Report: Hit-and-Run Crashes Spike in South Florida

August 26, 2015

Authorities in Plantation have launched an extensive investigation into the death of a 31-year-old Davie man who was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver.

The man was driving when he crashed at an intersection of South Pine Island Road. For unknown reasons, the truck veered off the road and struck a utility pole. His 37-year-old passenger was ejected from the vehicle in that initial impact and later pronounced dead at the scene. But the driver managed to crawl out of his truck. As he did so, he was struck by a passing vehicle. The other driver failed to stop. Victim was rushed to a nearby hospital where he also was pronounced dead.

Police have released detailed information to the public, hoping for a break in the case.

Sadly, it's just one of many hit-and-run cases in South Florida. In fact, despite a law that hardens the penalties for those convicted of hit-and-run, the crime is on the rise.

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Expert Opines Park Partially to Blame in Roller Coaster Death

August 22, 2015

Recently, a fifth-grade teacher was killed at an Ohio amusement park after he entered a restricted area to retrieve his cell phone, which had fallen from his pocket while riding a roller coaster.

In the wake of the accident, many were sharply critical of the victim, saying he should not have been in the restricted area and the blame for his death is his own.

While it may be true victim shares some portion of the liability for his own death by entering an area that was restricted, an expert in human factors and ergonomics recently opined to a local newspaper that this tragedy could have almost certainly been prevented with a few relatively inexpensive modifications to park security and policy.

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Cordova v. City of Los Angeles - Suing a City for Car Accident

August 17, 2015

In any car accident case, an experienced injury lawyer must carefully review the facts and identify all possible defendants.
These will include not only the alleged at-fault driver and his insurance company, but also:
--The owner of the vehicle (if different from the driver) and his insurer;
--The bar or establishment that sold alcohol to an underage, at-fault drunk driver;
--The manufacturer of the vehicle or vehicle equipment (if a defect was a factor);
--Other passengers in the car of the at-fault driver (if they encouraged or helped carry out reckless operation of the vehicle);
--The employer of the at-fault driver (if he or she was working at the time of the crash);
--The city, county or state responsible for unsafe roads.

These are just a few examples, and it depends heavily on the underlying situation.

In the recent case of Cordova v. City of Los Angeles, the California Supreme Court remanded a case back to trial court, finding plaintiff may have grounds to sue the city after the negligent driving of a third party resulted in several death on city roads in Los Angeles.

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Study: Uber Reduces Drunk Driving Deaths

August 15, 2015

The ride-sharing service Uber has been under a barrage of fire lately for everything from the way it pays its workers to questions of whether it wrongly advertises safety claims to issues of liability for crashes.smartphone1.jpg

But there is apparently one bit of good news to emerge recently.

A study conducted by Philadelphia's Temple University analyzes the effect of this service on alcohol-related traffic deaths. Researchers looked at the data collected on DUI fatalities from a five year span, stretching from 2009 through 2014 in California. The ride-sharing phenomenon has picked up a great deal of steam there.

What they discovered was this: In cities where ride-sharing services were prevalent, incidents of alcohol-related traffic accidents dropped by nearly 6 percent.

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Sorrels v. NCL - Slip-and-Fall on Cruise Ship

August 11, 2015

The slip-and-fall injury case of Sorrels v. NCL dealt with the issue of coefficient of friction. This is a determination of how slippery a given surface is, and it can be an important point to make when asserting that a certain surface, as manufactured, was too slippery for its intended purpose.

The higher the coefficient of friction - or the ratio of force necessary to move on a horizontal surface - the less slippery a surface is.

Different industries have different standards for surface coefficient of friction. For example, the acceptable COF for the tile of an office building will be lower than the COF necessary for the walking surface a boat, where it's foreseeable that water would regularly be found on that walking surface.

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State Farm v. Earl - UM Coverage in Motorcycle Crash Case

August 7, 2015

Motorcycling was just one of the many things original plaintiff in State Farm v. Earl used to love. He also greatly enjoyed fishing, hunting, playing in a local men's basketball league and playing with his grandchildren. He also co-owned a small construction business, offering custom excavating and sewer services.
But all that changed in September 2008. While he was operating his motorcycle along I-65 in Indiana, a tractor-trailer entered his lane. He was forced into the median and thrown from his motorcycle at an estimated speed of 65 miles-per-hour. It did not look good at first. His injuries were extensive, including numerous bones that were crushed and fractured. His left lung collapsed, his liver was lacerated and he suffered a blood clot in his left leg that could have been fatal. In fact, the trauma team that treated him noted most people don't survive that kind of crash. This one did, but the recovery was long.

