Frequently Asked Questions for Palm Beach Accident Lawyers
West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyers | Fetterman & Associates, PA
Q: Does Florida Have A Texting Ban?
A: Governor Charlie Christ promised to sign a Florida ban on text messaging, but no distracted driving legislation succeeded during 2010. In 2009, Florida legislature also rejected bills that would limit drivers’ use of cell phones and text messaging devices.
More than a dozen vehicle safety bills regarding talking and texting have been under consideration in the past several years.
Texting while driving has been conclusively linked to car accidents and fatalities in West Palm Beach. If you have been involved with a car accident due to a driver distracted by texting, contact an experienced West Palm Beach car accident attorney immediately.
Although all attempts to pass such a bill have recently failed, state representatives say that the statistics linking text messaging to car accidents and fatalities in Florida are too overwhelming to ignore and that they will be back with another piece of legislation that will address text messaging while driving.
Our dedicated and experienced professionals will help you sort through the fear and confusion that often accompanies a devastating car accident and ensure that you get the compensation and protection you deserve.
How can I keep my kids safe from West Palm Beach pedestrian accidents?
A: All parents know that children are constantly in danger. Not only do they need to be protected from strangers and sharp objects, but the simple act of walking down a sidewalk can prove fatal for a child. Over 600 children are killed every year in pedestrian accidents in the U.S. The best method for fighting this trend is by teaching children the biggest risks when walking near roads in West Palm Beach (and how to avoid them):
- Use the crosswalk : There are usually crosswalks in designated school areas, but tend to get further and further apart in rural areas. Mid-block crossings are a common site of pedestrian accidents, since children will often dash across a road rather than walk to a safe crossing.
- Look both ways at driveways : Children may look both ways when crossing a road, but almost never do the same with driveways. Unfortunately, many drivers won’t bother to look either, resulting in back over accidents or broken bones.
- Make a plan : You can greatly reduce your child’s risk by planning a consistent route to and from school that has adequate sidewalks, a good distance from the road, and neighbors along the path where children can go to get help if one of their friends is in an accident.
Q: What is pure comparative negligence and what does it mean to my Florida car crash case?
A: Pure comparative negligence is a partial legal defense which reduces the amount of damages that you can recover in a Florida car crash.
Essentially, it means that the compensation for your injuries will be diluted by the percentage in which you are found to be at fault for your Florida car accident.
For example, if you are in an accident with another vehicle and are determined to be 10% at fault, your compensation will be diluted by 10%; therefore, if your case is worth $100,000, you will only receive $90,000. This rule applies at all percentages.
Because determination of fault is something that is subjective, you could end up being blamed for more of a percentage than you actually contributed. This is why it is especially important to work with a Florida accident attorney who is experienced in handling these types of cases.
If you have been injured in a Florida auto accident, contact Fetterman & Associates at 561-845-2510.
Q: A driver in a rental car hit my car in West Palm Beach; however, they were not listed as a driver on the rental car agreement. They also aren’t listed on the renter’s personal insurance policy. Both the rental car company and the insurance company are saying they are not responsible for my claim. Who pays for my injuries and repairs?
A: So long as this Florida auto accident was not your fault, the driver of the other vehicle should be held liable for damages. This is where a police report is crucial to your case.
A police report will not only list the cause and fault of the accident, but it will also include the name and information of the driver responsible. If you do not have an accurate police report, your claim could be in jeopardy.
Insurance adjusters are notorious for trying to place the blame elsewhere and not pay you what you rightfully deserve. This is a complicated case with many different factors involved.
It would be in your best interest to consult with an attorney to ensure you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.
To schedule a FREE consultation with a West Palm Beach car crash lawyer, contact Fetterman & Associates at 561-845-2510.
Q: Is it time for my elderly father to stop driving?
A: It can be hard to tell a parent that it’s time to hang up their keys. Seniors are afraid to lose their autonomy, and losing the ability to drive may signal a loss of freedom. However, it’s easier to have a conversation about driving than it is to risk your loved one’s life in a Florida car accident.
