Recently in Car Accidents Category

Examining Fatal Car Accidents in Florida

April 21, 2014

On January 20, 2014, a violent crash in southwest Miami-Dade killed three people and sent three others to the hospital. The wreck occurred at about 1:45 a.m. in the area of Southwest 144th Street and Krome Avenue. Erik Betancourt, a 19 year old, was driving southbound on Krome Avenue when he collided head on with another vehicle.

Betancourt had three passengers in the car, and the other vehicle had one passenger. Gisele Betancourt, just 15, and the driver and passenger of the other vehicle were killed in the accident. Erik Betancourt and his two other passengers, Julissa Ochoa and Samuel Domifilo, were transported to the hospital with serious injuries.

One month later, Daniela Perez, 14, was killed when Arnaldo Campo Romaguera, 43, lost control of his Chevy Trailblazer. Romaguera was heading west on Julia Tuttle Causeway when he lost control of the SUV carrying seven people. The SUV struck a guardrail, overturned, and landed on its roof in a grassy embankment. Perez was ejected from the vehicle, killing her instantly. She was the only fatality, though the driver and all passengers sustained injuries.

Meanwhile, in close by Tampa, a fiery head on collision left five people dead. In this crash, an SUV was traveling the wrong way on Interstate 275 when it hit a Hyundai Sonata, carrying four fraternity members from the University of South Florida in Tampa. All four Sigma Beta Rho passengers were killed, as was the driver of the SUV.

Approximately 3,000 individuals are killed on Florida roadways each year, and 30,000 perish nationally. In fact, someone is killed every 13 seconds in the U.S. With this in mind, our Miami car accident lawyers have prepared the following list of the top causes of fatal car accidents in Florida. This list is intended to help you understand the potential hazards on the roadways so that you can stay safe while driving.

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Rollover Accidents Still Lead to Fatalities throughout Florida

March 30, 2014

Late on Halloween night, four teenagers were returning home from a "haunted walk" in Collier County, Florida when the Mustang in which they were riding veered off the road, impacted a concrete culvert, and rolled over. Three of the teenagers were killed and a fourth was able to crawl from the car with serious injuries, according to an NBC news story. Rollover accidents continue to be among the most deadly of all auto accidents.

When a person has been injured in a severe crash, there are many struggles that he may endure, but he does not have to do this alone. The skilled Miami auto accident attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. have more than 100 years of combined experience in getting the damages awards that our clients need to pay for medical treatment, cover accident-related expenses, and compensate them for pain and suffering.

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Hit and Run Driver Involved in Fatal Pick-up Crash

March 24, 2014

Early on the morning of February 16, 2014, a pick-up truck collided with another pick-up and the driver of one of the vehicles fled the scene. When the driver of the second pick-up exited the vehicle to look at the damage to the truck, a third vehicle struck and killed him. He had his wife and 18-year-old son in the pick-up when he was killed. The accident occurred in Tamarac, Florida, at the Commercial Boulevard entrance onto the Florida Turnpike, according to an article in the Sun Sentinel.

Victims of hit and run accidents often believe that there is nothing that can be done to identify the responsible party and hold him accountable, but this is not true. The experienced Miami auto accident lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. have the skills and network of professional investigators to help those injured in many types of hit and run accidents.

In the case of the Tamarac accident, deputies are examining video surveillance to identify the individual involved in the original collision. Fleeing the scene of an accident is illegal under Florida law. The reason many people flee is because getting convicted of a DUI carries more serious penalties, including longer prison times and higher fines than a collision.. Therefore, someone who has been drinking may want to leave the scene even if he/she intends to turn themselves in to the police for the accident at some point. By then, it is almost impossible to prove that they were under the influence at the time of the crash.

In Florida it is a crime ,to leave the scene of an accident and is compounded when one leaves the scene of a crash with injuries to another. When a person is involved in a crash with another vehicle, building, or structure and leaves the scene without notifying anybody about the driver's contact information, including name and address, vehicle registration, and driver's license details, pursuant to Florida Statute 316.061. a criminal charge may result.

If the accident involved injury or a fatality, Florida Statute 316.027 requires additional obligations including mandating that the driver:

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Distracted Driving Kills Nearly Ten People Every Day

March 14, 2014

People hear about distracted driving accidents every day, but what many do not realize is that this truly has become an epidemic among drivers of all ages. However, teenagers have a much higher likelihood of driving while distracted. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to study this deadly phenomenon as part of its Motor Vehicle Safety efforts.

