Florida Auto Insurance Coverages Could Change

Welcome To FLIs the required auto coverage on Florida roads enough to cover health care costs in the event of an accident? Many are finding that these limits are not enough to cover the medical expenses. It is required to carry personal injury protection of at least $10,000 in medical benefits. Lawmakers are currently discussing changing up the insurance coverage drivers are required to carry. If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident, call the Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorneys to discuss your options.

Fort Lauderdale Auto Accident Attorney

FL_Car_InsuranceFlorida’s Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law, which is also known Personal Injury Protection or PIP, requires all drivers to carry $10,000 in medical, disability and funeral protection. When a driver only carries the minimum coverage, $10, 000 is nearly enough to cover medical expenses for everyone in the car. Who ends up having to carry the burden of these excess medical expenses? Legislation is currently discussing cancelling out PIP benefits and raising the bodily injury coverage to $25,000 a person and $50,000 per incident. This would require a driver to purchase this coverage before being able to register a vehicle.  With any new change, there are always those that are in opposition to the new change. Physician groups as well as insurance companies are those who are in opposition, saying dumping PIP moves Florida to a system of litigation.

Florida Auto Insurance Changes

“We can bring meaningful value into a system that places fault appropriately on the person who caused the accident,” Senator Grall said.

FL Auto InsuranceWith Florida’s PIP law, there has been a tsunami of bad faith claims. The Florida PIP law has been revised several times since 2000 to try to reduce insurance fraud. But those reforms have also restricted coverage. PIP was created in 1971 as a way to reduce traffic lawsuits.

Of course, by requiring a higher minimum coverage, the minimum premium would be higher as well. Those is opposition of this new law wonders how this would affect low income families. Senator Grall’s bill made it out of its first committee, but it still faces an uphill battle. Similar legislation is also filed by Senator Jeff Brandes, Senator Tom Lee and Representative Bill Hager.

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Far too often, people are dissatisfied with their attorneys.  Complaints are often that the lawyer does not return phone calls, does not pursue the claim aggressively, or settles to easily.  At The Ben Law Firm, we have fought for and recovered millions of dollars in financial compensation for our clients.

The Ben Law Firm Puts the Ball In Your Court!

Insurance companies thrive on inexperienced lawyers!  Hire The Ben Law Firm, and we will put the ball back in your court.  We have decades of experience negotiating with Insurance Companies and recovering maximum financial compensation for our clients!

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Our website is located at TheBenLawFirm.com.  We can be reached by telephone at (954) 961-2055 or by email at [email protected]

 

Our students should be as safe as possible — time for seat belts and harnesses on all school buses.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)  has pushed for rules requiring all school buses to be equipped with a seat belt and shoulder harnesses similar to what is required to be in our cars.

 

The big objection to this has come from local school boards who cite the additional costs involved in retrofitting current buses with this equiptment.  The projected costs range from $7,000 – $10,000 for each school bus.

These is no objection, however, to the fact that seat belts and harnesses on buses would save lives.  NHTSA estimates that seat belts would save a number of student lives and injuries, but only six states require these.  One of these states is Florida.

This seems to be an easy decision for school boards nationwide. Notwithstanding the costs, every priority should be given to our students to ensure that their transportation to and from school is as safe as possible. From an economic standpoint, the less injuries and deaths, the less our school boards are responsible for damages.  In the final analysis our childrens’ safety comes first — seats belts and harnesses on school buses make sense and should be installed as soon as possible.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Our website is located at TheBenLawFirm.com.  We can be reached by telephone at (954) 961-2055 or by email at [email protected]

 

 

 

 

2 People die in a motorcyle accident in the Florida Keys

Two people died while riding on a motorcycle on U.S. 1 and the Sadowski Causeway in the Florida keys.

Like many fatal road accidents, this accident occurred when the driver of a car traveling in the opposite direction of the cyclist made a left turn into the path of the oncoming motorcycle. Frequently, there is absolutely nothing the motorcyclist could have done to prevent these type of accidents.  The driver of the car simply does not see the motorcycfort lauderdale motorcycle accident photole ahead.

From an insurance standpoint, motorcyclists can protect themselves by purchasing Uninsured Motorist Coverage (“UM”) on their bikes. If you are so unfortunate as to be in a motorcycle accident, at least there will be insurance coverage for your injuries.

Motorcycle injury lawyers with years of experience

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale motorcycle injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Our website is located at TheBenLawFirm.com.  We can be reached by telephone at (954) 961-3710 or by email at [email protected]

 

Uninsured Motorist Coverage — Florida Supreme Court requires signed rejection from all named insureds

Insurance Policy, Life; Health, car, travel, for background

The Florida Supreme Court in Chase v. Horace Mann Ins. Co., 158 So.3d 514 (Fla. 2015), recently required automobile insurance companies to obtain a signed rejection from each person who is newly listed as a named insured under a policy of uninsured motorist coverage.

