Airbag Defects At All Time High

November 25, 2013

Airbags are the cushions between us and the crushing impact of a car's windshield. We put our trust in our cars' ability to deploy airbags when colliding with another motor vehicle. In today's world, technology is so advanced that the automobile industry should have no trouble designing and manufacturing airbags without causing harm to customers. Unfortunately, airbags have been failing quite frequently in the past year. In fact, the number of defects resulting in recalls has reached a record high in 2013.

Our Miami car defect lawyers have found that car manufacturers have recalled more than 6 million cars due to defective airbags. This astounding statistic reveals that there is a serious problem with airbags not working as they are intended. The defective quality of these airbags is that they have failed to deploy during car accidents, injuring thousands and killing one driver. While it is positive that car manufacturers have recalled the vehicles in an effort to fix the problem, it is still quite frightening to realize that airbags are failing their drivers so often. It is a scary thought that your car's airbag might not deploy as it should upon impact in a car accident. Because of the airbag failure, it is even more important to drive safely so that there's no need for an airbag to deploy.

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Florida Law Regarding Non-Compete Agreements

November 17, 2013

The business world has become so competitive today that many companies are requiring that their employees sign non-competition agreements ("non-compete" agreements) as a condition of employment. Our Miami commercial litigation lawyers know how these agreements are essentially restrictive covenants that limit the time, place and manner in which an employee can work if he or she chooses to leave a particular job. For example, if you work in the high frequency trading industry and you wish to work for a different company, your non-compete agreement may restrict you from working in that same field for at least one year. Whether this is fair depends on a number of factors.

In Florida, Fla. Stat. § 542.335 is the governing law regarding the validity of non-compete agreements. These restrictive agreements are completely legal so long as the following conditions are met:

• The agreement must be reasonable in time, place and manner, meaning the agreement cannot restrict your ability to work in an area of business outside the realm of your former employment;

• The agreement must be signed by the employee; and

• There must be a legitimate business interest for the imposition of the restrictive non-compete agreement (such as the protection of trade secrets, confidential business information, interference with customer base, the risk of a former employee going to a competing company that is within the same geographical area, etc.)

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Distracted Driving Accident & How to Prevent Them

November 13, 2013

Nowadays, it is common to hear on the news about a person who was injured or died as a result of texting while driving. Specifically, texting while driving is a leading cause of accidents for teens and young adults, claiming thousands of lives each year across the U.S. The reason why it is so dangerous is that it reduces a driver's ability to react in the same way as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers are 4 times more likely to be involved in an accident caused by texting while driving. In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation reports that reading a text message can take a driver's eyes off the road for about 4.6 seconds. When going 55 miles per hour, this roughly equates to driving the entire length of a football field without looking where you are going.

In light of the above, it is important to realize that texting while driving is but one of many forms of distractions that can result in serious and fatal accidents. In 2011, over 3,300 people were killed in accidents caused by a distracted driver, including texting, with about 387,000 others who were badly injured. Our Miami car accident lawyers found a list of distractions that led to these accidents involved the following:

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Steps to Take if You are in a Car Accident in Florida

November 11, 2013

Without a doubt, a car accident can be very distressing, even for the most careful drivers. In fact, for most people, an accident not only ruins their day, it can cause them to miss work or crucial appointments, and be forced to deal with damage to their vehicle, establishing fault, potential traffic violations, and even injuries in some unfortunate cases. However, the fact that people are often unprepared for auto accidents can make the situation even worse, sometimes causing unnecessary injuries and costly legal mistakes. Our Miami car accident lawyers know that with more than 2 million accidents involving injuries each year, being prepared for an accident is important. Accordingly, the following are some tips to consider should you be involved in a crash:

• Keep safety your number 1 priority. If you are in an accident, pull over to a safe place, if possible, to avoid being struck by other cars. If you cannot move your car to another location, remain in your vehicle with your seatbelts fastened until help arrives. Turn your hazard lights on and set out cones and/or flares (equip your car with these beforehand) so that you are visible to other drivers, including emergency personnel.

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When Close to Home is a Danger Zone

November 7, 2013

Studies show that almost one out of every three car collisions occurs within a mile of the driver's home, and that a staggering 70% of all car accidents occur within ten miles of at least one of the drivers' homes. A recent Progressive Insurance survey corroborates these numbers, adding the caveat that the majority of these accidents tend to be relatively minor. Parking lot bump-ins at the local market, or backing into a neighbor's car are among these types of less serious accidents. Therefore, while most people worry about having a car accident while on a busy freeway, or away on vacation, our Miami car accident lawyers understand that chances are, the accident they are worried about will happen much closer to home.

