Articles Posted in Car Accident Insurance

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rear_end_collisionMaybe this isn’t news to you, but for the second year in a row Florida was ranked first in having the worst drivers in the country.

Miami car accident lawyers deal with the effects caused by bad drivers every day. Clients are faced with the ripple effect of an automobile crash – the property damage; the insurance companies; medical bills; and loss of income. Car crashes impact more than the driver and passengers. A car accident will likely affect families, friends and coworkers. That is why anyone involved in a car wreck should consult with the best Miami car accident attorney that they can find.

Florida – Home of the Second Lowest Number of Insured Drivers

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Car_crash_2In March of 2017, a Lyft driver in Miami was killed in a Little Havana accident. The other driver was charged with DUI (Driving Under the Influence) for being high on crystal meth and cocaine. There were four passengers in the Lyft driver’s vehicle who were taken to the hospital. The family and survivors of the deceased driver and the passengers would benefit from the advice of a Lyft car accident attorney in Miami. These victims all face a potentially complex situation of insurance coverage.

Nicholas Castelao was ultimately charged with DUI manslaughter for driving while high on crystal meth. The Lyft driver he killed was Robert Torra. The accident happened in the residential area at the intersection of SW 25th Avenue and SW 17th Street. Castelao told a nurse at Jackson Memorial that he was high on meth. In addition, the investigating officers found a drug pipe near the vehicle after the accident. At the hospital, a nurse’s aide found 3 bags of drugs in the pockets of Castelao.

It is so sad that the selfish decision to drive while under the influence tragically impacted the Lyft driver and his four passengers. Not only were those folks affected, their families and friends also felt the impact. The unintended consequences of a tragic car accident extend far and wide.

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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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Uber launched its new app called UberEATS in South Florida today. It opens the market for Uber drivers to deliver food from over 100 participating restaurants in the eastern corridor of South Florida from Brickell to Hollywood. Participating eating establishments include  The Salty Donut,  SoCalTaco, Salsa Fiesta, The Rice House of Kabob, Morgan’s Restaurant DIRT, Jar + Fork, Ms. Cheezious, Sushi Maki, the Daily Creative, Sliders, Roasters N Toasters  and Wynwood Kitchen & Bar. Miami is the 19th city in the United States to launch UberEATS.

Miami Uber accident injury lawyers know that this means more Uber drivers on the road in Miami and Broward County. As miles and hours increase, so does the possibility of car accidents. The question is whether Uber will provide insurance coverage for its drivers and if so, when will that coverage apply. Presently, Uber is supposed to provide its drivers and passengers with insurance coverage of 1 million dollars. This insurance coverage is supposed to apply when the driver is engaged in the pick-up and delivery of passengers. But many questions remain for Uber car accident injury lawyers.

We expect there to be issues that will be litigated in the courts over the coming years. These questions will involve exclusions, coverage and limitations of liability. It is generally expected that Uber’s insurance coverage will apply when the driver accepts a ride request through the delivery of that passenger. But will there be coverage when the Uber driver has his app on and is available to accept rides but has no customers at that moment. What happens when a driver refuses a ride request and is involved in an accident? Will Uber’s 1 million dollar insurance cover that Uber driver?

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Lynne McChristian of the Insurance Information Institute recently told the Miami Herald that auto insurance rates are rising because of the drop in the unemployment rate as the main reason. “It’s an unintended consequence of low unemployment,” she said. “You have more people with jobs to go to.” That’s a new one for Miami car accident lawyers and their personal injury clients.

Four years ago, the Florida Legislature allegedly reformed the PIP (Personal Injury Protection) laws. As part of the reform deal, our insurance rates were supposed to drop. Car insurance rates dropped after the 2012 changes by 0.2% in 2013-2014. But in 2015-2015 those rates increased by 13.8% according to the Florida Department of Insurance Regulation.

Since January 2015, the insurance companies have raised automobile insurance rates an average of 15%. In fact Allstate has increased its PIP rates by 40 %.

Ms. Christian claims that average PIP claim in the last quarter of 2015 was $8280 which is close to the average in 2011 of $8,520 before the PIP reforms were instituted. Of course the insurance companies claim fraud is driving the rates higher in spite of the fact that these same insurance companies pushed through the reforms they wanted.

Insurance Company Statistics are Like Bikinis

Aaron Levenstein once said “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” Insurance companies are experts in using statistics to move their agenda

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img-box-02dCan I get the other side to pay my attorney’s fees in my Miami car accident case?  The answer is sometimes, yes.

The Miami car accident attorneys at Wolfson Law Firm work with the rules surrounding proposals for settlement regularly. A proposal for settlement is basically an offer to settle and either side can file one. This is the process and law that may help you get the other side to pay your attorney’s fees.  Under Florida Statute 768.69 which is Florida’s Offer of Judgment and Demand for Judgment statute, during litigation a Miami car accident lawyer can send a proposal for settlement to the other side. If you go to trial and get 25% more than what you asked for in the proposal, then you can get the other side to pay for your attorney’s fees.  That means that you may not have to pay the contingency fee at all.

Now, this law can be used against you too.  This means that, if the other side sends a proposal to you and your end verdict at trial is 25% less than what was offered to you, then you will need to pay their attorney’s fees and costs. As far as costs, Florida law does provide for the prevailing party to recover costs from the losing side even without a proposal being issued.

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Technological advances are changing the way lawmakers think about car accident law and about traffic regulation. According to the New York Times, companies like Google know more about traffic patterns and driving behavior than the regulators who are put in charge of solving the city’s problems. In a city like Miami, where traffic leads to accidents and causes endless gridlock, the New York Times reports that cities are calling upon technology companies to help solve their traffic problems.

The federal Department of Transportation recently announced a partnership with the company that owns Google to provide city officials with traffic data to help them better solve problems of gridlock, traffic jams, and accidents. The hope is that with the better data, the cities will be able to find more efficient ways to move goods and people.

Part of the work will involve the anonymous analysis of billions of miles of trips logged in smartphones. The hope is that better tools will be developed to help cities understand where congestion is highest and how these problems can best be solved. Information about where commuters are going can also help city planners find better solutions to common gridlock problems. Computer models may also be able to help city planners find solutions that actually work. For instance, they can model whether a carpool lane would help alleviate congestion, or whether it makes more sense to build a new train line.