Choosing a South Florida Auto Accident Lawyer

A hypothetical situation: You’re driving to Publix on a sunny Saturday morning and you’re stopped at a red light. Suddenly you’re hit from South Florida Accident Attorneybehind and your car is pushed forward! “What the heck was that?” you say as you look in your rear view mirror. There’s someone back there waving at you and they motion to pull over into a parking lot. So you move your car off the road and get out to look at your rear bumper as the other driver apologizes profusely. There’s only minor damage, but you’re a little shook up and confused about what to do. Most people have a tendency to want to be nice and so if the other driver urges you to write down his insurance company information and says “it’s minor, let’s not make a big issue about it,” you may be tempted to let it go. That might be a bad decision and here is why:

A couple days later you wake up in the morning and feel like your neck was judo chopped and you can barely get out of bed. What happened? It is quite possibly a delayed onset of whiplash, caused by an abrupt backward and/or forward jerking motion of the head, often as a result of a car accident. It is not unusual at all to feel fine for 24-48 hours after the actual trauma and then feel severe pain.

Some symptoms of whiplash:

  • Neck pain and stiffness.
  • Headaches.
  • Pain in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades.
  • Low back pain.
  • Pain or numbness in the arm and/or hand.
  • Dizziness.
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering.
  • Irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue.

Continuing with our hypothetical situation, you call the insurance company provided by the driver who hit you and they never heard of him. Strange, you think, he seemed like such a nice guy!

We’re going to go back to some issues we write about often because they’re important. When you are involved in an accident here are some dos and don’ts:

  • Do try to have a police report filled on scene, especially if you are certain the other driver is at fault.
  • Do not admit any guilt or even speak to others involved in the accident except to render aid.
  • Do take pictures of damage, insurance papers, license plates, the surroundings, traffic signs or anything that might be relevant to proving your point of view about what happened.
  • Do try to get the names and contact information for any witnesses who might help prove your side of the story about the accident.
  • Do not post anything on social media about the accident.
  • Do call a personal injury lawyer who specializes in accidents. Even if you think you are fine, you may have hidden injuries and the time to be screened for them is right away.

How do you choose an attorney?

  • Experience: Hiring one with experience in handling similar cases like yours.
  • Focus: Find one who is focused on your case and not juggling multiple cases at once.
  • Reputation: Reputation of the attorney in negotiating with insurance companies can play a major key in the amount of damages you receive.
  • Personality: Choose an attorney that you can get along with and also trust through the process.

There is never any obligation when you reach out to us at Lazarus and Lazarus to ask questions. Making the right decision about who will look out for your rights when you are injured in an accident is extremely important and we want you to take your time and make the choice that’s right for you. Call us at 954-356-0006 any time for a completely confidential consultation.

 

 

Accident Insurance Settlement

How Insurance Companies Calculate Settlement Offers

South Florida Accident AttorneyAuto insurance companies collect premiums to provide coverage to their customers for losses in an accident. They expect premiums to be paid promptly, yet sometimes when accident victims need help after an accident, the insurance companies take their time about paying. Or they offer very small settlement amounts.

Accident victims are left to scratch their heads and wonder “how did they come up with that number?”

The answer is there is no set formula. Every company uses different methods, but one thing that is consistent is that they will initially offer as low a number as possible. They are in business to make money.

Insurance companies do not have one precise method for calculating settlement offers that is applied to every case. Each accident is unique, but one thing is consistent: Insurance companies have a financial incentive to pay less and maximize their profits.  Insurance companies will often attempt to entice or pressure injured parties to accept an offer that does not fully cover the victim’s medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation, and pain and suffering. Many companies use their own formula to determine their initial settlement offer and they don’t disclose how they arrive at a number. Once the company has arrived at an amount for personal injury, lost income caused by the injury is then added to the number, but it is often inadequate.

South Florida Accident Attorney

Victims of automobile, truck, and motorcycle accidents are cajoled into working with their insurance company without any outside advice, and this can be a very costly mistake. As experienced accident attorneys, we have learned that there is usually lots of room for negotiation with insurance companies, and we have been doing it for over 20 years.

Get the Insurance Settlement you Deserve

If you have been involved in an accident, you may be contacted almost immediately with an offer to settle. We urge people to take a moment and have the facts and their policy reviewed to make sure the offer is fair. Most of our cases work on a contingency basis, which means you don’t pay until the case is closed. Give us a call at 954-356-0006 and we can have a discussion about making sure you come out with the maximum amount of money to which you are entitled.

