Category Archives:Personal Injury

Florida 14 day PIP Law

Florida 14 day PIP Law

What is the Florida PIP Law and how does it affect me?

As a Tampa Injury Attorney, I can tell you that it can be difficult to navigate Florida’s “no-fault” auto insurance laws and what is this 14-day rule that we hear about on the radio.

One issue that often arises after a collision is Florida’s 14-day rule in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. It’s very important to understand the 14-day rule as a crash victim. Otherwise, you could face major hurdles in trying to secure benefits – or lose your right to compensation entirely. Here’s a breakdown of how the personal injury protection rule works.

Under the 2013 PIP law change, an accident victim must get “initial services and care” within two weeks of a crash if they want to receive benefits through their PIP coverage. Almost any type of medical attention will meet this requirement, as long as it comes from a qualified health care provider, or a qualified health care provider supervised or prescribed the care.

A qualified health care provider might include:

  •            A medical doctor
  •            A dentist
  •            A chiropractor
  •            An emergency medical technician

It is important to note that seeing a physical therapist, massage therapist, or other care provider not specifically listed in the statute will likely not meet the criteria. Your insurance company will likely deny your claim, and you will not receive benefits. It is always a good idea to go to the emergency department or see your doctor as soon as possible after a crash, both to ensure you are healthy and to meet this qualification as outlined in the Florida PIP 14-day Rule.

In addition to those injured, massage therapists and acupuncturists will no longer be allowed to treat patients under PIP. Even more worrisome to Florida citizens is that the law does not require insurance companies to notify policyholders that changes are forthcoming, effectively pulling coverage away from them without their knowledge or understanding. The new PIP law forces insurance companies to reduce their PIP rates by at least 25% by 2014, but they may petition the government to be excluded from these requirements. As many are receiving exceptions to the law, the changes have a chilling effect of ripping benefits from policyholders and proving a windfall for insurance companies.

The new law also created two different amounts that can be reimbursed to an individual seeking PIP benefits depending on whether that person has been diagnosed with an emergency medical condition. If a physician, osteopathic physician, dentist, physician’s assistant, or advanced registered nurse practitioner has determined that the injured person has an emergency medical condition, then that person will be allowed to obtain the full $10,000.00 in PIP benefits. An emergency medical condition, or “EMC” for shorthand, is defined as a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in serious jeopardy to patient health, serious impairment to bodily functions, or serious dysfunction of a body organ or part. An injured person who is not diagnosed with an emergency medical condition (EMC) will be limited to $2,500.00 in PIP benefits even though the injured persons pays for $10,000.00 in benefits through their insurance policy.

For a multitude of reasons, avoiding medical attention after an accident is never smart. Being afraid of high medical expenses, for example, is a reason to seek treatment – not to avoid it – because that treatment could cost you much more in the future. If you’re anxious about missing work, you’ll miss much more if your condition later becomes serious. After a traffic collision, seek medical attention at once. If you get a “clean bill of health” you’ll also get peace of mind. And if you’ve suffered an injury, discuss your legal rights and options as quickly as possible with a good personal injury attorney.

Emergency Medical Condition

Emergency medical condition” as it applies to PIP insurance claims in the state. The statute outlines this as a situation where victims suffered from acute symptoms that require immediate attention to prevent:

  •    Endangering their health and wellbeing
  •    Impairment of a major body function
  •    Serious dysfunction of any organ or body part

It is a good idea to discuss this with your doctor, who can note in your charts that you suffered an emergency medical condition. This may help your case. It is important to note there does not have to be a determination of whether your injury is an “emergency medical condition” within the first 14 days after an accident. As long as you seek medical care within the first two weeks, you should be eligible for some type of payout from your PIP insurance provider.

Misconceptions

Some misconceptions surround how much PIP covers. It does not necessarily pay all of the bills. PIP coverage pays the reasonable customary charges for medical treatment for injuries causally related to the accident.

If an individual injured their neck in an accident and if it still hurts three days later and it is not related to the accident, their PIP coverage is not going to pay for it. It only pays for those symptoms of those injuries that were caused by the accident. Even for the injuries causally related to the accident, Personal Injury Protection will only pay 80 percent of the bills.

No Fault insurance is mandatory in Florida – you are required by law to purchase it, therefore it’s important to know what’s required of you to take advantage of it in the event you need it.

Contact a personal injury attorney to discuss the specifics of your case and decide whether you need legal representation.  A personal injury attorney could mean the difference between getting a settlement that barely covers your expenses or a settlement or verdict that pays all of your bills and allows you to get back to living your life.

Tampa Attorney Martin J. Hernandez

Attorney Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez, LLC in Tampa provides legal representation for families in auto accident injury and wrongful death cases. Our Tampa personal injury attorneys welcome the opportunity to interview with you and your loved ones. We invite you to review our recent results from settlements to trial verdicts. Our qualifications and background are available to you as well. Our Tampa Attorneys Martin Hernandez and Daniel Fernandez are bilingual as well.  Just call us at 813-229-5353 for your free consultation.

The Tampa personal injury lawyers of Fernandez & Hernandez, serve Florida communities including Tampa, Brandon, Carrollwood, Westchase, Riverview, Temple Terrace, Pasco, Pinellas, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Lakeland, Plant City, Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Dover, Valrico, Lutz, Lakeland and many other neighborhoods in Tampa Bay area. Contact an Experienced Tampa Auto Accident Attorney from Fernandez & Hernandez Law.