Some signs that your elderly relative should no longer be driving in Pam Beach, include:
- Difficulty reading: If your father frequently mistakes the salt for the sugar or the toothpaste for the hand cream, he may have difficulty reading labels. If he has trouble with words in front of him, those on billboards or road signs will prove even more difficult.
- Blaming inanimate objects: Many seniors are afraid that they will lose their rights as they get older. They may find that blaming mistakes on inanimate objects, such as sidewalks, signposts, or even the car itself, can excuse the mistake without calling attention to who was really at fault.
- Senility: All too often, caring relatives will miss the signs of mental degeneration. If your father calls you by the wrong name, cannot recall easy information, or becomes easily frustrated, he could be a danger behind the wheel.
We all want the best for the people who raised us. In some cases, that might mean keeping your parent from hurting himself-or someone else-by driving while impaired. For more advice on Florida car wrecks, contact a trusted West Palm Beach personal injury attorney at Fetterman & Associates. Call 561-845-2510.
Q: Is jaywalking illegal in Florida?
A: Jaywalking is a commonly used term that refers to crossing a street in a manner that violates traffic laws, such as crossing a street mid-block, or acting in a reckless manner, such as crossing in front of vehicles and disregarding traffic signals. While walking recklessly is illegal, crossing between signals is allowable in certain circumstances.
The Florida Department of Transportation states that pedestrians may cross mid-block under the following circumstances:
- Pedestrians may cross mid-block if the nearest intersection does not have a traffic signal.
- Pedestrians may not cross between adjacent signalized intersections.
- Pedestrians must yield to all vehicles on the roadway.
- Pedestrians must cross at right angles to the roadway, or by the shortest route possible to reach the opposite side.
Q: How does speeding affect my Florida car accident case?
A: A vehicle’s speed is a common contributing factor in a West Palm Beach car accident, but it’s also the easiest factor to control. Studies have shown that decreasing speed, even one mile an hour, will decrease the accident rate as much as 4% before any other factors are even considered, such as weather, road conditions and time of day.
How can a speeding driver affect your auto accident case ?
- Higher injuries: Since speeding cars take much more force to stop, the accidents they cause often inflict much more damage to Florida car accident victims.
- Shows recklessness: A driver that ignores speeding regulations may ignore other rules, such as talking on a cell phone, running red lights, or forgoing car insurance.
- Aggressive or impaired driving: By speeding, a driver is demonstrating poor judgment. This could be an effect of driving while tired, stressed, or even under the influence.
Learn more about car accident pitfalls in our FREE book: Smart Lawyers, Smart Clients – Wear Clean Underwear.
Since the injury rate is higher in high-speed crashes, a collision with a speeding driver could result in higher compensation in your case. To find out, call Fetterman & Associates today at 561-845-2510.
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Q: I was a passenger in a West Palm Beach car wreck. Who pays for my injuries?
A: If you were riding in a car that has been involved in a Florida auto accident, you are eligible to receive compensation for your injuries. In most cases, the process is essentially the same as if you were operating the vehicle.
Since Florida is a no-fault state, your insurer (in this case, the driver’s insurer) will be responsible to provide compensation for your injuries regardless of who is determined to be at fault in the accident.
However, please be aware that the insurance company is not going to willingly hand you over all the money you may need to take care of your medical needs, especially if the injuries you sustained are severe or life-long.
In this case, the insurance company may offer you a payout that they claim will cover your injuries. Although this may seem tempting, DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING until you consult with a West Palm Beach accident attorney about your injuries.
Q: Motorcycle accident injuries: Do I have a broken collarbone?
A: A broken collarbone, or clavicle, is a common Florida motorcycle injury. The collarbone may fracture when a rider holds out his arms to prevent a fall or as his shoulder makes contact with the pavement. Some of the symptoms of a broken clavicle include:
- Limited ability to move arm or shoulder
- A lump or bruise over the collarbone
- Visible protrusion under the skin
- A “snap” sound as the bone breaks
A broken collarbone can be extremely painful, and requires medical attention immediately following the crash. Common treatments include x-rays and restrained movement, usually involving a sling for the affected arm to allow the bones to knit.
