February 2011 Archives

Toyota Recalls New Vehicles in the U.S.

February 27, 2011

The LA Times reports that Toyota Motor Corporation has recalled a number of new vehicles in the United States. This recall includes 2.17 million cars, affecting six models that could potentially suffer from the sudden acceleration problems that have already caused multiple accidents, death and injuries.

Recall List

Toyota's new recall list includes:

  • 761,000 RAV4 sport utility vehicles (2006 to 2010 models)
  • 603,000 4Runner SUVs (2003 to 2009 models)
  • 397,000 Highlander and Highlander hybrid SUVs (2004 to 2006 models)
  • 372,000 Lexus RX SUVs (2004 to 2007 models)
  • 20,000 Lexus GS sedans (2006 and 2007 models)
  • 17,000 Lexus LX sedans (2008 to 2011 models)

You may find more information regarding this recall at Toyota's page.

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New Toyota Recall

February 24, 2011

According to a recent article by the LA Times, Toyota Motor Corporation has issued a new recall, this time for 2.17 million cars in the United States. The recall affects six models and is intended to address problems of sudden acceleration.

List of Toyota Recalls

The recall list includes:

  • 761,000 RAV4 sport utility vehicles (2006 to 2010 models)
  • 603,000 4Runner SUVs (2003 to 2009 models)
  • 397,000 Highlander and Highlander hybrid SUVs (2004 to 2006 models)
  • 372,000 Lexus RX SUVs (2004 to 2007 models)
  • 20,000 Lexus GS sedans (2006 and 2007 models)
  • 17,000 Lexus LX sedans (2008 to 2011 models)

For more information on this recall, please visit Toyota's page on the subject.

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Boating Accident in a Friend or Relative's Watercraft

February 18, 2011

Millions of boaters take to the waters each year in the United States. They fish, cruise, water ski and tube or wakeboard for fun.

Under the law, those at the helm of these watercrafts are responsible for the safety of the people on board their vessel, as well as the safety of people in other boats or even swimmers and divers. In other words, the captain of a boat is responsible not only for his boat's seaworthiness, but for operating it with everyone's safety in mind.

Expensive Errors

When pleasure boat captains make mistakes that end up injuring someone else, they are held responsible under the law. Often, if those injured are close friends or relatives of the captain, the victims may hesitate to file suit for their injuries against him or her due to their close relationship. However, as medical costs, lost wages and loss of future earning capacity hit home, they may regret their decision not to pursue a claim...As they suffer for the loss of their capacity to enjoy life due to pain and suffering, disfigurement and/or the loss of their ability to engage in the daily activities they used to enjoy, their attitude towards the whole situation may start to change....

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Injured While Boating With a Friend or Relative: To Sue or Not to Sue...

February 17, 2011

Our country has millions of boaters. People use our waterways to fish, cruise, water ski and tube, wakeboard, and generally to have fun.

The captains of these pleasure crafts are responsible for the safety of those on board their vessel, the people in other boats as well as swimmers and divers. The captain of a boat has a responsibility to ensure that his/her boat is in a seaworthy condition and most importantly, that it is operated with the safety of everyone in mind.

Costly Mistakes

Often times, captains aboard pleasure vessels make mistakes and cause injuries to those on their boats or others. If you are injured on the boat of a friend or relative, you may feel awkward bringing a claim for your injuries because of the close friendship or familial relationship. This could also prove to be a major mistake as medical costs, lost wages and loss of future earning capacity become a reality due to your injuries. Additionally, you may suffer a loss of your capacity to enjoy life due to pain and suffering, disfigurement and/or the loss of your ability to engage in the daily activities you used to enjoy.

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Technology Aids in Event of Accident

February 14, 2011

A new, more comprehensive, "Black Box" system for motor vehicles will be available later this year.

In-Vehicle Event Management System (IVEMS)

This technology is not new. Event data recorders that keep records of things like the speed a vehicle was traveling at a certain time; failures of a number of mechanical or electronic systems, etc. have been around for a while.

Not Popular Among Common Car Owners

However, while the system's tracking capabilities have been popular among fleet operators (cab companies, trucking companies, etc.) because it allows them, among other things, to control their driver's movements, these systems are not popular among regular car owners because of privacy concerns...And such concerns may only be heightened by the ability of this new In-Vehicle Event Management System (IVEMS) to store not only electronic data related to system's failures, but digital video surveillance data as well.

