What is a No-Doubt Liability in Florida Car Accidents?

Florida Car accidentFlorida is a no-fault insurance state, which means that in the event of an auto accident, both parties must file a claim with their respective insurance provider regardless of fault. That’s not to say that fault is irrelevant in the Sunshine State. If your accident included a “no-doubt liability” action, then you could be awarded full damages.

Finding fault in an accident is key to receiving the maximum amount of damages owed. Because Florida follows the rules of comparative negligence, if you are found to be at fault in any way, the amount that you would receive in a Florida personal injury lawsuit would be reduced.

For example, if you were driving while distracted and were struck by a vehicle which ran a, you may stop sign be found at fault for 25% of that accident. This means that the total in damages you would receive would be decreased by 25%. If you were owed $100,000, you would only receive $75,000 due to your fault in the accident.

Proving fault in a Florida car accident is not easy. It takes a lot of work and vigilance immediately following the accident, during a time in which most people are not thinking at their best.

There are some situations in Florida where the fault is unquestionable. We call these no-doubt liability accidents.

What is a No-Doubt Liability?

Certain types of vehicular accidents almost always find one specific party at fault. These are no-doubt liability accidents. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the incident, favor in these cases almost always swings in one direction.

Left-Turn Collisions

Any driver who is making a left turn at the time of an accident is generally considered to be at fault for the collision.

Every rule has its exceptions, and if the left-turning driver were to be hit by someone speeding or running through a red light or stop sign, fault may be split or fall fully in the lap of the person who violated the law. Similarly, if some unexpected road hazard caused a driver to stop or slow down in the path of someone making a left turn, the driver who was turning may not be found completely at fault.

Rear-End Collisions

When you rear-end someone, you are generally found to be at fault for that accident. This is because all motorists are supposed to keep at least one car length between them and the car in front of them. This is to ensure that if the front car suddenly stops short, the driver in the rear would have time to respond accordingly.

But, once again, there are loopholes. If the car in front was stalled in the middle of the road in an unsafe manner, the rear-ending driver might not be found fully at fault. Also, if the driver in the front has one or both taillights out, a case could be made that the car behind them had no time to properly slow down.

Contact a Florida Personal Injury Attorney

If you are trying to prove that an accident you were involved in was a no-doubt liability scenario, you might need the help of an experienced Daytona Beach personal injury attorney, like those found at the law offices of Zimmet & Zimmet. Call us today at 386-210-9629 for a free consultation.

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Who is At Fault in a Florida Car Accident?

Uber and Children

Who is At Fault in a Florida Car Accident?

Finding fault in a Florida car accident is essential to receiving maximum damages from a personal injury lawsuit. In some states, you only have to prove a reasonable amount of fault to be considered the victim. Florida is not one of them.

Florida Car AccidentIf the party that struck you is fully at fault, then you are entitled to 100% of the damages. However, if the other party can prove that you were partially at fault, the amount you receive would be decreased.

That’s why is so important to do your due diligence at the scene of the accident. Yes, you will be mentally rattled, but if you can keep your cool and remember to take a few specific actions, you can save yourself a lot of time and money.

Remember that all lawsuits should be overseen by an experienced Daytona Beach personal injury attorney.
Why Determine Fault?

Florida follows the rule of comparative negligence when it comes to automobile accidents. That means if you are found to be at fault for any percentage of the accident, the amount you could receive in damages will be reduced.

For instance, if you are found to be 15% at fault for the accident, your total damages will be reduced by 15%. In order to receive the maximum settlement possible in your Florida personal injury lawsuit, you have to prove that the other motorist was 100% at fault.

But how do you do this?

You must prove beyond all doubt that the other driver failed to uphold the standard of care that all motorists are required to show on the road. This includes following traffic laws, stopping at red lights and stop signs, staying under the speed limit, avoiding distracted driving, and not driving while under the influence of controlled substances like drugs or alcohol.

Talk to Witnesses

There are almost always witnesses at the scene of an accident. Go up and talk to them, see what they remember. If it’s something that you can use to prove fault, take down their information. Witnesses are the ultimate backup to help prove your story when speaking with the police.

Make sure to get names, phone numbers, and email addresses for all witnesses, and provide them to your attorney for follow up contact.

