The Dangerous Side of Pulling Over

July 17, 2013

Sometimes it is inevitable that a driver must pull over to the side of a road, whether due to an emergency, inclement weather, the receipt of an important phone call, or some other important reason. However, this can be an extremely dangerous undertaking, especially in high density and heavily-trafficked areas of the State. Specifically, while pulled over, cars and trucks can whiz by at extremely high speeds and fail to see you, resulting in a potential deadly situation for you and all other parties involved.

According to recent studies, it is by far better to stop and take a break at a rest stop or some other place with a parking lot rather than pulling over onto a shoulder lane. Specifically, studies reveal that in light of the increased incidence of distracted driving (i.e. cell phone calls & texting), the numbers of collisions that occur in shoulder lanes have skyrocketed - leaving you and your family vulnerable to injury. Since you cannot always avoid having to pull over, you should keep the following safety tips in mind:

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How to Survive and Prevent an SUV Rollover

July 17, 2013

In the United States, sports utility vehicle (SUV) rollover accidents injure and kill approximately 6,000 to 10,000 people per year. As most people are aware, SUVs - due to the nature of their design - are more likely to tip and rollover than other types of vehicles. While only 3% of all types of accidents involve rollovers, these nonetheless account for more than 30% of occupant deaths. Otherwise stated, SUV rollover accidents do not typically involve just injuries - oftentimes, our car accident lawyers in Miami find they have fatal results. In fact, rollover accidents are responsible for about 58% of all deaths in SUVs.

In light of the above, how do SUV rollover accidents happen? Under the right set of circumstances, any vehicle, such as a car or motorcycle, can roll over. However, SUVs, being taller and narrower than many other types of vehicles, are more vulnerable to rolling over since their center of gravity is higher, making them extremely top heavy. As an SUV rounds a curve, its center of gravity shirts to one side, which can dramatically affect its balance and result in a potential rollover accident.

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What You Should Know About Broadside Crashes in Florida

July 15, 2013

Some of the most serious and deadly automobile accident cases that we handle in the Miami-Dade area and beyond are broadside crash cases. A broadside accident, also referred to as a T-bone or side impact crash, typically occurs at intersections where one car will hit the other "broad side," or at a right angle. This potentially fatal scenario can happen anywhere however, are often more serious when they occur at four-way intersections. Oftentimes, side impact crashes - due to a combination of speed, severity and the directness of impact - seriously injure and sometimes kill the driver and/or the passengers in the victim's vehicle.

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), our car accident attorneys in Miami find that more than 30,000 people in the United States were killed and over 2 million injured in traffic accidents - many of which involved broadside crashes. Of those injured, many suffered from serious back, neck and head trauma as a result of their accident. With this in mind, why do broadside impacts result in such severe and potentially fatal injuries? Specifically, when a side impact crash occurs, a vehicle is often knocked off course and typically becomes the subject of another, more severe collision. To illustrate, the broadsided vehicle is often pushed to the side, either towards the side of a road (potentially striking guardrails, telephone poles, and parked vehicles) or in the direct line of oncoming traffic (where head on collisions are likely).

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Florida Auto Insurance Coverage & the Denial of Claims: What You Should Know

July 11, 2013

Regardless of circumstances, being involved in a car accident can be both physically and emotionally traumatic. However, having to deal with one's insurance carrier can make the process even more difficult to bear. While insurance companies promise all sorts of benefits and perks (and collectively spend billions in persuasive advertising to induce you to choose their specific brand), our Miami personal Injury lawyers have learned through many years of litigation that insurers will do anything to make a profit and protect their financial interests at all costs. In essence, what you see and are promised are not usually what you get.

As such, knowing what insurance companies may do and also, how to proactively prevent issues is the key to success. Accordingly, consider the following ways that an insurance company may respond to your car accident claim:

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Avoiding Liability After Being in a Car Accident in Florida

July 10, 2013

According to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, there are more than 250,000 accidents that occur within the State of Florida each year. Sometimes, these accidents can be minor, or end up leaving victims with serious and life-threatening injuries. With this in mind, it is important to consider that accidents can and do happen, making it essential for people to learn what to do should this happen to them. In fact, what many people don't consider after being in an accident is that what they do and say can be used against them, especially if they are fully or partially at fault.

