Auto Insurance Coverages Could Change

Is 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
Florida’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.With 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.

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

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 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

Cars 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 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.

Suspect in police chase kills innocent motorist

A Miami woman was killed on impact when a suspect driving a black SUV fleeing police collided with another vehicle. That suspect still remains at large.

The woman, a mother of five, was a passenger in the car. Another woman, the driver, remains in critical condition at the Kendall Regional Trauma Center.

According to the Miami-Dade police, the suspect was driving at an excessive rate of speed to avoid detectives who wanted to question him as part of a robbery detail. But witnesses told news stations that unmarked police cars were chasing the SUV without sirens. The suspect ran a red light striking the vehicle in which the victim was a passenger.

Miami-Dade police denied that any type of pursuit was going on prior to the accident and claimed that they were not chasing the suspect.

According to Miami-Dade Police, the robbery intervention detail detectives were patrolling a Southwest Miami-Dade neighborhood when they spotted a suspicious black GMC Denali. As they tried to approach the SUV, the driver took off. Detectives initially lost sight of the SUV and said they heard a loud crash and discovered the SUV had collided with another car. The suspect fled the scene and has not been captured. .

Because of the obvious dangers involving police changes, every police department, has enacted protocols to minimize the collateral consequences of these chases. These protocols often require that the police back off and keep a certain distance behind the suspect vehicle, that the police cars not exceed a reasonable speed, and that chases only be initiated for serious crimes with the potential for further violence.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The 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.

UBER Accidents

Have you gotten into a car accident in or with an UBER? Every time you hop into an UBER, you are not simply getting onto the road, you are engaging in a commercial activity. This can raise significant legal issues if you are involved in a car accident. UBER has been in the news in South Florida a Broward County, as questions about insurance coverage have emerged. In situations such as this, experience matters. Insurance issues such as Uninsured Motorist Coverage, Commercial Insurance, and unlicensed commercial activity may be crucial for obtaining a monetary recovery.

If you have been in a car accident in Fort Lauderdale, or anywhere in South Florida, call The Law Firm. Our Law Firm has handled legal claims against UBER and UBER drivers. If you want the best results for your legal claim against UBER, it is important to contact a lawyer at The Law Firm immediately.

With all of the news about UBER recently, it is important to hire the experts!

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers at The 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.

More here @ http://uberaccidentlawyer.net/

Broward and Dade Counties have highest car insurance rates.

The Insurance Information Institute says South Florida’s high rates are most likely a direct result of accident and theft statistics, particularly for expensive automobiles. Florida also has the second highest rate of uninsured motorists in the United States and this helps to drive up the insurance rates.

Miami-Dade County (with a population of 2.5 million) had the highest accident rate in the Florida, with a three-year average of more than 46,000 vehicle crashes between 2010 and 2013, an increase of more than 20 percent over that three-year period.

By comparison, Broward County (the second most populous county in Florida with a population of 1.8 million) had 19,000 fewer crashes, on average, over the same time frame.

This news should come as no surprise to anyone who owns a car in South Florida. Of course the Insurance Institute never blames the insurance industry (its sponsor) for the ridiculous insurance prices we pay.

Finally, once again, this survey indicates the importance of uninsured motorist coverage (UM), particularly if you live in Fort Lauderdale or Miami. Without UM you are bare — the odds are high that the motorist who collides with you will not have any insurance available.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, personal injury lawyers atThe 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.

Seniors are Better Drivers

Safety 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 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.

Remote texter may be held liable for distracted driver’s crash

A New Jersey appellate court has ruled that a non-driving texter may be liable for injuries to an automobile accident victim.

In order to be responsible for damages, the New Jersey court ruled the person sending the texts from another location must have known they were being viewed by the diver while this person was actually driving. Although in this particular case, there was insufficient knowledge on the part of the remote texter. The accident, resulting in serious injuries to two motorcyclists, occurred within seconds of the time phone records show the driver, 18-years old, received the text in question.

The New Jersey Appellate Court stated: “We conclude that a person sending text messages has a duty not to text someone who is driving if the texter knows, or has special reason to know, the recipient will view the text while driving.”

In Florida the legal liability of a remote texter to a driver is unknown. The Florida legislature just recently enacted legislation making driving while texting (“DWT“) worthy of a traffic ticket. This watered down legislation came after many years of delay as a result of lobbying from the telecommunications industry.

It is currently without dispute that DWT is a major source of accidents on Florida’s roadways. It makes good sense, as the New Jersey Appellate Court ruled, to not only hold the driver who is texting responsible for injuries, but also the person on the other end — assuming the remote texter knew he was texting to someone who was driving.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The 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.

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