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Powell, Powell & Powell, P.A.

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Why You Need a Lawyer if You Have Been Injured in a Truck Accident

According to the most recent data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatal accidents involving large trucks increased by 13% from 2020 to 2021. While the statistics for 2021 have not yet been finalized, this increase comes as a shock after seeing a decline from 2019 to 2020. There were 4,965 fatalities involving large trucks in 2020, while there were 5,601 fatalities involving large trucks in 2021. When you consider that more than 70% of the people killed in those accidents were the occupants of other vehicles, you start to understand why an increase in truck accident fatalities is troubling.

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Proving Your Personal Injury Claim

If you have suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Even if you have health insurance, you may have significant out-of-pocket expenses such as copays and deductibles. You may also be entitled to compensation for any lost income as a result of being unable to work or having to miss work to go to doctor’s appointments or physical therapy. Finally, you may also be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. Altogether, the value of your claim can be significant.

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Motorcycle Accidents in Okaloosa County

Every motorcycle rider knows that riding on our roadways is dangerous. Without the body of a car surrounding them, they risk serious injury and even death if they are in an accident even if they are wearing a helmet and other safety gear. That said, the fact that you accept the hazard of riding a motorcycle does not mean that you aren’t entitled to compensation if you are injured due to another driver’s negligence. If you have been in a motorcycle accident, talk to a motorcycle accident attorney to discuss whether you have a claim.

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Injured? Four Big Reasons Why You Should Contact a Lawyer

Accidents happen every day. While the people involved often walk away unscathed, there are always accidents that result in serious injuries and sometimes even death. When people are injured as a result of someone else’s carelessness, they are entitled to be made whole under the law. This means that they deserve compensation for their medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.

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How to Prove Distracted Driving

Florida’s law banning the use of smartphones and other electronic devices went into effect in July of 2019. Distracted driving is negligent driving regardless of the law, but it can help your case if you were injured in an accident and the other driver is given a ticket for texting while driving. Unfortunately, there are many cases where distracted driving was the cause of the accident but no ticket was issued. And even if a ticket was issued, you will still need to prove that the other driver was not only driving while distracted but that it caused your accident that led to your injuries.

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Understanding Damages for Pain and Suffering

In every personal injury case, the plaintiff (the person who was injured and is making the claim) is seeking monetary compensation for their injuries and other losses. The legal term for this monetary compensation is “damages.” There are two main types of damages in a personal injury case: (1) economic and (2) non-economic. Economic damages or those losses that are represented by a specific dollar amount such as your medical bills. Pain and suffering fall under non-economic damages. Because they are not supported by documentation, they can be much harder to prove.

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Seven Mistakes That Can Jeopardize Your Car Accident Claim

The days following your car accident can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, this is also the time that people tend to make mistakes that can do irreparable damage to their claims. Even if you aren’t sure whether you have a claim, it is best to proceed carefully in order to protect your rights. Ultimately, the best thing you can do is talk to a Defuniak Springs car accident lawyer - they can help you find the way forward, even if you choose not to pursue a claim.

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Car Accidents and Pre-Existing Conditions

All kinds of people are involved in car accidents every day, including the elderly and the unwell. Unfortunately, people with pre-existing conditions face unique challenges when it comes to pursuing a claim for compensation. The Niceville car accident lawyers at Powell, Powell & Powell want you to know that you are not alone, and we have the knowledge and experience you need to make a full recovery.

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Injured in a Pedestrian Accident? What You Need to Know

Pedestrians who are struck by motor vehicles typically suffer severe injuries, and tragically, many of these accidents result in death. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of misinformation that surrounds these accidents, particularly as to whether the pedestrian was at fault. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, the best thing you can do is speak with a Crestview personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They can review your case and help you understand your rights.

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FLHSMV Releases 2021 Crash Data

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) recently released its crash data for 2021. While the data is considered “preliminary” and finalized data has not been published, it does provide a snapshot of trending motor vehicle accidents across Florida and in Okaloosa County. Analyzing the data is a sober reminder that motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common causes of serious injuries and deaths in our area. If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, a Crestview auto accident lawyer can help you get back on your feet.

