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Your Law Firm in Florida

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Why You Need to Have Uninsured Motorist Insurance

Posted on 17 January, 2015 at 0:23 Comments comments (293)
Each auto insurance policy issued in Florida offers several different types of coverage.  Some pay to repair the damage to your car.  Some pay to fix the damage that you cause to another person's car.  Some pays your medical bills or lost wages.

What is the only coverage that protects you and your family if another driver injures you?  It is called uninsured motorist coverage (abbreviated UM).  If another driver  is negligent, he may have coverage for something called "bodily injury."  That is the type of insurance coverage that pays you money for your injuries that the other driver caused.  However, bodily injury coverage is optional in Florida, and many drivers do not carry it.

If you are injured by a driver who does not have bodily injury coverage on his insurance, then you have to make a claim against your own auto insurance policy.  Specifically, you have to make a claim against the uninsured motorist coverage on your own auto insurance policy.  The other driver, who caused your injuries, is "uninsured" to the extent that he has no coverage on his insurance policy that will pay you anything for your injuries.

Unfortunately, this is all too common in Florida.  There are a lot of bad drivers who have very little (or no) auto insurance coverage.  If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage on your own auto insurance policy, what can you do?  Possibly nothing.  You may not be able to recover anything, even if you are badly injured.

Even if the other driver has some bodily injury coverage, he may have only a minimal amount.  What happens if the other driver only has $10,000 insurance coverage, but you or your family member have bad injuries from the crash?  Again, the uninsured motorist coverage on your own auto insurance policy is the only thing that will protect you.

That is why it is so important to include uninsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance policy.  It is the most important coverage to have on your auto insurance policy, because it protects you and your family members if you are injured by another driver.  Yet, many insurance agents do not explain the importance of uninsured motorist coverage.  

If you were injured in a crash when you were a passenger in someone else's car, you also may have an uninsured motorist claim, either against your own auto insurance policy or against the policy held by the driver of the car in which you were a passenger.

If you have been injured in an auto accident in Florida, you need to consult with an experienced auto accident injury attorney.  Steven Meyer is board certified as an expert in civil trial law.  This area of the law includes auto accidents.  Only a small percentage of lawyers in Florida are board certified, and only board certified attorneys may call themselves "experts" or "specialists." 

Our office offers a free consultation.  If you have been injured in an auto accident anywhere in Florida, please give us a call.

Record Drunk Driving Accidents During Thanksgiving

Posted on 12 October, 2014 at 17:06 Comments comments (231)
Our Florida lawyers who handle car accident and drunk driver cases are deeply saddened to learn of the the needless death of Tiffany Ann Woodham and her unborn baby girl.  

Tragedy struck Ms. Woodham when she was on her way to the hospital to deliver her baby.  A drunk driver struck the rear of her car.  Doctors tried to save her unborn baby girl by attempting to perform an emergency C-Section, but both the mother and the baby died.  Our prayers go out to Ms. Woodham's family.  

According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, the driver of the van, 37 year old Thomas Dick of Tulsa, Oklahoma was charged with vehicular homicide, DUI manslaughter and several other charges.  Dick was speeding and had a blood alcohol content of .131; almost twice the legal limit in Florida.  

Thanksgiving is approaching.  According to the Florida's Highway Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, more alcohol-related car and truck accident deaths occur around Thanksgiving than any other holiday. 

During the week of Thanksgiving, 2012, the Florida Highway Patrol arrested 136 apparently drunk drivers on state highways and issued nearly 5,000 more speeding tickets.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 431 traffic accident deaths, nearly half related to alcohol last year during the 4-day Thanksgiving holiday.   Sixty-one percent of those traffic deaths occurred at night between the hours of 6 PM and 6 AM.  

The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, which colleges students often call "Blackout Wednesday", is the biggest drinking night of the year for college students returning home for the holidays. 

Please drive safely and responsibly.  Always wear a seat belt.  Most people killed in automobile crashes were not wearing their seat belt.   

If you have been involved in an automobile accident, you need to consult right away with an expert.  Steven Meyer is a board certified expert in civil trial law, an area of the law that includes automobile accidents and personal injury claims.  Our team of experiences professionals will be happy to discuss the details of your accident claim with you.  We offer a free initial consultation and work on many cases on a contingency fee (we only get paid if we recover money for you).

Drunk Driver Kills One Duke University Student and Injures Others

Posted on 15 March, 2014 at 21:55 Comments comments (388)
Yet another innocent person was killed by a drunk driver in Florida.  This tragedy occurred when the drunk driver crossed the median on a major highway, and struck the van in which several students were riding.

