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.

 

 

 

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.

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

7 Most Common Florida Car Crash Injuries

Car crashes happen in Florida every day. Lots of car crashes. Which means lots of people getting hurt in all kinds of ways.

Below we are going to go over seven of the most common types of injuries that tend to occur in automobile accidents. If you are seriously hurt due to the negligent actions of another, you owe it to yourself and your family to fight back.

 

Types of Injuries You Might Experience If You are In an Automobile Accident

 

Head injuries. In a car crash, head injuries most often occur when the head makes impact with the windshield, window, or steering wheel. They can also occur if flying debris hits the skull.

It’s in your best interest to seek medical attention for any kind of head injury, no matter how minor. Head injuries can have long-lasting and serious complications, so the importance of a medical exam cannot be overstated.

 

Dizziness, bleeding, swelling, or temporary blackouts are all reasons to seek emergency medical care. Doctors will run tests to see if you have injury to your brain or if you experienced a concussion. Your medical diagnosis also serves as proof positive in a personal injury lawsuit, so it’s important to seek medical care even if the injury doesn’t seem particularly serious.

 

Soft tissue injuries. Some injuries due to a car crash aren’t immediately visible, and it may take days or even weeks for symptoms to show up. Whiplash is a common injury in a car crash that produces lingering pain in neck muscles and ligaments, but may not manifest immediately after an accident.

 

Consult your doctor if your joints are sprained or pain persists in your muscles. Your doctor will investigate the source of your soft tissue injury and recommend treatment. Getting treatment is important so you don’t make yourself susceptible to further injury.

 

Chest injuries. When the airbag deploys, it can cause bruising or even broken ribs. Seat belts are proven to save lives, but that doesn’t mean they don’t sometimes hurt you. Drivers are most susceptible to chest injuries, because their proximity to the steering column restricts freedom of movement. The steering column itself can injure the driver in a car crash if the impact is forceful enough.

 

 

Back injuries. Damage to vertebrae or the spinal column in a car crash can be permanently life-altering, depending on which disks are affected and to what degree damage occurred. Partial or full paralysis may occur from these kinds of injuries. Urgent medical care is essential to determine the level of the damage. Don’t hesitate to rush to the emergency room if you feel any numbness or pain in your neck or back after a car crash.

 

Abrasions. It’s common to experience bruising, cuts, and scrapes in a car crash. You may be slammed up against the interior or scratched up by the car itself. Also, flying debris like glass, cell phones, drinking cups, purses, and accessories may fly at you at high speed, causing painful bruises or cuts.

 

Some abrasions may be minor and treatable with a few stitches or home remedies. Others may be more serious and require extensive medical care. Surface abrasions may hide more severe ailments like head injuries or broken bones. If the pain lasts longer than what would occur with a normal bruise or cut, or if other symptoms go along with the abrasions, it is a good idea to get a doctor’s opinion.

 

Injury to extremities. Broken fingers, arms, legs, and toes can occur as a person is thrown against the vehicle interior or door in a crash. Side impact crashes tend to cause the most damage to limbs. People riding in the front seat may have knee or leg damage when they come into sudden contact with the dashboard. People riding in the back seat may experience damage to extremities as they are shoved into the seats in front of them.

 

 

These injuries need to be treated immediately by a doctor. Even if the pain is less than what you may expect for a broken bone, it’s wise to seek medical attention.

 

Pedestrian injuries. A pedestrian hit in a crash may suffer many of the injuries listed above. One third of non-traffic crashes involve pedestrians and cyclists, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

 

Contact a knowledgeable Florida personal injury lawyer as soon as you’ve sustained an injury to get help building a solid case. Insurance companies often resist paying claims to rightful victims in car crashes, but an experienced attorney will work to fight the insurance companies and help you receive the help and compensation you deserve.

 

spring break car accident tips

Tips To Protect Yourself From A Spring Break Accident in South Florida

 

Every year between late February and early April, traffic fatalities rise in certain areas of the country.

Why? What’s happening?

 

Two words: spring break.

 

Those findings are from a new study that illustrates the spike in deadly auto accidents specific to “spring break destinations.

