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When a Car Accident Results in Catastrophic Injury

Posted on Friday, October 31, 2014
Auto Accident Injuries, Blog, Motorcycle Injuries, Truck Accident Injuries

Every year there are thousands of automobile accidents. Too often, these accidents can result in catastrophic injury, which can be life altering and result in long-term hospitalization, rehabilitation and potential life-long pain. There are some specific types of injuries that are considered catastrophic including:

  • Spinal cord – back injuries that damage the spinal cord can result in the need for multiple surgical procedures, long-term rehabilitation and can result in paralysis.
  • Serious burns – auto accidents involving a fire, resulting in third degree burns, are considered catastrophic injuries.
  • Amputations – unfortunately, some auto accidents are serious enough to cause the loss of fingers, toes or limb.

What Insurers Don’t Want You to Know

In many cases, an insurance company will try to settle with victims of catastrophic injuries as quick as possible. Insurers hope that by settling quickly, they can save money and protect their bottom line. Under Florida’s “no fault” insurance laws, your insurer will pay all of your medical bills, lost wages and rehabilitation costs. However, if an injury is considered “serious” (catastrophic injuries) you may have the right to sue the driver of the other vehicle, if they were at fault.

Comparative Negligence

Florida is a comparative negligence state. That means that when two people are involved in an accident, the judge or jury must determine if one or both parties are at fault. Even as a victim, if they determine you were partially at fault, your final compensation may be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you.

Punitive Damages

Florida has caps on punitive damages. Punitive damages are generally requested as part of catastrophic injury cases and are meant to punish the at-fault person for an amount greater than the medical, rehab, and lost wages expenses. Caps in Florida are set to three times the amount of actual damage or $500,000, whichever is less.

If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury as the result of someone’s negligence, it is imperative you speak with an attorney who understands Florida statutes. Contact DDB Law today for a free consultation and we will be happy to review your case.

Rental Moving Truck Accidents and Where the Liability Falls

Posted on Friday, October 24, 2014
Auto Accident Injuries, Blog, Truck Accident Injuries

There are a number of businesses across the country that provide moving vans for customers to rent. Rental trucks and vans are a cheaper alternative to hiring a full service moving company, but there are certainly some concerns with this method. These large trucks can be rented by almost anyone who has a valid driver’s license. Regardless of having experience with driving large trucks, if she or he has reached a certain age — anywhere from 18 to 25, depending on the state they are in — then they are permitted to take to the road. This can be quite dangerous for both the driver/renter and those sharing the same roadway. Here is some information you should know if involved in a moving van accident with a rented vehicle.

  • Determining liability in such an accident is more difficult than many other types of automobile accidents. Is it the fault of the driver or the fault of the company who rented the truck to the driver?
  • When renting the truck, a driver is usually given the option of purchasing an insurance protection plan from the rental company. Once again, this is optional.
  • Some of the insurances offered to moving van renters include damage waivers, supplemental liability insurance, personal accident insurance, cargo insurance, and auto tow protection.
  • If the driver of the moving van causes an accident, his or her own vehicle insurance may also provide coverage, depending on the policy.
  • Moving van rental companies also carry liability insurance on their own vehicles, as required by law.
  • While liability often resides with the driver, a moving truck or van rental company may also be found liable in an accident if it is determined that they improperly maintained the vehicle, or if they rented the vehicle to someone not eligible to drive it.

An accident involving a moving truck often results in catastrophic injury, simply due to the size of the vehicle. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a rented moving vehicle, we can help determine where liability lies and fight for the compensation you deserve. For more information, contact us.

Common Causes of Rollover Accidents and Tips to Prevent Them

Posted on Friday, October 10, 2014
Auto Accident Injuries, Blog

Behind head-on collisions, rollover accidents are the most deadly type of automobile accident. In fact, nearly 7,000 fatalities across the country occur each year from rollover accidents. Considering this, it is vital that drivers are aware of the common causes of rollover accidents in order to prepare strategies to help avoid being involved in this type of accident. Here are some of the common causes of rollover accidents:

High Speed Turns

One of the most common causes of rollover accidents is a driver taking a turn too quick. Reckless turns can lead cars to rollover; you are more at risk if you drive a vehicle with a higher center of gravity such as an SUV, truck, or van. It is important that you know how your vehicle handles and to perform a turn well below its maximum grip threshold. Doing so affords you a cushion of extra turning performance in the event you need to execute an emergency maneuver mid-turn. No matter what type of car you drive, the only way to ensure a safe turn is to take it at a cautious speed.

Driving in an Overly Aggressive Manner

Driving aggressively is a common cause of accidents in general, but it also increases risk of rolling over. When you drive fast and perform aggressive maneuvers such as swerving in and out of lanes abruptly, you increase the likelihood that you will loose control of the vehicle and slide sideways (a common prerequisite of a rollover). While there is nothing inherently wrong about driving assertively, driving in an overly aggressive manner magnifies the likelihood that you will be involved in an accident.

Consider Road Conditions

Another common cause of rollover accidents is not taking weather and road conditions into account when driving. When there is rain, sleet, snow, or any debris on the road, it is unwise to continue driving in your usual manner. During these unsafe conditions, driving and taking turns at normal speeds can cause you to lose control of your vehicle and possibly rollover. Exercise extra caution and slow down in order to increase your safety.

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