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Why Carry Uninsured//Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM)?

February 11, 2011

The concept of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is missunderstood by most people. It is maybe the most important insurance coverage you should carry to protect yourself and your loved ones.

To register a car, Florida drivers are only required to purchase $10,000.00 in property damage coverage and no-fault coverage. The property damage coverage pays up to $10,000.00 for the property damaged (car, tree, fence, etc.) in an accident caused by you or the driver of your car. The P.I.P. Benefit (Personal Injury Protection Benefit), also known as no-fault benefit, pays 80% of medical bills and 60% of any wages lost by you or a family member, up to $10,000.00 minus any applicable deductible.

No bodily injury (B.I.) coverage is required in Florida. This means that if someone else injures you in an accident they cause, they do not have to carry insurance to pay for your injuries. This is very important because the only way you can protect yourself and your loved ones, is to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM).

UM/UIM Coverage Explained

When you purchase uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage you have your own insurance company stand in place or in addition to the coverage carried by the person who caused the accident. Florida law establishes that your own car insurance company must offer you UM/UIM coverage up to the limits of the BI (Bodily Injury) coverage that you choose. This means that if you purchase bodily injury coverage for your car of 25/50 ($25,000 per person/$50,000.00 per occurrence) you are automatically allowed to purchase up to $25,000/$50,0000 in UM/UIM benefits. Also, if you have more than one car, you can purchase "stackable coverage" in which case you would have $25,000 in coverage for each car in your household. It is an inexpensive way to protect your family.

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Uninsured//Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM)

February 11, 2011

Most people do not understand the concept of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This is perhaps the most important insurance coverage you could purchase to protect yourself and your family.

In Florida, all that is required of a driver to register a car is insurance coverage of $10,000.00 in property damage coverage and no-fault coverage. The $10,000.00 in property damage coverage, pays up to $10,000.00 to anyone else for the their property (including a car, tree, fence, etc.) that is damaged by an accident that you or the driver of your car causes. The no-fault benefit or PIP (Personal Injury Protection Benefit), as it is also known, pays 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your loss wages or a family members loss wages, up to an aggregate of $10,000.00 minus any applicable deductible.

Florida does not require mandatory bodily injury coverage. In other words, if someone else causes an accident, and you are injured, they are not required to have coverage to pay you for your injuries. This is very important. The only way to protect yourself and members of your family, is for you to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM).

What is UM/UIM Coverage?

What this means is that you are buying coverage through your own automobile insurance carrier to take the place of or be in addition to the coverage provided by the person who was at fault for the accident. Under Florida law, your own automobile insurance company must offer you UM/UIM coverage up to the limits of the BI (Bodily Injury) coverage that you elect. In other words, if you purchase bodily injury coverage for your car of 25/50 ($25,000 per person/$50,000.00 per occurrence) you are automatically allowed to purchase up to $25,000/$50,0000 in UM/UIM benefits. In addition, if you have more than one car, you can purchase "stackable coverage" which means, that you would have $25,000 in coverage for each car in your household that is covered under the policy. This could dramatically increase the insurance for you and your loved ones at a very reasonable rate. It is an inexpensive way to protect your family.

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Now That I Had a Car Accident, What Should I Do?

February 11, 2011

Car accidents happen everyday. No one wakes up one morning expecting to have a car accident that day. And when accidents happen, they usually cause injuries and shock. I believe it is important to offer people guidance on what to do after a car accident to protect their rights and preserve the evidence. After being involved in a car accident, you or someone near you should:

1. Unlock your doors and turn off your engine.

2. If you can, check how are the other occupants of your car. If someone is hurt, ask them not to move and if you can, make sure they are immobilized.

3. If someone is bleeding, try to apply a tourniquet or compress the wound to stop the bleeding.

4. Call or ask someone to call 911 for you. Make sure to request the police and rescue.

5. As much as you can, preserve your calm and remain oriented. Answer as clearly as possible all questions asked by emergency rescuers.

