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South Florida Vacation Rental Accommodations During The Holidays

This holiday season has already proven itself to be a busy one, especially in South Florida.

 

 

Nearly 110 million people are expected to travel throughout the United States between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2, according to AAA. That’s nearly 28 million more travelers than the 2020 holiday period.

 

 

Considering that Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International and Miami International airports are ranked as a top destination for Christmas and New Year’s travel, it’s safe to say that a significant number of that total will descend upon our sunny beaches and roadways. Also, they will all need a place to stay.

South Florida Vacation Rental Accommodations During The Holidays 1 Vacation Injuries South Florida Injury Law Firm

It’s exciting to plan a vacation to somewhere new and being somewhere will it make it even more memorable.

A good number of those traveling here to South Florida may have their own place to stay or have accommodations with family or friends. Even more though are staying at a hotel, motel or a vacation rental like an Airbnb and Vrbo.

 

Many hotels are centrally located, with easy walking or transport access to nightlife, restaurants, and cultural attractions.
But if you really want to blend in with the neighborhood’s full-time residents, a vacation rental is a better choice for many.

 

Airbnb and Vrbo vacation rentals are very popular throughout South Florida and there is little wonder as to why.
With the ability from property owners to make their beachside home or their scenic skyscraper condo available to rent,it can provide a unique holiday stay experiences.

 

In most cases, their trips will be a delightful memory that can last a lifetime.
However, with recent cases of rape and sexual assault that can happen at these vacation rental establishments, it needs to be considered in order to take the right precautions and action.

 

 

South Florida Vacation Rental Accommodations During The Holidays 2 Vacation Injuries South Florida Injury Law Firm

Any business that caters to vacationers need to do more than simply just opening their doors. They have a responsibility to provide protection from any preventable hazards and generally, safe premises.

Often there are no issues with these rentals and both customers and owners share positive experiences. Staying at an Airbnb or Vrbo property should be a positive experience and equally, there should be no case where you end up in the hospital due to the negligence or unaddressed conditions of the property instead.

If you do or have experienced sexual assault during your stay at a short term rental, your response should be determined by the nature of the incident. If dangerous and ongoing, the most important thing that you can do is to remove yourself from the situation. If you need to seek assistance, do so immediately.

You have the right to file a claim if you’ve been the victim of a sexual assault or other type of misconduct (whether physical or sexual in nature) at an Airbnb or Vrbo property.

Separate from any criminal case proceeding, a sexual assault lawsuit can also help survivors recover damages for the harm caused. Emotional distress damages are compensation one recovers for impact that would include anxiety, humiliation, and psychological trauma.

Our attorneys at The South Florida Injury Law Firm are here to make sure that you are fairly treated in the aftermath of such an incident and to help you take the necessary legal action you need to get the compensation you deserve. Our experienced attorneys work diligently to fight for their clients rights who have either suffered serious injuries or assault on or around their vacation rental.

South Florida Vacation Rental Accommodations During The Holidays 3 Vacation Injuries South Florida Injury Law Firm

Wherever you choose go or stay. we wish you all a safe and enjoyable Holiday season

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VRBO Sexual and Physical Assault Cases

VRBO and others revolutionized the vacation rental industry when they launched, providing a simple platform for homeowners to rent their partial or entire properties for short-term stays.

 

Instead of limiting your stay to hotels and motels, VRBO and other similar vacation rental companies have allowed property owners to make their vacant properties available for any party registered with them as a guest or host. The platform provides a list of available accommodations ranging from apartments and houses up through castles; some listed by private individuals who rent them directly; others offered by professional real estate firms, hotel chains, resorts & spas offering timeshares.


VRBO Sexual and Physical Assault Cases 4 Vacation Injuries South Florida Injury Law FirmVRBO Background

VRBO was founded in 1995 as Vacation Rentals by Owner, but was later acquired by Expedia/Home Away and has grown into the largest source for short-term vacation rentals. Although the vacation rental service provides many benefits that have consistently been used and enjoyed by hundreds of parties throughout time, there are also negative aspects. Similar to the Airbnb platform, VRBO has experienced tremendous growth in volume that has surpassed its ability to ensure the safety for its hosts and guests.

 

Although most accommodations are comfortable, safe and successful, what happens if you unluckily become a victim of a violent or sexual assault or injury?
VRBO and AirBnb have admitted they receive more than 250,000 safety issue reports each year from both hosts and guests, but have chosen exponential growth over taking the proper steps to protect their customers.