Uninsured/Undersinsured Motorist Coverage, frequently referred to as UM/UIM coverage applies in the event an insured is injured by a motorist who does not have liability coverage, or who who does not have a sufficient amount of liability coverage, to compensate the named insured for the damages sustained. UM/UIM coverage is particularly important in South Florida where a significant portion of the drivers on the road fail to purchase any liability coverage and therefore makes it difficult, if not impossible, to recover from them in the event they are responsible for an accident involving injuries.

Because UM/UIM is considered to be important coverage for Florida drivers, our legislature has mandated that when an insurance carrier initially sells a policy of automobile insurance coverage, it must notify the insured that he has the right to purchase, as an additional option, UM/UIM coverage from the carrier. If the insured elects not to purchase this coverage, a written rejection must be signed. In the event that the carrier fails to obtain this signed rejection, then the carrier will be responsible for UM/UIM coverage even if the insured fails to purchase this coverage.

In this case the insured was not originally named on the policy. Later, the policy was reissued with her as named insured, but a signed rejection was never signed from this person. Following a horrible accident, the insurance company, Horace Mann Ins. Co., denied UM/UIM coverage and a lawsuit ensured. The case was appealed up to the Florida Supreme Court which ruled that because the policy was reissued with an additional named insured, a signed rejection had to be obtained from that person. Since none was obtained, the court found that there was UM/UIM coverage for that person.

One of the lessons to be learned from this case for persons purchasing automobile insurance is that they need to understand what types of insurance coverage they are purchasing from their agent and what they are signing. Florida law only requires that the owner of a car purchase only PIP coverage and property damage. This bare minimum is frequently referred by agents as “full coverage.” In reality this anything but.

Every purchaser of automobile insurance needs to carefully consider purchasing UM/UIM coverage because this may be their only insurance coverage for their injuries in the event that they are involved in an accident. They also should make sure they understand what forms they are signing when an insurance agent hands a paper to them and tells them to sign it — particularly when it is a UM rejection form.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Motorcyclist killed in Pompano Beach accident

moto-totalmente-destruida-acidente-thumb-333x249-85737 A motorcylist on a Suzuki was killed after his motorcycle collided with a van in Pompano Beach. According to BSO the motorcyclist was driving west on Sample Road when he collided with a van heading the opposite way which turned left into a parking lot. Deputies said the motorcyclist was thrown at least 100 feet.

Witnesses who saw the accident believed the motorcycle was travelling faster than the 45 mph speed limit. .

A nearby store’s security cameras captured the accident, and show the motorcycle going at high speed, then slamming into the van. The impact was so great that the van was lifted on one side and the motorcyclist flew into the air and the bike was destroyed. So far, no charges have been filed against the driver of the van.

Deadly motorcycle accidents frequently occur when traffic headed in the opposite direction of the motorcycle makes a left turn into the motorcycle’s lane of travel. Of course, factors like the speed of the motorcycle are an issue in determining the driver’s negligence. Nonetheless, if you are riding a motorcycle, it is a good idea to pay extra attention to oncoming traffic and to try to anticipate whether someone will be attempting to make a left turn.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Mixing bicycling and beer?

bike_beer-thumb-333x214-84312This past March an event was organized by The Beer Snob Bicycle Pub Crawl where participants bike from one bar to another and try different beer at each stop. A review of thewebsite for the event reveals a map with a bike ride of approximately 10 miles with 5 stops at local bars extending from Miami Beach to Downtown. Each bar was renowned for its wide selection of beers. The event was scheduled for evening hours. Participants were reminded to drink “responsibly.”

According to one participant, this event has been hosted several times and does not encourage too much drinking — “The point of the ride isn’t to get drunk but to be social and be athletic. . . You don’t drink three beers at the first stop. You have a beer, ride, have a beer, ride. So it’s more about having a good beer, having good conversation and riding your bike.”

Certainly riding your bike and having a few beers with some friends can make for an enjoyable evening. The obvious question arises — do these two activities mix? Four stops along the cycle route with just one beer at each location can be enough to get some people intoxicated beyond the legal limit for driving a car. While Cycling Under the Influence (“CUI”) is not a crime in the State of Florida, the questionable safety rationale for this event appears to be that a cyclist under the influence is less dangerous to others than a driver of a car under the influence. Well maybe . . . . but the level of coordination to ride a bike is greater than operating a car and riders could well be a danger to themselves, bicycle helmet notwithstanding.

Who knows what accidents, if any, have occurred at prior events. An accident involving a single bicyclist generally is not reported to authorities. Nevertheless, the organizers of this event need to think about the effects of CUI and consider drinking the beer after the bike ride with designated drivers available.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Hollywood, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Car drivers cause most crashes with motorcycles, study finds

motor-cycle-accident-thumb-333x222-83442Cars and motorcycles are often involved in collisions. Drivers blame the bikers and bikers blame the drivers. According to a recent Florida Department of Transportation study, the drivers of cars are more often in the wrong. Drivers of cars and trucks often do not see motorcycles are and fail to yield the right of way.