 

  • Traffic fatality rates in these areas during this time rise significantly for
    • Drivers under the age of 25
    • Among those who travel from other states
  • No increases are noted for areas that are not destinations for spring break

 


 

Below, we’re going to detail how Florida personal injury claims work if you are hurt in a spring break car crash.

 

Filing a Florida Claim after a Spring Break Car Crash

 

If you’re injured in an auto accident, the first thing you need to do isn’t file a claim, but seek medical care. Not only is this a good way to make sure your injuries get taken care of and that you aren’t hurt more than you realize, it increases your chances of winning compensation as well.

Your medical record will be a key piece of evidence in proving that the crash caused your injuries and that you deserve compensation for your medical expenses.

Next, your best course of action is to consult with a knowledgeable Florida injury attorney. He or she will be able to evaluate your case, and will make sure that you adhere to and understand the process.

 

Some important things to know:

 

  • Florida’s Injury Statute of Limitations.
    Under Florida law, you must file an injury lawsuit no more than four years from the date of the accident. File outside of that timeline and your case will likely be dismissed.
  • Florida’s Pure Comparative Negligence Rule.
    When discussing your possible compensation amounts with a personal injury lawyer, it’s important to know that the amount may be adjusted according to the pure comparative negligence rule. This rule says that winning plaintiffs will receive compensation for their injuries according to their percentage of fault in the accident.

 

Filing a Florida Claim after a Spring Break Car Crash

 

For example, if a drunk driver hit you and caused your injuries, but you were speeding at the time of the accident, the court may determine that you are 30 percent at fault for the accident. This means that any compensation you receive will only be 70 percent of the awarded total. If your total award is $100,000, you will be eligible to receive $70,000 due to the 30 percent reduction under the pure comparative negligence rule.

 

  • Florida’s No-Fault Car Insurance Law.
    In the majority of traffic accidents, each driver’s insurance company will be responsible for up to $10,000 in various expenses like medical bills and lost income – no matter who is at fault for the accident.

 

It is only when serious injuries occur that you can sue for additional damages. The requirements include the following types of injuries resulting from a car crash:

 

  • Significant or permanent bodily function loss
  • Significant or permanent disfigurement or scarring
  • Permanent injury

 

A skilled attorney will know if your injuries meet the serious injury threshold, and therefore will be eligible for greater compensation.

 

  • Damage Limits in Florida Personal Injury Lawsuits.
    In car accident lawsuits, Florida courts set limits on the amount that can be compensated for punitive damages, which often apply to non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

 

You can file for the greater of either triple the amount of damages or $500,000. This normally applies only to extreme cases where the behavior of the driver was exceptionally reckless or dangerous.

 

How a Florida Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You Fight Back

 

If you are hurt in a Florida spring break car crash due to another’s negligence, you shouldn’t be stuck with all the bills for a serious injury. Unfortunately, dealing with insurance companies is often a tough challenge, and you have additional hurdles if you were injured on a visit to Florida as so many spring breakers are.

 

firm-attorneys-injuyr law

 

A skilled Florida personal injury attorney can ease your burden in dealing with all of this and help you fight to get the compensation you deserve. Reach out today for a free case review. We will look over the details of your situation and let you know what options are available to you.

 

 

When your life has been turned upside down due to another’s negligence and you are drowning in bills and struggling to recover, you want to make sure you work with the best law firm you can find.

What is the difference between a high-quality injury firm and one that will only do the bare minimum? The people who work there. That is why The South Florida Injury Law Firm is made up of some of the most well-respected and successful injury attorneys around.

Our lawyers have more than 60 years of combined injury law experience, and they have handled just about every type of Florida injury case you can imagine. They are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an elite group of attorneys who have helped settle injury cases worth more than a million dollars. They have been named to Florida Trend’s Legal Elite. They are recognized by the Florida Worker’s Advocates group.

Perhaps even more importantly, they have received glowing reviews from clients – and they get results.

 

 

 

car crash home miami dade gardens attorney law firm accident

Car Accidents At Home

Car Accidents At Home 1 Auto Accidents South Florida Injury Law Firm

Car accidents can happen anywhere. Especially where you least expect it. Parking lots, driveways, parking garages, and drive-thrus are well-known for accident scenes.
Even your own living room.

