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New Year's may mean new insurance headaches for Florida drivers

We all know the risks of driving on New Year's Eve. Revelers ring in the new year with a little too much to drink, then they get behind the wheels of their cars. The results can be catastrophic. Here in Miami, the added allure of the Orange Bowl on New Year's Day brings more visitors to town and provides yet another opportunity to drink to excess. The upshot is that the city's streets could prove especially dangerous during the first 24 hours of 2013.

According to one major auto insurer, the first day of 2012 proved especially dangerous around the country. The auto insurer compared nationwide motor vehicle accident claims for Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, to claims for Sundays two weeks before and two weeks after. New Year's Day logged 30 percent more single-car accident claims and 25 percent more total claims than either of the other days.

These single-car accidents were not just fender benders, either. The data showed a 76 percent increase in the number of rollovers and a 59 percent jump in the number of cars running off the road and hitting something. With rollovers and collisions with trees or signs or parked cars, the risk of injury increases for both the driver and the passengers, too.

Filing an insurance claim is never easy, but it can be complicated exponentially if there is an injury involved and if the driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash -- not to mention if the crash was somehow related to criminal activity. And, in Florida, if the no-fault and personal injury protection laws were difficult to navigate in 2012, they will be even more complicated after the first of the year.

We'll discuss changes that take effect on Jan. 1 in our next post -- our first post of 2013.

Source: Progressive Insurance, "Progressive data shows 30 percent increase in single-vehicle claims on New Year's Day," Dec. 20, 2012

Our firm helps clients with insurance disputes on claims like the ones touched on in this post. If you would like to learn more about our practice based here in Miami, Florida, please visit our website.

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