How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take? Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

When you are hurt in an automobile, truck, or motorcycle accident you may suffer injuries that are serious enough to alter your life in a dramatic way. People are often unable to work after an accident, it’s difficult to pay medical bills and household expenses and they need relief immediately. Creditors, mortgage companies, and landlords expect to be paid and they are not concerned about your misfortune.Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorney

If you are involved in an accident that was not your fault it seems reasonable that you should receive compensation for lost time from work, pain, injuries, and damages to your vehicle immediately. But, that’s not usually the case. So, what can you do?

There are many options, and each one is going to depend on the specifics of the case. The first thing to do is to seek out an experienced attorney who has a history of helping people in these situation and who gets results.

Your attorney will examine every detail related to the case, including physical injuries, property damage, and insurance coverage. Often insurance companies don’t want to pay and we have to be persistent. The process must move expeditiously because time is money and we will not stand by while our client is in financial or physical distress. A qualified attorney will understand that your need for justice is first and foremost, but that speed is also very, very important. Many people will face financial hardships while everything is sorted out and they may turn to borrowing money to cover their bills. When this happens some victims may consider personal loans, using their credit cards to live on, or even a lawsuit loan.

Lawsuit Loans – A lawsuit loan (also called a lawsuit cash advance, litigation financing, lawsuit funding, and settlement funding) is a cash advance against a future lawsuit judgment or settlement award. You will want to move very carefully before you choose lawsuit funding. Borrowing against a future settlement or judgment can help you deal with short-term financial hurdles but may cost you a lot in the long run.

Once again, the best thing to do is obtain advice from a professional who has dealt with these situations over a period of many years.

One of the first things we do at Lazarus & Lazarus is establish expectations. We lay out in plain talk what the case looks like and what our clients can expect in terms of our performance, and we write down a timetable for each case. We have learned that it’s wrong to raise expectations by making unrealistic promises. On the other hand, we work very hard to build a solid and strong case for every client so that it has the best chance to establish the truth and get the results and compensation that are appropriate.

Reaching out to us is easy, just call 954-356-0006 and we’ll be happy to set up a confidential consultation.

 

Driving Drowsy Can Be Deadly – Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Florida Highway Patrol troopers and rescue workers were amazed when a driver and his passengers survived a serious crash at a tollbooth on the Florida Turnpike recently. Early indications are that the driver fell asleep at the wheel and the vehicle plowed into some crash absorbers, narrowly missing a pay lane where a another vehicle was stopped. The story in the Miami Herald contains a video of the crash, but warns “the following video contains graphic content.”

How common are “asleep at the wheel” crashes? It’s difficult to ascertain whether a driver was nodding off before a crash because there are no medical tests to help, like there are for determining blood alcohol level. But a recent AAA study reveals that driver fatigue is a factor in 1 of 10 accidents, and the problem seems to be getting worse over time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 35 percent of American drivers sleep less than the recommended minimum of seven hours a night.

South Florida Accident LawyersSummer is the traditional time for long trips in the car to reach various vacation spots, so it’s a great time to prepare for a common sense schedule of drive time, rest time, meal time, and sleep time. It’s a good idea to drive during the time you are usually awake so you aren’t knocking your body’s internal clock out of whack. If you normally sleep at night, then sleep at night during your trip. Arrange to take turns with another driver if possible, and drive in 2-3 hour segments before taking rests.

Many drivers have a tendency to “push it” until they reach the next destination, but don’t do it. The minute you feel sleepy get off the road and rest.

The National Sleep Foundation says these are warning signs that you are getting fatigued and you should stop driving:

  1. Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, or heavy eye lids.
  2. Daydreaming; wandering/disconnected thoughts.
  3. Trouble remembering the last few miles driven; missing exits or traffic signs.
  4. Yawning repeatedly or rubbing your eyes.
  5. Trouble keeping your head up.
  6. Drifting from your lane, tailgating, or hitting a shoulder rumble strip.
  7. Feeling restless and irritable.

