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Motorcyclist Injured in Indian Rocks Beach

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Indian Rocks Beach, FL (11/02/2019) –  A man from Seminole received severe injuries after his motorcycle threw him early Saturday morning. The crash happened on the Indian Rocks Beach Causeway Bridge around 3:56 am. Logan G. Collins, 23, drove his 2017 Harley Davidson east on the bridge. Deputies say he hit the median guardrail, and the motorcycle threw him off. He wore a helmet. Collins called 911 and EMTs transported him to the hospital. Police stated that speed and impairment are factors in the crash.  Our hearts go out to all of those impacted by this accident. Motorcycle crashes like this one occur far too often in Florida. It’s essential that motorcycle accidents be thoroughly investigated so that the cause of the collision can be understood, and the responsible party can be identified and, if warranted, held accountable.  Abrahamson & Uiterwyk is committed to advocating for individuals and families impacted by serious and even fatal accidents, including motorcycle accidents. Here on our accident news blog, we report on stories that involve personal injuries because these are the stories we tell on behalf of our clients every day. If you or a loved one has been impacted by a personal injury accident, we invite you to contact our firm anytime to discuss your case with an experienced attorney.  Note: If you are a family member of someone impacted by this accident and would like us to remove their name from this story simply click here . Sources: TBReporter, Tampa Bay Times

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Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries

Category: Uncategorized |

Spinal cord injuries can result from a number of different causes. They are frequently the result of auto accidents but can also be the result of a serious fall. If you’ve experienced a spinal cord injury, then it is likely that your life has been completely altered. Chances are you are feeling the effects of your injury both emotionally and physically. Spinal cord injuries can be devastating, but advances in scientific research may mean better treatment for these injuries in the future. Types of Spinal Cord Injuries A spinal cord injury is damage to any part of the spinal cord or the nerves at the end of the spinal canal. Spinal cord injuries often result in changes to a person’s strength, sensation, and other bodily functions below the site of the injury. The severity of the injury is based on its completeness. Complete Injuries—a complete spinal cord injury results in a loss of all feeling and ability to control movement below the site of the injury Incomplete Injuries—with an incomplete spinal cord injury, a person may have some sensory or motor function below the site of the injury. There are varying degrees of incompleteness. Paralysis from a spinal cord injury may be referred to as: Tetraplegia—also known as quadriplegia; it occurs when the hands, arms, trunk, and legs are all affected by the injury Paraplegia—occurs when part of the trunk and the legs are affected by the injury Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury It is important to be aware of the symptoms of a spinal cord injury. They include: Loss of movement Loss or altered sensation that includes the ability to feel heat, cold, and touch Loss of bladder or bowel control Spasms Exaggerated reflexes Pain or an intense stinging sensation Difficulty breathing or coughing Back pain or pressure If you experience any of these symptoms after an accident, you may have a spinal cord injury and should seek medical attention immediately. A spinal cord injury may not always be obvious, and it is important that the injury is treated as soon as possible to prevent it from becoming more severe. Contact a Tampa Bay Personal Injury Attorney If you sustained a spinal cord injury as the result of someone’s negligence, you might want to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have over 30 years of experience helping the injured. Contact us onlineor call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free, no-obligation consultation today.

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Backover Accidents

Category: Uncategorized |

Every year thousands of people are injured in backover accidents. A backover accident can cause severe injuries. A backover accident occurs when a bicyclist or pedestrian is struck by a car that is going in reverse. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 284 people were killed in backover accidents in 2015. Thousands more were injured. SUVs and large pickup trucks are more frequently involved in backover accidents because they have larger blind spots making it difficult for a driver to see anything that is close behind them. As of May 2018, all new vehicles are required to be equipped with backup cameras. However, many vehicles are still on the road without these cameras, and some drivers haven’t yet been conditioned to pay attention to the cameras. Causes of Backover Accidents Whether backing out of a parking space or exiting a driveway, drivers have very limited visibility. Pedestrians or bicyclists that are in a driver’s blind spot are in great danger. Some common causes of backover accidents include: Driver failing to turn around and check behind them before reversing Driver failing to watch the backup camera Broken reverse lights on the vehicle resulting in a pedestrian or bicyclist not knowing that a vehicle is about to back up Pedal confusion—when a driver hits the gas instead of the brake Obstructed side view caused by landscaping and other obstacles Children are frequently the victims of backover accidents because their smaller size makes them more difficult to see when a driver is backing up. Drivers should make sure the area around them is clear before driving in reverse. Preventing Backover Accidents  There are some important steps that people should take that can save lives: Look behind the vehicle before getting in Be sure to back up as slowly and carefully as possible Teach children not to stand or play behind vehicles Make sure children are in full view Be aware of your vehicle’s blind spot Ensure the landscaping around your driveway is adequately trimmed back so that your vision is not obstructed Contact an Experienced Tampa Bay Attorney If you or your child has been injured in a backover accident, you may want an experienced attorney on your side. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have been helping injured Floridians 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 Experience Matters When Choosing an Attorney

