New Florida Laws and Fines Proposed for 2011 to Combat Texting While Driving

Zephyrhills, Fla. – Public sentiment and the media are revving up the need to ban texting while driving in Florida in 2011. Last year 5,500 people were killed in the U.S. and another estimated half a million were injured due to distracted driving. Most of those fatalities happened to people less than 20 years old. Cell phones can be a great way to stay in touch with family and friends, but a huge detriment while driving.

Last year, 17 different bills were proposed by Florida lawmakers in both branches of government to address texting while driving. A Senate bill passed 34-4 but it died in the House when the chair of the House Finance and Tax Council refused to call a vote on the bill in her committee. There does not seem to be as much opposition to these measures this year, say lawmakers.

GOP Senator Evelyn Lynn has proposed a bill that makes texting while driving a primary offense, thereby permitting officers the ability to cite a driver for this specific infraction. Other lawmakers want to make texting while driving a secondary offense, so the driver would have to be pulled over for another reason and then found in violation of this, too. But people who have been injured or had a family member die feel drivers should be forced to use hands-free devices, like eight other states have put into law.

“Imagine being in an auto accident because a person was careless and couldn’t wait to answer their cellphone or text message,” said Robert Alston, auto accident attorney at The Disability Law Firm in Zephyrhills and Tampa, Fla. “The damage and injuries can be extensive, and daily we assist clients who have had their lives changed forever.”

After an auto accident, it is critical to get prompt medical care and legal advice. A lawyer who understands and can explain the nuances of insurance coverage is critical to ensure that an injured victim’s rights are fully protected. Robert Alston brings a unique perspective to his auto accident practice, as he was a licensed insurance agent prior to law school. He has more than 10 years of experience as an auto accident lawyer, and knows how to work with insurance companies to the client’s benefit.

Posted on Saturday, January 15th, 2011. Filed under Auto Accidents, News & Press.

The Basics Of PIP

Here in Florida, owners of motor vehicles must carry a minimum of $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, in addition to property damage liability on their insurance.

What is PIP Protection?

Personal Injury Protection insurance works by providing coverage for you no matter which driver is at fault in an automobile accident. If something were to happen, the insurance provider would provide compensation for injuries and wage losses. PIP also covers your child, family members and passengers who do not have PIP insurance.

Under the Sunshine State’s law, the insurer must pay for 80% of your medical bills up to that $10,000 limit.

PIP is a vital component of automobile coverage, but another consideration when obtaining insurance is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage. Since motorists are not required to have liability insurance, many times a person who is injured because of someone else is limited to only PIP benefits. However, if you purchase Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage you can make a claim against that coverage for amounts over and above your PIP benefits.

Your automobile coverage can dictate how you are ultimately impacted financially after an automobile accident.

Regardless of what type of coverage and coverage limits you carry, however, it is imperative to receive medical care and legal advice promptly after being involved in a collision. It is advisable to speak with an attorney before giving a recorded statement or signing any documents.

Posted on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010. Filed under Auto Accidents.