Put Away Your Phone

Let’s do an experiment. Go to your local public football field, make a path from one end to the other, and set up a few obstacles along the way. Now, blindfold yourself and try to walk the length of the path without hitting any of the obstacles.

football field

Think you can do it?

Well, that’s actually what you’re doing every time you send or receive a text at 55 mph.

In 2014, 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.

Now, distractions come in many forms. Eating, putting on makeup, using a navigation system, or adjusting the radio are all common distractions during driving. But, texting or otherwise using a phone, is certainly one of the most prevalent distractions.

In fact, a 2015 study found that a third of drivers admitted to texting while driving, and three-quarters said they had seen others do it!

Young drivers are particularly susceptible to distracted driving. Among drivers age 15 to 19 involved in fatal crashes, 10% were reported as distracted at the time of the collision. And, a whopping 38% of all twentysomething drivers involved in a fatal crash were using their cell phones!

driving-844132_640

We all know texting while driving is dangerous, but did you know it can also damage your case if you’re ever in a car accident? During personal injury litigation, all cell phone records are discoverable. And because Florida is a comparative negligence state, even if you weren’t the cause of the crash, you can be held partially liable for the crash if it’s found that you were using your phone at the time.

Also, texting while driving is a secondary traffic infraction in Florida. That means that if you’re pulled over for any other reason (like speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, or even a broken tail light) and the officer catches you texting, you can receive an additional citation.

So, the moral of this story is:

Don’t Text and Drive!

texting it can wait

It’s dangerous. It’s illegal. It’s just plain stupid.

And, maybe don’t walk the length of a football field blindfolded. You might trip.

If you or a loved one has been in an accident, call Rudez PL at 844-RUDEZLAW for a FREE consultation with Attorney Dan Rudez. Dan speaks Croatian, Serbian, and Bosnian (Bosanski, hrvatski, Српски).

Why You Need UM Coverage?

If you live in the state of Florida, you probably know that Florida drivers are required to carry $10,000 in personal injury protection and property damage liability. But, the unfortunate truth is that 23% of Florida drivers are uninsured. And, even for those who carry the minimum insurance, this may not be enough to cover the damages from all auto accidents. That’s why it’s important for drivers to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Florida law requires every motor vehicle liability insurance policy issued in Florida to include an equal amount of uninsured motorist coverage, unless the insured makes a specific rejection of the UM coverage.

UM rejection form

While filling out all of the paperwork for your auto insurance policy, you’ll probably see a form that looks like the one above. This is the UM coverage rejection form. If you check any of the boxes on this form, you will be rejecting UM coverage or choosing coverage that is less than your liability coverage. Your premium may be lower, but you are losing valuable coverage that would protect you in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Here at Rudez PL, we see many clients with excellent cases receive little to no money in damages, because the at-fault driver simply does not have enough insurance. But with UM coverage, we can seek damages from the client’s own insurance company to make up for what should have been provided by the at-fault driver.

And that is why I recommend that all Florida drivers carry UM coverage in the amount of their liability coverage. The slightly higher premium will be more than worth it if you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being involved in a collision caused by an uninsured motorist.

If you or a loved one has been in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, call Rudez PL at 844-RUDEZLAW for a FREE consultation with Attorney Dan Rudez. Dan speaks Croatian, Serbian, and Bosnian. Bosanski, hrvatski, Српски.

Avoid the No-Zone

Have you ever checked your mirrors for oncoming traffic and begun to change lands, only to suddenly realize there’s a car right next to you? This happens because your car has a blind spot, an area outside of the car where other vehicles and objects are not visible. This situation can be a scary moment when you’re driving your car, but thankfully it’s often easy to correct and no collision occurs.

Truck Accidents

Semi-trucks also have blind spots and unlike your car, it’s not always easy for a large truck to correct itself if it’s encroaching on a vehicle that wasn’t clearly visible.

Blind spots on a tractor-trailer are often referred to as the “No-Zone” and they take up far more space than your passenger vehicle’s blind spots.

The “No-Zone” also includes areas where other cars are too close to allow the truck driver to stop or turn safely.

The most effective way to avoid a collision with a semi-truck or tractor trailer, is to avoid the “No-Zone.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you or a loved one are involved in a truck accident, call Rudez PL at 844-RUDEZLAW for a FREE consultation with Attorney Dan Rudez. Dan speaks Croatian, Serbian, and Bosnian   (Hrvatski, Bosanksi, Српски).