This is similar to another tragic case that was handled by our office, in which three people were killed and a fourth badly injured when a drunk driver slammed into their car at a high rate of speed in Pasco County, Florida.  Please see the section of our website entitled "Newspaper Articles" to read an article that appeared in the Tampa Tribune about that case in which we obtained a $13,500,000 verdict for the surviving family members.

In this most recent tragedy, several students at Duke University were traveling home after five days of canoeing and camping on the Blackwater River in Florida when their van was hit by a pickup truck.  Rebecca Denardis, 21, a senior at Duke, was taken to a hospital in Crestview, Fla., where she was pronounced dead, the university said in a news release.

Another student, Joao Correia Marques, 21, was airlifted to a Pensacola hospital, the Northwest Florida Daily News reported.  

The driver of the truck, Martin Zachery Hale of Jemison, Ala., faces charges including DUI manslaughter and DUI serious bodily injury, the Daily News reported. The Florida Highway Patrol said Hale’s truck crossed the median of Interstate 10 and hit the Duke group’s van at about 11:45 a.m., according to the report.

Read more here:

If you or your loved ones have been injured in any type of car accident in Florida, you need to consult right away with an experienced car accident attorney.  Most attorneys do not practice in this field.  Look for an attorney who is board certified in civil trial law, as this indicates that he is a specialist in handling civil trial matters.

Our office offers a free initial consultation.  We handle cases all over Florida.  Steven Meyer is board certified in civil trial law both by The Florida Bar and by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. 

After a car accident, many things must be done quickly.  Call an experienced car accident attorney to get the proper advice. 

Motorcycle Crashes Are Increasing in Florida

Posted on 28 February, 2014 at 0:10 Comments comments (376)
Many Floridians love riding a motorcycle on a warm sunny day. However, the presence of many motorcyclists on the highways and two-lane roads of Florida produces a high number of crashes causing serious injuries and deaths.

In Florida, 491 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2012, more than any other state.

Motorcycle fatalities accounted for one out of every five traffic deaths in Florida in 2012. Many motorcycle riders are very safety conscious, but still suffer serious or fatal injuries in crashes caused by other motorists. Often other drivers simply fail to see a motorcyclist.

Even when motorcyclists wear helmets and protective clothing, they can be badly hurt.  Motorcycle crashes are violent, and motorcyclists typically absorb the brunt of the injuries, even in accidents caused by other vehicles.

Motorcyclists are more than 30 times more likely than people in cars to die in a traffic accident and more than five times more likely to be injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

A few weeks ago, a Cartersville, Georgia, man riding a motorcycle on the Florida Turnpike died when another motorist failed to see the motorcyclist brake for traffic and struck the motorcycle from behind. The impact of the read-end collision threw the 64-year-old Harley rider off the motorcycle, and the biker was then hit by another driver. 

Ejection from a motorcycle is a common way for riders to suffer serious or fatal injuries such as head injuries, traumatic brain injuries and internal injuries. 

While overall traffic deaths have been declining, deaths in motorcycle accidents in Florida and across the nation have been increasing.   Motorcycle deaths in Florida have increased for the last three years, with 2012 marking the highest number of deaths in five years, according to recent data from the NHTSA. Motorcycle fatalities increased 5.8 percent from 2011 to 2012 in Florida after a 17 percent surge from 2010 to 2011.  

By age, about 31 percent of the bikers who died in crashes in Florida in 2012 were 20 to 29 years old. Another third of the riders killed were ages 50 or older, reflecting the popularity of motorcycle riding among aging baby boomers.  

In addition to those killed, thousands of riders suffer serious injuries in motorcycle accidents each year. Motorcyclists who are injured through the fault of other drivers have legal rights to seek compensation to help cover medical bills and other expenses. An experienced personal injury attorney can review the details of your motorcycle accident and advise you on your legal rights.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash, or know someone who was injured, we would be happy to speak with you to discuss your claim.  An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help you maximize your recovery, as well as deal with issues that may arise with your medical treatment and repair of your motorcycle. 

Steven Meyer is a board certified civil trial lawyer.  He specializes in handling civil trial matters.  Only board certified lawyers are permitted to call themselves "experts" in this field.

What To Do If You've Been in a Car Accident in Florida

Posted on 29 October, 2013 at 23:43 Comments comments (302)
First 10 Minutes, First 10 Hours After a Road Accident

Before contacting an attorney, think about what type of attorney will be the best one to handle your case.  Just because an attorney has a fancy website, a big Yellow Pages ad, or his or her face on the side of a bus advertisement, doesn't mean that he or she is a good lawyer for your Florida accident case.  It doesn't mean anything other than they spent some money on advertising.

