What You Need To Know About The New Road Legislation In Florida

The state of Florida has made tremendous milestones in implementing new traffic laws in 2018. Missing such news is easy since mainstream media focused mainly on minimum wage legislations. In total, the state passed over 230 bills in 2017, most of which take effect this year.

All motorists must know these new regulations for safety and well-being. Some people have started speculating a possibility of difficult roads ahead. That knowledge is essential in helping you avoid unnecessary friction with law enforcement agencies manning the highways. Keep reading to learn about the new legislations and how to comply in order to avoid hefty fines and penalties.

Move Over Legislation 

All drivers are expected to pave way for emergency vehicles on their routes according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). The law that took effect in January 2018 also includes utility service workers.

In 2017, approximately 17,000 motorists received traffic citations for not paving way. The law aims to keep thousands of roadside workers safe when repairing and maintaining Florida roads.  If successfully implemented, the law ensures the workers complete the job with minimum interruptions and get back home safe.

Ride Sharing Law 

HB 647 traffic bill seeking to regulate ride sharing industry finally got approved last year. Recently, ride sharing spiraled out of control. The new law benefits cab hailing apps such as Uber since they are not expected to comply fully. However, conventional taxi companies have no option but to comply.

The legislation intends to regulate rideshare companies an industry that has been growing at breakneck speeds. The companies welcomed the move since they will not operate under laws made by the local governments.

Texting Behind The Wheel  

It is paramount for drivers to remember that texting while driving is banned. Although the law came to effect in mid-2017, it is worth reminding you that the law is still being enforced.

According to a recent study, approximately 80% of American motorists acknowledge checking or using their mobile devices while driving. The habit is a concern for drivers, road users and liable insurance companies. In the study, the following was also noted:

  • About 19% of drivers check their phones every 30 minutes
  • 10% drivers admitted shopping online while behind the wheels.
  • 14% of drivers with kids admitted taking selfies while driving.

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration submits that texting or reading a message while driving takes your eyes off the road for approximately 5 seconds.  That time is enough for a driver to cover a distance of a football field at a speed of 55 mph. Another study conducted by Car and Driver Magazine shows that texting while driving reduces your reaction time more than that of a driver with 0.08% blood alcohol intoxication.

The ban is aimed at improving safety of other road users such as passengers, car operators and cyclists. The law might have directly mentioned texts, but it also includes other related forms of communication such as email and instant messaging.

The new laws benefit everyone. Personal injury protection is paramount.  In case of an accident or injuries, get in touch with our offices today.

Accidents Involving an Uber or Lyft Driver in Florida. Who’s responsible?

Rideshare apps have significantly grown in popularity over the recent years, and Florida isn’t an exception. It has become the easiest way for both locals and tourists to get around the state. Most people prefer these ridesharing companies because they offer lower fares compared to the traditional cabs. Since these drivers earn depending on the number of trips they make and the total mileage covered, they tend to drive faster to maximize their pay. This risks the safety of their passengers. Unlike the traditional means of transport like cabs and public transportation where the carrier was responsible for any liability claims, Uber/Lyft drivers are independent contractors, thus determining liability after an accident involving them can a bit challenging. You need an expert accident attorney to help you get proper compensation.

How to Determine Who is Responsible

Here’s how to determine who’s responsible for an accident involving Uber/Lyft driver in Florida. First, since Uber/Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors, if they get into an accident when they are logged out of the app, the Uber/Lyft isn’t held responsible. In such cases, drivers should have a personal policy to cover any liability claims against them.

Secondly, if a driver gets in an accident after they are logged into the app but hasn’t picked up a ride yet, then this becomes a gray area. It’s unclear whether the driver or the Uber/Lyft bears the responsibility. The driver’s personal insurance may pay part of the claim while the Uber/Lyft’s insurance providers may negotiate paying for the rest of the damages.

Lastly, if a driver gets in an accident when he/she is logged into the app while driving a client to their destination, the Uber/Lyft can be held responsible. At times, rideshare companies may argue on the basis of an independent contractor to avoid compensation charges. You can still get compensation through the insurance coverage they give to their drivers when they are logged in.

