On May 9, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a new law that requires ridesharing drivers to carry insurance above and beyond the state’s standard minimum requirements, and that requires ridesharing companies to perform background checks on drivers operating in the state. Known as the “Uber / Lyft Bill,” the law also requires ridesharing companies to adopt “zero-tolerance” policies on drug and alcohol use, and to promptly suspend any drivers suspected of driving under the influence pending an investigation.
In Florida, texting behind the wheel is what is known as a “secondary offense.” This means that the police cannot pull a driver over because he or she is texting. If a driver is committing another offense (such as speeding) while texting, then the police can issue tickets for both offenses. However, texting alone currently is not enough to get a dangerous driver to the side of the road.
When you are injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to seek financial compensation for your losses. This is the general rule in Florida and other states around the country. Drinking and driving, texting behind the wheel, weaving in and out of traffic, speeding – these are all examples of negligent driving that can support claims for just compensation.
Each year, there are hundreds of thousands of auto accidents in Florida. These accidents lead to hundreds of thousands of injuries, and they kill thousands of drivers, passengers, bicyclists and pedestrians.
Florida sees more than its fair share of auto accidents. For many years, the Sunshine State has held the distinction of having one of the highest car crash rates in the nation, and since 2014 Florida has seen the steepest increase in accident-related fatalities of any state nationwide. While the National Safety Council estimates that fatal accident rates have increased 18 percent nationwide over the last two years, Florida’s rate has increased by an almost unbelievable 43 percent.
Most car accidents involving multiple vehicles are the result of driver negligence. From texting and driving to being drunk behind the wheel, all types of mistakes can lead to all types of dangerous collisions.
Following a car accident, you need to make smart decisions about protecting your legal rights. To help you get started, our attorneys have provided answers to a number of frequently-asked questions (FAQs). For legal advice about your situation, we encourage you to contact us promptly for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Federal regulations permit commercial truck drivers to spend up to 11 consecutive hours behind the wheel and up to 70 hours driving over the course of an 8-day period. That is a lot of driving, much of which is done at night and on long, monotonous stretches of highway. Furthermore, research has shown that many truck drivers exceed the federal “hours of service” limitations, spending even more time behind the wheel.
Texting behind the wheel is a major problem in Florida and around the country. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), on average, distracted drivers injure more than 1,000 people every single day, and texting is widely recognized as one of the most prevalent forms of distracted driving.
When you are injured in a motorcycle accident, in many ways, the odds are stacked against you. As a result, to make sure you are able to collect the compensation you deserve, you need to protect yourself as much as possible.
If you have been injured in a car accident, you are not alone in wondering, “Should I hire an attorney to represent me?” or “Should I just try to deal with the insurance companies on my own?”
As recently reported in the Wall Street Journal, a new Silicon Valley startup led by one of the founders of Google’s self-driving car program is aiming to retrofit existing 18-wheelers with autonomous driving technology. Other companies are already in the process of developing the technology to role new self-driving heavy trucks off of the assembly line.
Each year, drunk drivers kill hundreds of innocent drivers and passengers in Florida and they leave thousands more victims suffering from serious, and often life-changing, injuries. As someone who has been injured in a drunk driving accident or who has lost a loved one to the negligence of a drunk driver, you have rights, and it is important for both you and the community as a whole that you stand up for those rights in court.
In most car accidents, victims recover their losses through the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The at-fault driver’s auto insurance coverage will often be sufficient to provide full compensation (provided that the insurance company agrees to pay what the victim is owed); but, in some cases, a victim’s losses will exceed the amount covered by the at-fault driver’s policy.
When you are injured in an accident that is clearly 100 percent someone else’s fault, as long as you don’t delay or make other mistakes that could jeopardize your claim, the law entitles you to recover financial compensation for your accident-related losses. But, what if you were 10 percent at fault, or 50 percent, or even 90 percent? How do you even know how much blame to assign to each person involved in the accident?
Whiplash is a serious and potentially long-term injury that is common in car accidents and other types of vehicle collisions. If you have experienced symptoms of whiplash after an accident in which someone else was to blame, you could be entitled to financial compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses.
If you have been injured in a car accident, it can be difficult to know whether you are entitled to compensation for your losses. In many cases, figuring out exactly what happened can be a challenge, and getting a clear picture of your legal rights may require a thorough investigation.
Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents are a persistent problem in Florida. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports that there were more than 92,000 hit-and-run crashes in Florida in 2015, with 186 of these accidents resulting in fatalities. This means that hit-and-run drivers in Florida killed someone roughly every other day.
For many people, the start of Daylight Saving Time signals the unofficial start of Spring. This year, Daylight Saving Time started on March 13, 2016, and here in the Florida Panhandle we experienced Spring-like temperatures in the 60s and 70s.
It happened. You were injured in an accident. Maybe someone rear-ended you, you fell on a slippery floor, or your neighbor’s dog attacked you. Whatever happened, it happened, and now you are left to deal with the consequences. So, what do you do? How do you recover your medical expenses (and other losses) and protect your legal rights?