 

On Wednesday, August 21st, an accident involving two cars ended up crashing into a Miami Gardens home. One of the drivers was air lifted to a nearby hospital.

The resident, who was inside his home at the time of the crash, stated:

“This isn’t the first time something like this has happened”

 

He’s right.  In just the last few months of 2019, there have been multiple car accidents in South Florida that have also caused damages to a home. In March, a driver smashed into a house in North Lauderdale in the middle of the day.  Another driver was hospitalized in April after crashing into a house in Lauderhill. Another driver attempting to avoid a collision drove straight into a Miami home in May.

 

Unfortunately, these instances are becoming too common throughout Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. It’s important to pay attention while on the road and arm yourself with knowledge, whether you’re the driver or passenger in a car accident or inside a home and have sustained damage or injuries from a car collision.

Know Your Rights

 

Under Florida Law, you may be entitled to monetary damages if you have been injured through the negligence or recklessness of another person. Damages may include reimbursement or compensation for:

 

  • Past and future medical costs
  • Home damage liabilities
  • Pain, suffering, and inconvenience
  • Lost wages or economic opportunities
  • Funeral expenses
  • Grief and suffering

 

A Personal Injury Case Begins Before You Leave the Scene of a Crash

 

While the circumstances behind each of these accidents are different, one fact holds true for all—the time immediately following the crash can be stressful and confusing.

 

Here are the seven most important things to do if you are involved in a South Florida auto accident.

 

  • Remain at the scene.
    If an accident has occurred, it is essential for you to remain at the scene. It is your legal obligation to stop if you collide with anything, even if you do not think there is any damage.
  • Prioritize safety.
    Take steps to ensure the safety of you, your passengers, and other drivers. If your vehicle is causing a major traffic obstruction, move it out of the road to a safe location and turn on hazard lights. Check for injuries and determine if anyone needs major care.
  • Contact the police.
    Even if the accident is minor, call the police. When cops arrive at the scene of the accident, request that a police report be filed and get the names and badge numbers of the cops involved.
  • Document information.
    Document as much information about the accident as you can while limiting discussion of the incident with the other driver.
  • Report the incident to your insurance company.
    Notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Many insurers have a policy that requires you to report the accident within a certain time frame in order for the incident to be covered.
  • Seek medical attention.
    Even if you do not notice any serious injuries at first, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. This is particularly true if you notice any pain or strange effects in the aftermath of an accident, but it’s not uncommon to begin feeling more pain a day or two after a car collision, and you don’t want to wait that long if you can help it.
  • Consult with an auto accident attorney.
    Even if your case seems straightforward, it’s highly advised to consult with a car crash lawyer after an accident. Working with an attorney can improve your odds of obtaining the maximum amount of compensation. If a settlement cannot be reached, your attorney will be ready to take your case to court.

 

Find out more on what do after a car accident in South Florida

 

Help protect your friends and family by giving them the one essential tool they need to drive safely—knowledge.

 

Get The Help You Need

 

If you’ve been hurt in a vehicle accident in a parking lot, drive-thru, parking garage or inside a home where an accident has occurred, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries. The South Florida Auto Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers understand your needs and dedicated to helping their clients get the maximum compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

 

Schedule a free consultation by calling 954-764-7377 (Fort Lauderdale), 561-209-2100 (Boca Raton & West Palm Beach), or 877-566-8759 (toll-free). You can also fill out this online form to set up your case evaluation. We’re a dedicated team of personal injury lawyers who work on a contingency basis and will take your calls at any time, on any day of the week.

826 expressway modifications being made

826 Palmetto Expressway and I-75 Lane Closure and Construction Schedule 2019

 

Dade and Broward county roads are about to become a bit more confusing and request drivers to be more attentive to the road and the scheduled construction plans on the 826 Palmetto Expressway and I-75 throughout August 2019, while making room for a new Express Lane on the 826 Palmetto Expressway.

