Car Accidents

Average Car Accident Settlement Involving Physical Therapy in Florida

Category: Car Accidents |

If you suffered serious injuries in a Florida car accident, you face a long and painful road to recovery. Getting the best possible medical treatment and care can help you achieve a full recovery. If you don’t get the care you need, however, you could find yourself with chronic pain and even long-term disability. For many injury accident victims, physical therapy can have a significant effect on their recovery. Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t like to pay the high cost of therapeutic and rehabilitation services. If you need physical therapy after an accident, your claim’s value will likely be higher than it would otherwise. In addition to physical therapy, you could be entitled to recover compensation for your medical treatment, lost income, emotional trauma, and more. The Florida car accident lawyers of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk fight to get our wrongfully injured clients the justice and financial compensation they deserve. We offer a free consultation for injury accident victims to help provide you with the information you need regarding the potential value of your car accident physical therapy settlement. How Much Is the Average Car Accident Physical Therapy Settlement? Every injury accident victim’s injuries and experiences are unique. For this reason, we cannot accurately estimate any average car accident settlement—with physical therapy or without. Settlements typically include compensation for all the victim’s economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include medical treatment, testing, physical therapy, prescription medications, and related services. These damages are easy to document and establish a value for. It is typically safe to conclude that any claim involving physical therapy will have a higher value than one that does not include those services. Noneconomic damages for things like pain and suffering may also be higher where extensive physical therapy is involved. The best way to determine what the potential value of your claim might be is to talk to an experienced Florida car accident attorney. How Much Does Physical Therapy After a Car Accident Cost? The cost of physical therapy can vary significantly, depending on the nature of your injuries and other factors. Physical therapists are highly trained professionals with valuable skillsets. Although the cost of working with a physical therapist might be less than that of a medical doctor or surgeon, you typically spend more time in physical therapy, making the overall cost significant. Overall physical therapy costs typically include an in-depth assessment of your condition and the development of a comprehensive treatment plan. Once you begin physical therapy sessions, you will be paying for the therapist’s services as well as for the use of whatever equipment your treatment involves. Depending on the provider, physical therapy can cost as much as $100 per session or more. Initially, you might need three or more sessions per week, and depending on your injuries and progress, you might need to keep going for weeks, months, or even longer. As you can see, these costs can easily and quickly add up. Who Pays for Physical Therapy After a Car Accident? After a car accident, how your medical treatment gets paid for depends on your circumstances. If you have health insurance—even Medicare—you can generally get the treatment you need. However, if someone else was at fault for the accident, your insurance company will demand repayment for those costs. You could find yourself on the hook for the bills. Your Florida personal injury protection (PIP) insurance (if you have it) will also cover some portion of your treatment. However, if your injuries are severe, it might not be enough to cover all your care, including physical therapy. Unless you can pay out-of-pocket, you might not be able to get the therapeutic services you need. Ultimately, if your injuries are significant enough, the at-fault party’s insurance should be responsible for covering all your physical, emotional, and financial damages—including any type of treatment you need to restore your health and well-being. Getting the insurance company to fulfill these obligations might pose a significant challenge. An experienced attorney can help you get the compensation you need and the justice you deserve. Do You Have to Go to Physical Therapy After a Car Accident? Whether you need physical therapy depends on the nature of your injuries and how they affect your life. In many cases, therapy can help speed up the healing process while restoring your comfort and functionality. In some cases, you might not regain functionality without physical rehab or physical therapy, or you might require surgery or other invasive treatment that would not otherwise be required if you went to therapy. Some of the most common types of injuries that require physical therapy include the following: Neck injuries, Back injuries, Shoulder injuries, Knee and ankle injuries, and Elbow and wrist injuries. Although these are some of the most common motor vehicle crash injuries that could require physical therapy, your doctor could recommend physical therapy for a variety of other issues. For example, any injury that affects your strength, mobility, or range of motion could benefit from physical therapy. You might also benefit from physical therapy if you have pain or if you struggle to perform job tasks or the activities of daily living. The bottom line is that if a qualified medical treatment provider indicates that you need physical therapy, you should follow those recommendations to the letter. How to Increase Your Odds of Getting Physical Therapy in a Car Accident Settlement After a car accident injury, getting the comprehensive medical treatment and care you need is critical to your recovery and future well-being. If you need physical rehab and therapy, getting those services can make a significant difference in your long-term quality of life. Without them, you could face a lifetime of physical pain, mobility challenges, and occupational limitations. Unfortunately, therapeutic services can be expensive—and you might require months or even years of physical therapy. Insurance companies always seek to pay as little as possible. The fewer claims they must pay, the higher the return they can provide to shareholders and company owners. If the insurance...

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Average Car Accident Settlement for a Child in Florida

Category: Car Accidents |

As a parent, it’s difficult to see your child suffer from an injury, especially if it could’ve been prevented. After a car accident involving a child, many parents wonder what it takes to pursue compensation from the party responsible. During your research, you may be wondering what the average settlement is for a child in a car accident. Here is information you need to know about personal injury cases involving a child and how the attorneys of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk can help. Why There Is No Average Child Car Accident Settlement When it comes to calculating an average settlement for any personal injury case, it’s nearly impossible to determine an average. There are several reasons why online calculators are misleading.  First, personal injury settlements often remain confidential. This means that even if someone calculated the average of all publicly available settlement amounts, it would be extremely inaccurate. Second, each case is completely unique. The average settlement for a crash involving minor injuries doesn’t necessarily reflect the potential settlement of a claim with life-altering injuries. Finally, some states have limits on the amount of damages you may collect. As a result, the highest potential settlement in one state may not reflect the potential settlement in another. Damages in a Car Accident Settlement for a Child A car accident settlement for a child depends on the types of damages sustained in the crash. In Florida, there are three types of damages available for an injured child: economic, non-economic, and punitive. Here is a breakdown of the different damage types. Economic Damages These damages refer to any economic losses associated with the accident. To qualify as an economic loss, the damage must be tangible and calculable. For car accident cases involving children, this usually comes in the form of healthcare costs, including: Emergency services, Doctor’s office visits, Surgical procedures, Follow-up treatments, Rehabilitation,  Medication, Therapy, and Imaging. It’s important to note that this also includes any future medical treatment needed for the injuries. For example, if a child becomes disabled due to the injury, ongoing care and future accessibility needs may be added. Non-Economic Damages General or non-economic damages include any losses that aren’t calculable or tangible. A good example of this is the pain and suffering the child may go through as a result of their injuries. Here are some other examples of non-economic damages: Permanent disfigurement, Loss of quality of life, Loss of enjoyment, Chronic physical pain, Emotional anguish, Psychological pain, and Permanent disability. Since non-economic damages are subjective, it’s nearly impossible to calculate an average. There are numerous factors that go into determining non-economic damages. This may include the family’s circumstances and the child’s health history. Every jury interprets these facts in a different way, so non-economic damages vary widely between cases. Punitive Damages In rare cases, courts may award punitive damages to the plaintiff if the defendant acted with gross negligence or intentional misconduct. These damages are meant to punish the defendant for exceptionally irresponsible behavior. According to FS 768.72(a), intentional misconduct “means that the defendant had actual knowledge of the wrongfulness.” In addition, they must have intentionally pursued the action that led to injury despite knowing the risk. Gross negligence occurs when the defendant had an “indifference to the life, safety, or rights” of the plaintiff.  While most cases don’t include punitive damages, it’s possible that the court or jury may award them depending on the circumstances. Special Laws Regarding Personal Injury Claims for Children in Florida In the state of Florida, minors may not file a personal injury claim under their own name. Instead, the parent or legal guardian of the child must file the claim on their behalf. The court has its own approval process to make sure that the claim is for the benefit of the child and not the parents. For example, under FS 744.387(3) if the legal guardian of a child files a lawsuit on their behalf, the court must approve the settlement amount and terms. In addition, the parent may only settle the claim if it does not exceed $15,000. In cases where the settlement exceeds this amount, the court usually appoints a guardian to protect the settlement amount and distribute it to the child when they reach the age of 18. There are a few situations in which a parent or legal guardian may recover compensation for their own losses resulting from their child’s injury. If the child sustains a significant injury that results in permanent disability, their parents may file a filial consortium claim. Florida is one of the few states to recognize this type of claim. According to FS 768.0415, any person who negligently causes a significant permanent injury to a child is liable for damages to the parents. This includes permanent loss of services, companionship, comfort, and society. How to Secure Evidence One of the most important aspects of your case is evidence. In Florida, a car accident settlement for a child usually depends on the evidence showing the defendant’s negligence. Here are some steps you can take to collect the evidence you need after the accident. 1. Photograph or Take Video of the Scene If it’s safe to do so, try to take pictures at the scene of the crash. This includes any vehicle damage, injuries, and road conditions. Make sure to also include any photos of tire marks as well to assist with accident reconstruction. These details serve as important evidence in your case.  2. Collect Copies of Medical Records When you get treatment for your child’s injuries, try to get copies of their record of treatment. Many insurance companies try to minimize or deny a claim if the claimant doesn’t immediately seek medical attention. If possible, ask the doctor to include statements about the severity of your child’s condition and whether it requires further care. 3. Ask Witnesses to Provide a Statement If your accident occurs during the day on a busy road, chances are there may be witnesses. If you can, ask any potential witnesses...