If you have sustained an injury that resulted in costly medical treatment, contact Fetterman & Associates today for advice from an experienced West Palm Beach accident attorney. Call us at 561-845-2510.
Q: Does it Matter Which Side of the Road I Walk on in Florida?
A: If the road you are traveling on has sidewalks, either on both sides or only on one side, you must walk along the sidewalk. It is acceptable to walk on either side of the road as well as with or against traffic as a sidewalk separates you from the vehicles on the roadway.
It is only permissible to walk along a roadway when sidewalks are not provided. In that instance, you should walk along the shoulder on the LEFT side of the road, AGAINST the flow of traffic.
Stay as far to the side of the road as possible in order to allow adequate room for oncoming vehicles to pass.
Please keep in mind that this direction is the opposite of cyclists, who are required to ride along the RIGHT side of the road, WITH the flow of traffic.
Q: Who pays for my medical bills for pelvic fractures due to a West Palm Beach car accident?
A: Car accidents in West Palm Beach can frequently result in pelvic fractures. These injuries frequently involve extensive care, recuperation and treatment—which can result in costly medical bills piling up while you are out of work.
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the common symptoms and signs of pelvic fracture due to a West Palm Beach car accident, it is important to contact an experienced West Palm Beach car accident attorney.
You May Be Due Compensation for Your Injuries
Florida car accidents can be complex; liability may be assigned to multiple parties, including the other driver, insurance companies, and even manufacturing companies.
If your pelvic fracture due to a West Palm Beach car accident was the result of another driver’s negligence, you could be due compensation. Speak with an experienced West Palm Beach car accident attorney to ascertain your rights today.
We’re Here to Help
Dealing with pelvic fractures due to a Florida car accident can have a devastating effect on resources. If you have fallen victim to a pelvic fracture due to a Florida car crash, contact Fetterman & Associates at 561-845-2510.
Q: Can I ride my bike against traffic in Florida?
A: In Florida, it is illegal to ride your bicycle against traffic. Not only does this extremely dangerous act increase your likelihood of being involved in a Florida car crash, but you will also be ticketed for a moving volition if you are caught riding the wrong way.
A bicycle is legally defined as a vehicle and has the same rights as any other vehicle on the roadway. Along with these rights comes the responsibility to obey all traffic laws including stopping for stop signs and stoplights, riding with the flow of traffic, using proper lighting when riding at night, and yielding to the right of way of other vehicles when entering and exiting a roadway.
If you have been seriously injured in a Florida bike crash because of another driver’s negligence, you may have rights to compensation. Contact a West Palm Beach car wreck attorney at Fetterman & Associates for answers to all of your Florida bicycle accident questions.
Q: How can I avoid a distracted driving accident?
A: Several studies have shown that texting or using electronic devices, also known as distracted driving, could actually be more dangerous than drunk driving. Distracted drivers showed slower response times and more erratic patterns than drunk drivers, yet cell phone use and texting while driving currently remains legal in the state of Florida.
So what can YOU do to avoid a West Palm Beach distracted driving accident?
- Turn off your cell phone so that you are not tempted to use it during drive time.
- Get directions for your route ahead of time. If they are printed, read them several times before setting off.
- Plug in and adjust your hands-free device before the car is in motion.
- Secure children and pets in proper restraints, making sure all mirrors are visible.
- Report distracted driving behaviors the same as you would any other reckless driving offense.
While several pieces of legislation have been drafted to combat distracted driving, none have made it on the books as of 2010. It is up to all drivers to reduce the amount of distractions in their own vehicles—and therefore reduce the amount of distracted drivers on the road.
Q: I was in a Florida hit-and-run accident. What do I do now?
A: If you have been injured in a Florida hit-and-run crash, you need to call the police. They will want to know everything you can remember about the vehicle that hit you or your car, such as the license plate number, make, model, year, color, and a description of the driver.
This type of Florida car accident makes it very difficult to recover damages from the other driver, as they are often not found and charged for the damages.
If the police are unable to identify the driver, or if the other driver does not have insurance, you should be covered by your uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.