Dan Talk – What to Do After a Car Accident, pt. 4

In this episode of Dan Talk, Attorney Dan Rudez explains why it’s important to not move your vehicle after an accident.

If you or a loved one has been in an accident, call Rudez PL at 844-RUDEZLAW for a FREE consultation with Attorney Dan Rudez. Dan speaks Croatian, Serbian, and Bosnian (Bosanski, hrvatski, Српски.)

Dan Talk — What to do after a car accident, pt. 3

In this episode of Dan Talk, Attorney Dan Rudez explains why it’s important to stay calm after a car accident.

If you or a loved one has been in an accident, call Rudez PL at 844-RUDEZLAW for a FREE consultation with Attorney Dan Rudez. Dan speaks Croatian, Serbian, and Bosnian (Bosanski, hrvatski, Српски.)

Dan Talk — What to do after a car accident, pt. 2

In this episode of Dan Talk, attorney Dan Rudez discusses the recent changes to Florida PIP coverage and what it means for accident victims.

If you or a loved one has been in an accident, call Rudez PL at 844-RUDEZLAW for a FREE consultation with Attorney Dan Rudez. Dan speaks Croatian, Serbian, and Bosnian. Bosanski, hrvatski, Српски.

Most Dangerous State for Pedestrians

With few crosswalks, disconnected sidewalks, and many high speed roadways, it’s no surprise that Florida isn’t the safest place in the country for pedestrians. But, did you know that since 2009, Florida has ranked as the number one most dangerous state for pedestrians, according to Smart Growth America.

Every year Smart Growth America publishes a list of the most dangerous metropolitan areas, and last year, eight of the top ten cities were in Florida.

Most dangerous metro areas for pedestrians

Across the state, there were 8,936 pedestrian accidents in 2016. Often the victims of pedestrian accidents are from the most vulnerable parts of the population: adults over 65, racial minorities, and those from low-income backgrounds.
While being a pedestrian in a metropolitan area will always put you at risk, there are ways to keep your and your family a little safer:

  • Be aware of your surroundings. This goes beyond just looking both ways before crossing the street. When walking in a high traffic area, put away your phone and take out at least one earbud. Your eyes and ears need to be available to survey the area and check for any possible hazards.
  • Make yourself more visible. When it’s dark or rainy, stay in well-lit areas whenever possible. If your usual route doesn’t have many street lights, try wearing reflective clothing. And whatever you do, don’t wear all black at night.
  • Follow the rules of the road. Even though you’re not driving, walking with the flow of traffic and obeying all traffic signals will keep you safer.

And drivers, you can help keep pedestrians safer by following posted speed limits, turning on your headlights when visibility is low, and using extra caution while driving in areas with heavy pedestrian traffic.

Pušenje i rastresena vožnja

Pušenje je jedna od mnogih stvari koje nas ovih dana ometaju u vožnji. Ometanje u vožnji je sve ono što nam odvlači pažnju ili ruke s volana i usmjerava ih na nešto drugo. Jedan od vrlo bitnih i uobičajenih oblika rastresene vožnje današnjice je pušenje.

Pušenje nas ometa u vožnji na brojne načine koji uključuju: vizualno ometanje, za ljude koji traže cigarate i upaljač; kognitivno ometanje, kada vozač misli isključivo o tome kako da nađe i zapali cigaretu; ručno ometanje, kada su vozačeve ruke zauzete izvlačenjem cigarete iz kutije, paljenjem cigarete i uklanjanjem pepela. Sve ovo vozaču dodatno odvlači pažnju s najvažnije zadaće koju ima, a to je upravljanje vozilom koje se brzo kreće.

Nedavno ispitivanje koje je sproveo Nacionalni institut za zdravstvo pokazalo je da pušenje tokom vožnje više ometa vozače nego upotreba mobitela. Pušač je u prosjeku bio odsutan pažnjom 12 sekundi, a korisnici mobitela 10.6 sekundi dok su i jedni i drugi koristili svoje predmete.

