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Articles Tagged with Florida personal injury attorneys

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

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

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.

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

gemma-evans-IAKIkREkRzY-unsplash-copy-300x225There are more than 31,350 people injured in Miami-Dade County auto accidents every year according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ Crash Dashboard, a figure that may not surprise you given the number of careless drivers on the road. However, you might be shocked to learn that an estimated 95% of victims settle their claims with an insurance company rather than go to court. There are multiple advantages of settling, especially since you resolve your case faster and enjoy certainty in terms of the result.

 
The first stage in pursuing settlement will be preparing a packet with your claim and supporting documentation, topped off by a demand letter to the responsible driver’s insurance company. It is wise to trust a Miami car accidents attorney to handle these initial tasks, but you might find an overview to be helpful.

 
Supporting Documentation for Your Demand Packet

helloquence-51716-unsplash-copy-300x200According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Traffic Crash Facts, there are more than 248,000 people hurt in Florida car accidents every year, and almost 32,500 injured victims in Miami-Dade County alone. For many of these individuals, the legal process for recovering compensation starts with filing an insurance claim. You might be working with your own insurance company, since Florida is a no-fault state; however, in some cases, you will file a third-party claim with the insurer for the responsible driver.

In either situation, you may be presented with a “release,” a document that carries very important implications for your rights as a victim. As such, you should always consult with a Miami car accident lawyer before signing, and these warnings about releases should convince you of the reasons why.

  • You Give Up Your Rights: The point of a release is to resolve your auto crash claim with the insurance company. In exchange for your signature, the insurer will offer a payout to cover your losses, with the stipulation that you have no further rights or remedies. When you are injured and facing an uncertain financial situation, the settlement amount may seem attractive. However, by giving up your rights, you risk being under-compensated. 

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

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

maddi-bazzocco-waNAJOI7Jz8-unsplash-copy-210x300You may be familiar with Florida’s four-year statute of limitations on filing a car accident lawsuit, but you are probably not aware of another crucial deadline — the 14-day time limitation on getting medical treatment for your injuries. For some auto crashes, the deadline will not be an issue because you are badly hurt and need emergency care. However, for certain types of injuries, victims may not experience pain or other symptoms for quite some time – making the 14-day time limit an important factor. 

A Miami car accident attorney can explain the laws and relevant legal concepts in more detail, but you can read on for some background information.

Overview of Florida’s Insurance Laws

nabeel-syed-2856-copy-300x200While it is true that some Miami car accidents leave no doubt in terms of who caused the incident, there are many others that are not so clear-cut. Most auto collisions involve multiple contributing factors about which motorist’s conduct was a primary or secondary cause, and Florida’s law on comparative fault addresses this type of situation. The statute states that your potential compensation in a motor vehicle crash claim may be reduced if your own actions are linked to the accident. Your monetary damages are decreased proportionally by the percentage of your fault. 

In other words, you not only need to prove that the other driver was at fault – but you also need to present evidence that you were NOT, or that your contribution to the accident was minimal. A Miami car accidents attorney can explain the details, since contributory fault involves many of the same negligent acts you might allege against the other motorist. For instance, you could receive less in compensation if you were:

  • Speeding: When you are speeding, you have less time to react to traffic-related threats that can cause an accident. As such, even though the other driver may have been at fault by engaging in other careless actions, you could also contribute to the incident because you were traveling faster than what officials have set as the safe speed limit for that particular area.
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