Car Accidents

Does Physical Therapy Increase Settlement?

Category: Car Accidents |

While every case is different, physical therapy can help increase settlement amounts in some cases. For example, the courts and insurance companies may not take your word for how bad your pain is after an accident. However, physical therapy records documenting that your pain was a “10” on a scale of 1-10 provide strong, documented evidence from a medical professional. This may assist in increasing the total of your settlement offer. Will Physical Therapy Increase My Settlement? 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. 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. An Effective Car Accident Injury Lawyer is Your Best Asset When it comes to maximizing accident settlement amounts, an experienced personal injury team with a proven track record is your best asset. 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. Do you want to know to determine what the potential value of your claim might be? 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 skill sets. 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 increase significantly. 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 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 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. Here’s How to Increase Your Odds of Getting Physical Therapy...

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Florida Seat Belt Laws – Front and Back Seat Belt Laws

Category: Car Accidents |

Are seat belts required in Florida? According to seat belt laws in Florida, seat belts are required. However, the laws can vary depending on where you sit in a vehicle (front seats vs rear seats), and the age of the passenger. Florida Seat Belt Laws for Front Seats Drivers and front seat passengers are required to wear seat belts in Florida. 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. Florida Seat Belt Laws for Back Seats Do you have to wear a seatbelt in the backseat in Florida? According to seat belt laws in Florida, adults (18 and over) back seat rear passengers are not required to wear seat belts. However, 29 states and the District of Columbia require that adult back seat passengers wear seat belts. Children under 18 are required to wear seat belts regardless of where they are in the motor vehicle. Failure to have a child in a seat belt or a car seat is a primary offense. The idea 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. Risks of Not Wearing a Seat Belt in a Vehicle 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 seat belts.  Unbelted passengers increase 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 on 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 rear seat belts are not required for adults in Florida, many people feel they are safe in the back seat without a seat belt.  Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today – No Obligation! 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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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, it is incredibly difficult to give an average settlement figure. That is why it is best to speak with an experienced Florida car accident lawyer near you. 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. According to the settlement examples listed on this page, the typical Florida disc herniation settlement is anywhere from $500,000 to $1,575,000. Settlements depend greatly on the unique circumstances of each case, so the amount for degenerative disc disease car accident settlements in Florida varies greatly. 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.  Here’s how you can best determine an idea of the settlement you could receive, speak with an experienced 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. What Is Degenerative Disc Disease? Before discussing potential degenerative disc disease 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 aggravated 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. Examples of settlements of Disc Herniation $1,575,000 / Motor Vehicle / Hillsborough, FL 53-year old male was rear ended by the Defendant. Client suffered from a three level herniation which was ultimately operated on with anterior cervical disc fusion. Case settled for $1,575,000 shortly before trial. $1,074,169 / Motor Vehicle Accident / Right Arm, Neck and Back Injuries / Hillsborough 44-year old male was injured when...

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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 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 Florida 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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Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving

Category: Car Accidents |

There is a growing awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, but this has not prevented drivers from engaging in this unsafe behavior. It is estimated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that distracted driving is responsible for over 3,000 traffic deaths annually. You cannot drive safely unless you have your entire focus on the task of driving. While you cannot prevent other drivers from distracted driving, there are some steps you can take to avoid distracted driving. Put Your Phone Away The most important thing you can do to avoid distracted driving is to put your phone in your purse or glove compartment so that you are not tempted to use it while driving. Texting and driving is the most dangerous form of distracted driving because it takes your visual and cognitive attention off the road. Cell phones should only be used in cases of emergency, and when doing so, it is important to try and pull over to the side of the road. Finish Personal Grooming Before You Get on the Road  Make sure you fix your hair and makeup before getting behind the wheel. Applying makeup and performing other grooming tasks while driving can be very dangerous. Adjust Your Position Before Driving Before you start driving, make sure that your mirrors and seat have been comfortably adjusted. Making changes while driving can be distracting and take your attention off the road. Don’t Eat Behind the Wheel.  Take that meal home or pull over before you eat it. Balancing a burger and a drink can be very distracting and messy. Your hunger can wait. Minimize Distractions in the Car Try not to overload your car with passengers. Ask your passengers to keep the noise level down so that you can maintain your focus on the road. Explain to your children the importance of allowing the driver of a car to focus on their driving. If your baby or pet has become a distraction, pull over and take care of their needs before you drive any further. Pull Over to Program Your Navigation System One of the most important ways you can avoid distracted driving is to refrain from programming your navigation system while driving. Pull over or program the system before you get on the road. Taking your visual and cognitive attention off the road can be deadly. Call Out Distracted Driving If you are the passenger in a car and you notice that the driver is distracted, call them out on it. Tell the driver that you don’t feel safe when they are texting and driving and explain to them how dangerous it can be to drive distracted. Contact a Trusted Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been involved in an accident with a distracted driver, you should contact an experienced Tampa Bay car accident attorney. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have been trusted by over 20,000 clients to help them 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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Accidents on Wet Roadways

Category: Car Accidents |

While the weather is usually bright and sunny in Tampa Bay, it is not unusual, especially during hurricane season, for there to be periods of heavy rain. Rain can have a tremendous impact on the safety of roadways. Wet roadways account for approximately 15% of motor vehicle crashes. Wet roadways are especially dangerous in high traffic areas such as Tampa Bay. When an accident occurs on a wet roadway, determining who may be liable for the accident can be a complicated matter. Adjusting to Wet Roadways While weather conditions cannot be controlled, drivers are expected to adjust their conduct to meet the challenges of a wet roadway. Drivers should exercise due care. They should slow down, avoid large puddles if possible, and provide extra space between their vehicle and others on the road. Hydroplaning can occur on wet roadways, especially when there is oil on the road. Hydroplaning occurs when a layer of water leads to a car’s tires failing to effectively grip the road, resulting in difficulty steering and a loss of control of the vehicle. Increased vehicle speeds increase the likelihood of hydroplaning occurring. In addition, sudden braking can also lead a vehicle to hydroplane. Staying Safe While we can’t control the actions of other drivers, when you are driving on wet roadways, there are steps you can take to ensure your safety: Reduce Speed—decrease your risk of hydroplaning by reducing your speed to match the road conditions. Allow for More Distance Between You and the Car in Front of You—wet pavement can significantly increase a vehicle’s stopping distance, and if you allow more stopping distance, you can avoid the need to slam on the brakes which can lead to hydroplaning. Check Your Tires—poor tire tread and improper tire pressure can increase the likelihood that your vehicle will lose traction on a wet roadway. Maintain Your Brakes—worn brake pads can lead to hydroplaning. Call an Experienced Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in an accident on a wet roadway, you may want an experienced Tampa Bay car accident attorney on your side. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk 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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The Most Dangerous Intersections in Hillsborough County

Category: Car Accidents |

The activist group, “All for Transportation,” analyzed accident data from May 1, 2017, through August 31, 2018, and determined the ten most dangerous intersections in Hillsborough County. Top 10 Most Dangerous Intersections According to the study, the top 10 most dangerous intersections in Hillsborough County include: Sheldon Road/Waters Avenue: 107 accidents Anderson Road/Waters Avenue: 103 accidents Waters Avenue/Hanley Road: 98 accidents Hillsborough Avenue/Sheldon Road: 96 accidents 301/Gibsonton Drive: 95 accidents Waters Avenue/Himes Avenue: 89 accidents 301/Big Bend Road: 86 accidents Bruce B Downs/Fletcher Avenue: 84 accidents Bloomingdale Avenue/Bell Shoals Road: 82 accidents Bloomingdale Avenue/Providence Road: 81 accidents The three most dangerous intersections in the county are clustered in a three-mile radius. This area is known as the Hillsborough Triangle. Between these three intersections, there is almost one accident per day along a three-mile stretch of Waters Avenue. Contributing Factors and Solutions The explosive growth in population in the area, along with poor roadway conditions may be contributing factors to the dangerousness of these intersections. More cars on the road mean more accidents and more distracted drivers. In addition, poor lighting on these roadways has been a significant factor in many car accidents. Better designed roadways and intersections could help to reduce the number of accidents significantly. In addition, an improved public transit system could lead to fewer cars on the road and less congestion. “All for Transportation” believes that a 1% increase in the Hillsborough County sales tax could provide enough revenue to fund significant roadway improvements which would make these intersections safer. Voters last November agreed to this increase which would include allocations to fund road improvements and upgrade public transit. The particulars of how this money will be allocated are still undecided. Safer roads, expanded transit, and less congestion should be a priority. Contact a Hillsborough County Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been in an accident at one of the most dangerous intersections in Hillsborough County, you may want to have an experienced car accident attorney in Florida evaluate your case. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have been helping car accident victims in Hillsborough County 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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Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Hire a Car Accident Attorney

Category: Car Accidents |

When you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. It is also important that you consult with a Florida car accident attorney as soon as you can in order to make sure you have the best chance at pursuing compensation. There are a number of important reasons why you shouldn’t wait to hire a car accident attorney. Preserving Evidence Evidence is critically important to the success of a car accident claim. The longer you wait to take action, the more likely it is that evidence will be lost or destroyed. Key evidence such as surveillance videos, witness statements, physical evidence at the scene, and proof of your injuries may be harder to come by as time goes on. An experienced car accident attorney near you will know what evidence is important and the best way to gather it. Memories May Fade Your memory of the accident, as well as the memories of any witnesses, may fade away the longer you wait to hire an attorney. An attorney can help document what happened in an accident and will know how to pick out the important details of a case. Without the help of your memory and the memories of witnesses, this can be difficult. Chances of a Quick Settlement The longer you wait to hire an attorney, the more likely it will be that you’re paying medical bills and other expenses out of your own pocket. The longer you wait to hire an attorney, the longer it can take to pursue that settlement. Peace of Mind Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be stressful. You’ve been injured, you’re missing work, and you have insurance companies to deal with. If you hire an experienced car accident attorney, you can focus on healing from your injuries and let the attorney handle the rest. Contact a Tampa Bay Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a Tampa Bay car accident, don’t wait to consult with an experienced attorney. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 30 years of experience handling car accident cases and can evaluate your case for free. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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The “100 Deadliest Days” for Teen Drivers

Category: Car Accidents |

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the “100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers occurs between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Over the past five years, nearly 3,500 people have been killed in crashes involving teen drivers during these 100 days. Studies show that teen drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents, whether they are victims or negligent drivers. The AAA Foundation found that nearly two-thirds of people injured in accidents with teen drivers were people other than the teen behind the wheel. Analyzing crash data from 2013-2017, the AAA Foundation discovered the most common contributing factors to teen accidents. These factors involve reckless behavior that contributes to the alarming amount of teen-involved accidents. The most prevalent factors include: Speeding Teen drivers tend to take serious risks when they drive, often believing they are invincible. The most common cause of teen-involved accidents is speeding. Almost a third of teen-involved accidents had speeding as a contributing factor. Accidents at high speeds are extremely dangerous and can be deadly. Speeding is a growing problem among teen drivers. According to a AAA Traffic Safety Culture Index, almost half of teens surveyed reported speeding. Drinking and Driving Alcohol was involved in 17% of teen driver accidents. Despite the fact that it is illegal for teens to consume alcohol, many continue to do so. One in six teen drivers involved in fatal summer accidents tested positive for alcohol. Distracted Driving The AAA Foundation reports that 9% of teen driver accidents involved some type of distraction. It is believed that distraction is underreported and the percentage of accidents caused by distracted driving is much higher. Of the teens surveyed for the Traffic Safety Culture Index, more than half confessed to reading text messages while driving, and 40% reported sending a text or email. Teens are also easily distracted by the presence of other teens in the vehicle. Contact a Tampa Bay Car Accident Attorney If you were involved in an accident with a teen driver this summer, you might want to have an experienced car wreck attorney in Florida evaluate your case. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have been helping the victims of car accidents in Tampa Bay 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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Florida Passes Law Allowing Self-driving Vehicles

Category: Car Accidents |

Under a bill signed in June by Governor DeSantis, self-driving vehicles will now be allowed to operate on Florida roadways without a human presence in the car. The law went into effect on July 1stand states that as long as self-driving vehicles meet insurance and safety requirements, they can travel without a human on board. Before the new law, self-driving vehicles were only allowed on the road if there was a human backup driver present in the vehicle. Lawmakers are hoping to attract companies testing autonomous vehicles to move to Florida. Safety of Self-driving Vehicles While the manufacturers of self-driving vehicles such as Google, Tesla, and Uber claim that their vehicles are safer than those with drivers, it remains to be seen. There are no clear parameters on what is safe when it comes to self-driving vehicles. Florida now has guidelines regarding the safety of these vehicles, and there are federal voluntary guidelines. However, these vehicles can still suffer from technical issues that can lead to serious accidents and injuries in Florida. Level 4 and Level 5 self-driving vehicles are vehicles that are completely autonomous and will not have drivers behind the wheel. While these vehicles are now permitted on Florida roadways, no manufacturer has successfully tested a vehicle of this level and placed it on the road. However, even with human safety drivers behind the wheel, accidents still happen. In 2018, a pedestrian in Tempe was struck and killed by a self-driving vehicle that was unable to anticipate her actions when she crossed the street where there was no crosswalk. Both Level 2 and Level 3 self-driving vehicles have been responsible for multiple fatalities. Although car accidents happen every day, driving by humans is still relatively safe. Human drivers are better able to interpret and predict the behavior of other humans, while self-driving vehicles may not be able to do so. Manufacturers of self-driving vehicles would need to find a way to make them safer than human driving in order for the public to feel safe. Contact a Tampa Bay Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a Tampa Bay car accident, you may want an experienced attorney on your side. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 30 years of experience helping the injured. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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The Fourteen Day Rule in Florida

Category: Car Accidents |

Florida’s no-fault insurance laws can be complicated to navigate, and not everyone knows what is required to make a claim. One issue that often arises is the “fourteen-day rule.” Following the fourteen-day rule is important for an accident victim to keep in mind in order to successfully pursue compensation. Otherwise, you can face significant hurdles. What is the Fourteen Day Rule? Under Florida’s no-fault insurance law, if you have suffered injuries in a car accident, you must obtain medical care within fourteen days of the accident. Failure to do so can jeopardize your ability to collect benefits from your personal injury protection (PIP). The law states that your PIP coverage will cover 80% of your necessary medical bills as long as you have obtained treatment within fourteen days of the accident. Under the law, an accident victim must receive initial medical treatment from a licensed physician, a dentist, a chiropractic physician, or in a hospital. Seeing a physical therapist or a massage therapist as your initial medical contact is probably not sufficient. Purpose of the Fourteen Day Rule The fourteen-day rule was put into place in an effort to curb insurance fraud. If you receive medical treatment closer to the accident, then it is less likely that your injuries were caused by something other than your accident. This prevents people from claiming that injuries they sustained playing sports, for instance, were the result of their previous car accident. Prompt Medical Treatment is Important Seeking medical treatment as soon as possible is important regardless of the fourteen-day rule. Waiting to receive medical care can exacerbate an injury, which can lead to increased pain and higher medical bills. Failing to seek medical care can worsen your prognosis. Even if you feel that you have not been seriously injured after an accident, it is still important to go to a hospital or your doctor to get checked out. Many serious injuries have delayed symptoms that may not present themselves until hours or even days after an accident. Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been the victim of a car accident, you may want an experienced car crash attorney near you on your side. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 30 years of experience handling car accident cases and can evaluate your case for free. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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The Economic Impact of Car Accidents

Category: Car Accidents |

Every day thousands of people are injured or killed in car accidents worldwide. Car accidents and injuries are a major drain on the world’s economy. The economic impact of a car accident also hits close to home and can have a detrimental effect on the wallets of the victims. Medical Bills Even if the injuries resulting from an accident are not severe, the resulting medical bills can be costly. With the skyrocketing cost of health care, even treatment for a minor injury can hurt financially. Unfortunately, it’s far too often that a car accident can result in serious injuries that require extensive treatment. Medical bills for surgeries, hospital stays, medical equipment, medication, and continuing therapies, can quickly pile up and become overwhelming. In some cases, an injury is so serious that an individual is forced to change their life completely. In the United States, two-thirds of people filing for bankruptcy were forced to do so because of medical issues. Lost Wages If you’ve been injured in a car accident, there’s a good chance that you will miss some time from work. Depending on the severity of the injuries, you could be out of work for an extensive period of time. These lost wages can pile up and have a devastating financial impact on a family. In some cases, an accident victim may not be able to return to work at all. Property Damage  When you’ve sustained damage to your vehicle as the result of an accident, your repair bill can be astronomical. If your vehicle is totaled, then you are forced to purchase a new one which can be a costly endeavor. Lessening the Economic Impact There are a number of ways you can lessen the economic impact of a car accident. Making a claim with your car insurance’s personal injury protection (PIP) can help you get coverage for some of your medical bills and lost wages up to your policy amount. If someone else is responsible for the accident and you’ve been seriously injured, you may be able to file a claim against any liability insurance they may have. If that isn’t enough, then you can file a claim against your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Contact a Tampa Bay Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a car accident and are suffering from the economic impact, you may need the help of an experienced car accident attorney. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk will evaluate your case for free and offer a no-fee guarantee, meaning you pay no fees or costs unless you win. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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Left-Turn Car Accidents

Category: Car Accidents |

Every time you make a left turn in traffic, you are taking a risk. This is because making a left-hand turn involves crossing over lanes of oncoming traffic. Sometimes the vehicles traveling in these lanes are moving at high rates of speed, and a resulting collision can involve serious injuries and property damage. Determining liability in a left-turn car accident can sometimes be a complicated matter. Why are Left Turns Dangerous? Left turns can involve a significant amount of danger and require judgment calls regarding the speed of oncoming cars. You also need to judge whether other cars are going to obey lights and traffic signals. In some instances, views of traffic lanes may be obstructed, and a driver may be tempted to make a blind left turn. Left turns require quick thinking and sound decision-making. The Left Turn Driver is Usually Liable Unless they have a green arrow, left-turn drivers do not usually have the right of way. As a result, the left-turn driver in an accident is typically at fault for the collision. It is important for left-turn drivers to be aware of their surroundings, properly judge the speed of oncoming traffic, and only turn when it is absolutely safe to do so. It is also critical that drivers avoid making blind left turns. You should only make a left turn if you can see clearly whether another vehicle is coming. You should also not rely on other drivers to wave you through a left-hand turn. When the Left Turn Driver is Not Liable There are some circumstances where the driver in oncoming traffic is liable for hitting a left-turn driver. If a left-turn driver has a green arrow and oncoming traffic has a red light, the non-turning driver may be liable for running the red light. This frequently happens when drivers are distracted and not paying attention to their surroundings. In addition, a driver who is speeding may be liable for an accident. This scenario can be difficult to prove without the presence of a credible witness. A driver who runs a stop sign may also be liable for causing a left-turn accident. Contact a Trusted Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a left-turn car accident, you should consult with an experienced and trusted car accident attorney in Florida. 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 consultation today.

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What Does “No-Fault Insurance” Mean?

