Sunday, March 1, 2015

Air Bags Not a Substitute for Seat Belts

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), car crashes are the leading cause of death in the U.S. among those aged 1-54, yet an alarmingly high percentage of teen drivers do not wear their seat belts.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that of the teens (aged 13-20 years) that died in crashes in 2012, approximately 55% of them were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. 

Here are some additional statistics:
  • Adults age 18-34 are less likely to wear seat belts than adults age 35 or older. (CDC, 2010, unpublished data)
  • Men are 10% less likely to wear seat belts than women. (CDC, 2010, unpublished data)
  • Adults who live in rural areas are 10% less likely to wear seat belts (78% use) than adults who live in urban and suburban areas (87% use). (CDC, 2010, unpublished data)
  • Seat belt use is lower in states with secondary enforcement seat belt laws or no seat belt laws (80%) compared to states with primary enforcement laws (89%)

In Florida, only 87% of all drivers and front passengers wear seatbelts. 

More than ever, with the growing number of auto owners affected by the Takata airbag recall, it's critical that everyone in the car buckle up - and that children are in the proper carseats or booster seats depending on their age.

For more information on your safety and rights after a car accident or injury from an airbag, seatbelt, or other defective product, call the Brandon injury lawyers at Kravitz Law Group at 813-626-1234.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

You Just Had a Car Accident; Now What?

If you just had a car accident, you're probably in pain, confused, and getting hounded by your car insurance company and the other driver's.  Accident law is confusing, especially in Florida!  

There are lots of pitfalls and hoops to jump through.  Missing even one deadline or step can cost you thousands of dollars in rejected claims for medical treatment and damage to your vehicle.

Here are 5 things to remember after an accident to help protect your rights:

1. Call the police or 911 right away!  

2. Document everything.  It's important to get the details of the accident, including the names of the drivers, passengers, witnesses, and vehicle owners, and both drivers' insurance information.  When the police arrive at the accident scene, they will obtain as much information as they can, but by that time, witnesses or even the other driver may leave, so be proactive!

3. See a medical doctor within 14 days of the accident to avoid losing $10,000 of medical coverage under your no-fault auto insurance (PIP).

4. Do NOT give a statement to any insurance adjusters without hiring a lawyer first!  The insurance company (whether it's your own company or the other driver's) will hound you right after the accident to try to get you to admit things that are not accurate or haven't yet happened, which can end up costing you your insurance benefits and more.

5. Call a lawyer who is experienced in Florida personal injury law, including car accidents.  This is a very specialized and complicated area of law, so it's important to consult with someone who handles these types of cases regularly.  At Kravitz Law Group, every first consultation is free, and you only pay us if and when your case settles or we win in court.