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.

 

 

 

Boca Raton Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

How to Prove Fault as a Motorcyclist in an Accident

Boca Raton Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

It’s no secret that motorcyclists typically suffer far more serious injuries than car occupants when they’re involved in a multi-vehicle collision. Without safety features like air bags and a crumple zone, motorcyclists are incredibly vulnerable and may face an expensive and lengthy recovery if they survive the accident. Because of this, any motorcyclist who was injured by a negligent driver should hold that driver responsible and seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other associated costs.

 

Of course, getting that much-needed compensation isn’t as easy as just pointing a finger at the car driver and saying that they were the one who caused the accident. In a civil case, the plaintiff is responsible for proving that the defendant is at fault. To make things even more challenging, jury members may be biased against motorcyclists and may be less likely to award the same kind of settlement that they would award to a car driver in a two-car accident.

 

This does not mean that you should give up on the idea of recovering compensation as a motorcyclist in an auto accident. It does, however, mean that you should work closely with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to gather the kind of concrete evidence necessary to prove your case. Below are a few types of evidence that can help your cause.

 

Police Report

 

If a police officer arrived at the scene of your accident, he or she most likely filled out an accident report. This report may contain valuable evidence for your case, especially if the police officer actually witnessed the accident and issued a citation to the driver. Even if they didn’t cite the driver, they may have noted that negligent behavior caused the accident and that you were injured and needed medical attention after the accident.

 

Witness Testimony

 

Witness testimony can be problematic because human memory is fallible, and there’s no way to know that an accident played out exactly the way an eyewitness described it. However, if your motorcycle accident occurred in a crowded area and multiple people saw it happen, it may be worth having credible witnesses testify that the car driver was at fault. The most reliable witnesses are people who saw the entire accident (rather than people who heard the impact and saw the aftermath) and were not distracted by other factors (such as a young child that they were holding or the need to maneuver their own vehicle away from the accident).

 

Damage to Motorcycle

 

West Palm Beach Motorcycle Accident Attorney

In certain cases, the type of damage that your motorcycle incurs may clearly show how the driver hit you and prove that they are at fault. For example, if a car rear-ended you, the back of your motorcycle and the front of the car would experience the most damage. This would paint a pretty clear picture of what happened and show that the driver was liable, since rear-end collisions are almost always the fault of the second vehicle.

 

Your personal injury lawyer may be able to uncover additional types of evidence that could prove fault, such as footage from a traffic camera or a doctor’s testimony showing that your injury was caused by a certain type of impact. Every case is unique, and it’s important not to leave any stone unturned when the compensation that you need in order to get back on your feet is at stake.

 

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.

 

 

 

Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Boca Raton

Staying Safe While Riding Your Motorcycle in the Rain

Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Boca Raton

You’re on the road when the blue skies suddenly become overcast and rain starts to fall. First it’s a few drops at a time, but eventually it becomes a torrential downpour. This can be daunting enough when you’re in a car, with a roof over your head and your windshield wipers working at maximum speed, but it’s even worse when you’re on a motorcycle.

 

Inclement weather is one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents. Regardless of your level of experience, it’s best to avoid riding your motorcycle in the rain, because rain creates all kinds of hazardous conditions for motorcyclists. You may trust your skills and ability to handle the vehicle when the skies are clear, but you may not be prepared for riding in bad weather. However, there may be some situations (especially in Florida) where you get caught in the rain, or you need to ride in the rain to get from Point A to Point B. In those particular cases, follow these safety tips to avoid injury.

 

6 Tips for Riding in the Rain

 

1. Be smooth. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation says that one of the most important things to remember when riding in the rain is to have smooth control. Be easy on your throttle and brakes, but balance your grip at the same time. Don’t accelerate on turns; wait until you’ve completed the turn to speed up.

 

Motorcycle Accident Attorney West Palm Beach

2. Slow down. You should slow down in any kind of vehicle when the weather’s bad. On a motorcycle, slowing down will make it easier to stop suddenly if there’s a hazard in your path, and lower speed will decrease your lean angle on turns, making it less likely that your motorcycle will slip out from under you.

 

3. Leave several car lengths between you and the vehicle in front of you. It’s always a good idea to leave enough room between you and the vehicle in front of you so that you’ll have time to react if they suddenly swerve or slam on their brakes. This rule becomes even more important when the slick road will make it harder for you to come to a quick stop without sliding. Pay attention to the traffic in front and to the sides of you, so that you can quickly find an escape route if there’s an accident ahead of you.

 

4. Use engine brakes on corners. When taking tight turns, use your engine brakes by letting go of the clutch and letting your engine’s RPMs drop so that you naturally decelerate. This will reduce your likelihood of skidding.