We are experienced motor vehicle accident attorneys in south Florida for over 20 years and we have worked with many victims of sleep-related serious crashes. Please call us if you have been involved in any car, truck, or motorcycle accident and you’re not sure about what you can do to take care of your injuries and damages. We’re available all the time by calling 954-356-0006.

Have a safe summer!

Soft Tissue Injuries are Painful and Slow to Heal – Fort Lauderdale Accident Lawyers

If you were asked to name common injuries from automobile accidents, you would probably say cuts and broken bones. Those are common injuries and they are usually the first to be diagnosed when the victim of an accident is treated on the scene by paramedics or later at the hospital. But soft tissue injuries to muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments are really the most common, the most difficult to diagnose, and often the most painful and hard to treat.

A synonym for the word “soft” is “delicate.” These are areas of the body that are very sensitive to trauma. 

Soft tissue injuries include sprains, strains, bruises, and tendinitis. Under the category of sprains there are three levels:

Grade 1: Only some of the fibers in the ligament are torn, and the injured site is moderately painful and swollen. Function in the joint will be unaffected for the most part.
Grade 2: Many of the ligament fibers are torn, and pain and swelling is moderate. The functionality of the joint is compromised.
Grade 3: The soft tissue is completely torn, and functionality and strength on the joint is completely compromised. In most cases, surgery is needed to repair the damage.

Often soft tissue injuries do not become obvious until some time after the actual injury occurs, sometimes a few days or even a few weeks. Probably the most common and the most painful soft tissue injuries people experience after an auto accident are whiplash (neck) and other spinal injuries. If a car is jolted suddenly into movement, for example from being rear ended, the cervical (neck) spine can be seriously damaged.

How can a soft tissue injury be diagnosed and treated?

The science of medicine has become so specialized that going to a physician who doesn’t handle your specific issue may waste precious time and money. For example, years ago when you had an eye issue you went to an ophthalmologist. Today there are over 10 sub-specialties of ophthalmology including specialists for the retina, cornea, optic nerve, glaucoma, and cataracts. If you choose the wrong doctor, you will just be referred to another.

If you are involved in an auto accident and you feel fine at first, but later realize that “something just is not right” there is a good possibility you have some type of soft tissue injury. The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has been working with victims of car, truck, and motorcycle accidents for over 20 years and we have been fortunate to work with some of the finest doctors in the nation who happen to practice here in south Florida. We stand by our clients until they are connected to the medical specials who will truly improve their condition, heal their injuries, and lessen their pain.

Call us at 954-356-0006 if you have any questions, and thank you.

Are Uber Cars Safe? Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Uber was founded in 2009 and has grown to be the world’s largest ride-share company with over 5 billion trips completed, and the addition of UberEats, a food delivery service. While Uber’s growth has been amazing, it hasn’t been without controversy. Taxi companies in particular have challenged their business model, which competes with their share of the transportation market. Many taxing authorities have also resisted Uber because they were not subject to the same permit requirements as cabs and limousines. It seems a lot of that has now settled down, and Uber is apparently here to stay at least for a while.

You can click here to see Broward County’s regulations website page pertaining to for-hire vehicles, which includes “All for-hire vehicles that are permitted to operate in Broward County must be inspected by an ASE certified master mechanic or AATI master automobile technician from a licensed auto repair shop.”

But if Uber is not under the same guidelines as taxi cabs and limousines how do we know their cars are safe and their drivers are competent? A Florida Statute (627.748) covers insurance requirements for transportation network companies (like Uber) and Uber’s website tells drivers:

  • Depending on your city, your vehicle may need to undergo a 19-point inspection.
  • Vehicle inspections are required annually. You must have your vehicle inspected at least once every 12 months.
  • Please check that your vehicle meets your city’s Uber vehicle requirements before having your vehicle inspected.
  • It is your responsibility to make any repairs needed to pass the vehicle inspection. Please note that passing the vehicle inspection does not guarantee access to the Uber platform.

So the next time you tap your Uber app to request a ride, how will you know if the car has been inspected and is safe? Unless you want to request the driver provide you with all his maintenance records, you’ll have to take it on faith. Personally, I use a reversed version of the old adage “you can’t judge a book by the cover” and figure if the car is clean on the inside and out, appears well maintained, if the driver seems to have a professional demeanor, then chances are the brakes and tires are ok.

