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School is not yet in session for the school, but already a major bus accident has resulted in injuries to several students in northern Florida.  Two school buses collided while transporting campers to the Jacksonville Zoo. The buses were following one another when the accident occurred.  Nine people, including six children, were transported to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries.  This incident is reminiscent of last year’s several school bus accidents that happened in South Florida. Broward County was the site of quite a few school bus accidents last spring and a West Palm girl was dragged by a school bus for several feet.

As the start of the school year is rapidly approaching, now is the time to review school bus safety tips to help ensure your child stays safe.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, riding the bus is the safest mode of transportation for school age children traveling to and from school.  However, our Miami personal injury lawyers would like to provide you with some safety tips that can help to avoid accidents.  The greatest risk in riding the school bus is the time period when children are approaching or leaving the bus.  Children must be careful in the area 10 feet behind, in front, and by the side of the bus.  Here are some important safety rules your child should observe: Continue reading →

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A motorcyclist was transported to the hospital with critical injuries following a serious crash on Biscayne Boulevard on Monday, August 3. The accident involved a motorcycle and a Volkswagen sedan.  Police report that at about 7 p.m. on Biscayne Boulevard and 39th Street, the motorcycle and the sedan collided for reasons currently unknown.  The motorcyclist was rushed to the Ryder Trauma Center.

Motorcycle Accidents Frequently Result in Serious Injuries

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than 80 percent of all motorcycle crashes result in injury or death to the motorcyclist.  This can be explained by the size and build of the motorcycle.  Motorcycles themselves offer no protection against head injuries to the ride or passenger.  Ejection from the motorcycle is the most common cause of serious injuries.  If the motorcycle comes to a sudden stop due to hitting another vehicle, the rider and/or passenger is often ejected from the motorcycle and may collided with another object and the ground.  Continue reading →

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The Broward County Sheriff’s Office reports that a driver is dead after losing control of his vehicle and running into a tree on Friday, July 31.  The accident occurred at about 8:22 p.m. in Deerfield Beach.  Investigators believe the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed when his vehicle suddenly jumped the curb and hit a tree.  Witnesses report that the engine of the car caught fire shortly after the crash.  They pulled the driver out of the fiery vehicle before it became surrounded by flames.  Broward Sheriff Fire and Rescue appeared rapidly at the scene and attempted to save the man’s life, but he was sadly declared dead at the scene of the accident.

A Look at Single Vehicle Accidents

Miami car accident lawyers know how single vehicle accidents cause thousands of deaths per year.  These accidents are varied and can result from a number of different scenarios, but some common circumstances seem to cause the vast majority of single vehicle accidents annually.  These factors include: Continue reading →

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On Thursday, July 30, a pedestrian was killed in a fatal hit and run accident in Miami. Miami police report that the driver struck a man on Biscayne Boulevard near Northeast Fourth Street.  The cab itself was later found further down Biscayne Boulevard.  Police found luggage in the street near the accident that is believed to belong to the victim.  The driver works for Yellow Cab Company and has retained an attorney following the accident.  His name is not yet being revealed, but his attorney has reached out to news outlets and claims his client is innocent.  The driver, he states, does not have a criminal record and did not cause the accident.  Police are investigating the matter and ask that anyone with information come forward.

What to Do When Involved in a Taxi Cab Related Accident

Taxi cabs are a common mode of transportation in South Florida.  Taxis can offer reliable transportation for visitors and provide a safe means of transport for intoxicated drivers.  However, aggressive taxi drivers increase the rate of taxi cab accidents in MiamiTaxi cab drivers have been known to be involved in the following types of accidents:

  • Collisions with other cars
  • Collisions with trucks
  • Rear end accidents
  • Head on accidents
  • Accidents with bicyclists
  • Accidents with pedestrians

Continue reading →

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A fatal escalator accident claimed the life of a mother in China just moments after she saved her child from meeting the same fate.  On July 26, security footage from a mall in Jingzhou shows a mother riding up the escalator with her son.  It starts as a scene you would see any day in any mall across the world.  At the top of the escalator, however, something goes awry.  The metal panel where the escalator steps meet the ground collapses under the woman’s feet.  She falls into the large gap and, with just her upper body out of the escalator, she pushes her young son to safety.  A mall employee grabs the child and turns to save the mother, but at that moment she disappears into the gigantic hole in the escalator.

