Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorneys

Best and Worst Car Insurance Companies • Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorneys

Fort Lauderdale Car Accident AttorneysInsurance is one of those things people hate to pay for, but when they need it they are very happy they did. Many people pay for insurance their entire lives and never actually use it. The insurance companies love those people. Others are constantly making claims for this or that and it all balances out in a system that isn’t perfect, but we have to deal with it.

Is there any big difference between one insurance company and another? Consumer Reports did some research and then produced ratings for car insurance companies and the results are interesting.

12 Best Car Insurance Companies – #1 is best:

  1. USAA Property & Casualty
  2. Amica Insurance
  3. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company
  4. Erie Insurance Group
  5. Auto Club Enterprises Insurance Group
  6. Auto Club Insurance Association
  7. Auto-Owners Insurance Group of Companies
  8. Ameriprise Financial (IDS)
  9. State Farm
  10. State Auto Insurance Companies
  11. Mercury
  12. Geico

12 Worst Car Insurance Companies – #1 is worst:

  1. Farmers Insurance
  2. Hanover Insurance
  3. Mapfre USA
  4. Allstate
  5. MetLife
  6. Liberty Mutual
  7. Travelers
  8. The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies
  9. AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah Insurance Exchange
  10. The Hartford Financial Services Group
  11. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company
  12. American Family

We have worked with all these companies, and while we will offer no opinions of our own on the quality of coverage or claim service, we will say that they all have good points and bad. Car insurance is necessary and mandatory, but working with them after an accident and getting the best compensation for your losses is sometimes best left to professionals.

Florida Automobile Insurance

We recommend that you do some rate comparisons and research on your own before making a decision. We also recommend that you obtain more than just the “basic” or required coverage. Many people call us and complain that after an accident they were left out in the cold when it came to having access to rental cars, quality repairs, and other reimbursements. Study your policy carefully and if possible sit down with an agent to go over the fine print.

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

If you have been involved in an accident and your company is not performing according to what you believe is fair and reasonable, give us a call. We’ll look over your policy and see what we can do to get you the compensation you deserve. We’re always here to talk at 954-356-0006.

 

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Car, Truck, or Motorcycle Accidents Involving Alcohol-Impaired Drivers

We read about terrible accidents involving drunk drivers all the time, but how bad is the problem?

Every day, 28 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This is one death every 51 minutes. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $44 billion. In 2015, 10,265 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (29%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.

And even though over one million people are arrested each year for driving under the influence of alcohol, the numbers of accidents and deaths are not really diminishing.

If you’re involved in an accident with a drunk driver and suffer injuries or significant damages, there are different dynamics involved and itFort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys would be a good idea to seek the advice of an experienced accident and personal injury attorney.

Drunk drivers are almost always liable for damages and injuries, and a drunk driver will often try to hide from the authorities or conceal assets if they feel they will be sued. They may tamper with evidence, attempt to coerce witnesses, or any number of things to hinder the investigation and proper progress for justice, both civilly and criminally.

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

DUI cases are very complex, and the attorneys at Lazarus and Lazarus have worked with victims far too many times. We persevere until our clients receive the maximum compensation for their injuries, pain, suffering, and property damage.

Please don’t become involved in confrontational situations involving drunk drivers. It’s best left to law enforcement and your attorney. Call us at 954-356-0006 and we can arrange a confidential consultation.

 

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorney

Car Crash Test Results – How Does Your Car Rate? Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorneys

If you’re older than 40 you know that cars used be much bigger and heavier than they are today. Fenders and bumpers used to be made of steel and when you drove a car in the 1970s and ‘80s you felt like you were in a tank.

Today’s cars are much lighter and include a lot of plastic, composites, and fiberglass in their design. The good news is that newer cars defy what you might think, and are much safer than older cars.

The government performs crash tests on cars and they publish the results online. You can check your car by visiting: https://www.nhtsa.gov/ratings

You’ll need to input you car’s year, make, and model to get the results which are from one to five stars.

Something that is disconcerting, however, is that while cars are getting safer there are more serious crashes resulting in injuries. According toCar Accident Attorney Fort Lauderdale Wired Magazine:

“…..traffic fatalities spiked in 2016, according to new data from the Department of Transportation. Cars may be safer than ever, but 37,461 people died on American roads that year, a 5.6 percent hike over 2015. While fatalities have dramatically declined in recent decades, this is the second straight year the number has risen. It’s too early to say why, exactly, this is happening. Researchers will need much more time with the data to figure that out.”