Our experienced, Miami car accident lawyers know that this can even occur if an accident was caused entirely by the other driver. While it is understandable that the moments after a crash can be extremely scary, (sometimes leading to an inadvertent slip of the tongue), it is crucial to keep calm and remain silent - no matter what. In other words, let's say you're tired, had a long day, and all of a sudden you are in a collision that you did not see coming. Your natural instinct is to jump out of your car, make sure that the person is not injured, and try to figure out what happened. Although these intentions are certainly noteworthy, they can be used against you later on by insurance companies and their attorneys who are trying to blame you for the accident if you talk at the scene.

Accordingly, here are some steps you can take to avoid getting yourself into trouble at the scene of an accident:

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5 Tips to Avoid Getting Sideswiped in Florida

July 7, 2013

A sideswipe accident occurs when two cars are riding next to one another in the same direction and their sides collide. As with any type of auto accident, a sideswipe-related crash can result in severe injury to all parties involved, especially passengers. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, there are more than 240,000 sideswipe crashes that occur in the U.S. each year. Of these numbers, over 25,000 involve injuries with roughly 2,500 resulting in death.

Undoubtedly, our Miami car accident attorneys know injuries that result from sideswipe collisions - commonly those affecting the neck, back, spine and brain - are often more severe than other types of accidents given that protective devices such as air bags are normally designed for front and rear-end collisions. Additionally, sideswipe accidents can also cause severe damage to your vehicle, which can be both time consuming and extremely costly to repair.

What then, specifically causes sideswipe accidents? Usually, these types of collisions occur when drivers change lanes without looking or carelessly weave in and out of lanes. Oftentimes, impaired or distracted drivers are to blame for causing sideswipe accidents due to the fact that they are not focused on the road. For instance, if someone is sending text messages while driving, they can veer into other lanes without even realizing it, increasing the likelihood of sideswipe collisions to occur.

While it may seem rather straightforward, determining who is at fault and proving injuries caused by a sideswipe collision can sometimes be a daunting task. That is why it is important to take proactive measures to prevent these accidents from occurring. Although not every accident can be avoided, you should certainly consider the following tips in maximizing your safety on the road:

1. Be sure to look carefully before changing lanes. Your car's blind spots can hide other vehicles, making sideswipe collisions much more likely should you change lanes. Taking the time to look carefully can end up being a life-saving decision.

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Taxicab Accidents in Florida: Knowing the Causes and Your Rights

July 6, 2013

Florida attracts millions of tourists each year, with many of them relying upon taxicabs to get them about and around their destination spots. Especially in major cities such as Miami, Key West, and Fort Lauderdale, taxicabs are an extremely popular mode of transportation for tourists and locals alike. However, they can be extremely dangerous. Not surprisingly, many people believe that taxicab drivers are more experienced than your average driver and as such, are safer than others when behind the wheel. As a result, people sometimes fail to take essential precautions when riding in a cab, such as wearing a seatbelt. Unfortunately, numerous people in Florida become injured each year in taxicab accidents, the more serious of which involve those who were not wearing their seatbelt at the time of the accident.

Overall, it is important to realize that taxi drivers, like others, are just as "accident prone" as the rest of society and fall prey to the same distractions and other things that can cause an accident. In fact, the state of Florida, recognizing the inherent dangers associated with taxicabs, excludes them from the state's no-fault insurance law. This means that if a person sustains injuries in a taxicab-related accident due to driver negligence, our auto accident lawyers in Miami can help them recover monetary damages without having to prove permanent injury.

While not every accident can be avoided, having knowledge as to the most common causes can help you take certain preventative measures to protect you and your loved ones. Accordingly, the following is a list that you should consider, while not exhaustive, of the various causes of taxicab-related accidents in Florida:

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Depression, Teenagers and Car Accidents in Florida

July 5, 2013

It is no surprise that among all drivers, teenagers are a major cause of car accidents in Miami and across the State of Florida. According to national car accident statistics, teenage drivers are extremely vulnerable to serious injury and death while driving. In fact, automobile accidents are one of the leading causes of death for teenagers across the country, with teens being three times more likely to get into collisions than other, more experienced drivers. In Florida alone, teenage-related car crashes have reached epidemic proportions, with the State reporting the highest amount of accidents (involving serious injury and death) across the country for children between the ages of 15 and 19 years.

In recent years however, an additional cause of car accidents among teenagers - depression - has become a serious and ever increasing problem. According to an international study reviewing the correlation between teenage drivers and their corresponding emotional state, teens suffering from depression who get behind the wheel are much more likely than those who are not depressed to cause serious and life-threatening car crashes. While numerous factors are involved in causing teenagers to get into car accidents - such as their rate of speed, immaturity, alcohol/drug consumption, use of cell phones while driving, risk-oriented behavior and lack of experience - depression, which leads to risky and hazardous driving behaviors, has become an additionally recognized cause of teenage automobile collisions.

