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Florida Personal Injury Law Blog

What does Florida's "no fault" law mean for accident victims?

Being struck and injured by a drunk driver is one of the worst things a Gainesville resident may ever go through. From the physical trauma and pain of injuries to the financial fallout from a wreck, the damages can be extensive. Typically, victims of car accidents would sue the negligent or reckless drivers who injured them in DUI accidents. However, in Florida, the state's "no fault" law alters this course of action for many victims.

In Florida, a person's ability to successfully sue another driver depends on the extent of the plaintiff's injuries as well as the insurance coverage of each driver. Florida is a "no fault" state, which means that each motorist is covered by his or her own auto insurance. A driver, then, often cannot sue another driver when an accident occurs. However, there are exceptions to this general rule. One prominent exception is when injuries stem directly from the crash - particularly, significant injuries that bring forth the likelihood of pain and suffering in the future.

Florida business owner to be prosecuted in workers' comp case

Purchasing workers' compensation insurance is a requirement for many Florida employers. Without the proper insurance, an employer could face serious repercussions if a workplace accident occurs. With the proper coverage, though, both the employer, as well as the work accident victim, are covered in the event of an on-the-job accident.

Last September in Florida, a fatal workplace accident occurred and claimed the lives of two workers. The incident happened when two employees were gravely injured after their ladder came into contact with a power line. The accident happened in a condominium complex, showing that workplace accidents do not always take place in factories or on construction sites. Following the accident, it was revealed that the company employing the two deceased men did not have workers' compensation insurance.

Experienced Florida advocates ready to fight for injured drivers

At some point in their lives, almost every Gainesville driver will be involved in some sort of car accident. In the more fortunate cases, the incident will be a fender-bender that does not produce serious injury. In other instances, though, an auto collision will lead to more tragic results. In the blink of an eye, a driver, passenger or pedestrian can be left with serious injuries, including brain injury, damage to the neck or spine, broken bones in vulnerable parts of the body and even catastrophic injuries that require lifelong rehabilitation.

After an accident, those injured by negligent or reckless drivers must cope with an array of damages. Typically, they are in physical pain while also experiencing emotional frustration and confusion. Injured accident victims are likely to have to miss work as they obtain medical treatment and recover from their injuries. Some victims may not even be able to return to the same type of work they had done before, especially if it is a physical job that requires strength and mobility. Overall, the aftermath of an injury-producing wreck can be a debilitating combination of physical and mental distress.

Florida employers and the state workers' compensation requirement

When a Gainesville resident is injured on the job, a flurry of questions usually arise. One of the most common questions a worker is likely to have is whether or not their workplace has workers' compensation coverage. Workers' compensation benefits help a worker pay for medical expenses and lost wages if they are hurt in a workplace injury accident. In some tragic cases, death benefits may also be provided if a worker was killed in an on-the-job accident. In any case, it is crucial that employers comply with the law so that their workers and their families are protected.

In the state of Florida, several different types of common employers must carry workers' compensation insurance. The first category encompasses a huge number of employers in the Sunshine State: employers in a non-construction industry with four or more employees, including both part-time and full-time workers, must carry workers' comp coverage. In the construction industry, simply having at least one employee means the employer must carry workers' compensation insurance. This is true even if the employer is also the sole employee.

What is Florida doing to prevent bike accidents?

With its year-round mild weather, it is no surprise that countless pedestrians and bicyclists share Florida's roadways with other vehicles. College towns, like Gainesville, are home to many residents who choose to get around quickly and economically via foot or bike. With such a strong presence of various pedestrians in the state, it is no surprise that Florida sees a concerning number of pedestrian and bicycle accidents every year. Many of these are hit-and-runs, where the driver flees the crash site. What is the state doing to penalize hit-and-run drivers?

First, it is important to realize the extent of the problem. In Florida, a quarter of all accidents are hit-and-runs. From 2013 to 2014, hit-and-runs jumped over 20 percent. Moreover, of all the hit-and-run deaths in 2014, almost fifty percent involved pedestrians. Unfortunately, the Sunshine State is not the safest place to be a pedestrian, but the state is trying to change that.