Concerningly, many of these reports are from those who were guests that have reported sexual assaults by VRBO hosts.
With a variety of allegations that include claims of kidnapping, rape and other acts of sexual violence. Some accusations have even included child sex abuse. However, guests are not the only victims stated in these assaults. Hosts and their families have also been assaulted by the guests they have rented their properties to.

Because of this, many strongly believe VRBO and others have not done enough to ensure the safety of both guests and hosts on its platforms. In their proven effort to provide quick service, many believe VRBO has failed to properly protect its guests and hosts from predators by not ensuring adequate security, check-in safeguards and background checks. Although VRBO screens rental owners and renters, many claim the background checks don’t do enough to protect either party.

VRBO Sexual and Physical Assault Cases 5 Vacation Injuries South Florida Injury Law Firm

 

In response, the company has deployed a crisis response team of nearly 100 agents to quickly hush up these crimes and pay settlements to those affected before they go public.
However, victims should never agree to a release without learning their full legal rights to compensation. Until 2017, every potential guest who negotiated a settlement with them over events and incidents involving attacks, assault, rape, and murder was required to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Media reports indicate the vacation rental company’s high-profile operatives are trained to negotiate the potential publicity nightmare of some of the gruesome events involving the Company’s worst crises. Because of the wording in the non-disclosure agreement meant that they could not reveal their harrowing stories involving VRBO that would likely go unreported.

While they’ve assembled teams of crisis responders to handle complaints, these people do not work for victims or have their best interests in mind.

VRBO Sex Assault Legal Assistance

Survivors of these assaults can take legal action to get the justice they deserve. Lawyers are now investigating VRBO lawsuits for those who’ve suffered sexual assault, physical assault or homicide while using their services. Given the complexity of these lawsuits, and the numerous parties involved, the assistance of a personal injury attorney with knowledge of the VRBO platform is imperative. If you’ve been a victim, you should speak directly with a lawyer today.

At South Florida Injury Law Firm, our attorneys represent sexually abused victims. Tell us what happened in a confidential setting. Then, let us hold those responsible for causing your harm financially accountable for their negligence.

Our South Florida attorneys have developed a reputation for being compassionate advocates. We understand the challenges you are facing and cater our representation to your unique situation and needs. Our legal team accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits through contingency fee agreements to ensure no payments are made until we resolve the case through a negotiated settlement or jury trial verdict.

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Keeping Safe While Driving In South Florida Rain

Living in South Florida, it’s inevitable to deal with rain. According to statistics by US Climate Data, the West Palm Beach alone area receives 62 inches of precipitation annually. When researchers ranked the top 10 wettest cities to live in, two of which are in South Florida (Miami and West Palm Beach).

 

Driving  in South Florida is a dangerous and even deadly situation to be in under wet conditions. More than 7 thousand people lose their life in weather-related auto accidents.
According to statistics by US Climate Data, the West Palm Beach area receives 62 inches of precipitation annually.
When researchers ranked the top 10 wettest cities to live in, two of which are in South Florida (Miami and West Palm Beach).

 

The AMA (American Meteorological Society) published a study that highlights the increase of dangerous road conditions and the elevated risk involved.

 

“[Scott] Stevens, a data analyst and meteorologist at the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies, and colleagues looked at 125,012 fatal car crashes in the Lower 48 states from 2006 to 2011, factoring in how many cars are on the road, to calculate the risk of a fatal accident. While other studies have used police reports and the nearest weather station to calculate rain and snow conditions, Stevens said his is the first study to use more precise weather radar data. It was able to distinguish how hard the rain or snow was falling to come up with results showing an increase in fatal crashes even in rain of less than one-tenth of an inch per hour.”

 

All the evidence points to the same: when the road is wet, your chance of being involved in an accident can drastically increase. As the visibility level lowers due to rain and how the road becomes slippery when water has accumulated on it.

Hydroplaning becomes an issue when rain is especially heavy – a common occurrence in Florida. Hydroplaning refers to a situation when a car starts to slide uncontrollably because of the tires encountering more water that it can scatter. As the water carries the car, the brakes and other controls become useless. Quick turns and movements on wet roads can also cause the vehicle to hydroplane as well.

