Why women may be more at risk in a car accident

Most people would agree that the habits of drivers in Florida and elsewhere continue to get worse. Traffic fatalities have gone up dramatically across the country since 2020, and according to recent research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), it is women who are more likely to experience serious injury or death than men.

The study found that, although there are more motor vehicle accident fatalities overall for men than women, women are up to 28% more at risk of deadly injury and as much as 73% more prone to serious injury than men in an accident. Moderate injuries that women are likely to suffer from a front or side crash include:

  • Broken bones
  • Leg injuries
  • Collapsed lung
  • Traumatic brain injury

As it turns out, women tend to choose smaller and lighter vehicles than men, which exposes them to more risk of injury in an accident. But women’s bodies also react differently from men’s to the impact of a collision. Choosing crash test dummies that more accurately reflect the size and proportions of a woman will go a long way toward modifying safety measures that will protect both women and men equally.

How Florida no-fault insurance laws factor into filing a claim

Under Florida’s no-fault insurance system, all registered drivers must carry insurance that will pay for damages in a motor vehicle accident, regardless of who was at fault. The minimums are:

  • Property damage liability (PDL), $10,000
  • Personal injury protection (PIP), $10,000

In addition, drivers may purchase bodily injury liability (BIL), which pays out to others who have suffered an injury. PDL covers damages to the other vehicle, and PIP pays up to 80% of medical expenses, lost income or survivor’s loss, and funeral expenses.

When filing a personal injury is the best option

Because Florida’s minimum insurance requirements are so low, many victims of a car crash that was due to a negligent driver cannot possibly receive the compensation they deserve under available no-fault insurance coverage. For this reason, it is possible for a negligence claim to move forward in civil court if the injuries to the plaintiff will exceed existing insurance limits.

Florida follows the theory of comparative negligence, which allows the injured party to receive compensation that is equivalent to the percentage of responsibility that they share with the other driver in causing the accident.

What you need to know about bedsores

If your loved one suffers any kind of injury in a nursing home, then you should start asking questions. This is especially true if your loved one develops bedsores. These injuries, sometimes referred to as pressure ulcers, develop when pressure is applied to the skin over an excessive period. In the nursing home context, bedsores are often present when nursing staff fails to move or reposition a resident who has limited mobility.

Where do bedsores form?

Bedsores can appear on any part of the body that is subjected to this excessive pressure. However, they are most commonly found on the following parts of the body:

  • Ankles
  • Heels
  • Tailbone
  • Hips
  • Shoulders
  • Elbows
  • Spine

So, be aware of your loved one’s condition and check these areas of their body to see if bedsores are developing. This is important because if caught early enough, bedsores can be successfully treated. If they’re left to fester and worsen, though, then they can lead to life-threatening complications.

Risk factors

A lack of mobility is the number one risk factor for bedsores. But other contributing factors may also be indicative of nursing home neglect. For example, malnutrition can cause the skin to lose its elasticity, thereby causing it to break more easily. So, as you’re assessing your loved one’s condition, make sure that you’re taking a comprehensive look at the care that he or she is receiving.

Holding negligent nursing homes accountable

Your loved one deserves nothing less than a level of care that keeps him or her safe. Yet, nursing home neglect and abuse are more common than most people realize. There are thousands of reports of abuse and neglect made each year. That’s why you should be diligent in ensuring that your loved one is protected.

If you suspect that your loved one has been harmed by negligent or abusive nursing home practices, then you can fight for accountability and compensation. To learn more about how to do that, consider discussing the matter with a legal team that you feel comfortable fighting on your loved one’s behalf.

Pedestrian fatalities rise in Florida and the nation

The return to business activity and traffic in 2021 was accompanied by a rise in pedestrian deaths. The Governor’s Highway Safety Administration estimated that 3,441 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents for the first half of 2021. This was a 17 percent increase compared to that same time in 2020.

Dangerous trend

In its report, the GHSA took into consideration that large parts of the country were locked down in 2020 which could impact data on motor vehicle accidents. It included 2019 data for a pre-lockdown comparison.

