When it comes to getting behind the wheel after having had one drink too many, the law is pretty clear; it’s illegal and criminal charges can arise from it, especially if an accident resulting in an injury is involved. A car is, after all, a heavy piece of machinery, and when something with that much mass is traveling at high speeds and loses control, the results for people are often catastrophic.
However, while it is a criminal act to get into a car, and drive it along Florida roads and streets, what does it mean for people that decide to hop on a bike and get themselves home?
Florida has some pretty strict laws when it comes to vehicles. Of course, impaired driving in cars is well documented, and because of the great weather we have in this state, boating also tends to bring with it some alcohol consumption that may result in charges.
However, whereas some states do not view human powered hardware like bicycles as vehicles in the same class as a car or a boat, Florida does. In other words, biking while under the influence exists as... read article
Insurance rates are constantly on the move, and it can be hard sometimes keeping up with the latest news and numbers. Currently, Florida sits at the number four spot on the list of the most expensive auto insurance rates throughout the entire country. Florida sits right behind Washington, D.C., Louisiana, and New Jersey.
Due to these larger than life Florida auto insurance rates, you will also find this state number five on a list of states that contain the most uninsured motorists on the road. A staggering 24% of current drivers in Florida do not have an active auto insurance policy.
While auto insurance rates have been high for as long as we care to remember, they are continuing to become even higher which is making it harder for motorists to secure a good rate from their auto insurance company.
It has been forecasted that the current auto insurance rates are increasing at a rate of twice-yearly increases and this number comes from information available from 2009. So, how large are these current increases forecasted to be as we continue through 2019?
Mounting Florida Auto Insurance Rates
One of the most popular and... read article
When you read about people going to court for lawsuits, suing a person, or sometimes even an entire company, the word liability gets used a lot. Liability is the very basis of a lawsuit, especially a personal injury or wrongful-death related case. But how exactly does liability work? What circumstances have to occur for a person or company to be liable for something? We’ll take a closer look.
It’s Not About Guilt
In criminal cases, the final verdict being sought for someone that is charged with criminal violations is whether that person is guilty of the accused crimes, or not guilty. In these cases, guilt is normally regarded as having done something that is both bad and illegal, thus justifying the use of someone being called a criminal, and punished in jail for those crimes.
However, when you talk to a personal injury lawyer in St. Petersburg about a lawsuit, this is not about determining guilt, because in most cases the act committed wasn’t a criminal violation. Instead, the goal is to determine fault, because everyone has certain responsibilities. And finding fault with someone means that they have failed in... read article
Unlike many other states in the country, Florida gets the benefit of incredibly mild winters, with pleasant sun, and no snow. As a result, we not only have a lot of heavy traffic throughout the year, including motorcycles that may be put away in other states during the winter season, we get huge year-round visitors as well. That means our roads are much busier than other states, on average, both regarding traffic, and, unfortunately, traffic accidents.
So with so many cars on the road on any given day, what are types of accidents that are the most common here? Here’s what you should be keeping an eye out for when you’re on the road.
Single Vehicle Accidents
This type of accident is where a vehicle loses control in some fashion, and may even end up off the road, hitting something else, such as a tree, going into a ditch, or, in some extreme cases, even crashing through a home. In most cases of a single vehicle crash, because no other vehicle is involved, there are higher odds that the driver him or herself may be at fault, but... read article
Under ordinary circumstances, a day in court is something that most people in Florida don’t see, and most hope to not see it. A court case means something drastic has happened, perhaps a criminal charge, a custody battle during a divorce, or, in some cases, a lawsuit. None of these things are pleasant affairs, but all of them are necessary if there’s a dispute and it’s up to the law, be it a judge, or a jury, to step in and provide a conclusive resolution.
So when it comes to a court case for personal injury, things are just as serious. You may be owed money, or you may be entitled to some kind of financial compensation as a result of something that happened to you. But at what point do you know you should talk to a personal injury lawyer in St. Petersburg? What conditions need to be present before this becomes viable? Here are a few of the factors you should be keeping an eye on.
An Injury Has Been Sustained
This seems like a no-brainer, but there are subtleties to it that may surprise... read article
Auto recalls typically occur when the manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that a specific car model has a defect that can affect the overall safety of the vehicle and has been deemed as not compliant with the federal safety standard.
