Miami Car Accident Attorneys
In the United States, individuals are held financially responsible for the consequence of what happens if they are involved in a car accident, including car damage, property damage, injury to drivers, passengers and fatalities. A car accident can occur when a vehicle collides with another vehicle, a pedestrian, motorcyclist, or cyclist.
Economic and pain and suffering damages can be extensive. Unfortunately Florida is not a mandatory Bodily Injury Liability Insurance state, and some drivers cannot meet the costs of a car accident. Let us investigate whether the at-fault driver had liability coverage or whether you have Uninsured Motorist Coverage.
If the accident is severe or causes fatalities, the victims may seek damages in civil court that can exceed the limits of insurance.
The at-fault driver may receive a traffic citation if the car accident was caused by
- Drug use
- Combination of alcohol, drugs and speeding
- Careless Driving
- Failure To Use Due Care
- Failure To Yield
- Improper Turn
However, evidence of the citation is not admissible in civil court, unless, the at-fault driver pleads guilty.
Miami Car Accidents: Facts and Statistics
Miami is one of the most beautiful places in the country (if not the world) — with gorgeous beaches, amazing nightlife, and incredible culture. More than 470,000 people live in the city proper, with an additional 2.76 million residents in surrounding Miami-Dade County. In 2018 alone, there were a record-breaking 16.5 million overnight visitors to the greater Miami area.
Of course, with so many people in Miami, there is bound to be congestion — and that includes on our roadways. The average household in Miami-Dade County has 2 vehicles. Combined with traffic from tourists, this means that there are a lot of cars, trucks, SUVS and other vehicles on our streets and highways — increasing the potential for accidents.
Sadly, many of these Miami-area car crashes result in fatalities.
- 2015: 339 fatal motor vehicle accidents
- 2016: 294 fatal motor vehicle accidents
- 2017: 285 fatal motor vehicle accidents
- 2018: 324 fatal motor vehicle accidents
Roughly half of all accidents each year in Miami cause injuries:
- 2015: 32,742 accidents involving injury (63,451 total accidents)
- 2016: 33,400 accidents involving injury (64,070 total accidents)
- 2017: 32,389 accidents involving injury (65,898 total accidents)
- 2018: 31,072 accidents involving injury (64,151 total accidents)
Common Causes of Miami Car Accidents
The statistics on the number of car accidents that occur in and around Miami each year are shocking. Why exactly are there so many collisions in the area?
While there is not specific data on what leads to so many accidents in Miami, crash statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) reveals certain common causes of accidents in Florida:
- Distracted Driving: 266,060 accidents in 2017
- Speeding/Aggressive Driving: 73,405 accidents in 2017
- Older Drivers (65+): 71,980 accidents in 2017
- Teen drivers (16 to 19): 47,740 accidents in 2017
- Alcohol and/or drug: 5,125 (alcohol), 668 (drugs), 355 (drug and alcohol) accidents in 2017
Importantly, these causes are not exclusive. In other words, just because a crash was listed as being related to distracted driving does not mean that it was the only cause of the accident. Additional factors, such as speeding, drowsiness, or alcohol or drug use, could be involved.
Nationwide, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that certain driving behaviors, such as speeding, play a major role in fatal car accidents. In 2017 alone, 9,717 people were killed in accidents involving speeding. This represents 26% of all fatal car accidents in the United States.
Drunk driving is another leading cause of fatal car accidents, according to the NHTSA. 29% of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities in 2017 were caused by drunk driving. Similarly, drowsy driving — which can mimic the effects of being under the influence — is a top cause of fatal car accidents in the United States.
With the ubiquity of smart phones, tablets, and various screens in our vehicles, distracted driving has become a growing problem. In 2017 alone, 3,166 people were killed by distracted driving. In Florida, it is illegal to text and drive — so be sure to avoid this risky behavior.
Common Injuries Suffered in Miami Car Accidents
Each year, approximately 30,000 people suffer injuries in motor vehicle crashes in the greater Miami area. These accidents lead to a variety of injuries, ranging from relatively minor to incapacitating. It is important to seek medical treatment immediately if you have been hurt in any type of accident.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 2.5 million Americans go to emergency departments each year for injuries related to car crashes. Of those, nearly 200,000 people are hospitalized. The costs of these injuries are enormous, with an average bill of $3,300 from the emergency room and a hospitalization cost of $57,000.
Our firm has represented victims of car accidents in Miami since 1997. In that time, we have helped clients recover for injures such as:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injury
- Internal bleeding
- Herniated discs
- Eye injuries
- Broken ribs and chest injuries
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other psychological issues
- Knee trauma or damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Catastrophic injuries, including paralysis, and
- Wrongful death.
At Kaire & Heffernan, we have seen first-hand how devastating a car accident can be to a person’s physical, emotional, and financial health. That is why we are committed to fighting for our clients and working with them to help them get the best possible outcome.