The GHSA’s report, however, classified the 507 additional deaths between the two years as preventable. Pedestrian fatality rates per population and vehicle miles traveled were disturbingly high.

This increase is part of a continuing dangerous trend for pedestrians. Pedestrian fatalities rose by 46 percent from 4,457 to in 2011 to 6,516 in 2020. Pedestrian deaths constituted 17 percent of all traffic deaths during that time.

There were 2.3 pedestrian deaths per billion vehicle miles travelled for the first six months of 2021. This topped the previous record of 2.2 deaths per VMT in 2020.

Overall traffic fatalities also rose. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 31,720 people were killed in accidents in the first three quarters of 2021. This is the highest number of traffic deaths during the first nine months of a year since 2006.

Florida’s deadly increase

Florida, California, and Texas, with 27 percent of the U.S. population, had 37 percent of all pedestrian deaths during the first six months of 2021. More pedestrian traffic because of warmer climates and these states’ urban areas accounted for this statistic.

Florida was among 38 other states and the District of Columbia which reported higher pedestrian deaths for the first six months of 2021. Florida also had other troubling data:

  • Florida pedestrian deaths rose from 339 for the first six months of 2020 to an estimated 444 fatalities for the same period in 2021. There were 385 pedestrian deaths for the first six months of 2019.
  • Florida had a 30.97 increase in pedestrian deaths, 105 additional fatalities, from the first half of 2020 compared to that period in 2021.
  • There were 1.57 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people for the first six months of 2020 which rose to 2.04 per 100,000 one year later.

Pedestrians have almost no protection against vehicles which have become larger and more dangerous. These accidents may be deadly or cause life-long and costly injuries. Attorneys can assist victims and their families with seeking compensation from negligent or reckless drivers and other parties.

Do you have a valid medical malpractice claim?

Florida, as one of the most populous states in the country, sees thousands of medical treatments completed each day. Obviously, each patient hopes that the treatment they receive is top-notch. But, unfortunately, medical malpractice is more common than most people probably think. How can you tell if you might have a valid medical malpractice claim?

Standard of care

In many cases, the determination of whether medical malpractice occurred hinges primarily on one question: Did the healthcare professional deviate from the applicable standard of care for the treatment in question? Of course, boiling a case down to one seemingly straightforward question doesn’t make these types of cases simple. Medical malpractice cases can be notoriously difficult to prove.

To determine if you might have a valid medical malpractice claim or not, you will usually need to have a seasoned litigator evaluate the circumstances of your own unique case.

There are many factors at play in medical malpractice cases, including whether a doctor-patient relationship actually existed, whether the alleged malpractice is actually what caused the harm in question and whether there are actual damages to pursue, among other factors.

At our law firm, we work with Florida residents who believe that the care they have received from a medical professional was, in fact, malpractice. You may, at first, believe that there was just a bad outcome to the treatment. But, the situation may actually escalate to malpractice. For more information, please visit the medical malpractice overview section of our law firm’s website.

Including PTSD in workers’ compensation benefits

When it comes to receiving workers’ compensation benefits and what is and what is not covered, the rules are extremely strict. There are many people whose claims are rejected the first time around. If that happens, many people appeal the rejected claim and are eventually successful at receiving benefits.

One of the conditions that seems to be up for debate is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can occur due to many different experiences and which can be very difficult to treat. PTSD is nonetheless a very real condition and the person who is suffering deserves to get the support that they need to make their life better.

Who suffers from PTSD?

PTSD is common in people in the military (people who have either been in the military or who are currently still in the military) and first responders. It is not uncommon for a person to experience PTSD after having been involved in a shooting of some kind of violent event.

If a person suffers from PTSD, they are plagued by many emotions. The person often becomes volatile in certain situations that may trigger explosive behavior.

Solid advice from a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer

If you are suffering from PTSD because of a work-related situation and have not been able to receive SSD benefits for your condition, the advice of an experienced Miami workers’ compensation lawyer may be invaluable to your case. The lawyer can walk you through the process and make sure that you understand your rights for a hopefully positive outcome.

How can I pay my bills if I’m injured and cannot work?

