June 2011 Archives

June 28, 2011

Coral Springs Accident Lawyer Reminds Drivers to Stay Safe This 4th of July Weekend

The Fourth of July is right around the corner and we hope you enjoy celebrating with your friends and family. We also want to remind you to stay safe on the roads during this holiday, as the Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays for car accidents linked to alcohol use.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics for the past quarter century, on average, approximately half of all fatal car crashes on the 4th of July are alcohol-related. The latest data available shows that in 2009 in the U.S., 410 people were killed in auto accidents on the Fourth of July. Of those accidents, 40 percent involved drunk drivers.

Memorial Day was the deadliest holiday in 2009, with 473 deaths (42 percent of which were linked to drunk driving); New Year's Day was the second deadliest holiday for that same year, with 468 deaths, 40 percent of which were alcohol-related.

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June 27, 2011

Coral Springs Personal Injury Lawyer Comments on Fatal Wrong-Way Broward County Accident

An auto accident on I-75 that occurred early Thursday, June 23, 2011, has resulted in the death of two men. A 37-year-old man from Broward County, who was allegedly driving the wrong way on the road, and a 44-year-old Peruvian man were involved in the accident. Police are investigating whether alcohol was a factor in the crash.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 1,382 drivers and motorcycle riders were involved in deadly motor vehicle accidents linked to driving the wrong way in 2009.

There are many different reasons a person can end up going the wrong way on a road, including driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, inexperience, cell phone use, distraction, or confusion. Drivers should be completely focused on the road and read road signs carefully in order to avoid driving the wrong way. If you encounter a wrong-way driver, you should try to safely pull over to the side of the road and attempt to get the driver's attention by beeping your horn and flashing your lights.

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June 23, 2011

National Transportation and Safety Board Urges Drivers to End Distractions

Imagine you are in your car and your friend sends you a text. You're tempted to read it and respond. You think this will only take a second.

But even a few seconds of taking your eyes off the road could lead to a car accident.

Distracted driving is everywhere nowadays, and it's not just automobile drivers that are contributing to the problem. While this blog focuses mainly on the distraction of mobile devices, it is important to know that any activity that takes your eyes, mind, and focus off the road is considered a distraction.

Pedestrians, bicyclists, skateboarders, and even runners have become distracted by cell phones, mp3 players, and mobile game systems. Distractions from mobile devices have also made their way into people's work environments. In fact, headlines from the past year show that boat and train operators have been distracted by their phones while on the job, in some cases affecting the safety of others.

An NBC New York report from November 2010 discussed a train driver who was allegedly texting while operating a train. The driver's texting, thankfully, did not cause an accident, but is an example of the threat that distracted driving poses to public safety. The train operator was suspended indefinitely.

Last summer, an accident involving a duck tour boat and a barge led to the death of two people. Mobile phone use was to blame for this accident. Wrongful death lawsuits have been filed by the families of both victims.

Driver distraction is becoming such a safety issue that it should be in the same category as drunk driving, according to the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB). The Board met this week regarding the tour boat crash mentioned above, and to urge a call to action for people to stop distracted driving.

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June 22, 2011

Coral Springs Truck Accident Lawyer Comments on Lake Worth Multi-Vehicle Crash involving a Truck

Earlier this month, three vehicles were involved in a truck accident in Palm Beach County. According to the Palm Beach Post, at least one person involved in the accident may have had minor injuries. The vehicles involved in the accident were two cars and one semi-tractor trailer.

Thankfully, the above story did not result in catastrophic injuries or death for the people involved in the accident. However, there is a high likelihood of serious injury or death when a large truck is involved in a crash.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2009 in the United States, 503 people were killed and 17,000 people sustained injuries as passengers or drivers in large trucks. In total, 3,380 people were killed in 2009 as a result of a crash involving a large truck and 74,000 people sustained injuries. More than 80% of those killed and more than 77% of those injured in truck accidents in 2009 were not passengers or drivers in the truck, but were instead occupants of the other vehicles in the crash or pedestrians.

NHTSA statistics also show that 3,215 large trucks were involved in deadly accidents in 2009 in the U.S. For that same year, 53,000 large trucks were linked to crashes involving injury.