As auto accident attorneys with years of experience winning cases throughout South Florida, we know how important it is to constantly be aware of all new laws affecting drivers. We’ve put together a list below that outlines the lane closure dates and available detours provided by the Florida Deportment of Transportation (FDOT) to help you plan ahead and avoid potential hazards.

 

LANE CLOSURE SCHEDULE FOR DADE/BROWARD COUNTY ROUTES ON SR 826/PALMETTO EXPRESSWAY,  AND I-75:

 

August 8th , 11PM to August 9th 5AM

  • On I-75 two southbound outside lanes will be closed between NW 170 Street and SR 826/Palmetto Expressway.
  • On I-75 two northbound outside lanes will be closed between SR 826/Palmetto Expressway and NW 170 Street.

 

 August 8th , 9AM to August 9th 4PM

  • On SR 826/Palmetto Expressway the northbound and southbound outside shoulders will be closed between NW 25 Street and NW 103 Street/West 49 Street.

 

August 8th  10PM to August 9th 5AM

  • On I-75 two southbound inside lanes will be closed at SR 826/Palmetto Expressway.

 

 August 8th  9PM to August 9th 5AM

  • On SR 826/Palmetto Expressway one northbound inside lane will be closed between West Flagler Street and NW 25 Street
  • On SR 826/Palmetto Expressway one southbound inside express lane will be closed at Okeechobee Road.

 

August 9th  9PM to August 12th 5AM

  • On SR 826/Palmetto Expressway, the entrance ramp from southbound I-75 and westbound SR 924/Gratigny Parkway will be closed.

Available Detours:

  • Take the northbound SR 826/Palmetto Expressway entrance ramp
  • Exit NW 154 Street westbound
  • Take the entrance ramp to SR 826/Palmetto Expressway

 

August 9th  10PM to August 10th 5AM

  • On West 20 Avenue one northbound lane north of West 44 Place will be closed.

 

August 12th  9AM to August 16th 4PM

  • On SR 826/Palmetto Expressway the northbound and southbound outside shoulders will be closed between NW 25 Street and NW 103 Street/West 49 Street.

 

Stay alert when driving and especially through these areas.  Avoid any driver who is obviously not paying attention to the road. Never get into a car driven by someone who has been drinking and watch out for traffic from local bars and/or clubs. Steer clear of any driver who refuse to yield the right-of-way, don’t obey traffic signals, tailgate or pass improperly.

In the event you are involved in an accident, know what to do and your rights. With the help of an attorney, you can hold the guilty party responsible

Find out more about what to do after a car accident in South Floridatruck accident attorney law firm

 

Always remember that how you respond following an accident can be the difference between being properly compensated for all damages or potentially not obtaining what you deserve in terms of a financial settlement. Auto insurance companies deal with accident claims daily and the claims adjusters are obligated to the company and their client first. Always select a law firm that specializes in auto accidents with a solid track record of results for their injured clients to make the most impact to your claim. A skilled attorney can help you obtain compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and overall pain and suffering.

The South Florida Injury Law Firm is a trusted car accident law firm serving Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. We’re proud to provide each of our clients with high-quality legal representation. We’re committed to helping you receive the compensation that you deserve and owed. Helping you stay on the right track and safe on the road.

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Why Is the 4th of July Such a Dangerous Holiday for Florida Drivers?

Why Is the 4th of July Such a Dangerous Holiday for Florida Drivers?

July 4th tends to evoke backyard barbecues, poolside cocktails, and fireworks at dusk. We usually think of spending this holiday with family, and staying close to home. On the contrary, AAA pegs the fourth as one of their busiest days.

Did you know the average distance traveled on July 4th is 617 miles?

What’s more, analysis over a five-year study period shows the day is Florida drivers’ deadliest – just edging out New Year’s Day.

Knowing why the 4th of July is such a dangerous holiday could prevent you from becoming a statistic, so today we’re sharing some of the reasons for holiday crashes.

Florida’s Annual July 4th Crash Statistics

Florida ranks third, only behind Texas and California, for most fatal car crashes in the nation, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. More than three thousand deaths occur annually on the roadways across the state.