We all take pride in putting in a hard day’s work but doing so sometimes leads to a workplace injury. While some injuries are minor and easily treated, others are major requiring extensive medical care.

Moreover, if you have a serious injury, you may not be able to work for a while. You may find yourself in a situation where you cannot pay your bills because you are too injured to go to work. For this reason, you will want to learn more about workers’ compensation benefits in Florida.

What are workers’ compensation benefits?

Workers’ compensation benefits are similar to insurance benefits. Your employer will provide you with payments if you are injured on the job and cannot work. The pay off is that if you receive workers’ compensation benefits, you cannot sue your employer for injuries suffered on the job.

What do workers’ compensation benefits cover?

Workers’ compensation benefits cover medical expenses. Your doctor will submit any authorized medical bills to your employer for payment. Workers’ compensation benefits also cover lost time from work. If you are injured and are unable to earn an income, you may receive payment for lost wages. You will only be paid for the first seven lost days of work if you are so injured that you cannot work for 21 days or more.

Workers’ compensation benefits help employees

If you are injured and cannot work, it is natural that you are concerned about how you will pay your bills. No one wants to be in a situation where they are deciding whether to pay for groceries, pay the electric bill or pay their medical bills when there is simply not enough money to go around. Workers’ compensation benefits are meant to eliminate this situation, so you can pay your bills until you are healthy enough to go back to work.

Work zones can be particularly dangerous for motorists

When you’re the victim of a car accident, one of the first questions you’re likely to ask is ‘what happened’? There are probably certain roads you drive or intersections you pass through which you know can be dangerous. So you’re more cautious in those areas. But work zones are places too many drivers fail to give enough respect, and that can be deadly for you.

Too many distractions?

According to the National Safety Council, in 2019 alone, 842 people were killed in auto accidents around work zones. Florida alone accounted for 136 of those deaths. The areas involved were construction zones, maintenance zones, utilities zones and others – if work is being done, there’s a heightened danger.

Although more than half of those killed in work zones were drivers of vehicles, they were not alone. Nearly 300 of those who died were either passengers or pedestrians and even bicyclists were not immune to the threat.

All drivers owe everyone around them a duty to drive with a reasonable amount of care. But some of them seem to struggle when they get around the activity of a work zone. The work itself can provide a distraction for drivers who allow their focus to waver. Loud noises can make it more difficult to hear what’s going on around the vehicle. And the work can require that vehicles are rerouted into areas with drivers are unfamiliar.

When you’re the victim of a motor vehicle accident and suffer injuries, you have a right to be made whole. A personal injury lawsuit is a powerful tool at your disposal, allowing you to receive the compensation to which you’re entitled and to hold the negligent party accountable.

Proposal to change nursing home standards may endanger residents

In Miami and across Florida, many families are confronted with the difficult decision as to when they may need to place an elderly or infirm loved one in a nursing home. This is an emotional, personal and financial challenge that is rarely easy. However, if the facility is clean, the necessary medical and personal care is provided and there is a competent and attentive staff, it can be a positive for everyone. In recent years, nursing home abuse and neglect has been discussed. This is a frequent problem that no one should endure. In many cases, a victimized nursing home resident and their family wants to pursue a claim after an incident or incidents have occurred. In others, potential changes could set the stage for wrongdoing and families should be aware of them.

Staffing shortages spark attempt to reduce standards in nursing homes

If a recently proposed bill becomes law, Florida nursing home staffing requirements will be reduced. As the law currently stands, facilities that are short-staffed cannot admit new residents. The new law would change that and let new residents be admitted regardless of the number of staff available. In addition, the way in which the numbers of employees are calculated would change. Those who support the bill say this is necessary due to the ongoing staffing shortages. People advocating for patient safety disagree believing that the standard of care would decrease with less oversight into how many people must be on staff for the nursing home to operate safely.

One concern that is being voiced is that lobbyists for nursing home owners played a major role in the language of the bill. The law strengthening the number of staff needed for facilities to comply was passed in 2001. According to researchers, there is a correlation between the care residents are given and the number of trained staff members at the nursing home. This is not limited to nurses. Nursing assistants who do much of the one-on-one work with residents are vital to patient care. Statistically, 85% of facilities were forced to limit how many people they admitted in the middle of January due to an inability to meet the staffing standards.