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June 21, 2011

Coral Springs Boat Accident Lawyer on Accident that Injured Palm Beach County Teen

A boating accident earlier this year, which caused a teenage girl from Palm Beach County to lose a leg, has resulted in the arrest of two teenage boys. 14-year-old Gabby DeSouza's right leg was struck by the propeller of the boat operated by the two boys, who fled the scene of the accident. Criminal charges have since been brought against the boys in connection to the accident.

According the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Palm Beach County ranked 3rd out of 10 Florida counties with the most boating injuries in 2010. Last year there were 18 accidents with injuries and 6 deadly accidents in Palm Beach County. Miami-Dade County was 2nd, with 28 accidents with injuries and 3 fatal accidents. Broward County was 6th, with 6 accidents resulting in injuries and 3 deadly accidents.

There were a total of 389 injuries resulting from boating accidents in 2010 in Florida. Injuries ranged from lacerations and broken bones, which were the most common incidents, to neck injuries and amputations.

Florida boating regulations restrict any person under the age of 14 from operating a personal watercraft. In order to operate a boat in Florida, a person is required to pass a written safety test online or by attending a classroom course, which must be authorized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. Boat operators must have their Boating Safety Education ID card and picture ID while boating.

The U.S. Coast Guard offers valuable safety information on its website, including boating regulations as well as information on boating safety courses and carbon monoxide dangers.

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June 20, 2011

Drowsy Driving Can Pose as Much of a Threat as Drunk Driving

Coral Springs personal injury lawyers are familiar with the devastating effects that can be caused by combining driving with either drinking or texting. Another issue drivers in South Florida should be aware of is DWD, driving while drowsy.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drowsy driving can be as deadly as drunk driving. Despite this, thousands of people drive while drowsy or fatigued every year. National Highway Traffic Safety Statistics show that an estimated 100,000 accidents a year are caused by drowsy driving, which lead to approximately 40,000 injuries and 1,500 deaths.

Molly Olson, a police officer from Palm Beach, Florida, is a public example of the threat that driving drowsy causes on the roads. As reported by ABC News, in 2006, Olson's dashboard camera caught her swerving and almost hitting cyclists before crashing into some parked cars. Olson, who admitted to being "really, really tired," was fired from her position.

Driving Drowsy Prevention Week is officially in November, but it is important for drivers to be aware of the dangers of driving drowsy year-round, especially with upcoming summer road trips. The National Sleep Foundation offers useful information on its website, including statistics on drowsy driving and car crashes, as well as tips on avoiding falling asleep at the wheel.

Continue reading "Drowsy Driving Can Pose as Much of a Threat as Drunk Driving" »

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June 17, 2011

A Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Injures a Pedestrian and her Baby

A Fort Lauderdale car accident has sent a mother and her son to the hospital. On June 14, 2011, a 22-year-old female pedestrian and her son were hit by a pickup truck at an intersection. The woman was pushing a baby stroller carrying her son when the accident occurred. The driver, afterward, remained at the scene of the accident.

Thankfully, this pedestrian accident did not result in the death of the victims involved. According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles statistics, of the 8,248 pedestrian accidents that occurred in 2009, 7,676 pedestrians were injured and 482 pedestrians were killed. A report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, which analyzed the first half of 2010's total accident figures, shows Florida has the second largest number of pedestrian fatalities in the United States, with 243 for the first six months. California was first, with 260 pedestrian deaths.

Continue reading "A Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Injures a Pedestrian and her Baby" »

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June 16, 2011

Slip and Fall Accidents Resulting in Injuries--The Bathroom Can Be a Dangerous Place

Each year, thousands of people are injured in bathroom slip and fall accidents in the U.S. According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 244,000 people (teenagers and adults) go to the emergency room every year because of accidents that occur in the bathroom and result in injuries. Most of these accidents - 80 percent - occur due to falls.

According to the National Safety Council, 70 percent of accidents that occur in the home happen in the bathroom. A large number of these incidents are slip and fall accidents, which take place in the presence of a wet floor, tub, or shower.

The CDC offers bathroom safety information on its website, including statistics, bathroom safety tips, and fall prevention.