 

 

The Hazard of Hazard Lights

You may see other drivers with hazard lights flashing to indicate they are moving slower than surrounding traffic during stormy conditions. But in Florida, it’s actually illegal to use hazard lights while driving unless you are part of a funeral procession. Flashing lights were designed with the express purpose of indicating a hazard to other drivers, and they should only be activated when your vehicle is a hazard on the side of the road. Using them under any other circumstance is not only unnecessary, but it also causes confusion. If it’s raining, the only lights you should turn on are your headlights.

Rainy weather may make driving more difficult, but it does not relieve drivers of their responsibilities behind the wheel. With proper vehicle maintenance, knowledge of local laws and a bit of common sense, you can travel safer during a downpour along with a helpful tips to keep in mind.

 

 

Keeping Safe While Driving In South Florida Rain 6 Vacation Injuries South Florida Injury Law Firm

5 Tips to avoid an auto accident
in slippery road conditions

Check Tire Pressure Regularly
Tires with weak tread may not grip a wet road as well as newer tires with thicker tread. Make sure your tires are safe for the roads.
Before setting out when rain is present or forecasted, it is even more important than normal to make sure your tires are in good shape and have adequate tread depth since bald tires can increase the risk of hydroplaning.

Gust Awareness
Drive at a speed that compensates for high speed gusts that can otherwise impact your vehicle.
Watch out for larger vehicles.
Larger vehicles are much harder to control when it is windy and can have difficulty staying in their lane.

Maintain Distance
Maintain a large distance with the car in front of you. Cars may have difficulty stopping due to wet conditions. Brake earlier than usual, and apply less force to increase the stopping distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you while also alerting the driver behind you that you are reducing your speed.

Know Anything Can Happen
Often times during storms, other drivers fail to drive safely. Make sure to watch around you and drive defensively.

Get There Safe, Not Fast
Getting to your destination without an accident is more important than keeping a schedule. Maintain a safe speed limit and be sure to obey all traffic rules and signals. Drive more slowly, take turns slowly, and be sure to give your fellow motorists ample following distance.

In other words, when it rains, whether heavy or light, slow it down. The most important thing you can do to protect yourself and others when driving in the rain is adjusting how you drive according to the current weather conditions.

 

 

Keeping Safe While Driving In South Florida Rain 7 Vacation Injuries South Florida Injury Law Firm

Have you been involved in an
auto accident under rainy conditions?

Sadly, even riders who follow the above tips can still end up hurt by a reckless or distracted driver.
Determining which driver is at fault for an accident requires an investigation of the collision. The investigation involves the review of all pieces of evidence that are available, such as photographs or video surveillance of the accident, testimony from any witnesses to the accident, and a digital reconstruction of the accident that incorporates all relevant factors, such as the rainy weather.

If you were hurt in an auto accident because of a drunk, distracted, or otherwise reckless driver, you can call The South Florida Injury Law Firm anytime at (954) 488-JEFF – we’re available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Complete our online form to get a free case evaluation and our team will assist with the legal aspects of your claim so you can focus on your health . Remember, the consultation is completely free! That means you don’t owe us anything until we recover for you.

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COVID-19 Action on Accident and Insurance Legal Claims

At The South Florida Injury Law Firm, we stand in support of the many brave men and women working in our hospitals, as well as our first responders fighting against COVID-19. We are taking care of our clients, our employees and our families and are doing whatever we can during these unprecedented times.

 


 

In order to help you through this trying time, we’ve put together some information on commonly asked COVID-19 legal questions:

 

Should I Get Medical Treatment During This Pandemic?

Yes. The most important thing to do after an auto accident is to obtain proper medical treatment. Your health is most important, and we want to ensure your concerns are safely addressed. In both Dade and Broward County, all medical practices are expected to follow proper health procedures to prevent the spread of disease

 


How do I file my car insurance claim during the new Coronavirus outbreak?

When filing a claim during this time, there is a very good chance you will have to meet with an adjuster virtually, instead of in person. In some cases, it may be that compensation for damage to your car, medical bills, and more may be delayed, since several insurance companies are struggling to adjust and appropriately deal with the virus. That being said, you can have peace of mind knowing that our experienced team at the South Florida Injury Law Firm will represent your interests every step of the way to help ensure you receive the compensation you need to get back on your feet again.

 


 

How can I contact my car insurance company during the COVID-19 outbreak?

Many businesses, including insurance companies, are now working remotely and are not going into their offices, which means that if you want to speak with your insurance company, you will most likely have to do so either over the phone, on their website/mobile app, or through email. Unfortunately, certain aspects surrounding the claims process may also be delayed, since local body shops and other businesses associated with car accident claims are now, for the most part, closed to the public.