We have devoted a portion of our law practice to helping people who have been involved in accidents involving taxis, limousines, and ride-sharing vehicles. These incidents involve a special knowledge of how the law and insurance coverage works, so if you have questions about an incident that concerns you, please give us a call at 954-356-0006. We’re here to help.

 

sudden unintended acceleration

Sudden Unintended Acceleration – Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

A tragic crash in Delray Beach on April 29th killed four people and apparently involved a pickup truck crashing into the rear of a minivan, which was stopped at a traffic light. The investigation is going to be extensive and details are sketchy, but one local news report said the driver reported the “pickup suddenly lurched into high speed.”

We cannot imagine anything more horrifying than driving down the road when suddenly your car accelerates even though you do not have your foot on the accelerator. What do you do?

Sudden Unintended Acceleration

First, a history of the problem, because it has happened many times and is sometimes caused by vehicle defects. Here are a few situations involving large numbers of cars:

• 1987: The 1982-1987 Audi 5000s sales in the United States fell after recalls linked to sudden unintended acceleration. There were 700 accidents and 6 deaths.
• 2006: The 2004 model year Ford Mustang Cobra was recalled by Ford for accelerator pedals that failed to return to idle after being fully pressed.
• 2009-2011: Several vehicle models were recalled in the 2009–2011 Toyota vehicle recalls, which resulted in suspension of production and sales of many of Toyota’s most popular models, including the Toyota Corolla, Toyota Camry, Toyota Tacoma pickups, Toyota Avalon, Toyota Matrix, Pontiac Vibe, and more.

Now, what do you do if your car or truck suddenly accelerates forward while you’re driving? Popular Mechanics Magazine offers these suggestions:

Step 1 /// Press the Brake Pedal, Hard
The first thing to do–immediately–is press as hard as possible on the brake pedal. Do not pump the pedal, but simply keep steady, hard pressure. Use all the strength your leg can muster. The brakes will require significantly more force than normal because when the engine throttle is wide open, there’s no engine vacuum to power the brake booster. The car won’t slow as quickly as normal, either, but it will reduce speed. In every car, the brakes are more powerful than the engine, so eventually the brakes will win.

Step 2 /// Get Into Neutral
The next step is to shift the transmission into neutral. If the throttle is stuck wide open, the engine will rev alarmingly high. Do not worry about hurting the motor, there’s an electronic rev limiter that will automatically keep the engine spinning high enough to kill it. With the engine power now disengaged from the drive wheels, the brakes will have a much easier job.

Step 3 /// Turn Off the Car
You’re well under control now, but just to be safe, shut off the engine. Since some modern cars have push-button starters, like many Lexus models, you may have to hold the button for three seconds to cut the engine. And you should be aware that the brake-pedal pressure may increase when the motor stops running. As safely as possible, pull the car off the road and call a tow truck. There’s no sense driving the car again until the mechanical problem is found and fixed.

As strange as this may sound, they also say it’s a good idea to practice these three steps.

Performing well in any panic situation comes down to being prepared. So find an empty parking lot and practice these techniques. To simulate a stuck throttle, you’ll have to keep the throttle pinned with your right foot and use your left foot to work the brakes. After a few go-arounds, you’ll get the idea.

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has worked with victims of car, truck, and motorcycle accidents where there were issues with auto manufacturer and repair defects involved. We are very experienced investigating the reasons for vehicle crashes and we are fully capable of dealing with manufacturers, dealerships, and auto repair shops in order to get the facts.

If you believe an accident you have been involved in was due to a defect in design, manufacture, or repair, we can help. Call us at 954-356-0006 and we’ll arrange a confidential consultation at your convenience.

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Never Multitask While Driving – Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Fort Lauderdale Accident AttorneysWhere did the term multitask originate? Humans have been doing many things at the same time for centuries, but it was just called “doing many things at the same time.” Like many words, terms, and phrases we use today, multitasking originated when computers became a normal part of life. Many believe it was the invention of Windows by Microsoft that enabled us to do many things at the same time on a single computer. After Windows we could talk on the phone, watch TV, eat a Hot Pocket, and do 5 things on the computer at the same time. Multitask.