In some cases, slip and fall accidents occur in hotel and motel bathrooms. Hotels and motels in Florida owe a higher duty of care to the public, who pay for their services. The hotels and motels are required to take basic precautions including showers with non-slip surfaces or at least non-slip mats, and safety grab bars and rails. If a hotel guest is injured as a result of negligent maintenance of the property, these facilities may be liable for not taking adequate precautions.

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June 16, 2011

South Florida Assisted Living Facilities and Abuse

Abuse in Broward County assisted-living facilities (ALF, formerly known as adult congregate living facilities) is rampant, according to a recent series of articles published by the Miami Herald. The level of care in Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach County continues to be atrocious in many of these facilities.

The investigative three-part report, titled "Neglected to Death," looks at the inhuman living conditions and lack of patient care at ALFs, and how lawmakers plan to change the status quo.

In the report, Florida Senator Chris Smith saw first-hand the horrible conditions inside an assisted-living facility in Lauderhill. Afterward, he was compelled to take action. He joined other lawmakers in making some necessary changes to Florida's ALF laws in order to better protect those who can't protect themselves.

The horrible living conditions Smith saw during his inspection included a bathroom with no sink, human excrement on the floor, and rat feces in another room. The report also documents surprise visits at other Broward County ALFs. One such surprise visit found a man whose swollen, decaying leg had gone without medical treatment. Other examples of neglect that were documented by the report include a man who died from burns after being left in a bathtub with scalding water, and a woman who died after she was restrained in a chair for 6 hours. The report also found examples of doctored medication logs, which is commonplace in both ALF and nursing home cases and lawsuits.

Coral Springs accident and injury lawyer Dan Cytryn, who has handled lawsuits against retirement facilities now for almost a quarter of a century, reviewed the report and says, "The only way to stop this is to hit them with lawsuits for large jury verdicts. Until they've been punished monetarily, they [the ALFs] don't feel the pain! It's hard to believe that this type of conduct is allowed to occur year after year."

Continue reading "South Florida Assisted Living Facilities and Abuse" »

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June 15, 2011

Coral Springs Wrongful Death Lawyer on Hit-and-Run Accident that Killed Oakland Park Man

Police are investigating a hit-and-run accident in Oakland Park, Florida, that caused the death of a 22-year-old man in April 2011. Authorities have collected DNA samples from the vehicle suspected in the bicycle accident that killed Michael James Martin.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data, 4,380 people were injured as a result of a bicycle accident and 118 bicyclists were killed in Florida in 2008. Because a bicycle does not provide as much protection as a car or truck, bicyclists are often subject to serious personal injuries if involved in a crash. Some of these injuries can include traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury, broken bones, damage to the internal organs, in and some cases, death.

Oftentimes, a bicycle accident is caused by the negligence of another driver. Drivers who fail to follow traffic laws, are inattentive, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, put bicyclists at risk on the roads.

When a negligent driver causes an accident resulting in the death of another person on the roadway, be it pedestrian, bicyclist or another motorist, the family of the victim has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver that caused the accident. Wrongful death cases are complex legal matters that should be handled with the help of an experienced wrongful death lawyer. Such cases arise from a variety of incidents, including auto accidents, motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents and construction accidents.

Continue reading "Coral Springs Wrongful Death Lawyer on Hit-and-Run Accident that Killed Oakland Park Man" »

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June 14, 2011

Texting and Driving: What's Justin Bieber got to do with it?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drivers under the age of 20 had the greatest proportion of deadly car accidents attributed to distracted driving in 2009. Because of the high number of young distracted drivers on the roads, it seems fitting that 17-year-old singer Justin Bieber would endorse a safe driving phone application.

Bieber signed a deal last month with a Boca Raton company that is releasing "Drive Safe," a software that prevents text, email, and keyboard use on a cell phone in a car going more than 10 miles per hour.

Driver distractions pertain to anything that keeps drivers from being 100 percent focused on the road. This includes the use of cell phones, navigation systems, reading maps, applying makeup, looking for CDs, and eating. According to the NHTSA, the number of deaths linked to distracted drivers rose from 10% to 16% from 2005 to 2009. However, teenage drivers are not solely to blame. While the number of total distracted drivers was greater in the under 20 age group, drivers aged 30-39 had the highest percentage of cell phone use out of the distracted drivers involved in deadly auto crashes in 2009.