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What to Expect at Your Free Consultation

The initial consultation is an important step in choosing the right lawyer for your case. As a result, it is important to come to the meeting prepared to ensure you make the most of the meeting. It is also important to have a sense of what you can expect - while every lawyer will of course hope that you will retain them, there is certain information that you can expect to receive about your case when meeting with a Fort Walton personal injury lawyer from our firm.

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Do You Need a Lawyer Even Though You Have PIP Coverage?

As with a handful of other states, Florida is a “No-Fault” accident state. This means that the personal injury protection (“PIP”) coverage that is included with your automobile insurance covers any bodily injuries that you suffer as a result of a car accident, regardless of fault. Compare this to other states where you must pursue a claim against the at-fault driver for your injuries.

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Bitten by a Dog? What You Need to Know

Despite the media’s coverage of vicious dog attacks, people often fail to recognize just how serious dog bites can be. Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable - children due to their size, the elderly because they are far more likely to be knocked down and suffer broken bones and other serious injuries. If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. A Crestview personal injury lawyer can review your case and determine whether you have a claim.

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Why You Should Talk to a Fort Walton Personal Injury Lawyer if You Fell on Someone Else’s Property

Slip and fall accidents are often ridiculed but the reality is that they can result in serious injuries. These injuries can require extensive medical treatment and lead to lost income and other issues. In those situations, you may be entitled to compensation but, unfortunately, these cases can be much more difficult to pursue than many people expect. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, a Fort Walton personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the claim process so that you can get the compensation you need.

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Weather-Related Car Accidents

While Florida drivers do not have to contend with snow and ice common during winter in other states, weather can still play a factor in many accidents. In these accidents, there is a tendency to think that no one is at fault. While weather can cause some accidents that are simply unavoidable, this is not always the case. If you have been injured in a weather-related car accident, a Fort Walton car accident lawyer can review your case and determine whether you have a claim.

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What You Need to Know if You Have Been Injured in a Car Accident Caused by a Drunk Driver

It is an unfortunate reality that drunk driving accidents spike during the holidays. Whether it is a family get-together or a company party, people celebrating the holidays often means getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol. Drunk driving accidents can lead to serious injuries and even death in some cases. If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, the best thing you can do is contact a Fort Walton car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

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Three Reasons Why People Think They Don’t Need a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been seriously injured in an accident, you need to make a lot of decisions about how to move forward. One of those decisions is whether you should hire a Fort Walton personal injury lawyer to pursue a claim for compensation. Unfortunately, many people make the wrong decision based on the following false assumptions.

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Things to Consider if You Have Been Injured as a Passenger in a Car Accident

When considering car accidents and potential injury claims, the focus tends toward the claim that one driver makes against the other. In reality, many car accidents also result in injuries to passengers. It is important to understand that passenger claims have their own unique considerations when it comes to pursuing a claim for compensation. If you have been injured as a passenger in a car accident, you should contact a Fort Walton car accident lawyer to discuss your options.

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Will I Have to Go to Court?

One of the most common questions that potential clients ask is whether they will have to go to court. Anxiety about court is completely understandable, but the good news is that court is rarely like anything you see on television or in the movies. Unless there is something unusual about your case, it is likely to be far less dramatic. That said, understanding why and when your case may have to go to court can be helpful in proceeding with your case. A Fort Walton personal injury lawyer can review your case and discuss the potential outcome you can expect.

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Were You Injured in a Multi-Vehicle Accident?

A recent accident near Orlando involved 15 vehicles and sent six people to the hospital. The accident occurred on State Road 417 and highlights how easily these accidents can occur when there is a high volume of traffic moving at a high rate of speed. Multi-vehicle accidents often result in severe injuries and can even result in death. Unfortunately, pursuing a claim for compensation can be very challenging in these types of cases. If you have been injured in a multi-vehicle accident, a Fort Walton car accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you need to rebuild your life.

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Understanding Comparative Negligence in Personal Injury Cases

After being injured in an accident, many people are shocked when the other party claims that the accident was at least partially their fault. This is often referred to as “contributory negligence,” meaning that the victim’s own negligence contributed to causing the accident or their injury. If the other party is saying that you are partially to blame for the accident, it’s important to understand that it doesn’t mean that you can’t pursue a claim. A Fort Walton personal injury lawyer can discuss your case with you and whether you are entitled to compensation.

