Texting While Driving In Florida…

Texting While Driving in Florida: Dangerous and Against the Law!

The Florida ban on texting while driving law is found at Florida Statute §316.305.  Incredibly, although everyone knows it’s a careless and dangerous practice, it is still only a secondary offense (F.S. 316.305(1)(d)).  This means to be cited (receive a ticket) for texting while driving (TWD), a motor-vehicle operator must be detained (pulled over or stopped) for another type of violation (i.e., speeding, running a red light, taillight out, etc.)  (F.S. 316.305(5)).

Evidence of texting will be admissible in criminal and civil proceedings where the driver that was texting while driving cased a crash involving death or personal injury.  In those cases, cell phone bills or other written evidence of TWD will be admissible in Court.  (F.S. 316.305(7)(c)).

TWD is distracted driving.  The U.S. Department of Transportation has recognized that such a major problem exists with distracted driving that they have funded an education campaign known as www.Distraction.gov.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has instituted an extensive education effort aimed at young drivers using powerful YouTube videos that graphically depict the danger of texting behind the wheel.  The statistics are overwhelming.  The National Safety Counsel reports that 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by TWD.  The list goes on and on.  More incredible is the fact that TWD makes you 23 times more likely to crash – the same as driving after 4 beers!  Despite this indisputable evidence, 800,000 drivers are doing it at any given time across the country.

Certainly, no one can argue that TWD is negligent.  Florida courts are starting to hold that it may even rise to the level of recklessness (an intentional act like driving while intoxicated).  This clear and obvious danger of TWD has led to Plaintiffs (people bringing lawsuits) to seek punitive damages under Florida Statutes §768.72 (1) and (2).  To make a claim for punitive damages against a driver that has caused personal injury or death due to a crash while texting, an injured party needs to prove gross negligence that indicates a wanton disregard for the rights of others.  (As early as 2011, Florida courts began allowing punitive damage claims against a Defendant whose conduct (TWD) caused a car crash resulting in death (Margaret S. Caskey, et. al. v. Astellas Pharma US, Inc., et. al., Collier County Case No. 112010 CA 0005820001XX (Fla. Collier Cir. Ct. 2011).  It should be noted that regular insurance policies do not provide coverage for these damages.  Since 2011, discovery of electronic records and data has become increasingly more sophisticated in criminal and civil cases and text message histories are readily obtainable.  This evidentiary proof will continue to become more accessible and verifiable in injury and death cases.  Phone records, billing records, and screen shots are the proverbial “smoking gun” in modern distracted driving cases.

Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. is a Florida injury law firm that has more than 30 years’ experience in representing victims of personal injury and wrongful death.  We handle cases throughout Florida involving texting while driving and distracted driving claims.  Please contact us for a free case evaluation.

Uninsured Motorist Insurance – Why you need it!

In Florida, like many states in our country, only a minimal amount of bodily injury insurance is required to register your automobile. Car insurance is usually divided into different categories; bodily injury coverage, property damage coverage, medical insurance coverage, collision and comprehensive coverage. There are other kinds of insurance as well which supplement these such as medical payment coverage, towing & storage insurance, rental car coverage and excess or supplemental insurance. The truth is most people do not carry enough bodily injury liability insurance to cover the harm they do. This means that the average driver, especially in Florida, has only $10,000 available if they cause an accident and injure or kill someone. $10,000 will not even pay for one day of a hospital stay for a person with severe injuries.

That’s why uninsured motorist coverage was created. Uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage means that your own insurance company will pay you when the person who causes an accident does not have enough insurance to pay for the damage you have sustained. For instance, if a crash takes place and the person at-fault causes you to suffer a fractured leg or other debilitating injury, their insurance company is responsible for payment of your damages under the bodily injury portion of the policy. What happens if the bodily injury coverage is only $10,000? Your damages are certainly worth well in excess of this amount. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, the injured person looks to their own insurance company to make up the difference in the value of the claim. Uninsured motorist insurance is a way to protect yourself from the limited insurance most people drive with. Uninsured motorist coverage also pays when the other person has no insurance.

Many people allow their insurance to lapse. Unfortunately, folks will pay for insurance in order to get their car registered and then allow their monthly premium to go unpaid rendering them uninsured. If that uninsured motorist causes an accident, who is going to pay for the damage? Certainly, the uninsured motorist is personally responsible but good luck collecting. Suing an individual who is financially unable to even pay their insurance premiums will likely be a waste of time and money. That is where uninsured motorist insurance comes in to cover your losses following an accident.

A separate premium is charged for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. In Florida, it is automatically included in your policy of insurance unless a specific rejection is made. In fact, the state of Florida recognizes that uninsured motorist coverage is so important that they mandate a specific form of rejection which must be signed and acknowledged by the insured before a rejection may be deemed valid. I advise all of my clients: purchase as much uninsured motorist coverage as you can financially handle. Remember, the vast majority of motorists carry the minimal insurance coverage at best. Most accident lawyers have horror stories representing clients with serious injuries or tragic losses caused by uninsured and underinsured motorists. Protect yourself and your family by purchasing uninsured motorist coverage on your automobile policy.

Why You’ll Need a Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Car Accident Case

Personal Injury Lawyers serving Miami, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Sunny Isles, and More

Jeffrey R. Davis is a personal injury lawyer in Miami, FL that is ready and able to help you with your personal injuries due to car accidents. Unfortunately, car accidents happen, and sometimes they are serious. If you or someone you care about has been involved in a serious car accident, you’ll need a personal injury lawyer.

