June 2010 Archives

Electrocution Accident Fatalities

June 30, 2010

Electrocution Death Attorney

Electrocution Accident Fatalities Attorney:
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Electricity is powerful and extremely dangerous. When electricity is poorly handled due to negligence or defects in an electrical product, electrocution deaths can occur. At the nationwide wrongful death law firm of Greenberg & Stone, P.A., our AV-rated* law firm helps families understand how an electrocution accident happened, and we help families hold the responsible parties accountable.

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Electrocution deaths can happen anywhere electricity is used. The sooner our wrongful death attorneys get involved, the sooner we can begin our investigation into the possible causes of electrocution accident fatalities and who might be responsible.

  • Tree trimmers or utility workers in bucket trucks (cherry picker trucks) may strike a live power line and receive a fatal jolt of electricity. Sometimes the wrong equipment, like an uninsulated bucket, may also play a part in the fatal electrical accident.
  • Manufacturing defects and improper maintenance can lead to grounding wire failure in home appliances and workplace equipment which can cause electrical burns or fatal electrocution.
  • On construction sites, wiring is often temporary but it must also be safe. After a fatal construction electrical wiring accident, important questions must be asked. Was the wiring done improperly? Was too high a load placed on the wiring? Were frayed wires in contact with water, metal or chemicals?
  • Athletic practice fields can be dangerous when lightning is present. Coaches are responsible for clearing the field when lives are threatened by lightning strikes.

Who Has Responsibility for Electrocution Deaths?

Manufacturers of electrical appliances and equipment are responsible for ensuring that the wiring in their products is properly installed and safe. Electricians at a work site or in a home are responsible for the safe installation of wiring. Employers bear responsibility for maintaining a safe work environment. School districts have an obligation to keep students out of unsafe situations.

Contact Our Nationwide Wrongful Death Law Firm

Proving fault in electrocution fatality cases is a complex process that requires investigation of several potentially responsible parties. With assistance from a nationwide network of associate local law firms, the trial lawyers of Greenberg & Stone serve the needs of grieving families across the country who seek justice after an electrocution death. We have immediate appointments available — discuss your concerns and get answers to your questions about your legal options. Call (888) 893-9846 or contact us online.

Stay Alive, Don't Talk and Drive

June 28, 2010

Phone use while driving is popular; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's most recent survey reported that five percent of all drivers, or one in 20, were observed using a cell phone while driving. The NHTSA estimates that 800,000 drivers are on their phones at any given time during daylight hours.

In January 2010, the NTHSA estimated that 28 percent of all reported crashes were caused by cell-phone use - that's 1.6 million crashes every year. Applying that percentage to the most current statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles suggests that over 65,000 accidents in Florida every year are caused by drivers talking or texting while driving.

The car accident and personal injury attorneys of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. encourage safe driving. Never text while driving, and try to limit conversations on the phone by pulling over to a safe place or waiting until you are at a stop light before picking up the phone. If you have a passenger with you, let them use the phone so you can focus on driving. If you have Bluetooth or other hands-free options, use them whenever possible.

The law firm of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A., frequently represents victims of car accidents and other personal injury accidents. The firm is dedicated to making our highways and roads safer for everyone. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, please visit our website at www.sgglaw.com to learn how we can help.

Related Sources:

Florida: Cell phone laws, legislation

Driver Cell Phone Use in 2006 -- Overall Results

Trucker Fights Fatigue with Beer: What Laws Did He Break?

June 28, 2010

A commercial truck driver told police officers he drank beer to stay awake when he was pulled over after nearly running multiple motorists off the road. While fortunate not to cause a crash, the incident does expose the serious problems of commercial driver fatigue and drunk driving.

DUI Laws and Federal Regulations for Commercial Drivers

In Florida, it is illegal to operate a commercial vehicle with any alcohol in the body. In addition to facing penalties associated with Florida's DUI laws that all drivers are subject to, commercial drivers face a more severe penalty when they reach a BAC of .04 or higher. In fact, commercial truck drivers are supposed to be subjected to immediate testing following an accident, something that their employers often fail to do.

Commercial truckers are subject to strict laws because crashes involving these huge vehicles often cause devastating effects on other motorists. Commercial drivers are professionals and they are and should be held to a higher standard to keep our roadways safe. Unfortunately, some drivers do not take their duties seriously, and the consequences for motorists traveling in passenger vehicles can be severe, ranging from broken bones, to paralysis and traumatic brain injuries or even wrongful death. Occupants of smaller vehicles almost certainly pay the price for commercial driver error or recklessness.