Category: Car Accidents |

Florida is one of twelve states that follows a no-fault insurance model for car insurance. But what does no-fault insurance mean? It basically means that if you are injured in a car accident, then your own car insurance will pay some of your medical bills and lost wages. This payment is made regardless of who was at fault for the accident. No-Fault Insurance in Florida In Florida, no-fault insurance is also known as personal injury protection (PIP). Every driver is required to have a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage on their car insurance policy. You can opt to have more coverage if you wish. PIP will cover 80% of your medical bills and 60% of lost wages or lost income that you incur as the result of a car accident. Your PIP coverage is also subject to any deductible you may have. PIP also pays a $5,000 death benefit is someone dies as the result of a car accident. To obtain coverage from your PIP, you must seek medical treatment for your injuries within fourteen days of the accident. A key component of PIP is that you can’t receive compensation for any pain and suffering you’ve experienced as a result of the accident. What if You Were Seriously Injured? If the severity of your injuries exceeds a certain threshold, then it is likely that your medical bills will be substantial, and you’ll have missed a significant amount of time from work. In that case, you may be able to recover from a negligent party’s liability insurance. You may be able to recover for pain and suffering in addition to your medical bills and lost wages. However, many drivers in Florida do not carry liability insurance or do not have enough insurance. If you have your own uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage, you may be able to make a claim for additional damages. UM coverage would pay any medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages after the PIP coverage has been exhausted. Contact a Tampa Bay Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a car accident, navigating the insurance system can be difficult. You may want the help of an experienced Florida accident attorney. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk we’ve been helping accident victims in Tampa Bay 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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Common Types of Car Accidents

Category: Car Accidents |

You never want to find yourself in a car accident. You may be a cautious driver, but chances are, especially in Florida, there are negligent drivers all around you. Distracted drivers, impaired drivers, and reckless drivers can all cause severe accidents. There are some common types of car accidents that result in injury, including: Rear-end Collisions Rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accidents. They often occur when the vehicle in front slows down or stops suddenly, and the driver in the rear is not paying attention or doesn’t react quickly enough. Rear-end collisions can also result from tailgating. Whiplash is the most common injury that results from a rear-end collision. Side Impact Collisions Side impact collisions, also known as “T-bone” collisions occur when the side of a vehicle makes an impact with the front or rear end of another vehicle. Depending on the speed at which the cars were traveling, side impact collisions can result in severe, life-altering injuries. Head-on Collisions Head-on collisions result in the most serious injuries. They occur when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide head-on. Both drivers and passengers can sustain injuries such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, fractures, and internal injuries as the result of a head-on collision. Lane Changing Accidents A distracted or impaired driver is likely to move over into another lane and cause a collision. In some cases, a driver may overestimate how much space they have to change lanes and as a result, they cause an accident. Depending on the speed of the vehicles involved, lane changing accidents can be very serious. Multiple Vehicle Collisions When three or more vehicles are involved in a collision, it usually happens on a highway or a busy road. Multiple vehicle collisions can be very dangerous. Cars can get hit from multiple angles by different vehicles. In some instances, people can become trapped. Passengers and drivers can sustain serious injuries such as whiplash, paralysis, and internal injuries. Contact a Trusted Tampa Bay Attorney If you’ve been injured in any kind of car accident, you may want to have an experienced car accident lawyer near you evaluate your case. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have over 30 years of experience and have been trusted by over twenty thousand clients to handle car accident cases. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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Hit and Run Accidents

Category: Car Accidents |

Leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal offense in Florida, but that doesn’t mean that it never happens. In fact, Florida has one of the highest rates of fatal hit and run crashes in the country.  A driver who causes an accident is required to stop their vehicle and remain at the scene. They also must provide reasonable assistance to anyone who has been injured. However, for a number of different reasons, including lack of insurance or drunk driving, a negligent driver may leave the scene. If you’ve been injured by a hit and run driver, you may wonder what your options are. After the Hit and Run Accident Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to follow a driver who has fled the scene of an accident. Your safety and the safety of your passengers should be your number one priority. The first thing you should do after the accident and after making sure that everyone is safe is to write down a description of the vehicle and the license plate number if you were able to see it. You should also record any other information that you or any witnesses can remember. This information can help the police when they arrive at the scene. Coverage for Your Injuries After a Hit and Run Accident If you’ve been injured in an accident with a hit and run driver, you may not always be able to hold the negligent driver responsible for your injuries. Some hit and run drivers are never found. You can, however, pursue compensation from your own insurance company. In Florida, you are required to have personal injury protection (PIP) as part of your car insurance. PIP will cover some of your medical bills and lost wages up to the limit of the policy. However, if you have been seriously injured, PIP may not be enough to fully compensate you for your losses. This is why it is important to have uninsured motorist coverage (UM). UM coverage will help compensate you for your medical bills, lost wages, and any pain and suffering sustained as a result of the hit and run accident. Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a hit and run accident, you may need the help of an experienced car accident attorney to help you navigate the insurance process. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have over 30 years of experience helping car accident victims. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your no-obligation free consultation today.

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New Texting and Driving Law in Florida

Category: Car Accidents |

Everyone knows that distracted driving can have disastrous results. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving resulted in 3,166 traffic fatalities in 2017 alone. Texting is one of the most dangerous distractions as it takes a driver’s visual and cognitive focus off the road. As a result of the dangers presented by texting and driving, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill in May that toughens up Florida’s ban on texting and driving. Cracking Down Under the new law, which goes into effect on July 1st, texting and driving will now be a primary offense. Texting and driving has been illegal in Florida for several years, however in the past, police could only pull someone over for texting while driving only if they were committing another traffic offense at the same time. Now, police will be able to pull over and ticket drivers even if texting and driving is their only offense. The hope is that the new law will be a deterrent and keep drivers away from their phones. Drivers will still be allowed to text while their vehicles are stopped. If the culture changes under the new law, then hopefully people will put down their phones the same way they buckle their seatbelts. Does the Law Go Far Enough? Many people criticize the new law for not going far enough. Drivers in Florida are still legally allowed to engage in other distracting behaviors such as programming their navigation systems and talking on the phone while driving. The only exception is in school and work zones where drivers are not permitted to touch their phones except for emergencies. That portion of the law goes into effect on October 1stbut will not be fully enforced until January 1st. In addition, the penalties for texting and driving are still not very harsh. For a first offense, a driver will have to pay a $30 fine plus court costs. For a second offense, a driver will have to pay $60 plus courts and receive three points on their driving record. Contact a Florida Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in an accident with someone who was texting while driving, you should consult with an experienced car crash injury attorney in Florida. For over 30 years the attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have been helping Floridians injured in car accidents. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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Car Accidents Caused by Wrong Way Drivers

Category: Car Accidents |

Wrong way drivers cause hundreds of fatalities on roadways every year. In fact, Tampa Bay is one of the worst areas for accidents caused by wrong way drivers. The Florida Department of Safety and Motor Vehicles (FDSMV) found that in 2015 alone, there were more 1,400 wrong way crashes and 96 fatalities in Florida. According to the report, three Tampa Bay counties made the top 10 list of most wrong-way crashes in the state. Hillsborough was fourth, Pinellas was sixth, and Pasco came in eighth.  Causes of Wrong Way Driving Accidents A wrong way driving accident occurs when a driver drives into a lane of traffic that is going in the opposite direction. This can result in serious head-on collisions with cars that are going in the right direction for the lane. Wrong way driving accidents typically occur at night and can result from a number of different factors, including: Driver inattention Driver confusion Impaired driving Drowsy driving Improper passing on two-lane roads Poorly marked highway ramps Poorly placed signage Lack of visibility  The leading cause of wrong way driving accidents is the impairment of the driver by drugs or alcohol. Wrong way accidents are more likely to occur at night or on weekends, which is when most impaired drivers are on the road. What Can be Done to Prevent Wrong Way Driving Accidents? Local governments, including Florida, are taking steps to curb wrong way driving. Making sure that there is proper signage and clearly marked highway entrance ramps is a good first step. Some counties are also attempting to install flashing warning signs that activate if a driver goes on a ramp the wrong way. These flashing signs have been used by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). When activated, the signs send a signal to the Florida Highway Patrol so that law enforcement can be dispatched. Other states have tried using thermal cameras to detect when a vehicle is driving the wrong way. While it is still unclear whether these measures have led to a reduction in traffic fatalities, it is good that steps are being taken. Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney If you’ve been injured by a wrong way driver, you may want to have an experienced personal injury attorney evaluate your case. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 30 years of experience representing Florida car accident victims. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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Dealing With the Trauma of a Car Accident

Category: Car Accidents |

Like other types of injuries, the psychological trauma that results from being injured in a car accident can be long-lasting. You may be afraid to get behind the wheel or to even get near a car. You may also feel anxious or nervous when you go near the site of the accident. These anxieties can have a major effect on your day to day life. The most important thing you can do when the trauma after a car accident is affecting your life is to recognize the problem and seek professional help. You shouldn’t have to suffer physically and psychologically due to someone else’s negligence.  Signs You Need Professional Help for Your Trauma If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms after a car accident, you may want to seek the help of a professional counselor to cope with your trauma: Increased anxiety or feeling of uneasiness Excessive anger or irritability Lack of focus Persistent dreams or nightmares about the accident Unmanageable fears about riding in or driving cars Difficulty sleeping or eating Using drugs or alcohol to cope with your feelings Don’t ignore these psychological symptoms as they can get worse the longer they go on. It’s important to find the help you need to get you to a better place. Taking Care of Yourself After a Car Accident  In addition to seeking counseling and support, there are some other things you can do to take care of yourself. Talk to Your Friends and Family–In addition to talking to a counselor about the accident and your feelings, it can also be helpful to talk things through with friends and family. Discussing your feelings and even going over the details of the accident can be a helpful release. Stay Active--Exercise is great for healing the mind and can help you with your trauma. Be sure to take part in activities that don’t bother the physical injuries you sustained as a result of the accident. Just taking a walk outside can help you clear your head and see things more clearly. Activities like yoga can also be helpful for healing. Try to Get Back to Your Daily Routine--It may difficult because of your physical injuries to get back to your daily routine, but it can be helpful to try and get back to as many of your usual activities as you can. Contact a Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may need the help of an experienced car accident attorney near you. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk 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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Construction Zone Car Accidents

Category: Car Accidents |

Understanding Construction Zone Accidents Highways and high traffic areas are often under construction in the Tampa Bay area. Accidents and collisions occur more frequently in a construction zone due to additional hazards that may be present. Signs or cones not placed in the correct place or drivers not paying attention to construction zones can all lead to serious accidents. Both workers and motorists can be seriously injured.  Contributing Factors to Construction Zone Accidents Depending on the circumstances of a construction zone accident, a negligent driver, a construction company, or a governmental entity can be held liable for injuries. Some contributing factors in construction zone accidents include: Improper signage—to ensure that motorists are safe when driving through construction zones, it is important that there is an ample warning that a construction site is approaching. The number and position of the signs should comply with federal and state regulations. If it is shown that there was not proper signage, and this led to injury, then a construction company or governmental entity may be liable. Driver distraction—if a driver is not paying attention and does not notice that they are approaching a construction zone or that a construction vehicle is pulling into traffic, they can be liable for injuries they cause. Debris and machinery on the roadway—if construction debris or equipment is left on the road unattended this can cause a collision Poor lighting—sometimes construction takes place at night. If that is the case, the construction zone should be properly lit so that drivers can see signage and are aware of construction workers and equipment along the road. Poorly spaced cones and lane markers—construction zones often require drivers to take a different path down a roadway. If the new lane isn’t properly marked or cones aren’t placed where needed collisions with construction workers and other cars are possible. Uneven surfaces—when construction work leads to uneven pavement of which drivers are not warned, a driver can lose control of their vehicle. Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a car accident in a construction zone, you may want an experienced car accident attorney in Florida on your side. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have been representing 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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The Importance of Buying Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Category: Car Accidents |

While driving without insurance is illegal in Florida, that doesn’t prevent some drivers from doing so. According to the Insurance Information Institute, Florida has the highest rate of uninsured drivers on the road. In Florida, approximately 1 in 4 drivers does not have car insurance. This is a staggering number when you think of how many cars are on the road. If you are seriously injured in an accident with one of these drivers, you may feel that you’re out of luck. This is why it’s important to have uninsured motorist coverage. What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage? Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) insurance provides you with coverage when you are involved in an accident with a driver who either does not have insurance at all or who doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the damages they have caused. Your UM coverage will kick in when the injuries you have suffered as the result of an accident exceed the amount of coverage a negligent driver has or if the driver has no coverage at all. Your UM coverage will then become your primary coverage. UM coverage will also cover you if you have been injured by a driver who fled the scene and cannot be identified. Uninsured Motorist Coverage is Important Florida doesn’t require the purchase of UM coverage, but it is wise to purchase as much UM coverage as you can afford. Florida is a particularly dangerous state for motorists. Not only does Florida have the highest rate of uninsured drivers, but it also has some of the worst drivers in the country. UM coverage will ensure that you are fully covered if you are injured in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. It will provide you with peace of mind and help ensure that you aren’t bankrupted by an accident caused by a negligent driver who made the irresponsible decision not to carry insurance.  Contact a Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in an accident with an uninsured driver, you may need an experienced car accident attorney on your side. With our 30 years of experience helping Floridians injured in car accidents, let the attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk show you how we can help. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today. 

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Car Accidents Caused by Driver Fatigue

Category: Car Accidents |

Fatigued or drowsy driving is a serious problem in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2013, 72,000 crashes were the result of fatigued driving. An estimated 1 in 25 adult drivers report having fallen asleep at the wheel in the previous 30 days.  The injuries sustained in an accident caused by a driver asleep at the wheel can be very serious. Drivers who fall asleep at the wheel are not reacting to the environment around them. They won’t have the ability to take evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision such as braking or swerving. This can lead to severe impact. Drivers Who are More Likely to be Fatigued While anyone who doesn’t get enough sleep is prone to fatigued driving, there are certain drivers who are more prone to it than others. This includes: Commercial drivers who operate vehicles such as trucks and buses Individuals who do shift work working nights and/or long shifts Drivers with untreated sleep disorders such as sleep apnea Drivers who use prescription or over the counter medication that makes them drowsy. Fatigued driving is one of the leading causes of truck accidents. Truck drivers are known to drive long hours on busy highways and are particularly prone to fatigue. In addition, many truck drivers work at night or may have an untreated sleep disorder. Signs that You are Too Fatigued to Drive Unfortunately, there’s no drowsiness test that would compare to a blood alcohol test for drunk drivers. Drivers have to rely on their own judgment when deciding whether they are too drowsy to drive. Some signs that you may be too fatigued to drive include: Yawning Frequent blinking Struggling to keep your eyes open Trouble remembering the past few miles driven Drifting out of your lane Missing your turn or exit If any of these signs are present while driving, you should pull over as soon as possible to avoid putting yourself and others at risk of serious injury. Contact a Florida Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident with a fatigued driver, you should have an experienced car accident attorney evaluate your case. The injury law team at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 30 years of experience helping Floridians injured in car accidents. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today. 

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Common Car Accident Injuries

Category: Car Accidents |

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 2 million people are injured in car accidents every year. Car accidents occur every day in Florida, and car accidents can cause serious injury to almost any part of the body. Car accident injuries depend on a variety of factors, but there are some common injuries that can occur. Traumatic Brain Injury Brain injuries can occur in a car accident as the result of someone’s head hitting the steering wheel, dashboard, or side window. In a traumatic brain injury, the brain’s function can be disrupted. These injuries can range from mild, such as a concussion, to severe, such as an injury that results in permanent cognitive impairment. Car accident injuries can also include skull fractures that can potentially cause permanent damage. Neck Injuries Injuries such as whiplash are commonly the result of car accidents. Whiplash occurs when there is a sudden jolt of the neck in a back and forth motion. Whiplash frequently occurs in rear-end collisions. Whiplash can cause serious damage to the ligaments in the neck and can result in lasting pain and a decreased range of motion.  Back Injuries  Back injuries are also common car accident injuries. Damage to the spinal cord can result in significant nerve damage and can lead to reduced feeling and control in the limbs. A serious spinal cord fracture can even lead to paralysis. Bulging or slipped discs tend to be less severe than a fracture but can still cause a victim significant problems. Victims may experience pain, numbing, and tingling sensations in their limbs.  Fractures The impact of a car accident can also result in bone fractures. Facial fractures can be caused by hitting the steering wheel or the dashboard. Chest, rib, and clavicle fractures can also result from an impact with the steering wheel. Arm and leg fractures can result from a side-impact collision that causes the body to hit the side of the vehicle.  Contact a Florida Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may want an experienced Florida car accident attorney on your side. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 30 years of experience helping Floridians injured in car accidents. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free, no-obligation consultation today. 

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Mistakes to Avoid After an Accident

Category: Car Accidents |

When you are injured in a car accident the way you respond to the event can have an impact on how your claim is handled. Everyone makes mistakes, and there are some common mistakes that people make after car accidents that you should try and avoid. Failing to Call the Police The other driver involved in an accident may try to keep the police out of the situation, but it is important to have the police on the scene. It may seem like a hassle, but you want to have the accident documented in a police report. Admitting Guilt It may be your natural instinct to resolve things quickly, and sometimes it’s just in your nature to apologize, even if you’re not actually at fault. You should never apologize after an accident as it can be seen as an admission of guilt. Not Gathering Evidence You’re probably in shock after your accident, but it’s important to keep a cool head and gather as much evidence as you can. Take pictures of the scene and the damage to any vehicles. Get contact and insurance information from the other driver. See if there are any eyewitnesses available and get their contact information. Gathering evidence can give your attorney a great place to start when they conduct their own investigation.  Skipping the Doctor You may be tempted to avoid going to the doctor because you don’t feel like you were seriously injured. This is one of the most common mistakes people make. It is important to get medical attention, not only for your health but also to document any injuries you may have sustained. There may be injuries that you’re not even aware of and a doctor can help you figure that out. Believing the Insurance Company Insurance companies have an incentive not to pay out on claims and are not on your side. They may try to convince you that the settlement they are offering you is the best you can get. This is usually not the case. That’s why it can be useful to consult with a personal injury attorney before accepting any settlements offered by the insurance company. Waiting too Long to Consult with an Attorney When it comes to car accident claims, time is of the essence. If you’ve been injured, you may decide to consult with an experienced car accident attorney. Evidence disappears, and there are deadlines to be met, so it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after your accident. This way you can focus on your recovery and let the attorney deal with the insurance company. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have over 30 years of experience handling car accident claims, and we know the steps involved. We’d be happy to help you so contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free, no-obligation consultation today. 

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T-bone Accidents

Category: Car Accidents |

Side impact collisions, commonly known as “T-bone accidents” can happen in a number of different situations. T-bone accidents involve the collision of one vehicle into another vehicle in perpendicular form. They are uniquely dangerous and can result in serious injuries.  Common Causes of T-bone Accidents T-bone accidents can be caused by a number of different factors, including: Failure to yield to other vehicles at a stop sign Running through a red light or a stop sign Failure to yield while making a right-hand or left-hand turn Failing to yield to pedestrians and bicyclists Driving distracted Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol T-bone accidents can also result in secondary collisions. After being hit initially in a T-bone collision, a vehicle can be knocked into another oncoming vehicle. If this happens multiple times, the injuries can be catastrophic. Serious Injuries The possibility of secondary impacts is what make T-bone accidents particularly dangerous. The force of a T-bone collision can cause a vehicle to spin out of control and hit other vehicles and even objects. Once a vehicle is out of control, the occupants face the risk of serious injury. If the force of the collision is strong enough, the vehicle may even roll over completely. Another reason T-bone collisions can result in such serious injuries is because of the close proximity between the impact point and the driver and passenger of the broadsided vehicle. There is much more distance between you and the front and back bumper of the car, but very little distance between you and the door of your car. This translates into much less protection in a T-bone accident than in a head-on or rear-end collision. Although many vehicles have side-impact airbags and crumple zones that are designed to absorb the impact from the side, a fast-moving car or truck that hits the vehicle a foot away from the driver or passenger can cause catastrophic injuries.  Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a T-bone accident, you should consider having your case evaluated by an experienced car accident attorney. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk we have over 30 years of experience handling car accident cases. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free, no-obligation consultation today. 

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Bus Accidents

Category: Car Accidents |

Bus accidents occur all too frequently on Florida roadways. In March, seven people were injured when a Hillsborough County school bus driver failed to properly stop when approaching an intersection.  As the result of a bus accident, multiple people may be severely injured.  Buses are heavy vehicles and can be involved in accidents that are far more serious than car accidents. Liability in a Bus Accident Determining who is liable for injuries in a bus accident is entirely dependent on the circumstances. In some cases, the driver of the bus is negligent in causing the accident. In other cases, a driver in a motor vehicle may be responsible for the injuries.  There are various circumstances where the bus company may be held responsible. This can be the case if the company engaged in negligent hiring, failed to train its bus drivers properly, or failed to adequately maintain the bus in good working order. Common Causes of Bus Accidents Determining the cause of a bus accident is important as that information can be used to determine who is liable. Some common causes of bus accidents include: Distracted driving Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol Negligent hiring of bus drivers with bad driving records or without the required bus license Failure to properly train bus drivers Failure to maintain the bus in working order Reckless driving Driver inexperience Failure to drive in accordance with the weather conditions Driver fatigue Failure to monitor blind spots While bus accidents are fairly rare, the consequences can be catastrophic. Bus passengers are typically not wearing seatbelts and can easily be thrown around the bus in a collision. In addition, the size and weight of a bus make it particularly dangerous to other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Accidents can occur on school buses, local buses such as HART buses, and long-distance buses such as Greyhound buses.  Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney If you or someone you love has been injured in a bus accident, you may want an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk thousands of clients have put their trust in us. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 today to set up your free consultation.

