Articles Posted in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Many Floridians are tired, overworked or even exhausted. Behind the wheel, this can be deadly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports nearly 700 people are killed annually in drowsy driving accidents. The true number is probably much higher. Unfortunately, driver fatigue isn’t as easy to ascertain as conditions like alcohol impairment, even though the effects are similar. An earlier analysis indicated nearly 40,000 accident-related injuries in the U.S. annually are caused by sleepy drivers.West Palm Beach car accident lawyers

In Florida recently, three people – including two sisters – were tragically killed in an overnight highway crash while returning from vacation. Authorities speculated drowsy driving was the cause.

“We believe this driver may have been just tired,” an FHP official told the local news station. “Just drowsy. He did not state that, but that’s indicative of this type of crash that we see especially in the overnight hours.”

How Does Sleep Affect One’s Driving Abilities? 

As noted by the Sleep Foundation, drowsiness can have a significant impact on a driver’s judgment, coordination, attention, vigilance, decision-making skills, and reaction time. Continue reading

Personal injury litigation is the most common type of civil action in Florida courts. Car accident claims in particular are ubiquitous. Many of these will be settled prior to trial, but it’s important to understand that unless your degree of injury meets something called the “serious injury threshold,” your case won’t gain much traction.South Florida injury attorney

Florida is one of the few states that adheres to a no-fault system when it comes to car insurance. Vehicle owners are required to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, as outlined in F.S. 627.736. This provides up to $10,000 in coverage for medical bills and lost wages incurred in a crash, regardless of who caused it. Property damage liability coverage is separate.

For minor car accidents, PIP coverage may be more than enough. But if someone suffers serious injuries, that amount won’t go very far. Still, Florida law sets a serious injury threshold for personal injury recovery in car accident cases. In other words, your injuries must meet certain criteria in order to pursue damages against the at-fault driver. Some bruising on your arm and face probably won’t cut it, but if you’ve suffered broken bones or torn tendons, it might. Continue reading

Any car accident can be traumatic and stressful. But when you are pregnant, all of this is compounded two-fold. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reports that car accidents are a top cause of injury and death for pregnant women and a leading cause of traumatic fetal death. pregnant car accident Florida

As our West Palm Beach car accident attorneys can explain, crashes can present unique and scary complications for both mother and child. Knowing some of these unique risks and what should be done immediately after can help empower victims and increase your chances for fair compensation from negligent drivers.

See a Doctor – Even if You Feel Fine

First thing’s first: If you’re in a crash, get to the doctor right away, even if you aren’t transported to a hospital via ambulance. This is a critical precautionary measure for both you and your unborn child. Continue reading

You are driving down Clematis Street in West Palm Beach after work. You glance down to briefly look at your phone and respond to a text. Out of nowhere, a drunk driver veers into your lane from the opposing direction. You suffer serious and lasting physical injuries as a result of the car accident. Florida comparative negligence

Does the fact that you were texting and driving mean you can’t pursue damages from the drunk driver?

In Florida, the answer is “no.” The reason is because of Florida’s adherence to the negligence standard of pure comparative fault.

What does that really mean?

As our West Palm Beach injury lawyers can explain, per F.S. 768.81, it means that whatever percentage you were negligent, your financial recovery will be reduced by that amount.

So let’s take the above hypothetical car crash scenario. If you filed a personal injury lawsuit and the jury found you 25 percent negligent for the crash because you were texting and driving, your total damages would be reduced by 25 percent. So let’s say the court decided the case at your favor and determined you incurred $200,000 in damages. The drunk driver was 75 percent at fault. Your total damage award would be reduced by $50,000 (25 percent), so the most you would receive is $150,000. Continue reading

A shocking 57 percent of all motorists were using their cell phones within one minute of crashing this year, according to a recent study by transportation analytics firm Zendrive. Nearly 17 percent of motorists in crashes had been using their phones in the five-second window just before. car accident lawyer

Study authors culled data from more than 86,000 crashes that took place in the U.S. throughout this year. What they found was that not only were there record-setting crash rates – even amid pleas to stay home and social distance – but that these very often included some form of distracted driving. Even more troubling, distraction appeared to grow worse as the year wore on.

Of course, distracted driving is a problem that existed long before 2020.  Unfortunately, it seems likely to continue being a scourge for years to come. The upheaval in travel patterns of late serves only to highlight this longstanding issue.