These are average statistics for the whole year. So, what seem to be the most common culprits over this holiday in particular? Let’s look at contributing factors for 4th of July accidents – both at home, and those we find more often out on the open road…

Fourth of July Car Crashes Close to Home in Florida

Besides the everyday distractions and issues one faces behind the wheel on Florida’s city streets, two primary causes stand out above the rest specifically on the 4th of July: road rage and drunk driving.

Road Rage

With so many more traveling than one would generally expect, clogged road arteries leave locals frustrated and angry. Road rage is proven to increase both your chances of getting into an accident and the severity of the crash if you do.

Focusing on another driver’s driving subtracts from calculating and judging the roadways. This can lead to speeding and other aggressive maneuvers like cutting off other drivers, tailgating, and driving between lanes.

Further, research shows 50 percent of drivers who start out as road rage victims become aggressors themselves. If you don’t anticipate a response from a fellow driver, you could be toast.

Drunk Driving

“It’s not that far.”

“I haven’t had that much to drink.”

While drunk driving is always one of the main contributors to fatal crash statistics across this state, on Independence Day there is a big uptick in justification for driving under the influence.

As a result, 40 percent of total vehicle fatalities over the holiday are due to driving drunk. This puts not only you at risk, but everyone else on the roadways you travel.

Wrecks on the Open Road in Florida

As we said, Florida roadtrippers abound over the Fourth, so what happens when you’ve traversed the inner-cities safely enough, and have finally made it out onto the open road?

Most accidents over long road trips in Florida can be chalked up to stranded motorists, and the fatigue that tends to creep in after hours on the road.

Stranded Motorists

An estimated 520,000 motorists are stranded in Florida over the Independence Day holiday on average. Flat tires, overheating, dead batteries, keys locked in cars – these are all common issues.

Regardless of the exact cause, motorists stranded on Florida’s rural roadways simply equate to more pedestrians outside of the car. More people on road shoulders lend to the increase in out-of-town car crashes.

Highway Hypnosis

Finally, we face the fatigue of trekking hundreds of miles, often for only a day or two of fun. Seems like a good idea when you set out, but often doesn’t feel that way a few hours in.

Fatigue can come in many forms, including highway hypnosis – a condition that typically gets bundled into drowsy driving, but it can actually occur without being sleepy. Flying down an otherwise mundane roadway – no turns, no traffic lights – your brain goes into autopilot.

South Florida Car Accident Attorneys

Ultimately, as safe as you can be personally, you can’t control other drivers on the road. If you do wind up in an accident this Independence Day holiday, first, seek medical attention. Then, reach out to your South Florida personal injury attorney to ensure you receive the attention you need.

 

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.

Keep Your Teens Safe: Alternatives to Driving to Prom

Keep Your Teens Safe: Alternatives to Driving to Prom

Keep Your Teens Safe: Alternatives to Driving to Prom

In the height of prom season, across the country, local police and first responders work with surrounding schools, survivors, and other drunk driving prevention organizations to reenact realistic reminders of why teens in their communities shouldn’t drink and drive.

One survivor in Illinois recounted his experience of being ejected through a car window after plowing into a telephone pole following a night of drugs and alcohol, and the time it took afterward to re-learn the basic functions of walking, talking, and feeding himself. He also revealed that of the two who were with him, one was in prison, the other dead.

Closer to home, Palm Beach County first responders partnered with the Health Care District and Royal Palm Beach High School SADD members to present “Shattered Dreams,” a prom night car crash reenactment complete with real police and firefighter rescue.

Despite these tragic true stories, far too many teens innately believe that “it won’t happen to me.”

So, one way parents can further ensure their teens’ safety this prom season is to provide them with transportation options to and from the festivities – and require that they decide well before prom night.

Today’s post suggests some fun and flashy alternatives to driving that are way more stylish than that tired, played-out limo rental or letting one of their friends drive them as part of a group.

Party Bus Is the New Stretch

These vehicles offer standing room and the ability for folks to move around a lot easier than a packed limo – when it’s stopped, of course. They also boast a dedicated area to stock non-alcoholic refreshments and snacks, and usually have great sound systems wired to Bluetooth in passengers’ own playlists. They fit way more people than a limo, too.