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Average Car Accident Settlement for Permanent Injuries in Florida

Category: Car Accidents |

If you suffered permanent injuries in a Florida car crash, you face a challenging future. You might require long-term treatment and in-home or residential care. If your injuries prevent you from performing your work duties, you could be facing a lifetime of inability to even earn a living. You might never be able to enjoy your favorite activities or interact with your loved ones in the same way you did before. Nothing can undo the damage you have suffered. However, you can hold the at-fault party financially responsible for their negligence by pursuing legal action. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you get the justice and financial compensation you deserve. The Florida car accident lawyers of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk are here to help. We understand how incredibly frightening and confusing your situation is. We will fight to get you the car accident settlement you deserve for your injuries. Because it can be difficult to identify an average car accident settlement value in any case, we offer a free consultation and case analysis for injury accident victims. Our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys can provide you with the answers and information you need to take the next step. What Is the Average Car Accident Permanent Injury Settlement in Florida? The settlement you need—and deserve—will include compensation for all your damages, both economic (for example, medical expenses and lost wages) and non-economic (for example, pain, suffering, and emotional distress). Unfortunately, it’s virtually impossible to identify any average permanent injury car accident settlement amount. The nature of your injuries will determine the type of treatment and care you need. The value of your injuries depends on how they have changed your life now and how they will impact your life in the future. The best way to determine what your settlement value might be is to contact our office. Once we understand the details of your accident and what you are going through, we can provide you with an estimate of your claim’s value. We can also provide you with our opinion of how long it could take to negotiate a settlement and get a check in your hand. How Are Permanent Injury Settlement Amounts Calculated? In a typical personal injury case, victims may be entitled to recover compensation for some or all of the following. Emergency medical treatment costs, Doctor and surgeon costs, Hospital costs, Medical imaging and testing, Prescription medications, Medical devices, Lost income, Lost benefits, Emotional trauma, and Pain and suffering. If you require future medical treatment or you won’t be able to return to work right away, your attorney might also seek damages for the estimated cost of future treatment and future lost income. However, anyone who suffers permanent damage, disfigurement, scarring, etc. could be entitled to compensation for additional damages. If your permanent injury involves facial scarring, for example, several factors will influence the monetary value of the corresponding damages. This might include the extent of the scarring, your age, and how possible it might be to surgically correct or improve the scarring.  As you might have determined, calculating the settlement value for any type of long-term or permanent injury is highly complex. To obtain an accurate assessment of your case value, you need to speak to an experienced attorney who understands this complex facet of the law. How Do Car Accident Settlement Calculators Work? If you spend any time searching online for the average car accident settlement with permanent or long-term injuries, you have likely discovered multiple personal injury settlement calculators. These tools promise to calculate the potential value of your claim in a matter of moments. Settlement calculators typically ask you to enter information such as the following: The amount of your medical bills, The amount of your personal property damage, The amount of your lost income, The estimated cost of future medical care, and The value of your future lost wages. Some calculators also ask you to identify a multiplier for general damages or pain and suffering. You click on the “Calculate” button and you essentially get a total of the damage values you entered times the multiplier you provided. The problem with this process is that few serious or permanent injury accident victims have any idea what the true value of their damages are or will be. In some cases, settlement calculators won’t even give you an immediate response. Instead, you will be asked to provide your name and contact information so that someone can reach out to you. At that time, you will hear a pitch about why you should choose that law firm to handle your case. The bottom line regarding permanent injury settlement calculators is that—without all the details of your case—no calculator or individual can provide an accurate estimate of your claim’s value. In most cases, these calculators primarily serve as marketing tools for law firm websites. How Our Car Accident Attorneys Can Help You Get a Permanent Injury Settlement Getting a fair financial settlement is critical for permanent injury victims. You will face injury-related challenges for the rest of your life. You may need financial resources for medical treatment or care. You might need to make accessibility modifications to your home or vehicle. If you can’t work, you will need money to pay for your home, utilities, and living costs. You simply cannot leave your future to chance. Insurance companies will attempt to deny or undervalue injury accident claims, even when the victim has suffered permanent disability, disfigurement, scarring, or other serious and long-lasting injuries. If they succeed in denying your claim or get away with giving you a token settlement, you won’t get the resources you need for the future. Working with our experienced attorneys provides multiple advantages. We know how to calculate the value of your claim and document it persuasively. We level the playing field with the insurance company, forcing them to deal with your case in good faith. We investigate your case to demonstrate the at-fault party’s liability for your damages. We stand by your...

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Average Degenerative Disc Disease Car Accident Settlement in Florida