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What Kind of Evidence Do You Need in a Personal Injury Case?

If you have been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other losses. In order to be successful, however, you will need to prove your case even if you don’t plan to go to court. This can be overwhelming for people who are suffering from serious injuries, leaving them unsure how to even begin. A Fort Walton personal injury lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to successfully pursue a claim.

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Florida is Still a “No-Fault” State - What This Means For You

You may have already heard that Governor DeSantis recently vetoed Senate Bill 54, legislation that would repeal the mandate that Florida drivers purchase “personal injury protection” insurance or “PIP.” While this is big news in our state, many drivers remain confused about how exactly Florida law applies when they are injured in a car accident. And even though Florida is still a “no-fault” state, a Fort Walton car accident lawyer can help you navigate the claim process so that you can get the compensation you deserve.

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Is the Other Driver Blaming You for Your Car Accident?

Car accidents often happen so fast that there can be considerable disagreement as to what happened. In some cases, the at-fault driver is unwilling to accept responsibility for their own role in the accident and looks to blame the other driver. Whether they claim the accident is entirely or partially your fault, it can have important implications for your claim. If you have been injured in a car accident and the at-fault driver is blaming you, A Fort Walton car accident lawyer can overcome this argument and help you get the compensation you deserve.

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Do You Have a Premises Liability Claim?

Property owners have a legal obligation to ensure that their property is safe for guests and visitors. As a result, you may have a claim for compensation if you are injured on another person’s property. Unfortunately, successfully proving your claim involves more than the fact that you were injured. If you were injured on another person’s property, a Fort Walton personal injury lawyer can review your case and determine whether you have a claim.   

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If I Work With an Injury Lawyer, Will My Case Go to Trial?

Many people have reservations about hiring a lawyer after an accident. Among their concerns, many people believe that hiring a lawyer means that their case will go to trial. They are concerned that the process will be unnecessarily lengthy and expensive, and they think that they would rather “see what they can get” by dealing with the insurance companies on their own.

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Teen Driver Accidents: What Parents Need to Know

For many Florida parents, dealing with their teen drivers’ accidents is an unfortunate fact of life. Teen drivers face a number of risks and temptations as they learn, from careless drivers to receiving texts and social media notifications behind the wheel.

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Right of Way and Crosswalk Injuries in Florida

If you’ve been harmed in an accident due to another’s negligence, then Florida law entitles you to sue the defendant and obtain compensation for your losses.

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Personal Injury Damages Vary Depending on the Plaintiff

If you’ve been harmed in an accident due to another’s negligence, then Florida law entitles you to sue the defendant and obtain compensation for your losses.  But many would-be plaintiffs don’t understand how damages works — they may not understand why damages can be quite variable from plaintiff-to-plaintiff, or how they can maximize their own damage recovery.

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Senate Bill 54 and the Future of PIP in Florida

In Florida, the passage of Senate Bill 54 (SB54) has potentially changed insurance coverage for millions of drivers throughout the state and could have significant impacts on those drivers who are involved in car accidents.

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4 Reasons to Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, then Florida law may give you a right to sue and recover damages from the defendant.  In pursuing a claim against the defendant, however, you’ll want to work with a qualified attorney who can represent your interests from beginning to end.

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Don’t Talk to Insurers Without an Attorney

If you have purchased car insurance, then you probably expect it to pay out when you are involved in a car accident.  Unfortunately, insurance companies are always looking for ways to avoid having to payout for losses sustained by their policyholders.  In doing so, they engage a few different strategies, such as communicating directly with their policyholder (so that the policyholder will make a statement undermining their claims).

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Understanding Wage Loss and Earning Capacity Damages

If you have been injured in an accident due to the fault of another party, then Florida law may entitle you to damages as compensation.  Comprehensive damage claims may involve several different “sub-categories” of damages, including wage loss and the loss of future earning capacity.

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Consequences of a No-Fault Repeal in Florida

The Florida Senate, with the support of the Florida Justice Association (FJA), has recently passed SB 54 in a party-line vote, which would replace no-fault insurance, also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), with Mandatory Bodily Injury (MBI) Insurance.

