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Tag Archives: car accident lawyers
Texting and Driving | Florida | Car Accident
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a reported 18 percent of all fatal auto accidents were caused by driver distraction in 2010. Distracted driving not only endangers the life of the driver, but the lives of others as well. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, as well as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that you are 23 times more likely to be involved in an auto accident if you are texting while driving. Distracted driving in any form is extremely unsafe. The triple threat of texting and driving is exceptionally dangerous, distracting the driver visually, manually, and cognitively.
Laws restricting the use of handheld devices behind the wheel are currently being enforced in 39 states including D.C. In the state of Florida, the bill against texting and driving is only a signature away. The senate has already passed a bill that classifies texting and driving as a secondary offense. Distracted driving violations can cost from $30 or more with additional penalties for subsequent offenses.
Efforts to discourage the use of handled devices while driving continue to rise thoughout the nation. The U.S. Department of Transportation is encouraging all states to legislate strict laws forbidding the use of cell phones while driving. Major cell phone and insurance companies have become part of the movement to raise awareness on this critical problem. The fight against texting and driving has also inspired the media as well as celebrities, to reach out to the community and reveal the dangers that exist in driving distracted.
Blick Law Firm stands behind the message to not text and drive and continues in support of the cause.
If you or a loved has been a victim of an accident involving distracted driving and you have questions concerning your rights, call Blick Law Firm today at (888) 973-2776 and schedule a free 15-minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer. Think quick, call Blick!
Texting While Driving Ban | Car Accident | Florida Law
Over the past couple of years there has been an increasing trend in the number of car accident claims. A personal injury claim arises when a party suffers an injury with lasting consequences as a result of the actions of another party. The recent rising trend of injury claims is attributable to various reasons.
As a result of the rise in personal injury claims, preventative steps are being put in place on the road. Recent news may help to decrease car accidents claims in Florida; Texting while driving for those living in Florida has officially been banned. Reporter Holly Sinn from Channel 1o News covered the story on October 1, 2013.
Sinn states, The “Wireless Communications Device Prohibition” that went into effect makes it a secondary offense, which means police have to first stop drivers for another offense before they can issue a ticket for texting.
There are a lot of exceptions to the law, which also allows for texting at stoplights, as well as single-button functions while the vehicle is in motion. The law more clearly stated below clears up confusion for drivers.
316.305 Wireless communications devices; prohibition.
(1) This section may be cited as the “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law.”(2) It is the intent of the Legislature to:
(a) Improve roadway safety for all vehicle operators, vehicle passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and other road users.
(b) Prevent crashes related to the act of text messaging while driving a motor vehicle.
(c) Reduce injuries, deaths, property damage, health care costs, health insurance rates, and automobile insurance rates related to motor vehicle crashes.
(d) Authorize law enforcement officers to stop motor vehicles and issue citations as a secondary offense to persons who are texting while driving.(3)(a) A person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device or while sending or reading data 1on such a device for the purpose of nonvoice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing, and instant messaging. As used in this section, the term “wireless communications device” means any handheld device used or capable of being used in a handheld manner, that is designed or intended to receive or transmit text or character-based messages, access or store data, or connect to the Internet or any communications service as defined in s. 812.15 and that allows text communications. For the purposes of this paragraph, a motor vehicle that is stationary is not being operated and is not subject to the prohibition in this paragraph.
(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to a motor vehicle operator who is:
1. Performing official duties as an operator of an authorized emergency vehicle as defined in s. 322.01, a law enforcement or fire service professional, or an emergency medical services professional.
2. Reporting an emergency or criminal or suspicious activity to law enforcement authorities.
3. Receiving messages that are:
a. Related to the operation or navigation of the motor vehicle;
b. Safety-related information, including emergency, traffic, or weather alerts;
c. Data used primarily by the motor vehicle; or
d. Radio broadcasts.
4. Using a device or system for navigation purposes.
5. Conducting wireless interpersonal communication that does not require manual entry of multiple letters, numbers, or symbols, except to activate, deactivate, or initiate a feature or function.
6. Conducting wireless interpersonal communication that does not require reading text messages, except to activate, deactivate, or initiate a feature or function.
7. Operating an autonomous vehicle, as defined in s. 316.003, in autonomous mode.
(c) Only in the event of a crash resulting in death or personal injury, a user’s billing records for a wireless communications device or the testimony of or written statements from appropriate authorities receiving such messages may be admissible as evidence in any proceeding to determine whether a violation of paragraph (a) has been committed.
(4)(a) Any person who violates paragraph (3)(a) commits a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.
(b) Any person who commits a second or subsequent violation of paragraph (3)(a) within 5 years after the date of a prior conviction for a violation of paragraph (3)(a) commits a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation as provided in chapter 318.
(5) Enforcement of this section by state or local law enforcement agencies must be accomplished only as a secondary action when an operator of a motor vehicle has been detained for a suspected violation of another provision of this chapter, chapter 320, or chapter 322.
Personal injury claims all vary in severity, and often times they involve lifelong consequences that require extensive future medical expenses and years of pain and suffering. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the actions or negligence of another, call Blick Law Firm today at (813) 931-0840. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer. Think quick, call Blick!