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What to do After a Car Accident

Category: Car Accidents |

Dealing with the catastrophe of a car accident can be extremely stressful. However, it’s important to stay calm as the steps you take immediately following an accident can be important to making sure your claim is as strong as possible. Some steps to take after a car accident include: Safety First If you can, move the vehicles to a safe place on the side of the road. If you have any serious injuries, call 911. Check your passengers and other motorists involved for any injuries. Call the Police Even if the accident appears to be minor, it is still important to contact the police. The police will document the accident in a report that can be important to your claim and can be used to help establish who was at fault. Get the name of the officer preparing the report and get a report number so that you can request a copy later. Collect Information Take photos of all of the vehicles involved in the accident and the scene. Gather information from others involved in the accident including: Drivers’ and passengers’ names and contact information Vehicle descriptions Driver’s license numbers License plate numbers Insurance companies and policy numbers The names and contact information of any witnesses Accident scene location and cross streets The name and badge number of any responding police officers. Don’t Admit Fault Even if you’re not sure what happened, it’s important not to acknowledge responsibility for the accident. Don’t apologize to anyone and don’t give any written statements to anybody except the police. Stick to the facts when talking to the police.  Get Medical Attention Even if you feel that you were not injured, it’s important to seek medical attention after a car accident. Injuries like whiplash and some soft tissue injuries don’t present themselves immediately, and the adrenaline from the accident may cause you not to feel pain. It’s important to have any injuries documented as soon as possible. Contact an Experienced Tampa Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been involved in a car accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you pursue any compensation you may deserve. The lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have extensive experience with car accident claims and can help you through the process. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 today to set up your free consultation.

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I Was Injured in an Accident, But I Wasn’t Wearing My Seatbelt: What Happens Now?

Category: Car Accidents |

Driving without a seatbelt is dangerous and illegal in Florida. But nobody’s perfect, and sometimes we forget to do the right thing. If you’ve been injured in a car accident and you were not wearing your seatbelt, you may think that you’re unable to file a claim for your injuries. However, in Florida, all hope is not lost if you failed to wear your seatbelt. Seat Belt Defense If you were not wearing your seatbelt at the time of your accident, you still have the right to pursue a settlement from an at-fault driver. The at-fault driver’s insurance company may try to prove that your injuries were more severe than they could have been because you were not wearing your seatbelt. However, even if an insurance company succeeds with this seat belt defense, it should not completely prevent you from recovering compensation. This defense may only reduce the amount of compensation you receive. Comparative Negligence Florida is a “pure” comparative negligence state. This means that your own negligence does not bar recovery for your injuries even if you were partly responsible for them. Even if you weren’t wearing your seatbelt and another driver was at fault for the accident, you may still pursue compensation from them. Your failure to wear a seatbelt will reduce the amount of compensation you may receive based on how much it is determined that this failure caused your injuries. For example, if it is determined that the other driver was negligently speeding and caused the accident, that driver may still be held liable. If it is determined that your damages add up to $50,000 and you are found to be 20% responsible for your injuries because you did not wear your seatbelt, the amount of your recovery will be reduced by this percentage. Therefore, you may only recover $40,000 for your injuries instead of the full $50,000. Contact a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident and you were not wearing a seatbelt, your claim may be complicated. That’s why it may be important to have an experienced car accident attorney on your side. The lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 30 years of experienced helping Floridians injured in car accidents. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 today to set up your free consultation.

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Seatbelt Injuries

Category: Car Accidents |

We all know that seat belts save lives. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seatbelts save over 13,000 lives on an annual basis. But while a seatbelt can prevent an accident from being fatal, it can also cause serious injury. You should never stop wearing a seatbelt while driving or riding in a car, but wearing one doesn’t mean you’ll walk away from a car accident injury free. How Seatbelt Injuries Occur Seatbelts are meant to reduce the impact of collisions by restraining vehicle occupants in their seats. The seatbelt is designed to tighten immediately on impact and results in compressing the individual wearing it. Whether the accident was a rear-end collision, a side-impact collision, a head-on collision, or a vehicle rollover, the seatbelt is designed to hold the occupant in place. The force of this compression can result in injuries to the body. Common Seatbelt Injuries When the body is restrained and experiences some type of force or jolt, there is likely going to be some consequence to the body. Depending on the degree of force involved, some injuries can be serious. The impact of a head-on collision or a vehicle rollover results in the most amount of seatbelt pressure being placed on an individual and can result in some of the most serious seatbelt injuries. Some possible seatbelt injuries include: Bruising Rib or clavicle fractures Organ damage Whiplash Spinal cord injuries Intestinal injuries Shoulder injuries Head injuries Children can experience even more severe injuries depending on whether their seatbelts are properly secured. Pregnant women should also be mindful of how they wear their seatbelts to prevent injury to the baby.  If the impact of a car accident is serious enough to cause seatbelt injuries, then imagine the damage that could have been caused if you had not been wearing your seatbelt. That’s why it’s important to keep in mind that, even though seatbelts can cause injury, it is still essential that you wear one. Contact a Tampa Car Accident Attorney If you’ve sustained a seatbelt injury in a car accident, you should have an experienced car accident attorney evaluate your case. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 30 years of experience helping the injured. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 today to set up your free consultation. 

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Car Accident Claims and Lost Wages

Category: Car Accidents |

If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident chances are you’ve missed some work as a result. This may be because you’ve had to undergo surgery or rehabilitation or just because you’ve been physically unable to work. In some instances, injuries from a car accident can affect your ability to work in the future. When either of these situations arises, you may be entitled to payment for lost wages. Car Accident Injuries and Lost Income In a claim against a negligent driver, you may be entitled to lost wages resulting from injuries you’ve sustained in a car accident. For example, if you’ve broken your leg and were forced to miss two months of work as a result, you may be entitled to recover any income you’ve lost. You may be entitled to recover the amount you would have earned had you been able to work. If you have to miss work due to doctors’ appointments or physical therapy as a result of your car accident injuries, you may be able to recover for those lost wages as well. Proving lost wages related to injuries you sustained in a car accident is fairly straightforward. Recent pay stubs can be used to establish your income. If you are self-employed, then invoices from that time period may be used to establish what you have lost. You also may be able to recover for lost tips if you are able to establish the loss reliably. Lost Earning Capacity Sometimes you’ve been so severely injured in a car accident that you are unable to work. If a car accident has caused you a long-lasting and disabling injury, you may be able to recover payment for your loss of future earning capacity. Proving lost earning capacity can be complicated as it requires some speculation about the future. Depending on your line of work and the severity of your injury it can be a difficult process. In some cases, economic and medical experts may be needed to establish the value of your lost earning capacity. Contact a Tampa Car Accident Attorney If you’ve incurred lost wages as the result of a car accident, you may need an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you through the claim process. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have the experience you need. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation. 

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Aggressive Driving and Car Accidents

Category: Car Accidents |

Aggressive driving is a major factor in car accidents and is far too common. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly 80% of driversthey surveyed expressed aggression, anger and road rage while behind the wheel. Aggressive driving can lead to risky driving behaviors and serious accidents.  Examples of Aggressive Driving The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration definesaggressive driving as occurring when an individual “commits a number of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons and property.” Some examples of aggressive driving maneuvers include: Tailgating Speeding Erratic, frequent, and unsafe lane changes Failing to obey stop signs and other traffic signals Driving illegally on the shoulder, median, or sidewalk Failing to use a signal for turns and lane changes Passing in no passing zones Improper turns Failure to yield the right of way Ignoring signals from other drivers Taking out frustrations on other motorists Driving in a negligent and reckless manner Road Rage Sometimes aggressive driving can escalate into road rage. Road rage is violent, aggressive, and threatening behavior behind the wheel in reaction to another driver. Drivers with road rage use their vehicles as a weapon and attempt to intimidate or injure other drivers. Road rage drivers are generally not paying attention to the road and are instead focused on the driver who irritated them. Signs that a driver is consumed with road rage include: Aggressive tailgating Yelling at other drivers Honking the horn Making angry gestures  Trying to block another driver from changing lanes Cutting off another vehicle on purpose Bumping or ramming another vehicle If you are confronted with a road rage driver, you should do your best to avoid them. Get off the highway if possible. Do not make eye contact with the driver or engage in an argument. If a road rage driver follows you, drive to the nearest police station and remain in your vehicle. Someone consumed with road rage may threaten you with bodily harm or carry a weapon. Contact an Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in an accident with an aggressive driver, you may want an experienced car accident attorney on your side. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, our experienced and trusted attorneys have been helping injured Floridians for over 30 years. Contact us onlineor call us at 1-800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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Can a Dash Cam Help Your Accident Case?

Category: Car Accidents |

Car accidents frequently result in two different stories about what happened. In some cases, a negligent driver may try to deny responsibility. In other instances, a victim may not remember what happened, or the accident can happen so quickly that the victim didn’t see what the negligent driver did. In those cases, video evidence may be helpful in establishing liability. What is a Dash Cam? A dash cam is a small video camera mounted on the dashboard or windshield of a vehicle that can be used to continuously take video of the road and traffic through the windshield. Dash cams can be purchased for $40-$200 on Amazon or at any electronics retailer. Police officers often use dash cameras to record arrests, but they can also be useful tools for civilians. Can a Dash Cam Help in a Car Accident Case? A picture is worth a thousand words, so having video footage of a car accident can be extremely helpful when establishing liability in a car accident case. There may be instances where a dash cam video can clearly show that another driver was reckless by running through a stop sign, driving at an excessive speed, or carelessly changing lanes. Even if the camera didn’t show the exact moment when the accident occurred, it can show the reckless driving behavior that took place before the accident. A dash cam can also be useful for showing the severity of the impact. This can be useful evidence when establishing the serious nature of the injuries sustained. It can also be helpful in proving property damage that resulted from an accident.  Limitations of the Dash Cam It is important to remember that a dash cam may not always tell the whole story. Sometimes the camera is pointed in the wrong direction, and the accident cannot be viewed properly. In addition, sometimes the footage may be too grainy to establish exactly what happened. This is why it’s important to have additional evidence to establish liability for a car accident. Contact a Trusted Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, it is important to consult with a trusted car accident attorney. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have been trusted for over 30 years to help car accident victims pursue compensation. Contact us onlineor call us at 1-800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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Drugged Driving Accidents

Category: Car Accidents |

Drivers can use a number of different substances, whether legal or illegal, that can impair their ability to drive. Driving under the influence doesn’t just refer to alcohol. Drivers can also be impaired by illegal, prescription, or over the counter drugs or medication. If these drugs affect a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely, then they can result in serious accidents on the road. Types of Drugs that Can Impair Driving Before a driver operates a vehicle after taking any substance, they should be sure to read the warning label and make sure they know how a substance affects them before getting behind the wheel. The effects of specific drugs differ on how they affect the brain. Some drugs that can impair driving include: Illegal Drugs—drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine can all have a marked effect on one’s mental state. An individual under the influence of an illegal drug should not be operating a motor vehicle. Prescription Drugs—prescription pain relievers, sleep aids, and anti-anxiety medications are the usual culprits when it comes to impaired driving. Drugs like Xanax, Valium, Vicodin, Ambien, and Oxycontin can alter a driver’s mental state and make them unable to drive safely.  Over the Counter Medications—people are sometimes surprised to learn that some over the counter cold and allergy medications can seriously impair a person’s ability to drive. Medications such as NyQuil and Benadryl should never be taken before driving, especially in high doses.  Effects of Drugs on Driving Ability Drivers who use drugs that affect their mental state show many of the same scary driving habits that drunk drivers demonstrate. This includes: Weaving around the road Speeding Following too closely Stopping suddenly Poor reaction time Not paying attention to the road Even a small dosage of a drug can have a serious effect on a person’s ability to safely drive.  This can result in serious accidents and serious injuries for other motorists. Contact a Tampa Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in an accident with a drugged driver, an experienced car accident attorney may be able to help you with your case. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 30 years of experience helping people injured in car accidents. Contact us onlineor call us at 1-800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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Who is at Fault in a Multi-vehicle Crash?

Category: Car Accidents |

When you’re in a car accident in Florida involving three or more vehicles, it can be confusing to determine who caused the accident. Multi-vehicle accidents can take the form of a chain reaction crash or a pileup. Typically, Car A will be hit by Car B and then the cars behind Car B will not have enough time to stop and will crash into Car B. Sometimes Car A is hit by Car B and is pushed into Car C. There may be any number of cars involved in the crash depending on the speed of the vehicles and congestion on the roadway. Who is at Fault? There’s a rebuttable presumption in Florida that the driver who rear-ends the vehicle in front of them is responsible for the accident. This is because drivers are required to leave adequate space between themselves and the vehicle in front of them.  However, determining liability will depend entirely on the circumstances. If, for instance, you were pushed into the vehicle in front of you by a car hitting you from the rear, then you may not be responsible. If you were pushed into the vehicle in front of you because you did not leave adequate space, you might be partially at fault. In some cases, multiple drivers might be at fault for the accident. When that is the case, liability will be divided based on the percentages of fault assigned to each driver. Reconstructing the Accident Sometimes experts such as accident reconstructionists or other investigators may be needed to put together the facts of an accident and determine who was at fault. In conducting an investigation, experts will consider different types of evidence including: Photos of the scene Vehicle damage Police reports Surveillance video Eyewitnesses accounts including all drivers and passengers and anyone else who may have witnessed the accident Any skid marks or vehicle debris left at the scene Because many people have different versions of what happened, an investigator will have to compare witness testimonies with other evidence to determine what actually occurred.  Contact a Trusted Car Accident Attorney Determining fault in a multi-vehicle crash can be a complicated matter. If you’ve been injured in a multi-vehicle crash, you should contact the attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk. We 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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Who is Responsible in a Parking Lot Accident?

Category: Car Accidents |

Parking lots can be dangerous areas. Many people are supposed to drive slowly and pay attention when driving in a parking lot, but drivers tend to have everything but driving on their minds. This fact, along with the overall chaotic atmosphere of a parking lot, makes them a hot spot for accidents. Common Parking Lot Accidents Determining who is responsible in a parking lot accident can be a complicated matter and depends entirely on the circumstances. Some common parking lot accidents include: A driver backs out and hits a vehicle driving down the parking lane. Fault in this type of accidents would usually fall on the driver backing out of the parking spot. The car driving down the parking lane would have the right of way in this situation. An exception may be if the driver going down the parking lane was traveling at a high rate of speed not appropriate for a parking lot. It is important to always pull out of your parking space slowly and look around you for oncoming traffic. A driver pulls forward and hits a vehicle driving down the parking lane. Again, fault in this situation would typically fall on the driver pulling out of the parking spot. This commonly happens when a driver attempts to “pull through” another parking spot and into the parking lane. It is important to make sure that no one is coming down the parking lane before pulling forward. A driver is rear-ended in the parking lane. In rear-end collisions, fault almost always lies with the driver in the rear. It is a driver’s responsibility to stay far enough behind another vehicle to ensure they have enough time to brake. Two vehicles collide while backing out of two different spaces.Generally, these accidents may be the fault of both vehicles involved. It is the responsibility of both drivers to ensure that no one is coming down the parking lane and that no one is pulling out of another spot before backing up. A driver turns in front of an oncoming vehicle to pull into a parking spot.When fights for parking spots begin, especially when a parking lot is busy, accidents can occur. Responsibility would generally fall on the driver who pulled in front of the oncoming vehicle. It is important to wait patiently for a parking spot. It’s not worth getting into an accident. Driver in the parking lot hits a pedestrian while pulling out of a parking spot or driving down the parking lane.It is the responsibility of both pedestrians and drivers to be aware of their surroundings in a parking lot. Responsibility in this situation will depend on the particular circumstances of the accident. Contact a Trusted Attorney If you’ve been injured in a parking lot accident, you may need an experienced and trusted attorney on your side. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we’ve been helping injured Floridians for over 30 years. Contact us online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation.

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Hit and Run Accidents

Category: Car Accidents |

In a Florida, a hit and run accident is a serious crime. A hit and run occurs when a driver is involved in a car accident and leaves the scene without identifying themselves to anyone else involved in the accident. Data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shows that tens of thousands of hit and run accidents occur in Florida every year. Hit and run accidents can be stressful and complicated, so it’s important to know what to do if you’re the victim of such an accident. What to do After a Hit and Run Accident If you are the victim of a hit and run, your first priority should be your safety and the safety of those around you. Make sure everyone is safe, pull your car out of traffic if possible, and call an ambulance if necessary. You should also call the police after a hit and run accident so that you can make a report. Seek medical treatment after the accident, even if you don’t feel that you’ve been seriously injured. Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to chase the driver. The dangers of the chase will outweigh the benefits of catching up to them. However, you can make a note of anything you remember about the vehicle that hit you, including: License plate number Make and model of the vehicle Any identifying features on the vehicle such as dents or bumper stickers Description of the driver Ask any nearby businesses if they have surveillance video of the accident which can be helpful in identifying the driver.  Insurance Coverage Just as in any accident in Florida, you have the right to file a claim with your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This insurance will cover your medical bills and some of your lost wages up to the limits of your policy. Further coverage will depend on the elections you’ve made on your auto insurance. If you have collision insurance, then the cost of repairs to your vehicle will be covered. If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, it will also cover you if you’ve been seriously injured in a hit and run accident. Contact a Trusted Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a hit and run accident, the process can be complicated, so it’s important to consult with an experienced Florida car accident attorney. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk we have the experience you need. Contact us online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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The Three Types of Distracted Driving

Category: Car Accidents |

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,450 people were killed by distracted driving in 2016 alone. Distracted driving is usually associated with texting or talking on the phone, but there are a number of different distractions that can impair a driver. Law enforcement and researchers tend to divide distracted driving into three types, manual, visual, and cognitive. Manual Distraction Manual distractions are those that involve the driver taking one or both hands off the wheel so that they can perform a task. Manual distractions include such things as eating and drinking, applying makeup, helping a child with their seatbelt, rummaging through personal belongings, smoking, and fiddling with the radio dial or air conditioning. These distractions are dangerous because, without both hands on the wheel, a driver can’t quickly react to situations in traffic. Visual Distraction Visual distractions are what people commonly associate with distracted driving. A visual distraction is any activity that causes your eyes to drift away from the road. This includes the typical texting while driving, looking at a navigation system, or looking at social media on a phone. Even things like reading billboards, looking at the scenery, or trying to see an accident on the road can be a visual distraction. Visual distractions are especially dangerous because a driver is unable to consistently assess their surroundings and watch for potential hazards in the road. A visually distracted driver may as well drive with their eyes closed.  Cognitive Distraction Cognitive distraction is less straightforward than manual and visual distractions. It does not involve taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road. Instead, cognitive distraction is anything that causes a driver’s mind and focus to drift away from driving. Cognitive distractions include talking on a hands-free cell phone, talking to other passengers, daydreaming, or listening to the radio. According to the National Safety Council, drivers looking out the windshield can miss 50% of what’s around them when talking on the phone. Cognitive distractions can be deceiving because, while drivers look as though they are paying attention, they are not able to fully process the hazards around them.  Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney If you’ve been injured in an accident with a distracted driver, it’s important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we’ve been helping injured Floridians for over 30 years. Contact us online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation.