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How Do Attorney Contingency Fees Work?

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Florida, then you may have a right to sue and recover damages from the responsible parties.  Pursuing a lawsuit can be more challenging than you’d expect — as such, you’ll want to work with an experienced attorney who can navigate the dispute effectively and secure the maximum available compensation.

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Punitive Damages in a Car Accident Case

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, then Florida law may not only entitle you to significant compensatory damages (paying out for your injuries and the consequences thereof) but may also allow you to pursue bonus punitive damages.  These bonus punitive damages can lead to multimillion-dollar damage totals — in fact, many cases involving punitive damages have damage totals that are sufficiently high that they make the news.  As such, pursuing punitive damages is worthwhile if you can justify the claim.

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Suing the Employer of a Defendant in an Auto Accident

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, then you may be somewhat overwhelmed by the prospect of litigation.  This anxiety can be worsened if you discover that the defendant-driver does not have sufficient insurance coverage (or personal assets) to cover your losses.  In such circumstances, you may have to start looking at other potential defendants from whom you can secure compensation.

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Statute of Limitations and the Discovery Rule

If you’ve been injured due to the negligent, reckless, or intentional acts of another, then it’s important that you consult an attorney as soon as possible so that your claims can be pursued in a timely manner.

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Common Challenges in Motorcycle Accident Disputes

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the fault of another party, then Florida law may entitle you to sue and recover damages.  Motorcycle accident cases may involve unique opportunities and challenges, however, and it’s worth exploring these unique elements to better understand how your case may progress over the course of litigation.

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Does It Matter That a Plaintiff is Fragile?

If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident, then Florida law may entitle you to sue and recover damages to cover your losses.  In many cases, the defendant may be surprised by the total damages liability: after all, you — the plaintiff — may have suffered injuries that are substantially more severe than that of a “normal” person in the same situation.

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Recovering Damages When Your Pre-Existing Injury Was Worsened

If you’ve been injured in an accident due to the fault of another party (say, in a car accident), then Florida law may entitle you to sue and obtain compensation for your injuries — but what if your injuries were pre-existing?

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Why Do Most Injury Cases End in a Settlement?

If you’ve been injured in an accident and have a legal cause of action for damages under Florida law, then chances are that — like most personal injury disputes — the case will be resolved through a settlement.

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How Strict Liability Product Defect Claims Work in Florida

Defective product claims run the gamut.  If you’ve been injured due to a defective product in any scenario — whether your truck crashed thanks to a defective set of brakes, or whether you were hurt by a defective lawnmower — then you may have a right to sue and recover damages under Florida law.

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Common Defenses to a Personal Injury Dispute

Personal injury and wrongful death disputes often seem straightforward at first glance, but they can get complicated if the defendant is aggressive or hostile, and puts forth one of many different potential defenses.

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What Makes Motorcycle Accidents So Severe?

Motorcyclists often encounter unique and heightened dangers on the roadways.  Though Florida is a popular motorcycling destination due to the year-round warm weather, it is still common for drivers to “ignore” or fail to account for the presence of motorcyclists on the roadway — causing otherwise-avoidable collision accidents.

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Injured Plaintiffs Are Entitled to Medical Expenses in an Accident

Injured plaintiffs (in the accident context) are entitled to recover for the losses they suffered as a result of another party’s negligence.

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Motorcycle Accident Disputes Involving Road Hazards

If you’ve been harmed in a motorcycle accident, whether due to another driver’s negligence or due to the presence of a road hazard, then you may be entitled to sue and recover damages as compensation.

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Drunk Driving Accidents in Florida: What Victims Need to Know

Drunk driving is a major problem in Florida. Florida has the third-highest number of auto accident fatalities in the nation according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); and, in a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in 50 Floridians self-reported drinking and driving within the past 30 days.

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10 National Safety Events Focused on Preventing Youth, Work and Roadway Accidents

From National Hat Day to National Donut Day, it seems that these days there is a celebration for just about everything. But, while some of these “observances” are simply focused on fun (or corporate sponsorship), others are designed to have a real impact on local communities. The following are 10 national safety observances focused on preventing childhood and workplace injuries and keeping drivers safe on the road:

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Keys to Protecting Your Rights After a Car Accident

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident, there is a lot that you need to know. From protecting yourself against the insurance companies to collecting the evidence needed to support your claim for financial recovery, nearly every aspect of your claim will require strategic planning and careful attention to the mistakes you need to avoid.