Some analysts believe the increase is due to lower gas prices and an improved economy. People drive around more when they have more money in their pockets.

Many experts believe there are more accidents because people are driving and texting more, or they are being distracted by other technical gizmos.

A few suggestions to keep you safe in your car:

  • NEVER text and drive.
  • NEVER drink and drive.
  • Obey the speed limit and other traffic laws.
  • Wear your seatbelt, even if you’re just “running a quick errand.”

We hope we meet you someday, but not because you’ve been injured in an accident. Stay safe!

If you are in an accident, please reach out to us by calling 954-356-0006 and we will set up a time to meet.

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Getting Hit by an Uninsured Driver – Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Florida ranks very high in some rather dubious categories related to safety on our roads and highways, including the face that we are the most dangerous state for motorcyclists. The Sunshine State is also ranked very high (#2) for the number of uninsured motorists. According to the Insurance Information Institute the worst 10 states for uninsured motorists are:

Oklahoma 25.9%
Florida 23.8%
Mississippi 22.9%
New Mexico 21.6%
Michigan 21.1%
Tennessee 20.1%
Alabama 19.6%
Rhode Island 17.1%
Colorado 16.2%
Washington 16.1

Unfortunately that means if you are hit by another motorist, there is a one-in-four chance it will be an uninsured motorist. So, what do you do?

First, one thing to be aware of is there are many motorists who will show “proof” of insurance in the form of an identification card or some other paper that refers to an outdated, expired, or terminated insurance policy. This happens quite often.

Fort Lauderdale Accident AttorneysIf there are any injuries at all or damage is more than minimal, you’ll want to call an experienced accident attorney. Verifying insurance coverage or lack of coverage is something an attorney can do properly. You may have someone tell you that if the other driver has no insurance, there is nothing you can do but that is absolutely not true. Many times there are other avenues and once again an attorney understands how to approach these situations.

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Understanding the law and how to see that your rights are protected and you receive compensation for your injuries and damage is best handled by someone who has experience. The accident attorneys at Lazarus and Lazarus have dealt with hundreds of cases involving uninsured motorists and we know how to handle these cases. Please feel free to call us at 954-356-0006 and we will be happy to schedule a consultation at your convenience.

Long Term Disability Cases – Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Many people have the conception of motor vehicle accident injuries as going like this: You get in an accident, you go to the hospital, you get Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneysbetter and go home, you sue the other driver and get a lot of money so you can go on vacations and have nice things for a long time. That would be nice, but real accidents and their consequences don’t work like that.

Most serious accidents cause injuries that are not treated with a band-aid and a couple pain pills. Often they require serious medical treatment and long periods of rehabilitation, sometimes for the rest of the victim’s life.

If you read our blog, you know we like to put things in perspective by using everyday topics and then we employ some principles of science to make differences between one situation and another clear.

Football season is beginning, and soon we’ll be hearing reports about this player or that being sidelined with injuries. It’s part of the game. Here’s an example of how many injuries occur: An offensive player is running with the ball, and a defensive player crashes into him at full speed. The defensive player, who runs the 40-yard dash in about 4.5 seconds, will produce 1600 pounds of force! Hopefully the runner’s protective pads will absorb much of the force, but his body will take a pounding.

Using the same formula (Newton’s Second Law of Motion) for cars, the potential force absorbed by a human body can be as much as 300,000 pounds of force! Injuries in car collisions can be devastating.

Fort Lauderdale Accident AttorneysFort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

When someone is the victim of an accident that results in long-term or even permanent disability, one needs to be very careful about approaching the subject of a settlement. What may seem to be a large amount of money today is actually not nearly enough to take care of a person well into the future. This is where an experienced personal injury attorney is so important. Over the years we have been contacted by many victims who rushed to a settlement, only to realize years later that they have no more money.

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has the experience to understand traumatic injuries and how they can persist. Often there are complications from an initial injury that only come to be known as a victim ages. In more than 25 years we have seen every conceivable situation, and we insist that our clients are cared for today and in the long run. We are pleased to meet with you at your convenience and to reach us please call 954-356-0006 and ask for Gary or Arleen Lazarus. Your rights are our primary concern.