The more party people in the bus, the less there are on the roadways alone. This is a great option for that high school crew looking for rock star treatment.  

Take the Trolley

A dozen or more of your teen’s closest friends packing a trolley – what could be more fun (and safe) than that? It may take a little research, but depending on your location, where prom takes place, and trolley run times, this could be one of the most cost-efficient and exciting adventures of the evening for them!

One of the many, many people who don’t live in an area with an actual, working trolley system? If everyone wants to invest a bit more, there are also a few charter trolley rentals around the South Florida area you can check into.

Romantic Ride-Sharing

Ride-sharing has hands-down been one of the most quickly-integrated technologies of the last decade – you, your teen, or both may have already used ride-sharing services on different occasions.

Think ride-sharing doesn’t seem very “prom”? Fair enough, but you may not be aware of some of today’s available service upgrades. We suggest looking into UberSelect, UberBLACK and UberSUV options in your local area. These are luxury livery services, offering commercially registered and insured SUV and luxury sedans complete with uniformed drivers.

A Walk in the Moonlight

What about a leisurely stroll to and from the event? It’s a sure-fire way to avoid a traffic accident, and a sweet opportunity to extend a perfect evening.

You can sell it to your little lovebird as a chance for them to spend time alone with each other – but in public, close to home, and with pre-approved check-ins or curfew time so you can reasonably know they’re safe.

Teen Car Accident Lawyer

If your teen does decide to drive, recommend a combination – maybe suggest driving to prom and then taking a safer alternative home. If they insist on driving round trip, there are other safety tips you can offer to limit distractions, such as keeping it to one couple per vehicle to avoid over excitement and reduce overall number of people at risk of being hurt in an accident. Also, don’t hesitate to remind them that the primary way they can prevent a DUI accident is simple: don’t ever drink and drive.

 

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.

Florida Drivers: If You Have a Restless Night, Should You Drive?

Florida Drivers: If You Have a Restless Night, Should You Drive?

Florida Drivers: If You Have a Restless Night, Should You Drive?

In June 2018, a horrific crash was caught on camera near Orlando. In this very dramatic footage, the vehicle is seen drifting into a concrete barrier at the toll plaza on the Florida Turnpike near St. Cloud. The impact ejects one of the four passengers onboard out through the windshield and sends him flying for about 20 feet.

Miraculously, the driver and all four passengers – including the one who was thrown out – and the driver survived the accident without serious injuries.

Reports released by the police showed that the 23-year-old man behind the wheel at the time of this crash was fatigued. Consequently, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles later tweeted a statement warning people that driving while drowsy and tired is dangerous and can have deadly consequences.

The agency could not have put it better – drowsy driving can indeed be deadly.

How bad is it?

Drowsy Driving Just as Dangerous as Drunk Driving

That’s right. Fatigued drivers can be just as deadly as drivers who drink and drive.

Information from the CDC shows that:

  • If you stayed awake for 18 hours, your driving would be impaired in the same way it would if your BAC (blood alcohol content) was 0.05%.
  • If you stayed awake for 24 hours, your driving would be impaired in the same way it would if your BAC was 0.10% (the legal BAC limit is 0.08%).

In short, being sleep-deprived mirrors the dangerous effects of even the lowest amounts of alcohol and increases your chances of getting into an accident.

Why a Sleep-Deprived Driver Is A Dangerous Driver

A person who gets behind the wheel while fatigued, sleep-deprived, or drowsy usually has trouble staying alert. Such a person inadvertently becomes a dangerous driver because:

Their Reaction Time Is Slowed

Being sleep-deprived, fatigued, or drowsy gives you a sense of heaviness – particularly around your wrists and ankles. This feeling reduces the driver’s ability to react fast and appropriately to sudden situations on the road.

Sleep Deprivation Occasionally Sends Your Brain to Sleep

A fatigued or sleep-deprived driver may drift in and out of microsleep episodes while at the wheel. These micro-naps last just a few seconds and may even happen with the driver’s eyes open. This is the brain’s way of trying to get some rest, and it’s terrifying for anyone who has ever driven while tired, which is probably just about all of us.