Category: Uncategorized |

There are hundreds of personal injury attorneys throughout the Tampa Bay area, so if you’ve been injured in an accident, how do you know which attorney is the right one for you? The most important thing you should look for in a personal injury attorney is their experience in handling accident cases. Evaluating the Case An experienced personal injury attorney has seen hundreds, maybe even thousands, of cases and knows what they’re worth. An attorney with experience can give you a realistic view of what to expect as the case moves forward. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have helped over 20,000 clients over the past 30 years and have the necessary experience to accurately evaluate a case. Putting Together a Case There are a number of moving parts in a personal injury case, and an experienced attorney will know how to move a claim forward. Sometimes issues of who is liable for an accident can derail a case, but an experienced personal injury attorney will know how to look at the evidence and determine the parties who may be responsible for your injuries. In addition, establishing pain and suffering can be difficult, but an attorney with the right experience will know exactly what is needed to do so. Experience Dealing With the Insurance Company A personal injury attorney with extensive experience knows the right way to negotiate with the insurance company because they do it every day. Insurance companies are not in the business of paying out claims, and they are not on your side. They often have experienced adjusters and attorneys working for them to maximize profits and deny claims. If you have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side, you level the playing field. Your attorney can help put together the best case and help you pursue the compensation you deserve. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience working with insurance companies and the knowledge to pursue the compensation you deserve. Going to Trial While most personal injury cases will never see a courtroom, it is essential to have an experienced attorney who can handle a case if it goes to trial. An experienced personal injury attorney will present evidence needed to seek full compensation for your injuries. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have attorneys with extensive experience in the courtroom. Contact an Experienced Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in an accident, you should have an experienced accident attorney evaluate your case. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have helped over 20,000 clients over the past 30 years. We have the experience you need. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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What to do if Your Child has Been Injured in a Car Accident

Category: Child Injury |

The thought that your child could be involved in a car accident is frightening. You never want to consider the possibility that your child could be injured. However, it happens far too often. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among children in the United States. There are important things you should consider doing if your child has been in a car accident. Seek Medical Help One of the most important things you can do for your child after an accident is to make sure they are examined by a doctor. Sometimes younger children aren’t able to express clearly that they are injured in some way or they may not appear injured at first glance. Let a doctor make the determination about whether your child is injured. Prompt medical treatment is not only good for the health of your child, but it can also help build your case for compensation. Because of their size and immaturity, children can sustain even more serious injuries than an adult would in a car accident. Head injuries are the most common trauma sustained by children in an accident. In some cases, seatbelt or car seat injuries can occur. Children are also more prone to fractures as the result of an accident. Seek Legal Help If your child has been injured, you may want to consider seeking legal help to pursue compensation for any damages they’ve sustained. Your child has the same legal rights that an adult would have in pursuing a car accident claim. Under the law, a parent can pursue a claim on behalf of their child. Parents are also entitled to compensation for the money they have paid for the child’s medical bills.  Even if you were not the driver of the car involved in the accident, your car insurance will still cover your child. In addition, if your child was seriously injured, you may be able to pursue a claim against a negligent driver. It is important to seek legal help as soon as possible after an accident. Especially in accidents where the child darted into traffic or was the pedestrian. Younger children may not be able to recall what happened during an accident, so it is important to track down witnesses that can describe what happened. Give the attorney time to investigate the accident. Contact a Florida Accident Attorney If your child has been injured in a car accident, you may want to have an experienced personal injury attorney evaluate your case. 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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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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Will My Rates Go Up if I Make a Claim on My Own Insurance?

