Answering Common Questions About Negligence and Injuries Sustained in Florida
Come get your personal injury and accident questions answered on topics including motorcycle accidents, automobile accidents, disability insurance, and workers’ compensation matters. We handle cases throughout Florida concentrating on the greater Central and North Florida area, and we have the in-depth answers you need.
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Are safe-riding courses and improved protective equipment making Florida streets and highways safer for motorcyclists?
Unfortunately, no, according to state and national traffic safety studies showing motorcycle accidents are on the rise.
Motorcycle accident fatalities have been increasing, while they’ve been dropping for all other traffic accidents. When the final tally is known, it is expected more than 5,000 will have been fatally injured in motorcycle crashes throughout the country last year, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association of Washington, D.C.
An association study shows that only Texas and California outpace Florida in the number of fatal motorcycle accidents. Some 358 persons were killed in Texas motorcycle accidents over the first nine months of last year, compared with 318 in California and 287 in Florida.
All three are big, warm-weather states where motorcycles can be ridden year ’round. The study also notes high gasoline prices may prompt more people to choose motorcycles as a cost-saving mode of transportation.
The attorneys at Johnson & Gilbert, P.A., having seen the rising numbers of serious and fatal injuries, stress the importance of having experienced legal representation when examining motorcycle accidents. Our Greater Daytona Beach-area motorcycle accident attorneys cite studies showing drivers of cars and trucks are at fault more than half the time in collisions with motorcycles.
While all traffic fatalities declined from 2005 to 2010, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study notes fatal motorcycle accidents increased in all but one of the past 15 years. Statistics show motorcycle riders are 30 times more likely being fatally injured than someone riding in a car. Riders who wear helmets increase their chances of surviving a motorcycle crash by 40 percent. Florida’s law requiring helmets was repealed in the year 2000.
Researchers point to a number of steps for motorcycle riding safety:
- Invest in a good helmet
- Don’t saddle up until you’ve been properly trained
- Get properly licensed
- Drive slower
- Don’t consume alcohol and ride
- Do encourage programs to encourage drivers of cars and trucks to share the road
Attorneys at Johnson & Gilbert know trauma and confusion following a motorcycle accident can be overwhelming. If you have been involved in an accident, call them at 386.556.8890 or toll free at 800.673.4412 to discuss your case and arrange a free consultation.
How can Florida Social Security disability lawyers help me prepare my claim for benefits?
The paperwork and potential roadblocks encountered when applying for federally funded disability benefits can be less daunting with the assistance of Social Security disability lawyers in Florida. The Ormond Beach law firm of Johnson & Gilbert has successfully dealt with eligibility issues daily for over 15 years.
While you may apply for disability benefits in person, by telephone, or through the Internet, gathering and organizing the many documents required is among the ways Social Security disability lawyers can help.
Among the things you must do is gather pertinent information about yourself, including:
- A certificate of your birth or baptism
- All medical records and laboratory and test results regarding your disability
- A copy of your most recent W-2 tax form
- Your federal tax return from the previous year, if you’re self employed
- Your Social Security number
Social Security will also want to know if you have filed previous claims for workers’ compensation or insurance. If you have, you must provide claim numbers and contact information for the providers.
Your Social Security claims evaluator will also want:
- Contact information for all the health care providers working with you regarding your disability
- Detailed information regarding medications, including names and dosage
- An estimate from your health provider on how long your disability will prevent you from working. You may not eligible for benefits unless your disability prevents you from working for at least a year or your condition is expected to end in death
- Names of all your employers and job descriptions for your five most recent jobs
- Personal banking information—including account and routing numbers—if you plan to have payments deposited electronically
Serving the greater Daytona Beach, central and north Florida areas, the Social Security disability attorneys at Johnson & Gilbert know the importance of well-prepared claims presentations. If you or someone you know plans to file a claim, call them at 386.673.4412 or toll free at 800.556.8890 to arrange a free consultation.
Where is my local social security office?
The easiest way to locate the nearest social security office is to visit Social Securty's website, www.ssa.gov. Under the Home Tab there is a listing of Top Services. Scroll down to the bottom and you will see "Locate a Social Security office". Click on this and you will be redirected to a page that will ask you to enter your zip code. Once you enter the zip code hit the "Locate" button and it will provide you with the address and phone number for the closest office.
Is it illegal in Florida to text while driving?
No. However, this law will likely change. Many states now have laws against driving while texting. It is very likely that Florida will follow this trend.
Can I afford to hire a Social Security Lawyer?
YES! Johnson & Gilbert does not charge you anything up-front and we don't charge you anything at all unless we win your Social Security case. Your Social Security attorney fee is paid out of your past Social Security beneits you are paid. Also, our attorney fee is limited to 25% of your back Social Security benefits or $6,000.00, which ever is less.
Can I choose my own doctor?
In most cases, the insurance carrier picks your workers' compenstion doctor. However, in some circumstances you may be able to select a doctor of your choice if the carrier does not timely respond.
Do I have to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle in Florida?
If you are over 21, you do not have to wear a helmet, if you have insurance coverage of at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident. You may already be covered by personal injury protection insurance, medical insurance, Medicare, Medicaid or veterans' medical benefits. However, insurance polices can be hard to interpret. Therefore, you should contact your medical insurance provider to find out if you have at least $10,000 in medical benefit coverage for injuries incurred as a result of a crash while operating or riding on a motorcycle.
What should I do after a motorcycle accident?
Escape Danger! A motorcycle accident scene is often a dangerous one. Over 60% of wrecks involve fuel spills or leaks. Accordingly, you should first distance yourself from fire hazards.
See a doctor. If you are injured in a motorcycle wreck, you should be taken to the emergency room for prompt medical care. Head injuries are among the primary causes of death in a motorcycle crash. Motorcycle accidents can result in numerous injuries, some of which can be hard to diagnose. Therefore, you should undergo a medical examination as soon as possible and obtain necessary diagnostic tests (such as x-rays and MRIs) without delay.
Report the accident to the police. Unless you are incapacitated, call the police and report the motorcycle wreck. Often, a motorcycle wreck is blamed on the driver of the motorcycle, which makes it important to protect yourself right from the beginning. Call the police and insist that they come to the accident scene and complete an accident report as this will identify the parties involved, the facts of the wreck and any witnesses.
Call an attorney you can trust. Contacting an attorney you can trust as soon as possible is important because there is a significant amount of investigation that must be done after a motorcycle crash. It is best to start this investigation before evidence or witnesses disappear.