If you have been seriously injured in a Florida hit-and-run accident, you need to contact a West Palm Beach accident attorneys at Fetterman & Associates today.
We can help you recover damages from the other driver, or if the other driver has not been identified, we will ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve from your Florida UM coverage.
Q: Who will pay for my medical bills from a West Palm Beach Motorcycle accident head injury?
A: Severe injuries – such as head injuries – are quite common in West Palm Beach motorcycle accidents. If you have sustained a head injury from a serious motorcycle accident in West Palm Beach, you must contact a West Palm Beach personal injury attorney immediately.
The treatment for head injuries or traumatic brain injuries due to motorcycle accidents are costly, including CT and MRI scans and anti-convulsion medication. The bills from such procedures, medications, and treatments may add up quickly. In addition, you may be facing lost wages due to time out of work or incapacitation in relation to your regular duties or activities.
You May Due Compensation
Factors in West Palm Beach motorcycle accidents are complex; multiple parties may be found liable, including (but not limited to) the other driver, insurance companies, property owners, and manufacturing companies. In addition, insurance companies are usually out to get you to settle for the least amount possible, which may not cover all of your expenses. It is vital to contact an experienced West Palm Beach Motorcycle Accident attorneys to ensure that you are pursing the right channels for compensation and relief for your medical bills.
Don’t Face Medical Bills and Insurance Companies Alone
If you have sustained a head injury due to a serious motorcycle accident, you need the right legal expertise in your corner. If you have experienced a loss due to a serious motorcycle accident, contact Fetterman & Associates at 561-845-2510.
Q: What are the signs of a traumatic brain injury?
A: It is not uncommon for the victim of a West Palm Beach car accident to suffer a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The symptoms of TBIs can range from mild to severe. Some symptoms are immediately evident, while others may not surface until days or even weeks after the injury. A person with a mild TBI may experience the following symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Fatigue or lethargy
- Change in sleep patterns
- Behavioral or mood changes
- Trouble with memory, concentration, attention, or thinking
A person with a moderate to severe TBI may show these same symptoms, but may also have additional symptoms, such as:
- Headache that gets worse or does not go away
- Increased confusion
- Weakness or numbness in the extremities
- Loss of coordination
- Dilation of one or both pupils
- Inability to awaken from sleep
- Repeated vomiting or nausea
- Slurred speech
- Convulsions or seizures
Babies or small children who have suffered a TBI may show some of these symptoms, but may also show signs specific to younger children, such as:
- Refusal to nurse or eat
- Persistent crying
- Inability to be consoled
Anyone who is experiencing these symptoms and suspects that they may have suffered a TBI should seek prompt medical attention. If you or someone you love has been severely injured in a West Palm Beach car crash and has suffered a TBI as a result, contact Fetterman & Associates for a free consultation.
Q: A car veered out of control into oncoming traffic and struck me head on. Who will pay for my medical bills?
A: Head-on Collisions are some of the most deadly kinds of car accidents in Port St. Lucie, usually resulting in serious injuries from both initial and subsequent impacts. Common injuries from head-on collisions in Port St. Lucie include cuts from broken glass, neck and head injuries, as well as broken bones.
There can be numerous factors and causes behind your head-on collision; thus, establishing your Florida car accident injury case is not usually a simplistic task. It is important to speak to an experienced Port St. Lucie car accident lawyer to ensure that your rights are represented and medical bills and expenses are covered.
If you or a loved one has fallen victim to injuries or death due to a serious Florida head-on collision, contact Fetterman & Associates at 561-845-2510. Their dedicated professionals are standing by to ensure you get the answers and compensation you and your loved ones deserve.
Q: Why is the insurance company taking so long to settle my car accident claim?
A: If you are involved in a West Palm Beach car crash, you must remember that insurance companies are not in the business of helping innocent people; they are in the business of making money. This money often comes at the expense of those who need it most.
The liable party’s insurance company will usually contact you soon after the car accident to make you a settlement offer. It is usually not a good idea to accept this offer, which will probably be at the bottom of their approved settlement range.
