Category Archives: Automobile Insurance

FACT or FICTION? Vehicle Accident Claims Info You Should Know

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Is it FACT or FICTION?  Test your understanding of vehicle accidents and insurance claims — and what you need to if you are involved in a vehicle accident.  Grab a sheet of paper, and jot down your responses (FACT or FICTION) to the following statements.

  1. Florida has the same laws governing vehicle accidents as the rest of the 49 states.
  2. Drivers over 55 are more likely to cause accidents and consequently have higher insurance rates.
  3. Drivers who smoke typically have higher vehicle insurance rates.
  4. If the driver of another vehicle is at fault for causing a collision with your vehicle, you will be automatically entitled to compensation.
  5. It’s easy to manage your own vehicle accident claim.

Ready?

Here are the correct answers:

  1. Florida has the same laws governing vehicle accidents as the rest of the 49 states.

FICTION.  Vehicle accident laws vary by state.  One key difference among state law relates to whether the state uses at fault or no-fault laws.  Florida is a no-fault state.   This means that all drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits in their policies.  PIP covers medical care and other costs caused by the vehicle accident, regardless who was at fault.  Florida drivers can pursue an at-fault claim only if injuries resulting from the accident are deemed permanent.  Read more here.

Another important law to know is the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, or the period of time after an accident that someone can file for compensation.  In Florida, the statute of limitations for vehicle accident injuries is four years, but for vehicle accident fatalities, the statute of limitations is two years.

  1. Drivers over 55 are more likely to cause accidents and consequently have higher insurance rates.

FICTION.  Crash rates involving seniors only begin to increase gradually after age 70, with a substantial increase after age 85.  Moreover, drivers over 55 can qualify for special rates for mature drivers, especially if they complete a safe driving class.  On average, drivers over 55 are not more likely to cause accidents than most other age groups and consequently have similar or lower rates.

  1. Drivers who smoke typically have higher vehicle insurance rates.

FICTION. Actually, most vehicle insurance plans don’t even ask whether the driver smokes or not.

  1. If the driver of another vehicle is at fault for causing a collision with your vehicle, you will be automatically entitled to compensation.

FICTION. There is no automatic entitlement to compensation.  In order to receive compensation, you must prove that the other driver was negligent, caused an injury to you and/or other passengers, and that the compensation claimed is the money spent or owed as a direct result of injuries suffered from the accident.   

  1. It’s easy to manage your own vehicle accident claim.

FICTION. Navigating the legal process can be tricky.   In order to properly file a claim, one must accurately complete and submit the claim, provide proper documentation aligned with all state laws, determine whether the case will be handled in court, negotiate with insurance providers, and meet all deadlines.

How did you fare?  Leave a comment below and tell us your score.  Feel free to pass along this simple but important quiz to friends and family.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

 

 

Child Passenger Safety Seats: Free South Florida Inspections in September

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September Safety WeekAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and SafeCar.gov, every 33 seconds one child under the age of 13 in our country is involved in a vehicle crash. US states require the use of car seats to help protect children in cars, vans, SUVs and pickups. These laws as well as “Child Passenger Safety Week” are dedicated to reduce injuries and save lives. The week of September 18-24, 2016 is “Child Passenger Safety Week” and September 24, 2016 is “National Seat Check Saturday”.

On behalf of the attorneys and staff at Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., we urge all parents and caregivers to take advantage of free car seat safety checks held across the state of Florida and throughout the country. It’s critical to make sure children are in the correct car seats for their age and size and to ensure that car seats are installed properly. Child Passenger Safety Technicians will be available at sites in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties to give hands-on advice and instructions. To find an inspection site near you, visit http://www.safercar.gov/cpsApp/cps/index.htm? or see the South Florida sites listed below.