Category: Car Accidents |

As you get older, your body goes through changes. Spinal discs start to wear out and break down, which can lead to neck and back pain. When your discs wear out earlier than expected, doctors may call it degenerative disc disease. While this condition is not caused by a car accident, degenerative disc disease can be aggravated by a car accident. Understandably, many prospective clients want to know the average degenerative disc disease car accident settlement amount. However, there is no average settlement range. That is why it is best to speak with an experienced Florida car accident lawyer. What Is Degenerative Disc Disease? Before discussing potential settlement value, it’s crucial to understand what degenerative disc disease is and how it impacts your claim. Degenerative disc disease is a very broad diagnosis and can encompass many injuries, including bone spurs, disc bulges, tears, and more. Most people with degenerative disc disease experience pain in the neck or lower back, or both. The reason is that these two areas of the spine undergo the most stress and motion, thereby making them more susceptible to wear and tear. However, some people do not even realize they have degenerative disc disease because they do not experience any pain until they sustain injuries in a car accident. You might get whiplash and see a doctor who tells you that your diagnostic tests show degenerative changes. While degenerative disc disease may not be caused by a car accident, you can get compensation if the accident increased your neck pain or initiated it under the “eggshell plaintiff” rule. What Is an Eggshell Plaintiff? When an injured victim is more vulnerable to injuries, the “eggshell plaintiff” rule might apply. This theory means the at-fault party must take the plaintiff as they find them. Each case is different and depends on the facts. Generally speaking a defendant is liable for any injuries they caused, regardless of how uncommon or unforeseen your injuries are.  The term eggshell plaintiff comes from the example of someone with an eggshell-thin skull. This individual is more susceptible to a skull fracture than most people. That means even a minor bump on the head could be catastrophic for someone with an eggshell-thin skull. If a negligent party causes a minor head bump to someone with a fragile skull, they are still responsible for any catastrophic injuries. This rule also applies to people with preexisting conditions, not only people with natural conditions like a thin skull. Negligent parties are responsible for aggravating someone’s preexisting condition in an auto accident. They will not be liable for the entire injury, only the extent that the accident worsened the preexisting condition. For example, consider a plaintiff who is recovering from a meniscus tear. If someone causes an accident that worsens the pain or causes further damage, they could be liable for the aggravated injuries. When someone is suffering from excruciating pain that did not exist before the accident, the defendant could be liable. The question is whether the preexisting condition or the accident led to the pain. If the preexisting condition was there, but the plaintiff had no pain complaints, then the accident probably aggravated the condition.  The eggshell plaintiff rule means that a defendant cannot argue that if someone else were the injured victim, they would have lower damages. Florida law does not let a defendant avoid liability for causing an injury just because the injured person was more vulnerable due to a pre-existing condition. Average Degenerative Disc Disease Car Accident Settlement Values It is not possible to provide an average settlement value for personal injury claims. Various factors impact settlement value, including the total amount of your damages and liability. Because degenerative disc disease is not caused by a car accident, assigning a general settlement range is even more complicated. These claims can be very complex to pursue, which is why you should speak with an experienced Florida car accident attorney as soon as possible. When you meet with an attorney from Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we will go over all the specifics of your case. We can tell you the potential strengths and weaknesses of your claim and let you know what you might receive through settlement negotiations or in a jury trial. If you attempt to handle your claim independently, you will likely receive a much lower settlement or even find your claim denied. Insurance companies know injured victims do not understand the legal system or what their claim is potentially worth. They often take advantage of that fact by extending a lowball settlement offer or unfairly denying your claim. Many insurance adjusters will lead you to believe that you are not entitled to compensation because degenerative disc disease is a preexisting condition. If you receive an offer from the insurance company, you should speak with an attorney before agreeing to settle. The first offer that you will receive will always be less than your case is worth. If the insurance company outright denies your claim due to a preexisting condition, do not give up without contacting an attorney first. Insurance adjusters are hoping you will take their denial at face value and walk away. When you work with an experienced attorney, we will not allow the insurance company to engage in unfair practices or try to resolve your case for an insulting amount. Potential Compensation in a Degenerative Disc Disease Accident Florida is a no-fault state, which means you must seek recovery initially under your own personal injury protection (PIP) policy. Your PIP policy can cover some of your expenses, such as medical costs and time off work. However, severely injured victims can easily have medical bills that far exceed the PIP limits. In these cases, you can pursue a claim against the at-fault party for the remaining damages. Your PIP policy does not cover non-economic damages either, such as your pain and suffering. To seek noneconomic damages in Florida, your injury must be significant and permanent.  Understanding your legal rights is essential. Your...

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Average Settlement for Passengers in Florida Car Accidents

Category: Car Accidents |

A car accident can change your life. But what if you weren’t the driver? After suffering injuries, property damage, and emotional trauma, you may wonder, “What are my rights as a passenger in a car accident?” Your medical bills may be piling up, and it may be difficult, or impossible, to work. The good news is even if you weren’t driving, Florida law entitles passengers to file a lawsuit for damages.  Personal injury lawsuits are complicated. You may feel ready to accept any offer to alleviate your financial and emotional burden. But moving forward doesn’t always mean settling for less than you deserve. A compassionate, but aggressive, personal injury attorney protects your rights to obtain just compensation, so you can focus on your recovery.   What Are My Rights as a Florida Passenger in a Car Accident? How much money a passenger in a car accident can get depends on multiple factors. But even if you weren’t driving a car involved in a car accident, you can still recover compensation for your injuries. To do this you must file a claim against the responsible party or parties. There may be a number of reasons a driver may be at fault for causing an accident. However, this determination is not always cut and dry.  Unfortunately for passengers in a car accident there is no “magic” settlement calculator to concretely determine how much money you’ll recover.  Although the facts of each person’s case are different, reviewing your case with an attorney may provide a clearer picture as to the value range for your case.  What Factors Affect My Claim? Various factors affect a personal injury claim. If your case goes to trial, your fate is left to the jury to decide how much your injuries are worth. If your attorney negotiates a settlement for your injuries, you and the liable party agree on a monetary value. Deciding how to move forward depends on discussions with your personal injury attorney and the particular facts of your case. Insurance Florida law requires the following types of insurance coverage: A minimum of $10,000 of property damage liability coverage (PDL), and A minimum of $10,000 of personal injury coverage (PIP). It’s generally a good idea to obtain more than the minimum insurance coverage, but many don’t. While $10,000 sounds like a lot of money, it often fails to cover the medical expenses after a car accident.  Passengers in a car accident don’t usually tap into the PDL. This coverage pays for property damage caused to another when you are at fault for the accident. Passengers are rarely at fault for a car accident.  No-Fault Rules  Florida is a “no fault” state when it comes to car accidents. This means that after a car accident, your own PIP insurance pays your medical bills and other financial losses. To some, it may be frustrating to be unable to collect from the driver that caused your injuries. However, Florida’s PIP requirement allows many to recover quickly for their financial losses following a car accident. One downside to PIP coverage is that non-economic damages, like pain and suffering and emotional distress, are not recoverable in an accident not involving serious injury.  Injury Threshold Despite its no-fault rules, Florida law does permit you to file a personal injury lawsuit against an at-fault driver and recover pain and suffering damages in some circumstances. However, you must meet an “injury threshold.” This “injury threshold” is satisfied if you have one of the following injuries: Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement, Significant and permanent loss of an important body function, or Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability. Establishing an injury threshold requires a medical evaluation. Therefore, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly after a car accident.   Proving Liability Even passengers in car accidents must establish liability to recover compensation. This means you must prove that the other driver caused your injuries. Your personal injury attorney works to establish the driver’s responsibility using existing evidence. In most situations, the evidence shows that the driver was negligent. The following elements must be present for a negligence claim: The driver owed a duty of care to safely operate their vehicle,  The driver breached this duty of care, and  The driver’s breach resulted in your injuries. The liable party may argue that you were also at fault for causing the accident. If proven, this may reduce the value of your claim. However, you’re unlikely to share fault for the accident if you were not driving the car.  Medical Expenses In some situations, the insurance company may push you to agree to a settlement value before you know the extent of your injuries. Your medical injuries may cause significant, long-term issues for which you are unaware until a complete medical evaluation is conducted. While it may be tempting, it’s never advised for a passenger in a car accident to accept the first settlement offer.  Complete medical expenses may be unknown immediately after a car accident in Pinellas Park and may include the following: Ambulance transport, Emergency department services,  Medical services,  Hospitalization, Medication, Diagnostic testing and lab work, Physical therapy, Rehabilitation, and Follow-up treatments. Gaining a complete understanding of your medical injuries is crucial to understanding the value of your claim. Therefore, complete all recommended medical treatment as prescribed by your physician.  Ability to Work  Another factor affecting the value of your claim is your ability to work after a car accident. Your injuries may be severe enough to keep you from working or working your job in the same manner you did prior to the car accident.  Lost wages can make up a substantial part of a car accident claim. Keep all records related to your employment. Proof of lost wages and reduced earning capacity are shown through pay stubs and tax returns. Your personal injury attorney then compiles this evidence to create a more accurate value of your claim.  Out-of-Pocket Expenses  Out-of-pocket expenses may affect possible settlement values. For example, the following out-of-pocket expenses create...