Category: Personal Injury |

When you’ve been involved in a car accident, you want to focus on getting medical care for your injuries and getting your car repaired. The last thing you want to think about is your insurance rate. But many accident victims are concerned about whether making a claim on their own insurance will increase their rates. The answer is: it depends. Florida Law Florida law prohibits insurers from increasing your insurance rates if it is determined that you were not substantially at fault for the accident. In Florida, you are required to have at least $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP). Your PIP benefits are available to cover some of your medical bills and lost wages. If you make a claim against your PIP coverage, then the insurance company should not raise your rates.  Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage If you make a claim on your uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage, it will stand to reason that your rates would not increase because the accident was not your fault. Depending on the circumstances, your rates may not increase. However, if you make multiple UM claims over a period of time, the insurance company may use that information as a factor in determining your rates. Another Driver is At-Fault If the other driver is at fault for an accident, then your insurance company should be able to recoup any money they paid you from the other driver’s insurance company. This makes it less likely that you will see a rate increase. However, if you are involved in multiple car accidents, the insurance company could see you as a risk and raise the rates on your insurance. When You are at Fault If it is found that you are at fault for an accident, then it is very likely that your insurance rates will increase. The insurance company will find that you are a risky driver to insure. Some insurance companies offer accident forgiveness in their policies, which means that your first accident may not lead to an increase in your rates, but subsequent accidents could. Every Situation is Different Whether your insurance rates will increase after an accident will depend entirely on the practices of your insurance company and the specific facts of a claim.  Contact a Trusted Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in an accident and you have questions about insurance, you may want to consult with an experienced and trusted personal injury attorney near you. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have over 30 years of experience helping Floridians with insurance claims. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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Report Shows Pedestrian Deaths at Highest Level in Decades

Category: Pedestrian Accidents |

Walking to work, taking your dog for a walk, or just taking a leisurely stroll have all become very risky activities. A report by the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) shows that the rate of pedestrian deaths is the highest it’s been in 28 years. The report found that in 2018, 6,227 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes. This is a 4% increase in 2017 figures and the highest rate since 1990. The GHSA found that there were a number of different factors that may be contributing to the mortality rate. More SUVs and Trucks on the Road According to GHSA, the number of SUVs involved in pedestrian deaths has increased by 50% since 2013. By comparison, the rate of passenger vehicles involved in fatalities only increased by 30%. There are more SUVs and trucks on the road now. The size and weight of these vehicles make it increasingly likely that a pedestrian will die in an accident or suffer severe injuries. Distracted Driving The GHSA also points to increased use of smartphones and other technology that may be leading to more distracted drivers on the road. This is especially dangerous for pedestrians who are not as visible as vehicles are on the road. Impaired Drivers and Pedestrians The study found that in about half of the crashes involving pedestrians, either the driver or the pedestrian was under the influence of alcohol. Driving, and even walking, while impaired by alcohol is extremely dangerous and can lead to risky behavior. Population Growth More people means more pedestrians. In addition, over the last decade, more people have decided to walk places rather than take transportation. A survey cited in the study found a 4% increase in the number of people who walk to work since 2007.   Where Does Florida Stand? Florida is known to be one of the most dangerous states for pedestrians. According to the study, Florida was one of 5 states (including Arizona, California, Georgia, and Texas) that accounted for close to half of the pedestrian fatalities in 2018. Contact an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Attorney If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may want an experienced pedestrian accident attorney on your side. The lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 30 years of experience helping injured Floridians. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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The Other Driver Doesn’t Want to Go Through Insurance. What Should I do?

Category: Accidents |

No one wants their car insurance rates to increase because of an accident. When you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, the other driver may try to tempt you not to file a claim with your insurance. They may offer to pay you a settlement themselves and avoid the “hassle” of making a claim. Remember that the other driver is doing this for their own benefit and not to make things right with you. There are important reasons why you should always make an insurance claim if you’ve been involved in a car accident. These reasons include: You Could be Seriously Injured Even if you feel like you weren’t injured in an accident, it is always important to seek medical treatment. You may have serious injuries, such as whiplash, that don’t present themselves right away. Agreeing to accept money from an individual without going through insurance is not advised if you don’t know the extent of your injuries. You could have thousands of dollars in medical bills, and it can take months before you know exactly how much your injury costs. Medical treatment can be very expensive, and it is unlikely that the other driver will be able to fully compensate you for your bills. You Could Miss Work If you’ve been injured in an accident, it is likely that you will miss some amount of work. Missing work could add up to a serious expense. You may be entitled to lost wages, and it is unlikely that an individual offering a settlement will be able to cover your losses. You Could Experience Pain and Suffering Without going through insurance or consulting an attorney, there is no way to know the value of any pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the accident. Pain and suffering is a key component of a personal injury case, and if you’ve been seriously injured, you may deserve compensation for it. It is unlikely that an individual is going to be able to adequately compensate you for your pain and suffering. Contact a Trusted Attorney If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, you may need a trusted personal injury attorney on your side. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 30 years of experience helping car accident victims. Contact us online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 today to schedule your free consultation.