Boynton Beach Fire Rescue
2080 High Ridge Road
Boynton Beach, FL 33426
561-742-6343Boynton Beach Fire Rescue
3501 N Congress Avenue
Boynton Beach, FL 33426
561-742-6343

Coral Springs Fire Department
2801 Coral Springs Drive
Coral Springs, FL 33065
954-346-1354

Coral Springs Fire Department
2801 Coral Springs Dr
Coral Springs, FL 33065
954-346-1354

Pembroke Pines Police Dept.
9500 Pines Blvd
Pembroke Pines, FL 33024
954-436-3274

Univ of Miami/Jackson Health System
Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Miami
Miami, FL 33136
305-243-3928Safer Kids and Homes
3240 Emathla St
Miami, FL 33133
305-854-KIDS (5437)

Tayni Cabrera
1321 SW 72 Ct
Miami, FL 33144
305-926-1379

Tutti Bambini
7400 SW 57th Ct
Miami, FL 33143
305-669-1400

Nicklaus Children’s Hospital
3100 SW 62 Avenue
Miami, FL 33155
305-663-6800

According to the NHTSA, “children [should remain] rear-facing as long as possible up to the top height or weight allowed by their particular seats. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, he/she is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness. After outgrowing the forward-facing car seat, a child should be placed in a booster seat until big enough to fit seat belts properly without help from a booster seat. The safest place for all kids under 13 is in the back seats of cars.

Follow these guidelines, review this detailed post, and visit http://www.safercar.gov for more detailed information. Below is a list of the 2016 Child Car Seat Safety Inspection Sites for South Florida:

 

Sept_NHTSA_Week

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. cares about the safety of you and your family. As we begin the school year, we urge you to keep child passenger safety in mind. The proper use of car seats, booster seats, and seat belts in motor vehicles provide the best protection for children and saves lives.

For more information on child car safety, as well as how to find other car seat check events, go to www.safercar.gov/parents.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.
Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties. The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work. Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury. For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

*Information adapted from the U. S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and http://www.safercar.gov powered by NHTSA

 

 

Guardrail Collisions in Florida

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Over the last decade, guardrail collisions have become a growing source of injuries and death on U.S. roadways. 

Guardrails

Guardrails are metal barriers designed to prevent drivers from going off the road.  Typically, guardrails are used on the shoulder of the road near steep drop offs, rough terrain, or heavy traffic moving at high speeds.  

Dangerous Guardrails

Although guardrails are designed to protect motorists from going off the road, some poorly designed guardrails have been the cause of serious injury or death.  Properly designed guardrails deflect vehicles, absorb the speed from a collision, and act as a barrier.  However, poorly designed or defective guardrails can function like a spear, slicing into the vehicle and causing serious damage to those inside.  One type of guardrail known as ET-Plus, made by Trinity Industries, has been implicated in many lawsuits throughout the U.S. over the last decade.  The ET-Plus guardrails should sweep vehicles to the side upon impact, but according to reports,  these guardrails allegedly cause the rails to pull up, piercing through the front of the vehicle.

If you, a friend, or a family member has been seriously injured after colliding with a guardrail, we can help.  If the injuries were the result of defective guardrails, we will hold the appropriate companies responsible as we fight to obtain proper compensation for medical bills and other losses.  

After a vehicle accident, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and to have lots of questions.  We can start by answering your questions.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.  (954) 428-9333

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

 

Ride Sharing Services – Risks & Rewards

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UberLyftjpg“Have you “Uber’d” it home from an evening out yet?” ” Did you check out Lyft yet?” 

Are you missing the ride sharing revolution?

Ride sharing allows passengers to connect with drivers via mobile technology — anytime, anywhere.  Consumers download an app to a smart phone, register with an account, request a ride, and pay online.  Transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Lyft and Uber are quickly gaining market share in the industry previously dominated by taxi cabs.  Using a TNC is simple, convenient and efficient for both riders and drivers.  And, drivers have a new, flexible way to earn income. Ride SharingBut, along with the rewards of ride sharing come a few risks.  Leading the list is lack of complete vehicle insurance coverage.  The most significant risk to both riders and drivers is a potential lack of insurance coverage.  In the case of an accident between the ride sharing vehicle and a vehicle driven by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, which insurance plan, if any, covers the vehicle, drivers and riders?

Both Uber and Lyft provide up to $1 million in liability protection and other insurance benefits.  However, this benefit does not necessarily provide coverage if the vehicle is hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver.