Steven Meyer is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer.  That means that The Florida Bar has designated him as an expert and a specialist in handling civil trial cases.  This area includes accident cases. 

Your case is important to you.  Make sure that the lawyer whom you hire to represent you in your automobile, motorcycle or cruise injury case has the experience that is needed to handle your case the right way.  Consider hiring a Board Certified specialist.

How Florida Motorcycle Injury Lawyers Increase Your Chances of Financial Recovery

Posted on 24 October, 2013 at 22:31 Comments comments (261)
Trying to fight a large insurance company while dealing with physical injuries from a motorcycle accident can be overwhelming. Fortunately, a Florida motorcycle accident lawyer or Boca Raton injury attorney can save you from a lot of frustration and stress, and help you understand and benefit from available legal options.

A motorcycle rider does not have the same protection as a person riding in a car; therefore motorcycle injuries are more likely to be severe and life-altering. Conditions such as poor weather and road conditions, unsafe vehicles, distracted drivers, and even road rage are all contributing factors in serious Florida motorcycle accidents.

According to a University of Southern California (USC) study, evidence was found that almost all motorcycle accidents involve a collision with another vehicle, more often then not a passenger automobile, and in the majority of these instances the driver of the other vehicle caused the accident by violating the motorcyclist’s right of way.

The predominant cause of motorcycle accidents is the failure of other motorists and drivers to recognize motorcycles in traffic—other drivers often do not see motorcyclists at all before the collision, or they notice the motorcyclist when it’s too late to avoid an accident. Because motorcycles are smaller in size, they disappear into the blind spot of most vehicles and for that reason are more prone to collisions, even though most motorcyclists are generally safe motorists.

Motorcyclist's turn signals are also difficult to see. Insurance companies don’t always provide fair settlements to motorcyclists after accident evaluation, and may prompt accident victims into less-informed decisions. This is true even in cases where the motorcyclist is no way to blame, including left turn or "failure to yield" crashes, where the insurance company may accuse the motorcyclist of inattention, speeding, or other negligence.

In most cases, Florida motorcycle accident victims have limited knowledge of insurance, as well as the law, and therefore, won't know if they are getting fair deal from insurance companies. Settling with the first offer from an insurance company is more often than not, a mistake. Fortunately, Florida motorcycle lawyers who are experienced can assist motorcycle accident victims.

A Florida motorcycle lawyer will take on your case if you’re a victim of negligent driving and can work with you to ensure that you are provided the settlement you deserve—one that may cover medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and damage to your motorcycle. A Florida motorcycle lawyer can guide you through the process and advise you about your legal options.

Drive Safely In And Around School Zones

Posted on 27 January, 2013 at 20:50 Comments comments (774)
The Florida Department of Transportation, and the Community Safety Program are just reminding motorists and pedestrians to take extra traffic safety precautions around school zones, or while driving to or from schools.
Tips for Motorists:
• Do not text or talk on your cell phone while driving.
• Slow down and obey all traffic laws and speed limits.
• Be alert for school zones that have a reduced speed limit at designated times of the day.
• Watch for school buses. Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm indicate the school bus is stopping to load or unload children.
• Be alert for children playing and gathering near bus stops and for those who may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
• When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch for children walking or biking to school.
Tips for Parents:
• Be a good role model.
• Always buckle up in the car, always wear a helmet when biking, and always follow pedestrian safety rules.
• Supervise young children as they are walking or biking to school or as they wait at the school bus stop.
• If your child is under 4 years old and weighs less than 40 pounds, make sure the child is properly buckled up in a weight-appropriate child safety seat in the back seat.
• Children, ages 4 to 8, weighing over 40 pounds and measuring four feet nine inches or less should ride in a booster seat.
• In addition, safety experts advise that all children under the age of 12 should ride in the back seat.
• Make sure that your teen driver understands and obeys all traffic laws.
Tips for Students:
• Always buckle up when riding in a car.
• Be sure to remove your backpack before getting in the vehicle.
• Never buckle your safety belt with your backpack on.
• Always ride in the back seat. It’s the safest place for young people.
• Always wear a helmet and follow traffic safety rules when riding your bike.
• If you ride a school bus, learn and practice the safety rules for waiting at the bus stop, getting on and off the bus, and riding the bus.
• It’s extremely important for you to use sidewalk when available, look left-right-left when crossing the road, and always walk facing traffic.
• Always cross at crosswalks; obey all traffic signs, traffic lights and crossing guard instructions.
• Cross railroad tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings.
• Do not walk, run or ride your bicycle down railroad tracks. It's illegal and dangerous.
• Teen drivers should avoid speeding and distractions while driving, such as texting, talking on cell phones, eating and adjusting the radio.
• Teens are also reminded never to overload their vehicle; everyone riding in a vehicle must use a safety belt.
If you happen to get into an accident or crash, remember to contact an experiences auto accident law firm.  Steven Meyer is a board certified specialist in civil trial cases, which is a category of litigation that includes auto accident and injury cases.
We hope that these tips have been a helpful reminder and will be put to great use.  Please stay safe!