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Ankle Injuries

Category: Personal Injury |

While it is easy to take your ankles for granted, they are an important part of your ability to be mobile. If you suffer an ankle injury it can hamper your ability to go to work or to do daily tasks. Ankle injuries are commonly the result of car accidents or slip and fall accidents. Types of ankle injuries include: Ankle Sprains An ankle sprain is an injury to a ligament that holds the bones and joints of the ankle together. A sprained ankle occurs when ligaments become stretched or torn. This is usually the result of twisting or rolling the ankle beyond its normal range of motion. Ankle sprains are graded based on severity: Grade I:  a mild sprain where the ligaments have been stretched but are usually not torn. There may be swelling and some soreness but no loss of stability. Grade I sprains usually heal in a couple of weeks. Grade II:a moderate, more painful sprain where the ligament is partially torn. There is usually some swelling and bruising throughout the foot and ankle. The ankle may feel loose and unstable. Treatment includes immobilization of the ankle in a brace or splint. Grade II sprains can take up to 8 weeks to fully heal.  Grade III:a severe sprain with gross instability in the joint. It typically results in a complete tear of the ligament. There is sharp and severe pain with significant swelling and bruising. Often the instability makes it difficult to walk, and crutches and a boot are needed. In some cases, surgery may be required and can take up to 6 months for a full recovery. Ankle Strain An ankle strain deals with the muscles and tendons of the ankle, and not the ligaments. An ankle strain occurs when muscles or tendons are stretched or torn. Ankle strains are less common than ankle sprains. Ankle Fractures An ankle fracture is a partial or complete break in the bone. A broken ankle involves the far or distal end of the tibia and/or fibula. Ankle fractures typically occur at the ankle joint. Doctors classify ankle fractures based on the area of the ankle that is broken. Contact a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney If you sustained an ankle injury due to someone’s negligence, it is important to contact a trusted personal injury attorney as soon as possible. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, our attorneys have extensive experience helping the injured. Contact us online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 today to schedule your free consultation.

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Slip and Falls in Apartment Buildings

Category: Slip and Fall |

Most slip and fall accidents in apartment buildings and apartment complexes occur as the result of a landlord’s negligence. Under Florida law, a landlord has a duty to maintain the premises and comply with applicable housing codes. A landlord or property management company who fails to maintain their property and address dangerous conditions that they knew or should have known about may be held liable for any injuries that result.  Common Causes of Apartment Building Slip and Falls Florida slip and fall accidents can occur inside an apartment, but they are most likely to occur in the common areas of an apartment complex. Common causes of apartment building slip and falls include: Cracked pavement on sidewalks and parking lots. Cracked pavement or potholes in any area of an apartment complex can be hazardous. Broken staircases and steps. When handrails and banisters become loose or broken, tenants going upstairs can lose their grip and fall. Steps that are worn, cracked, or loose can also pose a danger. Torn carpet and flooring. Replacing worn carpeting and flooring can be expensive so often landlords fail to do so. Worn or torn carpeting and flooring can become tripping hazards for tenants and their guests. Inadequate lighting. Insufficient lighting of stairways, parking lots, and hallways can lead to slip and falls if a tenant is unable to see a hazard and therefore cannot avoid it. Wet floors. When proper mats are not used and wet surfaces are not kept dry, they can become dangerous conditions. In addition, if a landlord is made aware of a leaky roof or plumbing issues inside apartments and fails to fix them, they can be liable for slip and falls. Pools. Broken pool decks or steps, slippery surfaces, and other dangerous conditions at the pool can cause serious injury. Proving Liability in an Apartment Building Slip and Fall In order to prove that a landlord was responsible for an apartment building slip and fall in Tampa or elsewhere in Florida, it must be established that: There was a dangerous condition The landlord created the dangerous condition, was aware of the dangerous condition, or should have been aware of the condition through the exercise of reasonable diligence The landlord could have repaired the dangerous condition or warned others of the existence of the dangerous condition There was a likelihood that the dangerous condition could cause an injury if left unattended The dangerous condition caused an injury Contact an Experienced Florida Attorney If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident in an apartment building or complex, you should have your case evaluated by an experienced and trusted personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 30 years of experience helping injured Floridians. Contact us onlineor call us at 1-800-538-4878 today to schedule your free consultation.

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What Does it Mean if My X-rays are Negative After an Injury?