We all know that distracted driving is extremely dangerous. In the time that it takes the average person to read a text message or dial a phone number, a vehicle traveling at highway speeds can more than cover the distance of an entire football field. With researchers estimating that roughly 660,000 drivers are using their phones while behind the wheel at any given moment in time during the day, this means that distracted drivers are covering thousands upon thousands of miles without paying attention to the road.
If your motorcycle was damaged in an accident, it is important to understand the options that are available for recovering the costs to repair or replace your bike. As with claims for personal injuries, most property damage claims are resolved through insurance. However, different rules apply to property claims, and will you need to know which insurance company (or companies) to work with in order to secure maximum compensation.
By many accounts, 2015 is expected to have been one of the deadliest years in recent memory for drivers and passengers in Florida and throughout the country. By the middle of the year, the number of traffic-related fatalities was on pace to set the highest annual mark since 2007. While we are still awaiting the final national data, we now know that there were 2,604 fatal accidents in Florida in 2015. This is higher than the number each year from 2011 through 2014.
In most cases, car accidents result from driver negligence. Whether speeding, drinking and driving, or texting behind the wheel, failure to meet the standard of care that all motorists owe to one another can have serious consequences – including life-changing and sometimes fatal injuries. When this happens, injured drivers and passengers can seek compensation for their losses by filing a lawsuit for personal injury or wrongful death.
If you have suffered injuries that are covered under your insurance policy, your insurance company has a legal duty to pay you according to the terms of your policy. Your policy is a legally-binding contract, and under Florida law, your insurance company must meet its contractual obligations in good faith.
When you suffer serious injuries in a motorcycle accident, your financial losses will typically include property damage, medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages and maybe even the cost of paying someone to do things (like mow your lawn) that you would ordinarily be able to do on your own. However, in addition to these financial losses, you may also suffer what is known in legal terms as “pain and suffering.”
In a typical car accident case, if the other driver was negligent in causing your injuries, your attorney will file a claim against his or her insurance company. There are other possibilities – such as when a vehicle defect contributes to the accident – but in most cases auto accident claims are resolved through a settlement or litigation with the negligent driver’s insurer.
If you are injured in a dog attack, do you know your legal rights? Florida’s dog bite law is more favorable to victims than similar laws in other states, and as a result dog bite victims were able to recover $5.6 million in financial compensation in 2014 alone.
Motorcyclists face serious harm when involved in an accident. Exposure to the road and other vehicles, combined with a smaller profile than cars, can lead to serious injuries and property damage. If you or a loved one is in a wreck, contact a Niceville motorcycle accident lawyer at Powell, Powell & Powell for help with your claim.
Drinking and driving is never an acceptable situation, but the truth is it happens all over Florida every day. Many of these drunk drivers cause accidents that are not just costly in terms of property damages, but are also costly — or deadly — in terms of physical injuries.
Florida law provides a variety of rules for how the courts approach personal injuries. However, certain injuries are considered "cut-and-dried." The responsibility for such injuries is placed solely on one party under the doctrine of strict liability. These cases usually include injuries incurred from a dog bite or product defect.
If your loved one was involved in a motorcycle crash that resulted in his or her death, you may find yourself on the verge of collapse. The shock, grief and other emotions may cause you to shut down mentally, but it’s crucial to begin working with an attorney immediately. At Powell, Powell & Powell, we offer our condolences for your loss and invite you to contact a Destin motorcycle accident lawyer at our firm.
No one rides a motorcycle expecting the worst to happen, but even with the most vigilant of precautions, accidents can — and do — occur. Unfortunately, the stakes can be a lot higher in motorcycle accidents than car accidents. Catastrophic injuries are distressingly common in motorcycle wrecks. Contact a Fort Walton motorcycle accident lawyer from Powell, Powell & Powell to help you recover compensation for losses related to catastrophic injuries.
After a car accident, you may soon realize that your expenses and bills are piling up. Maybe you’re not sure how everything will get paid or how you’ll ever get back the money you’ve already spent, particularly if you have been unable to work. The Destin car accident lawyers at Powell, Powell & Powell can help you recover damages against the other driver's insurance company or your own insurer, depending on the circumstances of the accident and your situation.
When you’ve been injured in a car accident in Florida, personal injury protection (PIP) insurance benefits help cover the expenses and losses resulting from the accident. In recent years, however, the state made sweeping changes to personal injury protection — and these changes didn’t favor people who carry insurance.
Florida is a no-fault state, which means that when you get in an auto accident, your insurer is responsible for paying the costs associated with the wreck, including medical expenses and lost income while you heal.
After a car accident in Florida, you may try to bring a lawsuit against the other driver for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering or other damages.
Motorcycle accidents often cause serious, life-changing injuries or result in the death of the motorcyclist. When you are hurt or a loved one is killed, you can make a claim for compensation if someone else is responsible – even if they are in part responsible – for your accident. A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you understand your options and take legal steps designed to maximize the compensation you receive.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of motorcyclists killed in collisions has increased almost annually for more than a decade. While motorcycle riders represent just three percent of vehicles on U.S. roads, motorcycle riders comprise 14 percent of victims killed in collisions.
Martindale-Hubbell, the largest and most comprehensive source of lawyer ratings in the world, awarded Powell, Powell & Powell and both of its partners the highest possible rating, which is an “AV Preeminent” rating.