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Average Spondylolisthesis Car Accident Settlement in Florida

Category: Car Accidents |

Sometimes referred to as spondylosis, spondylolisthesis is an injury that is quite common after car accidents. Spondylolisthesis is a type of spine injury wherein your vertebrae are forced out of alignment. This can happen when your vertebrae are subject to trauma that pushes your spine either forward or backward. It is not difficult to see how easily this injury can arise after a car accident. After all, our backs absorb a great deal of the kinetic energy that car crashes subject our bodies to. Untreated spondylosis caused by trauma can lead to a number of long-term health complications, not the least of which is excruciating back pain.  If you develop spondylolisthesis after a car accident, you should include it, and its effects, in your claim for damages against the responsible party. What Is the Average Spondylolisthesis Car Accident Settlement? A frequently asked question that our personal injury team at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk hears from our clients is, What is the average spondylosis car accident settlement? This is a very reasonable question for any injured party to ask. If you know what the average settlement is, you can get an idea as to what you can expect with your own spondylosis settlement. Unfortunately, there is no clear answer that we can give to this question. We are unable to provide an average spondylolisthesis settlement because there is no average settlement. Why? Because there is no average car accident, no average injury, and thus no average spondylosis case. Every injury that we help our clients recover from is unique. There are numerous factors that can affect your spondylosis settlement claim, or any other personal injury or car accident claim for that matter. The only way to get an idea of what your settlement will look like is to try to account for the various factors that affected your accident and injury. How Can I Maximize My Spondylolisthesis Settlement? To maximize your spondylosis settlement, there are quite a few different things you can do. With that said, however, there are two things you can do to really set your claim up for success: Carefully document all the damages you suffer related to your spondylosis; and Work closely with an attorney as soon as possible after your injury. If you take these two steps, and are consistent in doing so, you will go a long way toward maximizing your claim value and avoiding any unpleasant surprises in the claim’s settlement negotiation process. Documenting Your Damages To claim compensatory damages for your spondylolisthesis, you first need to prove that you have spondylolisthesis. Furthermore, you must prove that the injury stems from your car accident.  The only way to establish whether you have spondylosis and to what degree is with the help of diagnostic studies such as an x-ray or CT scans. There are five grades of vertebrae slips. On one end of the spectrum, grade I is the least severe and features a vertebral slip of less than 25%. On the opposite end of the spectrum is a grade V, which features a vertebra that slips entirely off the vertebrae below it. The more severe your slip is, the more treatment will cost and the more your settlement value will be. You should keep a record of any medical treatment or evaluation that you seek. In your record, you should include any bills, invoices, or insurance payments that arise from such treatment or evaluation. Furthermore, every time you seek any sort of treatment or evaluation, you should get a copy of your treatment provider’s notes for that specific visit. By documenting the existence of your injury and the costs of treatment, you can prove those damages exist. Without such a record, proving those damages is difficult. On top of maintaining your medical record and a record of related bills, you should maintain a journal of your symptoms. Keep a daily record of any physical, mental, or other harmful effects that arise out of your injury. If you have any sort of pain, be sure to assign a numerical value to that pain. With this record in hand, you can further prove the damages you suffer, including intangible, non economic damages. With effective documentation, you can really maximize the value of your claim. Hiring an Attorney Aside from documenting all your damages, hiring a personal injury attorney to represent you in your spondylolisthesis claim is the best thing you can do to maximize your claim.  By consulting with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident, your lawyer will have the time necessary to prepare the most effective legal strategy for your specific claim. If you wait to hire an attorney, your lawyer may not have the time and resources to prepare the most effective legal strategy. Furthermore, the longer you wait to hire an attorney, the closer you get to allowing the statute of limitations to expire. After that period expires, courts will reject any related legal claim.  Finally, your lawyer will help you document your damages and injuries and can help connect you with the right medical specialists for your specific injuries. The sooner this happens, the better your eventual settlement will be. What Is It Like Dealing with Insurance Companies? Trying to deal with insurance companies on your own is often quite difficult. Insurance companies make their money by paying out the smallest amount they possibly can for each given claim. Thus, they often prey upon individuals who try to negotiate settlements without the help of an attorney. One of the ways they do this is by repeatedly making settlement offers that don’t fully compensate you for your damages. They do this to drag out the negotiations process, wear you down, and hope that you will have to take their lowball offer when the statute of limitations is close to expiring. Conversely, if you have an attorney on your side from the outset of settlement negotiations, insurance companies know that their unfair negotiation tactics are less likely to work. As a result,...

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Car Accident Injuries – Ankle & Foot Injuries

Category: Car Accidents |

Are you experiencing an ankle or foot injury after a car accident? In this post you will learn about the most common causes of these and the next steps you can take. If you are in a car accident, there are many possible injuries that could happen as a result. However, ankle and foot injuries are extremely common because of the mechanics of the car accident itself. If you have been in a car accident and have experienced an injury such as this, it may be worth considering legal help. If the accident was not your fault, you should not have to pay for your injuries. How Common Are Car Accident Ankle and Foot Injuries? Although people tend to focus on head and neck injuries more, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), damages to the feet, knees, and ankles are the second most common class of injuries that happen in car accidents. It is very common for the ankle to be injured when the foot is pressured between the pedals. Fractures in this area will interfere with your mobility and are often accompanied by strains and sprains. These types of injuries occur in a whopping 76% of frontal car crashes, as well as 13% of side-impact car crashes and 8% of rollover car crashes. Don’t Ignore Ankle and Foot Pain After an Accident Your ankle is essentially the union of the tibia and fibula of your lower leg with the talus of your foot. All of these components of your anatomy are held together by ligaments, a type of tissue that helps keep the bones in place and anchor them when you are moving your ankle. Tendons serve to attach bones to muscles and also assist in movement of the foot and ankle. If you happen to experience any pain in this area after a car accident, make sure that you do not ignore it. If you ignore it, this could end up creating lasting negative consequences for your mobility. Car accidents tend to be very tough on the lower extremities, especially for the person who was driving the vehicle. How Injuries Can Occur If you are driving a vehicle, your knees are usually only a couple of inches away from the pedals, steering wheel, and dashboard. In the situation of a car accident, the legs of a driver or passenger could potentially buckle under the dashboard upon collision, which could lead to injuries of the lower leg. Even if the impact is relatively low in terms of speed, a huge amount of force could be exerted. Even a low impact is too much for most people’s ankles and feet. There are 60 different bones in the knees, feet, and ankles that could potentially be injured in a car accident. In the human ankle and foot alone, there are 26 separate bones. Also, it is not only the bones that you have to worry about. There are also all sorts of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other soft tissues that could potentially be injured. These tissues are there to provide support, hold the rest of the anatomy together, and give the person the ability to move around and flexibility. As such, if these tissues are injured, the person could be seriously impaired. When a car crash happens, the majority of people will bang their feet on the floor. This is a reflex because they are basically bracing themselves for the impact. However, this reflex ends up making a foot or ankle injury much more likely, to be able to tear or stretch the soft tissues or even fracture the bones. Most Common Ankle and Foot Injuries During an Accident There are certain injuries that are more common than others in the ankles and feet when it comes to car crashes. Perhaps the most common type of injury in the situation is a fracture, which is a broken bone. This typically happens in both head-on and rear-end collisions. Foot fractures are particularly common because of the reflex that most people have to extend their feet when they are bracing for the impending impact of a crash. Additionally, sprains and strains are very common. A sprain basically involves either tearing or stretching of ligaments, and a strain basically entails the tearing or stretching of tendons or muscles. Sprains are more likely to occur when ligaments have been flexed past their normal range, while strains tend to happen when muscles are suddenly stretched and then contracted suddenly. The components of soft tissue around the feet and ankles are vulnerable to these types of injuries in a car collision. Your Injury After an Accident Whether you end up breaking a bone or pulling a tendon in the foot or ankle, this will likely impair you in your day-to-day life for a while after the accident. The feet are an essential part of human anatomy because you need them to move around. If you are unable to move around the same way that you were before your accident, this could result in a variety of financial losses, most commonly having to take time off of work that does not always end up being paid. Because foot and ankle injuries are so common during car accidents, many people end up with a lower ability to function after a car accident. If you have found yourself in the situation, it is important that you make sure that you are not paying any more than you legally need to pay in the situation. If you have experienced any of these types of injuries as a result of a car accident, you will likely have medical bills. If you were not at fault in the accident, you should not have to pay these bills or have to suffer the other losses that will come with the injury. Foot and ankle injuries can significantly impair a person, including causing them to be less mobile for a long period of time and even causing them to lose money because...