Category: Personal Injury |

Were your x-rays negative after an injury? In this post you will learn about the most common diagnoses and what a negative x-ray can mean. When you’ve been involved in an accident, whether it’s a car accident or a slip and fall, it’s very important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Your doctor should run tests to determine whether you’ve been injured. One of the first tests that a doctor will perform is an x-ray. Your x-ray may come back negative and not show injury. However, some injuries don’t appear on x-rays alone. Car accidents especially can lead to hidden damage and injuries that are not always immediately apparent. If you’re still having pain or you believe you’ve been injured, there are other tests that a doctor should run to determine whether you’ve been injured.  Common Diagnostic Tests Generally speaking, a doctor will order an x-ray first to determine if there are any obvious injuries. An x-ray can rule out things like larger broken bones, dislocated joints, or some other internal injuries. There are other tests that should also be performed including: CT Scan (computed tomography scan)—a CT scan produces an x-ray image but can be used to create detailed images of bones, internal organs, and blood vessels. A CT scan creates more detailed images than an x-ray. Sometimes a doctor will order a CT scan with contrast which means that you will drink a dye in order to make the images more pronounced. CT scans are used to show internal bleeding, damage to organs, and smaller broken bones. If you have possible head trauma or trauma to your internal organs, a doctor will likely order a CT scan. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)—an MRI works by using a magnetic field and radio wave pulses to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Patients are usually placed inside an enclosed tube for several minutes while images are taken. MRIs can show injuries that other tests can’t because of the detail of the images. For example, for neck and back injuries an MRI can be used to determine whether you have herniated or bulging discs. Cartilage and muscular tears can also be shown with an MRI. Contact a Trusted Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a car accident or a slip and fall, you should get in touch with an experienced and trusted personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 30 years of experience helping the injured, and they’re here to help you. Contact us online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 today to schedule your free consultation.

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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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Florida Lawmakers to Consider Harsher Texting While Driving Ban

Category: Accidents |

Texting is one of the primary modes of communication these days. People are attached to their cell phone and like to stay connected. But texting while driving can be deadly. In 2016 alone, 3,450 people were killed by distracted drivers. That’s about 9 people per day. Because of the danger, many states across the country have laws in effect that ban texting and driving across the board. Florida technically has a law prohibiting texting while driving but it doesn’t go far enough. The Legislature will now consider a harsher ban. Current Law Texting while driving has been prohibited in Florida since 2013, but it is currently only enforced as a secondary offense. This means that drivers can only be cited for texting if they are pulled over for other traffic infractions such as speeding or making an illegal turn. In other words, you can be driving your car down the highway at 60 mph texting away, and nothing can be done about it. The fine for texting while driving is currently only $20. This doesn’t give drivers much incentive to stop the practice. Senate Bill 76 Senate Bill 76, known as the “Florida Ban on Wireless Devices While Driving Law,” was filed in November. The bill states that “a person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, number, symbols or other characters into a wireless communication device.” The bill would prohibit drivers from texting, talking, or reading data on handheld devices. It would also make talking and texting on a phone while driving a primary offense, meaning police could pull drivers over for that offense alone. A similar bill was proposed last legislative session. It passed the House by a vote of 112-2, but the measure never made it out ofthe Senate. Tougher legislation has been proposed in every legislative session since 2015. Hopefully, 2019 will be the year things finally change. The legislative session begins on March 5th. Contact a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney If you’ve been seriously injured by a distracted driver, you may need a trusted personal injury attorney on your side. The experienced attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk are here to help. Contact us online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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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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Mistakes to Avoid When Dealing With Doctors After an Accident

Category: Accidents |

Pursuing a personal injury claim after an accident can sometimes be confusing. It’s unfamiliar territory for some people and mistakes can be made. The most important thing you can do when it comes to doctors after an accident is to remember that everything you say has the potential to be documented in your medical record. Here are some important mistakes to avoid when dealing with doctors after your accident: Don’t Wait to Seek Medical Treatment After an Accident Even if you don’t think you’ve been seriously injured, it’s still important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. You could have injuries that haven’t appeared yet or are hidden. In addition, in order to make a claim on your auto insurance, you must seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident.   Don’t Miss Medical Appointments When they receive your medical records, insurance companies will look to see if you’ve missed any appointments. When you miss doctor or therapy appointments, it starts to look like you’re not committed to getting better. You open the door for an opposing party to argue that you must not have been that seriously injured or that you don’t care about getting better. Commit to attending all of your scheduled appointments, and if there’s a compelling reason why you must miss one, make sure to reschedule as soon as possible. Stick to the Facts When asked by a doctor about what happened, be careful what you say or write about the accident. Don’t guess or speculate about things like the speed of the other vehicle and don’t embellish. It’s okay to say you don’t know. Insurance companies can call your credibility into question if the facts don’t line up. Be Honest With Your Doctor It is very important to disclose the pre-accident facts about your medical history. Doctors rely on this history to diagnose and treat you. Concealing a prior injury can also hurt your legal case. In addition, it’s important to always be honest with your doctor about your pain and limitations. You may not want to complain, but “toughing it out” can adversely affect your legal claim. If a complaint doesn’t appear in your medical records, then it doesn’t exist to insurance companies. Contact a Trusted Attorney If you’ve been injured in an accident, a trusted and experienced personal injury lawyer in South Florida can help you through the process. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk are here to evaluate your claim for free. Contact us online or 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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Slip and Fall in Nursing Homes