As for the driver stating he was tired and was drinking to stay awake, federal laws require that commercial drivers not drive more than 11 hours in a day. Also, commercial drivers must take 10 hours off between shifts. Drivers are required to keep log books of the hours and turn them into their employers. Unfortunately, many times employers pressure the drivers to work more, putting all drivers in danger of being involved in a crash caused by driver fatigue.

Act Quickly When Involved in a Commercial Trucking Accident

If you or a loved one is involved in a commercial vehicle wreck, it is important to contact an experienced truck accident attorney immediately. There are many complex issues involving state and federal law that an attorney should be familiar with if he is to handle your truck accident case. Valuable evidence may not remain at the scene for long. Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. actively represent injured people and their families who are victims of truck accidents and crashes. Please visit our website at www.sgglaw.com and www.truckaccident.sgglaw.com for more information on your rights.

Related Source:

Large Trucks Present Serious Danger to Florida Motorists

Fewer Florida Traffic Fatalities in 2009: But What About the Survivors?

June 22, 2010

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles announced that traffic fatalities fell to the fewest ever reported while declining for the fourth consecutive year. The Department cited several reasons for the good news: new seatbelt laws, strategic law enforcement and education and awareness campaigns.

Unfortunately, traffic fatalities are still a fairly frequent occurrence in Florida. More than 2,500 motor vehicle fatalities occurred last year alone, which means that someone was killed every three and a half hours on a Florida road or highway. These deaths cause a devastating impact on survivors of the deceased. The survivors of those killed in car accidents are left with numerous important responsibilities immediately after a loved one's death. Pursuing legal action against the wrongdoer is not something that most people wish to focus on while grieving for a loved one, but it is crucial for survivors to know their legal rights.

Survivors' Rights in a Wrongful Death Action

Florida's wrongful death statute defines survivors to include spouses, children, parents or any blood relative or adopted brother or sister who depended on the deceased for support. The law allows a personal representative to bring an action for the benefit of the survivors for wrongful death, negligence and other theories of legal liability.

The personal representative can seek damages for the effect of the victim's death on his or her family including the lost value of support and services occurring after the injury, future support and services lost, medical and funeral expenses. Particular survivors, such as spouses and children, may also be entitled to damages for the loss of companionship, protection and for mental pain and suffering.

Survivors Should Take Immediate Action

Florida's wrongful death laws expressly state that they are to be construed liberally to ensure that the wrongdoer is financially responsible for a fatality - not the survivors. However, it is important for survivors to promptly contact an experienced personal injury attorney as the complex laws have strict time limits to file a claim for damages.

The law firm of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A., represents families who have suffered a loss due to a wrongful death. The firm is dedicated to making our highways and roads safer for everyone. For more on what your rights, or on how we hold negligent parties accountable, please visit our website at www.sgglaw.com.

Source: State of Florida - Department of Transportation News Release "Florida Traffic Fatalities Fall to a Record Low in 2009" 6/14/10

Road Safety is a Two-Way Street

June 21, 2010

Approximately 100,000 Americans are injured each year in accidents involving large commercial trucks. With the high speeds and tremendous size of commercial trucks, the injuries in these crashes are usually more severe than those sustained in simple car accidents, sometimes resulting in brain injuries or even death. When crashes occur between cars and large trucks, passenger car occupants account for 98 percent of all fatalities.

The federal government and each state have a complex system of rules and regulations particular to truck drivers and the companies they work for. Unfortunately, many of these provisions are often overlooked, ignored, or willfully violated. The result of this is often an otherwise avoidable truck accident. Though most truck accidents are caused by overworked, overtired, and distracted drivers, or poor safety training and vehicle maintenance, there are a few things drivers of cars can do to avoid contributing to these accidents.

Accident Prevention Tips For Passenger Car Drivers

One of the most important things that automobile drivers can do to prevent accidents is to avoid driving in the blind spots that are located to the sides and rear of large trucks. Remember that if you can't see the driver in the side mirror of a truck ahead of you, the driver can't see you.

Because trucks need sufficient space to turn, they often make unexpected right turns from the left or center lane. Cars attempting to pass on the right could then face having the truck cut in front of them. For cars on the left, the trailer may swing out wide, creating an impact with a passing car. To stay safe, keep an eye on trucks' turn signals and avoid driving or stopping to the right of a truck that is about to turn.

