Last week I wrote about accidents caused by apps with augmented reality features. As a Miami injury attorney I relayed the dangers these apps can cause by distracting drivers from their environment. I also touched on the issue of autonomous vehicles, but did not really expand the issue. There are interesting and concerning liability issues concerning autonomous vehicles.

It should be mentioned that autonomous mechanisms also have a tremendous impact on society, as well. I want to note though, that I am in no way criticizing advance, but rather just making observations. It should be noted that jobs that include driving employ a tremendous amount of the male population in the U.S. and around the world. In fact, some companies have already developed the technology to turn trucks into automated vehicles.

In recent years we hear how immigrants are taking away jobs, but these critics fail to see that most jobs have disappeared due to the advent of automation. The immigrant issue seems to be a well organized distraction. For example, a simple AI (artificial intelligence) can answer thousands of calls a day. These phone center jobs use to be a very import source of employment. It goes without saying that automation also reduced the need for many positions on factory floors and this number is increasing because of the evolution of robotics.

As a young child in 80’s I grew up with Nintendo, but it was much different than the experience of Pokemon today. In those days technology was static and usually required interaction with a monitor or TV. As a south Florida accident attorney the dangers of augmented reality are very apparent. Just this week a man crashed into a tree and young girl got run over by a car while trying to catch a Pokemon.

Augmented reality is when an electronic device superimposes images or data onto a real space. The irony is that in many circumstance, instead of “augmenting” our perception of the real space it causes distraction. Our senses are debilitated by the use of handheld devices when navigating real environments. The tendency toward distraction is worrisome taking into account emerging augmented reality technologies. These future technologies may become ever more engrossing and distracting.

An ever increasing threat on our connection to the subtleties of the universe around us. This threat goes beyond the driving of vehicles. It goes to very basic activities like walking or sitting down. There are other social and psychological dangers, but those are not the topic here. Here we address just the navigation of the world around us.

As South Florida insurance lawyers we understand that living in South Florida offers year round perfect weather for boaters and the avid fisherman. Many South Floridians hold back no expense when it comes to their vessels and insuring them in an area with one of the highest boat theft claims comes hand in hand with owning a boat. Many boaters are prepared for the common engine malfunction or repair that plagues boat owners more commonly than they would like. What many boaters are not prepared for is having their claim denied after being a victim of theft. It is all too common here in South Florida to have your boat go missing and for insurance companies to use the common defense of material misrepresentation or fraud, leaving the insured out to dry. The fact of the matter is that even if the vessel is recovered by authorities the extent of damages sustained to the haul after the criminals have completed stripping the vessel of its pricey equipment will usually leave the owner unable to pay for the hefty bill to make it seaworthy again.

As previously mentioned boat theft is a huge business in South Florida as stated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. This makes insurance coverage even more of a necessity should you own a personal-recreation vehicle such as a boat. Boats are usually costly investments and can at many times cost as much as the average South Florida home, even more so should the owner add accessories, equipment, and a trailer. It is therefore critical to the owner that he or she has properly insured their vessel. If you have been denied or delayed payment on a boat theft claim, the first step is to review the initial application and remove any possible defense for misrepresentation, if it was in fact that the application was completed without error and or concealment. A Florida insurance claims attorney can at this time properly asses, review and determine the rights that you are entitled to under your insurance policy. Acquiring this representation is beneficial and at time crucial if the insurance company is wrongfully denying the claim due to fraud.

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As South Florida auto accident lawyers we are well aware of the pain and inconvenience that can come as a result of being involved in an automobile accident, even more so should the accident be caused by someone else’s reckless actions. Aside from the property damage sustained in an auto accident, being involved in an auto accident may cause a wide range of complex injuries. It is not uncommon for someone involved in a “low impact” auto accident to suffer from hairline fractures, broken bones, and injuries to the cervical, lumbar, or thoracic spine. Many times low impact accidents may not seem to reflect such injuries, but several factors including the persons age, health, and prior injuries play a big role on how his or her body takes an impact during a collision. High speed collisions on the other hand usually result in more severe injuries and may require surgical repair and extensive physical therapy.