You can visit the NHTSA website with your vehicle's VIN to check for any auto recalls for your particular make and model. The VIN search tool covers all vehicle safety recalls that are incomplete, those recalls conducted over the past fifteen calendar years, and any vehicle safety recalls that were conducted by major automakers and manufacturers.
Where is the VIN Located?
You can find the VIN for your vehicle by looking in the lower left-hand corner of your vehicle's windshield. It is a 17-character number that identifies your current vehicle. You can also find the number on the car's registration, and it is also sometimes included on your insurance card.
What VIN Searches Don't Find
While VIN searches can determine a number of things as already mentioned, there are several more that this type of search cannot identify including any completed... read article
Going to court for a lawsuit means that you and your accident lawyer are trying to prove that liability—or fault—rests with the person or company being sued. If you succeed in your lawsuit, it means that a judge or jury has agreed with your argument that your injury was the result of the someone else’s negligence, that is to say, dereliction of duty or responsibility, and thus, you are owed financial compensation by the negligent party.
So how does liability get assigned? What does it take to convince a judge or jury that you are right? We’re going to go into some of the factors that can help to prove liability.
Evidence Is Everything
The biggest factor for proving liability is the existence of evidence. Evidence is usually physical factors surrounding the incident that can be analyzed or examined to verify claims that are made. In some cases, the evidence may be so strong and unquestionable that a liable party will opt to settle out of court because it’s a foregone conclusion that fault will be assigned due to the strength of the evidence. Some of the most compelling types... read article
No matter where in the world you go, one of the things that can affect the conditions of a road is the weather. For people that live in northern states, where snow can accumulate by a few feet, weather can be a severe enough during the winter season that schools may shut down as snowfall blocks roads or temperatures drop to dangerous levels.
Fortunately, in Florida, we simply don’t get that kind of weather. But that doesn’t mean that weather is never a factor here. While we may not get winter storms, we certainly get times of the year when hurricanes are more likely to form at sea, and then hit the shore and our state. Even without hurricane conditions and the winds that come with them, plain old rain can sometimes be a big enough threat that it significantly raises the risk of a car accident on our roads. But how?
This is mostly an issue during severe rainstorms, for people that are unfortunate enough to have to be driving as they occur. Very bad rainstorms can, in their own way, be just as bad... read article
If you’ve been injured by someone else, and you find yourself on the receiving end of some significant expenses, it’s natural not to want to have to pay out of your own pocket for your recovery. After all, it’s not even your fault that you got injured, why should you shoulder this financial burden when someone else was responsible?
However, if the other party doesn’t agree with your assessment and refuses to willingly compensate you, then the only recourse you have left is to go to court, undertake a personal injury lawsuit and get a verdict in your favor. At that point, willing or not, the law forces the other party to pay the amount you cited.
But how does this process start? We’ll look at the beginning to show you what you can expect.
You Suspect You Can Prove Liability
It all starts here. Moving forward with a personal injury case means not only do you know someone else was responsible for your injury, but you also have the kind of proof that can reinforce your statement. If you decid-ed, for example, to take the stairs in... read article
A car accident is unexpected and not something that many of us can prepare for. So, when it happens, we often find ourselves lost and not sure where to go. This is especially true following an auto accident that resulted in serious injury.
Taking the first steps toward recovery following an auto accident can be difficult, but not impossible. We have a few tips and some useful information to help you navigate life following your accident from the claims process to compensation and dealing with your injuries.
What Happens After the Accident?
After the accident, many people find themselves shocked, surprised, and not sure what to do next or what to expect. You might have been traveling through an intersection at the same time that someone was running a red light and because of that driver's carelessness, you are left with a totaled vehicle and several serious injuries that will keep you out of work for several months while you recover.
Immediately following the accident, you should assess the situation and determine the degree of injury you may have. Police should be called along with... read article
With so many products on the market today that are used by millions of people, there is always the chance of something not performing as it was intended. Product defects are more common than you may think and can affect anyone.
From home appliances and computers to clothing and cosmetics, many products could potentially have defects which can pose a danger or health risk for consumers.
Injuries stemming from defective products can range greatly from minor injuries to more catastrophic problems that may require more long term treatment.
Liability for Defective Products
Product liability is when the manufacturer or creator of a product is held responsible for any injuries that the product may have caused. The liability not only falls to the manufacturer; however, it also falls to sellers and everyone else who plays a part in the distribution chain for that product.