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Rollover Accidents

Category: Car Accidents |

Rollover accidents are some of the most dangerous and scariest motor vehicle accidents. A rollover accident occurs when a vehicle tips over onto its side or roof. Rollover accidents account for nearly 35% of all fatalities in traffic accidents. Many rollover accidents involve vehicles with higher centers of gravity such as SUVs, but they can occur with any vehicle. A rollover accident can leave a victim with serious, life-threatening injuries.  Factors in Rollover Accidents There are a number of different factors that can lead to a rollover accident. Some common causes include: Turns—when a vehicle moving at a high rate of speed attempts to turn, it can result in the vehicle flipping and rolling over Ramps—when one side of a vehicle climbs up an incline, it can lead to a rollover Slips—when a vehicle, often off-road or in rainy conditions, loses traction it can slip and roll Spins—when a vehicle’s wheels hit an object it can force the vehicle to spin and roll Side impact—when a vehicle is hit by another vehicle on the side it can cause the vehicle to flip over onto its side or roof Rollover accidents can result from driver negligence, a defective vehicle, or dangerous roadways.  Dangers of Rollover Accidents Rollover accidents can be especially dangerous for passengers and drivers who aren’t wearing seatbelts. Florida law requires the use of seatbelts by drivers and passengers at all times. Most individuals who die in rollover crashes were not wearing their seatbelts. During an accident, a passenger without a seatbelt can be tossed around the vehicle or even ejected. Being ejected from a vehicle can lead to serious spinal cord or traumatic brain injuries.  Rollover accidents can also result in the roof of a vehicle being crushed. This can lead to serious spine, neck, and head injuries. One study estimated a 64% increase in the likelihood of a life-threatening injury for every 10 cm that a roof is crushed. Vehicles are required to have strong roofs to prevent cave-ins, but this is not always enough. Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a rollover accident, you need an experienced car accident attorney. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have over 30 years of experience helping Floridians injured in accidents. Contact us online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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The Most Dangerous Intersections in Hillsborough County

Category: Car Accidents |

The transportation group, All for Transportation, released a study showing the top 10 most dangerous intersections in Hillsborough County. The group based its findings on accident reports from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and collected data from May 2017 to August 2018.  10 Most Dangerous Intersections  According to the data, the 10 most dangerous intersections include: Sheldon Road/Waters Avenue W—107 Crashes Anderson Road/Waters Avenue W—103 Crashes Waters Avenue W/Hanley Road—98 Crashes Hillsborough Avenue W/Sheldon Road—96 Crashes 301 HW S/Gibsonton Drive—95 Crashes Waters Avenue/Himes Avenue N—89 Crashes 301 HW S/Big Bend Road—86 Crashes Bruce B Downs Bl/Fletcher Avenue E—84 Crashes Bloomingdale Avenue/Bell Shoals Road—82 Crashes Bloomingdale Avenue/Providence Road—81 Crashes Waters Avenue makes four appearances in the top 10 rankings, including the top 3 most dangerous intersections. These 3 most dangerous intersections are clustered in a deadly three-mile radius. According to the statistics, there is nearly one accident per day on this stretch of roadway. Contributing Factors All for Transportation blames the dangerousness of these intersections on bad roadway design and poor lighting. The group is working toward increasing funding, through a sales tax increase, for roadway improvements including new streetlights to help with nighttime visibility. In addition, the group is campaigning for safety enhancements such as smart traffic signals that time traffic flow to eliminate backups and reduce red-light running. They also hope better designed sidewalks and turn lanes can cut back on accidents. Additional factors contributing to the high rate of accidents include the population explosion that has occurred in the area leading to more cars on the road. This also means an increase in the number of distracted drivers which is a factor in many accidents. Drivers sitting in congested traffic are more likely to be distracted by their phones and pay less attention to the road. Adding road capacity could improve the congestion and cut back on accidents. Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a car accident at one of these dangerous intersections, you should consult with an experienced car crash lawyer in Florida as soon as possible. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have extensive experience representing car accident victims. Contact us online today or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation.

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The Safest Cars to Buy in 2019

Category: Accidents |

Now that we’re in the new year, you might be thinking about buying a new car. If that’s the case, you should do your research and make sure you’re getting the best buy for your money. It’s even more important to make sure you’re buying the safest car you can. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently released its Top Safety Picksfor 2019. IIHS increased the crash test standards for 2019. The organization awarded 57 vehicles its Top Safety Pick rating and of those only 30 vehicles received the highest Top Safety Pick+ rating. In order to earn a Top Safety Pick+ rating, a vehicle must receive a “good” rating in tests related to the front, side, roof, and head restraints. The vehicle must receive an “advanced” or “superior” rating for front crash prevention and a “good” rating for its headlights. Top 30 Safety Picks IIHS’s Top Safety Pick+ vehicles for 2019 include: Small Cars Honda Insight Hyundai Elantra Kia Forte Kia Niro Hybrid & Plug-in Hybrid Subaru Crosstrek Subaru Impreza 4-door & 4-door Wagon Subaru WRX Midsize Cars Hyundai Sonata Kia Optima Subaru Legacy Subaru Outback Toyota Camry Midsize Luxury Cars Genesis G70 Lexus ES 350 Mercedes Benz C-Class Large Cars Toyota Avalon Large Luxury Cars BMW 5 Series Genesis G80 Lincoln Continental Mercedes Benz E-Class Small SUVs Hyundai Kona Mazda CX-5 Midsize SUVs Hyundai Santa Fe Kia Sorento Subaru Ascent Midsize Luxury SUVs Acura RDX BMW X3 Mercedes Benz GLC Mercedes Benz GLE Class Vehicle Size IIHS notes that these vehicles were selected for safety within their specific size categories. The size and weight of a vehicle have an impact on the safety of the occupants, with larger, heavier vehicles affording more protection than smaller, lighter vehicles. IIHS notes that a smaller car with a Top Safety Pick+ honor is not necessarily safer than a larger car that did not earn the honor.  Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may need the help of an experienced South Florida personal injury attorney. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have over 30 years of experience helping Floridians injured in car accidents. Contact us onlineor call us at 1-800-538-4878 to set up your consultation.

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Red-Light Camera Repeal in Florida Up for Debate Again

Category: Car Accidents |

An effort to turn off red-light traffic cameras is being considered by the Florida Legislature once again. In January, a Florida House subcommittee voted to repeal a measure that allowed red-light cameras across the state. The repeal would be effective July 1, 2022. A similar repeal was considered in 2018 where it passed the House but failed to move forward in the Senate. The House bill must still pass the Appropriations and State Affairs committees, before going to the full House during the upcoming legislative session. How do Red-Light Cameras Work? A red-light camera system activates when motion is detected just before the stop bar on the street after the traffic signal has turned red. The camera takes an image of the vehicle in the intersection or turning right after the signal has turned red. It also captures an image of the vehicle’s license plate. The photographic evidence is then reviewed to determine whether a violation occurred. Tickets are sent to the registered owner of the vehicle that was captured running a red light. Are Red-Light Cameras Effective in Preventing Accidents? In December of 2018, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) released a comprehensive red-light camera report. The report indicated that crashes at red-light camera intersections increased by 15% since the installation of the cameras. This increase mirrors the 15% increase in miles driven on Florida roads. The report suggests that the number of minor accidents increases after cameras are installed but that the rate of serious injury declines.  The report also showed that the use of red-light cameras is on the decline in Florida. As of July 2018, 508 cameras remained in operation compared to 629 cameras a year earlier. Red-light cameras generate thousands of dollars in tickets for some communities. Tampa Bay communities such as St. Petersburg, South Pasadena, and Bradenton have discontinued using red-light cameras since 2014. Contact a Florida Personal Injury Attorney If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we’ve been helping injured Floridians for over 30 years. Contact us onlineor call us at 1-800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation.

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Intersection Accidents

Category: Car Accidents |

Intersections are one of the most dangerous areas of the road. When two roads come together, there is a high possibility of an accident occurring. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), more than 50% of the combined total of fatal and injury vehicle crashes occur at or near intersections. Types of Intersection Accidents Intersection accidents can occur in a number of different manners including: Rear-end collisions—when a driver is following too closely and doesn’t stop at a red light or stop sign when the driver in front of them does, a serious rear-end collision can occur Side-impact crashes—typically occur when one driver runs a red light and T-bones another vehicle Head-on Collisions—can occur when a driver turns in front of oncoming traffic with not enough time Side Swipes—when drivers fail to look out for motorcyclists and bicyclists before turning Multi-car Pileups—when multiple vehicles crash into each other setting off a chain reaction Causes of Intersection Accidents Determining the cause of an intersection accident is crucial in determining liability. Common causes of intersection accidents include: Distracted Driving—A driver who fails to keep their eyes on the road can also fail to see when a light turns red or when someone is turning in front of them at an intersection.  Aggressive Driving—following too closely, making erratic lane changes, and speeding to catch the light are all signs of aggressive driving and can all lead to an intersection accident. Reckless or Inexperienced Driving—misjudging the speed of another vehicle, or the gap between vehicles, turning with an obstructed view, failing to yield the right of way, falsely assuming the actions of another driver, and making an illegal driving maneuver can all lead to accidents at an intersection. If drivers keep their eyes on the road, pay attention to their surroundings, and obey traffic rules, they can dramatically decrease the likelihood of being injured in an intersection accident.  Contact a Trusted Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident at an intersection, you need an experienced Florida car accident attorney on your side. Contact the trusted attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, and we’ll evaluate your case for free. Get in touch with us today online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to schedule an appointment.

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What Not to Do After a Car Accident

Category: Car Accidents |

While a car accident is a traumatic event, it is important to remember that the things you do following an accident can impact any claim you may have. Here are a few things you should remember not to do after an accident: Leave the Scene Regardless of whether the crash looks serious, you should always stop, check on the other person, exchange insurance information, and contact the police. Lose Your Cool You may be tempted to engage in an argument or yell at the other driver. It’s important to keep your cool and gather information. Fail to Call the Police You should always call the police after a crash. Police accident reports can be crucial in any car accident claim. It contains valuable information such as road conditions, names and contact information of any witnesses, and an official write-up of how the accident occurred. Admit Liability You should never admit any fault to anyone at the scene or an insurance adjuster. These statements can be used against you later. Fail to Gather Information at the Scene Before leaving the scene, you should gather as much information as possible. Take cellphone pictures of the vehicles involved, the scene including any street signs and any injuries. Take down the names and insurance information of all the people involved. Try to locate any witnesses and get their contact information. Fail to Get Medical Care Even if you feel like you have not been seriously injured, you should always seek medical attention after a car accident. You must seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident to file a claim for PIP. Give a Recorded Statement to an Insurance Adjuster Insurance adjusters may try to get you to say something that can affect your ability to recover what you deserve. Accept an Unfair Settlement  Insurance companies will try to get you to settle your claim for as little as possible. It is risky to accept a settlement without consulting an experienced car accident attorney in Florida first. Delay in Calling an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer It is important to contact an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as you can in the process. A lawyer can help you collect evidence and deal with the insurance companies for you.  The experienced car accident attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk are here to help. Schedule your free consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at 1-800-538-4878.

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Pinellas County Averages 77 Car Accidents Per Day

Category: Car Accidents |

According to a report put together by Forward Pinellas, a transportation advocacy group, Pinellas County averaged about 77 car accidents per day over the past 5 years. Traffic accidents are on an upward trend in the county. For 2017, the number was 83 crashes per day. Many of these accidents involve bicyclists and pedestrians. But what makes Pinellas County so prone to accidents? Types of Roadways Pinellas County has a high percentage of high volume and high-speed roadways. These roadways carry a large volume of the traffic in the County and are more prone to serious traffic accidents. Distracted Driving Distracted driving laws in Florida are fairly lax compared to the rest of the country. Texting and driving is currently not a primary offense, meaning that police officers can’t pull over a driver solely for texting. It can only be cited as a secondary offense if a driver is pulled over for something else like speeding or running a red light.  Increased Number of Drivers on the Roads According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 150 people move to the Tampa Bay area every day. This, coupled with the number of tourists that flock to the area, means more drivers on the road. More drivers on Pinellas County roadways means more accidents. In addition, much of the population is elderly meaning the drivers are more likely to have vision, hearing, or mobility issues and may be taking medications that could impair their driving ability.  Solutions Pinellas County is planning solutions that will hopefully keep the number of traffic accidents under control. These solutions include the building of overpasses, including the ones along US-19. The County also plans to add more bike lanes and crosswalks to increase bicyclist and pedestrian safety. Some of these crosswalks are planned mid-block and not necessarily at intersections only. Widening roads and working on major new corridors is also part of the County plan. Contact a Pinellas County Personal Injury Lawyer If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident in Pinellas County, it’s important that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 30 years of experience helping people injured in car accidents. Schedule your free consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at 1-800-538-4878.

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What to do if You’re a Passenger in a Car Accident

Category: Car Accidents |

A car accident can be a frightening experience for everyone involved. If you were a passenger injured in a car accident, you might be especially confused about what comes next. If you were hurt in a car accident as a passenger, you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries. There are important steps you should take after the accident to protect yourself. Get Medical Treatment It is important that you get medical treatment as soon as possible after an accident. Even if you think that you have not been injured, you may have an injury that doesn’t present itself immediately. Therefore, it is better to err on the safe side and see a doctor. Get Insurance Information As a passenger, you want to make sure you get the insurance information of the car you were a passenger in, from the driver of the car you were a passenger in, and the drivers of any other cars involved in the accident. Also, make sure to get the report number for any police reports made as a result of the accident. File For PIP Benefits If you own a vehicle you can file a claim for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits against your own auto insurance. You must get medical treatment within 14 days of the accident in order to be eligible for PIP benefits.  If you don’t have car insurance, you may be covered by the PIP coverage of a relative you live with. Assuming you have no car insurance and do not live with a relative who does, you may be entitled to PIP benefits from the insurer insuring the car you were a passenger in. PIP covers 80% of your medical bills and 60% of lost wages.Depending on the policy limits  ($10,000.00 in most cases) the severity of your injuries, these benefits may not be enough to compensate you for all of your damages. In addition, you may be able to recover from your own or the driver’s uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM) coverage if they have it.   File a Claim Against the At-Fault Driver or Drivers If your injuries were serious and your damages were over the limit of a PIP policy, you may be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver. If it was a multi-car accident, there’s a possibility that more than one of the drivers is responsible for the accident. In that case, your damages would be split between the drivers in proportion to their degree of fault. Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney If you or a loved one has been seriously injured as a passenger in a car accident, it’s important that you have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we’re here to help. Contact us online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation.

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Choosing the Right Car Seat

Category: Car Accidents |

A car seat is one of the most important purchases a parent can make. It’s a big responsibility. The right car seat can make all the difference to your child’s safety in the event of an accident. Choosing a car seat wisely can protect your child in even the most devastating accident. Not all car seats are created equal, so it’s important to make sure you’re careful with your choice. Centers for Disease Control Recommendations Car seats are so important that Florida has a law requiring their use. Florida law requires that children age 5 and under be secured properly in a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device. Children ages 0-3 must be in a car seat, while children 4-5 can be in either a car seat or a booster seat. However, the law doesn’t always go far enough, and it’s wise to follow the recommendations of organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC recommends the following: Birth to Age 2—babies should be in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the size limit of the car seat, usually after they turn 2 years old. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping babies rear-facing until they are 40 pounds.   Ages 2+ to at least Age 5—once they outgrow the rear facing seat, children should be placed in a forward-facing car seat until age 5 or when they outgrow the size limits of the seat. Age 5+–once they outgrow their forward-facing seat, children age 5 and over should be placed in a booster seat until they are big enough to use a seatbelt securely. The recommended height for proper seatbelt fit is 57 inches.  Making Sure You Choose the Right Car Seat Buying a car seat can be overwhelming. Wandering down the aisles of the store you see dozens of choices and wonder which one is right for your child. It is important not to be intimidated. You don’t have to buy the most expensive seat with all the bells and whistles. It is important, however, to keep some factors in mind when choosing the right car seat.  The age and size of your child is the primary factor to consider. Make sure the car seat is big enough for your child’s size and is appropriate for their age. In addition, you should consider whether the car seat will fit properly in your car. When possible, infant car seats should be placed in the middle of the backseat row. Take measurements to ensure proper fit. You should also consider the following safety features when purchasing a seat: Safety Label—the car seat should have a label indicating that it meets or exceeds Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standards Five-point Harness—offers better protection than a three-point harness or seatbelt New Car Seat—never purchase a used car seat. The quality of car seats degrade over time, and if a car seat has been involved in a vehicle accident it can also affect the quality  In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a handy car seat finder database on its website that can help you find and compare the safety ratings on different car seats.  Contact a Trusted Attorney If you or child has been injured in a car accident, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. 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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Are Self-driving Vehicles Safe?

Category: Car Accidents |

In March of 2018, a woman in Arizona died after being struck by one of Uber’s self-driving car. This was the first time a pedestrian was killed by a self-driving car. The vehicle was traveling at approximately 40 miles per hour at the time of the accident and did not appear to slow down in any way once the pedestrian entered the roadway. There was an operator sitting behind the wheel at the time of the crash. This incident sparked heated debate over the safety of self-driving cars.  Even before this incident, Americans had concerns about self-driving vehicle safety. Fully autonomous vehicles that drive us instead of us driving them may slowly become the norm. The technology, however, has not been fully developed, and there are some serious concerns about whether this future mode of transportation is safe.  Other Incidents The pedestrian death in Arizona was not the first collision involving an autonomous vehicle. In another accident in Arizona, a car turning left across three lanes of traffic was struck by a self-driving car also operated by Uber. No one was seriously injured, and the driver of the vehicle that was turning was ticketed for failing to yield the right of way. In addition, in Florida, the human operator of an autonomous Tesla died when the car failed to stop once a truck turned in front of it. It was later determined that the self-driving vehicle did not apply the brakes because it could not differentiate between the white truck and the bright sky. In November of 2017, there was a collision between a self-driving shuttle and delivery truck when the truck backed into the shuttle that failed to move out of the way. In most of these cases, it was determined that driver error was the primary source of the accident. What are the Concerns? Concerns about the technology involved in self-driving cars and the negligence of the users of these vehicles have been identified as the causes of many crashes. Self-driving cars are programmed to obey the traffic laws and to follow the rules of the road. But they should also be programmed on how to respond when pedestrians and other vehicles do something out of the ordinary. In addition, sensors in the car need to be properly designed to detect what’s happening around the vehicle. The majority of accidents involving self-driving cars are the result of user error. In October 2018, a motorcyclist was injured in a crash with a Waymo self-driving vehicle when the operator disengaged the self-driving feature of the vehicle and attempted to change lanes. Self-driving cars are pitched as a way of reducing car accidents , but you can’t avoid the negligence of human operators. Contact a Trusted Attorney If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. 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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Accidents with Delivery Drivers

Category: Car Accidents |

With more people shopping online for anything from clothing to groceries to takeout food, the number of delivery drivers on the road has skyrocketed. Delivery trucks and cars are a common sight in every neighborhood. Increased numbers of delivery drivers on the road can mean an increase in accidents. Common Causes of Delivery Driver Accidents Delivery drivers are under a great deal of pressure to make deliveries on time which can mean that an individual driver is clocking lots of time and lots of mileage on a given day. Fatigue and frustration can lead to a number of causes of accidents including: Drowsy driving caused by too many hours on the road Distracted driving caused by the use of GPS and company cell phone apps Failing to obey traffic signals Speeding in order to get to the delivery destination quickly Aggressive driving behavior Inexperience driving a delivery vehicle Negligent hiring of drivers with bad records Unreasonable delivery deadlines Poor truck or vehicle maintenance  Who is Responsible for a Delivery Driver Accident? If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident with a delivery driver and it wasn’t your fault, then who is responsible for your injuries? The answer to this question will depend on the circumstances. If a driver is an independent contractor and essentially works for himself, then they would be the responsible party. However, if a driver is employed by a company and causes an accident while driving for that company, the employer may also be held responsible. Employers are generally held responsible for the negligent conduct of their employees. Companies such as FedEx and UPS usually hire drivers as employees, who drive company trucks. Drivers who work with companies such as Instacart and Grubhub are generally independent contractors who operate their own vehicles.  Under certain circumstances, a claim may be brought directly against the employer of the delivery driver. This is the case if the negligence of the employer is a substantial factor in causing the accident. If an employer, for instance, engages in negligent hiring and fails to vet its drivers before allowing them to operate delivery vehicles, that employer may be liable. Contact a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney Determining liability in a delivery driver accident can be complicated, so if you’ve been seriously injured in an accident, it’s important that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Schedule a free consultation trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 today.

