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

It’s a good idea to interview at least a couple different South Florida injury lawyers before deciding which to hire to handle your claim. But just as you are considering which attorney to hire, he or she is also considering your case potential. If your case is declined by one lawyer, ask why and don’t hesitate to get a second opinion. Most offer free initial consultations. South Florida injury lawyer

That said, there are several reasons why an attorney may decline to accept your case – and it may have more to do with them than the viability of your claim.

Here, our West Palm Beach injury lawyers explain a few reasons why an attorney may turn down your case. Continue reading

Whether your holiday gift exchanges this year are in-person or virtual, one thing that hasn’t changed is the potential for dangerous products to be marketed and sold to consumers. Florida product liability lawyer

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported dozens of product recalls in recent weeks, some of which include:

Hundreds of thousands of these seemingly innocuous products have already been sold, and a recall is no guarantee they won’t continue to be used. 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

It’s one of the largest child sexual abuse scandals in U.S. history, yet for years, victims were made to feel as if they were the only one. As the deadline looms for filing civil liability claims of sexual assault and abuse against Boy Scouts of America, systemic problems within the youth organization are proving worse than many ever realized. South Florida sexual abuse lawyer

The Scouts filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and protection earlier this year, amid a sharp decline in membership as well as a flood of sexual abuse claims. As our civil trial lawyers can explain, bankruptcy places an automatic hold on all pending lawsuits while global settlements are negotiated. The bankruptcy also compels victims to have their case handled in a single federal bankruptcy court rather than in state courts across the country. It also allows the agency to reorganize and restructure its finances while continuing operation. A trust has been established from which victims of abuse who file civil claims will be able to collect compensation.

Claims filed in bankruptcy court, once vetted, will be paid by Scouts organization (which has more than $1 billion in real estate assets) and/or their insurers through the established trust. We saw this same type of bankruptcy restructuring/trust with the mass torts of asbestos liability. Dozens of Catholic dioceses that had been accused of liability for child sexual abuse have also used it.

Some are predicting that tens of thousands of new claimants will meet this month’s deadline in the Boy Scouts’ bankruptcy case. The Los Angeles Times reports there could be more claims filed in this bankruptcy than in all the previous Catholic Church bankruptcies combined.

Our South Florida sexual abuse attorneys recognize this overwhelming response underscores that the problem of abuse in youth organizations is one that demands greater attention and accountability.

Victims of abuse suffer years with guilt and shame. Some have contracted sexually-transmitted diseases. Many who are now older have wrestled with addiction, alcoholism, anger and difficulty maintaining close relationships. Some victim family members allege the pain was so great, the victims took their own lives. 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

Certain Florida child sexual abuse civil claims will have a much shorter statute of limitations than some appellate courts had previously ruled due to a new decision by the Florida Supreme Court. The case involved a conflict among lower Florida courts about the accrual of civil claims for sexual abuse.West Palm Beach sexual abuse attorneys

Almost every kind of legal action in Florida – whether it’s prosecution for a crime or a civil claim for monetary damages – is subject to a time limit on how long you have to file. For example, most Florida personal injury claims must be filed within four years of the date the injury occurred. For medical malpractice, it’s two years. There are some exceptions, but courts are pretty strict on this.

As our West Palm Beach sexual abuse lawyers can explain, a civil claim usually “accrues” (meaning the clock for the statute of limitations starts ticking) at the time the incident occurs. However, there are some kinds of claims for which the statute of limitations won’t accrue for a delayed period of time. One of those – sometimes – is child sex abuse cases. Continue reading

A new state law, signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in June, calls for the state attorneys of every circuit to create elder abuse death review teams, with the goal of identifying systemic problems and reducing the risk of Florida nursing home abuse and neglect. These teams, comprised of not only prosecutors but experts in the medical field and elder care providers, will review closed death cases in which elder abuse was suspected or alleged to determine whether legal or policy changes could prevent such tragedy from recurring.West Palm Beach nursing home abuse attorneys

Cases need not have been successfully prosecuted to be forwarded to the review team. As our West Palm Beach nursing home injury lawyers understand, the idea is to identify and address local gaps in services to elderly and vulnerable populations. The purpose isn’t to facilitate criminal charges or even civil proceedings. It will not be an investigative branch of the state attorney’s office, but rather will only be able to make recommendations. The teams will report their findings and recommendations to the governor, state lawmakers and state Department of Children and Families annually on Nov. 1st. Proponents of the new law say it’s taken four years to gain sufficient support to pass the measure. 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

A man recently filed a personal injury lawsuit against Starbucks in California after claiming scalding hot tea seriously injured and disfigured his stomach, hands and genitals. Almost without fail, our South Florida injury lawyers know there will be those who scoff.West Palm Beach product liability lawyers

Another ‘hot coffee’ lawsuit? Whose fault is it really if you spill your own drink on yourself?”

It’s been more than a quarter century since the infamous “McDonald’s hot coffee lawsuit,” and this reaction proves that there is still a great deal of misunderstanding regarding what that case was about – and why it caused such a stir. Continue reading

Contact Information