Insurance companies try to settle their claims for as little as possible, even if it means not giving victims enough money to cover their car repair costs or their injuries.
If you are having trouble agreeing to a settlement with an insurance company, they may stop negotiating and may sit and wait. This is a powerful tactic because they know you need the money more than they do.
Your car needs to be repaired, and you have medical bills piling up. Pressured by the financial consequences of your accident, you may be more likely to accept a low settlement after a few months.
If you are getting the runaround from an insurance company, you need to contact a West Palm Beach car accident attorney at Fetterman & Associates today. We will fight the insurance companies to ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.
Q: What if an enraged driver tries to attack me after a Port St. Lucie car accident?
A: Emotions can run high after a Florida car crash. The best way to ensure that everyone walks away from the accident is to stay calm and keep your head clear. Unfortunately, people driving while angry or under stress can overreact to the situation, going so far as to confront or even attack the other driver.
If an aggressive driver in Port St. Lucie tries to confront you after an accident:
- Roll the windows down or exit your car.
- Yell back, or make offensive gestures that will escalate the situation.
- Remain calm.
- Lock your doors.
- Call 911 and show him the phone, indicating that help is on the way.
- Leave the scene if you feel that your safety is threatened, such as if the other driver has a gun or picks up a blunt object that could break your windows.
Q: What do I do if I’m involved in a West Palm Beach auto accident?
A: If you’re involved in a West Palm Beach auto accident, you should:
- Report the accident to the proper authorities.
- Stay at the scene. Do not leave the scene of the accident until you are dismissed by authorities.
- Take complete notes about the events that led up to the accident while it is still fresh in your mind.
- Take photos and videos of the scene, including the damage to your car, all involved vehicles, and the surrounding accident scene.
- Get contact information, including names, addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses, from all witnesses.
- Collect contact information from all drivers and passengers involved, including insurance information, license plate numbers and driver’s license information.
- Keep good records of all medical costs, car repair or rental costs, and lost income you have sustained as a result of your accident.
- Seek prompt medical attention, even if you do not feel injured. A doctor may find injuries that you didn’t realize you had sustained.
Finally, be sure to seek the advice of an experienced West Palm Beach car crash attorney. The attorneys at Fetterman and Associates will speak with you about your injuries and let you know whether they believe it would be in your best interest to have an attorney on your side.
Our West Palm Beach auto accident lawyers will fight to ensure that you receive the compensation you need to get your life back on track. Contact our office today at 561-845-2510.
Q: Who will pay for my car’s damage after a West Palm Beach flood?
A: Car accidents due to flooding in West Palm Beach can be hard to unravel. On one hand, you have the damage done by the water-on another, the damage done by passing drivers attempting to ford the roadway. So, are you liable for all of these damages or none of them? Parties who could be responsible for your vehicle’s damage after a Florida auto accident include:
- Your car insurance : Even if you weren’t struck by another motorist, you may sustain flood damage to your car from fallen tree limbs or debris carried by fast-moving waters. Check your insurance policy to see if flood damage is covered.
- The “at-fault” driver : Many cars become stranded in rising water and are unable to move out of the way of traffic. Some have even had to abandon their vehicles to escape drowning, only to be told by their insurance carrier that they were at fault in the accident because they left their cars in the roadway.
- The car company : If your accident was caused because of a defect in the car’s steering or electrical system, you may be able to seek compensation from the manufacturer for putting you at risk.
Since people will not often think of flooding while buying insurance, they may be automatically “opted out” of this type of coverage. This can cause headaches later when you try to collect on a claim that should rightfully be covered.
If you are having problems with your insurance company after a Florida car accident, contact Fetterman & Associates today at 561-845-2510.
Q: Should I notify my insurance company if I’m in an accident?
A: If you have been involved in a West Palm Beach auto accident, it is your obligation to notify your insurance company.
Most insurance companies require that their policyholders report all auto accidents. The insurance company will want to gather some basic information about the accident for their records.
Your insurance policy obligates you to cooperate with your insurance company; avoid making statements about who is to blame for the accident, however, especially if you believe you may be at fault. Only relay facts about the details of the accident.