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Talking to Your Teen About Safe Driving

Category: Car Accidents |

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States. In 2016, 2,433 teens aged 16-19 were killed, and 292,742 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents. This means that six teens die every day due to car accidents. Most of these accidents are entirely preventable.  Factors that Lead to Teen Accidents There are a number of factors that make teen drivers more susceptible to accidents. Teens think they are invincible and untouchable and may not perceive driving risks in the same way that adults do. Teens are more likely to underestimate dangers and make critical errors while driving. Speeding, distracted driving, and impaired driving can all be major factors in teen accidents. Many teens report that they’ve learned their bad driving habits from their parents. A report from Liberty Mutual Insurance found that teens and parents reported unsafe driving habits at similar rates. Talking to Your Teen Talking to your teen about safe driving can be difficult, but it can play an important role in preventing your child from becoming a statistic. Explain to them the responsibilities that come with a driver’s license and that they are responsible for the safety of themselves, their passengers, and other people on the road. Some things to discuss with your teen include: Driving is a privilege—explain to your teen that driving is not a right and is a privilege that can be revoked at any time. Set firm ground rules and expectations when it comes to driving and consistently hold your teen to these expectations. Don’t be afraid to take away driving privileges if you feel your teen is unsafe. Explain the dangers—don’t sugarcoat the facts when talking to your teen. Discuss the statistics and the reality that when they get behind the wheel, they are taking their life, and the lives of others, in their hands. Driving can be fun, and the freedom is exhilarating to a teen, but it should still be serious business. Offer safe driving tips—teach them how to operate the functions and safety features of the car. Teach your teen to drive defensively and scan for potential threats on the road. What may seem second nature to you can be good information for a newer driver. Set a good example—the best way you can teach your teen about safe driving is to drive safely yourself. They will follow your lead, especially when they are first learning to drive. Contact a Trusted Attorney If you or your teen has been injured in a car accident, you should consult with a trustworthy personal injury attorney. 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 Senior Drivers

Category: Car Accidents |

In 2015, there were over 40 million drivers on the road aged 65 or over. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 6,800 older drivers were killed and 260,000 were treated in the emergency department for injuries sustained in a car accident. Florida has the highest population of people over 65, and not surprisingly the highest number of traffic fatalities involving people over 65. Involvement in fatal crashes increases in drivers aged 70-74 and is highest in drivers that are aged 85 and older. Driving helps older adults stay mobile and independent, but it can also put them and others at risk for serious injury. Increased Risk of Accidents with Age While older drivers are more likely to use their seatbelts and less likely to speed or drive while impaired, there are some physical realities that come with age that can have a detrimental effect on one’s ability to drive. Reasons for the increased risk of accidents include: Vision issues such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetes-related complications Delayed response time Mobility issues such as muscle weakness and arthritis Hearing issues Reduced cognitive functioning  Side effects of certain medications While not all older drivers are incapable of driving safely, those who are truly unable to drive may cause unnecessary danger to those with whom they share the road. We hope that older drivers would be willing to stop driving once they have trouble doing so. But giving up the freedom that comes with driving can be difficult. Florida License Restrictions for Older Drivers Florida doesn’t require retesting of older drivers but does require a vision test for drivers aged 80 and over. In addition, a driver reexamination may be administered by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) at the request of family members or others. Doctors, family members, or other individuals can request an unsafe driver investigation if they are concerned that a medical condition is affecting someone’s ability to drive. DHSMV can place restrictions on someone’s driver’s license after a retest. For example, a driver may no longer be permitted to drive at night. Contact a Trusted Attorney If you have been injured in a car accident with an older driver, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in Florida. 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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What to do After an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist

Category: Car Accidents |

Florida has the highest rate of uninsured drivers in the country with more than 1 in 4 drivers on the road without insurance. In addition, Florida does not require drivers to carry bodily injury liability insurance. However, they are required to carry property damage liability insurance. So, if you’re seriously injured in an accident, your no-fault personal injury protection may not be enough to cover all of your expenses. When that is the case, you need to explore other avenues for coverage. Before the Accident: Purchase Uninsured Motorist Coverage While not required in Florida, your insurance company should offer you uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage as part of your policy. If you decline this coverage, it must be in writing. UM coverage kicks in if you are involved in an accident with someone who does not have insurance or does not have a sufficient amount of insurance. In addition, collision insurance can help cover any property damage, especially if the driver who damaged your car is uninsured. You should consider getting stacked UM coverage so that you can recover at higher limits. Make a Claim on Your Insurance Since Florida is a no-fault state, you should be able to recover from your personal injury protection (PIP) regardless of who was at fault in the accident. Your recovery is capped at the amount of coverage you have; the minimum is $10,000 in Florida. PIP pays 80% of your medical expenses and some of your lost wages. After the accident, you should also notify your insurance company that you want to file an uninsured motorist claim.  Importance of Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage If you are injured by an uninsured driver, there is little hope of a fair recovery without having uninsured motorist coverage. Additionally, if you are injured by an underinsured driver, you may be limited to that driver’s policy limits which will be inadequate to fairly compensate you. When either of these scenarios occur, UM coverage, if purchased by you, is available to pay you compensation. As an example, if your damages are $100,000, the at-fault driver is uninsured, and you purchased $100,000 in UM benefits, you will be fully paid. If the at-fault party is underinsured with a $25,000 policy, your same UM coverage will pay you the additional $75,000, thus making you whole. The bottom line is that UM coverage is exceedingly important, and you should purchase it in the highest amount you can afford to protect yourself and your family members from uninsured motorists. Contact a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney If you’ve been injured in an accident with an uninsured driver, you should be sure to consult with an experienced attorney. 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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Tips for Taking Good Car Accident Photos

Category: Accidents |

Being involved in a car accident is a stressful and emotional event. It’s important to remain calm and try to gather as much evidence and information as you can. Documenting evidence at the scene can become an important part of any legal case down the road. After a car accident, photos on your phone may be your best bet for preserving evidence. Photos can tell a story that words can’t. Photos can help corroborate your version of events and prevent fabrication by other parties. To take good car accident photos make sure that you: Time and Location Stamp Your Photos Make sure your phone or camera has a way of documenting the time. Most smartphones are able to do this if you make sure location services are turned on. This will help show exactly where the photo was taken. You can also text the photos to yourself or a loved one to create a record of the time. Photograph the Scene of the Accident Take some wide-angle shots of the entire scene. Make sure to get all involved vehicles in the picture. Take pictures of any relevant traffic signals or stop signs. Pictures of street signs can also be helpful. Pictures of skid marks and any debris on the road can also help paint a picture of the scene. Photograph Injuries If you or your passengers have visible injuries such as scrapes, bruising, or lacerations make sure to get pictures while awaiting medical attention. These photos will help show the injuries before they are cleaned up by medical personnel. If there is any swelling or further bruising the following day, be sure to take pictures of that as well. Photograph Damage Take pictures of the damage sustained by the vehicles involved. Be sure to get wide-angle and close-up shots to give better context for the photos. Super close, out of focus, and blurry images are not helpful. Photograph License Plates and Other Information Try to photograph all license plates of the vehicles involved. You can also take a photo of the other driver’s license and proof of insurance. When taking photos at the scene, make sure your flash settings are correct. If it is night time, you probably need your flash. But if there are overhead street lamps then a flash may not be necessary. You can check photos instantly with your phone or digital camera so make sure they come out okay before moving on. Don’t be afraid to take dozens of photographs if necessary. Contact a Trusted Attorney If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you should consult with a personal injury law firm. 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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Can Not Wearing a Seatbelt Affect Your Personal Injury Claim

Category: Car Accidents |

Wearing a seatbelt while driving or riding in a car should be second nature to most people. Not only is it the law in most states, but it can also save your life. But what if you’re not wearing your seatbelt and you’re seriously injured in an accident caused by another driver. Can your failure to wear a seatbelt be used against you? Seatbelt Law Under Florida law, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle without wearing a seatbelt. It is also illegal for front seat passengers not to wear a seatbelt. In addition, any passenger in the car that is under the age of 18 must wear a seatbelt or be restrained in a car seat at all times. Why Use a Seatbelt The use of seatbelts is one of the most effective ways to save lives and reduce injuries in car crashes. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seatbelt use reduces serious crash-related injuries and death by about half. More than half of teens and adults who died in car accidents in 2016 were not buckled up at the time of the crash. Seatbelt Use and Your Personal Injury Claim If you are seriously injured in a car accident as the result of another driver’s negligence, you may still have a claim against the driver even if you weren’t wearing your seatbelt at the time of the accident. However, the fact that you weren’t wearing a seatbelt could be used as proof that you were at least partially responsible for your own injury. Florida operates under the doctrine of comparative negligence, meaning that your recovery for an accident will be limited by the amount of your own responsibility for your injuries. So,if a jury finds that you suffered $100,000 in damages as a result of a car accident, but that you were 25% at fault for the injuries because you failed to wear a seatbelt, then you would only be entitled to recover $75,000 from the at-fault driver. A jury would have to consider whether the injuries could have been prevented or could have been less severe if the victim had worn a seatbelt. Contact a Trusted Attorney If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. 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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Single Car Crashes are Not Always the Driver’s Fault

Category: Car Accidents |

While most accidents involve multiple vehicles, there is a subset of accidents where only one car is involved. If you are in a single car accident, you may assume that you were the one at fault and that you will only be able to recover for your injuries from your no-fault car insurance. However, this isn’t always the case. There are a number of situations where a single car accident is not the fault of the driver. Negligent or Aggressive Driver Just because your car was the only one that was damaged,and you were the only one injured, does not mean that another driver wasn’t responsible. A distracted or aggressive driver could run you off the road and cause serious injury. In addition, you may have swerved off the road and into an object to avoid a collision with a drowsy or reckless driver. In these cases, the other driver may be held responsible for your injuries. Hopefully, you were able to get information about the other driver, or there are eyewitnesses that can help you identify the responsible party. If this is not the case, however, it doesn’t mean that you are out of luck. You may be able to recover damages from your uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage if another, unidentified, driver was responsible for your accident. Dangerous or Defective Roadways Sometimes a roadway is designed or maintained so poorly that it can cause a driver to be involved in an accident. Conditions like broken pavement, inadequate signage, curves that can’t be driven safely at the posted speed limit, dangerous trenches or potholes, and missing or broken guardrails can all lead to single car accidents. If your accident is the result of a dangerous or defective roadway, then the governmental entity responsible for maintaining or designing the road may be held responsible. The rules regarding filing a claim against a governmental entity are complex, and you should consider hiring an experienced attorney to assist you if you believe a defective roadway is the source of your accident. Defective Car Parts A single-vehicle accident could also be the result of equipment failure. For example, if your brakes failed and caused a collision, the accident may not be your fault. Manufacturers of defective auto parts may be held responsible for injuries that result from the failure of these parts. In addition, if you had your brakes repaired or replaced and the mechanic was negligent, they may also be held liable. Contact a Trusted Attorney If you’ve been injured in a single-vehicle accident, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. 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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Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Category: Car Accidents |

According to the Insurance Research Council, more than 26% of drivers in Florida are uninsured. This means that if you are involved in an accident, there is better than a 1 in 4 chance that the person who hit you has no insurance. Even if they are insured, it is likely that the driver only carries the minimum amount of insurance required. In Florida, this is $10,000 in personal injury protection and $10,000 for property damage. If you are seriously injured in an accident, and it was the fault of the other driver, it is unlikely that this minimum amount of insurance will be enough to cover your expenses and damages. What is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage? You can protect yourself by carrying uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM) coverage. UM coverage will cover you if you are seriously injured in a car accident with someone who does not have car insurance or who does not have enough insurance to cover the damage they’ve caused. What does UM Insurance Cover? If you are injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver, your UM coverage will cover more than just your current medical expenses. UM coverage can also cover lost wages, future medical expenses, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. Should I Purchase UM Coverage? Drivers, especially in Florida, should seriously consider purchasing UM coverage as part of their auto insurance. The cost of coverage is small compared to the mountain of damages you could face if you are seriously injured in an accident. Your insurance carrier is required to offer UM coverage, and if you don’t want to purchase it, you must reject it in writing. What is “Stacked” UM Coverage? If you have stacked UM coverage, it means that you can “stack” your coverage based on how many vehicles you have insured. So if, for instance, you have $100,000 in UM coverage on each of your 3 vehicles you may be able to recover up to $300,000 if you stacked your coverage. With stacked UM coverage, the amount of coverage is multiplied by the number of vehicles you have insured. Contact a Trusted Attorney If you’ve been injured in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. 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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The Dangers of Road Rage

Category: Car Accidents |

Incidents of road rage incidents in Florida and across the country are rampant.  According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 80% of drivers admitted to expressing significant anger, aggression, or road rage behind the wheel. Driving can be frustrating, and sometimes it’s common and justified to feel anger towards other drivers. Drivers who succumb to road rage, however, can lead to serious accidents and can even be deadly. What is Road Rage? Road rage is an expression of anger towards the drivers of other vehicles. An enraged driver is intentionally trying to threaten or intimidate another driver with aggressive driving. Aggressive driving can include such dangerous behaviors as: Speeding in heavy traffic Tailgating Horn honking Changing lanes abruptly Cutting in front of a driver and slowing down Ignoring traffic signals Running other vehicles off the road Sideswiping other vehicles Ramming other vehicles Throwing objects out of the car Road rage incidents even result in drivers exiting their vehicles and physically assaulting or using firearms on other drivers. Recognizing Road Rage A driver consumed by road rage is usually easy to spot. These drivers make erratic and sudden movements with their vehicles such as tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic to follow a vehicle, or pulling in front of a car and slamming on the brakes. Another common sign of road rage is a driver who honks their horn excessively and flashes their lights. Enraged drivers may also yell and make hand gestures while driving. Avoiding Enraged Drivers The best way to protect yourself from the aggressive driving of a driver consumed with road rage is to do your best to avoid them. Some ways to avoid an accident with an enraged driver include: Don’t make eye contact with the enraged driver and ignore the urge to yell or gesture back. If they are not getting a reaction out of you, it’s likely the driver will move on. Drive defensively. Be aware of your surroundings and try to move out of the way of the aggressive driver. Slow down and let the aggressive driver have the right of way. Don’t let yourself be distracted or you may be the one causing an accident. Just focus on your driving and your destination Don’t go home. If someone appears to be following you, don’t lead them to your home. Instead drive around for a while or drive to your nearest police station. Don’t get out of your car. If the driver has followed you or caused an accident, it’s safest not to exit your vehicle. Call the police. Contact a Trusted Attorney If you’ve been injured in a road rage accident, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. 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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Top Causes of Florida Auto Accident Injuries

Category: Car Accidents |

According to a report from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, as of November 25, 2018, there were 349,430 car crashes in 2018. As a result of these accidents, there were 221,723 reported injuries. That’s a staggering number but not surprising given the reputation of Florida drivers. Injuries sustained in an auto accident commonly include fractures, back and neck injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. In Florida, the most common causes of these injuries include: Distracted Driving According to a 2017 study, Florida was the second-worst state in the nation for distracted driving. Distracted driving is anything that takes your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road or your focus off of the task at hand.  Distracted driving can result in drivers not seeing other vehicles, failing to notice stop signs and traffic signals, and drifting into other lanes of traffic. All of these situations can lead to serious injuries to other drivers. Drowsy Driving A driver who is drowsy is dangerous on the roadway because fatigue can impair the driver’s ability to make decisions, slow down thought process and reaction time, and affect judgment and vision. This can lead to drivers veering into other lanes, rear-end collisions and other serious accidents. Speeding Speed limits in Florida are put in place to help drivers get to their destinations safely. When drivers go above the speed limit, their chances of being involved in an accident are high. Speeding makes it more difficult to navigate turns and curves and can make it more difficult to react to hazards on the road. In addition, a high-speed car crash can lead to more severe injuries than a crash at normal speed. Bad Weather Wet roads and heavy rains are common in Florida. Bad weather and road conditions can cause a vehicle to react unpredictably. Drivers who don’t know how to handle a car in bad weather can cause serious accidents. Failing to Obey Traffic Signals Failing to come to a full stop at a stop sign or ignoring a traffic light can easily result in an intersection accident. Side-impact crashes are commonly the result of a failure to obey traffic signs and signals and can cause serious injuries to other drivers and passengers. Drunk Driving In Florida, if a driver has a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher or is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, that driver is considered a drunk driver. Drunk drivers have a severely impaired ability to react to changing situations on the road and frequently drive at high speeds. This can result in tragic accidents with traumatic injuries. Contact a Trusted Attorney If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. 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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Delayed Accident Injuries

Category: Car Accidents |

Typically, when you’ve been injured in a car accident, you feel the injuries almost immediately and seek medical attention. However, it is not unusual for Florida car accident victims to experience pain from their injuries hours, days, or even weeks after an accident. Regardless of whether you feel you’ve been injured in an accident, it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible because some accident injuries don’t manifest immediately. Common delayed accident injuries include: Concussions A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that occurs when a blow or jolt to the head causes the brain to bounce against the skull. A victim can sustain a concussion even if they haven’t been hit in the head. The sudden momentum caused by a collision can cause someone’s neck and head to jerk back suddenly and lead to the brain hitting the skull. Someone does not need to be knocked unconscious in order to have a concussion. Concussion symptoms include headache, disorientation, sensitivity to lights and sound, irritability, and sleep disturbances. While most people with concussions recover fairly quickly, concussions can lead to serious long-term complications. Soft Tissue Injuries Soft tissue injuries consist of damage to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Sprains, strains, and contusions usually fall within the category of soft tissue injuries. The symptoms of soft tissue injuries can take some time to present themselves, and the severity of the injuries are highly dependent on the specific situation. Common symptoms associated with soft tissue injuries include stiffness, pain, problems with range of motion, and difficulty bearing weight. Whiplash Whiplash is a neck injury that is common in rear-end collisions. Whiplash usually occurs when there is a back and forth jerking motion of the neck. The muscles, nerves, and joints of the neck are overextended. Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, headaches, and dizziness. It is not unusual for whiplash symptoms to be delayed, often appearing several hours or days after an accident. Serious cases of whiplash can take months before full recovery and in some instances can cause permanent pain. Psychological Trauma Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder that results when someone is exposed to severe trauma. Those who have been injured in serious accidents are susceptible to the disorder. The symptoms of PTSD are mental and not physical, so sometimes victims have a hard time getting a diagnosis and treatment. Contact a Trusted Attorney If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. 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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How Can You Prove that a Driver was Distracted?

Category: Car Accidents |

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving accounted for 3,450 deaths in 2016 alone. In Florida, distracted driving is on the rise. In 2017, more than 50,000 accidents in Florida resulted from drivers who were not paying attention to the road. What is Distracted Driving? Distracted driving is the practice of driving a motor vehicle while engaged in another activity. Distracted driving usually involves the use of a mobile device but can also include such activities as: Playing with the radio Disciplining children Programming a navigation system Reading Eating and drinking Proving a Driver was Distracted In order for the victim of a distracted driver to recover damages, it must be proven that the driver of the other vehicle was distracted. There are a number of different ways to prove that a driver was engaged in distracted driving, including: Admission by the driver—while this is not likely, sometimes a driver will apologize for the accident and admit that they had been distracted by their cell phone or something else. Sometimes this statement is made to police and would be included in a police report. Statements from eyewitnesses—witnesses to an accident may be able to provide valuable information about what they saw a driver doing. If a witness saw a driver talking on the phone, reaching into the backseat, or participating in some other distracting activity, this can be helpful in establishing distracted driving. Cell phone records—a driver’s text and phone call records could show that they were distracted by their phone at the time of the accident. Video footage—video from police dash cams, cell phones, or surveillance cameras can all be used to establish that a driver was distracted. Expert witness testimony—someone certified as an expert witness can take a look at all of the evidence surrounding an accident and make a determination that distracted driving was a factor in the crash Contact a Trusted Attorney If you’ve been injured in an accident with a distracted driver, it’s important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to ensure that all relevant evidence is collected. 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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Most Dangerous Highways in Florida

Category: Car Accidents |

Florida is a dangerous place for drivers. Drunk driving, distracted driving, and reckless driving run rampant throughout the state. Florida has somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 traffic fatalities annually. With packed roadways and some of the worst drivers in the nation, it’s no surprise that some Florida highways made the list of most dangerous roadways in America. A study by GPS software company Teletrac Navman, compiled data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to determine the 25 most dangerous roadways in America. Of these 25, 3 Florida highways made the top 5. Interstate 4 Coming in at number one as the most dangerous highway in the country, Interstate 4 is known for its high accident rate. Running from Tampa Bay to Daytona Beach, Interstate 4 is 132 miles long. According to the data compiled for 2011-2015, there were 165 traffic fatalities on the highway which is a rate of 1.25 deaths per mile. Most of these deaths were found to have occurred between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. and were frequently the result of a multiple motor vehicle accident. There was also a high rate of overturned vehicles and pedestrian accidents on the roadway. The deadliest city on the highway was found to be Orlando. Highway 192 This 75-mile-long highway came in at number 3 on the list of top 25. Highway 192 connects Four Corners and Indialantic and was responsible for a total 65 fatalities. This puts the highway’s death rate at 0.867 per mile. Most fatalities resulted from pedestrian accidents, followed by motor vehicle collisions and rollovers.  The hour of 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. was found to be the busiest for fatalities and Melbourne was the most dangerous city on the highway. Interstate 95 Running from Miami to Weston, Massachusetts, Interstate 95 came in as the 5thmost dangerous highway in America. The 1,920-mile highway was found to be deadliest in Jacksonville. The total number of fatalities was 1,402 with a rate of 0.73 deaths per mile. Most fatalities were the result of motor vehicle collisions, followed by overturned vehicles and collisions with trees. Contact a Trusted Attorney If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident on one of the most dangerous highways in Florida, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. 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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Are Larger Cars Safer to Drive Than Smaller Cars?