If you have been involved in an Auto Accident in the Tampa Bay area, call Tampa personal injury lawyer Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez for a free consultation now.  We recommend also reading his reviews on Google Reviews, Avvo and Yelp.

Call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813-229-5353 or read more at: www.InjuryLawyersOfTampa.com

#GetLawyeredUpNow #DUI #Tampa #Attorney #Lawyer #Accident #Injury #Truck

How to Find the Best Accident Attorney in Tampa?

How to Find the Best Accident Attorney in Tampa?

If you have recently been injured in a Tampa car accident and want to take legal action against those who caused those injuries, you will need to make a point of finding the best car accident lawyer for you. There are many attorneys that specialize in personal injury, but it’s imperative that you find one that specializes specifically in handling car accident cases.  Be careful of the lawyer who states he handles 6 or 7 different areas of the law.  They may not handle any of them well.  Look for one that concentrates in 1 or 2 areas of the law.

One of the biggest benefits associated with hiring a qualified lawyer for your Tampa car accident case is that you increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. A skilled and experienced attorney will be able to work with the insurance company and handle other complicated aspects of your case on your behalf.  And if that does not work, go to trial.

Good attorneys that specialize in car accident cases have the knowledge and resources to settle your case as quickly as possible. If you don’t want to wait a long time to get due compensation, you will absolutely need to hire an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.  Why? Because experience and results matter.

Look at the Lawyer’s Track Record

When evaluating car accident lawyers near you, look at what kind of history each attorney has in the community. It’s always a good idea to look for lawyer who has a history of taking cases to trial when necessary.  Don’t fall for deceptive advertising.

You ultimately want a lawyer who isn’t afraid to fight for you in court as opposed to one who does not have experience in litigation and just settles.  Ask yourself if you want an attorney to fight for you or do you want a lawyer that just settles for whatever the insurance company offers?

Also, look for lawyers who have a history of getting good compensation for their clients. Make sure that you ask each of the lawyers you meet with what their track record is like with car accident cases.

You don’t want to hire a lawyer who has a history of losing a significant number of cases for obvious reasons, but at the same time, run from the attorney who says he has never lost a case as he has either only tried one case (and won); never tried a case; or only takes cases to trial that he cannot lose.  If he only takes cases to trial that he cannot lose, then ask yourself “why would he do that?”  Ego is the likely answer.  Some cases need to be litigated and others need to be resolved if there is a good offer on the table.  There is a difference.

Read Online Directories & Reviews

There are numerous directory websites on the internet with huge databases of lawyers that you can use to find the right person to take your case.  Look at some of the awards the attorney earned.

Make sure that you use a reputable website so you can be sure that the results you get consist of legitimate, well-respected professionals. Some of these directories even offer reviews of lawyers and detailed information to help you save time doing research into them.  We recommend also reading the Tampa Injury Lawyers reviews on Google Reviews, Avvo and Yelp.

Meet with Multiple Lawyers in Person

You should get consultations with numerous car accident lawyers before deciding on one in particular. Meeting with these attorneys in person will give you a better sense of what each one is like and how competent they really are in handling your car accident claim for injuries. This will provide you with the perfect opportunity to ask them any questions you might have.

A lot of accident lawyers offer free consultations, and it’s perfectly fine to get several free consults.  Ask to meet with your attorney.  Not a secretary or investigator.  The lawyer who you are paying.

Get Referrals

If you know someone who has hired a car accident lawyer in the past, you should try to get a referral from them.

Ask the person if the person or law firm they hired did a good job so you will know whether or not to contact them. Getting a referral can be a very effective way to find the right lawyer, because someone you already know and trust is providing you with firsthand information about them.

Find Out What Each Lawyer’s Fee Structure is like

It’s also important that you find a car accident lawyer with a fee structure that you are completely comfortable with. Not all of these lawyers have the same policy when it comes to how they get paid, so you will need to get this information early on.  Are they charging you a straight 40%?  Do they guarantee that you will walk out with more money them?

Some lawyers charge by the hour while others will only ask for payment if they win the case for you. These days it has become very common for accident lawyers to not charge their clients unless they win, but you will need to ask each lawyer you meet with before making a decision.

Make a List and Narrow Down Your Options

Take the time to write up a list of the lawyers you are interested in hiring and try to narrow it down to just one person in particular. Remember to read reviews for each lawyer and find out if they have all the necessary credentials to practice law where you live.

Hire A Top Rated Accident Attorney

Finding the best car accident lawyer might feel a bit overwhelming because of all the options you have, but using the steps listed above will help you to make the right decision.

It’s also important to remember that sometimes the smaller law firms are better than the big ones. At a smaller firm or solo practice you will get personal attention. When dealing with a very large firm, you might not even actually speak to your lawyer!

If you’ve been in an accident and want a free consultation with a highly rated attorney, contact us.

Tampa Injury Attorney Martin J. Hernandez

Attorney Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez, LLC in Tampa provides legal representation for families in auto accident injury and wrongful death cases. Our Tampa personal injury attorneys welcome the opportunity to interview with you and your loved ones. We invite you to review our recent results from settlements to trial verdicts. Our qualifications and background are available to you as well. Our Tampa Attorneys Martin Hernandez and Daniel Fernandez are bilingual as well.  Just call us at 813-229-5353 for your free consultation.