Why Miami Car Accidents Occur Close to Home

The phenomenon of accidents occurring close to home happens in part because most of us have a "comfort zone" which includes where we live, work, shop and take our children to school. For most people this comfort zone consists of approximately a ten-mile radius from their home. Unfortunately, the negative side of this zone is that we become so conditioned to driving the same routes day in and day out that we tend to be less alert than in an unfamiliar area. When we set out on vacation, we are likely driving roads which we have not driven before, or at least have not driven very often.

This means we are more focused on driving and more aware of the other drivers sharing the road. On the other hand, when we are driving to work--a route we have driven hundreds, maybe thousands of times--we let down our guard and tend to zone out rather than focusing on our actual driving skills. In many cases drivers even fail to buckle up, reasoning it is "just a few blocks away." In the end, we are lulled into a false sense of security and are likely thinking about what we will cook for dinner or our children's soccer game rather than the potential for an auto accident.

What are Your Chances of Being Involved in a Miami Car Accident?

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Technology Plays a Key Role in Getting Compensation for a Rear-end Accident

October 29, 2013

Do you remember sitting in math or science class and lamenting the fact that you never really will have to know or apply the theories being discussed? Well, if you have been involved in a car accident where your car was hit by another vehicle, then this information might be critical to getting you the damages award you rightfully deserve. Rear-end accidents frequently lead to whiplash injuries, as well as other neck and back injuries.

The reason for this is the transfer of force from the impacting vehicle to the front vehicle and its occupants. The driver and any passengers are easier points for the flow of energy and absorb a disproportionate percentage of the impact. Accident reconstruction experts are able to calculate this impact force and load, determine the rate of speed of the impacting vehicle, and ascertain what the other driver was doing wrong at the time of the accident.

The experienced, Miami auto accident attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. understand the critical role that an accident reconstruction expert can have on the outcome of a Miami car accident case, including significantly influencing out-of-court settlement or jury awards. We will use every available resource to get justice for our clients who have suffered as the result of a rear-end collision.

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Lack of Visibility Contributes to Fatal Motorcycle Accidents

October 27, 2013

This past June, two people riding a motorcycle were rushed to the hospital following an accident at an intersection in busy downtown Miami. The driver of the vehicle that hit the bike failed to see the motorcycle and continued through the intersection as the motorcyclist was making a legal turn. While this accident may have been the result of a motorcycle turning in front of a vehicle without enough clearance, the fact that many drivers do not register the presence of a motorcycle until they are too close to avoid an accident is all too common. Due to the motorcycle's much smaller size they can easily disappear in driver's blind spots or behind other vehicles or obstructions, decreased visibility leads to many accidents.

The beautiful Miami weather leads to many bikers taking the road every day. Unfortunately, this leads to serious accidents between bikers and other drivers. If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident, the expert and compassionate South Florida personal injury attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. are ready to fight to protect your interests and get you the compensation that you deserve.

Motorcycles are significantly smaller than other vehicles on the road. Although these bikes comprise only two percent (2%) of the vehicles on the road across the country, they are involved in ten percent (10%) of vehicle accidents. One of the main reasons for this disparate percentage of collisions may be attributed to the decreased visibility of a biker on the road. Frequently, accidents between bikes and other vehicles occur at intersections where road obstructions and other vehicles may camouflage a bike. Bad weather, such as rain or fog, also may lead to a collision where a driver did not see a motorcycle.

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When a Fun Day at the Water Park Results in a Tragedy

October 16, 2013

On August 2, 2013, a three-year old boy drowned in an outdoor kids' pool at the Kalahari water park in Sandusky, Ohio. The family has since filed a wrongful death suit against the water park, alleging the toddler was not wearing a life vest as required by the park and there were insufficient lifeguards at the park to monitor the number of guests. Over a million guests visit this particular water park each year, and while park officials maintain they acted appropriately, the state of Ohio has fined Kalahari five times since 2005 for lifeguard shortages and other issues. Two lifeguards were on duty at the time of the drowning, however state regulations require a third lifeguard when more than fifty people are in the water.

Drowning Fatalities Not All That Uncommon in Miami

Unfortunately, this tragic drowning is hardly an isolated incident. With over fifteen major water parks in Florida--and many smaller one--the risks of a serious accident or fatality increase exponentially. In fact, Florida has a history of ranking the highest for unintentional drowning among children aged 1-4 and, during certain years, Florida's drowning rate has been as much as three times the national average. Of course, our Miami personal injury lawyers know that these numbers include drowning in bathtubs, home pools, public pools, in natural water sources as well as in public water parks. Nationwide, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 1-14.

