You're in a Car Crash – What Florida Law Requires You to Do

Auto Accident in Plantation Leaves 2 Dead on Sunrise Boulevard

 

 

  • A deadly auto accident happened in Plantation Florida near 441 on NW 47th Avenue and Sunrise Boulevard.
  • Two people were killed in a sedan after being hit by an SUV.
  • The impact tore the sedan’s front and rear axles completely off.
  • Sunrise Boulevard  was completely reopened just before 1PM

 

 

According to initial reports by Plantation police, the Honda sedan was attempting to turn from the eastbound lanes on Sunrise Boulevard with the intention of either going north on 43rd Avenue or making a U-turn to go west on Sunrise Boulevard. Lanes of West Sunrise Boulevard in Plantation were closed in both directions shortly after 5 a.m. By 9:45 a.m., only the two left lanes had remained closed.

 

 

 

 

The Honda can be seen missing its entire front end and almost appears to be split in half. The Mercedes SUV sustained significant front end damage. The accident is still under investigation by Plantation police and fire departments and charges are reportedly pending related to the accident.

 

 

auto accident on sunrise boulevard

Every driver has a responsibility to drive in a cautious and courteous manner. With so many drivers sharing Florida roadways, no amount of defensive driving can protect you from the negligent and reckless behavior of another driver.

 

For many Floridians, it isn’t if you will be involved in a crash, but when.

 

If you find yourself in a car accident, there are a number of different things that you should probably do. Get yourself medical help. Take pictures and gather evidence. Call a lawyer. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and even confused following a car accident. Let alone the concerns surrounding medical bills, repair needed and whether or not you will be able to return to work.

 

In fact, we’ve written guides about what to do after a crash. However, you don’t have to do many of those things. If you wanted to, you could skip a lot of them.

 

Not all of them, though. There are some things that Florida law actually requires you to do if you are involved in a crash. Below, we’re going to go over what those are.

Stop at the scene of the auto accident

 

Hopefully, this goes without saying, but you cannot simply drive away after the car crash. You must first stop and fulfill the other duties detailed below first. Otherwise, it could be classified as a hit and run.

Hurt in a Florida Spring Break Car Crash? You Can Fight BackIf you leave a crash where someone else was injured, this is a third-degree felony, and you can face up to five years in prison or five years of probation, a $5,000 fine, and driver’s license revocation. If someone dies in the car crash, then it is a first-degree felony, with penalties of up to 30 years in prison, a $10,000 fine, and driver’s license revocation. There is a mandatory minimum prison sentence of two years if you were driving under the influence.

 

If it is only property that was damaged, then it is a second-degree misdemeanor, with penalties of up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

 

Get help for anyone who has been injured

 

If the other person requires or requests medical treatment, you are obligated to provide “reasonable assistance.” This means things like transporting or making arrangements to transport the person to a doctor or hospital. Often, your best course of action is to call 9-1-1.

 

Move your car out of the way

 

If your car is blocking traffic, you are required to move your car or call for help, such as from a tow truck, if you are unable to do so.

 

Provide your name and address to the other driver

 

You must also show your driver’s license or permit and vehicle registration number if requested. In the situation where the other person is not able to receive that information, then you are required to report the crash.

 

Provide information to investigating police officers

 

You must share your driver’s license, vehicle registration, address, and other information. Don’t discuss fault at this point. Just answers questions honestly. You never know what the other driver may or may not have been doing.

 

Boca Raton Car Accident Attorneys

Report the accident in some cases

 

You are required to report the accident to the local police department, sheriff, or the Florida Highway Patrol if there are injuries, death, or damage over $500. You are also required to do so if either driver is intoxicated.

 

You don’t have to file a crash report if the investigating officer does so, but you should confirm that they actually did so. Also, your crash report should include up-to-date information about your car insurance.

 

Once you do these things, you can be on your way if you wish. However, you could be missing out if the other driver’s negligence caused the accident. This is something that’s not always easy to tell when you’re involved. The best way to know for sure is to reach out to a knowledgeable Florida car crash lawyer and talk to them about your case.

 

 

 

south florida thunderstorm rain auto accidents

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 1 Auto Accident Attorney 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 2 Auto Accident Attorney 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) 764-7377 – 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.

covid-19 coronavirus accidents

COVID-19 Auto Accidents in South Florida

COVID-19 has created a dramatic shift in all of our lives and even on our South Florida roadways. With residents holed up at home, working remotely and running fewer errands than ever, rush hour traffic has dipped considerably. Shuttered bars and restaurants has meant fewer drunk drivers on the roads and less auto accidents.

 

Those who must and do go out may be under the impression that the roads are safer due to this dip in traffic congestion we’ve seen throughout the state. They have evidence to support that belief too.

 

Florida drivers were involved in 9,469 crashes in June compared to 31,128 in 2019.