How Our Law Firm Can Help
If you have been involved in a Miami car accident, hiring an attorney who is experienced in Florida personal injury law is the single most important step that you can take to protect your interests. While the insurance company may act like it wants to do right by you, the reality is that it is a business — and the adjuster’s job is to maximize profits. Your lawyer will work for you to help you get the money that you deserve in several critical ways.
Protect You from Unscrupulous Insurance Companies
In car accident cases, the at-fault driver will typically be represented by their insurance companies. This can be daunting, as the insurance company has a team of lawyers and other experts who do this every day. They may use high-pressure tactics to attempt to get you to settle your case for far less than what it is worth.
Our firm is committed to aggressively advocating for each of our clients. We level the playing field by using our own skill and experience to force the insurance companies to negotiate a fair settlement. If they refuse, we will take the case to trial — where we have a proven track record of success.
Investigate Your Case Thoroughly
If you decide to work with Kaire & Heffernan, we will start by analyzing your case with fresh eyes. This includes a comprehensive investigation of the accident, which may involve the use of accident reconstruction experts, interviewing witnesses, reviewing surveillance videos and more. We use all of this information to get a better understanding of how the accident happened and to put together a strong case for damages.
We also use this time to identify any other parties who may be at fault in the accident, such as another driver, a government agency that failed to properly maintain a road, or even a manufacturer that sold a defective car part. By pulling in all potentially liable parties, we maximize your chances at a complete recovery.
Value Your Case Appropriately
If it were up to the insurance company, your case would be valued as low as possible — probably just enough to cover your expenses. But as anyone who has been in a car accident knows, you suffer far more than just what is shown on the doctor and hospital bills. Lost wages, pain and suffering and even lost earning capacity may all be considerations in your personal injury case.
At Kaire & Heffernan, we consult with experts and use our own experience as Miami personal injury attorneys to properly value your case. We make sure that any settlement or claim for damages provides for you now and in the future.
Limit Your Liability, If Necessary
In Florida, your recovery may be limited if you are partially at fault for a motor vehicle accident. While you may still be entitled to damages, the amount that you can recover will be reduced by the percentage of blame that you are assigned. Our firm understands this principle — and works to limit the liability of our clients to maximize their recovery.
As part of our investigation into our clients’ claims, we thoroughly analyze how motor vehicle accidents occurred. Based on the results of our investigation and our knowledge of Florida law, we will make both factual and legal arguments designed to limit your liability for the car accident.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance is required in Florida and a minority of other States. It covers things like medical expenses, lost wages and other medical related damages.
It is sometimes known as “no-fault” coverage because it is designed to be used without regard to who is at fault and your insurance premium should not go up because of a PIP claim.
Minor Car Accidents
If no-one is permanently injured then you should turn to your Insurance Provider for compensation to recover the costs of car repair and lost income.
Florida Law instructs that you can only go beyond your No-fault Insurance to seek recovery for pain and suffering when it is deemed a permanent injury. It is then considered a serious and complex car accident.
Remain calm and do not discuss who is at fault. You will need to exchange personal information and insurance facts with the concerned parties.
Make sure to capture information about the other Party, their Insurance and their car. Think P.I.C.L. – Person, Insurance, Car & Location!
- Phone Number
- Name of the Insurance Company
- Policy Number
- Drivers license
- License plate number for the driver and the owner of the car.
- Establish the relationship between the insured name and driver.
- Write or record the car Year, Make Model color.
- Write or record the exact location of the collision.
- Write or record how the car accident happened.
Take Photos at the Scene of the Accident
Take as many photos as possible to show a complete 360 degree view of the car accident from all angles as evidence of the scene.
Witnesses are Important
Ask the witnesses to provide you with their name and contact information so that any follow-up questions can be answered.
Serious Car Accidents
If you think that your situation is more complex than a minor car accident or it is serious because of pain and suffering, then you should consider discussing your situation with an experienced attorney.
Complex situations can arise when your case does not fit the No-Fault guidelines or the accident report does not reflect your opinion and you want your case reviewed attorney.
A serious car accident exists if you have sustained permanent injuries as a result of the car. Some common examples of these injuries are
- Back and spine injury
- Cuts and abrasions
- Brain trauma
- Head injury
- Neck and whiplash injury
- Nerve Damage
- Broken bones
There are more than 200,000 car accidents in Florida each year of which more than 80 per cent required medical assistance.
If it can be proven that another party is responsible for your injuries then you may be entitled to compensation to cover:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Property damages
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Cost of hiring outside help
- Emotional distress and suffering
- Impact on your home life and relationships
- Any other costs that resulted because of your injuries
If you’ve suffered an injury because of the actions of an Uber or Lyft driver, it’s important to work with an attorney that understands the many legal issues related to ridesharing services. You may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills and other financial costs. However, fighting Uber on your own can be difficult. Do you know what do do after you’ve been in an Uber accident? Give us a call and we can provide you with options.