 

 

Car Seat Safety – Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorney

Fort Lauderdale Accident AttorneyEveryone knows that children should be properly belted in to a child-restraint seat while in a moving car, right? Not necessarily. A recent survey revealed that 21% of adults in the U.S. don’t think it’s necessary to buckle kids in car seats when going on a “short trip.” (Source)

In 2013, three children were killed and 470 were injured every day in car accidents in the United States. (Source)

Finally, 26% of children killed in car accidents in 2014 were not restrained in car seats. (Source)

Lets see what the law says in Florida:

Chapter 316.613 of the 2017 Florida Statutes: 316.613 Child restraint requirements.—
(1)(a) Every operator of a motor vehicle as defined in this section, while transporting a child in a motor vehicle operated on the roadways, streets, or highways of this state, shall, if the child is 5 years of age or younger, provide for protection of the child by properly using a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device.
1. For children aged through 3 years, such restraint device must be a separate carrier or a vehicle manufacturer’s integrated child seat.
2. For children aged 4 through 5 years, a separate carrier, an integrated child seat, or a child booster seat may be used. However, the requirement to use a child restraint device under this subparagraph does not apply when a safety belt is used as required in s. 316.614(4)(a) and the child:
a. Is being transported gratuitously by an operator who is not a member of the child’s immediate family;
b. Is being transported in a medical emergency situation involving the child; or
c. Has a medical condition that necessitates an exception as evidenced by appropriate documentation from a health care professional.

The statute goes on further – click here – but the penalty for failure to comply is a moving violation, and three points will be assessed against the driver’s license of the offender. This seems like a trivial punishment considering the possible damage to a child and indeed the entire family of a young life lost in an accident.

There is no excuse for not obeying this important law.

Using the right car seat is also crucial. Here is a link to a service that calculates the proper seat based on a child’s age, weight, and height: Click Here.

Once you have a car seat, almost every police department in south Florida will inspect it to make sure it is properly installed and you are using it properly.

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorney

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has helped victims of serious auto, truck, and motorcycle accidents for over 20 years and unfortunately we have worked with many cases that involved children. Serious injuries to children are almost always preventable by simply taking the time to install and then a car seat.

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Can a Minor File a Lawsuit in Florida?

Fort Lauderdale Accident AttorneysBeing seriously injured in a car accident is a terrible experience. Imagine waking up in a hospital bed, not know where you are or how you got there, knowing only that you are in terrible pain. Now imagine being a child in that situation. It’s frightening.

Here are some statistics on older children involved in accidents.

Teens = Highest Risk Group: For every mile driven, teens between the ages of 16 and 19 are four times as likely to be involved in a car crash.
Teenage Car Fatalities: 5,000 teens in the 16 to 20 age group die each year as a result of a car crash.
Teenage Car Injuries: 400,000 teens in the same age group are injured each year in car accidents.
Disproportionate Population / Fatality Ratio: Teens make up 10% of the population but represent 12% of car crash fatalities.
Cost: 30% or $26 billion per year in costs are accounted for by drivers under the age of 24.
Driving Habits: Teenagers are more likely to speed, tailgate and only 10% report wearing seat belts.
Teen Male Drivers: Of male drivers ages 15 to 20 killed in car crashes, 38% were speeding and 24% were under the influence of alcohol.
High Risk Age Groups: People between the ages of 15 and 24 and over 75 are the groups most likely affected by car accidents.
Senior Drivers: Drivers over the age of 65 are second most likely to die in a car crash.
Safety Disparity: Despite the fact that older drivers are on average slower, safer drivers, they are more likely to die in a car accident than younger drivers.

In Florida, minors are defined as persons under the age of 18, and so a minor would need to have the consent of their parent or legal guardian to sue. If an injury claim is less than this $15,000, then it is legal for the minor’s parents or natural guardians to settle the claim without first obtaining court approval.

Under Florida state law, minors cannot file personal injury lawsuits in court or settle personal injury claims outside of court on their own when the gross settlement amount of a personal injury claim is greater than $15,000. Also, an attorney-client relationship in the personal injury context can only be formed with the assistance and consent of the minor’s legal guardian. As one might expect, a minor’s legal guardian(s) are most commonly one or both of the minor’s parents. When one or both parents are not available to occupy the guardian position, however, another individual may be appointed by the court to serve as the minor’s legal guardian.

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has dealt with cases involving children many times, and we understand the delicate nature and special considerations involved with these situations. We work hard for every case, and we protect the rights of our victims. If you are involved in car accident in south Florida, please call us at 954-356-0006 and we’ll arrange a confidential consultation at your convenience.