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The Serious Injury Threshold in Florida

Category: Car Accidents |

What is the serious injury threshold in Florida? In this post you will learn how this threshold works and the next steps you you might be able to take. Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to car accidents. This means that if you are injured in a car accident, you can recover damages from your own auto insurance regardless of who is at fault for the accident. This system works well for minor fender benders because it saves time and resources that would be used in determining fault for an accident. However, when it comes to more serious injuries, you may be able to step outside the no-fault system and file a liability claim against the driver who was at fault for the accident. What Constitutes a Serious Injury? Under Florida law, an injured person can file a claim against an at-fault driver if they have sustained an injury that falls within the statute. The four categories of injuries that meet this threshold include an injury or disease that consists of: Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement Death Under the statute, if you have sustained such an injury, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver to recover for pain, suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience. How is a Serious Injury Determined? Typically, if your injury has caused some kind of disability or disfigurement or requires extensive medical treatment, then it may fall under the category of serious injury. However, sometimes it’s not so easy to determine whether an injury meets the threshold, especially when it comes to determining whether an injury is permanent. This is why it is important to seek prompt medical care and to see your doctor regularly. Medical records and medical opinion are used to determine whether an injury is serious enough to meet the threshold. A doctor will testify as an expert about the permanence and seriousness of an injury. The defense may ask you to undergo an examination by one of their doctors to see whether there is agreement about the injuries. If in a trial, a treating doctor finds a permanent injury and a defense doctor does not, then it may be up to a jury to decide the issue. Contact a Trusted Attorney Determining whether an injury meets the serious injury threshold can be complicated, so if you’ve been injured in an accident, you should have an experienced personal injury attorney evaluate your case. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to schedule your free consultation.

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Car Accidents and Disputed Liability

Category: Car Accidents |

Being involved in a car accident is a stressful event. When you have to deal with a car accident liability dispute, it can be even more stressful. Some insurance companies dispute liability even in the face of eyewitnesses and police who believe their insured was at fault. If you’ve been involved in an accident involving disputed liability, the claims process can be complicated, and you may need an experienced car accident attorney on your side. The injury lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk are here to help. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver, you’re probably shocked when an insurance company disputes liability. Insurance companies are motivated to minimize the amount of money they pay out in a claim and one way they do that is by disputing the liability of their insured. Please don’t hesitate to call our firm at 1-800-538-4878 or submit the form below to schedule a free case evaluation. How is Fault Determined After a Car Accident? Insurance adjusters and attorneys analyze the facts of an accident to determine what happened immediately before impact. In some cases, there will be obvious signs that a driver was at fault. For instance, if a driver ran a red light or stop sign, it is very likely that they were liable for the accident. If a driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol that can also be a sign of liability. In other cases, the signs may not be so obvious. For example, if an accident was caused by a distracted driver, they may not necessarily have committed a traffic violation, but they still acted negligently. Putting a Case Together When you’ve been involved in a car accident with disputed liability, it is important to put together a strong case. Your injury attorney will gather as much evidence as possible. Information such as statements from eyewitnesses, damage to a vehicle, police reports, surveillance tapes, and photographs can all be used to help determine fault in an accident. Black box data from a vehicle can also be useful to show what happened just before the accident. In some instances, an expert such as an accident reconstructionist may be needed to put the facts together. Contact an Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney When you are involved in an accident involving disputed liability, it becomes even more important to have your case evaluated by an attorney experienced in car accident cases. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have been helping the injured in car accident cases for over 30 years. Contact us online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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Airbag Injuries

Category: Car Accidents |

Airbags are meant to protect passengers and drivers in the case of a Florida accident. While many times they do offer life-saving protection, airbags can also be the source of serious injury. Airbags have the potential to cause life-altering injuries. These devices can also exacerbate injuries or cause accidents due to accidental deployment. If you were injured by a negligent driver, please don’t hesitate to contact our Tampa car accident lawyers to schedule a free consultation. Common Types of Airbag Injuries Airbag deployment can lead to a range of injuries. The rate of airbag deployment, chemicals in the device, the design of the device, and the use of a seatbelt can all impact the types of airbag injuries sustained. Here are the most common airbag injuries following an accident. Facial Injuries One purpose of the airbag is to prevent your face from colliding with the windshield. Your face is usually the first part of your body to make contact with the airbag, so it takes on much of the force. A collision with the airbag can cause fractures to some of the smaller bones in the face. Permanent scarring can result from airbag impact with the face. Airbag burns from the chemicals used in the airbag can also result. In addition, injuries to the eyes can be caused by the sudden impact. Chest Injuries An airbag deploys quickly to protect occupants from an impact and reduce the likelihood of serious injuries. As the airbag bursts from the steering wheel, it comes into contact with the chest with some force. Damage to soft tissue in the chest, bruising, and fractures to the collarbone and sternum can occur. Neck and Back Injuries The force of the airbag impacting the body can also cause neck injuries such as whiplash, along with back and spinal cord injuries like slipped or bulging discs, and even fractures. Burn Injuries The speed of the airbag leaving the steering wheel can result in abrasions and burns when it makes contact with the body. These burns can be caused by the airbag itself or the chemicals used inside the airbag. Burns to the face and arms are common. Internal Injuries Organ damage or lacerations may also result from the body’s impact with the airbag. Inhaling the chemicals inside the airbag can also lead to lung injuries. Fractures fractures to the face, collarbone, arms, and even legs can occur when the body is struck by the airbag. These injuries can have serious life-altering consequences and may require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.  Contact an Experienced Florida Personal Injury Lawyer If you’ve sustained an airbag injury, you should have an experienced and trusted attorney evaluate your case. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, our Tampa injury attorneys have been helping people injured in car accidents for over 30 years.  Contact us online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 today to schedule your free consultation.