 


 

Should I Settle My Case?

For many of you, you are the family worried about how they will pay their bills while in quarantine. This may cause you to accept the first offer from the insurance company without considering whether it’s enough.

Don’t let panic and desperation coerce you into accepting the insurance company’s first offer. They’re looking out for them and you should speak to your attorney who is looking out for you.

 


 

Do Not Delay Your Personal Injury Case Because Of COVID-19

Even with any roadblocks that could be encountered along the way, if you wait until after this crisis passes to call us a delay in hiring an attorney could hurt your case. Even a few days of delay in starting treatment can significantly reduce case value.

 


We Can Handle Your Case Remotely, Thus Reducing Your Exposure To The Coronavirus

The team at the South Florida Injury Law Firm all take calls from injured clients 24/7, 365 days a year and located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We’re happy to speak with you by phone, and not have to worry about going to another public place, risking germ exposure.  However, if you have the need, one of our  personal injury lawyers can visit you in your home or, if necessary, in the hospital. To contact an accident lawyer, you can call The South Florida Injury Law Firm anytime at 954.764.7377 – seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Or fill out the convenient online form for a free case evaluation. Remember, the consultation is free and you will owe nothing until recovery of benefits is made.

We understand how significantly the virus has impacted our nation and others, which is why it is crucial you stay calm, stay inside, and practice good hygiene until the virus is eliminated.

south florida covid19 injury law firm

Living Through The Consequences of the Coronavirus Epidemic

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has completely changed the way of life for people all over this country. The court system has been dramatically affected, and those with ongoing personal injury lawsuits are having to make adjustments. COVID-19 is bringing numerous businesses, healthcare facilities, and court systems to a standstill. From a legal standpoint, the coronavirus will present both short term and long-term complications to personal injury claims.

 

 

There are so many unknowns with the current situation. Never before have we been faced with a pandemic of this magnitude. Every aspect of our lives is impacted. And the legal process and institutions are no exception.

 

At The South Florida Injury Law Firm, we are closely monitoring the effects of COVID-19 and monitoring how the virus is affecting our current cases. Accordingly, we are advising our clients on how best to stay on track with their medical treatments throughout the coming weeks.

 

 


 

How Does The COVID-19 Pandemic Affect My Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Our personal injury lawyers know several elements of your case could be affected by the pandemic, but the most important things to know are: You should not delay seeking medical treatment or consulting with an attorney. These are the quickest ways to jeopardize your health and reduce the value of your claim.

 

To help stay on track with your personal injury case, we recommend:

Continue medical treatment, if possible.

With many closures, appointments are likely to be canceled. Elective surgeries are canceled. If your medical provider can provide treatment or appointments through telemedical, and you can meet with your provider though video conference or phone, do so. If not, it’s important to be diligent in rescheduling any appointments that may be canceled. If you can receive medical treatment, we recommend following the advice and recommendations from the CDC and practice social distancing, frequent handwashing, and other precautions.

Keep your legal team Informed.

As appointments get canceled or rescheduled, it is important to keep your lawyer up to date on your treatment plans. Your case and its value can depend on continued treatment.

 


 

Living Through The Consequences of the Coronavirus Epidemic 8 Vacation Injuries South Florida Injury Law FirmThe vast majority of personal injury cases are settled before they go to trial. However, the COVID-19 pandemic will also affect the negotiation and settlement process. Due to staying at home orders and social distancing efforts, most aspects of case preparation could be altered or delayed. This includes investigation, seeking witnesses, and taking depositions, and more.

This is an unprecedented time for Florida and the rest of the United States, but that will not stop our dedicated team of attorneys from working to obtain compensation for personal injury victims.

  • If you are involved in an auto accident or suffer a personal injury, it is important to keep receiving your doctor-recommended medical treatment or therapy. We understand that many people are hesitant to receive treatment at an emergency room or local hospital during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • If you are involved in an auto accident that results in injuries, you must not wait to receive medical treatment. If you wait until this crisis has lessened, it may be too late to receive appropriate medical care,  your insurance company may not pay and could jeopardize the compensation you would otherwise be entitled to for your injuries.

We understand that this is a difficult time for you and your family. Rest assured that we will continue to monitor every case we take. This includes keeping track of court deadlines and court closures.