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Could Your Fitness Tracker Data Become Evidence in Your Personal Injury Claim?

If you were injured in an accident and you are among the rapidly-growing number of Americans who wear a fitness tracking wristband or smartwatch, the data collected by your device could serve as important evidence in your claim for compensation. Since the first widely-publicized use of Fitbit data in a personal injury case a few years ago, it has become increasingly common for plaintiffs’ attorneys (and defense attorneys) to rely fitness tracking data in settlement negotiations and at trial.

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Can an Employer Be Held Liable for an Employee’s Car Accident?

With an estimated 90 percent of Americans driving to work, and with commercial drivers logging tens of thousands of miles every year, transportation and employment are inseparable. With so many people either commuting to their jobs or driving for work, a significant percentage of all vehicle collisions involve commuting and working drivers.

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Factors for Evaluating Auto Insurance Settlement Offers in Florida

If you have been injured in an auto accident in Florida, recovering your repair bills, medical bills and other losses will most likely mean dealing with the insurance companies. While it is always best to hire an experienced auto accident lawyer to represent you, if you are trying to deal with the insurance companies on your own, here are five factors to consider before you accept a settlement.

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Understanding Your Insurance Claim After an Auto Accident in Florida

If you have been injured in an auto accident, recovering your losses will most likely involve dealing with the insurance companies. This process can be frustrating – to say the least – and it can also be dangerous if you do not have a clear understanding of your rights under your insurance policy and Florida law. For this reason, it is advisable to work with an experienced attorney who can deal with the insurance companies on your behalf, and who can help calculate the full extent of your financial and non-financial losses.

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Injured in an Auto Accident in Florida? Don’t Make These Costly Mistakes

If you were injured in an auto accident in Florida, as long as you have insurance, you are entitled to financial compensation. This is thanks to Florida’s “no-fault” insurance law, which requires all drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. But, before you accept a PIP settlement (even if your insurance company offers your policy limit), you need to make sure you have a clear understanding of your legal rights. Settling too soon is one of the biggest mistakes you can make after an auto accident. Here are seven more:

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What is a Loss of Use Claim?

If you have been involved in a car accident and someone else is at fault, there are several different categories of money damages you may be entitled to recover. In addition to medical expenses for any injuries you suffered, and repair expenses for your vehicle, you may be able to recover for “loss of use” of your car. As Fort Walton Car Accident Attorneys, we are experienced in helping our clients to maximize their recovery following an automobile accident. Loss of use claims come into play when you are unable to use your car after it was damaged in a car accident, and typically include the costs of a rental car or using public transportation while your car is being repaired.

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Understanding Auto Accident Wrongful Death Claims

If you have lost a loved one in an auto accident caused by the wrongful act or negligence of another, you may have an action for wrongful death.  Maximizing recovery following the wrongful death of a loved one requires an understanding of who can sue, who can recover, what potential damages are, and what is the deadline for bringing a claim.   

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Car Accidents Caused by Reckless Drivers

Reckless driving is the cause of thousands of traffic crashes every year. From speeding, running red lights or stop signs, to texting, illegal passing, and drunk driving, reckless driving takes many forms. As Crestview Auto Accident Attorneys, we are experienced in helping our clients to maximize their recovery following an auto accident. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a reckless driving accident, you may be entitled money damages and the driver may face criminal charges.

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Injured in an Auto Accident? The Other Driver May Not Be the Only One Responsible

In Florida, there are approximately 400,000 auto accidents every year. This translates to nearly 1,100 accidents every single day. While the vast majority of these accidents are due to driver negligence (such as speeding, running red lights, and texting behind the wheel), various other non-driver-related factors can potentially cause and contribute to auto accidents as well.