Keeping in mind that rideshare drivers are independent contractors, rideshare companies are often shielded from most liability claims. If you are involved in an accident caused by their drivers, their insurance providers may reject your claim. In such instances, it’s upon the victim to prove that the rideshare company were aware of the actions that led to that accident, for example, if the company was aware that the driver was intoxicated, if the victim can provide complains from previous riders by contacting them, or if you can check the driver’s reviews for any claims made against them.

If you or someone close to you has been injured in an accident involving an Uber/Lyft or simply any rideshare company, you have a right to monetary compensation from one or even more sources. Accidents can be very traumatizing and it is of your best interest to find an attorney to help you with all the legal proceedings. 

At Fenimore Injury Law offices in Pensacola, we have an experienced team of professionals, who are well-equipped to help you get the maximum monetary compensation for any personal injuries from an auto accident. Contact us today for a FREE consultation.

The Timeline of a Florida Car Accident Settlement

Unfortunately, car accidents have become part of life in Florida just like anywhere else. As long as you travel in a car, you are prone to an accident happening at any time. It’s important to know what to do when you’re involved in a vehicle accident.

It’s good to understand the fact that not all car accident cases take the same amount of time to be settled neither do they unfold similarly. Your case is unique given the specific circumstances surrounding it. However, it’s possible to identify a generic path that most car accident cases follow. So, what is the expected timeline of a Florida car accident settlement?

Reporting the Case to Law Enforcement Authorities

The law in Florida requires you to report any car accident involving death, injury, or property damage of more than $500 to the law enforcement authorities. The driver is expected to file a crash report for minor accidents that don’t require a comprehensive police report. The crash report should be filed within ten days.

Remember to record the names and contact information for any witnesses, take photographs of the cars, and document the relevant road and weather conditions. Avoid assuming the responsibility of the case even if you feel like you were the one at fault. Some facts may come up later on showing that you were not at fault.

Medical Diagnosis and Treatment

It’s always critical to seek medical attention immediately. Obtaining a timely diagnosis will help ensure that you recover fully while your treatment records will serve as crucial evidence in your claim for compensation. If you take long to see a doctor, your insurance company may find a loophole of arguing that there is no clear correlation between the accident and your injuries. The insurance company may try to use this claim to deny you compensation.

Consult an Attorney

Don’t make a mistake of filing an insurance claim without consulting a lawyer since you risk being denied the compensation or being under-compensated. A car accident lawyer will help you understand what you’re supposed to do to get your rightful compensation. He or she will also protect your rights and handle the various aspects of your case. The attorney will also conduct a thorough investigation that will involve gathering evidence if he or she believes that you have a solid case.

Filing an Insurance Claim

The law in Florida requires the at-fault driver to cover any property damage up to the driver’s insurance policy limit. You need to be carrying your personal injury protection coverage which will cater for the medical expenses. However, the at-fault driver will meet any extra cost if the medical bill is more than $10,000.

Filing a Lawsuit

Sometimes, the insurance company may refuse to negotiate fair settlements which may force your attorney to file a lawsuit against the insurance company. The lawsuit usually begins with the filing of a complaint prepared by your lawyer.

Pre-Trial

Assuming your insurance company refuses to adhere to the deadlines set out in the complaint, your lawyer will start engaging in several pre-trial practices to strengthen your case. These steps include:

  • Participating in arbitration or mediation
  • Filing specific motion to exclude inadmissible evidence
  • Seeking to limit or expand the scope of trial
  • Responding to various motions raised by the insurance company

Trial

The attorney will finally take your case to trial if nothing is done by the insurance company to compensate you. The attorney will present all the gathered evidence and allow the insurance company to respond before the judge renders the final verdict.

Have you been involved in a car accident in Northwest Florida? Contact Michael E Fenimore law office for legal assistance. We have a team of experienced professionals who will handle your case and help you get your rightful compensation.