The Tampa personal injury lawyers of Fernandez & Hernandez, serve Florida communities including Tampa, Brandon, Carrollwood, Westchase, Riverview, Temple Terrace, Pasco, Pinellas, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Lakeland, Plant City, Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Dover, Valrico, Lutz, Lakeland and many other neighborhoods in Tampa Bay area. Contact an Experienced Tampa Auto Accident Attorney from Fernandez & Hernandez Law.

If you have been involved in an Auto Accident in the Tampa Bay area, call Tampa personal injury lawyer Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez for a free consultation now.  We recommend also reading his reviews on Google Reviews, Avvo and Yelp.

Call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813-229-5353 or read more at: www.InjuryLawyersOfTampa.com

#GetLawyeredUpNow #DUI #Tampa #Attorney #Lawyer #Accident #Injury #Truck #SUV #abogado #AbogadoTampa #AttorneyTampa #TampaLawyer #TampaAttorney

Rollover Accidents Attorney

Rollover Accidents Attorney

Tampa Rollover Accident Lawyers

If you were in a Tampa rollover accident you know it feels like to literally have the world turned upside down and then right side up (again and again.) Depending on how many times you flipped over after your Tampa car accident, you may have wondered whether the car would ever stop.  And now you are looking for a Tampa accident attorney that can help you with your rollover.

We can help.

In these car accidents, the body jerks around and slams against multiple parts of the interior of the car. While the car collides with the ground over and over, your body does the same with the inside of the car.  Even with a seat belt being properly used, the body loses to gravity and momentum every time.  The Tampa car accident lawyers at Fernandez and Hernandez are here to help.  Call us and consider it done.

Types of Vehicles that Rollover

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rollover car accidents result in more serious injuries and fatalities than other kinds of accidents. In fact, rollover accidents comprise 33% of all fatal accidents in the U.S. despite accounting for only 2% (or less) of the total accidents that take place. These car accidents happen for different reasons (like speed or “tripping”), but car design is known to contribute to increased likelihood of a car rollover with taller, narrower cars being more likely to rollover than other kinds of cars. It is well-known that an SUV is more likely to rollover than a sports car.  These are important considerations for your Tampa car accident lawyer. The kinds of cars most likely to rollover in an accident are:

  • SUVs
  • Pickups
  • Vans
  • Cars or cars with higher centers of gravity
  • Overloaded trucks, vans, or SUVs

Other factors contributing to rollover car accidents include alcohol use and speed. In most rollover accidents, the car was traveling at speeds exceeding 55 miles per hour. Driver distraction can also lead to rollover accidents during routine driving maneuvers.

A NHTSA study all concluded that 95% of single-vehicle rollovers are “tripped.” This happens when a vehicle leaves the roadway and slides sideways, digging its tires into soft soil or striking an object such as a curb or guardrail. The high tripping force applied to the tires in these situations can cause the vehicle to roll over with no other vehicles being involved.

Sadly, rollover car accidents result in sometimes serious injuries or fatalities requiring intensive medical care, years of rehabilitation, or missed time at work.  Victims may be overwhelmed by bills and medical care for loved ones following these accidents and the pain and suffering can last a lifetime.

Fortunately, the law offers important protections to car accident victims. Tampa rollover car accident lawyers may be able to seek compensation for their personal injury clients’ injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The Fernandez and Hernandez offers assistance to rollover car accident victims in Tampa, Florida. If you’ve been injured in a rollover accident, or know someone who has suffered injuries or death as a result of such an accident, our rollover accident lawyers in Tampa can review the details of your case and help you file a personal injury lawsuit, if necessary.  We will hire experts, accident reconstructionist and even create digital re-enactments just to show how your accident would like to a jury.

Anatomy of a Rollover Auto Accident

Why do cars roll or rollover? Many drivers aren’t aware of the physics that underlie car accident rollovers and therefore may not be aware of the best ways to prevent these car accidents. Furthermore, passengers who have suffered injuries as a result of a car rollover may not understand that negligence on the part of the driver can easily result in a rollover. Because these accidents sometimes happen quickly, it is important for victims and loved ones to be aware of the common causes of car rollovers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in its studies of the causes of rollover accidents, found that 95% of rollover accidents occur because a car left the roadway. Distracted driving, alcohol use, and fatigue can all result in drivers drifting off the road. All it takes is a few seconds of distraction for a car to drift. When the car’s tires hit a softer surface—like gravel, or when the car hits a guard rail, the high speeds and forces can result in a car tipping over. If a car hits a guard rail, the car can sometimes ride up the rail like a ramp. The car hits the “ramp” of the rail at such high speeds that the car is tossed upward and into the air. Off-road driving can also lead to rollovers. For instance, if an SUV loses control while moving downhill and the driver attempts to correct for the loss of control, the high center of gravity of the car can cause the SUV to rollover. Additionally, if a car is located on a steep slope, the car can also tip over. Other, less common rollover car accidents occur when drivers are moving at high speeds, or when cars carrying heavy weights attempt to avoid obstacles on the road. Overloaded cars are more likely to tip over during sudden corrective driving maneuvers. The fast turn combined with the center of gravity of a heavily loaded car can result in a rollover car accident, but speed in this situation would be the biggest cause.