The U.S. Government website, distraction.gov, offers useful information regarding distracted driving accident statistics. According to the site, people who drive while using hand-held devices, such as cell phones, quadruple their chances of being involved in a car accident serious enough to result in injuries. In terms of delayed reaction time, the use of a cell phone while driving is equivalent to driving with a blood alcohol level of .08, the level at which one is considered to be legally intoxicated in the United States.

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June 13, 2011

Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence Cases Still Prevalent, Particularly in South Florida

Our Coral Springs law firm has handled numerous nursing home neglect and negligence cases since 1998 throughout Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is on June 15th, 2011. The National Center on Elder Abuse, regulated by the U.S. Administration on Aging, is encouraging people to learn about events taking place that day to help prevent elder abuse. They would also like people to show their support for the cause by wearing purple on June 15th.

Unfortunately, elder abuse and neglect happen all too often in nursing home facilities. Many of these cases go unreported and unresolved. In fact, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse, for every abuse or neglect case reported, around five cases are not reported.

Common types of nursing home negligence include untreated bed sores, dehydration, injuries from falling, and physical or mental abuse. Headlines from the past decade show that elder neglect and abuse in nursing homes continue to be a major issue of concern. In 2001, CBS News reported an increase in elder abuse, including examples of punching, choking, and kicking of residents.

A 2003 USA Today report revealed that less than 2 percent of the 16,437 Medicaid and Medicare-certified nursing homes in the U.S. did not have violations in the past four years.

In 2008, the New York Times reported that 94 percent of nursing homes committed violations of federal health and safety standards.

Unfortunately, there are many nursing home employees who just don't care about what they do, and just don't care about whom they are required to take care of. Part of the problem is that CNAs (Certified Nursing Assistants) are woefully underpaid, particularly in Florida. And unfortunately, some of the tasks that CNAs have to perform, including cleaning adult elderly patients of their bowel and bladder movements, are not some of the most rewarding things to be involved in. In addition, many nursing home patients have Alzheimer's, and they may not be easy to deal with, so there is always the potential for a vengeful employee to mistreat a nursing home resident.

Our firm offers useful information on our website regarding the common types of elder abuse, tips to select the right nursing home, as well as ways to protect your loved ones from abuse while they are in a nursing home.

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June 9, 2011

Coral Springs Accident and Injury Lawyer Comments on Two Motorcycle Crashes Resulting in Death

Fort Lauderdale and Miramar motorcycle crashes resulted in two deaths here in South Florida this past weekend. These deaths demonstrate just how dangerous this activity is, and how dangerous the roads in Broward can be for motorcycle riders. To view more information on these stories, click here and here.

According to Florida Department of Transportation statistics, motorcycle drivers ages 45-54 had the highest number of deaths from motorcycle accidents in 2009. Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties had some of the highest numbers of motorcycle deaths in Florida for that same year.

May is officially Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. However, motorcycle safety should be followed year-round. Motorcycle riding is a dangerous and sometimes deadly activity that should be done with precaution. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers a useful motorcycle safety section on its website. Information on the site ranges from selecting the right helmet to motorcycle safety programs.

A motor vehicle accident can have a serious financial, emotional, and physical impact on a victim and their family. After an accident, it is important to know your rights and learn about any financial compensation you may be entitled to. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle crash, contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer.

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June 8, 2011

Fort Lauderdale Pedestrian Killed by Near Hit-and-Run

A Fort Lauderdale man was struck by a vehicle in a Broward County car accident last weekend. 37-year-old Juan Herrera died from injuries sustained after being hit by a 1999 Lexus. The driver of the Lexus, Jaime Valderrama, attempted to abandon the scene of the accident, but police stopped him shortly after. No charges have been filed against Valderrama.

If the evidence shows there was negligence on the driver of the vehicle, odds are, with him driving an older model Lexus, that he didn't have a large insurance policy. In the event of a hit-and-run accident, this is where having uninsured motorist coverage plays an important role.

