Representing Accident
& Injury Victims
Since 1963 We Help Clients in all Parts of Injury
and Wrongful Death Claims
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accident-miami-300x225It’s bad enough when you are seriously injured in a crash of any kind. But when the driver leaves the scene, that is the definition of adding insult to injury. That is why law enforcement is working on programs to help reduce or solve the problem.

In Florida, 25% of all crashes in 2016 were hit-and-run accidents. To be more exact, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles listed 99,004 hit-and-run accidents in the state. Amazingly, a significant number of drivers would not face charges or even receive a ticket if they stayed at the scene after a crash.  But by leaving the scene of an accident, even where that driver was not at fault, makes that fleeing driver subject to arrest and imprisonment.  As an example, Florida law provides that leaving the scene of an accident when someone has died is a first-degree felony punishable by a $10,000 fine and up to 30 years in prison. Even with this penalty, the numbers of hit and run accidents continue to rise.

Hit and Run Accidents in Miami

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While you enjoy the insurance company commercials on television, you should also keep in mind that insurance companies do more than just advertise. They invest significant amounts of money in studying you and your behavior, actions and tendencies. One area that the insurance industry is most curious about is why people hire personal injury lawyers after car accidents.

The standard belief within insurance companies is that personal injury lawyers increase the cost of claims. Insurance companies measure the average cost per paid claim. This category is referred to as claim severity. Other measurements that every insurance company relies on include frequency and loss costs. Insurance industry executives are convinced that car accident attorneys negatively and significantly impact all claims costs and that results in higher premiums.

So, it is natural that insurance companies would spend some of their research and development money on trying to figure out why so many people hire lawyers after a car crash. Veterans in the industry believed for years that delays in processing claims often led people to hire attorneys. But a recent study brings that belief into question.

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UberEATS is everywhere in South Florida now. There was a recent announcement that UberEATS will even deliver food from McDonalds. But what happens if you have an accident with an UberEATS driver? Will Uber insurance cover the UberEATS driver?

Our Miami UberEATS accident lawyers assure us that the same coverage that exists for Uber accidents should apply for any accident involving UberEATS.

Uber Insurance Coverage

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A Buca di Beppo restaurant was sued by a customer who was seriously injured when he swallowed a broken mussel shell. The trial court in Broward County initially granted the defendant Buca’s motion for summary judgment which was reversed by the Fourth District Court of Appeal based on the application of the “reasonable expectation” test to the facts of the case.

Now the customer is entitled to a jury trial and our personal injury lawyers at the Miami office of the Wolfson Law Firm firmly believe the 4th DCA got this one right.

Linguine Frutti di Mare with the Broken Mussel Shells

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Until now, Uber, Lyft and the transportation network companies (TNC) have dealt with local governments on a county by county basis. However, in January 2017 proposed legislation was filed in the Florida Legislature which is widely viewed as favorable to the TNC companies like Uber and Lyft. This is potentially good news for Florida consumers as well as Uber car accident lawyers and Lyft injury attorneys.

Uber, as the market leader in Florida, has taken the lead in the battles against local governments. Lyft typically waited for the dust to settle and fell in line with the results obtained by Uber. These battles were on display in South Florida over the past few years with Broward County taking the lead in fighting against Uber.

Broward County banned Uber and Lyft for more than 4 months after negotiations broke down with Uber. Unfortunately for Broward County commissioners, the public outcry and backlash was overwhelming. In the end, Broward County essentially complied and gave in to the terms that Uber demanded. Not long after a deal was reached between Uber and Broward County both Palm Beach County and Miami-Dade County fell in line.

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In today’s world, many teenagers are choosing Uber over driver’s licenses. Not surprisingly, many parents are in agreement with this choice. In homes all over Miami and in South Florida, families are discussing the safety and economics of using Uber instead of owning, maintaining, insuring another vehicle in the household.