Despite the seriousness of the crash, the driver of that tractor-trailer did not stop and was never identified. This left motorcyclist with few options for recovery of damages for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. In addition to personal injury protection benefits, he and his wife had an uninsured motorist coverage plan.

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NTSB Releases Report on Fatal I-75 Crash

August 3, 2015

The National Transportation Safety Board has completed a report following a fatal tractor-trailer crash in June that happened in Tennessee, but could just as easily have happened in Florida.
The driver was contracted to transport a refrigerated trailer from Kentucky to Florida and back along I-75. After a series of roadway mishaps and failure to adhere to national drive time standards, the driver crashed into numerous vehicles on the highway.

In all, six people were killed and four were injured as he was driving through Ooltewah, TN.

According to media reports, the driver has since been charged with numerous felonies, including driving under the influence of narcotics and six counts of vehicular homicide.

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Sanders v. Sears-Page: Court Orders New Car Accident Trial

July 29, 2015

The majority of car accident lawsuits are settled outside of court, prior to the trial phase.
However, the personal injury lawyer you choose to handle your case should have ample trial experience. Some cases are best resolved at that level, and trial procedures are complex and fast-paced.

Although the actual crash may have been a fairly straightforward occurrence and fault is clear, liability may be less clear when a defendant calls into question the medical history of a plaintiff relative to causation of injuries. One example was seen recently in the Nevada Court of Appeals case of Sanders v. Sears-Page.

In fact, defendant admitted she was at-fault for the crash. She had made a right turn from the left lane and struck plaintiff's vehicle. Initially, the collision appeared minor and plaintiff did not complain of any trouble or seek medical attention. But as the hours wore on, her neck pain intensified. It worsened over the course of several days, and she sought treatment at a local neck and spine care center.

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Widespread Vehicle Defects Galvanize Government Regulators

July 25, 2015

For years, it seemed as if the officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration were asleep at the wheel.

The agency was slammed by members of Congress during hearings on Capitol Hill in which lawmakers criticized the failure to take swift, aggressive action over both the General Motors ignition switch failures in 2014 and Toyota's sudden acceleration problems in 2009. The agency was seen as weak as it was openly challenged by Chrysler in 2013 over the recall of 2.6 million Jeep sport utility vehicles.

But now, with new leadership, it seems the agency may finally be shifting gears.

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Report: Emergency Responders Have High Rate of Driver Distraction

July 20, 2015

Distraction is a problem for all drivers. Whether it's a vibrating cell phone or children in the back seat - there is constant competition for our attention at all times, even behind the wheel.

But a recent news investigation reveals South Florida emergency responders may have an even higher rate than the rest of the public. This includes police officers, firefighters and paramedics/EMS workers.

The findings are particularly troubling in light of the fact that these workers are often called to operate vehicles at high rates of speed, often through heavy traffic. While they are given discretion as far as how to safely navigate through traffic, crashes are more commonplace than they should be, resulting in serious and sometimes lifelong injuries and even death to innocent motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

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Florida Bicycling Risks Over Age 70

July 17, 2015

Bicycling in Florida can be great. There are many miles of flat, picturesque terrain and weather that is generally conducive year-round to good riding (though you may opt for an early morning or evening jaunt at the peak of summer).
But bicycling in Florida is also very dangerous.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports a 19 percent increase in pedalcyclist fatalities since 2010, with Florida having by far the highest percentage of bicycle deaths. We had 6.80 bicycle deaths per million, and a total of 133 for the year in 2013. That was far in excess of any other state - even those with much higher populations.

We also know that an increasing number of riders are over the age of 65, with many even over the age of 70. A report last year by found that between 1995 and 2009, there was a 320 percent increase in bicycling rates for those between the ages of 60 and 79.

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Establishing Spectator Sport Injury Liability a Challenge

July 15, 2015

Just last month, a Boston Red Sox baseball fan was seriously injured when shards of a broken bat flew into the stands at Fenway Park and struck her in the face.
The 44-year-old's injuries were initially characterized as life-threatening, though she is now expected to survive. She was transferred from a hospital to a long-term rehabilitation center weeks after the incident, which occurred as she watched the second inning of the game from behind the third baseline.

Major League Baseball officials said they were reviewing fan safety at stadiums following the accident, but the question of whether she will be able to hold the stadium accountable is a difficult one.

There are two key defenses in spectator sport injury lawsuits: Assumption of risk and liability release.

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