South Florida Car Accident Attorney

Who is at Fault in a Chain Reaction Accident?

Who is at Fault in a Chain Reaction Accident? South Florida Car Accident Attorney

It’s long been (mostly) true that if you are struck by a car coming up behind you, it’s their fault. But what happens when there is a chain-reaction accident and you’re somewhere in the middle?

South Florida is known for its afternoon rain storms, and after a long, hot, sunny day when the rain hits the pavement it’s a slippery situation. Chain reaction accidents are common, and usually they’re just dented fenders and some scratches. Each driver will likely be able to have their own insurance company take care of the damage, and there is not a federal investigation.

But in the case of a serious multi-car accident where people are injured, looking into who is at fault may become necessary in order to properly compensate those with significant damage and injuries.

As a driver, you are not prepared or qualified to get the facts necessary, and it’s not something you want to get involved with. As qualified Florida accident and personal injury attorneys, this is what we do every day.

It’s not always the car who hit another car first that is at fault, and there are often extenuating circumstances. For example, there may be:

  • A driver who failed to use their brake lights or other signals.
  • A driver who was following too closely.
  • A driver who was speeding.
  • A driver who was texting or distracted behind the wheel, unable to react properly to the first crash.
  • The public agency that failed to install or maintain proper traffic signs.
  • The public agency that failed to clear the road of obstacles that caused drivers to abruptly stop.

All that said, there are also cases where no one can actually be blamed for the crash. An example is when the accident occurred because of bad weather or natural hazards on the road such as an ice patch. Another is when a driver inadvertently instigated the accident because they were losing consciousness at the wheel due to a medical condition. In cases like these, the liability may be reduced or eliminated altogether. Our job is to persist until we find the facts.

South Florida Car Accident Attorney

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has been investigating very complex crashes for over 20 years. We understand the dynamics of crashes and we have expert accident investigators we work with who are capable of getting the facts.

Often a case may require an expert witness to testify as to how an accident occurred and who was at fault. We handle these details.

Call us at 954-356-0006 if you have any questions about an accident and we’ll be happy to advise you on the best course of action.

Safe Cars: Check Your Car for Recalls – South Florida Accident Attorneys

We preach safety first on this website because we would rather meet you at the beach or a south Florida sporting event than as new client whosouth florida accident attorneys has been in a car accident. We believe that almost all accidents are avoidable, and driving a safe car is a very big step in that direction.

You may not know that as many as 1 in 4 cars on the road right now has a safety recall that has not been fixed yet. What can you do?

When you go to the dealer, they will run your vehicle identification number (VIN) in the computer and the service adviser should let you know if there are any outstanding recalls. But if your car is older and you don’t get to the dealership, you might want to run your VIN through the safercar.gov site, powered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. You can find your car’s VIN on your title, registration, or insurance card.

Two recalls that were very noteworthy because of the incredibly severe safety hazards they covered were:

  1. In 1969, owners of V-8-powered General Motors cars began experiencing a small problem. The rubber parts in their vehicles’ engine mounts would give out, causing the engine to come free, twist upward and pull open the throttle, resulting in rapid acceleration. It would often disable brake assistance, making it harder to stop the car.
  2. The famous Ford Pinto exploding gas tank recall. The 1978 recall of Ford’s popular compact Pinto model came after a public outcry and months of legal wrangling between Ford and the government. At issue was the lack of reinforcement between the Pinto’s fuel tank and the bolts in its rear differential. Critics alleged that this design flaw made the gas tank susceptible to becoming pierced by the bolts and catching fire in a rear-end collision.

Another area of concern is child car seats. These crucial pieces of equipment are often recalled and you can look for any safety bulletins at a special online webpage powered by Parents.com.

Please check both the resources above for any car or car seat recalls, and make a proactive decision to have your car inspected regularly for safety. Brakes, lights, air bags, the whole car. Please wear your seat belt always, and never text while driving.

South Florida Accident Attorneys

Lazarus and Lazarus represents people who have been hurt in accidents all over the state of Florida. We work diligently until our clients receive the maximum compensation allowed by law for their pain and suffering, injuries, medical bills, lost time from work, and other damages. Call us at 954-356-0006 so we can have a discussion about your situation.