While the physics involved in a rollover vary with each situation, the result is sometimes serious and devastating for victims. If you’ve suffered an injury in a rollover car accident as a passenger or due to another driver’s negligence in Tampa, Florida, the Tampa rollover accident injury lawyers at the Fernandez and Hernandez, LLC are here to help. Our Tampa Serious Injury Attorneys help victims seek justice for their pain and suffering through aggressive representation, litigation, and trial skills.

Filing a Rollover Accident Injury Claim in Tampa, Florida

In order to file a rollover car accident injury claim in Tampa, Florida, your Tampa car accident lawyer will first determine liability. Who was driving? Were you a passenger? Who was at-fault? Were other cars involved? If your injuries were the result of a driver’s negligence, our Tampa rollover car accident lawyers will help you file a rollover accident injury claim. We will take the time to review any medical reports, police reports, and interview witnesses, if necessary, to help build the strongest case possible. Every personal injury case is unique. Some settlements can be arranged outside of court without litigation and some will require litigation and trial. The Tampa Car Accident Attorneys at the Fernandez and Hernandez will assist you every step of the way. Contact our firm today to discuss your options and your rights with regards to your Tampa rollover car accident injury claim.

 Tampa Rollover Injury Accident Attorneys

At Fernandez and Hernandez, our Tampa Rollover Accident Injury Lawyers can help you pursue justice and compensation from any responsible person, driver, manufacturer or corporation that may be responsible for your rollover car accident injury. Call us at 813-229-5353 to set up a free consultation with one of our Rollover Personal Injury Lawyers today.

Tampa Attorney Martin J. Hernandez

Attorney Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez, LLC in Tampa provides legal representation for families in auto accident injury and wrongful death cases. Our Tampa personal injury attorneys welcome the opportunity to interview with you and your loved ones. We invite you to review our recent results from settlements to trial verdicts. Our qualifications and background are available to you as well. Our Tampa Attorneys Martin Hernandez and Daniel Fernandez are bilingual as well.  Just call us at 813-229-5353 for your free consultation.

The Tampa personal injury lawyers of Fernandez & Hernandez, serve Florida communities including Tampa, Brandon, Carrollwood, Westchase, Riverview, Temple Terrace, Pasco, Pinellas, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Lakeland, Plant City, Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Dover, Valrico, Lutz, Lakeland and many other neighborhoods in Tampa Bay area. Contact an Experienced Tampa Auto Accident Attorney from Fernandez & Hernandez Law.

If you have been involved in an Auto Accident in the Tampa Bay area, call Tampa personal injury lawyer Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez for a free consultation now.  We recommend also reading his reviews on Google Reviews, Avvo and Yelp.

Call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813-229-5353 or read more at: www.InjuryLawyersOfTampa.com

#GetLawyeredUpNow #DUI #Tampa #Attorney #Lawyer #Accident #Injury #Truck

Why Should I Hire Tampa Motorcycle Accident Attorney?

Why Should I Hire Tampa Motorcycle Accident Attorney?

Motorcycle accidents in Tampa can happen at any time and require special attention from an attorney because insurance adjusters complicate the process of recovering compensation for injured motorcyclists and try to minimize the recovery for the injured motorcyclists.  Therefore, it is important for injured riders, or loved ones acting on their behalf, to retain an attorney who has experience handling these types of claims.

The motorcycle lawyers at Fernandez & Hernandez, LLC successfully handled a claim against an insurance and, for one rider who died after a motorcycle accident, a $7,000,000 verdict for his Estate after he died in head-on collision. While each case is different and damages will vary, our motorcycle attorneys are committed to helping motorcyclists recover compensation for their losses, which may include medical bills and property damage.

According to AAA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the most recent crash data, Florida had a 30% increase in these deaths, making 2015 the highest on record. Motorcyclists accounted for 20% of motor vehicle fatalities in the state. In 2015, 606 people died and 9,045 were injured in motorcycle crashes on Florida roads.

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, you may have legal recourse. To learn more about how our attorneys may be able to help, please contact our Tampa motorcycle attorneys.

Why Should I Contact a Tampa Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?

Remember insurance companies are in the risk business and they never lose.  They are not in the business of paying claims at full value unless they are made to pay it all full value.

It may be difficult for injured motorcycle riders to make a recovery after a motorcycle crash, especially if they are pursuing their claim without the guidance of an attorney. Because Personal Injury Insurance Protection (PIP) in some states is only required for vehicles with four or more wheels, motorcyclists are not permitted to carry PIP coverage.  In Florida, motorcycles are specifically excluded.

If you were injured in a crash, an attorney can explain your options for pursuing compensation for medical bills and other losses. If you contact a Tampa motorcycle lawyer immediately after the accident, he or she can begin to collect information and evidence to support your claim for compensation. To help build your claim, your attorney may:

  • Collect scene and police reports
  • Gather witness statements
  • Photograph the scene
  • Investigate the other motorist’s driving history
  • Reconstruct the accident scene
  • Recreate the accident
  • Review medical records
  • Consult experts
  • Contact insurance companies on your behalf

Why Fernandez & Hernandez, LLC?

At Fernandez & Hernandez, LLC, the motorcycle accident attorneys are familiar with laws governing motorcycles — which differ significantly from those pertaining to car accidents — and have extensive experience dealing with insurance companies. We have access to the top experts, including accident reconstructionists and medical experts. By working with these individuals, our attorneys have established a successful track record of results in recovering compensation for injured motorcyclists, including a $7 million motorcycle accident verdict.