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Pain After The Car Accident: 3 Chronic Conditions Associated with Automobile Accidents

Category: Accidents |

Are you experiencing pain after a car accident? In this post you will learn about the most common causes of this and the next steps you can take. Unfortunately, this is not always what happens. The extreme forces involved in auto accidents can cause severe traumatic injuries, and for some people these injuries can have permanent consequences. In fact, recent medical evidence shows that auto accidents can lead to a number of chronic and debilitating conditions. Three Chronic Conditions Linked to Traumatic Collisions 1. Chronic Brain Injuries As doctors continue to gain a better understanding of the effects of traumatic brain injuries, there is a growing body of evidence to support a link between brain injuries and various chronic impairments. From concussions to severe penetrating brain injuries, virtually all types of traumatic brain injuries have the potential to lead to long-term effects. In many cases, the link between an accident and a driver’s or passenger’s condition will not immediately be clear. The effects of traumatic brain injuries can manifest gradually, and forgetfulness, impulsive behavior, and other symptoms may not necessarily trigger concerns about an accident-related injury. This is one reason why all auto accident victims should seek prompt medical attention. In certain circumstances, a delay in seeking treatment can exacerbate the chronic effects of a traumatic brain injury, which may include: Anxiety, depression, and mood swings Cognitive impairments Difficulty concentrating Forgetfulness Memory loss Headaches and migraines Impaired judgment Impulsive behavior These and other effects of traumatic brain injuries can impact every aspect of an accident victim’s life. Once again, prompt treatment is critical, and individuals diagnosed with chronic conditions resulting from accident-related brain injuries must carefully follow the treatment plans their doctors prescribe. 2. Chronic Back Pain Chronic back pain is among the most common long-term injuries resulting from vehicle collisions and our attorneys have handled plenty of lower back pain car accident settlements. Like the symptoms of certain types of traumatic brain injuries, back pain can come on slowly over time, masking the accident as its root cause. Individuals who experience back pain in the days, weeks, or months following a collision should seek medical attention, and should carefully describe their symptoms so that their treating physicians can provide an accurate diagnosis. Due to its chronic nature, treatment for trauma-induced back pain generally focuses on symptom management. Along with pain medications (such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)), other treatment options can include acupuncture, physical therapy, steroid injections, and self-management. If you are experiencing back pain following a car accident, you will need to have your doctor prescribe a treatment regimen that is tailored to your own unique injury and personal circumstances. 3. Chronic Thyroid Disorders In addition to chronic brain injuries and back pain, there is now strong medical support for chronic thyroid disorders resulting from traumatic car accidents. The thyroid is a gland at the base of the neck that secretes hormones your body uses for metabolism, temperature regulation, and general growth and development. When a traumatic accident impacts the neck, the physical effects can cause damage to the thyroid, which can in turn lead to a number of chronic symptoms. For example, thyroid conditions resulting from musculoskeletal trauma during car accidents can cause: Compromised brain function Compromised immune system Exacerbation of pain from other trauma-induced injuries Mood swings Reduced energy levels Reduced metabolic rate Since thyroid disorders are both a result and a cause of pain in the muscular and skeletal systems, individuals who suffer neck injuries in auto accidents can find themselves in a vicious cycle of chronic symptoms. Fortunately, in many cases patients will have a number of treatment options available. Potential treatment options for chronic thyroid disorders include: Dietary supplements Hormone replacement therapy Physical therapy Radioactive iodide treatment Surgery Thyroid medications While anyone injured in an auto accident should be aware of the risk of a chronic thyroid condition, drivers and passengers injured in rear-end accidents are among those who are most likely to face thyroid problems. Whiplash injuries are closely associated with trauma-induced thyroid disorders, and these injuries most frequently occur in rear-end collisions. Seeking Financial Compensation for Chronic Conditions Resulting from Auto Accidents Seeking financial compensation for chronic conditions can present additional challenges as compared to seeking compensation for acute physical injuries. This is due in large part to the difficulty in diagnosing chronic conditions as the effects of physical trauma. Individuals who experience symptoms of a chronic injury or disorder following a car accident should take appropriate steps to preserve their legal rights, including: Help Your Doctor Provide an Accurate Diagnosis. If your doctor is unaware of your symptoms, he or she will not be able to provide an accurate diagnosis. If your doctor is unaware that you were injured in an accident, he or she will not be able to link your condition to the collision. When seeking medical attention after an accident, it is critical to make sure your doctor has all of the relevant information. It can be helpful to write down notes and bring them to your appointment. Follow Your Doctor’s Treatment Plan. Treatment for chronic conditions often involves a multi-faceted approach – surgery, rest, physical therapy, lifestyle modifications, and a variety of medications could all be essential to minimizing the long-term effects. If you have been diagnosed with a chronic condition, you need to be prepared to make some changes in your life, and sticking to your doctor’s treatment plan should be among your top priorities. Schedule a Free Consultation at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk If you would like more information about pursuing financial compensation for experiencing pain after a car accident, the injury lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk can help. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, call our office at (800) 538-4878, text us, or request an appointment online today.

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What Causes Chest Pain After A Car Accident? 3 Common Reasons

Category: Car Accidents |

Chest pain after a car accident? This article will help you understand the most common causes of chest pain after an accident and the next steps to take. If you or a loved one experiences chest pain after a Tampa-area car accident, be sure to take it seriously. Chest pain can be a symptom of a serious injury or medical condition that may require prompt medical attention. Abrahamson & Uiterwyk is a Florida personal injury law firm with over 30 years experience and $800M recovered for our clients. We invite you to contact us anytime. Our knowledgable injury law team members will listen to the details of your car accident and tell you whether you may have a valid personal injury claim related to your chest pain. Common Causes of Chest Pain After a Car Accident Experiencing chest pain after a car accident can be a sign of a serious injury. Remember, not all serious injuries result in severe pain. If your chest hurts or you feel lingering discomfort in the chest after an accident, it’s important to seek medical care for a proper diagnosis. Some of the most common causes of chest pain after a car accident include fractured ribs, bruised ribs, muscle strain and injuries to internal organs. Fractured Ribs Broken ribs are another common cause of experiencing chest pain after a car accident, often in the form of sharp, shooting discomfort. These types of injuries are often caused by the chest being restricted by a seat belt or hitting the steering wheel in an accident. Bruised Ribs The trauma involved in a car accident can also be responsible for bruising the sternum or ribs. This type of injury is often associated with dull, aching pains that may come and go with movement. Muscle Strain Another common cause of dull, aching chest pain after a car accident is strain to the muscles of the chest. While this type of injury may not be life threatening, it may be important to seek medical attention after your accident to confirm that a more serious injury has not taken place. Injuries to Internal Organs Experiencing pain in the chest after an accident can also be a sign of a potentially life threatening injury to an internal organ, particularly the heart. Chest pain can also be a sign of a heart attack. Additional signs that a serious internal injury may have taken place include fatigue, shortness of breath, headache and dizziness. Symptoms Associated With Chest or Sternum Injuries Trauma to the chest and sternum can result in a variety of symptoms depending upon the location and severity of an injury. Some common symptoms of chest injuries include: Sharp, stabbing pain when moving or stretching Severe pain when coughing, sneezing or laughing Constant discomfort or pain, even while not moving Pain or discomfort when even a small amount of pressure is applied to the chest Remember, experiencing chest pain after a car accident may indicate that you have suffered a serious injury that requires the care of your healthcare provider. Take action and seek medical attention as soon as possible if suspect that you may have suffered a chest injury from a car accident. Discuss Your Car Accident Chest Injury with an Attorney. No Fee, No Obligation If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident due to someone else’s irresponsibility, call the Tampa car accident lawyers of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 or fill out our contact form.