UberLyft Car

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), “the largest known TNCs operating in the U.S. only provide contingent liability coverage. If there is an accident, only third parties are covered for limited damages.  Due to coverage gaps with insurance provided by TNCs, you could be left to pay for physical damage to your vehicle and a personal injury in the event of an accident. You could also be on the hook if your vehicle is hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver as TNC insurance does not provide coverage for these situations.

The major TNCs provide primary insurance. Uber and Lyft also offer contingent collision and comprehensive coverage while the driver is actively engaged in a ride; the driver has accepted a ride request or has a passenger in the vehicle. Collision and comprehensive coverage is only available for TNC drivers who have elected to purchase coverage on their personal auto insurance.[1]

In order to help remedy this issue, prior to using ride sharing services, we recommend that consumers (riders) consult with the ride sharing company to ensure that the company verifies the driver’s personal auto insurance coverage, confirms that the company insurance covers the complete trip, and that the company can provide written documentation of liability insurance coverage in case of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
In order to protect him or herself, the driver should fully understand the insurance policies of the ride share company he or she intends to work with.  The individual should check with his or her personal auto insurance to understand the coverage for transportation of rideshare passengers and upgrade or change the policy if necessary.  In addition, he or she should ask the following questions about the TNC’s commercial insurance policy.[2]

Ride Sharing Insurance

With these answers in hand, riders and drivers can feel more comfortable using the trendy yet thrifty ride sharing services.  

If you know someone working for Uber, Lyft, or another ride sharing service, take a minute to forward this so they can be prepared.  If you have a question about an accident involving a ride sharing vehicle, we can help.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.  (954) 428-9333

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

 

[1] The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)

[2] The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)

When Insurance Companies Deny Your PIP Claim: Vehicle Accident Injuries

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document

If you or a loved one suffered an injury as a result of a vehicle accident, dealing with the aftermath of the insurance claims may be as distressing as the injury. Oftentimes, even though the injured person has auto insurance that should provide coverage, the insurance company denies the claim.

In the complex world of insurance policies, coverage can be denied if any minimal requirement is not met. Reasons for denial may include assertions by the insurance that the insurance premiums were not paid in a timely manner, that the injured person failed to notify the proper authorities within a specific timeframe, or that the insured under the policy misrepresented certain material facts in order to obtain the policy. These are just a few reasons why a claim may be denied.

In no-fault states that require PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance coverage such as Florida, state law facilitates cooperation between the injured individual and the insurer. The insurance coverage may require medical exams with insurance company-selected physicians, as well as examinations under oath to allow the insurance company to investigate the accident and injuries.

Typically, if the insurer deems the claim compelling and valid, the PIP insurer will pay for medical bills, lost wages, payment for household services performed due to disability, as well as other covered benefits, up to certain no-fault state limits. However, the process is not always smooth and medical bills that should be paid by the PIP insurer may be denied. The injured person may need an aggressive attorney to pursue payment of the medical bills so the injured person is not left having to pay them on their own.

Medical bills exceeding the no-fault limits may be paid by the injured individual’s health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, or any other applicable bodily injury coverage from the at-fault party’s insurance policy as well as any uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage if elected by the insured.

While PIP coverage in Florida can provide up to $10,000 for an injury case, failure to follow the PIP coverage requirements may terminate any coverage benefits, , leaving the injured person owing medical bills that may have otherwise been covered. In addition, like other insurers, PIP insurers seek to make a profit. With this in mind, it’s critical to determine if an attempt by the insurer to deny payment of a claim is a reasonable denial or not.

If you or your injured loved one believes that your claim was unfairly denied by the insurer, it’s time to take action.  Consult an experienced personal injury attorney who will provide honest and aggressive legal representation.  If you have not yet filed a claim and are unsure of the next steps to take, it’s also wise to speak with a recommended attorney who can provide proper legal guidance.

Have  you or a loved one suffered vehicle accident injuries?  Was your insurance claim unfairly denied?

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help.  Contact us at (954) 428-9333 or www.goldmandaszkal.com.

 Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

Driverless Vehicles Part II: Coming to Your Dealer Soon!