 

5. Watch out for common rainy weather hazards. Keep an eye out for things such as deep puddles, potholes, manholes, railroad tracks, and oil spills, all of which can create extra slick surfaces in the rain and cause you to lose control of your motorcycle. Also, be careful at stop signs, toll booths, and parking lots, where oil leaking from stopped vehicles can create an especially slippery surface.

 

6. Get off the road if you feel unsafe. If it suddenly starts pouring and your traction and visibility are compromised to the point that you feel unsafe, find somewhere safe to pull over (ideally somewhere with a roof or overhang for you to stand under) and wait for the rain to die down. Trust your judgment; it’s never worth putting yourself in a risky situation just because you’ll be able to reach your destination a little faster.

 

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.

Motorcycle Accident

Why You Shouldn’t Ride Drunk

Motorcycle Accident
Everyone knows not to drive drunk, and it’s no different for motorcyclists– except that the nature of their vehicle puts them at even higher risk of injury or death because it requires more coordination to operate,and there’s far less protecting riders than those driving cars. Unfortunately, these facts don’t seem to have sunk in with many motorcyclists because the percentage of accidents and especially fatalities involving alcohol are extremely high.

 

In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says,“the percentage of intoxicated motorcycle riders in fatal crashes is greater than the percentage of intoxicated drivers on our roads.” Stats can be interpreted in many different ways, but this one seems pretty clear – either a higher percentage of motorcyclists choose to ride drunk when compared to car drivers or the numbers are similar, but the greater difficulty involved in operating a motorcycle leads to more accidents. Regardless of which scenario is more accurate, the resultis the same – if you ride drunk, you’re more likely to get hurt or even die.

 

This seems like something that should be obvious, but why then are so many motorcyclists still doing it? The trend isn’t a new one, either. A decade ago, Motor Cyclist Magazine reported that 45% of motorcycle fatalities in 2002 involved intoxicated riders, and when you looked at just weekends, that already high percentage skyrocketed to 62%!

 

You can find statistics like that all over the place, but maybe that’s not enough. Perhaps the problem is that reading numbers is an abstract exercise, and riders need a personal story to connect with and “scare them straight” as it were. Steven Dennis Parrett has just such a story.

 

Drunk Riding Leads to Jail, Sister in Nursing Home

 

Motorcycle Accident1

While this is certainly not true for all motorcyclists, some think of themselves as tough and adventurous – people who can get away with skirting the rules because they can handle it. There’s no real way of knowing if Parrett is one of those men or if he just did something stupid, but in the end it doesn’t really matter.

 

In July of 2011, 44-year-old Parrett was arrested by Michigan State Police after crashing his bike at around 12:30 in the morning. When they tested his blood alcohol level, it was found to be an insanely high .20, so Parrett was almost definitely in for a DUI charge. That’s bad enough, but it gets a lot worse.

 

You see, Parrett wasn’t riding alone that night. His older sister (46) was with him, and when he crashed, she was flung from the bike and landed in a ditch. Thankfully, the woman survived, so he doesn’t have to live with killing his sister, but that’s pretty much the only positive thing that can be said about the incident. She was still so severely injured that she now has to live in a nursing home and “remains unresponsive.”

 

None of this had to happen, and no other vehicles were involved in the accident. Parrett was simply so drunk that he couldn’t handle his bikeand it cost him and his sister dearly. You may not think that something like this could happen to you, but why take the risk in the first place? Motorcyclists are already putting themselves in more danger than regular car drivers by choosing a vehicle that doesn’t offer as much protection – don’t make riding harder by drinking before you get on your bike.

 

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.

Motorcycle Accident

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycles represent power, freedom, and rebellion. More so than with cars, there’s a feeling that you can just hop on your motorcycle and escape from the world, and the fact that they don’t have things like doors or roofs can make you feel more connected to nature and the road.

 

Unfortunately, many riders end up literally more connected to that road when they’re involved in a crash because of those very things they love. No doors and no roof may mean that you get to feel the wind in your face, but it also means far less protection.

 

Exactly how dangerous are motorcycles? When you compare the number of crashes to cars that travel the same number of miles, someone riding a motorcycle is 30 times more likely to have an accident.

 

That’s an amazing statistic, but perhaps even more telling is the fact that 80 percent of all motorcycle crashes cause injury or death to the operator. If you crash while riding your motorcycle, you’re going to get hurt – and possibly worse.