Be Familiar with Florida Traffic Laws

If you can prove that the other motorist had in some way violated Florida traffic laws, then you have a much stronger case in proving fault. Review the laws on your own and compare them to your memories of the accident and witness accounts.

Make sure that you discuss every detail with your Florida personal injury attorney so that you can take advantage of their wealth of expertise on the subject.

Take Photos and Videos at the Scene

You need to be able to recreate the scene of the accident, so take as many photos and videos as you can. Photograph the damage to your vehicle, their vehicle, skid marks on the road, the area in which the accident took place, every witness that you interview, and any other relevant information that you can find.

If you can record witness testimony, that’s also great.

Any visual evidence will be important in your quest to prove fault.

Contact an Attorney

Once you have all your ducks in a row, it’s time to contact an experienced Daytona Beach personal injury attorney like Zimmet & Zimmet. Let them use their experience and legal know-how to help you prove fault and receive 100% of the damages owed to you. Contact them at 386-210-9629.

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The Dangers of Texting and Driving in Florida

Uber and Children

Uber and Children

Uber and Lyft accidentUber and Lyft represent the brilliance of forward-thinking technology companies. The two ridesharing giants also display aspects of negligence common with many companies. Many adults may not think about Uber or Lyft’s policy or negligence deficiencies as long as the ridesharing services provide a safe journey for them and their kids. Now, Uber and Lyft require an age limit of 18 years or more to open an account as a rider. Lyft and Uber’s safety policies bar unaccompanied minors from traveling.

Do these companies follow their own rules? Partners — independent contractors working as drivers for the company — are left to adhere to a sort of honor system in adhering to regulations.

Uber and Lyft: Breaking the Rules

The two companies mandate drivers follow stipulated rules intended to improve safety and cut down on liabilities Enforcement of regulations, however, remains lax. If a rider requests a shared ride for one person, he/she might have two other people with him. Negligent drivers not wanting to lose a fare look the other way and allow the added riders into the vehicle.

An adult account holder calls for a ride. The driver shows up at the location only to discover the rider isn’t the account holder. It is an underaged minor. The driver takes the situation as “business as usual” and picks up the minor. Neither Uber nor Lyft requires riders to present a picture I.D. to the driver. Lax policies combined with driver attitudes creates the potential for a minor to be at significant risk.

Competition, Earnings, and Ignoring Rules

Not every market an Uber or Lyft driver operates out of has an abundance of riders. Competition for riders — and earnings — could lead to drivers making decisions in violation of company policies. Once again, Uber and Lyft do aggressively enforce their policies.

Lax attitudes from management and drivers don’t help a young person who gets into the vehicle. Minors often require supervision to stay safe when traveling. If the young person does suffer an injury, legal doors may open for a lawsuit.

Insurance Claims and Potential Challenges

Commonly, when drivers or passengers suffer an injury in an auto accident, attorneys seek compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance provider. Due to the presence of a minor in the vehicle, things could become complicated.

An insurance company may try to deny the claim since the driver picked up a minor. The insurance company may indicate this is a material breach. Therefore, the provider no longer has a requirement for these types of Lyft or Uber accidents. A skilled injury lawyer could challenge this argument in court. In court, a jury decides on the matter. An experienced and successful attorney might persuade a jury to decide in favor of his/her client.

Anyone considering litigation against a ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft would benefit from the representation of an attorney with the appropriate background. Rideshare incidents might be different from traditional auto accidents. Call Zimmet and Zimmet today, our experienced accident attorneys will fight to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

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The Dangers of texting and driving in Florida

Understanding Negligence in a Personal Injury Case

Texting and Driving in Florida

The Dangers of Texting and Driving in Florida

When you hear the familiar “ping” of a text notification, it’s tempting to check it out and send off a quick reply. After all, it only takes a few seconds. A few seconds can lead to disaster on the road, however. In five seconds, you can read or reply to a message. On the highway, you can cross the entire length of a football field in five seconds, which is plenty of time to cause an accident or cross into oncoming traffic.

Is Texting While Driving Illegal in Florida?

Texting while behind the wheel is illegal in Florida, but it is a secondary offense. This means that police officers cannot pull someone over just because they’re texting while driving. Drivers can only receive a ticket for texting and driving if officers first see another offense, such as speeding or improperly changing lanes. Only three other states currently list texting and driving as a secondary offense. Every other state has made it a primary offense. There have been several legislative efforts to make texting on the road a primary offense, which would allow police officers to pull over drivers after observing them text messaging. To date, none have been successful with the state legislature.