Fiery wreck on Florida turnpike caught on video

Many residents of Gainesville utilize the Florida turnpike to travel elsewhere in the state, particularly if they are heading south to Orlando or beyond. Traveling the turnpike is usually uneventful, but occasionally drivers' high rates of speed cause crashes to be much worse than they would be at a lower speed. Nowadays, technology has enabled those on the highways to record negligent or reckless drivers on the turnpike and elsewhere.

On Feb. 13, a frightening turnpike accident was caught on video thanks to a concerned passenger in another car. The auto accident involved a 34-year-old female driver whose car was swerving. The passenger started recording her erratic driving while his driver honked his horn to try and get the woman's attention. After recording the woman for about 10 minutes, the passenger contacted the Florida Highway Patrol. He began recording her again, and his camera caught the woman's car veering off the side of the turnpike and striking a truck parked on the shoulder. Fire immediately engulfed the truck, and fortunately the entire scene was recorded.

Florida encourages safe, defensive driving

Gainesville is home to countless college students, many of them only a few years past having obtained their first driver's license. When a young driver gets behind the wheel, their parents and driving instructors often encourage them to "drive defensively" in order to avoid a car accident. Still, what does defensive driving mean?

Defensive driving can encompass a variety of tactics, maneuvers and habits. According to the 2014 Florida driver's handbook, one simple way to define defensive driving is doing all that one can to avoid an auto accident. One important component of defensive driving is a sort of compromise on the part of the driver. For instance, if an afternoon thunderstorm is making roads slippery, driving under the posted speed limit is a form of defensive driving. Another crucial element of defensive driving is anticipating possible hazards. If one is driving down a suburban street and children are playing near the road, a defensive driver will expect the possibility of a child running into the street. Consequently, a safe driver will adjust their speed accordingly and be on the lookout for little ones.

The impact of a truck accident highlights need for counsel

With Interstate 75 passing through the west side of town, Gainesville sees countless trucks, tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles. With a major interstate so close, it's not unusual to see or hear of a commercial trucking accident causing injuries or even death nearby.

Many accident victims may not realize they may be entitled to certain damages if a truck crash was caused by another's negligence or recklessness. For instance, if a truck driver was texting while driving and caused a wreck, or if a truck company told its employees to skirt various trucking regulations, an accident victim may be entitled to be made whole again via the civil courts. By pursuing a personal injury or wrongful death suit against a negligent driver or employer, a victim can start to combat the damaging impact of a truck accident.

Florida-based rebar company faces fines

Working on a construction site carries with it a certain amount of risk, but most of the time those tasked with maintaining site safety perform their job duties fully and competently. Still, at times job site accidents and injuries happen in construction zones in Florida and across the nation. Unfortunately, these types of situations can lead to severe injury or even death for workers.

Recently, the Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined a Florida-based company for a construction site accident that took place last fall. The incident involved a rebar form collapsing at a bridge construction site on Interstate 91 in September of 2014. The accident resulted in four workers suffering injuries and having to receive treatment at a hospital. One of the workers was seriously injured as the rebar cage gave way, but all four individuals have since recovered. The injuries included broken bones, contusions and internal injuries.

Are the occurrences of car accidents decreasing?

While on the road, the last thing Floridian want is an auto accident. It seems as if the causes of a car accident have been increasing in the last few decades. In addition to not following traffic regulations and drunk driving, drowsy driving and distracted driving have been added to the common causes of a car accident. Despite the added causes, both state officials and the federal government are putting a lot of effort into curbing accidents. The latest statistics may indicate that their efforts are bearing fruit.

What are the latest car accident statistics? According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, auto accident injuries decreased nationally by 2.5 percent in 2013 compared to the previous year. Despite the decrease, the figure represents more than 2.3 million accident injuries. The statistics for fatal car accidents are more recent. According to the NHTSA's fatality estimate for the first quarter of 2014, around 6,800 died in auto accidents, a 4.9 percent decrease from last year's more than 7,000 fatalities. The figures seem to follow a trend that shows auto accident fatalities declining over the last decade.

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