Miami Water Park Drowning

A visit to a water park in the Miami area should be a fun activity for all involved, however when negligence on the part of the park or its employees results in a serious injury or loss of a loved one, it could be necessary to file a civil lawsuit against the park. The water parks in Florida draw thousands of visitors each and every day, particularly during the hottest summer months. While there is a certain inherent risk associated with water rides, tide pools and other water attractions in a water park, in some cases injuries could have been avoided if the attractions had been properly built, maintained and inspected. In other cases, negligent park supervision may be to blame for drowning or near-drowning accidents. Tightened economies can result in water parks that fail to maintain equipment in a safe operating condition or who skimp on supervision staff in order to save money. In order to avoid a water park drowning in Miami, water park operators have a legal obligation to ensure the grounds are safe for all visitors.

Questions Pertinent to a Water Park Drowning in Miami

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When Following Too Closely Puts Motorcyclists in Jeopardy

October 14, 2013

Just this August, a Florida motorcyclist was airlifted to a hospital, in critical condition after being hit from behind by an automobile. The 39-year old motorcyclist was stopped at a red light when he was rear ended by an auto driver who was driving at a high rate of speed. The motorcyclist was dragged by the car for over twenty feet, and while the driver of the automobile was also taken to the hospital, his injuries were considered much less serious than those of the motorcyclist. While only 6% of Florida's motorists are motorcyclists, our motorcycle accident lawyers in Miami understand that over 18% of all Florida traffic-related deaths involve a motorcycle rider.

Who Is Most Often at Fault in Miami Motorcycle Accidents?

In nearly three-quarters of Miami motorcycle accidents in which a motorcycle and an automobile collide, the motorcyclist was not at fault. This is contrary to the commonly-held perceptions that motorcyclists are risk-takers and fail to drive safely. The primary cause of automobiles rear-ending motorcyclists lies in the fact that drivers tend to follow the motorcycles much too closely. An impatient, aggressive, reckless or distracted auto driver may simply fail to notice the much less visible motorcyclist. Driver distraction is also a major issue when automobiles rear-end a motorcyclist.

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Parking Lot Accidents in Florida: What Drivers & Pedestrians Should Know

October 9, 2013

Surprisingly, parking lot-related accidents occur almost on a daily basis throughout the State of Florida. Though people tend to drive slowly while in a parking lot, many car accidents nonetheless occur due to numerous cars traveling in multiple directions, often within a limited amount of space. While many of these accidents do not result in serious injuries or death, others end up causing serious injuries and sometimes, claim innocent lives. The good news is that through following a few simple steps, parking lot accidents can be prevented.

In light of the above, our Miami personal injury lawyers have provided you with some crucial ways you can avoid being involved in a parking lot accident:

For pedestrians:

• Always watch where you are going when walking in a parking lot. No matter what, drivers of cars and other types of vehicles may have a hard time seeing you, whether through inattention or due to limited visibility.

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Parasailing can be a Dangerous Beach Activity

October 8, 2013

People from all over the state and the country migrate to Florida beaches for recreation and pleasure. There, they sunbath on the land, engage in activities on the water, and take to the air. One of the more daring activities for beach-goers is parasailing. Parasailing is a popular activity to see the beautiful views along the South Florida coast. However, this activity has led to many serious injuries and fatalities on Florida beaches. Another, relatively new activity, is strapping a jet-pack on your back and flying over the water ala James Bond. This activity, although fun, can be dangerous if proper instruction is not provides or faulty equipment is used.

The warm weather and beautiful shoreline attract adventuresome personalities who want to try the various activities offered along the coast, as well as those who would rather indulge in rest and relaxation. Despite the idyllic location, beach accidents do occur and take many forms, including parasailing accidents. If you have been injured in a beach or at sea accident, the experienced Miami personal injury lawyers at Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, P.A. are committed to learning the facts of your case and developing a strategy to get the award that you need for medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Over the past decade or so, there have been more than twenty serious parasailing accidents, leading to half a dozen deaths and twenty injuries. What makes these numbers a little more disconcerting is the fact that this industry is largely unregulated. There are some federal regulations in place, but these are not comprehensive laws and instead impact specific components of the industry. The people who operate these parasailing operations may choose to cooperate with voluntary standards of care, but they are not obligated to do so and many who run the parasailing companies on the beach choose not to comply.