Sleep Deprivation Denies You Control Over Your Vehicle

It’s not just your brain that “turns off” for some rest when you’re sleep deprived – most of your other sensory and motor senses may doze off too. This makes drowsy driving just as bad as – if not worse than – distracted driving.

When you fall asleep – even just “microsleep” – you give up control of the vehicle. Typically, these black outs only last a few seconds, but a lot of bad things can happen during that time if you’re driving.

Don’t Drive If You Are Sleep Deprived in Florida

The bottom line is that getting behind the wheel while drowsy, fatigued, or sleep-deprived, increases the risk of you being in or causing an accident. People who drive tired are a safety risk to their passengers, themselves, and every other person on the road.

Don’t Drive If You Are Sleep Deprived in Florida

It’s not always easy, but always strive to get enough sleep, and try to avoid late car rides. Additionally, if you believe you might be suffering from a sleep disorders, seeking help could save your life. Remember – sleep is as important for your health and wellbeing as it is to your safety on the road.

 

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.

 

Chain-Reaction Crashes in Florida: How Fault Is Determined

Chain-Reaction Crashes in Florida: How Fault Is Determined

Chain-Reaction Crashes in Florida: How Fault Is Determined

Car accidents can result in tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost wages, and car repairs. How is it decided who will have to pay for these damages and bills?

In Florida, it usually starts with personal injury protection (PIP). If you experience damages that add up to less than $10,000, it doesn’t matter who caused the accident. Florida car insurance will cover that amount and you won’t have to bring your case to court.

Unfortunately, this is rarely the case in chain-reaction crashes. Damages can stay relatively low if only one or two cars are involved. However, when three or four cars are in a crash, there is little chance that that the bills will stay under $10,000.

So, how does Florida determine who is at fault for a chain-reaction crash? They look to see what negligent behavior caused the auto accident.

Negligent Driving Behavior in Florida

It only takes a second for a driver to commit a negligent behavior and put themselves (and others) in danger. What does “negligent behavior” mean in terms of driving, though?

Drivers have a duty to follow certain rules of the road and practice safe driving. If they neglect to stick by these rules, they could have to front the bill for a serious accident.

Negligent behaviors on the road include:

  • Speeding
  • Swerving in and out of lanes without using a turn signal or looking for other drivers
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Driving without lights on at night
  • Texting or talking on the phone while driving
  • Any form of distracted driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Not wearing a seatbelt
  • Driving a car that has not been inspected

This type of driving may also be called “reckless driving” or “careless driving.”

Negligent behavior only goes so far if it directly causes a car accident. Let’s see how this might play out in a case involving a chain-reaction crash.

Pretend you are Driver A. Driver B is behind you, and Driver C behind them.

Driver C rear-ends Driver B, causing them to rear-end you. The chain reaction crash racks up $150,000 worth of damage and medical bills combined for all three drivers.

In court, it turns out that Driver C was texting when they hit Driver B. Due to Driver C’s negligence, they will have to pay for all of the damages.

Of course, as any experienced Florida injury lawyer can tell you, it doesn’t always work out this way.

Comparative Negligence Could Prevent You from Getting Your Full Amount in Florida

Let’s stick to this example. If Driver C is the only negligent driver, then they will have to foot the bill and cover the damages.

However, what happens if Driver B rear-ended Driver A because they were also negligent? Does Driver C still have to cover their damages?

Not under Florida’s comparative negligence laws. If drivers file a lawsuit for damages, but partially contributed to those damages, they will only receive a portion of the compensation they asked for. For example, if a judge determines that Driver B and Driver C both equally contributed to the damages in the chain-reaction crash, they will most likely have to pay equal amounts of damages to the victims.

Collect All Information Before You Go to Court

South Florida Car Accident Attorneys

Florida’s comparative negligence laws often encourage drivers to point fingers at each other in a crash and try to spread the blame around.

If you are involved in a chain-reaction crash, prepare for this type of finger-pointing and collect as much information as you can to defend yourself. With the help of a personal injury lawyer, you can get the compensation you deserve for any type of Florida car crash.

 

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.