Motorcycle Accident Injury Claims

If the motorcyclist was not at-fault, they may be able to seek damages from the party negligent in causing the crash. While motorcyclists are not covered by PIP insurance, they are also not bound by its restrictions. Injured riders are not limited in the damages they may seek to compensate for their losses, including damages for pain and suffering.

Motor vehicle accident claims involve PIP insurance—which requires the injured party to pass an “injury threshold” to be able to pursue compensation from the negligent party—and do not allow for the recovery of pain and suffering damages. Motorcyclists do not have to pass an injury threshold to seek compensation for damages, which may include medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Insurance Negotiations

After an accident, your attorney may contact the negligent party’s insurance company to negotiate a settlement for costs incurred as a result of the accident. He or she will leverage information collected to recover compensation for your expenses. If negotiations with insurance companies are unsuccessful or unsatisfactory, you may be able to pursue legal action against the negligent party with the help of your attorney.

Negligence

Motorcycle accidents lawsuits fall under the category of personal injury, which in turn is based on the theory of negligence. In other words, your attorney will have to prove that the other driver in the accident was at fault because he or she failed to exercise a reasonable standard of care. In order to do so, your attorney will conduct an investigation to learn more about the incident, including whether the other driver followed traffic laws, paid attention to his or her surroundings, was driving under the influence etc.

Wrongful Death

If you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you may have recourse to recover compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. An attorney can help the family of the deceased prove the negligence of the other driver was the cause of the victim’s death.

What Compensation Can Be Recovered?

In negotiations or litigation against an insurance company or negligent party, the attorneys in our office may be able to help you recover compensation for the following:

Past and Future Medical Expenses: Victims can file to receive compensation for emergency visits, hospital care, surgery etc. if the injuries were directly related to the accident.

Lost Wages: Motorcycle accident victims can claim compensation for wages they could have earned if the accidents hadn’t taken place. Victims can recover compensation for the period of time they had to be away from work to recover.

Pain and Suffering: As motorcyclists may not be offered PIP insurance, they may file a lawsuit to claim compensation to combat their pain and suffering after the accident. To determine whether the victim requires compensation, factors such as the nature of the injury, along with the duration and extent of pain, will be considered.

Mental Anguish: Victims and families may also be provided compensation for the emotional pain they had to face after the incident. Emotional suffering includes feelings of fright, embarrassment, nervousness, worry, and grief.

Loss of Consortium: The surviving spouse may be awarded compensation for the loss of services, assistance, aid, society, and companionship of his or her loved one in the case of a wrongful death caused by a motorcycle accident. Surviving parents may be awarded compensation for the loss of love, affection and companionship of their minor children as a result of their wrongful death. Likewise, minor children may be awarded compensation for the loss of services, assistance, aid, society and companionship of their parents as a result of their wrongful death.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents can occur for a number of reasons, including driver negligence. Negligent acts that may result in an accident include the following:

  • Swerving in front of a cyclist
  • Cutting off motorcyclists at intersections
  • Failing to follow posted speed limits
  • Failing to yield when appropriate
  • Failing to leave sufficient room between vehicles
  • Failure to see a motorcyclist changing or entering lanes
  • Neglecting to pay appropriate attention to other drivers
  • Driving under the influence

Failure to yield and an inability to recognize motorcyclists in traffic are among the common causes of motorcycle accidents. These crashes may also be caused by motor vehicles drivers who do not exercise proper care when making left-hand turns at intersections. Left-turn accidents are commonly caused by drivers who:

  • Misjudge the motorcyclist’s speed or distance
  • Fail to see the motorcyclist
  • Panic and stop in the motorcyclist’s path
  • Rely on the judgment of another driver, who also fails to see the motorcyclist
  • Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Motorcyclists have little protection from the elements and other vehicles; therefore, injuries sustained in an accident can be serious and life-threatening and may include the following:

  • Bone fractures
  • Severe head trauma
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Brain damage
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of limbs
  • Paralysis
  • Death

If you were injured, or lost a loved one, in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. To find more about motorcycle accident lawsuits, fill out our free case review form today.

Tampa Motorcycle Attorney Martin J. Hernandez

Attorney Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez, LLC in Tampa provides legal representation for families in auto accident injury and wrongful death cases. Our Tampa personal injury attorneys welcome the opportunity to interview with you and your loved ones. We invite you to review our recent results from settlements to trial verdicts. Our qualifications and background are available to you as well. Our Tampa Attorneys Martin Hernandez and Daniel Fernandez are bilingual as well.  Just call us at 813-229-5353 for your free consultation

The Tampa personal injury lawyers of Fernandez & Hernandez, serve Florida communities including Tampa, Brandon, Carrollwood, Westchase, Riverview, Temple Terrace, Pasco, Pinellas, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Lakeland, Plant City, Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Dover, Valrico, Lutz, Lakeland and many other neighborhoods in Tampa Bay area. Contact an Experienced Tampa Auto Accident Attorney from Fernandez & Hernandez Law.

If you have been involved in an Auto Accident in the Tampa Bay area, call Tampa personal injury lawyer Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez for a free consultation now.  We recommend also reading his reviews on Google Reviews, Avvo and Yelp.

