Keep Your Cool Behind the Wheel

Don’t let traffic and inconsiderate drivers ruin your day (or worse). Stress can be a big problem when you are driving. It can lead to frustration, anger and road rage.  Here are a few ways to stay calm and in control when driving.

  1. Counting.  Hard to believe something so simple can be so effective, but this age-old remedy does help defuse stress.
  2. Turn on some tunes. Everyone knows that music can directly influence your mood. Most people listen to music in the car, so it makes sense to use music to improve your mood while driving. The key is finding the right music for you.
  3. Redefine the situation. Rather than thinking of the traffic snarl as an obstacle to getting where you want to be, tell yourself it’s a welcome respite from work or a great opportunity to listen to your favorite radio show.
  4. Avoid angry reactions. Don’t expect to eliminate every negative feeling. If you feel a flash of annoyance when a driver cuts you off, that’s okay – just move on to the next moment. This helps stop yourself from fuming over the other driver’s behavior, so a split-second of irritation doesn’t turn into full-blown road rage.
  5. Inhale, exhale, repeat. When you start gripping the steering wheel like a vise, take some deep breaths. This is not only a proven technique to help you relax, it’s also simple enough to do behind the wheel.

 

Your Teen Driving Yet?

School is back in session and for many teens, they are able to drive themselves to school this year. This can be an exciting time for teens, but can also be a nail-biting experience for parents. We have some safety tips and smart ideas to help your teen be a safe driver.

Sign an agreement

Set some written guidelines that both you and your teen can refer to that clearly sets your expectations and limits as well as the consequences for not following the rules. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers this driving agreement that you can download.

Remind your teens to always wear their seat belt.

Seat belts save lives. Make sure your teen understands that they must always wear their seat belt.

Keep the cell phone off

If your teen turns off their cell phone, they are less apt to be tempted to check their cell phone while they are driving.

Never text while driving

Research shows texting – on average – causes a loss of focus on the road for 4.6 seconds. A lot can go wrong when you drive for that long with your eyes off of the road.

And the “texting-while-stopped” approach does not work either. When your teen is behind the wheel – they need to be aware of what is happening around them at all times.

Obey the speed limit

Speeding is a major contribution to fatal teen accidents. Remind your teen not to feel pressured to keep up with traffic. It’s overall a better decision to drive the speed limit for their safety and to avoid a costly traffic ticket.

Teen driving apps

Technology can help monitor your teen driver’s activities to help prevent tragedy. There are many apps available that may help minimize the likelihood that your teen will text and drive, talk on the phone while driving, speed, travel beyond a designated area or break curfew. These apps are designed to protect young drivers and give you peace of mind.

Summer Driving Safety Tips

As we approach the busy summer travel season, it’s a good time to reflect on what we can do to stay safe on the roads and prevent distracted driving.

Now that summer is kicking off and families hit the road for vacations, you are going to see a lot more people on the roads. We can’t always protect ourselves from other drivers, but what we can do is try to make the roads a little safer by being more mindful drivers ourselves.

Here are some tips to keep you driving safely this summer:

  • Get your car checked out before a big trip and check your tire pressure. Blowouts are more likely in hotter weather.
  • The scorching summer sun can dehydrate you on long drives, so keep a bottle of water handy.
  • Don’t program your mobile GPS while you are driving. Either have a passenger do it or stop in a safe place.
  • Share the driving with other passengers to avoid fatigue.
  • Vacationing drivers are often unfamiliar with the roads, which can lead to erratic or unpredictable driving.
  • Schedule your trip to allow for frequent breaks. Take time to pull over at rest stops to stretch your legs and focus your head.
  • Stop for food or beverages. Avoid eating while driving.

Drive safely on the roads this summer.

 

What Pictures Should I Take After a Car Accident?

Car accidents happen frequently in the Tampa Bay area. If you are involved in a crash, we highly recommend that you make it a priority to take photos of the crash scene. Having photographic evidence will prove to be extremely valuable to you at a later date as you pursue your accident claim.

The benefits of taking photos of an accident scene:

  • Photos help to prove fault
  • Photos prove damage
  • Photo evidence is difficult to dispute

Once everyone is safe, we recommend taking photos of your vehicle, other vehicles involved in the accident, the scene where the accident occurred, and your injuries.

4 Tips When Taking Pictures of an Accident

  • Be sure to take photos of all the cars involved in the accident, not just your own.
  • Capture photos from multiple angles. Close-up shots also work well to show the extent of the damage.
  • Don’t forget to take pictures of any injuries. Include shots of any redness or marks from your seat belt that will prove you were wearing it at the time of the accident.
  • Include photos that highlight the angles which the vehicles collided, skid marks or lack of skid marks, positioning on the roadway, traffic signs, and any other pertinent details.

Protect Yourself From A Claim Dispute

Photos can tell the story of how the crash happened. They will be crucial evidence if the at-fault driver denies liability or if the insurance company disputes your claim.