 

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorney

Are ADHD Teens More Likely to Cause Car Accidents?

Fort Lauderdale Accident AttorneyIn 2015, Florida had 2699 fatal car accidents and 2939 deaths, which calculates to 14.5 deaths for every 100,000 people. Florida ranks third for number of deaths behind only Texas and California. It’s known that teens have a higher rate of accidents than other drivers, but are teens with ADHD more likely to cause accidents?

In the United States, teenagers drive less than all but the oldest people, but their numbers of crashes and crash deaths are disproportionately high. 1 In the United States, the fatal crash rate per mile driven for 16-19 year-olds is nearly 3 times the rate for drivers ages 20 and over. Risk is highest at ages 16-17. In fact, the fatal crash rate per mile driven is nearly twice as high for 16-17 year-olds as it is for 18-19 year-olds.

What is ADHD?

A chronic condition including attention difficulty, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.

• Very common.
• More than 3 million US cases per year.
• Treatment can help, but this condition can’t be cured.
• Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong.
• Requires a medical diagnosis.
• Lab tests or imaging not required.

The Inattentive Type: Difficulty paying attention, errors in activities, difficulty organizing, inability to follow instructions, easily distracted, forgetfulness, tendency to lose items, listening issues, carelessness errors.
The Hyperactivity and Impulsive Type: Fidgeting and squirming when told to sit still, inability to remain seated, excessive running, always talking, inability to wait for one’s turn, interrupting issues, always wants to be “on the go,” cannot play quietly.

The Combined Type: Some adults and children have the combination type of ADHD, which means that they are hyperactive, distracted, impulsive, and share symptoms from both. Most people diagnosed with ADHD will have the combined form.

ADHD and Driving

ADHD poses special risks while driving. Those with ADHD are two to four times more likely to be in a vehicle accident compared to those without ADHD, says WebMD.

These teens could be at risk for impulsive behavior behind the wheel; they could take severe risks, use immature judgment, and even seek thrills. These traits are high-risk for those on the road with the individual who has ADHD. Also, those with ADHD are more likely to be heavy drinkers, and they could experience problems from their drinking.

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorney

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has been working with people involved in serious car accidents for over 20 years and we have experience dealing with many cases where a driver’s medical condition contributed to a crash. Please call us if you have any questions about an accident in south Florida and we will be happy to meet with you and discuss your best course of action. 954-356-0006.

 

How to Avoid a Head-On Collision – Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

fort lauderdale accident attorneysProbably the most frightening of all automobile accidents is the head-on collision. You have very little time to react and the damage is usually devastating. These types of accidents are becoming more commonplace as distracted drivers (texting) look at their phones instead of the road, and they drift over into the opposite lane. Can you avoid a head-on collision? The experts say yes.

1 – First of all, don’t look at your phone! Turn it off, put it in the back seat, leave it at home, whatever. Don’t you be the one to leave your lane.

2 – Focus on the road at all times.

3 – If another driver starts coming into your lane, and you have some distance, you can use the turn signal lever to flash your high beams at him. Honk your horn too.

4 – Slow down.

5 – If you must swerve, go to the right. If the other driver does look up and see you, the natural reaction is to jerk the wheel to their right. You don’t want to be there. Try to go onto the shoulder. There is a video below with some tips.

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Is a Bigger Car also a Safer Car?

Fort Lauderdale Car and Motorcycle Accident AttorneysLazarus and Lazarus – Fort Lauderdale Car and Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Does size matter?

Small cars are popular for many reasons. If you live in a big city where parking is hard to find, you’ll be happy to have a small car. Street parking often involves putting your car into a tight spot that tests your parallel parking skills. Fuel economy is another reason why people choose small cars, they get better mileage overall.

Small cars are generally more maneuverable than large vehicles and SUVs so many people feel they are able to avoid collisions better than when driving a big car.

But, when it comes down to surviving a crash, bigger is better. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “Driver death rates calculated by IIHS illustrate the real-world advantages of bigger, heavier vehicles. For example, as a group, in 2014 very large cars 1-3 years old had 19 deaths per million registered vehicles, while mini-cars had 55. Of the 19 vehicles with the lowest driver death rates from the 2008-11 model years during 2009-12, all were midsize or larger. Two-thirds of those with the highest rates were small vehicles or mini-cars.

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