When a person is injured in an auto accident, whether caused by a distracted driver or other negligent actions, the compassionate and experienced Miami personal injury lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. will fight to get you the compensation that you deserve. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients who have been severely injured in car accidents and we will use those skills in pursuing distracted driving cases.

The CDC lists three types of distracted driving:
• Visual - where the driver takes his eyes off of the road;
• Manual - the driver removes his hands from the wheel; and
• Cognitive - the driver focuses his thoughts and attention on something other than driving.

The most common example of distracted driving is texting while driving, which combines all three types of distraction.

In 2011, an estimated 3,331 people died in motor vehicle accidents where there was a distracted driver. The number of people injured did decrease slightly from 2010, down to 387,000 from 416,000. Between the years of 2009 and 2011, there was almost a 50% increase in the number of text messages sent in the United States, which does not bode well with future incidents of distracted driving.

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Florida Highway Patrol Officer Avoids Roadside Accident at Last Minute

February 18, 2014

In May of 2013, a Florida Highway Patrol Officer learned just how dangerous the shoulder of a highway can be, especially when you don't have the protection of a car. Trooper Craig Coleman was sitting on his motorcycle on the shoulder of State Road 408 in Orlando using his radar to track speeding drivers. Suddenly, he noticed a car driving in the same emergency lane Trooper Coleman was parked in, barreling down straight towards the motorcycle. The trooper's instincts at the last second saved his life. He jumped from his motorcycle just before the oncoming car slammed into him. The man driving the BMW who hit the trooper was arrested for leaving the scene of a crash, driving with a suspended license, and careless driving.

Trooper Coleman's story is just one of thousands each year that happen across the United States. Our Miami Roadside Accident lawyers know that Florida is especially prone to roadside accidents, given the large population and tourist attractions. With accidents that occur when one or more vehicles is parked on the side or shoulder of the road, there is really little anyone can do to stop it. In Trooper Coleman's case, an aggressive driver who was not paying attention willfully plowed into the trooper's motorcycle. Had the trooper been anyone else, he may not have had the quick instincts to avoid being hit, and subsequently killed.

When roadside accidents occur, it is likely that at least one party is at fault. This simply means that the party at fault breached a duty that he or she owed to the driver or pedestrian that was hit and injured, especially in situations where the injured party cannot do anything to avoid the accident. If you are involved in a roadside accident, whether you are driving a car, truck, or motorcycle and hit someone who is parked on the side of the road, or if you are the person who was hit, you may have a personal injury action, depending on the specific facts of your case.

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Comparative Fault In Florida Car Accidents

February 3, 2014

All states have laws that define what happens when multiple parties are at fault in negligence actions. Our Miami personal injury lawyers know that lawsuits involving car accidents are essentially personal injury actions where one party (the plaintiff) asserts that another party (the defendant), has committed an act of negligence, and is at fault for the car accident. Oftentimes, more than one party is at fault for an automobile accident. When this happens, the plaintiff has contributed to the fault of the accident, and therefore has caused his or her own injuries to a certain extent. In Florida, this is called comparative fault.

Florida Law Regarding Comparative Fault

Under Florida law, if a plaintiff files a lawsuit and is found to be at fault in some way, then the compensation that plaintiff would receive is reduced by the percentage he or she is at fault. For example, let's say that a person ("Driver One") was involved in a car accident where the other driver ("Driver Two") ran a red light. Driver One suffered severe head trauma when his head slammed into the windshield of his car. Therefore, Driver One files a personal injury lawsuit against Driver Two for the injuries he suffered as a result of the accident.

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The Inconvenience of Parking Lot Accidents

January 30, 2014

Safety is always the most important consideration when addressing automobile accidents. Damage to your car should be an afterthought when you are lucky to be alive. However, when an accident occurs in a parking lot, injury tends not to be as much of a concern as the damage to your car. Our Miami car accident lawyers know that parking lot accidents can occur in a variety of ways. They could involve just one car, two cars, three cars or even more cars. Some common parking lot accident scenarios include (but are certainly not limited to) the following:

• Backing up at the same time as another car, hitting the car back bumper to back bumper;

• Backing into a concrete wall in a parking garage, or turning into a concrete pole while entering or leaving a parking space in a parking garage;
• Putting the gear of your car in drive instead of reverse when trying to back out of a parking space, hitting the car parked in front of you;

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Was My Accident Caused By Mechanical Failure? 4 Questions To Ask

January 27, 2014

Car, truck and motorcycle accidents happen so frequently in Florida that there's an assumption that one of the drivers involved must have caused the accident. Maybe a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel and barreled into a car in front of it, or maybe a motorcyclist was under the influence of alcohol when colliding with a car. While there typically is a logical explanation for the cause of a motor vehicle accident, there are instances where mechanical failure is the cause.