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Hit-and-Run Auto Accidents in Florida

Each year in Florida, there are approximately 100,000 hit-and-run accidents. Along with New Mexico and Louisiana, Florida has the highest rates of fatal hit-and-run crashes. Nearly 25 percent of all crashes here involve a hit and run. As Crestview personal injury attorneys, we are experienced in helping our clients to maximize their recovery following an auto accident.  If you or a loved one has been the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you may be entitled money damages even if the driver who caused the crash has left the scene.  Moreover, Florida’s Stay at the Scene campaign aims to reduce the number of hit and run crashes by educating drivers on their responsibilities if involved in a crash and the serious consequences they face if they choose to leave the scene.

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Update on Florida’s Texting While Driving Bill

A bill that would make texting while driving a primary offense in Florida has passed in both the House and Senate, and now heads for the governor’s desk.  As Crestview personal injury lawyers, we have seen first-hand the dangers of distracted driving.  Families of crash victims have long-supported tougher laws for those who engage in the reckless behavior of texting behind the wheel and are applauding the new legislation.

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Can I File a PIP Claim if I Was Injured in a Motorcycle Accident in Florida?

When you get injured in a car accident in Florida, your first source of financial recovery is typically your own personal injury protection (PIP) policy. PIP provides no-fault coverage for medical expenses and lost wages up to your policy limit, which must be at least $10,000 under Florida law.

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Florida Ranks 44th in Road Safety, 40th Overall in NSC’s State of Safety Report

The National Safety Council (NSC) is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to, “eliminating preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.” It publishes a variety of resources on its website, including its State of Safety report, which is a survey of the measures taken to promote road, home and community, and workplace safety in all 50 states.

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Seeking Financial Compensation After an Uber or Lyft Accident in Florida

As the ridesharing industry continues to grow, accidents involving Uber and Lyft vehicles are becoming increasingly common as well. According to Automotive News, there are now more than four million Uber and Lyft drivers nationwide, and late last year Business Insider reported that the introduction of ridesharing services in various cities has corresponded to a two to three-percent increase in fatal vehicle collisions.

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What Should I Do if I Was Injured in a Car Accident While on Vacation in Florida?

On average, there were 1,092 auto accidents in Florida every day during 2018. While most accidents involve local Florida residents who are on their way to work, on their way home or driving to pick up their kids or run errands, a significant percentage of accidents in Florida involve out-of-state drivers.

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What is Different About an Auto Accident Claim Involving a Commercial Vehicle?

In 2018, more than 10 percent of all auto accidents in Florida involved commercial vehicles. This includes accidents involving 18-wheelers and tractor trailers, as well as accidents involving smaller commercial trucks (such as trash trucks and utility trucks), delivery vans, and other vehicles used for business purposes.

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Stacking Your Auto Insurance Can Increase Your Financial Recovery After an Accident

When you get seriously injured in an accident in Florida and your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance does not provide full coverage for your losses, your next source of financial recovery is typically the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance policy. But, what if the at-fault driver’s policy limits are not enough? Or, what if the driver who hit you is uninsured?

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Holiday Season Vehicle Collisions: Accident Risks, Accident Rates and Your Right to Compensation

As we discussed last year, the holiday season is one of the most-dangerous times of year for auto accidents in Florida. Various factors contribute to an increased rate of collisions during the months of November, December and January, with severe spikes in serious and fatal accidents occurring around the holidays. According to Edmunds.com:

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When is Someone Too Tired to Drive?

According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), nearly one in four adults in the United States say they personally know someone who has fallen asleep behind the wheel. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that one in 25 adult drivers self-reports falling asleep every 30 days, and that as many as 6,000 fatal accidents each year could be attributable to drowsy driving.

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What are My Rights if I Was Hit by Someone in a Rental Car in Florida?

Florida’s roads are filled with rental cars. Destin and other beach destinations along the panhandle’s coast host out-of-state visitors during all months of the year, and many of these visitors arrive by rental car via I-10 or US-98.

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Are You Entitled to Compensation? 10 Common Causes of Premises-Related Accidents

Under Florida’s law of premises liability, if you were injured at a business, at the beach or on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to financial compensation. This includes compensation for your medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other losses. While we cannot assess your legal rights until we know the unique details of your particular case, the following are 10 examples of premises-related accidents for which financial compensation may be available:

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Motorcycle Crash Statistics from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)

According to data from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), serious and fatal motorcycle crashes have become much more common in recent years. While motorcycle accidents accounted for 8.2 percent of traffic-related deaths in 2001, according to the most-recent data available, this number now stands at 18.0 percent.