Today we have no choice but to multitask. In order to keep a job with most companies multitasking is skill requirement number one, and at home we cook, text, read email and talk to Alexa while we load the dishwasher.

It all seems quite normal until you hear this, from Psychology Today Magazine: “Multitasking compromises our visual awareness, divides our attention, distracts us, reduces our job satisfaction, stunts our memory, impairs cognitive function, and sabotages our performance. With that being said, do you really want to multitask in the car? While you’re driving?

Several studies show that if you talk on the phone while driving, even hands-free, you are 4 times more likely to be involved in an accident. If you text while driving you are twenty times more likely to be in an accident.

Fort Lauderdale Accident AttorneysFlorida has not yet enacted strict laws about texting and driving like many other states, so while you may not be heavily fined like you would in New York (up to $450.00) you do have the potential of injuring yourself or your fiends and family by multitasking in the car. We urge everyone to turn off the ringer and put their phones away while driving. There is nothing that is so important to risk an accident, please deal with calls and messages later, after you arrive at your destination.

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

As Fort Lauderdale accident attorneys, we have seen victims of very serious accidents try to deal with serious injuries caused because of someone multitasking while they drive. If you have been involved in an accident please feel free to give us a call at 954-356-0006 and we’ll answer your questions about how to deal with your situation.

 

 

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

How to Deal With Road-Rageous Drivers – Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Road rage is a serious problem, and in south Florida it can be very hazardous to your health. This week an incident in Broward County started with one driver cutting off another and concluded with one driver getting hit in the head with baseball bats. Miami Herald story – click here.

The victim in this case apparently got out of her vehicle to go face-to-face with the other driver, and what we will say about this response is don’t do that. Ever. We all pay taxes for police protection, so call the police. The driver who was beaten has serious head injuries, a broken nose, and will possibly require long-term medical care. News reports say she stepped out of her vehicle to record the incident on her cell phone, and once again our advice is don’t do that. Stay in your car and call police. You never know what weapon another driver might have, a bat, a knife, or a gun.

If you see a problem developing with another driver on the road and you feel he or she may confront you, try to diffuse the situation. Nod, smile, say you’re sorry. Even if you aren’t and it wasn’t your fault. It’s better to swallow some pride than to end up in the hospital.

“A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.” Albert Einstein

Because Albert was just about the smartest person to have ever lived, it’s a good idea to model our advice on road rage after that quote. How do you avoid road rage, including your own?

Here are a few tips from the Progressive Insurance Company:

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys - Road RageProtect yourself.
If you are dealing with an aggressive driver, make sure your doors are locked. If you’re stopped in traffic, leave enough room to pull out from behind the car you’re following. If an aggressive driver confronts you, dial 911 or go to the nearest police station.

Don’t take it personally.
Be polite and courteous, even if the other driver isn’t. Avoid any conflict, if possible. If another driver challenges you, take a deep breath and move out of the way! Never underestimate the other driver’s capacity for causing mayhem.

Reduce your own stress.
Allow plenty of time for a trip and listen to soothing music when you drive. Make sure your seat position and climate are both comfortable for you. And mostly understand that you cannot control traffic, only your reaction to it. In the end, you may find that personal frustration, anger and impatience are the real danger zones on the highway.

Report aggressive drivers.
Some states have a phone number that you can use to report dangerous driving to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Keep the number handy on your cell phone. If you make a call, be sure you give a vehicle description, license number, and the location and travel direction. You could prevent a tragedy.

Be a courteous driver.
You can set the example, which can help make our roads safer.

Control your anger.
Don’t take traffic problems personally.
Avoid making eye contact with an aggressive driver.
Don’t make obscene gestures.
Don’t tailgate.
Use your horn sparingly — even a polite honk can be misinterpreted.
Don’t block the passing lane.
Don’t block the right turn lane.