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Pinellas County Averages 77 Car Crashes Per Day

Category: Car Accidents |

Late last year, a transportation advocacy group called Forward Pinellas crunched the numbers and found that over the last five years Pinellas County averaged 77 car crashes per day. In 2017 alone, Pinellas County averaged 83 crashes per day. This is a staggering number but not surprising. The report cited three main reasons for the statistic. Drivers and Pedestrians Disobeying Traffic Laws Whether it’s speeding, crossing against the light, or running red lights, many drivers and pedestrians in Pinellas County are simply not following the law. Traffic laws were put in place to keep everyone safe. However, if the laws aren’t followed, the situation becomes extremely dangerous. Pinellas County has a high percentage of high speed, high volume roadways, and not obeying traffic laws on these streets can lead to serious accidents. Distracted Driving Distracted driving is an epidemic across the country, and Pinellas County has not been spared. Drivers who are distracted by their phones or other technology in their cars are essentially driving blind. Taking your visual, cognitive, and manual attention off the road leads to a high probability of an accident occurring. With the implementation of Florida’s new texting and driving law, hopefully, the rate of distraction will decrease. However, phones are not the only things distracting drivers. Navigation systems, other passengers in the car, and other distractions are still present. Increase in Drivers/Cars on the Road According to U.S. Census Bureau data, 150 new people move to the Tampa Bay area every year. Add to this the high number of tourists and the car-focused culture in Pinellas County, and there are simply too many cars on the road. More cars mean more accidents. Solutions Pinellas County is working toward some much-needed solutions to this car accident epidemic. These solutions include: Building more overpasses, including the ones planned over US-19 Widening roads and working on major new corridors like the Gateway Express Project Adding more bike lanes and crosswalks Hopefully, these improvements will help lower the number of accidents. Contact a Pinellas County Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you should contact a Pinellas County car accident attorney. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have over 30 years of experience helping accident victims in Pinellas County and throughout the Tampa Bay area. Contact us onlineor call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free, no-obligation consultation today.

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Can Technology Make Driving Safer?

Category: Car Accidents |

As cars become equipped with more technology, there can be mixed results. On the one hand, in-vehicle infotainment systems can be a distraction to drivers. GPS and navigation systems can also be a distraction if not used properly. However, there are a number of new innovations in technology that may make driving safer. Driver Assistance Technology While self-driving cars are not yet an everyday reality, driver assistance technology can help prevent crashes. If a driver isn’t going to prevent an accident from happening, then maybe the car itself can. Some safety features include: Forward Collision Warning—provides a visual, audible, or tactile alert to warn a driver of an impending collision. Auto Emergency Braking—this system engages the brakes to avoid a potential collision if a driver does not react in time. Lane Departure Warning—this system provides a tactile or visual warning when a vehicle crosses lane markers without the turn signal being engaged. Lane Keeping Assist—provides some steering or braking to correct a situation where a vehicle is drifting out of its lane. While studies have shown that these technologies can reduce the number of collisions, the reality is they shouldn’t be used as an excuse for bad driving. Cell Phone Blocking Technology Every year more than 3,000 people are killed by distracted driving.  Cell phone use is the most common factor in distracted driving accidents. While there are laws in place to prevent texting while driving, many drivers still engage in the practice. Cell phone blocking technology can help prevent phones from being used while driving.  This technology usually comes in the form of a smartphone app. The most basic apps prevent a phone from receiving calls or texts while the app is engaged. Other apps can disable the phone completely. The problem with cell phone blocking technology is that it is the responsibility of the driver to engage the app. Contact a Tampa Bay Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may want a Tampa Bay car accident attorney on your side. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have been helping Tampa Bay car accident victims for over 30 years. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free, no-obligation consultation today.

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Are Backseat Seat Belts Required in Florida?

Category: Car Accidents |

We all know wearing a seat belt in the car is the safest choice. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belt usage saved close to 15,000 lives in 2017 alone. In the United States, close to 90% of people wear a seat belt. Under Florida law drivers and front-seat passengers are required to wear seat belts. Failing to wear a seat belt is a primary offense, meaning police can pull a driver over for not wearing a seat belt even if they weren’t committing any other traffic offenses. What does the law say regarding back seat passengers? Back Seat Passengers Under Florida law, passengers who are aged 18 and over are not required to wear seat belts. Children under 18 are required to wear seat belts regardless of where they are in the vehicle. Failure to have a child in a seat belt or a car seat is a primary offense. Adult back seat rear passengers are not required to wear seat belts in Florida. The idea, however, that the back seat is somehow less dangerous than the front seat is false. The laws of physics are not suspended just because you are in the back seat. An unrestrained passenger can still be hurled into the seat in front of them. Unbelted passengers increases the risk of injury or death to other occupants of the vehicle by 40%. The impact of a passenger on the seat in front of them can be very dangerous to the passenger and to others in the car. Impact with the driver seat can cause the driver to then hit the steering wheel. In addition, in a side-impact crash, an unbelted driver in the back seat can slam into the passenger sitting next to them. Federal crash statistics find that passengers in the rear are three times more likely to die in a car accident if they fail to wear a seat belt. Florida’s lack of a law requiring the use of seat belts in the rear of the car sets a dangerous example. Because it is not required, many people feel they are safe in the back seat without a seat belt. Currently, 29 states and the District of Columbia require that adult back seat passengers wear seat belts. Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you should consult with an experienced car accident attorney. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have been helping car accident victims for over 30 years. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free, no-obligation consultation today.

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Florida Drivers Still Among the Nation’s Worst

Category: Car Accidents |

If you’ve spent any time on Florida roadways, you know the state is filled with bad drivers. Florida has some of the worst drivers in the nation. A report by the consumer website Smart Asset found that Florida ranks in the top five states for the worst drivers in the country. The Report According to the report, Florida tied with Nevada and Texas for the fourth worst drivers in the country. Last year Florida came in at number eight, so things have gotten worse. In determining the rankings, Smart Asset looked at a number of different factors. This included the percentage of insured drivers, the number of DUI arrests per 1,000 drivers, the rate at which “traffic ticket” was Googled, and the number of fatalities. The report found that Florida has the lowest amount of insured drivers with only 73% of drivers carrying car insurance. Florida had the 11thhighest rate of “traffic ticket” searches and ranked high in fatalities with 1.47 per 100 million vehicle miles driven. It’s not all bad news, however. Florida had the eighth-lowest rate of DUI arrests in the country with a rate of 2.17 per 1,000 drivers. The report noted that southern states ranked the highest for worst drivers. Mississippi ranked number one on the list, followed by Alabama and California. Massachusetts was the state with the best drivers. It had an insured driver rate of 93.8%, only 1.76 DUI arrests per 1,000 drivers, and less than one fatality per 100 million vehicle miles driven. Reasons for Bad Drivers While the study didn’t indicate why the drivers in Florida are among the worst, there are a number of different factors that may contribute to the high rate of bad drivers. Florida is home to many retirees and, as we age, our ability to drive is negatively affected. More older drivers on the road may mean more accidents. The streets of Florida are also inundated with tourists who are risky drivers on unfamiliar roads. In addition, the high rate of uninsured drivers may be caused by the fact that insurance rates in Florida are very high. The cost of auto insurance in Florida is 52% higher than the national average. Contact a Florida Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in an accident with a bad driver, you may want a trusted car accident attorney on your side. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have been representing Florida car accident victims for over 30 years. Contact us onlineor call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free, no-obligation consultation today.