Category: Nursing Home Abuse |

The decision to put a loved one in a nursing home is a tough one. When your loved one is injured in a slip and fall at a nursing home, there can be serious injuries such as fractured hips, fractured arms, and even traumatic brain injury. A fall in a nursing home is one of the most common causes of injuries. Nursing Home Liability Just like any other property or business owner, a nursing home is liable for slip and falls on their property if they have failed to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition. Therefore, a nursing home can be liable for falls caused by conditions such as: Torn carpeting  Slippery floors Poorly lit staircases Uneven surfaces Loose floorboards Debris on the floor However, a nursing home is also a skilled medical facility and can be held responsible for failing to adequately guard and protect residents who are especially prone to falling due to a medical condition. Many residents are admitted to nursing homes for health conditions that can make them prone to falling such as hip injuries, vertigo, fatigue, cognitive difficulties, and other medical issues. When a resident falls in a nursing home, there are a number of different factors that must be taken into consideration.   Nursing homes are required to maintain certain standards in regard to patient safety and care. The reality is that these standards are not always followed and falls can result from nursing home neglect. Some negligent acts by nursing homes that can lead to a fall include: Lack of supervision Overmedication Undermedication Lack of handrails Inappropriate activities Unsecured facilities When an elderly person falls in a nursing home, the resulting complications can be more serious than if a younger person fell. Fractured bones are common in nursing home falls. Therefore, if a resident falls, it is also important that the nursing home facility gets them evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible. Contact a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney The issues involved in a nursing home fall can be complex, so it is important if your loved one has been injured to contact a trusted personal injury attorney. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have over 30 years of experience representing the injured. Consultations are free so contact us online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to schedule an appointment.

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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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Proving Your Pain and Suffering

Category: Accidents |

If you been injured due to someone’s negligence, besides dealing with medical bills and lost time from work, you are probably experiencing a significant amount of pain and suffering. While proving economic damages such as lost wages and medical expenses is fairly simple, placing a monetary value on someone’s pain and suffering can be more complicated.  Factors Used to Determine Pain and Suffering In determining pain and suffering, there are a number of factors that are taken into consideration, including: Severity of the injury The amount of physical pain caused by the injury and pain you might expect to experience in the future The limitations the injury has placed on your ability to participate in activities and whether these limitations are permanent or temporary The limitations the injury has placed on your ability to interact with your loved ones Any physical disfigurement or scarring that resulted from the injury Any mental disorders that resulted from the accident such as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder Proof of Pain and Suffering There a number of different types of evidence that can be used to prove pain and suffering, including: Medical Records—medical documentation can help establish the severity of the injury and the pain it might be expected to cause. It can also provide information about any future pain and limitations an individual might have Victim Testimony—the testimony of the injury victim can be used to establish the pain they have sustained and how their life has changed since the injury. A victim’s statement should be detailed. Witness Testimony—the testimony and statements of friends and family can be used to establish how the victim has changed since the injury and how relationships have been affected Expert Witnesses—sometimes the testimony and statements of expert witnesses such as medical experts or accident reconstructionists can be used to establish the degree of pain and suffering Photos and Video—some injuries drastically change the way an individual lives their life and photographic, and video evidence can be used to demonstrate this. “Day in the life” videos can help establish what a victim suffers through now that they’ve been injured.   Contact a Trusted Attorney Proving pain and suffering can be a complex matter. That’s why it’s important if you’ve been injured in an accident to have an experienced attorney evaluate your case. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have over 30 years of experience helping injured Floridians. Consultations are always free so contact 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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How Long Will My Personal Injury Case Last?