 

So, what exactly can you expect to be dealing with after your crash? Some of the most common types of injuries include:

 

Road rash

 

This is a rather delicate name for something that can be deadly serious. What is road rash? Well, unlike car drivers and passengers, bikers almost always get thrown from their vehicle in a crash. This tends to mean landing on the road and often skidding or rolling a good distance before coming to a stop. If you aren’t wearing good, strong protective clothing, it’s likely that your skin is going to scrape across that road, and you’re going to have some damage. Mild cases might just mean a few red marks, but some riders have been known to lose entire patches of skin from road rash.

 

Broken bones

 

If you’re getting thrown from a motorcycle doing 60 mph on a highway, it stands to reason that there’s going to be a hard impact and you might suffer a fracture or two. Riders involved in accidents frequently end up with broken legs or arms, hip and pelvic fractures, cracked ribs, and so on. Severe breaks may poke through the skin and cause lasting damage that’s difficult to repair, including nerve damage. According to the CDC, riders are most likely to hurt their legs and feet, followed by the next group of injuries we’ll cover.

 

Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Head injury

 

Anyone who’s ever ridden a bike knows the mantra: helmets save lives. It may seem cliché or even annoying in its pervasiveness, but the statistics show that it really is true. Roughly a third of all deaths resulting from motorcycle accidents could be prevented if the rider was wearing a helmet. What does that mean in real numbers? Well, in 2008 alone,almost 2,000 riders had their lives saved because they were wearing a helmet. And that doesn’t even factor in the number of people protected from severe injury by helmets, because many riders who sustain head injuries and live end up with brain damage.

 

An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will tell you that in some ways, spine damage may be even worse because there’s little that you can do to protect against it – there’s no “helmet” for your back, and landing on it in the wrong way can lead to serious nerve damage or even paralysis.

 

How Do You Prevent These Injuries?

 

Injury Lawyer

Drive safe. Though there will always be events out of your control, studies show that 43% of all motorcycle accidents involve alcohol. Never, ever get on your ride after drinking, and always follow safe practices on the road, such as obeying speed limits and street signs, using your turning signals, and riding with others so that it’s easier for other drivers to see you.

 

Cycling Accidents

Most Common Cycling Accidents and How to Avoid Them

Cycling Accidents
It’s never a pretty site when bicycles get tangled up with cars, but unfortunately these kinds of accidents do happen. Clearly, there is much more inherent danger for the cyclist, so if you enjoy riding your bike on the road, you need to know what kinds of potential problems to watch out for and how to protect yourself.

 

How Common Are Accidents Between Bicycles and Cars?

 

Way too common. According to ROSPA, there are 19,000 cycling road accidents every year and over 100 deaths. Additionally, 2% of all traffic deaths involve bicycles – even though bikes only make up 1% of traffic!

Not surprisingly, the bicycle accidents that are most likely to be fatal are those where a motor vehicle is involved. At least as alarming is the finding of a recent study that cyclists are only responsible for about 10% of all accidents between bikes and cars. Clearly, if you want to stay safe, you really need to pay attention to what others on the road are doing and follow all safety guidelines.

 

What Should Bicyclists Watch Out For?

 

Bicyclists Watch Out For

Some of the most common accidents are, thankfully, things that cyclists can help to prevent if they are careful and paying attention. These include:

 

  • A motor vehicle pulling into the path of a bike

    The simple truth is that much of the time, car drivers just don’t pay attention to cyclists. It’s not intentional, and it’s something that drivers need to get better at, but if you’re not sure whether or not a driver is going to pull out in front of you, slow down and be careful.

  • A motor vehicle turning into a cyclist’s path

    Again, car drivers often forget to look for bicyclists (or just can’t see them) when emerging, turning, or changing lanes. If you see someone trying to turn, take special care to make them aware of your presence and watch out for sudden movements.

  • Cyclist turning right and entering the path of a motorist

    If you are going to turn right when traffic is moving perpendicular to you, it is vital that you wait for a break in the flow of cars. Far too many cyclists think that, because they’re so comparatively small, they can easily turn even when there’s a car and still fit in the lane. These kinds of decisions lead to accidents and injuries.

  • Cyclist riding off of the sidewalk and into the path of a motorist

    This is just Biking 101, but you should never ride into the street without first stopping and taking a close look at the traffic situation to make sure that you can cross safely.

  • Both cyclist and motorist moving straight ahead

    Out of all these potential accidents, this one has to be the scariest for cyclists because most of the time it involves them getting hit from behind by a car. It’s pretty hard to avoid an accident when you can’t see it coming. Still, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t precautions you can take, and some of the simplest ones – using reflectors or flashing lights – are often the most effective.

 

Beyond these measures, cyclists should always – always – wear a helmet. You can’t always prevent an accident, but you can make yourself as safe as possible. Bikers are vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean that you are helpless. Stay safe and fight for your rights.

 

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.