What is personal injury protection?
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is a mandatory coverage on Florida car insurance policies that covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. The original purpose of PIP coverage was to make sure that anyone injured in an auto accident would quickly receive money to treat their injuries. In Florida, all drivers are obligated to obtain a minimum of $10,000 PIP coverage for medical bills and lost wages following an auto accident.
Due to rampant fraud and misappropriation of PIP coverage in Florida, insurance companies have lobbied to pass PIP insurance reform to limit the types of treatment available to crash victims covered by PIP, and limit the amount of coverage in order to avoid abuse and fraud.
The new PIP law, which took effect January 1, 2013, requires that persons injured in an accident must begin medical services and care within 14-days of the accident in order to be eligible for PIP benefits. The law also requires that injured persons obtain their initial medical treatment from specific medical entities. The initial treatment must be administered by the following:
- Emergency medical services personnel
- Facility that owns or is wholly owned by a hospital
- Medical doctor, dentist, chiropractor or osteopath.
Additionally, the new law bans the use of PIP dollars to pay for massage or acupuncture treatments and will limit the payout for non-emergency treatment of accident-related injuries to $2,500.00. A widespread concern is that accident victims with serious injuries won’t be able to get the care they need if they sustain an injury such as a whiplash or herniated disc because these injuries may not qualify as an emergency.
Nonetheless, supporters of the new law insist that the reform will contribute to overall lower insurance premiums and provide much needed relief to Florida drivers.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of an auto accident and have questions concerning your rights, call Blick Law Firm today at 813-931-0840 to schedule a free 15 minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer. Think quick, call Blick!
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What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Auto accidents can be devastating, and often times result in not only property damage, but also severe injuries that require extensive medical attention and treatment. Insurance coverage is vital in helping car accident victims afford the medical care they need and provides assistance in replacing the loss of property incurred when involved in a serious accident.
Florida requires that all automobile owners who register and operate a vehicle must have Florida insurance. In Florida, the mandatory minimum coverage is $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 property damage liability (PDL) as long as you have a valid Florida license plate.
While these mandatory minimums are in place, many Florida drivers operate vehicles without any automobile insurance coverage. As a protection against Uninsured Motorists, insurance companies provide Uninsured Motorist Coverage. Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage provides for payment of certain benefits for damages caused by owners or operators of uninsured vehicles that cause injury resulting from an automobile accident. Such benefits include payment for medical expenses, lost wages, and even pain and suffering.
It is important for all drivers to consider adding UM coverage to their existing policy to protect themselves and their families from injuries and loss caused in an auto accident by uninsured motorists.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of an auto accident and have questions concerning your rights, call Blick Law Firm today at 813-931-0840 to schedule a free 15 minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer. Think quick, call Blick!
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What to do when in a Car Accident!
Auto accidents can be devastating, and injuries sustained in an accident can begin a timeline of treatment and therapy that can take months to complete. If you are involved in an auto accident, it is always important to know what steps to undertake to protect yourself and your potential personal injury case.
If you are involved in an auto accident, it is critical to first seek medical attention. After an auto accident, it is best to go immediately to the hospital or other treatment facility to determine the extent of your injuries and pinpoint the necessary steps of rehabilitation that might be required.
If the injuries sustained in the accident are not severe or life threatening, it is important to gather necessary information about the accident for purposes of supporting your potential legal suit. Important information to gather includes:
Identification of all occupants: including names, phone numbers, addresses and even emails.
Photos of the Damage: photograph all damages, including both vehicle and surrounding property damage.
Photos of the Accident Scene: photograph any debris, skid marks and also the position of the vehicles involved in the collision; and
Information of Responding Officer(s) and Ambulance: Request any and all identifying information on the officer(s) and Ambulance that respond to the incident
Injured parties should also always contact an attorney for legal consultation and general information on how to proceed following an accident. In the event an insurance company contacts you regarding your injury claim, do not offer any recorded statements without first consulting with an attorney.
If you or a loved one have been in an accident and need legal advice, call Blick Law Firm today at (813) 931-0840. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer.
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What is a soft tissue injury?
Parties to an accident are often times contacted by insurance companies in an attempt to get personal injury victims to settle an injury claim quickly, and for a non-negotiated amount. Before a settlement offer is even discussed, it is extremely important to first know the extent of your injuries.
Usually, the severity of damage sustained in an accident is not easily determined, and in many cases an injured party may suffer soft tissue or latent injuries that do not arise until much later. However, once a settlement agreement is made and tendered, an injured party releases their right to recovery for injuries related to that particular incident.
If you are involved in an auto accident, it is always important to first seek medical attention. After an auto accident, it is best to go immediately to the hospital or other treatment facility to determine the extent of your injuries and pinpoint the necessary steps of rehabilitation that might be required.
Secondly, an injured party should always contact an attorney for legal consultation and general information on how to proceed following an accident. In the event an insurance company contacts you regarding your injury claim, do not offer any recorded statements without first consulting with an attorney.
If you or a loved one have been in an accident and need legal advice, call Blick Law Firm today @ (813) 931-0840. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer.
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