The Risks of Texting While Driving

Texting is often considered one of the most dangerous driving distractions. Presently, Florida rates second in distracted driving. Only Louisiana has more distracted drivers.

 

Beyond being illegal, texting and driving puts drivers and others on the roadways at serious risk. Distracted driving leads to speeding, aggressive and sudden turns, hard braking, and sudden acceleration. While other distractions can keep drivers’ eyes, hands, and/or mind engaged, texting captures drivers’ attention on all three fronts.

Texting and Driving in Florida

 

Texting behind the wheel can increase your risk of causing an accident. It also boosts your likelihood of being involved in a near-miss.

Accidents Caused by Texting and Driving

There’s no doubt that texting is a serious factor in vehicular accidents. In Florida, deaths caused by distracted driving have jumped 25% since 2013. In 2017, there were over 200 distracted driving deaths in Florida.

The fallout of a texting and driving accident can last years. As the victim of a crash, you could suffer from serious injuries and endure lost wages, as well as be left with expensive vehicle repair bills. Although 97% of Americans know that texting and driving is dangerous, one in three drivers between the ages of 18 and 64 still reads and writes messages while driving.

Get Help Immediately If You’re Involved in an Accident

With texting and driving on the rise, you might find yourself involved in a distracted driving accident. Having the right representation is key, since a serious crash can have long-lasting physical, mental, and financial effects. If you or someone you love is the victim of a texting and driving accident, contact Zimmet & Zimmet at (386) 210-7989.

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Understanding Negligence in a Personal Injury Case

The Critical Importance of Car Seats and Booster Seats

Understanding Negligence in a Personal Injury Case

True Cost of Nursing Home AbuseWhen someone’s conduct falls below the generally accepted standard of care, it’s called negligence.  In personal injury cases, where negligence must be proven in order to win the case, one’s negligence must be tied to a subsequent injury.

To prove negligence, 3 elements must be present:

  • A duty of care
  • A breach of that duty of care
  • That damages occurred as a result of this breach of duty of care

Duty of Care

The duty of care is an obligation to look out for others.  So, for example, when motorists get behind the wheel, they have a duty of care to be mindful of other people. This includes:

  • Passengers in their own vehicle
  • Other motorists
  • Passengers in other cars
  • Bicyclists
  • Pedestrians
  • Motorcyclists
  • People in nearby buildings

Similarly, when someone owns a retail business or a restaurant, they have a duty of care to keep the parking lot in safe condition.  Sinkholes must be filled, and uneven pavement must be fixed or, at the very minimum, clearly marked.  

A Breach of the Duty of Care

A breach in the duty of care occurs when someone doesn’t live up to what’s expected of them.  Say that a motorist is so engrossed in reading email while driving that he fails to notice a stoplight has turned red, this is considered a breach in the duty of care the driver owes to others.  If the owner of a business fails to put up warning signs and block off a hole in the parking lot, this too could be considered a breach in the duty of care.

Damages

“Damages” is a legal term that covers costs associated with the breach of the duty of care. If someone is hit by a driver who runs a red light, damages may include:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering and
  • Property damage

Imagine that the person who was hit is taken to the hospital by ambulance, treated in the ER, and then admitted to the hospital for several days.  These costs fall under the legal umbrella of damages.

Now, imagine that while in the hospital, the victim’s doctor discovers a small group of precancerous skin cells and performs a procedure to remove them.  These precancerous cells were not the direct result of the accident, nor was the accident the proximate cause of the skin cells becoming precancerous.  As such, the procedure would not be included in the damages caused by the driver’s negligence.

Why Understanding Negligence Is Critical

Understanding the legal concept of “negligence” is critical when evaluating the strength of a personal injury case.  When one or more of the three elements of negligence is missing, or when the facts aren’t clear, the case may be too weak to win.  Consequently, it is critical to have an attorney well versed in personal injury law, as well as the nuances of negligence, review the facts surrounding the case.

At Zimmet & Zimmet, we pride ourselves in providing personalized attention to each of our clients.  We work hard to get results that put our clients in the best position to heal and move forward.  Contact us today at (386) 255-6400 today for a free consultation.  We look forward to speaking with you.