Call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813-229-5353 or read more at: www.InjuryLawyersOfTampa.com

#GetLawyeredUpNow #DUI #Tampa #Attorney #Lawyer #Accident #Injury #Truck #Motorcycle

What if I am in a Car Accident Without Insurance in Florida? - Personal Injury Lawyer | Tampa Car Accident Attorney

What if I am in a Car Accident Without Insurance in Florida? – Personal Injury Lawyer | Tampa Car Accident Attorney

By: Tampa Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez, Esq

Car insurance is “required” in the state of Florida and there is a misconception that “full coverage” is all you need.  Wrong.  “Full coverage” is the bare minimum required to get a driver’s license and purchase a car.  It protects the other person’s car if you were at fault and the first $10,000 for your medical bills regardless of who is at fault under your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits.

But what about if you were not at fault and you have more than $10,000 in medical bills?  Who pays then?  How can you protect yourself and your family?

In 2011, the Insurance Research Council found that almost 14% of drivers in the United States do not have insurance coverage, which means that the likelihood of being in a car accident without insurance held by both parties is much higher.   This number is higher in Florida, especially in Tampa and Miami.

If you do have car insurance, there are six basic aspects that are covered in the policy. It is important to first understand these before you can understand what happens if you are uninsured.

Car Accident Lawyer in Tampa, Florida.

What does car insurance cover?

Bodily injury liability coverage pays for the injuries that are caused to the driver and the passengers during the accident that is not at fault.

Property damage liability: This covers the repairs to the other vehicles involved, as well as buildings, fences, etc., to the person not at fault.

Collision insurance covers the damage that is caused to your vehicle and property regardless of who is at fault.

Personal injury protection (also known as Florida “No-Fault”) is the cover that pays out for the injuries and lost wages that you, your resident relatives and the passengers in your car sustained.

Comprehensive cover is there for when the damage to your vehicle is caused by incidents other than accidents. These incidents include vandalism and natural disasters.

The last coverage, but perhaps the most important coverage, is the coverage for the uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. This covers costs and damages that are caused by a person who does not have insurance (i.e., hit-and-run driver, an unlisted driver, a driver without insurance or a driver) who does not possess enough insurance coverage.

Underinsured, or more commonly known in Florida as Uninsured, Motorist coverage is the typically the cheapest coverage to buy “dollar for dollar.”  Yet, it is perhaps the most important because it follows you wherever you go, wherever your family goes and protects any occupants in your car when you are not at fault.  Florida Statute § 627.727 clearly makes this coverage so important that you need to affirmatively sign off on rejecting this coverage.

We highly recommend you protect yourself and your family by buying “Uninsured Motorist” coverage equivalent to you household income.  It’s important!

How important?  Florida Statute § 627.727 (2018) clearly states that in order to reject this coverage, an insured must sign a form that meets the following criteria:

The rejection or selection of lower limits shall be made on a form approved by the office. The form shall fully advise the applicant of the nature of the coverage and shall state that the coverage is equal to bodily injury liability limits unless lower limits are requested or the coverage is rejected. The heading of the form shall be in 12-point bold type and shall state: “You are electing not to purchase certain valuable coverage which protects you and your family or you are purchasing uninsured motorist limits less than your bodily injury liability limits when you sign this form. Please read carefully.” If this form is signed by a named insured, it will be conclusively presumed that there was an informed, knowing rejection of coverage or election of lower limits on behalf of all insureds. The insurer shall notify the named insured at least annually of her or his options as to the coverage required by this section. Such notice shall be part of, and attached to, the notice of premium, shall provide for a means to allow the insured to request such coverage, and shall be given in a manner approved by the office.

Quite often our firm needs to discharge an injured party because the at-fault party does not have bodily injury coverage or even insurance at all.  Moreover, our client’s did not adequately protect themselves by purchasing “Uninsured Motorist” coverage.

Florida is a No-fault state.

Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state. Meaning that if a motor accident happens, each driver’s insurance must pay for the damages regardless of who is at fault, which can be tricky as well as frustrating.

Auto insurance policies cover the basics such as damage and medical bills. If the accident has caused permanent physical damage, injury or disability, then they can pursue a civil lawsuit against you. It is best to seek legal advice immediately.

If you are uninsured and you are in an accident with another vehicle whose driver is also uninsured, then you have a bit of problem.  You cannot get blood from a turnip and you will not be able to force the other person to pay when the other person does not have any money to begin with.  You will then be liable to pay for the damages to your car. Medical expenses, wages lost, and other property damage will also be out of your pocket. Even if you have another form of insurance, it will not be covered because you did not have motor vehicle insurance.

When you have sustained serious injuries or are left permanently disabled, you can file a civil lawsuit against the other driver. The driver who is at fault. With this lawsuit, you will be able to recover, among other expenses, pain and suffering and medical expenses. To determine whether you have a case concerning a car accident without insurance, contact an experienced auto accident lawyer.

To Insure or Not to Insure?

Lastly, if you do not have insurance, you are on your own. The same can be said if you are in a car accident without insurance. The medical bills alone will bankrupt you if you are seriously injured. Lawsuits take a long time to come to a conclusion and reach a verdict. You cannot bargain on getting any form of compensation from a civil suit. Your life can be ruined by not having insurance on your vehicle in an accident. There are multiple policies that offer affordable car insurance on the market. If you do the research, you will be able to find insurance that falls into your budget. The bottom line is that you do not want to be the unfortunate person that is in a car accident without insurance.