Besides the pain and suffering that a car accident victim is subjected to, there are usually high costs associated with being involved in an auto accident. Both medical and property damage costs can exceed into the thousands of dollars as a result of a single auto accident. Most drivers here in South Florida are usually aware of this, which is why many responsible South Floridians seek out automobile insurance in the first place. What many South Florida drivers are unaware of is the importance of being protected against uninsured motorists. Florida law currently requires that drivers carry a minimum of ten thousand dollars in personal injury protection coverage and property damage coverage. However, there are no requirements that drivers carry bodily injury liability insurance or uninsured motorist coverage. As a result, there are countless motor vehicle accidents in which drivers and passengers sustain serious and permanent bodily injuries due to the negligence of others that do not carry bodily injury insurance coverage or the amount is insufficient for the damages they cause. This may leave a car accident victim, to not only deal with the pain and suffering of any related injuries caused by an accident, but also with the financial burden of covering the high costs of medical treatment for those injuries.

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As Florida premise liability lawyers we understand the pain, inconvenience and expense that can come as a result of suffering an injury due to someone else’s negligence. These types of claims can be complex and can be at times difficult to litigate as a result of the possibility that business and land owners may repair the defective condition or clean up the foreign substance that caused the fall, placing the blame on the victim. Slip and fall cases commonly involve complex liability issues including constructive notice and compliance with the local building codes as well as questions about insurance coverage. Many victims may feel overwhelmed with the process of filing a claim, more so if it happens on the premise of a large commercial property. It is for this reason that a victim should consult with a South Florida slip and fall attorney who can assess the claim from the beginning and can properly attain any and all evidence that can be used to prove negligence on behalf of the business and or property owner.

Business and property owners in Florida have a duty to maintain their premises in a safe condition for any and all guests who may frequent the property. This duty includes the responsibility to clean up spills, remove tripping hazards, inspect for dangerous conditions and warn of any danger that cannot be immediately eliminated. In order to claim liability for a premise slip and fall incident the victim must first prove that the dangerous condition was either created by the land or business owner or that they were aware of it before the fall occurred and negligently failed to make it safe and that the dangerous condition caused the fall and resulting injuries. Once liability has been established then at that point the registered agent of said business and or property would be notified of a claim regarding premise liability being brought against them. Should the premise owner have insurance coverage for liability, then the insurance provider would step in and proceed with the handling of the victims claim with the victim’s Florida Premise liability attorney.

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As Florida life insurance lawyers we understand that losing a loved one can be overbearingly stressful. Dealing with the loss of a loved one can often times become even more stressful if he or she had life insurance and the claim is being delayed or denied payment. There are many reasons as to why an insurance provider may deny and or delay the payment of such a claim. It is important to know that after a policy has been in effect for 2 years, your insurance company cannot contest to the validity of the policy for any reason other than the failure to pay premiums. If a policy has not been in effect for two years then the insurance company may and will most likely attain medical records to confirm the validity of the application as it was completed and answered by the deceased. It is when the insurance company finds any errors in the initial application that they may in fact deny or delay payment as a result of misrepresentation.

If you have been denied or delayed payment on a life insurance claim, the first step is to review the initial application and remove any possible defense for misrepresentation, if it was in fact that the application was completed without error and or concealment. In the event that the deceased person listed the incorrect age or incorrect gender on his or her application, the insurance carrier is typically allowed to recalculate benefits and/ or premiums based upon the applicant’s true age or gender. A life insurance claims attorney can at this time properly asses, review and determine the value of your claim and the money that you are entitled to, should there be an error that was discovered in the initial application. Acquiring this representation is beneficial and at time crucial if the insurance company is wrongfully listing the cause of death as a suicide. Most insurance policies state that if the insured dies as a result of suicide or self-inflicted injury during the first 2 years of the contract, the death benefit is to be limited to the total premiums paid by the insured. However, the insurance company must prove that the death was caused by suicide or self-inflicted injury, and not by other causes.

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As Florida dog bite lawyers we understand that dog bite claims often leave a victim both emotionally and physically scared. Often the traumatic experience is not over even after one has healed from their physical wounds. The medical costs of treating injuries such as those sustained in a dog attack or bite can quickly escalate, more so if the victim must undergo reconstructive plastic surgery. Many are unaware that seeking medical treatment does not mean that a victim must put themselves in a financially compromising situation in order to obtain such treatment, even more so should the victim not have medical coverage. What dog bit victims are commonly unaware of is that per Florida Statute 767.04 the owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners’ knowledge of such viciousness.