Sensible Precautions Before Attending a Motorcycle Rally

Posted on 23 October, 2012 at 15:23 Comments comments (551)
Attending a motorcycle rally can be a great experience, but it is important to take some sensible precautions beforehand.
Make Certain Your Bike is Ready to Ride: Not only is it important to ensure that you are up-to-date on your motorcycle's regular maintenance, but you should also take into account the mileage you will accrue getting to and from the rally. Money spent on a trip to a trusted mechanic before you go is far preferable to the potentially high bill of an unknown mechanic if you break down on the road.
Do Not Drink and Drive: Drinking and driving puts you and others at risk of great harm or death. It is illegal and irresponsible, and there is never a good excuse.
Bring Some Cash: While carrying a large sum of money on you is not advisable due to potential theft, it is a good idea to bring along a small amount of cash for places that you cannot use a credit or debit card in order to avoid ATM fees. Another way to escape ATM fees is to use a card to buy a small item from a convenience store and ask for some cash back.
Plan Your Itinerary: Plan your route ahead of time and check for road construction or other travel issues. Also, although part of the experience is to simply relax and enjoy the rally, seasoned travelers know that it is wise to plan in advance which events you will attend.  Many rallies have websites describing the activities at the rally and listing the vendors who will be present, as well as travel tips.
Watch Out for Bike Thieves:  Unfortunately, motorcycle thefts do occur during rallies. Of course, it is not your fault if your motorcycle is stolen, but there are some precautions that will make it less likely to happen:
  • Always park in a well-lit, well-trafficked location and, if possible, one with a security camera
  • Always use a lock on your motorcycle
  • Check your motorcycle a few minutes after parking to see if anyone is eyeing it or behaving in a suspicious manner
  • Never keep your registration information on the bike itself
Following these practices will help ensure that you and your fellow bikers will have a safe and enjoyable rally.
Our office has handled many cases involving motorcycle accidents and crashes.  Steven Meyer is board certified by The Florida Bar as an expert in civil trial law.  If you have been injured in a motorcyle accident in Florida, consult an experienced motorcycle injury lawyer.  We handle cases throughout Florida, including such areas as Boca Raton, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami.

Older Florida Drivers Have More Auto Accidents While Turning Left

Posted on 13 September, 2012 at 23:15 Comments comments (906)
Older Drivers Are Most Likely to Have a Car Accident While Turning Left.
In 2010, the South Florida Sun Sentinel analyzed data from car accidents in the Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach areas.  The data showed that older drivers are most likely to have an auto accident while making a left hand turn.    
Left-turn accidents can be very serious. A late left turn leaves a vehicle open to a t-bone accident. Oncoming traffic may be travelling at high speeds and serious injuries can result from these collisions.
In a recent Boynton Beach crash several people were injured and a passenger was killed after the driver of the car attempted to make a left turn and was hit by another car. The driver of the car was 73 years old. This was not an isolated accident.
In the Ft. Lauderdale area, there were 382 serious left-turn accidents in 2010 that invovled drivers over the age of 70.  Drivers over the age of 70 were also more likely than younger drivers to be seriously injured in these left-turn Florida auto accidents.
Why Are Older Drivers at a Higher Risk?
The paper attributes higher crash rates for older drivers to slower response times.  Often, the driver begins to make a left turn and misjudges the speed of the oncoming traffic.
The national Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has also found through its research that the most common mistake for older drivers is failure to yield the right of way.
What Can Be Done to Avoid These Crashes?
More traffic signals with designated left turn arrows may be one way to reduce these accidents.
Older drivers across Florida must be aware of the dangers.  While left turns cannot always be avoided, more caution is needed as reflexes slow with age.
Source: Sun Sentinel, "Older drivers more vulnerable when making left turns," Angel Streeter and Dana Williams, May 2, 2012.