Your insurance company may also ask you for a recorded statement. Although you are required to cooperate with your insurance company, you are not required to give a recorded statement. It is usually not in your best interest to give a recorded statement, as anything you say can be used against you.
If your West Palm Beach car crash was caused by the negligence of another, you should seek the advice of a qualified West Palm Beach auto accident lawyer. The attorneys at Fetterman and Associates can help you navigate your way through the dos and don’ts of a West Palm Beach car crash. Contact our office today at 561-845-2510 to ensure that your rights are protected following a West Palm Beach auto accident.
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Q: Who is at fault in a non-vehicular bike accident in West Palm Beach?
A: You may think that since you weren’t hit by a car, you’re the only one who could possibly be responsible for your bicycle accident in West Palm Beach. But the truth is, many non-vehicular bike accidents in Florida are caused by negligence, and cyclists often don’t realize that their accident was someone else’s fault.
Here are just a few parties that could be responsible for your Florida bicycle accident:
- Roadway officials : If your accident was caused by a pothole, gravel, oil spill or other unsafe roadway condition, city maintenance officials could be liable for your injury.
- Private property owners : If the accident took place on private property, the owner could be responsible if he neglected to maintain proper upkeep and maintenance on the premises.
- Public walking/riding areas : Public walkways are required to be safe for pedestrians and cyclists, including clearing fallen branches, mending broken sidewalks and trimming foliage for clear sight around corners.
- Construction companies : Who do not take proper care of fallen debris, dangerous fluids, heavy equipment or exposed wires in construction areas can easily cause injury to a passing cyclist.
- Bicycle manufacturers, retailers, or repair shops : If your accident was caused by the bike itself-due to malfunctioning parts, accessories or improper repair, the proprietor may be liable for damages.
If you have suffered an injury due to a West Palm Beach bike accident, contact Fetterman & Associates today for a free consultation at 561-845-2510.
Q: What is mean by the term “wrongful death”?
A: The term “wrongful death” usually refers to an accidental death which is caused by another person’s negligence or carelessness. Even though the death is usually unintentional, the defendant is responsible for providing monetary compensation to the victim’s survivors.
A West Palm Beach wrongful death can occur due to a variety of different reasons and circumstances. Some common reasons for a wrongful death include:
- Automobile accident
- Train accident
- Truck accident
- Pedestrian accident
- Construction accident
- Falling from a height
- Medical malpractice
- Drug mistake
- Defective product
The victim’s survivors may be compensated for:
- Medical expenses as a result of the injury
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of income
- Loss of benefits, such as insurance and retirement
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of parental guidance
- Pain and suffering
The survivors may also be compensated for services that the deceased provided, such as housekeeping or transportation.
When an adult dies, it is much easier for the court to quantify the value of the loss, as they can consider the wages earned and expected as well as the deceased’s contribution to his or her family. When a minor child passes away, it is not as simple, as children do not normally contribute to household income They do contribute, however, in other, more meaningful ways. This is the type of case in which the loss of companionship and affection is weighed heavily.
Wrongful death cases are very complex, and involve a variety of different factors. If your husband, wife, child, sibling, or parent has suffered a wrongful death, contact a West Palm Beach wrongful death attorney at Fetterman and Associates. As always, the initial consultation is free.
Q: Why is a car’s design putting pedestrians at risk in West Palm Beach accidents?
A: When a pedestrian is struck by a car in West Palm Beach, the injuries are often life-altering. We know that the pedestrian is at a much higher risk of injury than the driver, since he lacks protection from the impact. Unfortunately, the risks run even higher depending on the type of car that hits you. Since most pedestrians are hit head-on, the front of the vehicle plays a large part in the pedestrian’s injuries. For example:
- Pedestrians are usually not hit once, but make contact with the car at several points. Most victims will first be struck by the front bumper.
- If the car has a higher hood, the victim often falls forward, hitting his head before falling to the ground.
- If the car is lower, the victim will often have his leg swept out by the impact, falling sideways onto the car and potentially hitting his head on the windshield.