Employees and rescue crews attempted to save the woman trapped in the escalator shaft for about four hours, eventually cutting the escalator open.  Unfortunately, the woman was not found alive.  Officials in Jingzhou have stated that the escalator accident is to be blamed on human error.  Security footage shows mall employees uncovering the loose panel five minutes before the accident.  The panel wobbles as employees step on it, so they alert maintenance.  The escalator, however, was not shut down, nor was anything placed over the paneling or around the escalator warning people not to step there.  Had these actions been taken, the mother would likely have survived.

This is the most recent in a series of serious escalator accidents to occur across the world in recent years.  In another escalator accident in China, a toddler’s hand and arm were trapped within the gap of the escalator after he tripped and fell.  In Beijing, a boy’s foot was trapped in the same dangerous gap area of the escalator. One toddler died several months ago after becoming caught on the escalator railing and plunging several floors to the ground.  Continue reading →

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A seven year old boy was hospitalized after nearly drowning at Jungle Island in Miami.  The popular local and tourist destination became the scene of a near death when the boy, who was on a field trip with his summer camp, took off his life jacket and attempted to swim to one of the inflatable floats.  Supervisors noticed the boy struggling to stay above water and signaled to lifeguards.  One of the lifeguards pulled the boy out and performed CPR until paramedics arrived. A spokeswoman for Jungle Island said the accident occurred near Parrot Cove and paramedics arrived within minutes.  The boy was crying by the time help arrived and was in stable condition when transported to the hospital.  Jungle Island is cooperating with officials in the investigation into the matter.

Drowning accidents in Miami are a major concern for many parents because children are around water all the time.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly 4,000 people die from drowning every year. Fortunately, camp supervisors were able to recognize that this young child was in distress before it was too late.  Drowning, however, can be difficult to spot.  The following is a primer on what drowning looks like.  By recognizing a drowning child or adult, you could save their life. Continue reading →

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In the past two years, South Florida has experienced a high number of fatal hit and run accidents, with Miami-Dade County leading the surge in these catastrophic accidents. This increase in hit and run accidents is leaving many to question why the trend and what can be done to ensure that drivers who flee the scene of an accident are brought to justice.  The Florida Highway Patrol reports that hit and run crashes in the state have increased 23 percent from 2013 to 2014.  In 2014 alone, there were over 80,000 hit and run accidents, equating to one in four crashes involving a hit and run.  Our Miami personal injury lawyers found that nearly half of the hit and run accident victims were pedestrians, which is a substantial increase from previous years.  Hit and run accidents involving bicyclists have also increased alarmingly by 55 percent from 2013 to 2014.

One of the most infamous hit and run accidents occurred on the Rickenbacker Causeway in 2012.  Aaron Cohen was riding a bicycle on the Causeway when he was struck and killed.  The driver fled the scene of the accident and was later comprehended, but served less than a year in jail.  In response to the outcry over Cohen’s death and the lack of justice served, a law was passed strengthening hit and run punishments.  Now, if a driver hits someone, resulting in death, and flees the scene of the crime, the driver will face a minimum of four years in prison.  Continue reading →

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This is the second installment of our two-part blog post discussing potential insurance issues that face car crash injury victims.  While we have attempted to discuss significant insurance coverage issues, every situation is unique.  If you have specific questions about your specific situation, we invite you to contact us to speak to an experienced Miami auto collision injury lawyer.

Uninsured Motorists/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage: Stacked vs. Unstacked

Although Florida law requires all motorists to carry BI liability insurance or a bond if the driver is at-fault in an accident, many drivers fail to comply with this mandate.  When the negligent party that causes a car crash is an uninsured driver, an injury victim might need to pursue a first party insurance claim against his or her own insurance carrier unless there are other viable defendants.  Many people presume that their insurance carrier will cooperate since policyholders pay premiums for this form of financial security.  Unfortunately, the insurer-policyholder relationship becomes adversarial when an insured needs to pursue a first party insurance claim under his or her uninsured motorist (UM) coverage pursuant to the injury victim’s own policy.

The risk of being injured by a drunk, speeding, or careless driver who is uninsured is significant because Florida has 3.2 million uninsured drivers according to the Insurance Research Council, which is the second highest number of uninsured motorists in the U.S.  Further, motorists often are uninsured because they face barriers to obtaining coverage that include high insurance rates based on their driving record, which might include moving violations, DUI convictions, and past motor vehicle accidents.  In other words, uninsured drivers who lack the ability to pay a damage claim also tend to be the most dangerous drivers on Florida roadways.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage provides compensation for past and future medical costs, past and future lost income, and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering that is not included within PIP coverage.  This form of coverage also can provide a form of compensation if you are injured as a pedestrian, bicyclist, or passenger in another person’s vehicle.  Although UM/UIM insurance is not required under Florida law, this form of coverage can be extremely valuable especially “stacked coverage.”  If you purchase “stacked” coverage, your UM/UIM policy limit is multiplied by the number of vehicles that you own.  While “unstacked” UM/UIM coverage will be subject to a lower premium, the policy limit is not multiplied if you include several vehicles under the policy.