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driveless-car2016

One year ago, we wrote a post about driverless cars.  At that time, these futuristic cars seemed like something, well, of the more distant future.  But self-driving vehicles have been all over the news lately.   And we decided we should revisit this topic and find out what all the talk is about.

Are self-driving cars on the roads now?  You bet they are.

Self-driving cars are not far off from becoming a common sight on our roads.  The technology is moving ahead quickly and these vehicles are further along than most people appreciate.  Google’s nearly 50 self-driving cars are out on the roads in Mountain View, California, near its Silicon Valley headquarters and in Austin, Texas.  These vehicles have logged over 1 million miles since testing began in 2009.[1]  And, there are over a half dozen other companies that hold California permits permitting several driverless cars on the roads.  One of these prototypes, an Audi 7, drove from Silicon Valley to Los Angeles, with company executives and journalists onboard documenting the experience.  Another Audi vehicle drove from San Francisco to New York, operating autonomously 99% of the way.[2]   To top it off, many current vehicles available for purchase, including Tesla vehicles, offer several of these advanced self-driving features.

On the Market in 4 Years?

And while fully driverless vehicles aren’t available for consumer purchase yet, Ford CEO Mark Fields announced last month that self-driving cars would be on the road by 2020.  Chris Urmson, Director of Self-Driving Cars at Google, backed up the time horizon noted by Ford, indicating that he expects to have self-driving cars available on the market for consumer purchase within 4 years.  Sergey Brin, Google Co-founder, has mentioned timeframes as early as 2017.[3]

China’s leading online search firm, Baidu Inc., recently announced it plans to have self-driving buses on the roads of China within 3 years.  Moreover, Baidu Inc. expects mass production of the buses within 5 years.[4]

Other Considerations

These vehicles will likely be quite costly, at least initially.  At present, most self-driving cars require a component called a LIDAR, a sophisticated technology that sends out laser signals to create high resolution digital maps in real time.  Initially, this technology cost $70,000 but recently has been manufactured at lower costs ranging from $8,000 to $30,000.  Even so, the addition of these costs and other self-driving component costs to current vehicle prices will make vehicle prices considerably higher.

While much of the technology has been developed, key legal and regulatory issues may slow down the integration of self-driving vehicles in our marketplace.  As mentioned in the previous post, the tough legal and regulatory questions including liability for self-driving car crashes are still a large part of this debate that must be addressed.  We will follow these complex discussions and provide updates at key milestones.

Are you ready for self-driving vehicles on the streets of South Florida?  Why or why not?  Tag or share this post, and let us know what you think.

 Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

 

 

[1] http://thenextweb.com/gadgets/2015/11/02/google-had-nearly-50-self-driving-cars-on-the-road-in-october/

[2] http://ww2.kqed.org/quest/2015/10/27/self-driving-cars-the-road-ahead/

[3] http://ww2.kqed.org/quest/2015/10/27/self-driving-cars-the-road-ahead/

[4] http://venturebeat.com/2015/12/14/forget-self-driving-cars-chinas-baidu-says-it-will-put-self-driving-buses-on-roads-in-3-years/

DASH CAMS: Best New Technology or Causes Distracted Driving?

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DashCameras2016

DASH CAMS

No longer just for law enforcement, these cameras designed to be used on the dashboards of vehicles are popping up everywhere.  On a recent shopping trip to Costco, I noticed dash cams displayed along the entrance aisle, next to all the other special promotions and holiday products.

Decent quality dash cams can be purchased for $100-150.  More expensive models that cost up to $400 may include higher resolution video as well as GPS and/or built-in WIFI connectivity.

Thinking about purchasing a dash cam? 

Before you buy, read these pros and cons about using dash cams in your vehicle.