If you are ever found on the receiving end of a vicious dog bite, the first and foremost important thing is to seek quality medical treatment. Once a victim is in a stable condition, the victim can and should seek proper representation and retain a dog bite insurance claims attorney. Such an attorney is able to research whether or not the property that the victim was attacked in has insurance and covers such claims. Making a dog bite claim to an insurance company is not so much different than filing any other type of claim. The main components for filing these types of claims are presentation, transmittal of medical evidence, and a demand for payment based on a reasonable evaluation of the losses sustained by the victim.

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Many Floridians purchasing a new car seek out Gap insurance when trying to acquire additional ways to protect their purchase. In an attempt to protect themselves against theft and damage Gap insurance can be a life saver if you owe more than what your automobile is currently worth. Gap insurance is intended to pay the vehicle owner for the “gap” between what is owed on a vehicle and the current market value of the vehicle, in the event the vehicle is declared a totaled loss. But what happens when you have acquired Gap insurance, report a claim and are denied coverage?

Unfortunately many automobile owners who are insured and have Gap coverage find themselves in this very predicament. Fortunately for those who are facing those circumstances, they have the option to consult with a dedicated Gap insurance claims attorney. The fact of the matter is that the dealership who initially sold the policy to the purchaser at the time when they were purchasing the automobile most probably did not take the time to thoroughly explain how the insurance worked. Further the dealer more than likely did not advise how to properly report and process a claim should you be put in a situation where you would need to utilize this type of coverage. Many of those who have purchased this type of coverage do not have the slightest clue on how or where to begin when it comes to filing a claim. Acquiring the Gap insurance only requires the buyer to fill out paperwork one time, at the time of purchase of the automobile with no renewal documents or agents to contact. The fact is that dealerships are not licensed to sell insurance but are allowed to sell Gap insurance. It is no wonder that many insured’s are left frustrated and confused when filing a claim as a result of lack of knowledge.

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Having to suffer property damage can be very stressful no matter how big or small the damage may be. Many are unaware that even those small damages may be the result of something bigger or that with time that damage could possibly lead to further damage if not treated at the source. Most homeowners feel hesitant and intimidated by the thought of hiring an attorney. The fact of the matter is that attorneys dedicating themselves to handling property loss claims should be your next call after reporting the loss to your insurance company. Insurance policies and language can be very complex and if not familiar with these terms and conditions can possibly lead to a costly mistake, and this is where a South Florida property loss attorney comes in.

Dealing with the overwhelming requirements of filing a residential or commercial property loss claim only adds more stress and uncertainty to the situation. More than likely your insurance provider will request what may seem as overbearing and detailed documents that may seem unnecessary but in fact may be crucial to the proper evaluation of your claim. Detailed research and documentation of the loss are required from the commencement of the claim which may include the bringing into action of all the various investigative and valuation expertise to develop the pre-loss condition of the property. This process has and continues to become increasingly complex. More than likely an insured will begin the processing of his or her insurance claim and only call upon legal representation once they are denied or “short paid” by their insurance provider. What the insured does not realize is that the aforementioned could have been most likely avoided should they have obtained legal representation from the commencement of their claim.

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Aside from living in South Florida and dealing with tropical storms, hurricanes, sinkholes, and the occasional tornado, property investors seem to be more concerned about their tenants and possible liabilities and claims that can be brought against them more so than the previously mentioned catastrophes. Even with the threats that loom over property owners some dissuade the threats and protection against potential liabilities and still choose to not insure their property. In some cases the property owner has every intent to be protected against such catastrophes but unbeknown to them are being underinsured. It is important that not only property owners investing in rental properties, but all property owners for that matter are educated in the types of policies and coverage that will best fit their needs in order to avoid being under insured, avoid having a claim denied and or have a claim short paid. As South Florida property insurance attorneys we stress the importance of knowledge in this field to not only our clients but the general public in hopes of avoiding situations that can prove to be much more costly to the property owner in the long run.

Some property owners are under the impression that a basic HO3 Homeowners insurance policy will be sufficient if they suddenly decide to rent out their home. Not only is this a violation and exclusion under many homeowners insurance policies, but this leaves the property owner at risk of not being insured, should an event call for such protection. Having a separate land lord policy tailored specifically towards rental properties is essential. Yes, your homeowners insurance covers your property if it burns down, your possessions if there is a theft, and medical and legal bills should someone get injured on your property, but the problem is, that homeowner’s insurance might not offer protection if you decide to rent out your home; Landlord insurance does.

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