The Facts Behind What a Personal Injury Attorney Does

You may be confused on what to do if you’ve been injured as a result of another person’s negligence. Filing a claim with your insurance company may complicate the situation. Although you may decide to proceed with the case without an attorney, hiring an experienced personal injury attorney will ensure that your case runs smoothly, and you get a rightful compensation.

It’s good to remain focused on recovery and let your personal injury attorney handle your case. Your attorney also protects your rights and advocates for your interests. Most people seem not to understand the role of a personal injury lawyer. Here are some facts behind what a personal injury attorney does to help the injured.

Identifies and Proves Key Facts

The most critical aspect of your personal injury case is proving the nature and extent of your injury. Apart from demonstrating this aspect of your case, you also need to prove liability for your injury which is a complicated process if you don’t understand the legal principles involved. You may even fail to realize the crucial facts that you need to prove liability without the assistance of a personal injury attorney. Failure to prove liability leaves your case in a pole position since the judge may dismiss it denying you compensation.

Negotiates on Your Behalf

A personal injury attorney enters into any negotiations on behalf of the injured in case there is a dispute, or a settlement offer from the sued party. Typically, insurance companies employ highly qualified and skilled negotiators to represent their interests. The negotiators always strive to settle your case for the cheapest offer possible.

You risk not being compensated if you fail to hire a personal injury lawyer since most of the insurance companies will come to you claiming that you were the one at fault. Without a trusted and experienced personal injury lawyer, you may end up agreeing to compensation that is way below what you’re supposed to get.

Prevents Unfavorable Removal

If your case involves a large corporation, then the representative of the corporation may attempt to have your lawsuit removed from a state court to a federal court to avoid compensating you. Most of the federal courts are considered defendant-friendly when it comes to personal injury cases. An experienced personal injury attorney will help you fight the unfair removal of your case from state court to a federal court.

Collection of Records

Personal injury lawyers also know how to obtain vital documents that your case requires. These cases usually involve the collection of voluminous paperwork such as wage loss logs and medical records Personal injury lawyers usually handle all the processes involved in gathering the essential documents which increases your chances of winning the case.

Estimates Your Total Damage

Insurance companies may rush with initial offers shortly after the accident occurs to try and settle the matter quickly. However, you should never accept such offers from your insurance agent without knowing the actual value of damages that you suffered. A personal injury attorney will review all the circumstances surrounding your injury and come up with an estimated value of your damages as well as the minimum amount that the company should pay you.

Are you struggling with your personal injury case in Pensacola, Florida? The law office of Michael E Fenimore is here to help you. We help individuals dealing with difficult personal injury cases ranging from car accidents and slip and fall injuries. Contact us today so that we start working on your case.

Legal Tips On How To Handle Boat Accidents

Individuals utilize watercrafts for either recreational purposes such as sport and leisure, or for work. The individuals who use them for recreational purposes and are harmed in the process might be secured by various risk rules than the individuals who are harmed while using them for work purposes. Typical situations that offer ascent to damage on vessels are; the point at which a boat crashes into another watercraft, a vessel slams into a submerged hindrance, a craft crashes into the wake of anotherwatercraft, or a vessel hits a wave. It is advisable to seek professional help from a qualified lawyer if you intend to achieve maximum compensation for such occurrences.

Grounds for Compensation in Boating Accidents

In the event of bodily injury in a boating expedition, you might have the capacity to consider the boat operator responsible if their carelessness is to blame for the mishap. You can seek remuneration from your boat’s driver or that of another watercraft, contingent upon who is responsible. Both small recreational pontoons and large business watercrafts can cause accidents that result in serious harm due to the lack of experience or neglectfulness of the driver.

Negligence

Commonly, individuals may have the capacity to sue the boat’s driver for carelessness. This is mainly due to their inability to give sensible well-being to passengers, neglect by the proprietor of the watercraft, the assembling organization, the rental agency, or different travelers who acted carelessly. For example, tossing somebody in the water without a life jacket, knowing he or she lacks adequate swimming abilities.