DASH CAM PROS

  1. For truck drivers and others who want to protect their driving record, dash cams can be a great tool. The video recordings provided by dash cams can prove to be a great equalizer, showing exact footage of moments in question.
  1. Dash cams may actually prove to be a decent way to monitor teen drivers. Parents can get a clearer picture of how the teen drives (especially when parents are not in  the car) and which techniques the teen needs to practice to become a safer driver.  It can also be valuable as a teaching tool for teens to review their own driving mistakes.
  1. Eyewitness testimonies are often unreliable, especially when individuals are shaken up and emotional after an accident. Dash cams can provide an objective account of the what actually occurred during a vehicle accident.  In addition to capturing the incident, the video may also show key details such as license plates and make and model of vehicles involved.  This valuable video footage can be key for the police and your vehicle insurance company.
  1. When criminals seek crimes of opportunity including stealing vehicles, a camera propped on the dashboard recording each move can deter the criminal from breaking into and stealing your car.
  1. Dash cams can also provide peace of mind. When the vehicle is parked, a dash cam can provide a clear picture of what occurs when you’re not there.   The dash cam can capture the clothing and faces of individuals vandalizing cars.  In addition, if another vehicle hits your parked car, the dash cam recording can help you identify the driver and vehicle.
  1. When con artists attempt to stage an accident, a dash cam can help tell a true story of what happened. Dash cam footage can help the victim work with their attorney and insurance company to fight the fraudulent claims.
  1. Some insurance companies have even started to offer premium discounts for vehicles that use dash cams. Check with your insurance company to find out if you can benefit from this new program. 

DASH CAM CONS

  1. In some states, it is legal to keep a dash cam on the dashboard or windshield of the vehicle for the purpose of recording occurrences. However, in other states, using a dash cam can be considered electronic eavesdropping, and recording individuals without their consent can be illegal.
  1. In most cases, the dash cam does not require any intervention once it’s set up. However, if you are trying to adjust the dash cam to capture something while you’re driving, the dash cam becomes a distraction and can actually cause an accident rather than prevent one.
  1. Older models of dash cams may simply stop recording when data memory is full. In order to be sure the device is recording, read the instructions carefully and keep track of the amount of recording memory.
  1. The dash cam doesn’t only record reckless driving of others, but it also records your own mistakes when you drive which can be used against you in a court of law.

What is your opinion?  Are dash cams a great new technology or simply a big distraction?  Let us know what you think.

Were you or a family member injured in a vehicle accident?  Whether you were using a dash cam or not, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help.  Contact us at (954) 428-9333 or www.goldmandaszkal.com. 

 Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

New Driver? How to Guide Your Teen Towards Safe Driving and Independence

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Texting and talking while driving

In just a few months, your teen will become a driver.  It’s hard to believe that your child is growing up so quickly.  And while you may not be ready for all the changes that your teen faces at this age, your teen is up for the challenge.

The best way you can help your teen ease into driving  is by continuing to provide the same guidance you have been giving for the last several years.  Parents are the most important influence on teen driving.  By setting clear expectations and rules about driving, you can ensure that your new teen driver understands potential dangers and will make good decisions on the road.

October 18-24 is National Teen Driver Safety Week, and we want to arm you with important data and insights to help you effectively guide your teen to safety on the road.

  1. First, share the following important National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and www.teendriversource.org statistics about teen driving with your new driver.
  • Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for adolescents ages 15 to 19 in the S.
  • 2,614 teen (15-19 year old) drivers were involved in fatal crashes and 130,000 were injured in 2013.
  1. Second, review https://www.teendriversource.org and www.safercar.gov/parents/teendriving to find more resources to help you talk to your teen about safe, undistracted driving.  Statistical analysis from NHTSA 2013 vehicle accidents shows that most teen driving accidents are related to 5 risky behaviors:
  • Alcohol Use.Nearly 20% of all teens (15-19 years old) involved in fatal vehicle accidents consumed alcohol.
  • Texting while Driving.  Although this number is likely underreported, at least 6% of fatal crashes were due to driver distraction from texting.  Estimates show that at least 26% of all crashes involve cell phone use.
  • Nearly 30% of teen drivers involved in fatal vehicle accidents were speeding. 
  • Driving with Distracting Passengers. Research shows that the risk of fatal vehicle accidents increases directly with the number of teen passengers in the car.
  • Failure to Wear Seat Belts. Seat belts are one of the easiest and most important ways to protect oneself in a vehicle.  Yet, according to data from www.teendriversource.org and NHTSA, “64 percent of all the young passengers (13- to 19-year-old) of teen (15- to 19-year-old) drivers who died in motor vehicle crashes weren’t restrained. When the teen driver was also unrestrained, the number of all passengers unrestrained increased to almost 90 percent.”