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Determining Liability in a Multi-Vehicle Accident

Determining liability in a multi-vehicle accident presents certain challenges that are not involved in “ordinary” two-car accidents. If another driver hit you and then you hit someone else, ensuring that you receive just compensation – and that you are not held partially responsible for the crash – will require a thorough investigation and experienced legal representation. In order to recover full compensation from the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability (BIL) policy, you need proof that he or she was to blame; and, to avoid a rate hike in your insurance, you need conclusive evidence that there was nothing you could have done to avoid the collision.

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Are You Thinking about Accepting an Auto Insurance Settlement? Read This First

If you have been injured in an auto accident, receiving an insurance settlement can seem like the light at the end of the tunnel. But, before you accept, it is critical to ensure that you have a clear understanding of your rights under Florida law. You also need to understand the risks of accepting an insurance settlement, and you need to avoid making a short-sighted decision that could have drastic consequences for years to come.

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Report: Auto Accidents “Typical of Texting and Driving” are On the Rise in Florida

In February, the South Florida Sun Sentinel published a report in which it concluded that, “an analysis of 3 million crashes [indicates] that collisions typical of texting and driving are increasing at a staggering rate.” The report examined five types of accidents that are commonly associated with distracted driving, and found that the rates of certain types of accidents had increased by as much as 47 to 50 percent between 2013 and 2016.

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7 Facts About Your Personal Injury Claim After a Car Accident in Florida

If you have been injured in a car accident in Crestview or Fort Walton, what do you need to do first? Should you hire a lawyer? How do you know if the insurance company is offering a fair settlement for your personal injury claim?

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3 Types of Insurance Coverage for Auto Accident Victims in Florida

If you have been injured in an auto accident, recovering your medical expenses, lost wages and other losses will most likely involve dealing with one or more insurance companies. Under Florida’s “no-fault” insurance law, a claim for a minor injury will most likely be covered under your own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy.

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Do You Need to Pay Taxes on Your Personal Injury Settlement?

With Congress’s approval of a major tax reform bill in December 2017, many individuals’ federal tax returns will look much different beginning in 2018 (the new law does affect tax returns for 2017). However, one section of the tax code that is not changing is the section that deals with personal injury compensation.

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What Does Florida’s “No Fault” Insurance Law Mean for Your Car Accident Claim?

Florida is among the limited number of states that has a “no fault” insurance law. Under this law, all vehicle owners are required to carry a minimum amount of insurance coverage, known as Personal Injury Protection (or “PIP). When a driver who has PIP coverage suffers physical injuries in an accident, he or she must rely exclusively on this PIP coverage unless an exception applies. Since the law provides for “no fault” compensation, insurers must provide PIP coverage regardless of who was at fault in their policyholder’s accident.

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Auto Accidents Increase During the Holiday Season

The holiday season is a time to enjoy time with family and reflect on the year that was, but it is also a time to exercise extra care on the roads. According to Florida’s Integrated Report Exchange System (FIRES), there are more auto accidents in Florida during the holiday season than any other time of year.

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Proposed Texting-While-Driving Bans Die in Florida Legislature

Earlier this year, we discussed two proposed laws, House Bill 47 and House Bill 69, that would have made it a primary offense to text and drive in Florida. Under existing state law, texting while driving is a secondary offense, which means that it is against the law, but the police cannot stop a driver solely because he or she is texting behind the wheel.

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Seeking Compensation for Bone Fractures from Motorcycle Accidents

Even for motorcycle riders who strictly adhere to the “all the gear, all the time” mantra, collisions with other vehicles present a severe risk for broken bones. The impact forces from hitting the road or another object and the crushing forces from being pinned under a motorcycle can easily exceed what the body can sustain, and riders of all ages, abilities and fitness levels are at risk for fractures when they go down.