Tampa Injury Attorney Martin J. Hernandez

Attorney Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez, LLC in Tampa provides legal representation for families in auto accident injury and wrongful death cases. Our Tampa personal injury attorneys welcome the opportunity to interview with you and your loved ones. We invite you to review our recent results from settlements to trial verdicts. Our qualifications and background are available to you as well. Our Tampa Attorneys Martin Hernandez and Daniel Fernandez are bilingual as well.  Just call us at 813-229-5353 for your free consultation.

The Tampa personal injury lawyers of Fernandez & Hernandez, serve Florida communities including Tampa, Brandon, Carrollwood, Westchase, Riverview, Temple Terrace, Pasco, Pinellas, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Lakeland, Plant City, Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Dover, Valrico, Lutz, Lakeland and many other neighborhoods in Tampa Bay area. Contact an Experienced Tampa Auto Accident Attorney from Fernandez & Hernandez Law.

If you have been involved in an Auto Accident in the Tampa Bay area, call Tampa personal injury lawyer Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez for a free consultation now.  We recommend also reading his reviews on Google Reviews, Avvo and Yelp.

Call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813-229-5353 or read more at: www.InjuryLawyersOfTampa.com

#GetLawyeredUpNow #DUI #Tampa #Attorney #Lawyer #Accident #Injury #Truck

 

Street Racing Injury Lawyer – Tampa, Florida

Street Racing Injury Lawyer – Tampa, Florida

By: Martin J. Hernandez, Esq. (Your Injury Attorney)

Riding motorcycles for sport has been popular for more than 120 years.  Since then motorcycles have become faster, stronger, more popular and more dangerous. Although motorcycle racing has found its way into sports, street racing is still illegal in Florida.

Motorcycle street racing can be defined as two or more motorcycles racing each on a public street or highway. When these two motorcyclists make the decision to race, they are recklessly putting themselves and their fellow motorists in danger.  Under Florida law, street racing is considered a misdemeanor and carries sanctions as tough or tougher than a DUI.  Any injuries or death will upgrade this to a felony.

Street racing, however, is extremely dangerous whether in a car, truck or motorcycle.  Numerous people are injured a year and many others die.  Read below for a full reading of Florida Statute 316.191.

Driving a car or riding a motorcycle is already dangerous, combined with high-speeds and minimal protection the circumstances could be deadly and dangerous for other vehicles in the area. In Florida, there were more than 4,200 motorcycle accidents reported in 2011. Additionally the Florida Department of Transportation reports that 27%  of the collisions in 2011 were related to speeding.

Additionally the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration notes that in 2010, of drivers involved in fatal motorcycle collisions, 24% had previous speeding convictions on their record.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident or car accident caused by reckless driver or a driver that has been racing, a contact a Tampa Injury attorney., the victim may be entitled to compensation for property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and more.

Fill out the ‘FREE CASE REVIEW’ form to your right for a 100% FREE case evaluation – your information will remain completely confidential.

Street Racing Laws in Florida

There are a number of motorcycle and racing laws in Florida, including Florida Statute § 316.191 breaks down unlawful racing on streets and highways.

According to the statute:

  • No person may operate a motor vehicle on a street or highway illegally in a pre-arranged speed condition.
  • It is unlawful for a person to operate motor vehicle on a street or highway in a speed competition.
  • It is unlawful for a person to allow another individual to unlawfully operate their motor vehicle in a pre-arranged speed competition, or to place a wager on the outcome of said competition.

Failing to comply with the Florida street racing laws can result in being charged with a misdemeanor, as well as having the vehicle impounded and auctioned. The owner of the vehicle also risks having their license suspended or revoked and being charged hundreds of dollars in fees.

Motorcycle Street Racing Injuries

There are many dangers involved in motorcycle street racing. The speed at which these vehicles are traveling, the crowds, and other vehicles are all hazards to other motorists. If a race is not pre-arranged, street racers and motorcyclists could be putting many motorists in danger due to their need to race.

Some common injuries caused by street racing accidents include:

  • Broken Bones
  • Road Rash
  • Biker’s Arm
  • Lacerations
  • Dislocations
  • Head Trauma

Many times the motorcyclists will be seriously injured, however, pedestrians and other motorists can be injured or killed during a collision as a motorcycle can spin out from under the driver. The velocity at which these bikes are travelling can also impact how intensely they will collide with another vehicle.

Racing on the Highways in Florida

The 2018 Florida Statutes

(1) As used in this section, the term:

(a) “Conviction” means a determination of guilt that is the result of a plea or trial, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld.

(b) “Drag race” means the operation of two or more motor vehicles from a point side by side at accelerating speeds in a competitive attempt to outdistance each other, or the operation of one or more motor vehicles over a common selected course, from the same point to the same point, for the purpose of comparing the relative speeds or power of acceleration of such motor vehicle or motor vehicles within a certain distance or time limit.

(c) “Race” means the use of one or more motor vehicles in competition, arising from a challenge to demonstrate superiority of a motor vehicle or driver and the acceptance or competitive response to that challenge, either through a prior arrangement or in immediate response, in which the competitor attempts to outgain or outdistance another motor vehicle, to prevent another motor vehicle from passing, to arrive at a given destination ahead of another motor vehicle or motor vehicles, or to test the physical stamina or endurance of drivers over long-distance driving routes. A race may be prearranged or may occur through a competitive response to conduct on the part of one or more drivers which, under the totality of the circumstances, can reasonably be interpreted as a challenge to race.