Claims for Compensation Due to Injury or Drowning

Boat accidents frequently result in individuals falling into the water. At the point when this happens, individuals are in danger of drowning, which may bring about death, brain damage or minor injury, particularly when they are not given appropriate water safety gear. Individuals who have been in the water or stay in the water for quite a while before being safeguarded may come into danger of hypothermia.

Crash With Another Watercraft

In a collision between two boats, the two boat drivers will, as a rule, be at any rate incompletely to blame. In this way, harmed companions on both of the boats would have a legitimate argument against the operators of the two watercrafts, much like in a car accident.

Accidents on the water are one of the many ways that may lead to a personal injury case. The offices of Fenimore Injury Law are equipped and prepared to deal with difficult personal injury circumstances. Call for your FREE case consultation today, 850-434-6064.

Can You Be Compensated For A Car Accident Due To Someone Else’s Carelessness?

Most people are unaware of the steps to take in the event of an automobile accident. This is with regards to the grounds in which someone qualifies to seek compensation. Such payments can be sought due to damage to property or to cover the injuries sustained as a result. To qualify to seek an accident settlement claim, the insurance agency must first ensure that the accident occurred without premeditation or that you are not personally responsible for its occurrence. In the event of death, the claimants may be the rightful heirs of the deceased.

What to do immediately after an accident

Regardless of whether the auto injury looks minor and the wounds seem as though they are minor and don’t require prompt medicinal treatment, it is as important to call the police to the accident scene to get an official record of everything. At a later date, when you can, get a duplicate of the official police report and keep it with you.

Settlement due to injury

Any injury to the body brings about misfortunes to the victim, qualifying the inquirer for accident claims. The settlements vary depending on the gravity and nature of incapacity or of wounds endured. The settlements can be financial or otherwise. The court needs to make a reasonable endeavor to grant the claims, to recompense the petitioner for the misfortune endured by him.

Personal injury cover

Not at all like obligations, auto-insurance pays for your medicinal expenses regardless of whether you were to blame. Uninsured/underinsured driver cover pays your real damage costs if you’ve been:

  • Involved in a hit and run incident. This is when you are hit by a driver who has no protection or limits that don’t meet your costs.
  • The careless driver’s bodily harm cover. This is applicable when the mishap was the other driver’s blame.

Claim application process

The people or the legitimate representatives of those who perish file a settlement claim making the driver, car owner and the insuring agency relevant parties to the situation. No limits are set regarding the recommendation of recording a claim application. Call or visit us for more data on auto collision claims.

Importance of car insurance

  • Auto insurance covers a wide scope, for example, liability, crash, extensive, therapeutic installments (or individual damage insurance) and uninsured driver coverage. Nonetheless, there are likewise contrasts between a business accident protection arrangement and your auto strategy that may incorporate qualification, definitions, coverage limit, prohibitions, and points of confinement.
  • The essential auto insurance is the one you require at the season of misfortune. However, you never realize what scope that may be since it can change depending on the situation.
  • More than everything else, you have to have auto-insurance to keep yourself lawful to drive in most places. You chance of losing your driver’s permit and fines driving without it. If you get into an accident without risk coverage and you could be confronting huge punishments including bills from the harms you caused.

 

Why You Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Motorcycle accidents are among the most frequent and fatal accidents in the United States. When involved in a motorcycle accident, the injuries and damages you acquire may be life-threatening or debilitating. In many cases, motorcycle accident victims may not be able to access some of their insurance claims. In such circumstances, acquiring the services of a lawyer specializing in motorcycle accidents is essential.

Why you need a motorcycle accident lawyer

Claiming due compensation

A motorcycle accident lawyer assists victims of motorcycle accidents in obtaining their due compensations. The compensation package may include payment for your medical expenses, loss of income, physical pain, and emotional suffering.

Legal advice and representation

Your lawyer will interpret motorcycle accident laws and negotiate your claim on your behalf. Your lawyer will be there every step of the way and provide advocacy services to ensure that you recover fully and with fair treatment from both the law and your insurance agency. We are intent on assisting families and individuals facing results from tragic motorcycle accidents caused by somebody else’s carelessness.