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7 Documents Your Attorney Will Need After Your Car Accident

Category: Accidents |

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may have decided that hiring a personal injury attorney can help you through the process. In order for your attorney to effectively represent you, it is important that you provide them with all necessary information. Your attorney will need some documentation from you in order to put together the best case for pursuing compensation. Some documents your attorney may require, include: Police Report In a car accident case, the police will file an official accident report. This report will contain some valuable information about who was involved in the accident and what happened. Auto Insurance Policy An attorney will want to see a copy of your auto insurance policy, specifically the declarations page so that the amount and type of coverage you have available can be determined. Photographs Taking photos of an accident scene can be important to show the extent of any injuries or property damage and may help in establishing who was at fault for the accident. Make sure you submit any photographs that were taken by you or other people, to your attorney. Contact Information If you have obtained the contact information of any witnesses or other individuals involved in the accident, you should provide that information to your attorney as soon as possible. Medical Records Your attorney will want to see copies of your medical records to see the extent of your injuries and what type of treatment you have received. Detailed medical records are crucial to establishing an effective case for compensation. Medical Bills Copies of medical bills are also very important when pursuing compensation for your injuries. These bills itemize the losses you’ve sustained as a result of the accident. Keep all prescription receipts, hospital bills, and bills from other medical providers so that you can provide these to your attorney. Wage Records If you’ve missed time from work as a result of the injuries you sustained in a car accident, then you may be entitled to compensation for any lost wages. Pay stubs and other wage records will be needed to establish the amount you have lost. Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you should consider scheduling a consultation with an experienced Tampa Bay car accident attorney. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have helped over 20,000 accidents victims pursue compensation for their injuries. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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Tampa Bay Ranks in Top 20 for Most Aggressive Drivers

Category: Accidents |

Florida drivers have been consistently ranked as some of the worst in the nation. Now, according to a report by Gas Buddy, Florida cities also rank among those with aggressive drivers. Tampa-St. Petersburg came in at number 19 out of major metro areas. According to the report, Tampa Bay drivers are 2% more aggressive than the average U.S. driver. There were a number of different aggressive driving indicators where Tampa Bay ranked higher than average. Speeding Aggressive drivers frequently drive at high rates of speed. This can be extremely dangerous to other drivers as speeders can easily lose control of their vehicle. In addition, collisions at higher rates of speed can cause more serious injuries. Tampa Bay drivers have 12.6 percent more speeding incidents than the average U.S. driver. The area ranked 11th for most speeding incidents. Hard Braking Aggressive drivers also drive close to other cars, tailgate, and press hard on their brakes. This is very dangerous to other drivers. It can lead to rear-end collisions and other serious accidents. Tampa Bay has had fewer hard-braking incidents than the average U.S. driver. Rapid Acceleration Rapid acceleration is another common and dangerous behavior displayed by aggressive drivers. Rapid acceleration can lead to collisions with bicyclists, pedestrians, and other vehicles who are unable to predict the driver’s behavior. Tampa Bay drivers were 1.2% more likely to engage in rapid acceleration, and the area ranked 15th for most rapid acceleration instances. Aggressive Driving Dangers Aggressive drivers let their emotions get in the way of their reason and make dangerous decisions on the road. In addition to speeding, hard braking, and rapid acceleration,  drivers often take their attention off the road in efforts to intimidate other drivers with words and gestures. In some cases, aggressive driving can turn into road rage, which can lead to violent behavior. Contact an Experienced Tampa Bay Attorney If you’ve been injured in an accident with an aggressive driver, you may want an experienced Tampa Bay accident attorney on your side. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have been helping accident victims for over 30 years. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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Message Boards on Howard Frankland Bridge Warn of Wrong Way Drivers

Category: Car Accidents |

Wrong-way crashes are serious accidents that can cause severe injuries. No one wants to see headlights coming towards them, especially on the Howard Frankland Bridge where there’s nowhere to go to avoid the crash. Wrong-way crashes happen all too often in Tampa Bay, and now authorities are taking steps to make the roads safer. Howard Frankland Bridge After a spate of wrong-way crashes on the Howard Frankland Bridge, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is taking steps to curb accidents caused by wrong-way drivers. Six cameras have been installed along the bridge that can detect whether a driver is going the wrong way. If a driver is going the wrong way, an alarm activates at the FDOT dispatch center. FDOT can then notify the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) of the situation. FHP dispatch is in the same building as FDOT. Within seconds FDOT can also change message boards on the bridge to advise other drivers to be on the lookout for a wrong-way driver. The hope is that drivers can take evasive maneuvers if necessary and that FHP can quickly get to the scene before tragedy strikes. The system began testing this past spring. Curbing Wrong-Way Driving While signs on the bridge are a great first step in preventing wrong-way crashes, more needs to be done to end the problem. Most wrong-way drivers are driving while impaired by drugs and alcohol. Better enforcement of Florida’s drunk driving laws and educating the public on the dangers of driving while impaired may help lessen the problem. Wrong-way crashes should never happen as long as people follow the law. Dangers of Wrong-Way Crashes Some people discount the seriousness of wrong-way crashes because they don’t happen very frequently. However, wrong-way crashes are more likely to be fatal than other types of accidents. In some cases, multiple fatalities can occur. Two vehicles hitting head-on can collide with tremendous force as both objects are moving in opposite directions. In addition, you have far less time to respond to a wrong-way driver in your path, especially when both vehicles are traveling at high speeds. Contact an Experienced Tampa Bay Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a wrong-way accident, you may want to have an experienced car accident attorney evaluate your case. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we’ve been helping Tampa Bay car accident victims for over 30 years. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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Who is Liable in a Multi-vehicle Accident?

Category: Car Accidents |

A multi-vehicle accident is one in which three or more cars are involved. Multi-vehicle, or chain reaction accidents can be scary situations. Your vehicle may be hit from different directions or pushed into other vehicles. The resulting injuries can be serious. When multiple vehicles are involved in an accident, who is liable for injury? Typical Multi-vehicle Accidents Most multi-vehicle accidents involve rear-end collisions. Driver A hits Driver B who then hits Driver C. Driver A may have been distracted and following too closely and hit Driver B. Driver B may have been traveling too closely to Driver C, or the force of the impact may have been enough to cause the second collision. Multi-vehicle accidents involve multiple drivers, so determining who was negligent and to what degree can be a complex matter. Determining Liability in a Multi-vehicle Accident It may appear that the driver who started the chain reaction would be fully responsible for any injuries that result from the accident. While this may be the case, it is important to look at the behavior of each involved driver to determine if other factors may have been involved. It comes down to determining which driver was careless or to what degree a driver may be responsible. An important rule that comes into play in most multi-vehicle accidents is the importance of keeping a safe following distance behind the car in front of you. Drivers need to be able to make a timely stop when they encounter hazards or unexpected situations on the road, such as the driver in front slamming on their brakes. A driver who fails to maintain a safe following distance is generally liable to at least some degree in the accident. This is often the driver that started the chain reaction. However, if a driver in the middle also failed to maintain a safe following distance, they may also be partially liable for the accident. In addition, if Driver A hit Driver B because Driver B braked suddenly and their brake lights were out, then Driver B may be liable for injuries sustained by Driver A and Driver C. When trying to determine liability in a multi-vehicle accident, it is crucial to gather all of the necessary evidence. Statements from witnesses, surveillance videos, police reports, and even the type and extent of damage to the vehicles can all be important in recreating the events of the accident and establishing liability. It’s important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that a thorough investigation is conducted and that all necessary evidence is preserved. Contact a Florida Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a multi-vehicle accident, it’s important to act quickly and consult with an experienced car accident attorney. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk offer free consultations and have been helping car accident victims for over 30 years. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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