  • Photos of property damage can demonstrate the severity of the crash.
  • Medical records alone may not always be enough to tie your injuries to the collision. Photos of your injuries immediately after the crash can further strengthen your claim.

After an auto accident, things can get so hectic that you’ll probably have a hard time thinking straight. Making a mistake such as not taking photos can cost you later down the road.

Request A Free Case Evaluation Today – Call (813) 445-8161

If you are ever in a car accident and don’t know what to do, contact us and schedule a consultation at no charge. We will guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have.

 

The Best Way to Deal With an Accident is to be Prepared for One

Nobody plans on having an accident, but should you be involved in one, it’s smart to have a plan for what to do. Accidents are stressful and chaotic and they may involve injuries. That is why it is important to understand what steps you must take now, so you will be prepared and able to use your best judgment if you are involved in an accident.

Immediately after a car accident, try to stay calm, check for injuries, seek medical attention on the scene if needed and call the police.

The next steps are critical and need to be done right away to later build a personal injury case and recover damages. Even if you don’t anticipate you will need an attorney, it is in your best interest to be prepared.

Talk to witnesses and collect their contact information. Don’t expect the witnesses’ contact information to be available in a police report should you need their information later. The best opportunity for you to gather this information is right after the accident.

Take pictures of ALL vehicles involved, the crash scene, the road (for skid marks or the absence of skid marks) and your injuries.

Exchange information with all other parties involved in the accident.

Try to remain calm and polite throughout this process, but be careful not to apologize or take blame for the accident, because the insurance company can use it against you later.

You may want to take a moment to write down any information and details about the accident, that way you won’t forget any details later.

Also, be careful what you say to an insurance representative. After an accident, the insurance company may call you to ask for a statement or offer you a settlement. The insurance companies are hoping you will accept a smaller settlement than what you may deserve. Let them know that you want to consult with your personal injury lawyer before making any statements or decisions.

If an insurance company is offering you a settlement and you’re not sure if you should accept, ask us. We’d be happy to answer your questions. It’s free to call us for advice and there is no commitment necessary.

What happens when the other driver doesn’t have car insurance?

There are many uninsured drivers in Florida. In fact, Florida has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the country, roughly 1 in 4 drivers is uninsured.

In Florida, you are only required to carry PIP and Property Damage coverage. This means a driver can legally be on the road with just PIP and Property Damage and not have the coverage to protect others in case that driver is at fault. However, one of the biggest misconceptions is that having the bare minimum is good enough. Unfortunately, when someone is hurt in an accident, a single hospital visit can very often cost over $10,000, essentially exhausting your entire PIP coverage.

What does this mean?

If you are involved in an auto accident with a driver that does not have liability coverage, you may not have coverage beyond the first $10,000 in immediate medical expenses and some lost wages. You will not be protected for medical expenses beyond the first $10,000, any future medical expenses, significant lost wages, or non-economic damages such as disability, pain, and suffering.

4 Reasons Why You Need To Protect Yourself With UM Coverage

Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage is extremely important in Florida.

  • High chance of being hit by a driver that is not insured.
  • If you are injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may be paying for your own medical costs and not be able to recover any money for future medical, or pain and suffering.
  • There’s a strong possibility that if you are involved in an accident with a driver who cannot afford insurance, it is unlikely that they would be able to pay for your medical expenses from their own pocket.
  • Most importantly, UM coverage protects you. It is the best way to ensure your coverage doesn’t come up short when the worst happens.

3 things you need to know about protecting yourself with this important coverage:

  • Insurance companies are required to offer uninsured motorist coverage, but it is not mandatory for you to have it on your policy in FL.
  • It is the most important coverage you can have in Florida. If you do not have UM coverage, then you are not protected. Medical bills following an accident can quickly become overwhelming.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage cost is quite reasonable.

Do you already have uninsured motorist coverage?

If you do, that’s great, but be sure to re-evaluate your policy from time to time to ensure that you are adequately covered.

Contact Knowledgeable Legal Counsel – Call (813) 445-8161

If you are hurt in an accident or having problems with your insurance claim, please contact our Tampa car accident lawyer at Boohoff Law, P.A and schedule a free consultation today.

Insurance Company Lowers Claim Value Because of Former Military Service

Our firm has provided personal legal representation for thousands of clients injured in auto accidents. Time and again we hear from our clients all types of tactics the insurance companies will use to limit or deny injury claims.

We recently represented a former military member. Our client was in a bad car accident caused by an uninsured driver. All medical professionals agreed that there was no evidence of prior injuries, however her insurance company valued the claim for less because she is former military. The suggestion was that she could not have been in good shape to begin with given her past military involvement, therefore her injuries are worth less.

We disagree. We think that our military should not be punished financially for their service.  We are dedicated to fighting for the rights for every one of our clients, including current and former members of the military.

Do you agree that service members should not be penalized financially for protecting our nation? Tell us what you think.