Abuse and neglect can happen without warning in nursing homes

A key to nursing home residents receiving the proper care and protection is often based on staffing. If the state does move forward with the attempt to make the rules more flexible, it could place vulnerable people in jeopardy. Whether that results in them suffering injuries and trauma through abuse; they are deprived of the medication, exercise and companionship they need; or they are simply not given their nutrition in a timely manner, all can result in problems that lead to damage and potentially even death.

There are common signs of nursing home neglect and abuse that should be known. If people are declining in health for no justifiable reason, they have unexplained bruises, are acting withdrawn or outright claim they are being mistreated, it is imperative that family members know what steps to take. Talking to those who are experienced in these types of cases can be helpful with holding facilities accountable and protecting relatives who are in nursing homes.

What happens after a rideshare accident?

For the better part of the last decade, we have all used ridesharing apps, like Uber and Lyft. Indeed, in some cities, there are even more rideshare options, and they all make getting around much, much easier. We no longer have to call or hail a cab. Instead, we pull out our phones and within a few minutes, a car is waiting. But, what happens after a rideshare car accident?

Riders and passengers

For most rideshare applications, like Uber and Lyft, riders are covered by those company’s insurance. This is in addition to the drivers own commercial insurance, if they carry separate insurance. Though, while there is some disagreement about the application’s direct liability for car accidents, they usually indemnify their drivers. The key is that, unless the passenger or rider did something specific to cause the accident, they do not have to worry about liability, even if the driver caused the car accident. And, they will also not have to worry about paying their own expenses, but an attorney may be needed to ensure that outcome. After all, no one wants to pay, if they can avoid it, especially insurance companies and large corporations.

What about non-riders?

A rideshare car accident does not just affect the driver and their riders, it also affects the person that is impacted, which could be another vehicle or pedestrian. For these people, liability becomes a bit trickier. For one, while an app driver is covered by the app’s commercial liability insurance when they have a passenger, the in-between time is often seen as off-the-clock for those insurance carriers. This in-between time could be when they are on their way to a ride or driving around looking for a ride.

Accidents during the in-between time

When the commercial insurance policy is not in effect, then liability is the same as any other car accident. This means, one will need to gather the same information, like taking photographs, saving dashboard camera footage, getting witnesses, collecting police reports, etc. And, car accident victims will likely need to sue the driver’s personal insurance carriers.

Not covered by personal insurance

To make matters worse, some Miami, Florida, personal driver’s insurance policies will try to avoid liability, if they determine that the accident occurred while their driver was operating their vehicle for commercial purposes. If this is the case, the car accident victims will need to sue the driver directly and use their own uninsured policies to cover them in the interim.

Personal injury and the statute of limitations

Sustaining an injury, due to the fault of someone else, can be an extremely frustrating experience. In addition to the physical pain you suffer, it can take a toll on your emotional and financial health, affecting every facet of your life. Fortunately, Florida provides you a means of redressing the wrong done to you – a personal injury lawsuit – but there are limitations of which you must be aware.

What is the statute of limitations?

Negligence is a common occurrence which gives rise to a personal injury lawsuit. Car accidents, for example, happen when a driver is not paying close enough attention to what they’re doing. They make a mistake, a collision results, and you are injured in the process. Florida gives you the right to sue the negligent party, so that you can be made whole again.

But at the same time Florida gives you the right to file a personal injury lawsuit, it also places a time limit on your ability to file that suit – this is the statute of limitations. For most personal injury lawsuits, that time limit is four years. If you do not file your suit within four years from the date of the accident, you lose the right to sue forever.

Other limitation considerations

The statute of limitations is not a one-size-fits-all law. While most personal injury cases have four years, actions for medical malpractice and wrongful death only have two years. And there are circumstantial factors which may impact the timing of when that countdown officially begins. Beyond the statute of limitations itself, every case requires an investigation. Evidence must be collected and preserved as soon as possible, so that your case is as strong as it can be made. In short, you don’t want to wait any longer than necessary, since time is a real enemy you must face.