Product Safety Laws
The Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) was enacted in 1972 as a way to protect consumers against the possible risk of injury from consumer products. Consistent safety standards were created, and product safety was evaluated while promoting research to determine why a product may be deemed... read article
There have been several times when you may be sitting at a red light patiently waiting for it to turn green so you can cross the intersection. Once the light changes, you proceed with caution knowing that many people run red lights and not paying attention to oncoming traffic may result in serious injury.
Running a red light is against the law and is incredibly dangerous. Even if it was accidental, the consequences could be catastrophic for everyone involved. Red light running can cause collisions, serious injury, and even death.
What Does It Really Mean to Run a Red Light?
If you were in the middle of the intersection when the light turned red, then you are not breaking the law because the light was still green as you entered the intersection. Therefore, this isn't technically considered red light running, but it is still dangerous.
However, running a red light means that a driver enters the intersection after the light has already turned red and this also includes drivers making a right-hand turn on red without first completing coming to a stop.
Common Cause of Accidents
Running a red light is a... read article
The “slip and fall” is such a common form of premises liability injury that a whole branch of lawyers has arisen that specialize in these types of legal cases!
Sadly, there’s a reason that slip and fall injuries are so common; people with a legal obligation to ensure a safe environment—whether residential or commercial—get negligent about this duty. For example, a car repair garage should not leave a motor oil spill untended in their main reception area, but if they do, and a visiting customer slips and falls. As a result, that garage is now financially liable for the injury that was sustained.
But what kinds of injuries can happen from a slip and fall? Can it really be that serious? We have a list of the most common consequences that arise from a slip and fall accident.
Soft Tissue Injuries
These are potentially the worst type of injury to have because they are not often visible, and in some cases, may even take time to manifest. A soft tissue injury most often occurs at the muscular level, with minor injuries such as a sprained ankle or wrist, and major injuries... read article
Getting into any kind of auto accident can be a nerve-wracking experience especially when it was through no fault of your own. You then add the expenses relating to the accident like the damage to the car and any injuries you sustained, and these costs begin to add up exponentially. Most of the time, the insurance of the driver at fault will be liable. But what happens when the other driver who is at fault turns out to be uninsured?
Most states require that drivers have some kind of auto insurance policy and Florida is no exception. So, what happens with an uninsured driver is typically left up to the individual state laws that are in place.
If the driver doesn't have insurance, then you can probably also assume that they don't have much in the way of assets either that could cover the costs involved with the accident. Even with the help of a lawyer, there is no guarantee that you will recover any damages even after taking your claim to court.
However, there are still ways you can protect yourself from... read article
Insurance adjusters are the ones to investigate claims on behalf of the insurance companies. They will be the ones to help determine how much money if any will be paid following an auto accident.
The insurance adjuster will review and investigate the vehicle damage and injuries and will also review the police reports, talk with any witnesses, and then speak directly to the claimant.
Florida is one of the twelve no-fault states in the country which means that Florida drivers are legally required to have personal injury protection (PIP) included in their auto insurance policies. This type of insurance coverage offers benefits to drivers that have been injured because of an auto accident. The driver can receive up to $10,000 in coverage, and if there are lost wages or medical costs, then the coverage will pay up to 60 percent for the lost wages as well as approximately 80 percent for any medical costs involved.
So, how does the insurance adjuster determine the amount of the payments following their inspection and evaluation? They take into consideration the police report, medical records, lost income, and photos... read article
Driving in unfamiliar areas can be tricky and nerve-wracking because you are unclear of the area and may not be up to date on the laws or regulations. You may also find that you don't recognize any landmarks to help you gain your footing and you may have to slow down or stop to read road signs. Doing so may also result in angry and impatient drivers behind you which further adds to the challenge of driving in an unfamiliar area.
The following are a few things to remember when driving in an area you are less than familiar with:
Pay Attention to Traffic Signals, Road Signs, and Speed Limits
You should always pay attention to these signs to ensure that you are within the legal realm while driving. While you may know the posted speed limits and other traffic laws in your area, these may vary in a new location. Paying attention to the road signs can also alert you of any construction, detours, or other hazards you need to be aware of in the area.
Never Solely Go By GPS
Yes, GPS is great when... read article