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.


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5 Common Ways Motorcycle Accidents Happen

Riding a motorcycle can be exhilarating. The roar of the engine provides the soundtrack for flying down the open road – just you and your bike. But riding a motorcycle can also be dangerous. The thrill of riding a motorcycle can quickly become risky if you’re not careful or riding safely.


If you’re going to take a motorcycle on the road, you should complete a basic motorcycle rider course and know the Florida motorcycle laws, in addition to being equipped with the proper safety gear.


What kind of safety gear?

Helmet, gloves, protective eyewear, boots, leather clothes, and body armor. This kind of gear can both make riding a motorcycle more comfortable and help to protect you from injuries if you are involved in an accident.


But the best thing you can do is try to avoid accidents altogether.
To help you do that, here are 5 of the most common types of motorcycle accidents and how to prevent them.


  1. A car turns left in front of you.

    This is probably the most common motorcycle accident. Why does it happen? Lots of reasons. A car might not see you or can’t correctly judge your speed. They might also be distracted or driving recklessly. Additionally, cars waiting to turn at intersections are particularly dangerous, as are gaps in traffic at an intersection, parking lot, or driveway.


As a motorcyclist, you need to be prepared for these kind of mistakes. Drivers might display certain signs that can foreshadow their turning in front of you. One thing to look for is the direction of cars’ wheels. The direction of a car’s wheels is the first sign of what the car might do next.


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  1. You turned too fast into a corner.

    You’re going too fast into a corner and you realize you might not totally make it. What do you do? Well, first of all, you shouldn’t be going too fast. You should also be paying attention to visual cues from the road to know what’s coming up ahead.


If you’re in that situation though, try to ride it out. Don’t slam on the brakes or do anything that may cause a loss of traction. Lean into the corner and be in control of the bike.



  1. A car suddenly changes lanes into you.

    Motorcycles can easily fit into a car’s blind spot, so unfortunately it’s easy for a car to drift into your space.


As a motorcyclist, you should know this and be aware of where blind spots are and avoid riding into those spots. A good note: if you can see a driver’s eyes in their mirror, they can see you too. You should also be watching the road to see if cars will need to be changing lanes quickly.


Also watch for signs a car might be changing lanes:

    • Turn signals
    • Turning wheels
    • A driver is checking their mirrors
    • A driver’s head is moving


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  1. A car hits you from behind.

    With cars, fender benders are the most common accident. But a fender bender with a motorcycle could kill a motorcyclist.

Avoid this accident by using other cars as barriers. When you stop, politely pull in front of another stopped car to cushion yourself from any cars coming up behind you. Or pull in between a line of cars.

If there aren’t any stopped cars, stop to the side of your lane instead right in the center. Flash your brake lights and be aware of what’s happening behind you in case you need to quickly get out of the way.




  1. A car opened its door.

    If there are parked cars on the side of the road, never ride between them and an active lane of traffic. Even if there’s a ton of extra room. Car doors can open. Pedestrians can step into the road. Cars can pull out. And so on. Motorcyclists and bicyclists call the area next to parked cars The Death Zone for this very reason.


If, however, you end up in this situation, brake as hard as possible to avoid a collision. If a collision is going to happen anyway, you can at least decrease your speed.

Hopefully, when you’re on your motorcycle, you ride safely and exercise caution while on the road. If for some reason you or a loved one is injured in a motorcycle accident, seek medical attention immediately. Then contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who can look at the facts of your case and determine if you’re entitled to any damages.





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How to Prove Fault as a Motorcyclist in an Accident

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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


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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.




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Staying Safe While Riding Your Motorcycle in the Rain

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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.


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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.