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Car Accidents

What To Do If You’re in a Florida Car Accident

By Car Accidents

You never think it’s going to happen to you until it happens.

Florida Crash Statistics for 2022

  • 381,156 total crashed across the state
  • 242,622 injuries from crashes

Just in case – it’s important to be prepared and know what to do if you’re ever involved in a Florida car accident. 

  1. Take account of your health and others around you. Stay calm and check for injuries. Call 911 for medical assistance if needed.
  2. Call the police to report the accident. Stick with the facts when describing what happened.
  3. Exchange information with the other drivers involved, including:
    • Full name and contact information
    • Insurance company and policy number
    • Driver’s license and license plate number
    • Type, color, and model of vehicle
  1. Document the accident
    • Note the location of the car accident
    • Take photos of the scene. Get as many angles as possible, including traffic conditions, roadways, damage to your car, and damage to other vehicles.
    • If there are witnesses, take down their names and contact information.
  1. Call an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer.

At Greg Linehan Law, we understand how to protect your rights and interests in Florida’s complex legal environment around car accidents. Even accidents that don’t seem serious can wind up costing drivers a lot of money in damages, medical expenses, and more.

Call us for a free consultation if you’re in a car accident. We’ll guide you through what steps to take and help you get what you deserve. In the meantime – be safe out there!

Why Bodily Injury Liability Coverage is Important

By Car Accidents, Insurance

Bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage is a type of auto insurance that helps motorists pay for the medical expenses and lost wages of people injured in an accident that they cause. It can also help pay for the driver’s legal fees if they are sued for damages.

BIL insurance is required in most states – unfortunately, Florida is not one of them. The minimum coverage limits vary from state to state, but they are typically $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. One may purchase more coverage than the minimum, but it is important to make sure that, as a driver, you have enough coverage to protect yourself financially in the event of an accident.

What’s covered?

Bodily injury liability insurance covers a wide range of expenses, including:

  • Medical expenses, such as hospital bills, doctor’s visits, and prescription drugs
  • Lost wages, if the injured person is unable to work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent injuries, such as disfigurement or disability
  • Death, if the injured person dies

Bodily injury liability insurance does not cover all expenses related to an accident. For example, it does not cover:

  • Your own medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering from emotional distress
  • Punitive damages

As a legal professional and personal injury attorney, I have seen firsthand the importance of bodily injury liability insurance. In many cases, this type of insurance can make the difference between financial ruin and financial security for accident victims.

What to Do if You are in an Accident with Someone without Coverage

If you are in an accident with someone who does not carry bodily injury liability insurance, you may be able to file a claim with your own uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is a type of insurance that helps pay for your medical expenses and lost wages if you are injured in an accident by an uninsured driver.

Filing a Claim

To file a claim with your uninsured motorist coverage, you will need to contact your insurance company and provide them with the following information:

  • The date, time, and location of the accident
  • The names and contact information of the other driver(s) involved in the accident
  • The police report number, if one was filed
  • Your medical records, if you have any
  • Any other documentation that supports your claim

Your insurance company will then investigate the claim and determine whether or not you are covered. If you are covered, they will pay for your medical expenses and lost wages up to the limits of your policy.

If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, you may be able to sue the other driver for damages. However, this can be a difficult and time-consuming process. If you are considering suing the other driver, consult an attorney.

Tips for Dealing with an Uninsured Driver

Here are some tips for dealing with an accident with an uninsured driver:

  • Get the other driver’s information, including their name, address, phone number, and driver’s license number.
  • Take pictures of the damage to your car and the scene of the accident.
  • Call the police and file a report.
  • See a doctor if you are injured.
  • Contact your insurance company and file a claim.
  • If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, you may want to consider hiring an attorney.

By following these tips, you can protect yourself financially and legally if you are in an accident with an uninsured driver.

Why Bodily Injury Liability Coverage is Important

If you do not have bodily injury liability insurance, I urge you to consider adding it to your current policy. It is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are financially protected in the event of an accident.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind about bodily injury liability insurance:

  • You can purchase bodily injury liability insurance as part of your car insurance policy.
  • The cost of bodily injury liability insurance varies depending on several factors, including your age, driving record, and the type of car you drive.
  • You can increase or decrease your bodily injury liability coverage limits as needed.
  • It is important to read your car insurance policy carefully to understand what is covered and what is not.

There is a wealth of information about Florida insurance requirements, should you wish to learn more on the topic. In the meantime, if you or someone you know is an accident victim with a motorist who does not carry BIL insurance, please do not hesitate to contact me or my team, and we can immediately help you understand your options.

An insurance adjuster reviewing accident damage

Importance of Uninsured Insurance

By Car Accidents, Insurance

Uninsured motorist insurance (UM) is an essential form of auto insurance that provides coverage for accidents that occur with uninsured drivers. In Florida, it is not mandatory to carry UM insurance, but it is highly recommended, considering the high rate of uninsured motorists in the state.

We have seen many cases where people have been involved in accidents with uninsured drivers, and the financial burden on these victims can be overwhelming. Here, we will discuss the importance of UM insurance and why it is critical to consider this coverage when purchasing auto insurance.

Florida Laws and the Importance of UM Insurance

In Florida, the law requires drivers to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage Liability (PDL) as a minimum insurance requirement. However, the state does not mandate drivers to carry UM insurance. Most drivers opt out of UM insurance, which is a grave mistake.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), in 2019, Florida had the highest percentage of uninsured motorists in the country, with a rate of 26.7%. Despite Florida’s high rate of uninsured drivers, many drivers still choose to go without UM insurance due to its additional cost. The hard reality is that being involved in an accident with an uninsured driver in Florida can be a costly and stressful situation. Moreso than just purchasing the coverage in the first place.