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A Child can Drown in a Pool Surrounded by Adults

October 6, 2013

The end of August in South Miami-Dade is a time when the heat of the summer draws people into the water, whether that is the ocean, rivers, canals, lakes, water parks, or backyard pools. Many times, family and friends will use this time as a reason to get together and enjoy water activities, games, food, and conversation before school resumes.. It would seem like it is impossible for a child to drown while surrounded by so many people. Tragically, this is what happened to a two-year old toddler several weeks ago.

If you have been injured in a near-drowning accident or a loved one has been killed, it is important to contact the skilled Miami drowning accident attorneys of Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, P.A. as soon as possible. The investigation into a drowning accident should happen as close to the time of the tragedy as possible because the location and surrounding environment may be altered. Our attorneys are here to get you the compensation and justice that you deserve.

According to 7 News, the death of a little girl occurred with people surrounding her. There were some on the pool and others playing volleyball. This is a terrible reminder of how quickly a child can drown. Situations like this also are why Florida is ranked number one out of the fifty states in child drownings for children ages one to four years of age.

A drowning victim may lose consciousness in under a minute. Irreparable brain damage can occur shortly thereafter, even if the victim is pulled from the water and resuscitated. These victims likely will spend the remainder of their lives requiring medical treatment, special accommodations, and adaptive technologies.

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Family Boat Trip Costs Man his Life

October 3, 2013

In August, a man took his friend, his daughter, and several other boys on a boating trip in the Florida Keys. When one of the young boys started to struggle while swimming off of the boat, Brian Kowalski did not hesitate to jump into the water to save the child from the rip currents that were pulling him away from the boat. He was able to save the child but lost his life in the effort.

Drowning deaths can happen in a variety of circumstances, but they are nearly always preventable. If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a drowning accident, the skilled Miami personal injury lawyers and Wrongful Death Lawyers at Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, P.A. are committed to holding the responsible parties accountable for the harm that they caused.

A day spent swimming, snorkeling, and enjoying the weather in the Florida Keys ended in tragedy when a little boy lost his grip on a trailing rope and a man lost his life saving him. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Mr. Kowalski was able to swim with the child back to the boat, but was not able to get himself back on board. Tragic accidents like these can be prevented if basic precautions are taken.

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Hit-and-Run Accidents are on the Rise in Florida

August 31, 2013

Florida is experiencing a dangerous trend, with 67,968 hit-and-run accidents in 2012. Out of this staggering number of crashes, 166 fatalities and approximately 17,000 injuries resulted from the collisions. There are many reasons why a driver will flee the scene of an accident, whether it is fear of getting into trouble, not wanting it discovered that he was impaired at the time of the crash, being in the country illegally, or having outstanding arrest warrants. Regardless of the reason, if a person leaves the scene of an accident, he or she will face serious consequences when caught.

If you were the victim of a hit-and-run accident, the experienced Miami personal injury lawyers at Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, P.A. can help you understand your legal options and pursue the compensation that you deserve.

Under Florida law, if a driver is involved in an accident, he has an obligation to stop right away, remain at the scene, exchange information with the other parties involved in the accident, and provide assistance to anyone who was injured in the accident, to the extent that it is reasonable to do so. When the accident has led to someone being hurt, panic may cause the driver to want to flee, but that will make the situation much worse.
The majority of fatalities in hit and run accidents are pedestrians, with three out of every five deaths being someone outside of a vehicle. Due to the increase in this type of accident, the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) has launched an awareness campaign in order to educate everyone who may be involved in accident about the proper reaction to an accident, including:

• Get all vehicles out of the roadway, ideally to the side of the road;

• Do not panic, remaining calm will help everybody at the scene of the accident get through the chaos;

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Wrong-Way Crashes a Real Problem in South Florida

August 31, 2013

Over the past few years, there have been hundreds of car crashes caused by drivers driving on the wrong side of the road or going the wrong way in the interstate. The horrific crash several months ago when police chased a car the wrong way on Interstate 95 and four people died was a terrible reminder of the danger these accidents pose. Another high-profile wrong-way accident took place on the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York last month, killing one and making national news. The driver in that accident apparently was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

A wrong-way accident leads to serious injury and fatalities because of the high rate of speed and frontal impact. If you have been involved in a wrong-way collision, or any other vehicle accident, the experiences Miami car accident attorneys at Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, P.A. can help you get compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

A wrong-way accident happens when a driver travels in the on-coming traffic lane. These accidents usually involve head-on collisions or offset-frontal impacts when drivers swerve to avoid the wrong-way driver. However, since the drivers are traveling at each other at an extremely high rate of speed, avoiding the other vehicle is very difficult. These accidents lead to very serious injuries and fatalities are far too common.

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