Sending a single text message can tear a driver’s eyes away for nearly 5 seconds. If you’re traveling 70 mph (the maximum speed on most Florida highways), that’s like traveling 1.5 football fields completely blind. While a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent is associated with a 12.5 percent reduction in reaction times, sending a text message or engaging on a social media site is associated with a 38 percent reduction in reaction time.

As we prioritize the health and safety of our community in many other ways in the coming year, our South Florida injury lawyers urge everyone to do so on the road as well. Continue reading

Holidays are often cause for gathering, good food – and spirits. Although we typically think of New Year’s Eve as the most boozy, it’s Thanksgiving weekend that has the worst track record for drunk driving crashes and deaths.Thanksgiving drunk driving

More than 800 people died on U.S. roads over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend (Wednesday evening to Sunday evening surrounding the fourth Thursday in November) in a recent five-year period. That’s according to the National Safety Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Even more were seriously injured in drunk driving crashes. Forty-five percent of drivers involved in fatal drunk driving crashes over the holiday weekend were between the ages of 21 and 34.

Some have taken to calling these alcohol- and marijuana-laden holiday gatherings “Blackout Wednesday” and “Danksgiving.”. Upserve reports bar sales for beer increases 270 percent for  for beer 114 percent for liquor over the Thanksgiving holiday. Continue reading

If you’re thinking of allowing someone to borrow your car, you may want to think twice. Florida’s longstanding dangerous instrumentality doctrine allows vehicle owners to be held vicariously liable for the negligent actions of those permitted to operate their vehicle. It can even apply to Florida vehicle owners when crashes occur in other states (more on that later).Palm Beach car accident lawyer

The dangerous instrumentality doctrine holds that an owner of an inherently dangerous tool can be legally responsible for any injuries that result from operation of that tool. Most people don’t consider cars to be “tools,” but they were established as such by the Florida Supreme Court in the 1920 decision of Southern Cotton Oil v. Anderson. The effect of that ruling was that vehicle owners could be subject to strict vicarious liability, meaning that basically the owner – and everyone whose name is listed on the title – could be held financially responsible for a crash as if they themselves were in the driver’s seat. Continue reading

Driving while impaired carries a definite stigma. But driving distracted often still does not – even though we know it kills hundreds of people in Florida every year. October is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, an effort that aims to change that. West Palm Beach injury lawyers

Drivers who are distracted are a threat not only to themselves but everyone else on the road. Looking away from the road for even just a few seconds can double your risk of a crash.

As West Palm Beach injury lawyers, we understand that distracted and impaired drivers are actually quite similar to each other. like those who are impaired by substances, drivers whose attention is momentarily diverted have significantly reduced reaction times. They may swerve about the road. They may not realize they’re speeding or approaching an intersection or stopped traffic.

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, distracted driving was verified in 213 fatal crashes in 2018 resulting in 231 deaths. Among the riskiest distractions:

  • Use of a cell phone (texting in particular).
  • In-vehicle technology (including GPS).
  • Passengers in the vehicle (particularly hazardous with younger drivers with passengers of the same peer groups).

Continue reading

People are hurt every day in Florida in all different kinds of accidents. For example, there are nearly 700 people are injured in Florida car crashes every day. An average of 1.2 boating accident injuries occur in Florida daily. Nationally, there are approximately 30 million injuries every year due to unsafe consumer products. These are just a few examples, but despite the commonality, there remains a great deal of misunderstanding about personal injury claims.West Palm Beach injury lawyers

Our West Palm Beach injury lawyers are writing today to help clear up some Florida injury lawsuit myths. Continue reading

The number of motorcycle enthusiasts in Florida continue to grow. So too do Florida motorcycle accident injuries. In a single recent year, more than 550 riders and operators were killed in Florida motorcycle crashes – more than in any other state in the country, including California, which has a larger population and is also known for year-round sunny weather.South Florida motorcycle accident injuries

As our West Palm Beach injury lawyers recognize, motorcyclists are the most vulnerable group of road accident victims. And although each crash is different, certain injury patterns are noted to be more common for motorcyclists. Not only are motorcyclists more likely to be in an accident but they’re more likely to be seriously hurt – primarily because there is no heavy-duty hardware between them and the pavement. Determining the type and severity of injuries is one of the first steps to filing a claim for damages in a crash case. Continue reading

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