Faktor ometanja još je ozbiljniji za vozače kamiona. Federalna uprava za sigurnost motornih prevoznika (FMCSA) sprovela je petogodišnje ispitivanje o opasnostima pušenja dok vozači voze kamion i zaključila da je pušenje uzrok 0.9 posto sudara zbog rastresene vožnje. To iznosi oko 12.780 kamionskih nesreća u periodu od 5 godina pokrivenih ispitivanjem.
Iako je nepažljiva vožnja zbog upotrebe mobitela u porastu, pušenje i dalje predstavlja ozbiljnu prijetnju mnogim vozačima na cesti. Pušenje tijekom vožnje toliko je uobičajeni fenomen da mnogi od nas u tome ne vide ništa loše. Međutim, pušenje je i dalje jedan od mnogih faktora koji doprinose nesigurnoj vožnji i automobilskim nesrećama. Ako ste ikada bili žrtva sudara kojeg je prouzrokovao rastreseni vozač, nazovite Rudez PL na broj 844-Rudez Law.

 

Dan Rudez Blog ebook ad_translated

Sigurnosni pojasevi u Floridi

Sigurnosni pojasevi u Floridi

Zašto treba da koristim sigurnosni pojas? OK sam i bez njega! Previše me ograničava, a ja sam pažljiv vozač/vozačica! Da li ste nekog od svojih prijatelja ili članova porodice čuli da ovako govori o upotrebi sigurnosnog pojasa dok vozi? Velikom broju nas to je više nego poznato. Ljudi prečesto izbjegavaju vezanje sigurnosnim pojasom iz različitih razloga, misleći da pojas nije obavezan i da neće biti kažnjeni ako se ne vežu.

U većem dijelu Sjedinjenih Država upotreba sigurnosnih pojaseva je obavezna. Florida je jedno od tih mjesta. Poglavlje 316.614 Statuta Floride od vozača i suvozača traži da budu vezani. Djeca, naravno, uvijek treba da budu vezana, no o tim detaljima više kasnije. Neka vozila, kao što su školski autobusi, autobusi, traktori i kamioni teški više od 26.000 funti (11,8 tona), nisu obuhvaćena ovim pravilom. Ispitivanja pokazuju da je za ljude koji se nađu u automobilskoj nesreći rizik od povrede veći ako nisu vezani sigurnosnim pojasom.

Međutim, postoji jedan faktor kojeg nitko ne kontroliše, a to je da li će vam se desiti automobilska nesreća. Žrtve automobilskih nesreća koje nisu bile vezane sigurnosnim pojasom nemaju uvijek pravo na punu odštetu. Zakon države Florida porotama dopušta da djelomičnu krivicu pripiše žrtvama automobilskih nesreća koje u trenutku sudara nisu bile vezane. To je zato jer je Florida država s komparativnom krivicom. To znači da žrtve nesreća mogu da snose dio odgovornosti za automobilsku nesreću, zavisno o tome šta su radili ili su propustili uraditi prije i u toku incidenta. Ako je žrtva na bilo koji način pridonijela šteti koju je pretrpjela, npr. time što nije stavila sigurnosni pojas, što je naglo zaustavila vozilo ili je na bilo koji drugi način nepažljivo vozila, sudovi porotama dopuštaju da određeni postotak krivice pripišu i njima.

Kako to fukcioniše? Na primjer, povrijeđeni ste u automobilskoj nesreći i imate pravo da dobijete odštetu porote u iznosu od 100.000 američkih dolara. Ako optuženi otkrije da za vrijeme sudara niste bili vezani sigurnosnim pojasom, on/ona može da zatraži od porote da 30% krivice pripiše vama. Na zaključenju predmeta sud će suprotnoj strani narediti da vam isplati 70.000,00 dolara, a da preostalih 30.000,00 zadrži zbog vašeg nemara koji je pridonio povredi. U nekim slučajevima porota može da odluči da je vaše nenošenje sigurnosnog pojasa u datim uvjetima bio nemar toliko velikih razmjera da većinu krivice pripiše žrtvi sudara (npr. 70% krivice tužitelju, a 30% optuženom).

Ako vaš sigurnosni pojas iz nekog razloga ne fukcioniše, sudovi vas svejedno mogu smatrati djelomično odgovornim za nenošenje pojasa budući da je ono propisano zakonom.
Stoga sljedeći put kad vam prijatelj ili član porodice kaže, “Ne volim se vezati,” recite im da bi ih to moglo skupo koštati, u doslovnom smislu riječi…

Dan Rudez Blog ebook ad_translated