Stay Put

Sometimes after an accident, a person is not in pain and responsive. Adrenaline and other factors may contribute to this. Should you find yourself in this situation, try not to move around unnecessarily. If you can, try the following:

a. Give your insurance information to the other driver and ask for their's. Also, give that information to the police.

b. Try to obtain the name, addresses and phone numbers of people who have witnessed the accident

c. If you can, take photographs or videotape the scene. This can be done either with a camera or, thanks to current technology, a cell phone.

d. If you are hurting or not feeling well to any extent, ask to be taken to an emergency room.

e. Tell the physician or emergency room doctor, nurse or paramedic, where it hurts. Give a detail account of everything that hurts, from the top of your head to your toes. Don't refrain from telling them about any condition and let them decide what's relevant or not.

f. Follow the orders from your healthcare providers. After all, they are the experts and for them to be able to effectively help you with your injuries, they must know as much as you can tell them about your past medical history. This also applies to your attorney. Tell him or her everything about your past so that he/she can properly represent you.

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What To Do If You Are In A Car Accident?

February 11, 2011

Car accidents occur daily. They are unexpected. People are often left injured and in shock. It is important to know what to do after a car accident to protect your rights and preserve the evidence. After being involved in a car accident you or someone close to you should do the following:

1. Turn off your car and unlock your doors.

2. Check on the condition of everyone in the car. If anyone is injured, tell them not to move and if possible, ensure that they are immobilized.

3. If anyone is bleeding, make sure that either a tourniquet is applied or bleed is compressed to stop.

4. Either you or have someone for you should call 911 and be specific in requesting rescue as well as the police.

5. Stay calm and oriented. Respond clearly to the questions that you are being asked by emergency rescuers.

Don't Move Around

Often times after an accident, a person isn't immediately incapacitated or in pain. This could be due to adrenaline and other factors. If that is the case, please be careful moving about but, if you can do the following:

a. Exchange information with the other driver or give information to the police officer who is responding.

b. Get the name, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses.

c. If possible photograph or videotape the scene either using a camera or a cell phone camera.

d. If you are at all not feeling well, request transport to a hospital or emergency room.

e. When you see a physician or emergency room doctor, nurse or paramedic, tell them what hurts from the top of your head to the bottom of your toes, even if you don't think it's anything serious. Let the medical personnel decide what if any injuries you have.

f. Follow doctor's orders. Remember they are the professionals.

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Four Teenage Pedestrians Struck by SUV in Hialeah

February 11, 2011

Apparently, as they walked home from school, four teenagers were hit by a driver who seems to have passed out at the wheel and lost control of his SUV.

One of the teens lost his life, two remain in critical condition and one is stable at Jackson Memorial Hospital. It is unknown at this time whether the driver, who was also airlifted to the same hospital, will face charges.

Criminal Charges And Liability Unknown

The unfortunate circumstances of this accident may shield the driver from criminal charges and civil liability. If the events were caused by a medical condition over which the driver had no control and had no knowledge or warning of, the likelihood of him facing either is slim. However, while the State Attorneys Office will decide whether he should face criminal charges, they will not make a determination on whether the driver has incurred civil liability. These victims or their loved ones can only make an educated decision as to whether they can pursue a civil action against the driver and his insurance company after they consult a personal injury attorney. They should not accept a determination made by the driver's insurance carrier in this regard, as insurance companies are not there to help innocent victims, but rather, to limit their exposure. Consulting with a personal injury attorney will not cost them money but only a little of their time, since personal injury attorneys in Florida will not charge them unless they win the case.

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One More Pedestrian is Run Over in South Florida

February 10, 2011

Here we go again! Another South Florida pedestrian is struck down by a motor vehicle, this time as he was getting on a public bus.

Elderly Man Hit as He Was Getting on Bus

Although the driver that struck this pedestrian could not drive away in his vehicle, he simply walked off while others helped the victim. The victim was a 91 year old gentleman trying to board a bus. Apparently, the driver lost control of his SUV, went on to the sidewalk and hit the elderly pedestrian. The victim was taken to Jackson Memorial's Ryder Trauma Center, where he remains in critical condition.

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Another Pedestrian Accident in Miami

February 9, 2011

Unfortunately, as a recent CBS News article shows, we have had another incident where a local pedestrian has been hit by a motor vehicle, this time while boarding a public bus.

Elderly Pedestrian was Struck When Trying to Board the Bus

Apparently this time the offender could not drive away in his vehicle. That, however, did not stop him from simply walking away while the driver of the bus was calling 911 and commuters got off the bus to help the victim. The pedestrian, a 91 year old man was at the bus stop trying to board the bus when the offender's SUV swerved out of control, jumped the curve and run him over. He remains in critical condition at Jackson Memorial's Ryder Trauma Center.

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