Category: Car Accidents |

According to the National Safety Council, more than 40,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents in 2017. While no vehicle can guarantee absolute safety to its drivers and passengers, there are features that can help limit injuries or loss of life in an accident. When buying a car for yourself or your family member, you want to do everything you can to make sure the vehicle is safe. In doing so, you consider available safety features and handling on the road. But should you also take the size of the vehicle into consideration? Larger Vehicles are Generally Safer  It comes down to physics. The bigger and heavier a vehicle you drive, the more likely your injuries will be minimized in a collision. Larger vehicles have larger crumple zones and bigger hoods and are therefore better able to absorb the force of an impact. A study by the University of Buffalo found that in head-on crashes between cars and SUVs, the odds of death for the car driver were 7.6 times higher than that of the SUV driver. What you lose in gas mileage with a larger vehicle, you make up for in protection. But Not Always Regardless of size, you are better off driving a newer car than an older vehicle. A 10-year-old SUV is probably not as safe as a brand-new sedan. Newer cars have more safety features that can minimize your risk of even being in a collision, as well as protect vehicle occupants from injuries. Features like side airbags, brake assist, electronic stability control, lane departure warning, and blind-spot indicators can go a long way toward preventing an accident. Choosing a Safe Car When choosing a car, it can be helpful to do your research. Check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration safety ratings or search the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s safety rating database for detailed information on crash tests and top safety picks.  While these ratings don’t compare across vehicle sizes, they can still be a helpful tool in determining the right vehicle for you. Contact a Trusted Attorney If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident in Florida, whether you were in a small vehicle or a large vehicle, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. 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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Dangerous and Defective Roadways

Category: Car Accidents |

Most auto accidents are caused by the negligence of a driver, but there are times accidents can result from a defective or poorly maintained roadway.  When we get behind the wheel, we trust that roads are safe for travel, but defective road conditions can cause serious and deadly accidents. In Florida, the state, county, city, or other municipality that owns the roadway is responsible for properly maintaining it and keeping it safe and free from dangerous conditions or defects. Poorly Designed Roadways Some roadways are designed in a manner that makes them unsafe. Examples of defects in a roadway design include: Lanes that are too narrow Lack of guardrails Curves that are unsafe at the posted speed limit Inadequate or unclear road markers Improper or difficult to see signs Blind intersections Improper grading or uneven roadways Inadequate drainage Poorly Maintained Roadways The entity responsible for a roadway must properly maintain the roadway to keep it safe and free from defects. Examples of conditions caused by poor roadway maintenance include: Unfilled potholes Cracks Broken guardrails Debris in the roadway Broken or hidden signage Construction debris or equipment left in the roadway Overgrown vegetation Faded lane markers Malfunctioning traffic lights or warning signals Excessive gravel or oil Holding Entities Accountable Failing to maintain highways, streets, ramps, bridges, and roadways adequately can amount to negligence on the part of a governmental entity. Under Florida law, the State agrees to be held responsible for damages resulting from defects in public infrastructure that the government is responsible for maintaining. Holding a governmental entity accountable for negligence can be difficult and complex, and there are requirements that must be met before a claim can be filed. In addition to governmental entities, there are other parties that may also be liable for a dangerous roadway condition. Construction companies must comply with state law and can be liable for creating an unsafe condition on the road. In addition, utility companies may be responsible for hazardous conditions caused by work they perform on or near a road. Engineering firms may also be held liable for a poorly designed roadway. Contact a Trusted Attorney If you been injured as the result of a dangerous or defective roadway, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. 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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Things to Consider When Buying Auto Insurance

Category: Accidents |

Buying auto insurance means thinking about the future and no one wants to believe they may one day be involved in an accident. But it’s important to prepare for anything, and the best way to protect yourself is to purchase the right insurance. Florida Minimum Requirements Florida is a no-fault state, which means that if you are injured in an accident, your own car insurance is required to cover 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages. This coverage is known as personal injury protection (PIP), and Florida requires all drivers to have a minimum of $10,000 in coverage. Florida also requires that you have $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) to pay for any damage to the other driver’s vehicle if you were at fault. Coverage Options to Think About While you may be tempted to take your chances and save a little money by only carrying the minimum amount of car insurance, this could hurt you down the road. You should also consider purchasing the following: More Personal Injury Protection: Medical bills are expensive, and $10,000 may not be enough to cover all your expenses. You should consider getting extended PIP coverage. Collision Insurance:With collision insurance, you won’t have to pay out of pocket if your car is damaged in an accident. Bodily Injury Liability Insurance:If you are at fault in an accident that causes serious injury, you should purchase liability insurance to protect your assets. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM):If you are seriously injured in a car accident and your case is worth more than the other person’s insurance coverage, or if the person that hits you has no insurance at all, you will need UM coverage to pay your expenses. GAP Insurance:If you owe more on your car than it is worth you should consider getting GAP insurance. If your car is totaled, GAP insurance will cover the difference between the value of your car and the remainder of your loan. Extras:You can also purchase things like rental car coverage and roadside assistance as part of your plan. Contact a Trusted Attorney If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. 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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Expert Witnesses in a Car Accident Case

Category: Accidents |

Some car accident cases involve a fairly straightforward determination of who was at fault and what injuries were the result of the collision. However, other accidents can be more complicated and may require the assistance of expert witnesses to help piece the facts together. There are different types of expert witnesses that can be utilized in a car accident case. Medical Experts Medical experts can testify about the injuries and medical conditions sustained as the result of an accident. These experts can testify about prognosis, expected recovery, and what types of medical treatments have been performed or may need to be performed in the future.  Also, medical experts may be able to testify about the degree of pain and suffering that an injury causes. Accident Reconstructionists These experts have specialized training in unraveling accidents and can help rebuild the chain of events that led to a crash. The experts then use this information to show what exactly occurred in the accident. Accident reconstructionists may use models, diagrams, and computer programs to help recreate the events of a crash. They can also determine the physics of the accident, sometimes presenting information such as the speed the vehicles were traveling, the force of the impact, and which direction vehicles were moving at the time. All of this information can be helpful in establishing a causal link between the accident and the injuries sustained. An accident reconstructionist’s visual account of an accident can be an important role in assisting a jury in understanding the facts. Highway Safety Expert An engineer may be hired to provide information about the existing road conditions leading up to or surrounding an accident. These experts should have an extensive understanding of state and federal guidelines on roadway design and construction. Economist If an accident victim misses time from work or is struggling financially because of injuries sustained in an accident, an economist may help calculate the amount of damages due. An economist can also be helpful in calculating the cost of any diminished earning capacity and the amount of lost wages and medical expenses that may be incurred in the future. There are a number of factors that go into these calculations, including inflation, loss of possible promotions, the increasing costs of medical care, and loss of any pension benefits. Contact a Trusted Attorney The most important expert you can have in your car accident case is an experienced personal injury attorney. 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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What is PIP?

Category: Car Accidents |

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is a form of auto insurance coverage that covers a portion of  medical bills and lost wages, that may arise if you have been injured in an auto accident. PIP may pay a specified amount of your damages resulting from an auto accident regardless of who was at fault. PIP coverage, also known as “no-fault” insurance,is currently required in the state of Florida. Every vehicle driver and owner on the road in Florida is required to have $10,000 in PIP coverage as part of their auto insurance. Failure to have PIP is grounds for license suspension and fines. How does PIP work? Your own PIP coverage may pay a portion of your medical expenses and lost wages if you’ve been injured in an accident regardless of who was at fault. PIP pays 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages up to a limit of $10,000 or the amount of additional PIP coverage you have purchased. Payments made under PIP are usually made quickly because no determination on fault needs to be made. Remember that you will not be entitled to receive PIP payments if you have not sought medical treatment within 14 days of an accident. In addition, if a medical expert determines that your injury is not an emergency, you may only receive up to $2,500 in benefits. Who is covered by PIP? PIP typically covers: The insured whether they are in the car, riding a bicycle, or a pedestrian involved in an accident with a vehicle Family members who live with the insured Passengers in the insured’s car that do not have their own PIP What if PIP Doesn’t Cover All of My Losses? Although Florida only requires $10,000 in PIP coverage, this may not be enough to cover all of your losses in an accident, especially if you have an emergency medical condition. You should consider purchasing additional insurance coverage. If your injury is serious or permanent and is caused by the negligence of the other driver, you may be able to seek compensation with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. If you have been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, you should have an experienced 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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Should I See a Doctor After my Car Accident?

Category: Car Accidents |

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2012 alone more than 2.5 million Americans visited the emergency room for injuries sustained in a car accident. If you’ve been in a serious accident and sustained life-threatening injuries, you will most likely be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. But what if you are able to walk away from the accident and the damage does not seem that serious? Should you go to the doctor after the accident? The short answer is yes. You Could Have Hidden Injuries Some accident injuries such as lacerations and bone fractures are obvious. However, other injuries may not be readily apparent. Because of the adrenaline that flows through you after an accident occurs, you may not feel pain right away. But there could be one of a number of different injuries hidden under the surface such as Whiplash—one of the most commonly reported injuries. Whiplash can occur even after a low-speed collision. Sometimes the effects of whiplash don’t manifest themselves until weeks after the accident. Symptoms include neck tenderness or stiffness, headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, numbness in the extremities, and cognitive difficulties. Whiplash can affect a person for months after an accident Back, Shoulder, and Neck Injuries—because of adrenaline you may not feel pain in these areas immediately. An experienced doctor may perform an x-ray or an MRI to determine whether you have a hidden injury. Fractures—some broken bones may go unnoticed after a car accident. Hairline fractures or greenstick or buckle fractures in children are commonly hard to detect without a medical examination. Internal Injuries—blunt trauma, such as hitting a steering wheel can cause injuries to abdominal organs such as the spleen or the stomach. There may also be internal bleeding which can quickly become deadly if left untreated. Traumatic Brain Injury—closed head injuries where there is no visible laceration can be common in a car accident . The injury could range from a mild concussion to bruising or swelling of the brain. Head injuries should always be evaluated by a doctor immediately after an accident. You Need to go as Soon as Possible Under Florida law, you must seek medical attention within 14 days of the accident in order to receive payment from your no-fault insurance for your medical bills. This isn’t the only reasons to seek medical attention quickly. Waiting too long to seek treatment can also lead to an exacerbation of your injury, and in the case of injuries such as internal bleeding, they can have deadly results. Contact a Trusted Attorney If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, you should have an experienced auto accident attorney near Tampa 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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Third-party Claims in Worker Injury Cases

Category: Car Accidents |

In Florida, if you’ve been injured on the job, you may be able to file a third-party claim against someone who is not your employer. This is in addition to any workers’ compensation claim. Third party claims are important because workers’ compensation claims do not typically provide for all the damages to which you are entitled. For instance, pain and suffering and other incidental expenses are not generally awarded in a workers’ compensation case. Common situations where third-party claims arise include: Automobile Accidents One of the most common categories of third-party claim in a workers’ compensation case involves auto accidents. If an employee is injured due to the negligence of another driver while traveling for the employee’s job, that worker can file a workers’ compensation claim. If the employee is seriously injured, they can also seek compensation from the at-fault driver. In some auto accident cases, the third-party may even be a co-worker if the employee was an injured passenger and the co-worker was the at-fault driver. Premises Liability In Florida, a business owner or property owner must keep their premises reasonably safe for people who enter the property. These owners must take reasonable steps to make sure people are safe and to warn others of potential hazards. If an employee is injured on somebody else’s premises while on the property for a work-related reason, the employee may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim and a claim against the business or property owner for premises liability. Product Liability If an employee is injured while on the job due to a defective or dangerous product, the employee may be able to file a third-party product liability claim against the manufacturer of the defective product. These products could include equipment or tools used by the employee during the course of employment. Defective products may include those that are defectively manufactured, defectively designed, or fail to contain adequate warnings of the dangers of using the product. Cases involving workers’ compensation and third-party claims may involve some legal complications, so it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after your injury. If you’ve been injured at work by the actions of a third party, you should have an attorney evaluate your case. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk onlineor call us at 1-800-538-4878 to schedule your free consultation.

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School Bus Accidents

Category: Car Accidents |

According to the US Government Accountability Office(GAO), from 2000-2014 there was an average of 115 fatal school bus crashes in the United States each year. In the Tampa Bay area, the number of school bus accidents is on the rise. When we put our child on a school bus, we trust that they will safely arrive at school and safely come home again. School bus drivers should have specialized driver training and exercise extraordinary care to ensure the safety of their young passengers and other motorists or pedestrians. But sometimes things don’t go as planned due to either the negligence of a driver, defects in the bus, or negligence on the part of a school district. Driver Negligence A school bus driver who drives aggressively, speeds, or drives while distracted or impaired should be held liable if this dangerous negligence results in an accident with injuries. School bus drivers have a responsibility to exercise the utmost care to ensure the safety of the children on the bus as well as other drivers and passengers on the road. Other drivers on the road can also be negligent and cause a school bus accident. Dangerous Roadways Roadways that are improperly maintained or poorly designed can also result in serious school bus accidents. Improper Screening and Training of Drivers In addition to keeping your child safe while at school, the school district has a responsibility to keep your child safe while they are transported on a school bus. A school district should adequately screen bus drivers and make sure they have clean driving records. School districts should also ensure that all drivers are properly licensed and pass a drug screening. Once drivers are hired, the district has a duty to make sure that they are appropriately trained. School bus drivers are required to have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) with a special School Bus (S) designation. This designation is given to drivers who pass a written exam and skills test. School bus drivers must also have Passenger (P) designation on their license which also requires a written and skills test. Driving a school bus can present some unique challenges for a driver. Given the number of children on most buses, it can be easy for a driver to become distracted. School districts should provide training to drivers on how to handle these potential distractions and safely drive with a bus full of rowdy students. In addition, school bus drivers should also be trained on how to handle safety issues to protect students. Improper Maintenance of the School Bus School districts must ensure that buses are properly maintained and inspected on a regular basis. Drivers are required to inspect the bus daily to ensure that it is in good working order. Any failure to properly maintain or inspect the bus could have deadly consequences. Defects in the School Bus Sometimes an accident can be caused by a defect in the design or manufacturing of the bus. In those cases, the manufacturer of the bus can be held liable in a product liability case. Contact an Experienced Attorney If you or your child has been injured in a school bus accident, you should have an attorney evaluate your case. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk onlineor call us at 1-800-538-4878 to schedule your free consultation.

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Things to Do After a Car Accident

Category: Car Accidents |

Being involved in a car accident can be a very scary and stressful time. It’s important, however, to remain calm and follow these critical steps to make the process after a car accident as painless as possible. Ensure Everyone is Safe. After an accident, the safety of everyone should be your number one priority. Check for any injuries on both yourself and those around you. If someone is injured, make sure call 911 immediately and request medical assistance. Move vehicles and people to the shoulder of the road or sidewalk. Call the Police Regardless of whether someone is injured, you should call the police any time there is an accident. If anyone involved appears as though they may be under the influence of alcohol, make sure to mention that when you call the police. A driver may offer to settle without talking to the police or contacting insurance companies, but don’t do that. Protect yourself by calling the police. Exchange Information Be sure to get the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of everyone involved in the accident. This includes drivers, pedestrians, passengers, and any witnesses. Take some pictures of the other driver’s license and their insurance card. Write down the name of any police officer who arrives at the scene and be sure to get the police report number. Take Pictures  Use your cell phone to take as many pictures as you can of the site of the accident, the vehicles, and the people involved. The pictures that you take as soon as possible will be the most valuable. Take pictures of damage to any of the vehicles and the vehicle license plates. Pictures of other evidence around the scene such as street signs, lights, or skid marks can also be very helpful. Contact the Insurance Company Make sure to call your own insurance company as quickly as possible. If you fail to act quickly, your claim could be rejected.  Your insurance company can work to help you get back on the road with a rental car or a repaired or replaced vehicle. Medical Attention If you are injured seriously, you’ll most likely be taken directly to the hospital. But if you’re injuries do not appear serious, do not assume that you haven’t been injured at all. Don’t neglect strange symptoms, such as pain that appears several hours later. Serious injuries from car accidents, such as whiplash, don’t always show up immediately. In addition, under Florida’s no-fault insurance law, you must seek medical attention within 14 days of the accident. Get Legal Assistance If you’ve been in a car crash, it’s important to contact an experienced vehicle accident attorney to help you through the process. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk or call us 1-800-538-4878 to schedule your free consultation.

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The Dangers of Drowsy Driving

Category: Car Accidents |

It happens more often than you think. Drivers barely able to keep their eyes open are barreling down the Florida roadways placing everyone on the road at risk. Drowsy driving can cause drivers to pay less attention to the road, have slow reaction times if they need to brake or steer suddenly, and have less ability to make good decisions. According to the Centers for Disease Control(CDC), an estimated 1 in 25 drivers admits to falling asleep at the wheel. That’s an alarming number when you consider how many drivers are on the road. Common Causes of Drowsy Driving Drowsy driving is most typically caused by a lack of sleep, but there are some different situations that can lead to drowsiness: Not getting enough sleep Working shift work (overnight shifts) Taking certain medications Driving for long periods of time without a break Untreated medical conditions such as sleep apnea. Signs that You are too Drowsy to Drive Unfortunately, there is no drowsiness test that can tell you when you are too tired to drive. When you are tired, it can have a major effect on your ability to make decisions. You may not think you’re too drowsy to drive. To determine whether you are too tired to be driving, you should look for some of these signs: Trouble keeping your eyes open Nodding your head Daydreaming Drifting out of your lane Drifting off the road and hitting rumble strips Missing your exit Missing signs Difficulty remembering the last few miles of the drive Frequent yawning Rubbing your eyes Feeling restless and irritable As soon as you notice any of these signs, you should find a safe place to pull over immediately. Preventing Drowsy Driving To make sure you are at optimal alertness for driving, here are some steps you can take: Make sure you’ve had an adequate amount of sleep before hitting the road, especially if you are going on a long drive. When you’re on long trips, try to drive with a friend, so you can take turns at the wheel Don’t rush. Take frequents breaks. You’ll get to your destination eventually Do not drink alcohol, even a small amount, before driving Read the warning labels on any medication you take to make sure it won’t make you drowsy Contact an Experienced Attorney If you’ve been injured in an auto accident caused by somebody else’s negligence, you should have an attorney evaluate your case. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk onlineor call us at 1-800-538-4878 to schedule your free consultation.