Why choose us for your motorcycle accident case

Committed representation

Michael E. Fenimore is committed to ensuring that you have access to the services you need to get your life back in order after a motorcycle accident in Pensacola. We are fully committed to representing you while you fully recover. We will conduct an in-depth analysis of what exactly happened during the accident ensuring that we have all of the facts while working hard to claim your compensation.

Bold Litigation

We are not afraid to take your case to court to help you secure proper compensation for your injuries incurred due to the accident. We ensure our clients obtain full compensation for the injuries they suffer during an accident.

Involved in a motorcycle accident? Feel free to contact Fenimore Injury Law for ideal representation and litigation.

Based in Pensacola, Fl, Fenimore Injury Law offers a wide range of personal injury representation with a specialization in wrongful deaths, auto and motorcycle accidents, product defects, and slip and fall accidents.

How to File a Personal Injury Claim for Defective Products

In case you have suffered an illness or an injury due to products that are defective, you should file a personal injury claim. The claim should be filed under the product liability statutes, which will enable you to recover damages (financial and non-financial) that occurred as a result of the injury. Product liability laws allow consumers to hold product vendors, manufacturers, and designers legally responsible for damages that may have occurred a result of use or exposure to the defective product.

Statutes often vary from one jurisdiction to another, but you will find that in many locations, products may include any item that has been designed, produced, or sold by a manufacturer. Such items include but are not limited to medicinal devices and instruments or consumables like food, medications, and automotive parts.

Claims associated with defective products fall into 3 main broad categories:

  • Manufacturing defects
  • Design defects
  • Failure to warn the consumers

Each category then focuses on certain types of failure on the part of the product designer, distributor, or manufacturer.

How to File the Defective Product Personal Injury Claim 

When it comes to personal injury claims, you are required to show that another party caused the injury. For defective product claims, you will be required to prove that the products do have defects. This means that you need to show that the designer, vendor, or manufacturer needed to take the following measures:

  • Anticipated potential injury resulting from the use of that product
  • Discontinued distribution or production of the product in question
  • Warned its clientele regarding the potential harm that may arise due to use of this product

In the event that a warning had already been issued pertaining to the product in question, you should be able to prove that you followed the instructions in accordance with the warning but still sustained injuries. What this means is that you need to show that you are not at fault for your illness or injuries and that the liability solely lies with another party. Here are the common claims for defective products:

  • Manufacturing Defects — In such a claim, the presence of a problem in the manufacturing process needs to be shown. It is the only way that you will be able to substantiate compensation claims. A problem can be present in the materials used, manufacturing equipment, or in the quality inspection processes in use.
  • Design Defects — Here, your claim needs to show that a problem existed in the design of that product leading to your injuries. Lawsuits of this nature often argue that the manufacturer applied insufficient testing procedures before distributing the product.
  •  Failure to Warn — This kind of claim normally deals with warning and documentation labels that appear on the product. This implies that the product itself is not defective, but that the manufacturer’s communication process is insufficient. You also need to prove or show that you followed all the recommended procedures but still got injured.

Your Personal Injury Case for Defective Products

To determine the viability of the lawsuit, you will need to consult with a personal injury attorney. The attorney will review all the details pertaining to your case and then assist you in making a decision on whether filing the lawsuit will be in your best interests. Compensation amounts are often determined by the severity of your injuries. Fenimore Injury Law Firm based in Pensacola, Florida offers legal representation for any personal injury claim. Contact us today!

The Value of Having a Trusted Maritime Lawyer

Working in the maritime industry puts you at risk of sustaining severe injuries or even fatalities. Fortunately, if you or your dear one has been involved in a marine-related accident, you can pursue compensation to cover the lost wages, medical expenses, funeral, and other costs thanks to maritime laws. Even so, you should strongly consider contacting a trusted maritime lawyer to boost your odds of compensation. The value of a lawyer is indispensable and can include:

Gathering and filing evidence

The attorney will interview you and all relevant witnesses to gather information that is crucial to your case. He or she will also collect the medical records, any other testimonials, and help you fill all the necessary paperwork within the statute of limitations.

