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Posts Tagged "law"

Florida Makes Kids Safer By Updating Child Safety Seat Law

Posted by on Jan 7, 2015 in Motor vehicle accidents, Uncategorized

Florida Makes Kids Safer By Updating Child Safety Seat Law

Many Floridians do not realize that Florida’s child safety seat law was updated, effective January 1, 2015.  Last year, the Florida Legislature passed a new law updating the manner in which four and five-year old children need to be secured in passenger automobiles.  You can learn more about the changes by watching this video: Hopefully, the new law will make kids safer in the event that they are involved in a Florida car accident.  There is nothing more heartbreaking for personal injury lawyers than to meet with a family that has tragically lost a child in an accident — particularly when the harm to the child could have been prevented. If you have any questions about the new law, or if your child has been injured in a Florida car accident, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

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Motorcycle Helmet Law Repeals Lead To Higher Medical Costs Overall

Posted by on Jun 6, 2013 in Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle Helmet Law Repeals Lead To Higher Medical Costs Overall

Over the past several years, state legislatures all over the United States have set out to repeal motorcycle helmet laws in the name of “freedom of choice.”  However, the “freedom of choice” enjoyed by motorcyclists in Florida may be costing all Floridians more money when those bikers are involved in Florida motorcycle accidents. The Insurance Journal website ran in interesting piece that reviewed a study recently conducted in Michigan on the impact of that state’s recent repeal of mandatory helmet laws.  Under Michigan law as it exists today, only riders under 21 years of age much wear a helmet.  According to a study completed by the Highway Loss Data Institute, the average medical claim associated with a Michigan motorcycle accident has risen approximately 22 percent since the helmet law was killed. The chief research officer of the study attributes one aspect of the increase to an increase in brain injuries reported in motorcyclists who have been involved in crashes without helmets.  According to the piece, there is also research showing an increase in fatalities or motorcycle accident deaths in those states who do not require helmets for all bikers.  Of course, many of the folks injured in these accident have no insurance, so much of their medical care is paid by the rest of us in terms of Medicaid, or simply higher medical bills overall. Motorcycle industry spokesmen are quoted in the story as attributing the increase medical expenses to life becoming more expensive, and a decrease in the number of motorcyclists taking safety courses. What do you think?  As a Florida motorcycle accident attorney, it seems to me that we see more motorcyclists with significant head injuries than we used to.  However, in truth most of the motorcyclists we have seen in our office after accidents have usually been horribly injured by any measure, whether in a helmet or not, and are lucky to be alive. Judging by the tenor of today’s Florida Legislature, I would be surprised if helmets are ever again required in my lifetime, although perhaps the increased carnage on the roadways from motorcycle accidents will change someone’s mind someday.  Until then, it looks like we should all be prepared to open our wallets and dig a little bit deeper. If you have any questions following an Orlando motorcycle accident, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901.  ...

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Circuit Court Finds New Florida PIP Law Unconstitutional

Posted by on Mar 26, 2013 in Motor vehicle accidents

Finding that the new Personal Injury Protection (PIP) law passed by the Florida Legislature last summer exceeds “the outer limits of constitutional tolerance”, a Leon County Circuit Court judge issued a temporary injunction against enforcement of sections of the law that apply to “emergency medical conditions” as prerequisites for payments and payment of services to chiropractors, massage therapists, and acupuncturists. Click here for a copy of the Court’s Order. As referenced by Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis, PIP has always been justified as a “reasonable alternative” to every citizen’s common law right to redress against the driver responsible for causing the citizen’s damages. The argument was that since PIP guaranteed certain payments for medical bills and lost wages — regardless of fault – this was a fair trade for not being able to seek damages, or the full measure of one’s damages, against a negligent driver. As I discuss much more fully in my book, The Clever Client’s Guide To: Avoiding Disaster Under the 2013 PIP Law, the Florida Legislature passed a major revision of PIP, significantly reducing benefits based upon the particular diagnosis made by a doctor following a car accident, as well as completely eliminating medical payments to certain kinds of medical providers (chiropractors, massage therapists, etc.) Apparently, Judge Lewis felt that these changes were too significant for the current PIP framework to represent a “reasonable alternative”. Governor Rick Scott and the State Insurance Commissioner’s office have vowed to appeal Judge Lewis’ decision. In the meantime, it appears that the political will to keep PIP in Florida may be waning, and a system of mandatory bodily injury liability coverage in Florida may be on its way. Florida is one of only 13 or so states that still have a PIP system. It will definitely be interesting to see how this story develops. If you have any questions about a Florida car accident, Florida automobile insurance, or PIP benefits, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

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