Our Miami Car Accident Lawyers Are Reputable

The number one reason why you’ll need a car accident lawyer in Miami, FL is if you or someone you care about has been hurt, especially if the injury is permanent. Your lawyer will help you recover the cost of your medical bills, general damages, and take into consideration the time lost in school, work, or household duties.

Involved in a Pedestrian Accident? Call Our Miami Car Accident Lawyers

Is there fault in this case? If fault is an issue, you need to contact your personal injury lawyer in Miami, FL. It’s also important to contact your lawyer if there was a pedestrian involved, your pedestrian accident lawyer in Miami, FL will be a big help for your justice.

Is the police report inaccurate? Contact your car accident lawyer in Miami, FL if you feel as though the report is not accurate or fair to you. It’s important that the right details are recorded.

Another reason to contact your car accident lawyer in Miami, Fl is if you have no car insurance or your insurance company says you didn’t pay your premium. Insurance companies can be tricky to work with and an experienced lawyer is what you need to help you. Also, if your insurance company involves their lawyer, then you definitely need to hire your own lawyer.

Mr. Davis is also a motorcycle accident lawyer in Miami, FL and is glad to help those involved in motorcycle accidents who are seeking justice for their personal injuries.

If you are in a car accident, follow these steps: seek medical treatment, take pictures, get information from others involved in the accident, get names and numbers of witnesses, and contact your personal injury lawyer.

Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers in Miami, FL Today

Being in a car accident is rough. It causes emotional problems, stress, injuries, damages, and dealing with claims. Contact your personal injury lawyer in Miami, FL today to help you with every step of the way in winning your case.

Davis Personal Injury Law Firm Gets Physical!

On December 2, 2015, following a long weekend of Thanksgiving eating, the Davis’ Law Firm decided to burn some calories and visited the Ninja Lounge (http://ninjalounge.com/). During our law firm’s action-packed afternoon, we did plexiglass wall climbing, pedestal climbing, rock wall climbing, tight rope walking and played trampoline dodgeball, among other extreme physical challenges. As a group, we exercised, played and had a healthy day of fun outside of the office. It was great team building that makes us physically and mentally stronger to better represent our clients!

Personal Injury Lawyers Miami FL Personal Injury Lawyers Miami FL Personal Injury Lawyers Miami FL Personal Injury Lawyers Miami FL Personal Injury Lawyers Miami FL Personal Injury Lawyers Miami FL Personal Injury Lawyers Miami FL Personal Injury Lawyers Miami FL

Practice Considerations

Personal Injury Lawyer – Miami, FL

Personal Injury Lawyer Miami FLFor the personal injury lawyer handling a knee case, a working knowledge of the anatomy, terminology and basic pathology is essential.

The AAOS reports in 2010 there were about 10.4 million patient visits to doctor’s offices because of common knee injuries such as fractures, dislocations, sprains and ligament tears. “Knee injury is one of the most common reasons people see their doctors”.

It’s the largest joint in the body – if you are going to represent a client with a knee injury, learn the anatomy – what the component parts are and how they work.

The simple and most cost effective way to learn about your client’s knee injury is to start with the first responder’s records. Pay careful attention to the history, complaints and physical examination findings. Was swelling or effusion documented? Was there a description of redness, bruising or contusion? Look for the term “hematoma”. Was decreased range of motion or “ROM” documented? Did your client require assistance ambulating or were they placed on a stretcher.

The next source of information is the emergency room records. Patient complaints, history and physical findings must be carefully reviewed. X-rays reports, doctor’s notes and discharge instructions are also important points of information.

The initial treatment records with the PCP, family doctor or internist should be carefully examined for knee complaints and findings. Your knowledge of all of these materials in a thorough, comprehensive and chronological order will truly benefit your case presentation to the treating orthopaedic surgeon, claims adjuster and defense counsel.

All doctors, especially orthopaedic surgeons are busy people. When you meet with your client’s treating orthopaedic surgeon, physiatrist or neurologist, knowledge of the minute details contained in the medical records is essential. They will not know as much about these facts as you do! This is how you get their attention and how you get the most out of the brief conference they will give you. Use this time wisely – go in with a goal oriented plan.

I like to have my client’s doctors, especially in knee cases, give me answers to these topics:

1.      What is the injury?

2.      Is it traumatic, and if so, how can we prove that?

3.      What was pre-existing and what was new?

4.      What is the treatment plan: cost, length of time, rate of success?

5.      What effects or limitations will be permanent and can that be proven? (we live in a Daubert world- remember to get your doctor to think in terms of that level of proof).

Remember, timing of the conference with the treating doctor is important.  Too soon and many of the inquiries will go unanswered: too late and all the documentation will have already been created.

If the case warrants it, hire a medical illustrator or visual presentation company. It pays to have your AV person meet with the treating doctor to prepare and later review your exhibits, especially if they are to be used in trial.

Have your client take the time to explain how their knee injury has affected their lives. These details are important to your jury. While the average juror may not appreciate the significance of anterior cruciate ligament instability, they will understand the difficulty associated with knee pain that prevents your client from getting out of their car.

To do the best possible job for your client in a knee injury case, know more about your clients’ knee injury than everyone else involved in the case. Know all the complaints, the documented findings, the dates of treatment, complaints on those dates, doctor’s opinions, treatment and results. Know the knee inside and out. You will be surprised how this body of knowledge will enhance the valve of the case and improve the result for your client.

Good Luck!