To understand what a mechanical defect is, the most common, basic example is when a motor vehicle's brakes quit working. A driver is pushing the brakes, yet the car or truck simply will not stop. Another common example is when a steering mechanism fails. Your steering completely locks up and you cannot avoid hitting the vehicle in front of you.

If you have been involved in an accident and you suspect mechanical failure was the cause, then ask yourself these four questions below, as they will point you in the right direction to understanding the cause of your accident. Answering these questions will allow you to eliminate other, traditional causes of automobile accidents. However, you should always seek the advice of a Miami Car Accident Attorney to assist you with answering these questions.

Question 1 - Were you driving the speed limit?

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The Importance of Wearing Seatbelts - Teenager Dies Of Traumatic Injuries From Car Accident

January 21, 2014

Most Florida drivers wear their seatbelts when driving. However, the younger population still feels invincible, that there's no way anything could happen to them as a result of not wearing a seatbelt. Earlier this month, a young Florida woman died from a collision with another young woman. Both cars collided in the middle of the roadway, as one driver was going northbound, and the other driver was going southbound. The young woman who died from the accident was in the front passenger compartment when authorities arrived. The other woman survived the accident, however, neither was wearing a seatbelt.

While there is some evidence that the surviving woman may have been under the influence of alcohol, it is likely the deceased occupant would have survived had she been wearing her seatbelt. This young lady would not have been violently thrown forward into the dash and windshield. Our Miami car accident lawyers understand even though the airbags in both cars deployed, this doesn't help drivers or occupants who do not wear seatbelts. This airbag could have served its purpose if the young woman had been wearing her seatbelt which would have held her in her seat.

Why Are Younger Drivers So Resistant To Wearing Seatbelts?

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Recovering from Burn-Related Injuries in Florida

January 20, 2014

Undoubtedly, car accidents can lead to serious and sometimes catastrophic injuries. These types of injuries unfortunately include severe burns, bodily disfigurement and sometimes death. If you were involved in an accident and suffered burn related injuries as a result, you need to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Even if you think that your burns are not serious, foregoing treatment can cause chronic pain and other long term medical conditions. Moreover, waiting to have a medical professional evaluate and treat your burns may affect your ability to obtain the money you deserve to sufficiently compensate you for all of your injuries. Further, it is also important to speak with a Miami burn injury attorney as soon as possible if you sustained burns in an accident. These types of cases can be extremely complex, requiring the help of an attorney who has the skills and training necessary to effectively represent you.

How do Burn Related Injuries Happen in Florida?


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Head On Collision Kills Young Coral Springs Woman

January 16, 2014

In the early morning hours of November 18, 2013, two young drivers collided head-on while driving on the Sawgrass Expressway. Kaitlyn Ferrante and 21-year-old Marisa Catronio were traveling west on the freeway. Kaitlyn was driving and Marisa was in the passenger seat. Another young woman, 20-year-old Kayla Mendoza, was traveling west on the same freeway, but was traveling in the east-bound lanes, going the wrong way. Kayla struck Kaitlyn and Marisa head-on, and Maria was killed on impact.

It is too early to know if alcohol or other substances played a role in Kayla's decision to drive in the wrong lane on the freeway, especially given that the accident occurred at approximately 1:45 in the morning. Regardless of the underlying circumstances of the accident, this story reveals just how dangerous head on collisions are, as Marisa died on impact. The other two young women are lucky to be alive.

How To Prevent Head On Collisions

Our Miami car accident lawyers understand that there's no easy way to prevent head on collisions while driving on a regular city, county or neighborhood road. However, inserting barriers on freeways is not nearly as difficult of a task to undertake. Marisa's family has already stated to reporters that they want something to be done to prevent drivers from crossing over the median on freeways, where any head on collision is likely to result in death. Some highways already have barriers to prevent drivers from crossing over the median into oncoming traffic, and this has proved to be successful in cases where drivers fall asleep at the wheel, especially with truck drivers who often drive for more than ten hours at one time.