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Seeking Financial Compensation After a Weather-Related Auto Accident in the Florida Panhandle

With the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season bringing an “above-normal” level of storm activity to the Gulf region, drivers in northwest Florida need to be prepared for the worst. Heavy rains and strong winds can create treacherous conditions, and reckless driving and careless mistakes can easily have severe consequences in bad weather.

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New Florida Law Enhances Insurance Requirements for Uber and Lyft Drivers

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.

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Summer Driving Risks and Accident Liability in the Florida Panhandle

While car accidents are a risk year-round, summer presents certain additional risk factors for drivers and passengers in the Florida Panhandle. From out-of-state vacationers to drunk partiers and even late-evening sun glare, there are a variety of summer-related issues that increase local residents’ and visitors’ risk of being seriously injured in a vehicle collision.

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5 Important Considerations for Settling an Auto Accident Claim

When is it time to settle? This is an important question, and one that is not nearly as straightforward as it initially seems. Protecting your rights after an auto accident can be challenging, especially if you have suffered a serious injury; and, while it is natural to want to resolve your claim as quickly as possible, it is critical not to overlook the fact that securing just compensation may be critical to your financial stability and long-term recovery.

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Spring Break Means Increased Risk for Auto Accidents

A couple of years ago, Time magazine reported the results of a study which found that traffic accidents – and fatal traffic accidents in particular – increase significantly in “spring break hot spots” between February and April. The authors of the study also concluded that, “there was no increase in traffic fatalities in non-spring break destinations,” and that fatality rates in spring break destinations (including various parts of Florida) were particularly high among out-of-state drivers under the age of 25.

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April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

The National Safety Council (NSC) has designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Each April for the past several years, the NSC, Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) and other agencies around the country have used Distracted Driving Awareness Month as an opportunity to further publicize the risks of texting, using social media and other distractions behind the wheel.

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What Types of Evidence are Available in Car Accident Injury Claims?

When seeking compensation for injuries suffered in a car accident, you need evidence in order to win your case. Legally speaking, as the plaintiff, you need to prove your case by a “preponderance of the evidence.” This means that, if you case went to trial, you would need to convince the judge or jury that it is “more likely than not” that the other driver (or some other third party) was at fault in the accident.

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Third-Party Liability in Single-Vehicle Accidents

When you get injured in a single-vehicle accident, what are your options? You can file a claim for personal injury protection (PIP); but, if your injuries are severe, your medical expenses alone will far exceed the $10,000 minimum coverage limit. If you are like most people, you simply cannot afford to incur a mountain of bills while you miss time from work. You need to find out if other sources of compensation may be available.

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Motorcycle Accidents: What if the Driver Who Hit You Was Uninsured?

Despite the fact that Florida law requires all drivers to carry auto insurance, statistics show that Florida has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the nation. Florida also has one of the highest rates of motorcycle accidents, and this means that far too many riders are finding themselves injured and with limited options for seeking financial compensation.

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Florida Legislators Seeking to Crack Down on Texting-and-Driving

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.

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Can I Seek Compensation if I Was Speeding When My Accident Occurred?

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.

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Auto Accident Trends in Okaloosa County, FL

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.

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Florida Ranks Highest in Nation in Motorcycle Fatalities

According to a report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Florida leads the nation in motorcycle accident fatalities. With 467 deaths in 2013 (the most recent year for which data are available), Florida was one of only three states with more than 200 fatalities resulting from motorcycle collisions.

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2016 Florida Vehicle, Pedestrian and Bicycle Accident Statistics

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.

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Common Types of Car Accidents Involving Driver Negligence

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.

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Florida Police Use Cellphone Data to Track Hit-and-Run Driver

When seeking to establish liability in a vehicle collision, a key source of evidence will often be the at-fault driver’s cellphone records. A tragic hit-and-run accident case in Florida demonstrates how the police regularly use cellphone data in criminal cases – and how victims’ attorneys can make use of similar evidence in personal injury cases as well.

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Motorcycle Safety Can Reduce (But Not Eliminate) Risk of Injury

As a motorcycle rider, you are likely familiar with many of the popular misconceptions about motorcycles and their owners: Motorcycles are dangerous. Motorcycle riders take risks with their (and others’) lives. If a motorcycle rider was injured in an accident, he or she must have been to blame.

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Florida Car Accident FAQs

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.

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