For instance, the above study suggests that depression causes teenagers to lose focus on the road, engage in distracted and/or impaired driving, and act aggressively or recklessly towards other drivers on the road. Moreover, it may also influence them to engage in destructive behaviors, such as drinking and consuming drugs. When combined with driving, these can and often do have disastrous consequences.
In light of the above, how can you protect yourself and your loved ones when behind the wheel?

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Will SB 52 Prevent Distracted Driving in Florida? Some Parents Say No.

July 4, 2013

Over the past decade, texting while driving (and other related forms of distraction) has become one of the leading causes of car accidents in the State of Florida and across the United States as a whole. Due to the rise of cell phone usage and all of their associated gizmos, gadgets and applications, it is not surprising that as a result, a car accident occurs approximately every ten seconds in the U.S. Specifically, nation-wide surveys reveal that nearly two-thirds of all drivers admitted to reading text messages or emailing while driving. Even more daunting is the fact in Florida alone, the more than 4,500 accidents that occurred last year were all attributed to some form of distracted driving, with more than 250 linked specifically to texting.

In an effort to increase the safety of Florida drivers, Governor Rick Scott recently signed SB 52, a new law that implements a state-wide ban on texting while driving. Florida has now joined the majority of states that have enacted strict legislative measures against this dangerous practice. As part of the new law, drivers must be stopped by police for a separate traffic infraction before being issued a ticket for texting while driving. The cost of the ticket is $30 for each infraction.

In light of the above, some Floridians are claiming that the law is too weak in that it does not punish texting while driving as a primary offense. In fact, according to one parent whose daughter

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How to File a Personal Injury Case After Being Hit By a Drunk Driver in Florida

July 3, 2013

It can certainly be a nightmare to sustain serious injuries due to the negligence of a drunk driver. In a split second, people's lives can drastically change as a result of the poor choices of those who decide to drink and drive, despite the well-known and severely impairing effects of alcohol. While driving under the influence in the State of Florida is treated as a crime - and comes with it certain penalties (i.e., depending upon the nature of the accident and amount of prior DUI charges that the offender may have) - sometimes a DUI charge is simply not enough. For the innocent victims of intoxicated drivers, it is not surprising that following their accident, they are forced to deal with enormous medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income and future wages, and other expenses associated with being injured in a car accident. In addition, for those that face resulting long-term or permanent disabilities, a DUI charge can never undo the damage caused by the careless and inexcusable choices of a person who ultimately chose to drive while intoxicated.

Our Miami car accident attorneys aggressively pursue personal injury cases against intoxicated drivers given our first-hand understanding as to how devastating DUI-related injuries can be for people involved in these types of accidents. With this in mind, we take these cases very seriously, and fight tirelessly to get our clients results. Despite whether criminal charges are pending or not against a wrongdoer, there are ways of holding drunk drivers as well as third parties responsible for having caused and/or contributed to our clients' injuries, such as:

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What is Product Liability?

June 18, 2013

Watching the news in Miami, one will notice that products are frequently recalled because they are either designed or manufactured improperly resulting in loss or injury. As a matter of fact, each year, U.S. federal regulatory agencies announce thousands of product recalls involving such diverse products as toys, electrical and electronic products, fire sprinklers, household appliances, recreational products, motor vehicles, foods, drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices. How do these recalls affect the Miami Product Liability attorney's ability to recover damages for clients who were injured by these recalled items?

Why are products recalled?

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced more than 350 recalls in 2004. Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced about 500. What prompts the call to recall so many of products each and every year?

Products are usually recalled after they are placed in the stream of commercial because defects were found with these products and, in most cases, these defects have caused injuries to consumers or loss of property. For instance, car manufacturers have recalled vehicles due to electrical malfunctions which lead to car crashes. Recently, some toys from China have been recalled due to toxic paint that was used injuring children. Many baby cribs have been recalled due to the fact that infant limbs have gotten caught in the bars causing substantial injuries and at times, death. How do these recalls impact an attorney's ability to recover damages?

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Florida Law Finally Bans Texting While Driving.