Chanyoung Lee, a researcher at the University of South Florida, studied accident reports in Florida for ten years found that 60 percent of the time motorists in other vehicles are at fault when they collide with motorcycles. “There’s a bias by people driving,” Lee said. “They don’t expect to see motorcycles.”

But according to Lee, the drivers of automobiles are not solely to blame. Bikers are responsible as well. Motorcycles, according to Lee, are involved in a higher number of single-vehicle crashes than cars. That is, bikers crash on their own without other vehicles involved. Many of those single-vehicle motorcycle crashes occur when bikers are navigating curves too fast.

Serious crashes occur when other vehicles making a left turn, pull in front of motorcycles that are going straight. The problem is people in cars and trucks fail to see motorcycles. That’s partly because they have smaller profiles. Likewise, the bikers need to be as focused as possible when traveling through intersections. “If you’re aware of it, you see it,” Lee said.

The FDOT has been advocating for several years: Look Twice for Motorcycles. Likewise bikers should also be looking twice and be more visible to cars.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Hollywood, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims
All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Good News for South Florida — Seniors are Better Drivers

old-driver1-thumb-333x206-82168Safety researchers expressed concern a decade ago that traffic accidents would increase as the nation’s aging population swelled the number of older drivers on the road. Now, they say they’ve been proved wrong.

Today’s drivers aged 70 and older are less likely to be involved in crashes than previous generations and are less likely to be killed or seriously injured if they do crash, according to a study released last week by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

That’s because vehicles are getting safer and seniors are generally getting healthier, the institute said.

The marked shift began taking hold in the mid-1990s and indicates that growing ranks of aging drivers as baby boomers head into their retirement years aren’t making U.S. roads deadlier.

Traffic fatalities overall in the U.S. have declined to levels not seen since the late 1940s, and accident rates have come down for other drivers as well. But since 1997, older drivers have enjoyed bigger declines as measured by both fatal crash rates per driver and per vehicle miles driven than middle-age drivers, defined in the study as ages 35 to 54.

From 1997 to 2012, fatal crash rates per licensed driver fell 42 percent for older drivers and 30 percent for middle-age ones, the study found. Looking at vehicle miles traveled, fatal crash rates fell 39 percent for older drivers and 26 percent for middle-age ones from 1995 to 2008.

The greatest rate of decline was among drivers age 80 and over, nearly twice that of middle-age drivers and drivers ages 70 to 74.

“This should help ease fears that aging baby boomers are a safety threat,” said Anne McCartt, the institute’s senior vice president for research and co-author of the study.

“No matter how we looked at the fatal crash data for this age group – by licensed drivers or miles driven – the fatal crash involvement rates for drivers 70 and older declined, and did so at a faster pace than the rates for drivers ages 35 to 54,” she said in a report on the study’s results.

At the same time, older drivers are putting more miles on the odometer than they used to, although they’re still driving fewer miles a year than middle-aged drivers. This is especially true for drivers 75 and older, who lifted their average annual mileage by more than 50 percent from 1995 to 2008.

“The fact that older drivers increased their average mileage … may indicate that they are remaining physically and mentally comfortable with driving tasks,” the institute said. When older drivers reduce the number of trips they take, it’s often because they sense their driving skills are eroding. They compensate by driving less at night, during rush hour, in bad weather or over long distances.

By 2050, the number of people in the U.S. age 70 and older is expected to reach 64 million, or about 16 percent of the population. In 2012, there were 29 million people in the U.S. age 70 and over, or 9 percent of the population.

“The main point is that these 70-80 year olds are really different than their predecessors,” said Alan Pisarski, author of the authoritative “Commuting in America” series of reports on driving trends. “They learned to drive in a very different era. They are far more comfortable driving in freeway situations. This matters immensely for the future because we are seeing dramatic increases in older workers staying in the labor force and continuing to work and commute well past 65.”

AARP, the association that represents older Americans, said the report “dispels common misconceptions and reveals positive trends related to older drivers.”

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Hollywood, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Speeding Ferrari kills one, injures two others, and driver flees

ferrari-f430-scuderia-spider-16m-04-thumb-333x249-78464The driver of a Ferrari caused another car to rollover with the tragic result that one person is dead and another severely injured. The hit and run occurred on I-75, near Hialeah. After the high speed impact, both cars were disabled and the driver of the Ferrari fled on foot. Troopers say the other car flipped serval times and came to rest on the median.

Needless to say a Ferrari (even in South Florida), is a car that stands out. This one appears to a 2009 Ferrari, 430 Scuderia model, authorities say.

Hopefully, someone will know the driver and/or owner of this car because it is highly unusual and attracts attention.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Hollywood, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims
All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.