 

However true, that belief for many drivers contributes to the most serious and fatal auto accidents that can happen.

 


 

The Need For Speed

A recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) stated that many drivers across the U.S. are pushing the needle to speeds greater than 100 mph. FHP have also reported drivers are traveling at speeds of 20-40 mph over the posted speed limit on average.

“Law enforcement officials have the same mission as health care providers — to save lives. If you must drive, buckle up, follow the posted speed limit and look out for pedestrians and bicyclists. Emergency rooms in many areas of the country are at capacity, and the last thing they need is additional strain from traffic crash victims,” said GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins.

 


 

coronavirus south florida auto accidents

Caution Your Confidence

The roads may appear empty and safe for you to push the pedal a little further. Just a few MPH over the speed limit is no big deal, right?

Out of the 9,469 crashes in June, 54% were speed related and 37% of those were fatal.

 

Due to distracted driving, unsafe road conditions and a myriad of circumstances we’ve seen can happen here at The South Florida Injury Law Firm, we know the roads are never as safe as they may seem.

It’s difficult to foresee auto accidents, the injuries that can come from them and the lifelong effects they have. It can put even a bigger dent in finances that COVID-19 have already burdened so many with. It is even worse when you know somebody else through their negligence caused you suffering, and that’s why you need to fight hard to get compensated for your loss. Be cautious and remember these steps we’ve put together for you to be better prepared:

 


 

What to do at the scene of an auto accident during this time of COVID-19

  • Get medical attention for those who are injured.
  • Still Practice Safe Distance. Stay 6 feet away from the other driver.
  • If you are able to without discomfort, pay mind to and keep your mask on.
  • Get the name and the driver’s license of the driver of the car that caused the collision.
  • If the driver leaves, get the license plate number of the car. If this is not possible, at least get a description of the car including the make, model, color, and any descriptive information you can.
  • Call the police. If the car leaves, do not endanger yourself by following or chasing it. The police will do their best to track down the culprit.
  • Wait in a safe place for the arrival of the police.
  • If there are witnesses, try to get their names, contact information, and statements.
  • Take photos of the scene of the accident as well as of the damage to your car.

 

As soon as possible with auto accidents, make your own written statement about what happened. Include as many details as you can about how the accident occurred. Note exactly where the accident occurred, whether there were traffic lights or a stop sign, what you observed the other driver doing, and any other information that seems relevant.

 

If someone sustains a head wound, broken arm or puncture wound, the injuries are obviously serious, and medical assistance should be sought immediately. But many times, accidents result in aching or overall soreness. It can be tempting to shrug this soreness off, as the pain may even subside over the following days. Not seeking medical attention can be a major mistake.

 


 

Get an Attorney

When searching for the best personal injury lawyers in South Florida, or if you have experienced an auto accident or injury, be sure to check for experience, track record, and reviews from their past clients.

Our team have 100+ years of combined legal experience, so we’ve handled just about every kind of injury and accident case you can imagine. We also come from diverse legal backgrounds that help us when preparing for cases, counting a former public defender and a lawyer who worked for insurance companies and knows their tactics among our partners.

During this time, we urge you to be safe on the road and if you have been in an accident, know that you deserve to be compensated for your pain and suffering – and those responsible deserve to be held accountable for their actions. That was The South Florida Injury Law Firm’s goal when it was founded in South Florida in 1991, and it has remained the centerpiece of the firm’s mission ever since that time.

Texting While Driving

New Technology Promises to Prevent Texting and Driving

Texting While Driving

Because cell phones and other mobile devices have become so well-integrated into our daily routines, we’ve grown accustomed to using them every chance we get—even behind the wheel. Whether out of reflex or a feeling of need to continue a conversation occurring via text, we do it all too often.

 

But the risk of texting or checking a phone while driving is too high. In fact, the time it takes for someone to glance down at their phone or text a reply is approximately 4.6 seconds, which is commonly compared to driving the length of a football field. That’s like putting a blindfold on when you’re behind the wheel for almost five seconds. Most people wouldn’t dream of doing that, but for some reason using a phone while driving is seen as perfectly okay by many.

 

According to studies conducted by experts, you are 23 times more likely to be in an accident if you are texting while driving compared to driving while not distracted. Today, 39 states in the U.S. have banned sending texts while driving. According to the National Safety Council, approximately 1,600,000 accidents per year are caused by texting while driving, in addition to 330,000 injuries per year and about 11 teen deaths every day. In fact, 25% of all car accidents that occur are texting-while-driving related.

 

Technology Companies Step In… To Block Technology

 

That is why big cellphone companies such as Verizon and AT&T have created numerous awareness campaigns and educational programs in order to get people, especially teens, to pledge never to text while driving. Some companies have also invented apps that claim to prevent distracted driving accidents from occurring.

