The U.S. Department of Transportation released their early estimate of motor vehicle traffic fatalities for the first nine months of 2015. The report shows that an estimated 26,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes. This is more than a 9% increase over 2014.
South Florida is home to many major roadways – Interstate 95 (I-95), U.S. Route 1, Interstate 595 (I-595), Florida Turnpike, Sawgrass Expressway, and Interstate 75 (1-75) also known as Alligator Alley to name a few.
In 2015, Florida’s Integrated Report Exchange System (FIRES) reported that Florida had 2,860 fatalities and 159,661 injuries involving 373,673 vehicle crashes. FIRES shows that for the first two months of 2016, there have been 51,869 crashes with 33,098 injuries and 313 fatalities. There have been 5,372 commercial vehicle crashes and 29,940 property damage crashes.
There are many causes of auto accidents in South Florida. These can include driver errors, distracted drivers (talking on the phone or texting), drunk drivers, drugged drivers, driver fatigue, reckless drivers (speeders, tailgaters, lane changers and red light runners), wrong-way drivers and inexperienced drivers (teens). There are also some non-driver related causes including weather conditions, improperly maintained roadways, road debris, road construction, mechanical performance (airbags, tires and brakes) and defective automotive products and recalls.
Auto accidents can cause serious injuries and even death. Injuries often include cuts, bruising, broken bones, facial fractures, brain injuries (concussion and traumatic brain injury), back injuries and spinal cord injuries (paralysis, paraplegia and quadriplegia), and even psychological injuries (post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD)
If you are in an auto accident, you need to make sure you have the right insurance coverage. Almost one in five of Florida’s motorists have no auto insurance leaving you alone to pay expensive medical bills and auto repair costs.
Florida law currently requires all drivers to carry $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) medical coverage. PIP is separate from any existing health coverage insurance you have. PIP coverage will help cover costs for injuries sustained in an accident regardless of who was at fault in an accident. Florida law does not require you to carry uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage (UM). The attorneys at KALIS, KLEIMAN and WOFLE strongly encourage all vehicle owners to carry coverage, as there are more than 3.2 million uninsured drivers on Florida roadways. UM coverage helps protect you, resident relatives and passengers in the case of an auto accident with an uninsured driver. While UM coverage does raise your premiums it also increases your coverage amount that you can use in an accident with an underinsured or uninsured motorist.
Dealing with your injuries or loss of a loved one is tough enough, but dealing with an un-insured / under-insured driver or your insurance company can be complex, confusing and frustrating. Insurance companies can delay settlement, deny coverage and refuse to pay the full value of your injury. It’s important to work with an experienced auto accident attorney to help you protect your rights. Your attorney will review the details of your policy and coverage, including PIP and UM/UIM coverage.
The personal injury attorneys at KALIS, KLEIMAN & WOLFE regularly handle auto accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents and insurance coverage issues.
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