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Dept. of Transportation (US). Traffic Safety Facts 2013: Young Drivers. Washington (DC): NHTSA. Available at http://www.nhtsa.gov/.

  1. Third, introduce the NHTSA “5 to Drive” campaign to your teen.  This campaign highlights the five rules that teen drivers need to follow for safe driving.  The “5 to Drive” campaign encourages parents to talk with their teens and focus on safety topics each day during National Teen Driver Safety Seek.  The “5 to Drive” are based on preventing the aforementioned 5 most risky teen driving behaviors.

Teen Driving

“5 to Drive” Rules

  • No alcohol
  • No cell phone use or texting
  • No speeding
  • No additional teen passengers
  • No driving without a seat belt
  1. Talk with your teen and remind him or her that driving is a privilege, not a right. If your teen does not follow the “5 to Drive” each time he or she drives, then he or she is engaging in risky behavior that can put him or her and other drivers in danger.
  2. Establish a New Driver Contract with your teen. The new driver contract is set up with clear rules, restrictions and consequences.  Refer to the www.driveithome.org website for sample contracts and other ideas.
  3. Make sure you check the “5 to Drive” when you are ready to drive. As a parent, you have the opportunity to set the example for your teen.
  • Never drink and drive.
  • Never text and drive.
  • Follow the speed limit.
  • Don’t allow additional passengers to distract you.
  • Always wear your seat belt.

Do you have questions about new teen drivers and the law?  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can answer them.  Contact us at (954) 428-9333 or www.goldmandaszkal.com.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

SAFETY ALERT: ATV-related injuries (All-Terrain Vehicles)

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ATV Accidents

Last year, six-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist swimmer Amy Van Dyken Rouen was enjoying the outdoors riding an all-terrain vehicle (ATV.)  After hitting a curb, she went flying in the air and landed on the pavement with a severed spine.  Amy was incredibly fortunate to be alive.  Today, this champion is in a wheelchair, striving to achieve the ability to one day walk again.

Unfortunately, Amy’s story in not unique.  In 2012, there were over 100,000 emergency visits for ATV-related injuries.  Approximately 25% of these visits were with children younger than 16 years old.

Between 1982 and 2013, there were over 13,000 reports of ATV-related fatalities in the U.S., according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC.)  Sadly, 23% of these were children under 16.  (CPSC data:  http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/ATV-Safety-Information-Center)

In the last decade, ATVs have become popular not only for recreation but also for transportation on farms and ranches.  Along with this increased use in the U.S., we have also seen an increase in injuries and fatalities.

ATVs can be a fun recreational sport and a very useful vehicle on the farm if drivers take safety precautions.  If you are considering using an ATV, we urge you to follow these important recommendations from the National Safety Council (NSC):

  • Take a Safety Course. All ATV drivers should take a hands-on safety course from a skilled instructor.  Courses are offered by the ATV Safety Institute as well as some local ATV rider groups, National 4-H Council groups, state agencies and ATV manufacturers.  The ATV Safety Institute (ASI) offers an ATV RiderCourse that is free to anyone who has recently purchased a new ATV.  For new owners of used ATVs, the course can be taken for a small fee.  The ASI is a not-for-profit division of the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America®. For safety information or to enroll in a local ATV RiderCourse, visit atvsafety.org or call 800-887-2887.
  • Read Up! Read the owner’s manuals carefully before driving.
  • Wear the Right Gear. The ATV Safety Institute recommends that all drivers wear appropriate riding gear including U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and/or the Snell Memorial Foundation (Snell) certified helmets, goggles, gloves, over-the-ankle boots, long-sleeve shirt and long pants.
  • Steer Clear of Paved Roads. Never operate the ATV on any paved roads. ATVs are designed for unpaved roads and can be difficult to maneuver on paved roads.
  • Operate age-appropriate vehicles. Over 90% of ATV-related injuries involving children are due to lack of developmental skills to properly maneuver adult-sized ATVs.  ATVs with engine sizes greater than 90cc should only be operated by individuals 16 years old or older; ATVs with an engine size of 70cc to 90cc should be operated by people at least 12 years old.  Children under 6 should never drive an ATV.
  • Never carry passengers on an ATV. Most ATVs are not designed to carry people other than the driver.
  • Don’t add any attachments to a ATV unless it is approved by the manufacturer. Attachments can affect the stability, operating and braking of the ATV.
  • Ride only on designated trails. Always use a safe speed.