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The Importance of a Disengagement Letter

January 13, 2014

Sometimes you become dissatisfied with your attorney's ability to manage your case and pursue the best possible outcome. As a client, you have a right to terminate your attorney's services in accordance with the contingency agreement you signed when you first formed your relationship with him or her. As you will see on our practice area page regarding changing attorneys during a lawsuit, there are a variety of reasons why you may determine a new attorney would be better suited to handle your case.

Terminating Your Current Attorney

If your current attorney decides to withdraw from your case, the most important thing you need to do is to ensure your attorney has sent you what is called a "disengagement letter." This letter is proof that you are no longer represented by that attorney, and you can then seek the advice and representation of a different attorney. Many times, clients will receive these letters and throw them away, not understanding just how imperative it is to keep this letter in your records.

When you look for a new attorney to represent you for your car accident case, your personal injury case, your medical malpractice case, or any other type of civil lawsuit where you have signed a contingency fee agreement, you will need to present the disengagement letter to your new attorney. This provides assurance to the new attorney that you are not currently represented in regards to your lawsuit and will allow your new lawyer to explain to you, what, if any, responsibilities you have to your former attorney..

Depending on how much time and money your former attorney spent working on your case, the disengagement letter may be accompanied by a list of expenses. You should not be responsible for these expenses out of pocket. However, if you recover compensation through the representation of a new attorney, your former attorney may ask that a portion of your recovery be reimbursed to cover the costs spent while working on your case, so you should be prepared for this if you choose to change attorneys.

The Dual-Representation Issue

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Miami Woman Killed By Drunk Driver While On Her Way To Church

January 9, 2014

Drunk driving is rampant is South Florida, and too many innocent people are being seriously injured or killed. While it is always heart-wrenching to lose someone in to a drunk driving accident, it is especially saddening when the victim was known for being such a wonderful, giving person. At the end of October 2013, Fannie Ash was on her way to Jordan Grove Missionary Baptist Church on a Sunday evening. This was routine for Fannie Ash, as she always greeted worshipers on Sundays, supervised the children and was devoutly involved in participating in Church sermons.

As Fannie was walking across the street after leaving her home, a Ford pickup truck slammed into her. The man who hit Fannie Ash claims the elderly woman jumped out of nowhere. Witnesses say that after the man hit Fannie Ash, he drove off. The man did end up coming back to the scene and admitted to the police that he was the man who hit, and killed Fannie Ash. Our Miami drunk driving accident lawyers discovered that the police suspected the man to be under the influence of alcohol, as his eyes were blood shot, his speech was slurred, and he smelled of alcohol. The man was subsequently charged with DUI manslaughter.

The man's conduct ended Fannie Ash's life and scarred her family and friends forever. Witnesses to the accident knew Fannie Ash very well, so this made the incident even more tragic. This was a woman who devoted her life to helping others. The heartbreak her family suffered should not be felt by anyone else. Fannie Ash's story must be shared to encourage Florida citizens to avoid driving under the influence. While Fannie Ash cannot come back, her family can seek justice by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

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The Independent Medical Examination (IME) Following An Auto Accident

December 2, 2013

If you have been in a car accident and filed a lawsuit against another driver, then you likely know what an independent medical examination (IME) is. The correct term is actually DME (Defense Medical Exam) because there is nothing "Independent" about the doctors performing these exams. The IME (DME) is often a required component of a personal injury lawsuit involving an auto accident, as in all personal injury claims.. If you have filed a claim for personal injuries resulting from a car accident, the opposing party's attorney (who represents the opposing party's insurance company), will have a doctor evaluate you and form an opinion as to whether the car accident, and thus the opposing party's conduct, was the actual cause of your injuries.

Is An IME Legitimate?

An IME is not really independent for many reasons. First, the defendant's attorney and the defendant's insurance company, is choosing the doctor that is evaluating you. Our Miami motor vehicle insurance claims lawyers know this doctor is getting paid big bucks to find that your injuries are not really related to the car accident at all. The doctor does this for a living, and some get paid $900 an hour or more for their time in reviewing records, examining the patient, writing reports and testifying.. While the doctor may agree that you are injured, he or she may indicate that you already had this particular injury prior to the car accident.

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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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