Miami Uber accident attorneys have also had this discussion with clients. In the course of helping accident victims in South Florida, our personal injury lawyers in Miami meet with the parents of teenagers who are coming of driving age. Our Uber car accident attorneys in Miami usually discuss the legal responsibilities and obligations of Uber or Lyft after an accident no matter whether it is a driver or passenger. But increasingly, parents are curious about our Miami personal injury lawyers’ opinion on the issue of using Uber as a primary transportation choice for their children.

As for the legal perspective, Uber and other companies like it are required to maintain $1 million of insurance that may be available to Uber drivers and passengers. But because this is a new area of the law, many issues remain to be decided by the courts. Our Uber injury lawyers anticipate considerable litigation on issues involving insurance coverage for bodily injury, uninsured motorist, and personal injury protection benefits. Uber insurance coverage issues will not only involve the insurance provided by Uber, but also the insurance of other drivers and passengers.

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Let’s face it, most Uber and Lyft drivers are not out there driving for the life experience. They are not hobbyists. They are driving to make money. Some drivers do it part time while others try to make a full time living from driving for Uber or Lyft. Our Miami Uber accident lawyers hear the stories from our clients who drive and were injured in a car accident. One thing is absolutely clear, driving for Uber or Lyft is not an easy way to make a living.

Let’s consider the economics of driving for Uber and Lyft. The first thing to know is that these companies take money off the top of every ride in terms of fees and percentages of the total ride. Lyft provides the option of giving a tip while Uber does not. In general, drivers can expect to lose 20-25% of every ride fee to the company. Many drivers will only look at their weekly take home and subtract the amount of gas money they spent to figure out if they had a good week. But if we dig a little deeper, that profit margin shrinks even further.

A proper analysis of an Uber driver’s profitability should include the cost of wear and tear on the vehicle; depreciation of the vehicle’s value; and the cost of insurance. The issue of insurance is even more complex than it might initially appear.

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According to a recent study, Uber drivers do in fact discriminate against black and female passengers. Researchers from the University of Washington, Stanford and MIT conducted a two-year study of Flywheel, Lyft, and Uber passengers in Seattle and Boston. The study reviewed almost 1500 rides in both cities.

The researchers found that black riders using UberX ended up waiting anywhere between 29 and 35% longer than others similarly situated white passengers. The study also found that females were regularly taken on rides that were longer than necessary and ended up being frequently overcharged. The study also discovered that people requesting rides with “African-American sounding” names were canceled disproportionately by drivers when compared to riders requesting with” white sounding” names.

As background, Uber drivers have some control over what rights to accept and what areas to drive in. The drivers can cancel any ride request. An Uber driver can effectively take themselves out of any area by simply logging off the Uber app. For example, if an Uber driver picks up a ride on South Beach and takes that passenger to Miami Gardens and the Uber driver does not want to accept any rides from Miami Gardens then he/she can simply turn off the Uber app. Then they drive to an area and when they want to accept new rides they turn the Uber app back on.

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A South Carolina woman was awarded more than $4.6 million following an incident when she was stuck by a needle in a Target store parking lot. Remarkably, her lawyer attempted to settle with Target before trial for $12,000 but Target rejected that offer. In response, Target offered the woman $750 and she was forced to go to trial.

In May of 2014, the woman and her young daughter got out of their car in a Target parking lot. When the woman’s daughter picked up a hypodermic needle, she swatted the needle out of her daughter’s hand. As she swatted the needle, it stuck her in the palm of her right hand.

The woman reported the injury to a Target employee who noted in a Target Guest Incident Report that the woman “seemed worried”. The report is an internal document that is filled out by a Target employee or manager. Information is collected from the “guest” about their accident and injuries while at Target.

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Miami premise liability lawyers know that Walmart measures everything. They know their numbers. Consider this:

  • Sales per Walmart employee is $236,804 – a 23% increase over the last decade
  • It has more than 1 million retail workers on full-time and part-time shifts.