 

Verizon’s new app, for example, called Safely Go, automatically receives and responds to calls and texts so that the driver can remain focused and responsible while on the road. AT&T’s Drive Mode limits the extra features on your phone and automatically sends pre-set replies to incoming texts,letting people know that you are driving. Additionally, the app blocks you from reading or typing anything and further silences all calls, texts, and emails. But these innovations go beyond cellphone companies trying to fix a problem they had a hand in creating – lots of other companies are getting involved as well:

 

DriveSafe.ly actually reads your texts, calls, or emails aloud and responds to them either by voice or with pre-set responses.

 

Textecution uses a GPS to determine speed and will automatically disable texting if you are traveling more than 10 mph.

 

Text-STARalso senses motion and disables texting when going above 10 mph, but goes above and beyond this by allowing you to schedule auto-reply texts in advance if you plan to be driving at a later time.

 

tXtBlocker allows users to go a different route by customizing the locations and times of day (such as typical commuting or driving times) when they don’t want texts and phone calls to be accepted.

 

Technology Can Help, but People Are Still Responsible

 

Car Accident Attorney

The Verizon website states, “Experience teaches us that technology innovation will provide more opportunities to address public safety issues like texting and driving.” However, it’s important to remember that the effectiveness of these apps rely mostly on the drivers’ willing and effective use of them as tools to keep themselves focused on the road. Nevertheless, there will always be distracted people on the road, and if one of them hits you, it’s vital that you get the expert legal help you need as soon as possible to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

 

About the Author:
Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his 22-year 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.

Accident Lawyer

You’re Not Safe from Truck Accidents No Matter Where You Are

Accident Lawyer

When big trucks get into accidents, they not only tend to cause a lot of damage, but leave a wide swath of destruction,as well. Saying this shouldn’t be telling you anything new, because it’s pretty obvious that a large, heavy vehicle – especially one that’s moving fast – is going to plow through anything and everything in its path. But even knowing this, you would probably imagine that you’re in a pretty safe place if you’re sitting in your house. Unfortunately, as one homeowner recently discovered, there’s no place that’s safe from a big truck that’s out of control.

 

On February 19 in Cahokia, Illinois, a big truck veered off the road, ripped through two telephone poles, and slammed into a single-family home, knocking the house off if its foundation. And why? Because the driver experienced a “gag reflex” that caused him to lose control of the vehicle.

 

Luckily, the homeowner only suffered minor injuries, but they still had to go to that hospital. And you can absolutely bet that along with the physical trauma they sustained, they were suffering from shock. How else can you react to getting hit by a large truck when you’re not just out of your car and away from the road, but actually in your own home?

 

More than anything, it’s a reminder of just how dangerous big trucks can be and how far their reach can go.

 

Big Trucks Far More Dangerous Than Other Vehicles 

 

Just how dangerous are big trucks? According to Popular Mechanics, there are a little over 5 million tractor trailers registered in this country and about three times as many semi trucks. In comparison, there are more than 240 million regular passenger vehicles out there on our roads.

 

Even using the higher number of around 15 million semis, that means that large trucks make up about 5.8% of total traffic. Despite this, they account for 1 out of every 8 motor vehicle fatalities in our country – that’s 12.5%, or more than double the deaths that they should be responsible for based on how many exist.And that’s only counting the fatal accidents; plenty of crashes occur like the one mentioned above where the homeowner escaped with only minor injuries,but the truck destroyed the house and wreaked havoc in the neighborhood.

 

Why Do Truck Accidents Occur?

 

Sometimes these accidents just happen,and it’s out of anyone’s control, as seems to be the case with the above truck driver’s “gag reflex” when he plowed into the house in Illinois. Unfortunately, recent reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show some alarming findings. Not only did both fatalities and injuries related to large-truck crashes go up from 2011 to 2012 (by 4% and 18%, respectively), there are reasons to believe that trucking companies aren’t being as selective as they should be when hiring drivers.

 

How so? Of the large truck drivers involved in fatal crashes, 12.9% had a previous accident on their record, 17.7% had been convicted of speeding, 8.2% had previously had their license suspended or revoked, and a few even had a drunk driving conviction on their record. If commercial trucking companies truly care about people’s safety, they’ll stop employing people with blemishes like these on their record.

 

Watch Out for Large Trucks – When You Can

 

Truck Accident Lawyer

There’s plenty of information out there about what people can and should do to minimize their chances of being involved in an accident with a large truck. But if, like the Illinois homeowner above, there was nothing else you could have done to prevent the incident, you at least have to be ready and willing to fight back against the trucking company and driver responsible.

 

It’s not going to be easy, because the company will want to do everything they can to protect their name and bottom line, so you have to get a truck accident lawyer on your side with a track record of success – and do it quick, because there are rules and regulations in these types of cases you won’t find in typical passenger car accidents.