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

The attorneys at Lazarus and Lazarus are here to answer questions if you have been involved in an accident or a road rage incident. Our primary duty is to our client and we work very hard to make sure your rights are protected. Call us at 954-356-0006 if you have an issue you would like to discuss with us.

Are Self-Driving Cars a Danger to Motorcycles and Pedestrians? Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Who is Responsible When There is no Human Driver?

A near-miss between a self-driving Tesla and a Phoenix motorcycle police officer last year raised eyebrows in the motorcycle community even though there were no damages or injuries.

According to USA Today: The officer, who was in front of the Tesla, stopped for a traffic signal, police said. After also stopping briefly, the Tesla began creeping forward, prompting the officer to jump off his motorcycle and move away. The officer later estimated the car was moving at about three miles per hour, police said. There were no injuries or damage.

Recently The Mercury News reported: General Motors is in a race to be the first company to mass produce self-driving cars, but a recent crash with a San Francisco motorcyclist has illustrated the tricky challenge of assigning blame when an autonomous vehicle gets in an accident.

There are several other incidents in the news, some involving very serious injuries.

Self-driving cars operate using sensors and those sensors are calibrated to “see” cars, trucks, and trees. Obviously they won’t tell the car to slam on the brakes if a pigeon crosses the road, but somewhere between a large truck and a bird is a motorcycle. Are these cars going to be able to detect a motorcycle when one is riding alongside on the highway? Can they detect a dog that may run out in the road?

There have been many reports about hackers that have a ability to break into a driver-less car’s navigation system and remotely disable it. We can’t imagine the panic a person would feel if their car suddenly accelerated on its own as it approached a red light, nor the damage that could be done to people and property.

Floridians have a right to know if these new vehicles are a danger to motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians, and everyone, and what protection we have if they cause an accident with injuries or worse.

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Self-driving cars may be the future of travel and they may someday be perfected. In the meantime, we will work diligently to help people who are injured in accidents with these vehicles. If you have questions, please contact us at 954-356-0006 and thank you.

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Can You Prevent an Auto Accident? Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

What is an accident? By definition, it is “an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and usually results in harm, Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneysinjury, damage, or loss; casualty; mishap.” Another definition is: (law) “such a happening resulting in injury that is in no way the fault of the injured person for which compensation or indemnity is legally sought.”

The State of Florida changed their reports years ago from “accident reports” to “crash reports” we assume because law enforcement does not want to be as involved in determining fault for a crash, and it is usually better for that to be resolved in a court of law.

Whatever you call them, accidents or crashes, they’re both bad and should be avoided. Some feel there’s not much you can do about avoiding an accident, but we know that to be untrue. In fact, here are five things you can do to significantly reduce your chances of being in an accident.

  1. Always keep one hand on the steering wheel. You should really keep both hands on the wheel, but if you have to change the radio station, please don’t let go with the other hand. Very dangerous, and you would be surprised how often some people do this.
  2. Watch for red light runners. When your light turns green, count to three before you enter the intersection and look both ways. Never assume someone is going to stop at a red light or stop sign. Use caution always.
  3. Never tailgate. Remember the faster you are traveling, the more space you need to leave between your car and the car ahead of you.Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys
  4. Back up slowly and carefully. Use your mirrors, but it’s a good idea to turn around and really look carefully for other cars and pedestrians when you back up. In parking lots, people with shopping carts will assume you see them and so they’ll just move right into your path. Take your time, it’s not a race.
  5. Finally, probably the most important tip to avoid an accident is to never text when you’re driving. Just put the phone down and don’t even think about it. If it beeps or rings, deal with it when you’ve arrived at your destination. Nothing is worth taking your eyes off the road.

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

We have been helping people injured in accidents across south Florida for over 20 years, and we find that almost every crash was preventable. Please be careful, but if you are injured in a crash it’s important to have someone on your side who can determine the cause and help you get the help you need to pay for medical bills, lost time from work, damages, and your pain and suffering. We work very hard for our clients and we’ve earned an excellent reputation for doing so. Reach out to us by calling 954-356-0006 if you would like to have a conversation.

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.