Articles Posted in Auto Insurance

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Cape Coral bicycle accident injuries insuranceSecuring an insurance payout while recovering from Florida bicycle accident injuries isn’t always a simple matter.

Whether it’s possible at all depends a lot on the underlying facts. But in many cases, you might have several insurance claim options.

Our longtime local injury lawyers can help answer your questions about the types of crash coverage that might be available and how best to go about filing a claim.

Florida’s Ongoing Struggle to Make Biking Safer

A lot has changed in Florida in recent years. One of the things that hasn’t changed much (unfortunately) is the state’s position near the front of the pack when it comes to bike crashes.

Just recently, a 71-year-old lost his life after suffering Cape Coral bicycle accident injuries. He was struck and killed by a pickup truck driver on Country Club Boulevard. The man had been pedaling on the sidewalk when a section of it closed, forcing him to continue his journey on the outside right lane. The driver who struck him was towing a dump trailer and reportedly swerved to avoid a collision with vehicles in the left lane. Nearby residents told WINK News there was really “no way for (the bicyclist) to go anywhere else, and he was traveling with the direction of travel.”

Road design in the U.S. – particularly in the South – has long made foot and bicycle traffic an afterthought. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 985 bicyclists died in U.S. road accidents last year, up 5 percent from the year before. Analysis by Smart Growth America (which releases an annual “Dangerous By Design” report on the safety of vulnerable road users) has concluded that systemic oversights with traffic engineering contribute to the high number of fatal pedestrian and bicycle accidents in Florida and beyond. Solutions like median islands, traffic signals with exclusive pedestrian & bicycle phases, giving cyclists and walkers a head start before green lights, and lowering speed limits can go a long way. Some cities have committed to adopting these measures with some success, but it’s been slow-going.

Other issues to tackle include driver distraction, visibility impairments, and drivers just generally not watching for or failing to use reasonable care around bicyclists.

Will Insurance Cover My Cape Coral Bicycle Accident Injuries?

Insurance coverage available to cover the fall out from your Florida bike crash injuries will depend on several factors (i.e., how badly you’re hurt, what you were doing at the time, where the crash occurred, who was involved, what type of vehicles were involved, who was at-fault, how much/what type of insurance each person has, etc.).

As Cape Coral injury lawyers, some of the possibilities for financial compensation following a cycling accident may include: Continue reading

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Florida distracted driving accidentsEmployers of motorists who cause crashes while distracted by work obligations may be liable to cover the damages of those injured. Florida distracted driving accidents are on the rise. AAA reports distracted drivers caused the deaths of 3,142 people in the U.S. in a single recent year, an uptick of 10 percent from the year before. In this Florida alone, 258 people died that year as a result of crashes caused by drivers who were distracted. That figure is likely underreported given that not all types of distractions are easily identifiable.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and traffic safety experts have expressed concern about the still-rising number of crashes, placing significant blame on drivers who aren’t paying attention. “Cognitive overload” after participating in back-to-back videoconferencing, along with atrophied driving skills during the pandemic, was cited by several researchers in a recent NBC News report.

It should be noted that F.S. 316.305 prohibits drivers from operating a vehicle while texting, emailing, reading data, instant messaging, etc. for non-voice communication purposes.

Cognitive distractions after a work-related video conferencing may be a very real problem for drivers, but the question in terms of potential legal liability for the employer will be whether the driver was acting in the course and scope of employment at the time of the collision. Continue reading

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Tort reform advocates are once again beating the same old drum, insisting that if Florida would only lower its litigation costs, auto insurers could lower their rates for the rest of us.

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Cape Coral car accident lawyers know the main problem with this line of reasoning is it doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.

As one auto insurance lobbyist testified not long ago, “It’s a misnomer to ever really believe that your rates are going to go down. There are so many pressures for it to go up: Medical costs continue to go up, the cost of the vehicle continues to go up, the amount of wages that you have to compensate for continues to go up. So maybe what you do is slow the rate of rise.”

Even that is a pretty big “maybe.” More than likely, what happens is insurance firms and other large corporations benefit, while those most seriously injured receive less compensation. Continue reading

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Last legislative session, the Florida legislature failed to pass a bill that would have required mandatory bodily injury insurance for drivers in Florida.  The bill would have replaced laws enacted in 1971 as part of a no fault automobile insurance plan.  This change in law aims to replace the current no fault system under which Florida drivers are forced to purchase only Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, which is costly, and requires Floridians to purchase additional health insurance that is only in place when they are in a vehicle. According to a State-commissioned actuarial study, the proposed reforms would have saved drivers an average of $81 per car.  Thankfully, last week a second and similar bill cleared it’s only committee in the Florida House and is heading to the floor for a vote. As always, we continue to recommend that Florida drivers purchase Uninsured Motorist insurance coverage as there is currently no requirement that Florida drivers purchase bodily injury insurance to cover the damage they cause unfortunate event of an automobile accident.

Florida’s Current No Fault Automobile Insurance Laws

In 1971, Florida adopted a no fault automobile insurance plan. “No fault” and “PIP coverage” are used interchangeably to describe an automobile insurance plan that allows policyholders to recover money for certain financial losses from their own insurers.  The system was designed to provide injured drivers with up to $10,000 to cover medical bills and certain other costs, regardless of who was at fault for the accident that resulted in their injuries.  Currently, owners of automobiles in Florida are required to  purchase only $10,000 in PIP coverage and $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PD coverage).

This current system is not working out very well.  PIP coverage with a $10,000 limit does not cover much, insofar as it covers only 80% of medical expenses and 60% of lost income, leaving claimants responsible for 20% of medical expenses and 40% of lost income; and that’s only up to $10,000.00.  Drivers with healthcare insurance are paying for PIP insurance that may overlap, thus double paying; this is especially costly for veterans, and the elderly who are already covered under federal health plans.  A bigger problem is that, according to information provided to a panel of the Florida Senate, Florida drivers are paying insurance premiums that are among the country’s five highest for some of the lowest required coverage amounts. The vast majority of states do not have Florida’s no fault system that continues to riddled with fraud and leaves many victims responsible for their medical bills caused by the negligence of another driver.

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