 Inspect before riding. In addition, you should always complete a thorough inspection before riding.  Here are the key questions to ask:

  • Is the rider wearing appropriate helmet and gear?
  • Are the tires and wheels in good condition?
  • Are the controls and cable operational?
  • Is the chain lubricated and have the right amount of slack?
  • Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

 (Information adapted from Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC,) ATV Safety Institute (ASI), and National Safety Council (NSC) websites.)

Do you have questions about ATV safety? 

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can answer them.  Contact us at (954) 428-9333 or www.goldmandaszkal.com.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

Child Passenger Safety Week & National Seat Check

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Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. cares about the safety of you and your family.  As we begin the school year, we urge you to keep child passenger safety in mind.

Vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children.  Yet many minor lesions, serious injuries, and loss of life caused by vehicle crashes may be prevented with the consistent and proper use of booster seats, car seats, and seat belts.

In order to promote the proper use of child safety seats, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and SafeCar.gov have designated September 13-19 as Child Passenger Safety Week.  Correspondingly, National Seat Check Saturday is September 19, 2015.

Please take a few minutes now to review the important safety information below so that you know the best way to provide safe vehicle travel for your children, grandchildren and friends.

Child Safety Seats:  What You Need to Know:*

Select, Install and Register the Car Seat

  1. Select the type of car seat that best fits your child’s needs, size, weight, and age.
  2. Register your selected car seat by filling out and sending in the car seat registration card. This will allow the manufacturer to contact you quickly in case there is a safety-related defect or recall.
  3. Carefully review car seat instructions to ensure the seat fits your child.
  4. Follow instructions to properly install car seat with a seat belt, anchors or tether. Then, get a car seat inspection to be sure it was installed correctly.  For more information and a list of free local car seat inspection locations, visit http://www.safercar.gov.

Follow these guidelines, and visit http://www.safercar.gov for more detailed information

  • Use a rear-facing car seat from birth through age 3 for greatest safety. Certain car seats such as convertible or all-in-one models typically are built to allow your child to use the car seat in a rear-facing position for more time than other models.
  • Once the child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, he or she can move to a forward-facing car seat with tether or harness (typically ages 4-7 years.)
  • When the child outgrows the forward-facing car seat, he or she can use a booster seat in the back seat (typically ages 8-12 years.)
  • Once the child outgrows the booster seat and fits properly in a seat belt (lap belt fits snugly across upper thighs, not stomach and shoulder belt lies snugly across chest and shoulder rather than across the neck or face), he or she can use a seat belt.

In order to properly wear a seat belt, make sure your child is able to:

  1. Sit tall without slouching.
  2. Keep his or her back against the vehicle seat.
  3. Bend knees comfortably over vehicle seat
  4. Keep feet flat on the floor.

Then, check that it fits! 

  • The lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach.
  • The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest, and not cross the face or neck.

And don’t forget these important tips…

  • Check the fit of the safety belt fit in every vehicle. In some vehicles, your child may need a booster and may not in others.
  • Never let a child put the shoulder belt under the arm or behind the back to avoid potential injuries in a crash.
  • Children should sit in the back seat until they complete age 12.
  • If the manufacturer contacts you or if you find out that there was a recall on the car seat model you own, contact the manufacturer and get the car seat fixed immediately. If you have questions, contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236.

*Information adapted from the U. S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and http://www.safercar.gov powered by NHTSA.

Do you have questions about vehicle accidents and car seat safety? 

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can answer them.  Contact us at (954) 428-9333 or www.goldmandaszkal.com.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

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