Category: Accidents |

When you’ve been injured in a car accident or a slip and fall, your world has been turned upside down. You probably want to move on quickly from the experience and put it all behind you. But you also want to make sure that you get the best possible settlement to cover your damages. Every personal injury case is different, so the length of time it can take a case to conclude depends on the circumstances of your claim. Injuries and Medical Treatment The most important part of any personal injury claim is the type of medical treatment you receive. Making sure you get all of the medical treatment you need is essential to putting your life back on track. Once you have recovered from your injuries, or have reached as much of a recovery as possible, your doctor will have a better idea of how your injuries will affect your future. In some cases, you may have to see specialists or undergo surgery which can take time. If you settle prematurely, you may not receive all of the compensation you need to be treated properly.  Legal or Factual Issues Sometimes there may be legal or factual questions that require some investigation on the part of your attorney. For instance, if you’ve been in a Florida truck accident, there may be an issue regarding whether poor truck maintenance was the cause of your injuries and whether the trucking company should be held liable. There also may be issues regarding how an accident occurred and who was at fault. These questions all involve investigations and collecting evidence and can take time depending on the circumstances. Amount of Money Involved Sometimes due to high medical bills and other expenses, there may be a large amount of money involved in your case. The negotiation process for large sums can take more time as the insurance company won’t part with the money easily. An experiencedattorney will pursue a fair amount for your circumstances.  Filing a Lawsuit While most cases settle without the need for a trial, there is still the possibility that an insurance company won’t settle and the case will have to go to trial. If a case goes to trial, it can take a year or more to complete.   Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney  In order to seek the best settlement possible, it’s important to hire a personal injury attorney who is experienced and trusted. Contact the lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, and we will evaluate your case for free. 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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Supporting a Loved One With a Traumatic Brain Injury

Category: Traumatic Brain Injury |

Every year there are about 2.8 million emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths resulting from traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries affect not only the individuals but their families and communities. When your loved one has experienced a traumatic brain injury, it can be overwhelming. Your lives have been turned upside down, and you may want to offer support, but you don’t know how. Learn About the Injury Read as much as you can about traumatic brain injury, especially about the specific type your loved one suffers from. Knowing what they are going through and what to expect can be extremely helpful in providing support. Be Patient Traumatic brain injuries come in many different forms, and the results can be unpredictable. From changes in memory and movement to depression or personality changes, your loved one may experience a number of troubling side effects. They may appear different from day to day or hour to hour. It’s important to be as patient as possible and remember that your loved one is going through the worst time in their lives. They deserve your patience, love, and support without judgment and negativity. Keep them Organized Your loved one may have problems with memory and organization as a result of their injury. To be supportive you can offer to help them stay organized. Develop systems, such as calendars and lists, to help them remember things like appointments and even how to complete everyday tasks. Get Them Out of the House Don’t drag them out against their will but getting a loved one with a traumatic brain injury out of the house on occasion can help give them a new perspective. Keep in mind that they may be sensitive to light, sounds, or crowds so make sure that you find a place that is calm with a laid-back atmosphere. Listen It can be hard to anticipate the needs of someone with a traumatic brain injury, but it’s helpful to listen to them. Let them know that you want to help and listen for the things they ask for help with. Your loved one may be embarrassed or not want to appear needy, so it’s important just to show up for them with open arms. Get Help for Yourself A traumatic brain injury is hard on family members and caregivers as well. It’s important to find support groups whether they are online or in the community to help with healing and coping. Don’t forget to take time for yourself. The better rested you are, the more help you will be able to provide your loved one. Call an Experienced Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney If your loved one has sustained a traumatic brain injury as a result of someone’s negligence, it is important that you meet with a local personal injury attorney to explore your options. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have the experience to help you determine the next step. Contact our firm online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to schedule a free consultation.

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5 Tips for Dealing with Insurance Companies After an Accident

Category: Accidents |

Insurance companies make their profits by providing protection to individuals if they are involved in an accident. However, they don’t make money paying out on accident claims. Paying out claims eats into the profits of insurance companies. If you’ve been involved in an accident, you can expect that your insurance company and the insurance company of the at-fault driver will do their best to pay out as little as possible. That’s why it’s important to take the right steps when dealing with these companies so that your interests are protected. Gather Evidence Being involved in an accident can be overwhelming, but it is important to try and keep a cool head and gather as much evidence as you can right after an accident. Take as many pictures of the scene and the vehicles involved as you can. Gather witness statements and information. All of this evidence will increase the likelihood of proving your claim. Keep Good Records Keep records of any accident-related transaction you make. Keep receipts of all medical expenses, doctor recommendations, repair estimates, a copy of the police report, and any other documentation that may be relevant to your claim. Handle Communications in a Timely Manner Whether you’re filing a claim against your own insurance company or the insurance company of the at-fault driver, it is always important to act promptly. For instance, PIP insurance requires that you seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident. Hire a Personal Injury Attorney No matter how friendly an insurance adjuster may seem, they are not your side. In order to seek to maximize your settlement and pursue the compensation to which you are entitled, it is important to have a nearby personal injury attorney working for you.  An attorney can take care of the details and level the playing field between you and the insurance company. Having an attorney can help ensure that your interests are protected. Let the Experts Negotiate Some insurance companies may try to offer you a quick settlement to entice you not to hire a lawyer. If you let a personal injury lawyer handle the negotiations on your behalf, you have a better chance of receiving the maximum settlement. Leave the negotiations in the hands of someone who is more experienced so you can ensure that your claim is not denied or you receive inadequate compensation. Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, it is crucial that you have an experienced vehicle attorney evaluate your case as soon as possible. The trusted attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 30 years of experience and want to help you. Contact us online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation as soon as possible.