Hit and Run Accidents
Careless driving is always a problem, and it’s at the root of almost every auto accident in Miami. But hit-and-run accidents aren’t just careless — they’re cowardly. Thinking only of themselves, hit-and-run drivers cause a crash and then flee the scene, leaving their helpless victims behind. There’s simply no excuse. It is illegal to leave the scene of an accident in Florida until a police officer arrives, no matter how insignificant the accident might seem. But there’s more to a hit-and-run than just a violation of criminal law. It’s also financially damaging… and potentially dangerous. There is no way to know what condition the occupants of the other vehicle might be in. They may need help. Leaving them to fend for themselves is selfish and simply wrong. Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents are on the rise here in Miami, and they have been for years.
You Should Talk with an Attorney
You should discuss your case with an accident attorney to determine the best course of action.
Call our Miami law office at 305-372-0123 or toll free at 877-662-5399 to discuss how we can help you:
- Focus on your healing and recovery
- Recover costs for medical expenses and lost wages
- Continue to support your family
- Understand the State Law
- Negotiate with the Insurance Companies
- Expedite the settlement process
- Ensure that the process is handled correctly
- Seek damages for permanent injuries or fatalities
Things NOT To Do After a Car Accident
Never speak to an Insurance adjuster before speaking to a lawyer.
I know they seem nice on the phone, and they said they really want to help you. However, things you may not think are important, may hurt your case. For example, what if you hurt your back 6 years ago, and you hurt it again in a car accident. Your pain is a little different than the pain you felt before, but you are not sure how to describe it. The next thing you know, the insurance adjuster says your pain is the same, and you mistakenly agree. That happens more often than you think. That’s the reason Insurance companies want to speak with you before you hire a lawyer. I will never tell you to say something that isn’t true, I just want to make sure that I am there to help you answer any questions.
Never Say You’re Sorry
I know it sound’s terrible, but those words can come back to haunt you. You may want to say you’re sorry, just because the other driver may be injured and you feel bad. However, saying you’re sorry might be used to imply that you are at fault for causing the accident.
Never speak to a runner, clinic or lawyer that solicits you
Miami is rampant with PIP clinics and runners that solicit victims after Miami Car Accidents. Stay away from these people, as they will land you in the world of insurance fraud.
Never misrepresent your medical history or injuries to your doctor
Don’t be scared to tell your doctor about prior accidents or injuries. If you don’t share this information with your doctor, you may inhibit your doctor from making the correct diagnosis, and more importantly his opinions about your injuries will be subject to challenge.
Never lie to your lawyer
Don’t lie about how the accident happened, your injuries, or your prior medical history. This is one of the most important rules. You must trust the lawyer you hired. If you don’t trust your lawyer, get another lawyer who can help you with your car accident. In order to properly represent you, and get you the best possible recovery, your lawyer must know all the facts. and most importantly your lawyer needs to learn those facts from you, not from the insurance company. Rest assured the insurance company has resources, and will find out about every prior and/or subsequent claim you have. Thus, you must tell your lawyer in advance, so that your lawyer can secure all your medical records.
Never be afraid to ask your lawyer a questions
Ask questions about car accident laws, car accident injuries, insurance coverage, or the claims process. You should feel comfortable with your lawyer and your lawyers staff so that all your questions are answered to your satisfaction. Remember, we work for you!!!
Never Volunteer information
Specifically, when you speak to a police officer, only answer the questions which are asked of you. This does not mean do not cooperate, this means limit your answers to the specific question asked. For example, if the police officer asks where you were going, you can tell him you were heading to work , not I was heading to work and I was late because I stopped for coffee.
Never accept a settlement or sign a release before speaking to a lawyer.
Insurance companies want to settle cheap. Progressive insurance company is well known for this tactic. Progressive Insurance will call you right after an accident, and offer you a nominal sum of money. This may seem like a good deal, until you go to the doctor and find out you have a more serious injury than what you thought. Unfortunately, once you sign the release, it’s too late.
What Our Car Accident Clients Are Saying
I had never been involved in an accident or had any experience with attorneys. Several years ago, I had a car accident and retained the services of another attorney. For 2+ years I had no idea what was happening with my case. I then retained the services of attorney Mark Kaire. Not only was my case settled within a year, every time I called the office and spoke with either Tere or Liane, they not only answered my questions, but more importantly they listened. If you’re ever in a situation where you need a great attorney and need to be treated humanly, I strongly suggest you give them a call.
From the time that I knew this lawyer he has been excellent, hardworking, and completed my needs. I am very excited to work with him again.