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Florida Car Seat Laws and Recommendations

Category: Car Accidents |

Keeping children safe is a full-time job for parents. One of the most important parts of this job is keeping children safe in the car. Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children. The proper use of car safety seats can save the lives of children. Car seat safety laws vary depending on the jurisdiction, and Florida has specific laws that must be followed to keep your child safe. But these laws may not always go far enough, so we’ve included some recommendations on car safety as well. Florida Car Seat Law Florida law requires that children age 5 and under be secured properly in a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device. Children ages 0-3 must be in a car seat, while children 4-5 can be in either a car seat or a booster seat. Recommendations Both the American Academy of Pediatrics  (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) used to recommend that parents keep their children in car seats that are rear-facing until the age of 2 years, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for the car seat as specified by the manufacturer. In August of 2018, the AAP changed their guidelines and now recommends that children remain in rear-facing car seats as long as possible. When a child rides rear-facing, the head, neck, and spine are supported by the hard shell of the car seat, and the car seat absorbs most of the crash forces. The AAP also advises parents to keep children in booster seats until they are at least 8 years old or over 4 feet 9 inches tall.  Booster seats help to ensure that the car’s seat belt fits properly and safely over the child’s shoulder and across the lap to provide better protection. Car seats and booster seats should always be installed in vehicles according to the seat’s owner’s manual Children in the Front Seat Florida law does not prohibit children from riding in the front seat of a vehicle. However, the CDC recommends that all children aged 12 and under be buckled in the back seat of the vehicle because airbags can be very dangerous for young children. Buckling children in the middle section of the back seat ensures that they are in the safest spot in the vehicle. Contact an Experienced Attorney. We hope you are never involved in an accident, but if you or your child has been injured contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk or call us 1-800-538-4878 to schedule your free consultation.

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How Do Multiple Vehicle Pile-ups Happen?

Category: Car Accidents |

We don’t see major pile-ups too often in our area, but they’ve been known to occur near major metropolitan areas like Tampa, Clearwater, and St Petersburg. And, when they do, they can cause serious injuries and damages very quickly. What Constitutes a Multiple Car Pile-up? Technically a multiple vehicle collision is a traffic accident involving more than two vehicles, but it can often involve many more, particularly on high-speed, high-capacity roadways. Common Causes of Multiple Vehicle Pile-ups So, how do these types of car accidents even take place on Florida roads? Some of the most common causes of major pile-ups include: ● Low-visibility conditions such as rain and heavy fog● Tight traffic involving cars following too close to stop safely● Failure to slow down for road construction on high-speed roads In nearly all cases, vehicle pile-ups occur as a chain reaction caused by a third vehicle that is unable to stop in time to avoid a recent accident in the roadway, often joined by additional vehicles that can’t stop either. Common Effects Major Pile-ups The injuries involved in multiple car collisions can be complicated by the fact that vehicles are often hit many times and from multiple directions. This can make complications like fires and delays in rescuing passengers more likely. Passengers trying to flee an accident toward safety may be injured by additional vehicles joining the pile-up. Particularly severe pile-ups can cause significant damage to highway infrastructure as well. The heat of fires involving multiple cars can melt the asphalt and even weaken the steel of bridges and overpasses. There have been some cases involving pile-ups in tunnels which were particularly deadly due to the build-up of toxic smoke and the difficulty of reaching accident victims. Examples of Major Florida Multiple Vehicle Pile Ups: ● 2012 Pile-up on I-75 in Sarasota Injuring 52 People● 2008 70-Car Pile-up on Smokey Florida Highway Injuring 38 Passengers Have You Been Seriously Injured in a Car Accident in Florida? While major pile-ups can be terrifying, the truth of the matter is that serious injuries and costly damages can be caused by just about any type of car accident. If you or a loved one has been hurt due to someone else’s mistakes, don’t hesitate to call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk for a free case evaluation. Whether you’re looking for a car accident attorney in Sarasota or a car crash attorney in Tampa, our personal injury lawyers have been serving St Petersburg, Tampa, and the surrounding area for more than 30 years, and we may be able to help.

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Three Types of Distracted Driving Evidence Injury Lawyers Use in Car Accident Cases

Category: Car Accidents |

If you are like most drivers, you do everything that you can to keep yourself, your passengers, and your fellow drivers safe when you are on the road. Unfortunately, it only takes a moment of inattention for a distracted driver to make a mistake that can seriously hurt innocent people. When that happens, personal injury lawyers 0ften need to provide evidence showing what had distracted the at-fault driver at the time of the accident. The types of distracted driving evidence that a car accident lawyer may use varies depending on the nature of the case. Below are three of the more common types of evidence that an injury law team may look for. Distracted Driving Evidence at the Scene of the Accident In many cases, one or more individuals are able to have claimed that they witnessed a driver who was distracted while using a mobile device at the time of an accident. Injury victims themselves may have seen that the driver was clearly talking or texting on a device immediately before an accident. In other cases, witnesses, including individuals riding with the at-fault driver, come forward to confirm that the driver was distracted to the point of negligence. This is one of the reasons that it is so important to file a police report and obtain contact information from witnesses immediately after an accident. Proving Distracted Driving through Cell Phone Records Of course, injury victims have obtained meaningful evidence that a driver was distracted with a mobile device when they are at the scene of the accident itself. Instead, a personal injury lawyer can get the distracted driving evidence necessary to at least partially prove fault by obtaining the at-fault driver’s mobile phone records. In many cases, the most important information for a case in a negligent driver’s phone records include call logs, text messages, and time-stamped data usage from the day of the collision. Gathering Evidence from Event Data Recorders Many modern vehicles are equipped with event data recorders (EDRs) that record various information that can be very helpful when investigating a collision. Some of the relevant information captured by EDRs include accelerator pedal position, vehicle speed, brake pedal position, and the change in velocity at the time of an accident. When it comes to a distracted driving investigation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that data captured by an EDR can help explain the action or lack of action a driver took in the events leading up to a collision. These records can be matched up with non-electronic evidence of distracted driving recorded by law enforcement or rescue personnel, such as makeup, reading materials, electronic devices, or other distracting materials found at the scene. In recent years, distractions like texting while driving have become an epidemic in Florida. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a distracted driving accident, our injury law team may be able to help. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today for a free case evaluation.

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Study: Car Accidents and Pedestrian Accidents Continue to be a Leading Cause of Death

Category: Car Accidents |

Some of the most tragic cases that our wrongful death lawyers handle at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk involve losses of life caused by negligent drivers. And research has shown that both pedestrians and drivers should be more concerned than they probably are when it comes to this issue. In fact, fatal roadway accidents are more common than most drivers realize. The National Safety Council (NSC) released a study in 2016 with some telling statistics on the most common causes of death in the United States. Although diseases like cancer and heart failure topped this list, car accidents ranked very highly as well. The average person’s odds of dying in a pedestrian, motorcycle or bicycle accident were quite significant too. According to the NSC, the odds of dying by heart disease or cancer are 1 in 6 and 1 in 7 respectively. Compare that to the following odds for road related accidents: Odds of dying in a motor vehicle crash: 1 in 102 Odds of dying in a pedestrian accident: 1 in 561 Odds of dying in a motorcycle accident: 1 in 846 Odds of dying in a bicycle accident: 1 in 4050 Whether we know it or not, the truth of the matter is that everyday activities like driving to work or walking home from school are considerably riskier when comes to survival than some of the things we fear the most. By way of comparison, the odds of dying in from an accidental gunshot are 1 in 8305, and the odds of dying in an airplane accident are 1 in 205,552. Unfortunately, the loss of life that we see in all too many wrongful death lawsuits in Florida at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk could have easily been prevented if the negligent party had simply had acted responsibly. The terrible impact of that a moment’s negligence can have on an entire family in the event of an accident is a driving force behind why we have served accident victims in our area for more than 30 years. Do You Know Someone Who Has Lost a Family Member in an Accident Caused by Negligence? The committed and focused Tampa wrongful death lawyers on our injury law team have aggressively fought for the rights of victim’s families in these types of accidents since 1988. If you have lost a loved one in our area due to this type of car accident or pedestrian accident, please reach out to our team today to find out how we may be able to help.

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How to Talk with Your Teen About Texting and Driving

Category: Car Accidents |

Did you know that your teen can drive the entire length of a football field in the amount of time it takes to read or send an average text? According to the CDC, that’s exactly how far we are effectively driving blind when we check our phones while driving at highway speeds. Safety experts continue to tell us that texting and driving is as dangerous as drunk driving, but it’s not easy to get that through the heads of teenage drivers when they are behind the wheel. That has to be a scary thought for any parent. But there’s just no getting away from the fact that relying on smartphones is a part of life these days. And that means that there’s a lethal source of distraction at arms reach every time our teens are behind the wheel. As a parent, it’s up to you to ensure that your teen knows just how dangerous texting and driving really is and how to avoid the temptation. And, like so many things with teenagers, the key to getting these messages into his or her head is repetition. With that in mind, we’ve put together the following tips for talking with your family about teen texting and driving. Have an intentional, authentic conversation about the topic. Don’t make the mistake of trying to cover this important issue in passing during a casual conversation. Find an appropriate time and space to speak with your family about distracted driving specifically. Prepare ahead of time by finding some facts and statistics you want to share, as well as clarifying what you need to discuss the most. Having a list of questions ready to work from that you’d like to review with your teen can also be helpful. Make shared commitments. Instead of dictating rules that only apply to your teen, we encourage you to make commitments together that you all agree to when it comes to distracted driving. This can include a commitment to hold each other accountable moving forward which invites your teens to remind you to hold up your end of the deal. Agree to signing a driver’s contract. The team at TeenSafe has put together a simple document for parents and teens to review and sign together that make these commitments feel much more tangible. In addition to agreements about distracted driving, this document also covers other driving safety commitments involving issues like road rage and what to do after an accident. Sadly, we know the devastating impact that a distracted driving accident can have on a family. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we’re committed to making our roads safer by encouraging drivers of all ages to stay focused on the road and get to their destinations safely. Unfortunately, distracted driving accidents continue to happen everyday every day, leaving car accident victims seriously injured and who may in need of our help. If you or a loved one has been seriously hurt in a car accident in Tampa, Clearwater, or the surrounding area, please call us today at 1-800-538-4878. Our car accident lawyers can provide you with a free evaluation of your case, and we may be able to stand up for your rights.

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August Continues to be the Most Dangerous Month of the Year for American Drivers

Category: Car Accidents |

There’s a lot of good things that the summer brings to Tampa, Clearwater, and the surrounding area, like a big boost in tourist business and some great indoor and outdoor events. Unfortunately, the increased traffic that comes with the season has downsides too, particularly when it comes to driving safety. The summer season itself can be quite effective dangerous when it comes to our roads. The truth of the matter is that summer driving results in 20% more miles driven per month than during colder months throughout the country, and this results in more fatal accidents. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), nearly 40% more teen driver deaths occur during the summer than the spring. Looking at the Numbers on August Driving Safety When it comes to August itself, the IIHS has found that August is the deadliest month for American drivers. In fact, nearly 16,000 individuals died in car crashes occurring in August between 2012 and 2016 alone. Nationwide Insurance dug into some of their own data and found that August 2016 was particularly dangerous with nearly 61,000 accidents reported that month, surpassing monthly totals for the previous four years. According to their data, common causes for these August car accidents included sudden stops and accelerating too fast. Digging in deeper, they discovered that August 2nd of 2016 was the most dangerous day to drive within a span of five years. 505 passengers lost their lives in automotive accidents that day, mostly due to accidents that occurred during the day. It appears that hard braking and sudden speeding in congested areas were responsible for many of the accidents that day. A Deeper Dive on Local Car Accident Statistics For more statistical data about driving safety in our region, take a deeper dive in the following articles. We recently gathered accident statistics in the areas that we serve that we’d like to share with you. Updated Hernando County Road Accident Statistics Citrus County Road Accident Statistics for 2018 Updated Manatee County Road Accident Statistics Updated Pinellas County Road Accident Statistics Traffic Accidents on the Rise in Sarasota County At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we take driving safety seriously for a reason. In the 30+ years since we opened our doors, we’ve represented more than 20,000 victims who were unnecessarily hurt or killed by someone else’s negligence, mostly in car accidents. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a collision in our area, our car accident lawyers may be able to help. Give us a call today for a free consultation and speak with a member of our compassionate and committed injury law team.

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Updated Hernando County Road Accident Statistics

Category: Car Accidents |

Every year, nearly six-million Americans like yourself are involved in road-traffic accidents. On the average, these accidents will cost 40,000 of those Americans their lives. Many more everyday citizens like yourself will sustain life-altering injuries and disabilities as the result of a road-traffic accident. Most of the people involved in these types of accidents stand to experience substantial damage to their personal property. The personal toll of a road accident is often enormous. For some, the avalanche of expenses caused by a traffic accident is overwhelming and potentially irrecoverable. Those of us who live in Hernando County are not immune to road-traffic accidents. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Traffic Crash Statistics Report states that so far this year, 985 Hernando County residents have been involved in traffic accidents. 522 of those crashes have resulted in physical injuries for a total of 935 people having sustained crash-related bodily damage. So far this year, 12 of those motor-vehicle crashes have resulted in the fatalities of Hernando County citizens. These sobering statistics prove that road-traffic accidents can happen to any vehicle operator, passenger, bicyclist or pedestrian, anytime and anywhere. Traffic crashes can involve any kind of vehicle. This year in Hernando County, 81 drivers of commercial motor vehicles have been involved in traffic accidents involving 90 actual commercial vehicles. Even pedestrians and bicyclists are at risk of sustaining injuries or losing their lives during a random-traffic accident. This year alone, 11 bicyclists and 19 pedestrians have sustained injuries as a result of road-traffic accidents. One of those pedestrian-related accidents has already resulted in a fatality. Another 451 of Hernando County’s 2018 traffic accidents and related crashes have involved costly property damage. Road-traffic accidents have claimed too many lives and have left millions of innocent people to both suffer and then recover from their injuries and/or personal property damages. Sometimes those injuries and losses prove devastating. Such tragedies have needlessly caused long-term recovery periods and have at times resulted in permanent disabilities. Such traumas and accident-related property repairs/replacements have also resulted in calamitous losses of family income. Our experienced attorneys are firmly committed to protecting and fighting for the legal rights of you and your loved ones if you have sustained injuries, lost loved ones, or have experienced costly property damage as the result of a road-traffic accident. If you or one of the people you care about has sustained injuries, death, disability, emotional or property damages as a result of a traffic accident, we are here to help you. The State of Florida has enacted specific laws that can provide damage awards. A fair award may be all that sustains you or your family members after a tragic road accident. These laws were designed to compensate victims like yourself for costly medical expenses, lost wages, personal disfigurements, mental anguish, or pain and suffering that has resulted from another driver’s negligent driving behavior. Because ours is a comparative negligence state, any proven negligence on the victim’s part can at times reduce the actual money that can be awarded to the victim. Our attorneys will review your specific case and determine how your unique situation might be affected by Florida’s comparative negligence laws. Our aggressive accident attorneys will provide the court expertly-documented evidence to prove that the bulk of negligence is the responsibility of the driver of the vehicle involved in the crash. Be very wary of negotiating with insurers on your own. Every day, our attorneys work with insurers to maximize the insurance benefits you’ve already paid your hard-earned money for. Insurance companies operate as “for-profit” organizations and their representatives nearly always seek to minimize the actual monies paid out to their clients. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience and work hard every day to seek the maximize automobile insurer payouts to clients like you. Whether your road-traffic accident was caused by a rear-end collision, behind-the-wheel cell phone usage, a driver choosing to get behind the wheel of a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, reckless driving, a failure to observe established driving rules, or was the result of a too-tired driver attempting to drive, it’s very important that you arrange a consultation with an experienced traffic-accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. Our attorneys will aggressively investigate and sort through the available evidence to determine often overlooked causative factors behind your road-traffic accident. Our comprehensive approach to traffic accident investigations may include: Examining the actual scene of the accident Analyzing accident related witness and accident reports Interviewing witnesses Negotiating directly with insurance companies Preparing and filing any necessary lawsuits Preparing any necessary mediation agreements Our car accident lawyers offer free case evaluations, with no obligation, call 800-538-4878 without delay. Our aim is to fight for your rights and those injured due to the negligence or fault of another. Our injury law team is standing by for your call, 24/7.

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Citrus County Road Accident Statistics for 2018

Category: Car Accidents |

Information on Citrus County Road Accidents in 2018 In the first five months of 2018, Citrus County, Florida has seen an increase in total road accidents over the first five months of 2017. There have been a total of 757 crashes since the new year, an increase of 21 crashes over the same period in 2017. According to the Citrus County Chronicle’s January 20, 2018 article titled, “Crash Statistics on the Rise” this trend is not new. In fact, this alarming progression has continued for the past five years, each year representing a gradual increase in the number of accidents, which, in many cases, are fatal. From 2012 to 2017, there were 147 fatalities due to traffic accidents in Citrus County. In 2018, there have already been twelve fatalities on those same roads. In addition to the loss of life, non-fatality injury and property damage is also a growing concern due to the increase in crashes for both residents of Citrus County and the visitors to the area. Within Citrus County, 48 percent of all crashes involved non-fatal injury, and 50 percent of all crashes reported property damage. Throughout most years, the distribution of injury, property damage, and fatality crashes have remained fairly consistent. Accidents in Citrus County follow certain patterns. Two of the most notable are that the majority of crashes occur during daylight hours, in clear to fair weather conditions. The increase in crashes can be attributed to a number of different factors. Increased population, increased tourism, distractions while driving, and seasonal residency fluctuations can all contribute to the problems. The United States Census Bureau estimates a population increase in Citrus County of 3.1 percent between 2010 and 2017. Additionally, the number of residents increases over the winter months, peaking from November through March, according to studies conducted by University of Florida researcher Janet Galvez in her report titled, “The Florida Elusive Snowbird.” Unsurprisingly, every year there is an increase in crashes during the winter months. This could simply be attributed to the increased population at those times of the year, or it could also point to the age of the driver causing the crash, which also remains consistent across years. From 2011 through 2018, the percentage of drivers over the age of 65 who cause crashes averages around 20 percent. This is larger than any other age demographic. Through the years, drivers in every other age group only represent between three and nine percent of the total crashes. Seniors over the age of 65 also make up approximately 36 percent of the population of Citrus County. However, people between 18 and 65 account for only 45.5 percent of the population but have accounted for just over 68 percent of the crashes so far in 2018. Days of the week seem to have no bearing on crashes, with each day of the week representing 12 to 17 percent of the reported crashes. Other years also report similar distributions, with a slightly lower likelihood of a crash occurring on a Sunday, and a slightly higher likelihood of a crash occurring on a Friday as the only noticeable trends based on the day of the week. According to the Chronicle article, local law enforcement notes that an increase in population is not likely the only contributing factor in the increase in crashes. Citrus County Sheriff’s Office’s Captain Dave Vincent says he notices that people are more distracted drivers. The increase of smart devices in cars has changed the way people pay attention to the road, in his view. He notes that it’s very difficult to curb the use of smartphones while driving, because currently, texting a driving is only a secondary offense in Florida, meaning it cannot be the primary reason behind a traffic stop. Vincent also notes that it is very difficult to prove that texting and driving is the cause of the problems they have been facing. Florida Highway Patrol Sergeant Steve Gaskins also notes that there has been an increase in the state’s population, which leads to more people driving through Citrus County, even if they are not living there or visiting. Additionally, Citrus County has seen an increase in its tourism industry, bringing people into the county that may not have visited previously. Citrus County has attempted to face these challenges with forward-thinking campaigns such as, “Just Drive, Citrus!” which has been championed by Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast. The campaign aims to get drivers to stop all extracurricular activities in their cars, and simply focus on the task of driving without distractions. They even launched a social media campaign using #JustDriveCitrus and promoting safety information for motorists on multiple social media platforms. The effort also includes local message boards along the roads carrying similar messages. Crashes continue to increase in Citrus County, but with some hard work and dedication, perhaps the trend can be reversed. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, our car accident lawyers have served injury victims in Citrus County throughout Florida for more than 30 years. We have primary offices located in Tampa and Clearwater, as well as satellite offices located throughout the region. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, we may be able to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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Updated Manatee County Road Accident Stats