(d) “Spectator” means any person who is knowingly present at and views a drag race, when such presence is the result of an affirmative choice to attend or participate in the race. For purposes of determining whether or not an individual is a spectator, finders of fact shall consider the relationship between the racer and the individual, evidence of gambling or betting on the outcome of the race, and any other factor that would tend to show knowing attendance or participation.

(2) A person may not:

(a) Drive any motor vehicle, including any motorcycle, in any race, speed competition or contest, drag race or acceleration contest, test of physical endurance, or exhibition of speed or acceleration or for the purpose of making a speed record on any highway, roadway, or parking lot;

(b) In any manner participate in, coordinate, facilitate, or collect moneys at any location for any such race, competition, contest, test, or exhibition;

(c) Knowingly ride as a passenger in any such race, competition, contest, test, or exhibition; or

(d) Purposefully cause the movement of traffic to slow or stop for any such race, competition, contest, test, or exhibition.

(3)(a) Any person who violates subsection (2) commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Any person who violates subsection (2) shall pay a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $1,000, and the department shall revoke the driver license of a person so convicted for 1 year. A hearing may be requested pursuant to s. 322.271.

(b) Any person who commits a second violation of subsection (2) within 5 years after the date of a prior violation that resulted in a conviction for a violation of subsection (2) commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, and shall pay a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $3,000. The department shall also revoke the driver license of that person for 2 years. A hearing may be requested pursuant to s. 322.271.

(c) Any person who commits a third or subsequent violation of subsection (2) within 5 years after the date of a prior violation that resulted in a conviction for a violation of subsection (2) commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, and shall pay a fine of not less than $2,000 and not more than $5,000. The department shall also revoke the driver license of that person for 4 years. A hearing may be requested pursuant to s. 322.271.

(d) In any case charging a violation of subsection (2), the court shall be provided a copy of the driving record of the person charged and may obtain any records from any other source to determine if one or more prior convictions of the person for a violation of subsection (2) have occurred within 5 years prior to the charged offense.

(4)(a) A person may not be a spectator at any drag race prohibited under subsection (2).

(b) A person who violates paragraph (a) commits a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation as provided in chapter 318.

(5) Whenever a law enforcement officer determines that a person was engaged in a drag race or race, as described in subsection (1), the officer may immediately arrest and take such person into custody. The court may enter an order of impoundment or immobilization as a condition of incarceration or probation. Within 7 business days after the date the court issues the order of impoundment or immobilization, the clerk of the court must send notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the registered owner of the motor vehicle, if the registered owner is a person other than the defendant, and to each person of record claiming a lien against the motor vehicle.

(a) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the impounding agency shall release a motor vehicle under the conditions provided in s. 316.193(6)(e), (f), (g), and (h), if the owner or agent presents a valid driver license at the time of pickup of the motor vehicle.

(b) All costs and fees for the impoundment or immobilization, including the cost of notification, must be paid by the owner of the motor vehicle or, if the motor vehicle is leased or rented, by the person leasing or renting the motor vehicle, unless the impoundment or immobilization order is dismissed. All provisions of s. 713.78 shall apply.

(c) Any motor vehicle used in violation of subsection (2) may be impounded for a period of 30 business days if a law enforcement officer has arrested and taken a person into custody pursuant to this subsection and the person being arrested is the registered owner or coowner of the motor vehicle. If the arresting officer finds that the criteria of this paragraph are met, the officer may immediately impound the motor vehicle. The law enforcement officer shall notify the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles of any impoundment for violation of this subsection in accordance with procedures established by the department. Paragraphs (a) and (b) shall be applicable to such impoundment.

(6) Any motor vehicle used in violation of subsection (2) by any person within 5 years after the date of a prior conviction of that person for a violation under subsection (2) may be seized and forfeited as provided by the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act. This subsection shall only be applicable if the owner of the motor vehicle is the person charged with violating subsection (2).

(7) This section does not apply to licensed or duly authorized racetracks, drag strips, or other designated areas set aside by proper authorities for such purposes.

 Tampa Attorney Martin J. Hernandez

Attorney Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez, LLC in Tampa provides legal representation for families in auto accident injury and wrongful death cases. Our Tampa personal injury attorneys welcome the opportunity to interview with you and your loved ones. We invite you to review our recent results from settlements to trial verdicts. Our qualifications and background are available to you as well. Our Tampa Attorneys Martin Hernandez and Daniel Fernandez are bilingual as well.  Just call us at 813-229-5353 for your free consultation.

The Tampa personal injury lawyers of Fernandez & Hernandez, serve Florida communities including Tampa, Brandon, Carrollwood, Westchase, Riverview, Temple Terrace, Pasco, Pinellas, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Lakeland, Plant City, Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Dover, Valrico, Lutz, Lakeland and many other neighborhoods in Tampa Bay area. Contact an Experienced Tampa Auto Accident Attorney from Fernandez & Hernandez Law.

If you have been involved in an Auto Accident in the Tampa Bay area, call Tampa personal injury lawyer Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez for a free consultation now.  We recommend also reading his reviews on Google Reviews, Avvo and Yelp.

Call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813-229-5353 or read more at: www.InjuryLawyersOfTampa.com

#GetLawyeredUpNow #DUI #Tampa #Attorney #Lawyer #Accident #Injury #Truck #Racing