after an auto crash. There are multiple benefits for seeking legal remedies rather than workers’ comp benefits, and a Miami car accidents attorney can explain the advantages. You might also benefit from reviewing some of the basics about work-related vehicle collisions.

Florida Workers’ Comp Claims and Exceptions

There are safety threats you expect while driving around Miami, including motorists who speed, drive after drinking, run red lights, and engage in other careless acts. However, there are many other risks that you do not anticipate because they are present outside the typical roadway environment. Parking lot and parking garage car accidents are more common than you think, and they can lead to injuries far more serious than you would ever imagine. If you were injured in such a crash and see your losses mounting, you are probably wondering whether you have any legal recourse against the responsible driver. 

In short, yes, you can pursue a negligent motorist for compensation after being injured in a parking lot crash. Your rights are the same as with any auto collision case, so you should seek legal help from a Miami car accidents attorney. Some information about the dangers of parking lot collisions may also be useful.

Parking Lot Accidents Caused by Driver Negligence 

Traditional evidence may only go so far in a Miami car accident case, since there can be credibility issues, subjectivity or bias, difficulties with collecting items at the scene, and many other challenges. Plus, in a fatal auto crash, the victim is not around to provide details on what circumstances led up to and caused the incident. If you are an injured victim or surviving family member of someone killed in a collision, you might feel helpless about the evidence you have to support your claim for compensation.

Fortunately, there are other options that can fill the gaps – or even provide more solid evidence regarding the crash. Most recent auto models are equipped with electronic data recorders (EDR) that may give you an advantage with proof, and your Miami car accidents attorney can explain in more detail. Some basics may also be informative.

Overview of EDR Functions

Many US states have taken action against the dangers of texting and driving by enacting statutes that make certain types of cell phone use illegal while a driver is operating a vehicle. Florida’s approach is contained within the Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law, which took effect in July 2019. Police now have primary enforcement to pull over a motorist if they observe violations of the law, and there are penalties for getting a ticket. However, if illegal cell phone use is linked to an injury-causing accident, victims cannot always rely on law enforcement observations when pursuing their right to compensation. Unlike a drunk driving accident where the motorist’s chemical rests reveal a blood alcohol content over the legal limit, there are issues of proof with a distracted driving crash. 

You cannot expect the responsible driver to admit to texting, so you – through your Miami car accidents attorney – will need to explore other options to get essential evidence. An overview of the key issues may help you understand the importance of proof in texting and driving collision claims.

Florida Law on Texting While Driving

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