June 17, 2013

Thumbnail image for Miami Car Accident Lawyers Mobile Texting Pic.jpgIt is astonishing how many people in Miami text while driving. Just yesterday, I observed a person behind the wheel driving down Biscayne Blvd., staring at his phone, texting with both of his hands as his car swerved from lane to lane. We wrote a blog just a couple of weeks ago on why Florida regulators must ban the use of hand held devices in Florida to insure that our roads are safer. Governor Rick Scott finally signed a law on May 28, 2013 banning the practice of texting while driving. This new law should impact how a Miami personal injury attorney can recover damages for a client who was hit by a driver who was texting.

Why driving while texting is a very dangerous practice.

Texting while driving is a very dangerous practice as it draws the driver's attention away from traffic, road conditions and vehicle operation. Drivers, whose focus is on the device they are using rather than the road, are more prone to missing a red light, a stop sign or even seeing a pedestrian crossing the road. The vehicles these people drive can swerve as indicated above, causing other vehicles on the road to react as well as cause accidents of their own. People who engage in this negligent and reckless practice cause numerous automobile accidents each and every day.

Researcher Joshua Cohen of the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis reported

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Important Motorcycle Accident Statistics in Florida

June 15, 2013

Miami Motorcycle Lawyers.jpgWith the advent of summer comes the advent of another time-honored and much-loved tradition throughout our country: bringing out your motorcycle. Millions of people across the United States own motorcycles. In fact, there are over four million registered motorcycles in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents and fatalities are a tragic part of our national love affair with motorcycles. Below are some sobering statistics, as well as some helpful reminder tips to minimize your chances of injury if you are a motorcycle rider.

In 2012, the U.S. Governors Highway Safety Association released a report summarizing injuries and fatalities sustained by motorcycle riders in the first nine months of 2011. A copy of the report can be found at Between January and September, 3,580 motorcyclists across the United States lost their lives during motorcycle accidents. Eighty percent of motorcycle accidents involve serious injuries, according to NHTSA. In Florida, Miami-Dade, Pinellas, Volusia, Hillsborough, Palm Beach, Broward, Duval, Orange, Pasco, and Brevard counties had the highest rates of fatalities in the year 2010. In 2010, 6,686 motorcyclists were injured, and 350 lost their lives, in Florida. The Miami motorcycle accident lawyers at Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, P.A., are all too familiar with these statistics, as we have represented many individuals injured as a result of motorcycle accidents.

A review of recent news stories in Florida is a further, and more personal, reminder of the dangers associated with riding a motorcycle:

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Spas: A Hazard to Your Health?

June 13, 2013

GS&U Spa Picture for Blog 2.jpgIt is supposed to be a day of relaxation--a trip to the spa for a facial, a manicure or pedicure, a hair cut or hair color, or a body wrap. For some, however, this day of relaxation can turn quickly turn into a nightmare. Injuries from services received at spas or salons are on the rise, as more and more people seek out these services.

Often injuries result from inadequately trained aestheticians, waxers, colorists, or stylists. Injuries may also result from chemicals and products utilized during spa and salon services. Men are not immune from such injuries, either, as more and more men are seeking out spa and salon services in recent years. If you are in need of a Miami personal injury attorney as a result of such an injury, please contact the attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A., about your case. More information about salon and spa-related injuries, and how to help prevent them, is discussed below.

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What are the Punitive Damages in Products Liability Cases in Florida?

June 4, 2013

Each year, thousands of Americans sustain injuries in the United States resulting from products sold on the market. Watching the news in Miami, one will notice that dangerous and defective products are constantly recalled due to the injuries they cause. Imagine now, that a manufacturer is aware that an item it sells is dangerous and/or defective and this company deliberately conceals this knowledge from the general public. An experienced products liability attorney in Miami will be able to recover punitive damages for their clients in these types of active concealment cases.

What Constitutes an Active Concealment Case?

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced more than 350 recalls in 2004. Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced about 500. Most manufacturers recall products after they are placed in the stream of commerce due to defects which were found with these products after the distribution of these products. This is done to insure that consumers are no longer injured by these same goods.

In some instances, however, manufacturers are aware that the items they sell are dangerous and cause harm prior to the distribution of these products. Rather than retool and redesign to make the product safe, the manufacturer deliberately buries the danger posed by these goods from consumers. The decision to go forward selling the defective product is almost always a function of dollars. Manufacturers ague that the don't have the money to spend making the product safer. I have heard manufacturer's representatives say, "We figured it was cheaper to pay claims than retool and redesign the product."

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