Merging is another major cause of truck accidents. When cars cut in front of large trucks or merge without proper speed, trucks often cannot slow down in time to avoid a collision.

Stopping Distance and Weight Make Truck Accidents More Dangerous

You must also remember that trucks are much larger and heavier than cars. Trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when traveling on the highway. This makes stopping far more difficult for large trucks than for passenger cars, and dramatically increases the force of the impact when collisions occur. When cars change lanes too closely in front of large trucks or merge without proper speed, trucks often cannot slow down in time to avoid a collision. When merging, make sure to leave enough room to account for the increased time it takes a large tractor-trailer to stop.

The law firm of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A., is dedicated to making our highways and roads safer for everyone. For more on what you can do, or on how we hold those who caused a crash responsible, please feel free to visit our website at www.sgglaw.com.

Drunk Driver Accident Fatalities

June 15, 2010

Drunk-Driving Death Attorney

Wrongful Death Attorney:
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A drunk-driving death is a senseless and preventable tragedy that can devastate a victim's family for years to come. It is difficult to comprehend why someone would choose to drink and drive, putting themselves and others at risk. When a drunk-driving accident results in a fatality, the victim's family is often outraged at the senseless loss of life.

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At the AV-rated* law firm of Greenberg & Stone, P.A., our attorneys know how hard it is for families to understand what happened and why. We also know that families victimized by the negligence of a drunk driver need and deserve compensation for their losses. If a loved one has been the victim of a fatal drunk-driving accident, contact us.

  • Our lawyers represent victims' families and work with other qualified local counsel nationwide in handling drunk-driving death cases. The laws vary from state to state, and we can help you understand how the laws in your state work. In some states, homeowners who serve someone too much alcohol can be held partially liable for a drunk-driving death. Some states have dram shop laws that hold bars, hotels and liquor stores responsible for serving minors or people who are obviously drunk.
  • When you engage our legal services after a fatal drunk-driving accident, we will begin our investigation right away. We will review police reports, 911 calls and sobriety tests. Our lawyers will use information from criminal charges, interview witnesses and preserve as much evidence from the scene as possible.

Drunk driver accident fatalities are completely preventable. Anyone who caused or who could have prevented a drunk-driving death needs to be held accountable. Your family deserves answers and compensation.

With compassion and strategic focus, Greenberg & Stone has pursued full and fair compensation for families that have been shattered by a drunk-driving death. Contact us as soon as possible so our lawyers can begin investigating while the evidence is fresh and witnesses are available. There is a statute of limitations on making a claim. The sooner we file your suit, the better.

I-95 in Florida Named Nation's Most Dangerous Highway

June 8, 2010

Florida's 382-mile stretch of I-95 is the most dangerous interstate highway in the United States, a recent study found.

The report, featured in the Daily Beast and based on National Highway Transportation Safety Administration statistics, found that there were 662 fatal accidents on I-95 in Florida from 2004-2008, or 1.73 deaths per mile. The study examined 250 stretches of U.S. highway and compared the number of fatal crashes to the number of miles on each particular highway.

Unfortunately, I-95 is not the only problem road in Florida. The I-4 corridor came in third on the Daily Beast's list, with 1.58 fatal accidents per mile. Florida's I-75 was number 15 with 1.14 fatal accidents per mile.

This confirms what trial attorneys in Florida have known for years: Florida's roads are dangerous and deadly. Distracted drivers, high numbers of large commercial trucks and poor road maintenance are just a few of the contributing factors to the high rate of fatality on Florida's highways. Close to 40,000 drivers and passengers on U.S. roads lost their lives in 2008 alone.

As the summer begins, it becomes even more important to be alert behind the wheel. According to the group Road Safe America, the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is traditionally the most dangerous time of year on America's highways. Experts estimate that Americans will drive more than one trillion miles in a typical summer, as many take to the road on vacation. For Florida, this means more drivers on already congested highways, many of whom are from out-of-state and unfamiliar with Florida's traffic laws.

Although statistics paint a grim picture, drivers can take steps to avoid accidents on dangerous highways like I-95:

  • Do not drink and drive
  • Do not drive aggressively
  • Do not use cell phones, GPS or other electronic devices while driving
  • Always wear a seatbelt

For more information about what to do if you have been involved in a car crash, contact the law firm of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A.