Hurt on Vacation in Florida - What to Do Next to Protect Yourself

Hurt on Vacation in Florida? What to Do Next to Protect Yourself

 

Most seasoned travelers have at least one crazy story of a mishap or injury that occurred while traveling. Unfortunately, vacation injuries and illnesses are relatively common, and they are particularly difficult to deal with in an unfamiliar place.

If you are injured on vacation, you may be forced to cancel the rest of your vacation, and could even be left with debilitating injuries. Fortunately, you can mitigate these risks by being aware of common causes of vacation injuries, and by knowing what to do in the event of an injury.

Below we discuss common causes of vacation injuries and how to avoid them, as well as how to protect your rights if you are injured.

Injury Risks Floridians Face While on Vacation

When vacationing, you are in an unfamiliar locale, possibly with other tourists from all over the world. Vacationers also tend to let their guard down to relax, and may also indulge in alcohol. These factors lead to an increased risk of accidents, and also make tourists an ideal target for criminals looking to take advantage of the situation.

Below are just some of the most common injuries and accidents people experience on vacation.

Car Accidents. Car accidents are the leading cause of death among healthy travelers. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that as many as 25,000 tourists worldwide are killed in car accidents annually, and many more are seriously injured. Car accidents become more likely on vacation because you’re driving in an unfamiliar place, and may be unaware of local driving laws and practices.

To decrease the risk of car accidents, use ridesharing services whenever possible. That way the driving is taken care of, and there’s also no need to worry about parking. If you do drive, be sure to pay full attention to the road – let your spouse answer the ever-present “Are we there yet?” coming from the back seat.

Slips, Trips and Falls. Thousands of people are admitted to U.S. emergency rooms annually due to slip, trip, and fall injuries, which can be quite severe. Slip, trip, and fall injuries are more likely while on vacation because you’re in an unfamiliar place, and due to hazards such as poorly maintained beaches, slick spills in restaurants and hotels, poorly maintained flooring, or uneven carpeting.

Illnesses. When you’re traveling, you’re coming in contact with other tourists from all over the country and world, so are likely to be exposed to all kinds of nasty bugs. This is especially true on cruise ships, where travelers are living in close quarters, and typically enjoy buffet-style meals. Cruise ships are particularly notorious for outbreaks of norovirus, especially if proper food safety and sanitation practices are not in place.

Hurt on Vacation in Florida? What to Do Next to Protect Yourself 9 Vacation Injuries South Florida Injury Law Firm

To help avoid the risk of illness, make sure that you get the recommended immunizations before going, and are aware of hazards such as insect-borne illnesses endemic to the region. Finally, check the traveler’s health report for your destination before you leave.

Theft and Negligent Security. Unfortunately, tourists make easy targets for petty thieves and con artists. If your accommodations do not have appropriate security practices in place to mitigate hazards unique to the locale, these incidents become more likely.

What to Do if You’re Injured on Vacation in Florida

If you or a family member are injured on vacation, it’s important to take the right steps as soon as possible to ensure your family’s safety – and to protect your rights.

Notify. If you are hurt, notify the appropriate people as soon as possible. If you are injured in a place of business, notify an employee. If you get in a car accident or fall victim to crime, call the local authorities right away, and do not leave the scene of the incident if possible.

Document. Vacation accidents often happen in the blink of an eye, and may cause you to become flustered and miss crucial details. Fortunately, it’s much easier to document an accident in the era of smartphones. Take as many pictures as you can of the scene, your injuries, and any possible factors that could have contributed to the accident.

Collect information. Take down the contact information of witnesses or anyone involved in the incident. If you are injured in a place of business, ask the manager for their contact information. If you see a physician, be sure to collect their contact information as well, such that you can access your medical records later if needed.

Seek Medical Care. If you are injured, seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you don’t feel that your injuries are severe. Adrenaline masks pain, so it’s likely that you’re hurt worse than you know. A physician can also look for injuries such as internal bleeding that may not be readily apparent at the scene of the accident. Seeking medical attention is also important in documenting your injuries.

Boca Raton Personal Injury Attorney

Seek Compensation if Appropriate. In many cases, vacation accidents and illnesses could have been prevented by appropriate safety precautions. If you are injured as the result of someone else’s negligence, consider holding them accountable by seeking compensation. Keep in mind that any lawsuits will be filed locally, so you will need to contact a local personal injury attorney. An experienced Florida injury lawyer will also be familiar with local liability laws.

 

 

About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.