Accurate valuation of your claim

An experienced maritime attorney knows how to review your claim carefully to determine the accurate value based on all available evidence. Also, he or she will know how to document emotional and physical damages that do not have a precise monetary value attached to them.

Detailed knowledge of relevant laws

Making sense of the laws related to maritime accidents can be challenging. Thus, having a knowledgeable attorney by your side gives you a tremendous advantage. The lawyer is well-versed with the laws such as Jones Act, Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA), and Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act. He or she will know which law suits your claim best.

 

Advocacy during the legal process

While pursuing compensation for the injuries, you will need to deal with other parties, including your employer, insurance companies, and their attorneys. In most cases, the insurance companies will work hard to lower or even deny your claim. Conversely, a maritime lawyer will negotiate or battle with the insurance company in court to ensure that you receive the maximum settlement possible. That’s because most attorneys take cases on a contingency basis meaning that they won’t recover legal fees unless you obtain your compensation.

Need help? Call Michael E Fenimore, P.A.!

Maritime injuries can have devastating impacts on your life. If your injuries were a result of the negligence of another party, you deserve compensation for all the financial, physical, and emotional damages you’re coping with. At Michael E Fenimore, P.A. law firm, we strive to ensure that all our clients in Pensacola, Florida get professional legal representation. With a wealth of knowledge and expertise, our maritime attorney will prepare for a strong defense and help you obtain the maximum compensation.

Call us today for a free consultation!

Traumatic Brain Injuries – The Legal Challenges

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is the generalized term for those harms that impact the brain and cause maladies that result in mild cognitive and memory issues to even death. From a legal perspective, TBI cases create a unique blend of challenges to the defendant’s attorney, the plaintiff’s attorney, as well as to the insurance providers.

Brain injuries should not be considered an ‘event.’ A TBI is the beginning of a process typically marred by misdiagnoses, and under-funded neurological disease research. Those with sustained brain injuries must be provided with:

  • Lifelong Management and care
  • Professional, expert care
  • Appropriate rehabilitation therapies
  • Individualized support services

According to the National Brain Injury Association, there are more than 2,000,000 brain injuries in the United States each year. Of those who sustain brain injuries, 75-100,000 people will die each year due to their brain trauma. Additionally, more than 500,000 people will require hospitalization.

Trauma is the most common cause of brain injury in the United States. Typical causes of TBI include car accidents, slip and falls, assaults, or abuse.

From a legal purview, TBI cases fall under the umbrella of personal injury law. However, TBI cases have unique challenges associated with them that aren’t present in other personal injury cases.

The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) was developed to help medical professionals to assess the extent of brain injury. The scale uses a variety of assessments based upon eye, verbal, and motor responsiveness.

Legal Challenges Facing Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuits

Brain injuries are difficult to detect. Symptoms of TBI include headaches and fatigue, which are rather common making them difficult to definitively tie to the actual brain trauma. One of the greatest challenges facing a Plaintiff’s attorney claim is convincing a jury (or the insurer) that the Plaintiff even had any trauma.

Victims may not be able to help establish liability. One of the most crucial parts of any personal injury case is showing who was at fault.

Symptoms don’t always show up right away. Brain trauma symptoms may be revealed weeks or months later, given the insurance agency a clear opening to argue that these symptoms are unrelated to the brain injury.

Long-lasting effects of TBI are difficult to quantify. The long-term consequences regarding cognition are difficult to definitively pinpoint. Think about it:

  • How can one objectively prove that a person is unable to problem solve following the incident?
  • How can a brain injured person prove that they were in line for a promotion which will not happen due to the traumatic brain injury?
  • How does one calculate lost earnings accurately or fairly?

The Takeaway

Settling a traumatic brain injury lawsuit is challenging for most attorneys. The law offices of Michael E. Fenimore understand the challenging tasks required to prevail in these lawsuits. They possess the professional skill and experience to handle the challenging nature of TBI lawsuits. Contact them today.