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.

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.

Florida PIP Insurance

On May 7th, 2012, Governor Rick Scott signed into law a controversial bill changing the way personal injuries are to be treated.  More specifically it drastically affects the way injuries are treated using personal injury protection insurance (PIP).

 

PIP is insurance all drivers are required to carry.  It provides up to $10,000 dollars for medical treatment and lost wages of accident victims.  Before these changes were made, accident victims were able to obtain treatment for their injuries from chiropractors, massage therapists or acupuncturists whenever they needed it.   They did not need prior approval from the insurance company nor did they did not question nor limit the accident victim’s treatment.  Additionally, they were not limited in time. Victims were freely able to obtain treatment to recover from the injury and help themselves, their doctors and their attorneys evaluate the extent of the injury, so that proper compensation could be sought on behalf of the client.

 

Now, it has become harder for accident victims to seek treatment.   You are limited on who can refer you to obtain treatment, you have a narrow window of time to obtain treatment and the PIP insurance can question you and investigate whether your use of PIP benefits are legitimate.  In order to maximize your recovery and obtain treatment under PIP insurance, you MUST follow the new guidelines that will apply to all accidents that occur on or after January 1, 2013.

 

FIRST:  You have 14 days to seek medical treatment for your injury from either a; physician, osteopath, dentist, chiropractor, physician’s assistant, advanced registered nurse, or a hospital or facility wholly owned by a hospital.

 

SECOND:  In order to be eligible for up to the entire $10,000 benefit for your treatment, paid by the PIP insurance, you must have either a; physician, osteopath, dentist, supervised physician’s assistant, or advanced registered nurse officially diagnose your injury/condition as an “emergency medical condition.”  A victim must have a referral from one of these medical care providers in order to qualify for PIP paid treatment.  If your condition is not labeled as an “emergency medical condition,” then you will only be entitled for up to $2,500 in PIP benefits for your treatment.

 

THIRD:  Massage therapy and acupuncture is no longer considered to be a PIP treatment option.

 

FOURTH:  The PIP insurance may now require the accident victim to undergo an examination under oath (EUO) in order to investigate whether the accident claim is fraudulent.   The accident victim who fails to comply will receive zero PIP benefits.

 

FIFTH:  The PIP insurance may also require the accident victim to undergo an independent medical examination, to evaluate whether or not they would need to provide you payment for your treatment.

 

ALL of these new requirements have not only made it harder for accident victims to obtain basic treatment of their injury, but it has also made it more difficult for accident victims to build their case to obtain maximum settlement recovery.  If you are in an accident, make sure you follow these guidelines so that you can maximize your medical and monetary recovery for your injury.  Don’t let these new laws hurt your chances for maximum recovery.

 

If you have further questions, or if you are in fact injured in an accident, feel free to give me a call for a free consultation.