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who will show “proof” of insurance in the form of an identification card or some other paper that refers to an outdated, expired, or terminated insurance policy.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.

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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?

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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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Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Summer Road Trips: Have You Checked Your Auto Insurance?

What would you think is the most dangerous month to drive? What day of the week? You may think that winter months are dangerousFort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys because of snow and ice and that Monday mornings would be dangerous because of commuters. Both are wrong.

The most dangerous month, it turns out, is August, and Saturday the most dangerous day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Summer is when driving goes way up, and Saturdays are when many people who get to work using public transportation decide to gas up the family car and head for the beach or Home Depot.

We are going to focus on summer road trips because this is when there is the potential for unusual circumstances to come into play. You’re going to be far from home so if anything happens you’ll want to make sure you have enough insurance coverage to handle any problems.

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Florida Click It or Ticket in May – Please Wear Your Seat Belt

florida car accident attorneysTry to imagine the frustration felt by Florida Highway Patrol troopers and highway safety officials when you consider they have been fighting to reduce the number of fatalities on Florida roads, and after making progress for a time, the numbers turn and suddenly get worse. That’s what has happened the past three years, and despite the depressing news police all around Florida are ready to kick off the annual “click it or ticket” campaign in hopes people will buckle up. It’s inconceivable that some people are still forgetting to buckle their seat belts, but apparently they are:

Of the 35,092 people killed in car crashes in the United States last year, 9,874 were not wearing a seat belt, according to the National Highway Safety Administration. That’s 28% and it’s far too high.

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What are the Duties of an Auto Accident Attorney?

Accidents happen to everyone, it’s just a matter of when. Everyone hopes it’s not serious and that no one is injured, but the statistics say it will happen eventually. That being said, do you know what to do when you’re in an accident? We have covered what to do immediately after the accident, such as cooperate with the authorities, but don’t admit fault, and don’t post on social media. Take photographs if possible.

Fort Lauderdale Auto Accident Attorney

Fort Lauderdale Accident AttorneyThen seek the advice of a good auto accident attorney, and look for references and reviews to select a good one. Then, after you have decided on a lawyer, what then? What should you expect from your attorney? Obviously you want to be communicated with regularly. What else?

How about a list of the duties and responsibilities a good auto accident attorney should know his responsibilities based on the circumstances of the case, but a basic outline is:

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