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!


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.

How to Avoid a Dog Bite

Unlike states with a “one-bite rule,” Florida law states that dog owners are strictly liable any time their dog bites another person, regardless of whether or not the dog has previously displayed aggressive or vicious behavior. This means that if you are bitten by a dog it is possible to collect damages from the dog’s owner, even if they had no idea the dog would bite. (Statutory exceptions include cases in which the bitten person was trespassing on private property).

dog bite

However, we here at Rudez PL believe that it is always better to avoid injury when possible. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways you can protect you and your family from dog bites.

  • Avoid leaving children alone with dogs. And, yes, this includes your family pet. According to the Florida Department of Health, more than half of dog bites occur in the home and involve a dog known to the family.
  • Never approach an unfamiliar dog. This especially applies to dogs that are unaccompanied by a person, whether they are strays, or pets that got loose from their owners. But, even if a dog is with its owner, it may bite if it feels scared or threatened. Teach your children to always ask the owner before approaching a dog, and to let the dog smell their hand before petting.
  • If you do find yourself in a situation where you think a dog might attack, Don’t run. Often when a dog feels scared or threatened, their natural instincts will kick in. If you run from them, they may assume you are now prey and chase after you.
  • Do not interfere with a dog that is eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies. These are times when a dog feels most vulnerable, and therefore they are more likely to react if they are startled or scared.

Dogs may be Man’s Best Friend. But, remember that they are still animals and any animal can bite. Respect your dog and other dogs you meet, and hopefully you’ll be able to avoid a dog bite.

If you or a loved one are victim to a dog bite, call Rudez PL at 844-RUDEZLAW for a FREE consultation with Attorney Dan Rudez. Dan speaks Croatian, Serbian, and Bosnian (Bosanski, hrvatski, Српски).