Category: Car Accidents |

Manatee County is Florida’s 15th largest county with a population of 385, 571 as of November 2017 according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Program.  PEP indicates a growth rate for Manatee County of 2.66 percent between the years of 2015 and 2017. Numbers are updated every ten years. Within that span, estimates are determined and documented, thus the coinage PEP.  As per figures from the state Census bureau, the number of residents rose exponentially between 2010 and 2016. Then, in 2017 there was a decrease from 2016 of 10008 residents or .78 percent. Focusing on years 2015 to 2017 along with other variables, in particular the implementation of red light cameras, the relation between population and occurrences of road accidents may be considered.  How Much Bearing Do Variations in Population Have on Road Accidents?  The Manatee County population estimate for 2015 was 363,059 residents. For that year, the total vehicle crash figure was 5,722 with 56 total fatalities and 3,901 total injuries, as detailed in Florida’s Integrated Report Exchange System under the aegis of the Florida Department of Highway and Safety Motor Vehicles.  FIRES Crash Breakdown for 2015 ¬ *Crash Total: 5,722 ¬ *Involving Injuries: 2,573 with a Total of 3,901 Injuries ¬ *With Traffic Fatalities: 53 and a Total of 56 Fatalities ¬ *Involving Commercial Vehicles: 486 and 508 Actual Commercial Vehicles ¬ *Crashes Resulting in Property Damage: 3,096 ¬ *Involving Pedestrians: 150 with 19 Pedestrian Fatalities ¬ *Involving Bicycles: 127 with 8 Fatalities FIRES Crash Breakdown for 2016, Population per PET: 375, 563 ¬ *Crash Total: 6,208 ¬ *Involving Injuries: 2,820 with a Total of 4,445 Injuries ¬ *With Traffic Fatalities: 68 and a Total of 71 Fatalities ¬ *Involving Commercial Vehicles: 530 and 559 Actual Commercial Vehicles ¬ *Crashes Resulting in Property Damage: 3,320 ¬ *Involving Pedestrians: 159 with 12 Pedestrian Fatalities ¬ *Involving Bicycles: 130 with 2 Bicycle Fatalities FIRES Crash Breakdown for 2017, Population per PET: 385,571 ¬ *Crash Total: 5,971 ¬ *Involving Injuries: 2,778 with a Total of 4,612 ¬ *With Traffic Fatalities: 49 and a Total of 53 Fatalities ¬ *Involving Commercial Vehicles: 561and 603 Actual Commercial Vehicles ¬ *Crashes Resulting in Property Damage: 3,144 ¬ *Involving Pedestrians: 147 with 11 Pedestrian Fatalities ¬ *Involving Bicycles: 111 with 2 Bicycle Fatalities What Impact Did the Implementation of Red Light Cameras (RLC) Make on Road Accidents? An abstract account of the usage and function of traffic infraction detectors, otherwise known as red light cameras, must be presented each fiscal year by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles as called for by Section 316.0083(4) (b) of state statutes. In order to comply, DHSMV created online surveys to garner the pertinent information from each county and municipality as no dedicated statewide supervision for the RLC program exists. Using a database layout, the department could effectively submit the precise number of cameras in operation and their physical placements from the authorized local designees.  The Building and Development Services Division of the Manatee County Government oversees that county’s RLC program. As the jurisdiction’s official survey respondent, the division documented the presence of eight operational RLCs at the start of the reporting period July 1, 2015 with six intersections involved. At the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 2016, the division cited seven intersections relative to nine functioning detectors.  It should be noted that only those state jurisdictions that put RLCs into use between January 2013 and April 2016 were included in this study’s figures.  Other significant factors that affected end totals include the exclusion of non-roadway crash data such as parking lots. In addition, the time frames used by DHSMV for evaluation were based on the specific operating properties relative to the individual intersections. The department further acknowledges that latitudes and longitudes were not represented for each intersection.  Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Crash Implications Relative to RLC Placement Crashes: ¬ *Before RLC Placement: 74  ¬ *After RLC Placement: 64 Red Light Running: ¬ *Before RLC Placement: 2 ¬ *After RLC Placement: 3 Rear-end Collision: ¬ *Before RLC Placement: 56 ¬ After RLC Placement: 52 Angle: ¬ *Before RLC Placement: 18 ¬ *After RLC Placement: 12 For the reporting period of July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017 the authorized respondent department for Manatee County documented nine RCLs involving nine intersections at the period’s start and ten RCLs involving ten intersections at its end. Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Crash Implications Relative to RLC Placement Crashes: ¬ *Before RLC Placement: 168 ¬ *After RLC Placement: 132 Red Light Running: ¬ *Before RLC Placement: 6 ¬ *After RLC Placement: 4 Rear-end Collisions: ¬ *Before RLC Placement: 120 ¬ *After RLC Placement: 96 Angle: ¬ *Before RLC Placement: 48 ¬ *After RLC Placement: 36 The injury law team of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk has been fighting for the rights of injury victims in Tampa, Clearwater and the surrounding area for more than 30 years. If you or a loved one has been seriously hurt, don’t let the myths surrounding personal injury claims stand in your way. Call us today for free consultation at 1-800-538-4878.

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Traffic Accidents Are on the Rise in Sarasota County

Category: Car Accidents |

The good news is fatal traffic crashes are down in Sarasota County, Florida, compared to two and three years ago. The bad news is Sarasota car accidents in general are still on the rise. The data According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Sarasota County’s fatal traffic crash numbers from 2014 forward are as follows: 2014: 31 crashes with fatalities 2015: 54 crashes with fatalities 2016: 63 crashes with fatalities 2017: 41 crashes with fatalities 2018: 12 crashes with fatalities (as of May 3) According to Florida’s Integrated Report Exchange System (FIRE), the year 2018 could continue this downward trend starting in 2016. Bicycle fatalities and pedestrian fatalities are also down, with bicycle fatalities showing the largest drop since 2014. There were four bicycle fatalities in 2014, yet only two in 2017 and one to date, this year.)  The total number of crashes, however, is on the rise, and the number to date in 2018 shows no sign of reversing the trend: 2014: 5,478 total crashes 2015: 5,887 total crashes 2016: 6,571 total crashes 2017: 6,623 total crashes 2018: 2,334 total crashes (to date Possible causes Texting while driving Texting while driving may account for these increases, at least in part. A recent article from the South Florida Sun Sentinel found that, while total traffic crashes increased 11 percent from 2013 to 2016, crashes from careless driving incidents increased by four times that rate: Failing to maintain one’s lane, up 50 percent Failure to stop at stop sign, up 48 percent Sideswiping vehicle, same direction of travel, up 40 percent Improper passing, up 47 percent Ignoring road signs or markings, up 34 percent Smart phone use may be under reported in such incidents. Police typically do not note it in reports unless someone dies in the crash. In addition, drivers rarely confess texting while driving to police officers. Law enforcement officers anecdotally reported seeing more people using smart phones while driving. Florida law regarding texting while driving is among the most lenient in the nation. Texting while driving in Florida is a secondary offense: an officer cannot stop a motorist for texting; he or she must see some other primary offense first to make the stop. While the Florida Legislature is considering a bill to make texting while driving a primary offense, critics say it does not do enough. First offenses will still be non-moving violations garnering only a $30.00 fine, and police will still need to obtain a search warrant to search the phone for evidence of texting while driving. The new law’s penalties will remain light when compared to a state such as Oregon, which recently increased its first-time penalties to $1,000 if no crash occurred and $2,500 if a crash occurred. Id.  More drivers An older article from the Palm Beach Post suggests that more drivers on the road may be the cause. The increase in drivers is linked to economic recovery from the “Great Recession.”  The article also links the increase in crashes to the drop in gasoline prices in recent years. Citing statistics from the National Safety Council, the article notes that, as of the third quarter 2016, Florida was hit hardest with traffic fatalities, with “an estimated 43 percent increase in fatalities since the first half of 2014. Comparing FIRE’s “Total Traffic Fatalities” for Sarasota County from 2014 and 2016 (31 and 68, respectively) the percentage increase is 119 percent. Other possible causes Another recent article noted as other possible causes is the increase in drivers, poor weather conditions, driving while distracted, and Florida’s high concentration of drivers over the age of 65, remarking that “the number of drivers over 65 in car accidents was almost double that of drivers between the ages of 15-19.” An independent review of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ 2016 Annual Report suggests that conclusion may be skewed by the fact that “the amount of drivers over 65” covers a much larger age range than “ages . . . 15-19”. It is worth noting however that, for the year 2016, and comparing the 65-69 age bracket to the 15-17 bracket, one notes a 48 percent increase in non-injury accidents and a 180 percent increase in accidents resulting in an incapacitating injury.  We are available to take your call 24/7, dial 800-538-4878 to speak with a member of our dedicated injury law team.

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An In Depth Look at the Causes of Car Accidents Part 2

Category: Car Accidents |

Part two of our updated cause of car accidents deals with more of the causes that have been listed as contributors to car accidents in general. Part one of this series can be accessed here: An In-Depth Look at the Causes of Car Accidents Part 1 Teen Drivers Teenage drivers have a higher accident rate than adults with a risk of a crash that is higher among 16 to 19-year-olds than any other age group. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, distraction is a factor in 60% of moderate to severe accidents involving teenagers. The most common distractions for teens include:    Interacting with a passenger: 15% of accidents Using a cell phone: 12% Looking at something in the car: 10% Looking at something outside of the car: 9% Singing or dancing to music: 8% Grooming, such as putting on makeup: 6% Reaching for an item: 6% Weather Weather can reduce pavement friction, traction, visibility, and maneuverability on the road. Rain, high winds, fog, and flooding can all play a role in road conditions and driver safety. On average, the Federal Highway Administration reports 1.2 million crashes every year which are related to weather. The majority of weather-related accidents occur on wet pavement (76%) and during rain (46%). Every year, about 7,000 people are killed in accidents involving weather hazards, but rain causes more fatalities than snow in 39 of 50 states.  The reason rain is more hazardous than snow is that rain makes roads slick, especially when it hasn’t rained recently due to oil residue build-up on the road. Rain can also impair visibility.  Night Driving According to the National Safety Council, the risk of a fatal car accident is three times higher at night than during the day. There are many reasons for this. Reduced visibility can make it harder to see hazards at night, including pedestrians, animals, and potholes. The dark can also compromise color recognition, depth perception, and peripheral vision. The glare of oncoming headlights can even be blinding. Visibility is limited to 250 feet with normal headlights and about 500 feet with high beams. This means less time to react to anything on the road.  The rates of driving without a seatbelt, speeding, and drunk driving also increase at night and directly contribute to fatalities. Across the country, 49% of all fatal accidents happen at night. About two-thirds of people killed in accidents at night were not wearing seatbelts compared to less than half during the day.  Weekends are also a more deadly time to drive. While mid-week days have an average of 96 to 100 deaths per day, an average of 143 people die per day on Saturday and Sunday.  Running Red Lights There are many ways for an accident to occur, but many occur at intersections. More people are hurt in accidents involving a driver running a red light than any other type of accident. Drivers who run red lights cause over 800 deaths per year and more than 200,000 injuries across the country. More than half of the people killed in these accidents are pedestrians and occupants of other vehicles — not the driver running the red lights, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.  Researchers have found that the use of red light cameras that photograph and mail tickets to drivers who run red lights can reduce these accidents. These programs can reduce red light running by around 40%.  Animals It may be surprising, but animal crossings cause thousands of accidents every year. Collisions with deer, elk, and moose are responsible for the greatest amount of deaths, injuries, and property damage. The chances of striking a large animal on the road is highest between October and December which is deer mating season.  According to State Farm, the average cost for a deer-vehicle collision is almost $4,000. Florida is considered a low-risk state with 1 out of 903 drivers making a claim for a deer collision, but neighboring Georgia is high-risk with 1 out of every 126 drivers reporting an accident. We urge you to stay safe on the roads at all times, and if you or a loved one has been injured as a result of the negligence or fault of another in a road traffic accident please call our injury law team for a free case evaluation. We are available to take your call 24/7, dial 800-538-4878 to speak with a member of our dedicated injury law team.

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An In Depth Look at the Causes of Car Accidents Part 1

Category: Car Accidents |

Our car accident attorneys regularly research the causes of car accidents as well as the latest, and somewhat unfortunate, statistics related to the causes of car accidents. In this two-part series we hope to educate our readers on what are the most common causes of car accidents. According to the National Safety Council, an estimated 40,000 people were killed in car accidents in 2016, making it the deadliest year on U.S. roads in 50 years. Along with the thousands killed in crashes, an estimated 4.6 million per year are seriously injured with property damage that tops $430 billion per year. The vast majority of traffic accidents are caused by human error, which makes them completely preventable. The following are the most common causes of car crashes in the United States.  Distracted Driving Distracted driving refers to any activity that distracts the driver from the road, including eating, talking to passengers, using a navigation system, or talking or texting on a phone. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 391,000 injuries and 3,477 deaths in 2015 alone were caused by distracted drivers.  Texting and driving in particular is on the rise. According to a poll by AAA, 94% of teenage drivers acknowledge the danger but 35% admit texting while driving. 21% of teen drivers involved in a fatal car accident were using their cell phone at the time of the accident.  Driving Under the Influence Driving under the influence is a common cause of car accidents and it accounts for 29% of all traffic-related deaths, according to the CDC. Every year, more than 1 million drivers are arrested for driving under the influence of narcotics or alcohol. Drunk drivers are responsible for 1 death every 51 minutes in the U.S. In Florida alone, almost 8,500 people are killed in accidents involving drunk drivers per year with a rate of death higher than the national average. 2.1% of Florida drivers report driving after drinking too much alcohol. Speeding Speeding is a contributing factor in about 30% of all fatal car accidents with more than 10,000 deaths each year attributed to speeding. In fatal accidents, almost half of speeding drivers were not wearing a seatbelt compared to 24% of non-speeding drivers.  Alcohol and speeding often go hand-in-hand. About 42% of speeding drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher compared to 16% for non-speeding drivers. For drivers between 21 and 24 who were involved in a fatal car accident, 50% who were speeding were intoxicated.  If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to the fault of another contact our injury law team for a free case evaluation with no obligation whatsoever. Our team is available 24/7, call 800-538-4878 today.  

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Four Dangerous Myths about Personal Injury Claims that You Shouldn’t Believe

Category: Car Accidents |

Being involved in a serious accident is an extremely unsettling, stressful experience that can leave injury victims at a loss when it comes to deciding what to do next. It doesn’t help that there are very misleading myths in our culture about personal injury claims that lead to hesitation when it comes to reaching out for help. That’s one of the reasons that we believe that it’s so important that victims in our area speak to us when they’ve been hurt. If you’ve been hurt due to somebody else’s mistakes, don’t let stigmas and myths like these keep you from standing up for your rights. We’ve represented over 20,000 injury victims since we opened our doors 30 years ago, and our team can help you understand your options with a free consultation. Myth 1: “I will need to go to court for compensation if I pursue an injury claim.” Many injury victims assume that they’ll need to go to court if a lawyer is involved in their claim. In reality, most personal injury claims do not require litigation, in part because negligent parties usually prefer to settle claims quickly and quietly rather than facing the harsher costs and penalties associated with a court case. Myth 2: “If I decide to pursue a claim, I have plenty of time to speak with a personal injury attorney.” It’s important not to put off consulting with an injury lawyer near you after you have been hurt in an accident. There are statutes of limitations on personal injury claims that limit how much time you have to pursue compensation. Speaking to an attorney as soon as possible also may make it easier to gather and retain evidence and other information pertinent to your case. Myth 3: “I don’t need to speak with an injury lawyer because I wasn’t that badly hurt.” It is common for some accident victims to postpone filing an injury claim when they only experience a few bumps and bruises immediately after an accident. Unfortunately, some of the most serious internal injuries take time to present themselves and result in significant hardships down the road. If you’ve been in an accident, you may also deserve compensation for other losses such as property damage, lost wages, or pain and suffering. Myth 4: “There is something frivolous about filing a personal injury claim after an accident.” There is a stigma against personal injury lawsuits that is sometimes reflected in our culture that makes some victims hesitate to stand up for their rights. The truth is that the vast majority of injury claims are filed by people who have been seriously hurt by someone else’s negligence. Don’t let unfair and incorrect messages from the media keep you from coming forward. The injury law team of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk has been fighting for the rights of injury victims in Tampa, Clearwater and the surrounding area for more than 30 years. If you or a loved one has been seriously hurt, don’t let the myths surrounding personal injury claims stand in your way. Call us today for free consultation at 1-800-538-4878.

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Tire Safety

Category: Car Accidents |

Whether you’re about to embark on an epic road trip or just do a weekly run to the grocery store, tire safety is imperative to your well-being. Tires are an often-overlooked part of the vehicle, and also often aren’t inspected or maintained as well as they should be. A flat tire can cause huge hassle on the side of the road; a tire blowout can cause life-threatening car accidents. Ensuring your vehicle is in a safe condition to operate in is essential to road safety. The accident attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk are there for you if you have been injured due to the neglect or fault of another – call 800-538-4878 for a free case evaluation today. There are several aspects of tires that should be inspected and maintained, especially before long road trips. This step-by-step guide makes tire inspection less overwhelming. Your tires are your first defense on the roadway, and they should be treated as such. 1. Note your tire’s type and size. Different vehicles require different sizes and types of tires. You should familiarize yourself with the requirements of your make and model. Be sure that the tires you have adhere to the specifications of your vehicle. You should also double check that your spare tire is the correct size and type for your vehicle model. To find the correct tire type, look at the manufacturer specifications in the owner’s manual of your vehicle. 2. Check your tire pressure. When you check your tire pressure, always do so when the tires are cold. This means the vehicle should have been parked for at least an hour. When you drive the car, the tires warm up, which will give you an inaccurate pressure reading. Checking your tire pressure is essential because loss of air pressure isn’t always visible. A tire can lose up to fifty percent of the air pressure without visually appearing flat. If your tires are under-inflated, they can overheat, which poses serious dangers for vehicle passengers. The owner’s manual for your vehicle should tell you your ideal tire pressure. Make sure you check the owner’s manual rather than the tire sidewall. The sidewall tells you the maximum pressure for a tire, not the ideal pressure for your vehicle. Tire pressure should be checked with a gauge once monthly. 3. Test your tread. Tires are designed with grooves in the tread which push water from underneath the tire and allow maximum traction. When the tread on your tires becomes worn, your grip on the road lessens in the same way worn sneakers lose traction when you walk. Driving with inadequate tread is unsafe because it increases the chances of hydroplaning, skidding, and serious car accidents. Tires even have legal depths specified for their treads. They’re manufactured with wear indicators. When your tire’s traction is so worn down that it’s level with the wear indicator, the tire needs replacing. If you’re not sure about your treadwear indicators, you can also do a penny test. Turn a penny upside down and press it into your tire’s tread. If all of Abraham Lincoln’s head is still visible, your tires need replacing. 4. Rotate and align your tires. Your owner’s manual will have specific requirements for tire rotation. The general rule of thumb is to rotate your tires once for every five thousand miles driven. By rotating your tires, you allow the tread to wear evenly, which saves you time and energy by prolonging your tire’s lifespan. When rotating the tires, you should consult the owner’s manual for your vehicle’s specific rotation pattern. 5. Check for damage. Every week, you should do a quick check for tire damage. Take a look at the following areas: Check the overall surface for cracks, cuts, or bulges Inspect your tire sidewalls along the treads Use a flashlight to look behind the tire as well as in front of it 6. Pay attention to your vehicle’s capacity. Weight limits and recommended weights exist for a reason. If you overload your vehicle, you put undue amounts of strain and pressure on the tires. This causes them to wear more quickly and increases your chances of a blowout. When you’re loading your vehicle, keep in mind that passenger weight counts toward the overall recommended weight. If you’re going on a road trip and your luggage overloads the vehicle’s weight limit, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Mail some of your items to your destination or leave them behind rather than risking your safety in an overloaded vehicle. 7. Check the spare tire. Every month, you should take a look at your spare tire. In addition to ensuring it’s the right size and type of tire, you need to be sure it is in good quality condition. Tires can lose their air pressure even when they aren’t being used, so check the air pressure of your spare when you check the air pressure of your regular tires. 8. Pay attention to your tire age. After a certain point, it doesn’t matter how well the tire has been maintained. If your tires are more than six years old, you should replace them. Old tires are not safe to drive with regardless of whether they pass tread and pressure tests. These eight aspects of tire safety are easy to maintain and inspect regardless of your proficiency with motor vehicles. Just be sure to keep your owner’s manual on hand, since every vehicle has different safety specifications regarding its tires. The following is an easy timeline of tire maintenance: Weekly: Check your tires for damage Use a flashlight to check behind the tires for damage Glance at the tread walls to be sure they are not torn Monthly: Use a pressure gauge to check your tire’s air pressure Check the spare tire’s air pressure Do the “penny test” on your tread Every 5,000 miles: Rotate your tires Replace tires if the tread is worn down Every six years: Replace your full tire set if it has...

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