The Florida Legislature: Making Driving More Dangerous

June 8, 2010

Florida's Legislature recently proposed legislation making Florida's roadways more dangerous, creating the potential for more frequent crashes and more serious injuries for the state's drivers.

Florida lawmakers passed measures that would increase the allowable weight for large commercial trucks by 8,000 pounds and eliminate $160 million for the Florida Transportation Trust Fund. The funding cuts will likely hamper the state's ability to keep up maintenance on our highways.

Hitting Back

Governor Charlie Crist used his line-item veto to stop the Transportation Trust Fund raid. Unfortunately, leaders in both the state House and Senate are threatening to try to overturn the governor's veto.

Crist has not yet announced what he will do with the legislature's raising of weight limits for big rigs. If he signs the bill, the maximum weight of 18-wheelers will go from 80,000 pounds to 88,000 pounds: an increase guaranteed to cause more injuries and deaths on Florida highways.

Safety Matters

A significant amount of research shows that the bigger a truck is, the more likely it is to cause injuries and fatalities when it crashes into another vehicle.

  • According to a University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute study, the odds of a fatality involving a big rig get worse for each ton of vehicle weight allowed by law. An 18-wheeler carrying that legal limit of 80,000 pounds is more than twice as likely to be in a fatal crash as a truck weighing about 50,000 pounds.
  • A study by the Highway Research Board shows that an 80,000-pound truck does as much damage to roads as 9,600 cars.
  • According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, approximately 380,000 large trucks were in traffic crashes in 2008, with 4,066 involving fatalities. Though large trucks account for only four percent of all vehicles, they were involved in 11 percent of all traffic fatalities.
  • Of the people injured in crashes involving big rigs in 2008, 71 percent were occupants of another vehicle, while 26 percent were occupants of the large trucks.

Florida's roads are already dangerous enough. Large commercial trucks, easily distracted and poorly trained drivers, and poorly maintained roads all play a part in making Florida's highways known as some of the most deadly in the country. To prevent things from getting worse, contact your local state congressman today and urge him to reconsider these measures.

Trouble for Transocean and BP Just Beginning

June 4, 2010

Over the past five weeks, the well at the former site of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig has pumped thousands of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Experts estimate that somewhere between 18 and 39 million gallons have leaked into the Gulf so far, although the exact number is not known. It is the largest oil spill in U.S. history. In comparison, when the Exxon Valdez ran aground in 1989, it spilled only 11 million gallons into Prince William Sound. This may be the most serious ecological disaster in United States history, and we will feel the repercussions for years to come.

Though the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill only recently happened, and efforts by BP have yet to fully contain the spill, residents of Louisiana and Florida have already begun to experience severe hardships due to this disaster. Fishermen have lost significant income, as they have been banned from fishing in more than one-fifth of the Gulf of Mexico. Hotels, beach resorts, charter vessels and other industries centered on tourism have felt the force of this oil spill, as many people have either been forced to cancel their travel plans or have done so out of fear. The result has been significant economic damages and loss to individuals and businesses who rely on the once-pristine waters of the Gulf of Mexico for their livelihood.

Although authorities are still investigating the cause of the explosion, some preliminary reports indicate that Transocean Ltd., the owner of the Deepwater Horizon, and BP, which leased the rig, may be responsible. According to a Wall Street Journal audit of federal Mineral Management Service incident reports, since 2008, nearly 75 percent of incidents aboard deep-water oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico that triggered federal investigations into safety and other problems occurred on rigs owned by Transocean. Although some of these incidents did involve problems with blowout preventers - the piece of equipment that appears to have failed at the Deepwater Horizon well - others appear to have been relatively minor infractions.

More disturbing are reports coming from Transocean and BP investigators indicating that they may have been aware of problems with the blowout preventer and pressure abnormalities in the well before the explosion. Federal investigations into the cause of the disaster and whether Transocean or BP knew of problems with the well are currently ongoing.

The foundation of our justice system lies in holding people and companies responsible for their actions. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could and should have been avoided. Residents of Louisiana and Florida along the Gulf Coast have suffered tremendous economic hardships as a result. If you or your family has suffered any kind of loss as a result of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, contact the personal injury and commercial litigation attorneys of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A., today. With offices in Miami, Pensacola, Tampa, Boca Raton, Weston and Orlando, our experienced attorneys are standing by to help you recover the compensation you deserve. We offer free consultations and can be reached 24 hours per day.