If the accident was caused by a driver without auto insurance, or without enough insurance to cover damages, having uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your policy will help protect you. Even if the driver of the vehicle that caused the hit-and-run is never found, your uninsured motorist coverage will protect you for damage caused by the driver that leaves the scene of the accident.

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June 6, 2011

Coral Springs Accident Attorney on the Dangers of Distracted Driving

In this modern age where we rely so heavily on technology, it is hard to imagine going even one day without our cell phones. But along with the convenience of mobile phones and our dependence on them comes distracted driving and an increased risk of car accidents.

As the Sun Sentinel reports, there has been a recent rise in the amount of car accidents due to driver distraction while parents are picking up their children from school. While there have been attempts over the last three years to ban the use of cell phones in school zones in Florida, the proposed bills have not yet passed in the Florida Legislature.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, having a conversation on a hand-held cell phone while driving is prohibited in 9 states, including California, New York, and Washington. Young drivers are banned from using cell phones while driving in 30 states, and texting while driving is prohibited in 32 states. Florida is one of the few states that have no laws in place banning the use of cell phones or texting while driving.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's distraction.gov website is a great resource for learning about the dangers of distracted driving. The website also shows statistics on distracted driving and car crashes. According to the site, 20% of car accidents resulting in injuries in 2009 were linked to distracted driving. In addition , cell phone use is linked to 18% of deaths in accidents involving distracted drivers.

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June 3, 2011

Miramar Child Ejected from Vehicle in Crash, Seriously Injured

Two children were injured, one of them ejected from a vehicle, in a Miramar car accident on May 26, 2011. Both children, an 8-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy, were riding in a Nissan Pathfinder, which rolled after crashing with a Honda Accord. The boy was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash and is in serious condition. Authorities are investigating the accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revised its car seat guidelines earlier this year. These guidelines are designed to promote safety by helping to keep children in the appropriate safety restraints based on age. According to the NHTSA's recommendations, children between the ages of 4 to 7 years should be placed in the backseat of the vehicle in a forward-facing car seat with a harness, until the child outgrows the car seat (check your car manufacturer's specifications on height and weight limits). A child should then be graduated to a booster seat and still travel in the backseat.

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June 2, 2011

Motorcycle Accident Takes the Life of a Coconut Creek Man

Last week, a man from Coconut Creek died from injuries suffered after a motorcycle accident on I-595. The man, who was not wearing a helmet, lost control of his motorcycle and was ejected after his bike hit the concrete wall. Police are investigating the cause for this motorcycle crash.

In Florida, adults are not required by law to wear helmets when riding a motorcycle - either as a driver or a passenger. However, statistics on helmet use during motorcycle crashes may influence some people to wear helmets. A recent study from the Yale School of Medicine, as discussed in one of our recent blogs, show that the fatality rate in motorcycle crashes was 65.6% for those who did not use helmets, versus 34.4% for those who used helmets.

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June 1, 2011

Coral Springs Personal Injury Lawyer on Teen Driving Safety

When adding a teenager to an auto insurance policy, parents should know their premiums will begin to skyrocket. That's because car accidents are the number one cause of death for teenagers in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A recent article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel states that the increased risk of adding a teen driver to an insurance policy nearly doubles the premium. This increased risk comes from the higher probability of teens getting a speeding ticket or being involved in an auto accident. In fact, teen drivers are "statistically the most dangerous drivers on the road compared to other age groups," according to the Insurance Information Network of California.

According to the CDC website, an average of eight teenagers between the ages of 16 to 19 died every day in 2009 from injuries sustained in motor vehicle crashes. Also, teen drivers in that same age group are four times more likely to be involved in an auto crash than older drivers.

The number of males ages 15 to 19 who died in auto accidents from 2000 to 2006 was almost twice as high -12,479 as the number of females in that same age group who were killed in car crashes - 6,579 during that same period. Statistics on the CDC website also point to an increased risk (almost double) in car crashes during nighttime driving versus daytime driving.

National Teen Driver Safety Week is officially in October, but it is important for parents of teenagers to be aware of how to promote safe driving year-round. One great resource is the CDC's "Parents Are the Key" campaign, a free resource for parents to learn about keeping their teen drivers safe on the roads.

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