- A truck or SUV, which rides higher on the road, has a greater potential for damaging a victim’s hip joint. Speeding SUVs also have a greater potential to cause serious injury due to their increased weight.
- A bumper strike affects adults and children differently: adults will often be struck in the knee, but children will commonly be hit in the torso.
Some manufacturers are taking pedestrians into consideration when designing new cars, opting for rounded hoods and “bounce back” bumpers to reduce injury upon impact.
We can only hope that the number of pedestrian fatalities continues its downward trend, but in the meantime, we can help those suffering from these injuries gets the compensation they deserve. Call Fetterman & Associates today at 561-845-2510 for a free consultation in your West Palm Beach pedestrian accident case.
Q: If a Florida car accident was caused by the other driver, who is responsible for the medical bills, lost wages and other damages?
A: Our state has a no-fault statute that requires all Florida residents to use their own PIP insurance coverage, which pays for 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages.
There is usually a limit of $10,000. If you suffered a permanent injury, you may be able to recover pain and suffering damages from the driver who caused the accident. In that situation, you should definitely consider contacting a West Palm Beach car crash lawyer for assistance with your claim.
Q: Why do so many Palm Beach car accidents happen at red lights?
A: According to Florida traffic laws, vehicles that are approaching a red light “shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection.” It may seem unlikely that injuries can happen when all vehicles are supposed to be at a complete stop.
Unfortunately, red lights are a common site of Florida auto accidents many of which could be prevented if drivers practiced a little extra road safety. A few factors that can cause intersection accidents in Palm Beach include:
- Speeding : Some motorists believe that a yellow light is a signal to speed up, in order to make it through the intersection without waiting. What they do not realize is that entering an intersection at a high speed is not only more likely to cause an accident, but will increase the injuries that result due to higher impact.
- Traffic convergence : Stop lights are simply a way to allow drivers to take turns getting from point A to point B safely. However, the sudden influx of cross traffic on a straight road can cause drivers to become impatient, causing late-braking and tailgating collisions.
- Mixed commuters : Red light accidents can be particularly deadly for residents using alternative transportation. Bikers and pedestrians are commonly hit by drivers running red lights or speeding around a corner too quickly to check for people in the crosswalk.
If someone you love was injured in a Florida car accident, don’t wait. Get help today by calling Fetterman & Associates at 561-845-2510.
Q: A car rear-ended me on the Turnpike and it turns out the driver doesn’t have auto insurance. I’m not sure what to do, because I am now dealing with painful injuries and can’t work. Should I sue the driver despite the fact that he doesn’t have insurance?
A: If you live in Florida, you should have PIP insurance coverage included in your policy, which covers a portion of your medical bills and lost wages. The maximum limit for PIP coverage is usually $10,000. In order to recover other damages, such as pain and suffering, you would need to show that you sustained a permanent injury.
You could then pursue a lawsuit against the other driver for your car accident on the Turnpike. The problem you could end up facing, though, is that if this driver didn’t have auto insurance, there is a strong possibility that he also doesn’t have assets to pay a judgment.
You should check your policy to see if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage is designed to protect you when the other driver either doesn’t have enough auto insurance or doesn’t have it at all.
For more information, contact an experienced West Palm Beach auto accident attorney at our law firm.
How does “highway hypnosis” affect drivers in West Palm Beach?
A: Highway hypnosis-also known as white line fever or driving without paying attention is a condition where a driver will have gotten into his car and driven from A to B without any recollection of making the journey.
As its name suggests, it is a common occurrence on Florida expressways and other areas where people can drive for long periods of time without stopping, turning or having any breaks from driving continuously.
The reason drivers are able to “drown out” car journeys has to do with the brain’s ability to multitask.
When the driver is preoccupied by his thoughts, his brain directs his body to complete the tasks of driving without the driver really paying any attention.
Most of the journey is completed through muscle memory-the feeling of putting the car in gear and moving your right foot back and forth-and subconscious triggers rather than a fully conscious state.
This inattention to the road can have serious consequences in West Palm Beach car accidents. Distracted drivers often suffer slower braking, diminished stopping distances and less ability to make quick decisions on the road.