Archive for October, 2008

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Involved In A Florida Motorcycle Accident? You Need A Lawyer! 

October 17, 2008

Bikers come in all shapes and sizes; from the daredevil twenty-something guy zipping through traffic on the sport bike to the middle-aged Baby Boomer out for a cruise on a Harley Softtail. The reasons for riding a motorcycle are many and varied, but all Sunshine State motorcyclists have one thing in common: if they are involved in an accident, they will need a good Florida motorcycle accident lawyer

Florida’s “Helmet Law” (Fla. Stat. s. 316.211) was modified in 2000 and the change has brought a scary increase in statistics with it. In 1999, the final year of the more aggressive helmet law, 155 motorcyclists perished in accidents. In 2007, however, 517 motorcyclists died in accidents.  

Many bikers relish the freedom of the wind in their hair and balk at the “restrictions” of a motorcycle helmet. These bikers should take the time to visit a hospital to look in at a motorcycle accident victim or stop by a rehab center to check out the price they may pay for not wearing a helmet. Florida motorcycle accident lawyer Joseph M. Maus says that the hospitalization cost alone of treating a severely head-injured motorcycle accident victim will easily be in the $150,000 to $200,000 range and that doesn’t cover the cost of the extensive rehabilitation services that will be required afterward in order to be functional again. An occupational therapist related the visual of a non-helmeted head hitting the pavement: “picture a watermelon splattering on the ground. That’s your head when it connects with the road and you aren’t wearing a helmet.”  

The health care costs of a catastrophic injury like those that can result from a motorcycle accident are one of the leading causes of personal bankruptcy. This is why you need to hire a good attorney who can help make sure you are fully compensated for your medical bills and injuries if you are involved in an accident.  

Keep in mind, though; riding a bike without a helmet might make you feel like you’re reliving a scene from “Easy Rider”, but you may want to rethink it before tossing the helmet: life could get pretty hard if you are involved in an accident.  

In any case, a biker should watch for several things, whether riding with or without a helmet: 

  • Double-check traffic at intersections before you turn or pull out.
  • Check your blind spots before changing lanes.
  • Don’t zip in and out of traffic or weave between cars.
  • Leave at least a four-second distance between your motorcycle and the car in front of you.
  • Keep a watchful eye at all times. Because they’re small, motorcycles are hard to see and many auto drivers are focused on other things when they are behind the wheel: cell phones, changing a radio station, conversations with passengers. Just because you see them doesn’t mean they see you, especially at night.

 For more information or if you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, call Florida motorcycle accident lawyer Joseph M. Maus toll-free at 1-866-556-5529 or email him today.

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What To Do After a Car Accident

October 3, 2008

On a daily basis in every city across the country, people risk life and limb without thinking twice about it. They hop into the car, crank up the music, turn on the cell phone, and cruise off down the road without a care. But, that casual trip to the grocery store or the usual daily commute can become a catastrophe in the blink of an eye if you are involved in an accident. For most people, that is the only time they consider what to do after a car accident.

Florida auto accident lawyer Joseph M. Maus has the expert knowledge to help you maneuver through the maze of work that needs to be done after you’ve been in an auto accident.
He says one of the first things to do is to be sure to get to a reputable doctor or hospital for an exam. This provides documentation for the accident victim, since people may feel stiff and sore at first, but may not realize they are truly injured. Insurance companies often do not take injury claims as seriously if they are reported a week or two after the accident when the aches and pains won’t go away.
Also be wary of going to an insurance-recommended physician for your initial examination. It is in the insurance company’s best interest to minimize their exposure risk, so you do not want to go to a doctor who may gloss over your injuries in order to make the claim more favorable to the insurance company.

Another thing to keep in mind when trying to figure out what to
do after a car accident (assuming you are not being carted away in an ambulance) is to be sure to get witnesses’ names, contact information, and their observations about the accident at the scene. Many times memories of an incident can be dulled over time and you want to be sure to have as much information about a crash as possible in the event you end up in litigation.

So, to summarize and give you a quick checklist of what to do after a car accident:

  1. Call the police to report the accident.
  2. Never move any vehicles until you are told to by the police! (even if you are blocking traffic).
  3. Get information such as type of car(s), license plate number(s), and description of car(s) involved in the accident.
  4. Get names and contact information from anyone involved in the accident and from witnesses.
  5. Write down what witnesses say they saw or heard.
  6. Call your insurance agent to file a claim.
  7. Go to a reputable doctor, hospital, or clinic for a complete examination.
  8. Contact an attorney specializing in auto accident cases.

The list of things to think about after an accident are many and varied and best reviewed with a competent accident attorney. For more information about what to do after a car accident, contact Florida auto accident lawyer Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529 or email him today.

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