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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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Abrahamson & Uiterwyk Scholarship Announces 2015 Distracted Driving Essay Contest Winner

Category: Uncategorized |

Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, Florida personal injury attorneys, are proud to announce that Sona Patel, a student at the University of Michigan, is the 2015 recipient of a $1500 scholarship for her essay on Distracted Driving.     Ms. Patel is currently enrolled in the Ross BBA Program at the University of Michigan with a strong interest in finance and strategy. Her extracurricular activities include a Bollywood dance team, Michigan Manzil, being a member of the show committee for the Indian American Student Association as well as being an active member of Phi Gamma Nu, a co-ed professional business fraternity. Sona, along with nearly one hundred other applicants, were asked to write an essay on the topic of distracted driving. Our desire was to help students with their educational goals while also raising awareness about the important issue of distracted driving. Ms. Patel wrote a very compelling essay that met, and exceeded, all of the criteria listed including statistics, personal accounts and thoughtful suggestions encouraging young people to avoid distracted driving. All essays were judged based on originality, style, grammar, and accuracy. A link to the scholarship announcement and criteria can be found here. Here is Ms. Patel’s winning essay: “The music blares throughout the car as you drive home from school with your little brother. This is the usual routine, but your two best friends are also in the car. You all have plans to go out on this warm Friday night. Your friends talk excitedly about the party: what they plan on wearing, who they’re trying to impress, and what the latest gossip is. Your little brother rolls his eyes as he shuffles through the song list. You are on the freeway, going a steady 70 miles per hour on the rightmost lane. You hear your personalized text tone for the boy you’re crushing on. Your friends know who it is and they eagerly ask you to see what he said. You unlock your phone and check the message. He said, “Will I be seeing you tonight? J” You scream with joy, as do your friends. Your brother is even more annoyed. You think of the perfect reply, not too friendly and not too flirty. You begin writing out the text before you forget it. “Yes, I hope we can—“ BOOM.             You wake up in the hospital with your parents by your side. Your mom is crying hysterically. One of your friends that was in the car walks into the room, and you ask her what happened. She says, “You hit a car that was merging onto the freeway from the right side. The collision point was…it was at the passenger seat, where your brother was sitting…” She says no more. You ask if your other friend is okay. “She will be okay. She was injured pretty badly, but the doctors were able to save her. Your brother, though…I’m so sorry.” She leaves the room, crying.             This accident was caused by distracted driving, which has become a serious problem among young drivers. By taking your eyes off of the road for more than five seconds, and for taking one hand off of the steering wheel, you put everyone in the car at risk. Distracted driving is more than just texting, however. It is any activity that you perform while driving such that it takes your attention away from the road. There are three components to distracted driving: visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual distractions occur when your eyes are off of the road, manual distractions are when your hands are off of the wheel, and cognitive distractions take your mind off of driving1. Cell phones are certainly a leading cause of distracted driving; the U.S. Department of Transportation revealed that 14% of all fatal crashes involving distracted drivers were caused by cell phone use. Overall, 10% of fatal crashes were caused by distracted driving in 20132. That amounts to 2,910 car crashes in one year!             I have experienced a car accident involving distracted driving. About two years ago, my mom was driving me to tennis practice. An oncoming driver was turning left, and he was on his phone. He made the turn too soon, and my mom swerved, but we still hit the car. Luckily, everyone made it out uninjured. However, the collision point was at the front-right area of our car, and I was sitting in the passenger seat. If my mom hadn’t swerved out of the way, the car would have hit me.             This may sound dramatic, but I saw my life flash before my eyes. Driving never seemed dangerous to me until that day. It made me realize how easily one little mistake can change someone’s life forever, or take away someone’s life. If I had any advice for today’s young drivers, I would say that distracted driving is simply not worth the risk. The text messages can wait, the snapchats can wait, and you can spare ten minutes to eat before you start driving the car. If you need a GPS or if you need to talk to someone on the phone, buy a cell phone dock for your car. It can make all the difference. Accidents always seemed like something that happens to other people, just something that you hear about in the news, but it can happen to you. It can take as little as one stupid text message to take someone’s life away. Don’t be that person. Practice safe driving and encourage others to do so as well.”   Congratulations from all of us at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk and best of luck in your academic pursuits!    

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