Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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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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rear_end_collision-150x150If you use UBER or LYFT to pick up and deliver your minor children, then you should know it is a violation of company policy for both of these corporations. Realistically, you should also know that these companies do very little to enforce this policy. To most drivers, a ride is a ride whether it is a child or an adult.

UBER and LYFT always say to right thing. But the proof is in their actions. Consider UBER’s firearm policy. No guns for anyone at any time. Sounds great – but no real effort put into actual enforcement.

Same thing for UBER’s discrimination policy. No one is allowed to discriminate – ever. Sounds wonderful, but is UBER doing anything proactively? No, they are not. Therefore, there is no reason to assume that UBER or LYFT is going to actively prevent drivers from picking up riders under the age of majority. If something goes wrong, UBER or LYFT will simply point to their policy and claim innocence – just like they do with guns and discrimination.

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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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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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Miami Car accident lawyers deal with people who were injured by aggressive driving or even road rage every day. Road rage is the more extreme form of aggressive driving such as people who get out of their car to confront or assault other drivers. It also includes drivers who intentionally run into other cars or people. Aggressive driving can take many forms and often plays a role in numerous Miami car accident injury cases. In our analysis, it’s getting worse every day. Now there is a study on aggressive driving that backs up our opinion.

According to a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, almost 80% of drivers in the past year had expressed road rage, aggression or extreme anger on at least once occasion. The information was collected in a national survey of 2,705 drivers who were at least 16 years old and had driven in the past thirty days. In 2014, it is estimated that there were over 213 million licensed drivers in the U.S. according to the Federal Highway Administration.

This AAA study suggests that about 8 million drivers in the United States had engaged in significant road rage including getting out of their vehicle to confront other drivers or intentionally ramming other cars. The perception of almost two thirds of drivers believe that aggressive and angry driving has increased over the past three years. Ninety percent of us believe that road rage and aggressive driving is a serious and significant threat to our personal safety.