UM insurance serves as a safety net for drivers and passengers involved in an accident with uninsured motorists, providing compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Most people believe that UM insurance is only essential in car accidents that are severe, but that is not always the case. Even minor accidents can cause a financial burden on the victim, especially if the other driver is uninsured.

In Florida, even if PIP and PDL cover some damages, they may not be enough to fully compensate the victim for their injuries and other losses. Adding UM coverage ensures that the victim receives the full compensation they deserve, even if the other driver is uninsured, underinsured, or hit-and-run.

The Benefits of UM Insurance

UM insurance provides a wide range of benefits that protect drivers and passengers who are involved in accidents with uninsured motorists. Below are some of the advantages of UM insurance in Florida:

  1. Medical Expenses: It covers medical expenses related to injuries sustained in the accident, including hospitalization, diagnostic tests, medications, rehabilitation, and other treatments.
  2. Lost Wages: It provides compensation for lost income due to injuries sustained in the accident. This coverage ensures that the victim does not suffer a significant loss of income while they are out of work due to their injuries.
  3. Pain and Suffering: It provides compensation for emotional distress, mental anguish, and physical pain resulting from the accident.
  4. Hit-and-Run Accidents: It provides coverage for damages due to hit-and-run accidents. This coverage should cover the expenses of repairs and medical costs.

It can also provide coverage for punitive damages in cases where the at-fault driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

UM insurance is not only important for accidents with uninsured drivers but also for underinsured motorists. In cases where the at-fault driver has insurance, but their coverage is not enough to cover the damages, UM insurance can provide additional compensation to the victim.

The Cost of UM Insurance

The cost of UM insurance varies depending on the driver’s age, driving history, location, and other factors. It comes at an additional cost to your auto insurance policy; however, the cost of UM insurance is relatively low compared to the financial burden that comes with an accident with an uninsured driver.

In Florida, UM insurance can cost between $10 and $40 per month, depending on coverage limits. Although this additional cost may seem insignificant, it can save you from substantial financial damage if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.

Our Recommendation

While in Florida, UM insurance is not mandatory, we highly recommended this coverage for all drivers. It provides protection and peace of mind to drivers and passengers involved in accidents with uninsured or underinsured motorists.

Again, the cost is minimal compared to the financial damage that comes along with an accident with an uninsured driver. With UM insurance, victims can receive full compensation for their losses, even if the other driver is uninsured.

Contact us today to see how we can help you navigate an uninsured motorist claim.

Bird's eye view of a Sarasota intersection

Sarasota County’s Most Dangerous Intersections

By Car Accidents, Sarasota

Car accidents can happen just about anywhere, but some intersections in Sarasota County are notorious hotspots for dangerous car crashes. If you’re a frequent driver in this area, you can probably guess which intersections make up Sarasota County’s Top 10 List for car accidents and collisions. If you’re new to the area or just visiting, it’s worth checking out.

Top 10 Signalized Intersections for Car Accidents

1. Bee Ridge Rd, Beneva Rd: 59 Crashes
2. Bee Ridge Rd, Honore Ave: 52 Crashes
3. US 41, River Rd: 49 Crashes
4. Clark Rd, Beneva Rd: 46 Crashes
5. Bee Ridge Rd, Cattlemen Rd: 44 Crashes
6. US 41, Jacaranda Blvd: 42 Crashes
7. US 41 Bypass, Center Rd: 39 Crashes
8. Clark Rd, Honore Ave: 38 Crashes
9. US 41, Laurel Rd: 37 Crashes
10. Bee Ridge Rd, McIntosh Rd: 35 Crashes

What Makes these intersections so dangerous?

Greg Linehan is an experienced Sarasota attorney who has successfully represented numerous car crash victims at these intersections and many others throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties. The car accidents he sees are caused by a variety of factors – everything from careless and distracted driving to drivers following too closely.

Top Driver Contributing Circumstances

  • Operating a Vehicle in a Careless or Negligent Manner
  • Failing to Yield to a Right of Way
  • Following Too Closely
  • Failing to Stay in the Proper Lane
  • Improper Turns
  • Ran Red Light or Stop Sign
  • Driving Too Fast
  • Ran Off Roadway
  • Improper Passing
  • Erratic, Reckless Driving

What makes certain intersections worse than others?

As any driver knows, intersections can be confusing, especially busy intersections you don’t know well or visit often. Cars, trucks, and commercial vehicles are entering from multiple points, and at the busiest times of day, traffic can get extremely heavy. A number of other factors play a big role in intersection accidents, too, including:

  • Pedestrians crossing the street
  • Speeding
  • Careless, negligent, and aggressive driving
  • Poor signage and traffic signals
  • Bad weather
  • Inattentive drivers distracted by cellphones, eating, and more
  • Drivers unfamiliar with traffic patterns
  • Trying to “beat” a yellow light
  • Illegal turns on red
  • Ignoring pedestrian signals

In an accident? Greg Linehan Law can help.

With more than 26 years of experience practicing law, personal injury lawyer Greg
Linehan will hold the guilty party in your accident accountable and make sure your
rights are protected. He is passionate about helping injured people rebuild their lives
through effective legal representation and getting them the compensation they
deserve. If you’ve been in a car accident, don’t wait another minute. Contact Greg
and his team now.