Our lawyers assist personal injury victims in this situation by negotiating with their insurance company.  When an insurer refuses to fulfill its obligations, our law firm also can explore the possibility of pursuing a lawsuit against the insurer for breach of contract and potentially insurance bad faith.  If the other driver has inadequate insurance, underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage can provide another source of recovery beyond the limited coverage of an at-fault driver.

Because our law firm represents car accident victims on a regular basis, our accident lawyers see the devastating consequences when there is insufficient insurance coverage to fully compensate victims and their families.  Generally, we recommend carrying a minimum of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage.

Greenberg Stone and Urbano:  Seeking Maximum Recovery for Damages Sustained Due to Negligence 

If you or your family member has been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Miami or the surrounding areas of Florida, our Miami-Dade Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers at Greenberg Stone and Urbano can explain your options and tenaciously pursue the full compensation you deserve.  For over 130 collective years, our firm has assisted accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death actions across South Florida.  We seek to obtain compensation for your tangible and intangible damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.  Our skill and dedication has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald.   Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.


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If you are involved in a serious car accident that results in hospitalization for broken bones, fractures, spinal cord damage, brain injuries, or other significant injuries, you can quickly be overwhelmed by legal requirements and insurance company obstacles.  When you suffer an injury or lose a loved one to a motorist who is alcohol impaired, distracted, or a reckless driver, you will need to navigate insurance issues to maximize your financial recovery.  Our Miami auto accident lawyers have provided an overview of a couple of key insurance issues relevant to Florida crash injury victims.

Woefully Inadequate Florida Liability Insurance Requirements

The Florida Financial Responsibility Law requires that all drivers carry bodily injury (BI) liability coverage or post a bond if they are at-fault in an accident.  However, this requirement rings hollow given the minimal amount of coverage that motorist are required to purchase.  The statutory minimum for BI liability coverage under Florida law is $10,000 per injury victim and $20,000 per crash for all victims.  The minimum liability coverage for property damage is $10,000.

When drivers carry nothing more than this negligible amount of coverage, policy limits will be woefully inadequate to compensate a victim who has suffered catastrophic injuries.  If there are multiple vehicle occupants injured by an at-fault motorist, policy limits might be exhausted without an injury victim receiving any compensation unless he or she wins the race to file a claim.   Even more alarming, drivers convicted of DUI on or before October 1, 2007 are subject to the same minimal requirements for coverage.

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can result in debilitating conditions that cause cognitive impairment, behavioral changes, diminished sensation, paralysis, distorted emotional responses, and memory loss.  The cost of catastrophic injuries like a TBI can amount to hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in economic and non-economic losses, including medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, lost earnings, diminished earning capacity, supportive assistance, loss of consortium, burial/funeral expenses (wrongful death), punitive damages, and other relevant forms of damages.

The nominal amount of liability coverage required under Florida law typically will not even cover a seriously injured car accident victim’s hospital bills.  An experienced Miami auto accident attorney recognizes the importance of identifying all viable sources of compensation, including other potential defendants with insurance coverage and assets, assets of the at-fault driver, the victim’s own coverage, and other financial resources.

Potential Traps for Policyholders Pursuing Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage

Under Florida law, drivers are required to carry $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP), which pays for medical bills and disability benefits on a no-fault basis.  The coverage pays for 80 percent of all reasonable expenses from medically necessary medical, surgical, X-ray, dental, and rehabilitative services, including prosthetic devices and medically necessary ambulance, hospital, and nursing services.

PIP disability benefits cover any loss of gross income, loss or earning capacity, or loss of household services the injury victim would have provided if not for the disabling injuries.  This form of coverage also includes a $5,000 death benefit for surviving family members in the wake of a fatal collision.

However, changes in Florida law that went into effect January 1, 2013 created a number of potential pitfalls for policyholders.  First, policyholders can be limited to only $2,500 in coverage unless the insured is determined to have an emergency medical condition.  Second, an insured must seek medical treatment within 14 days of the collision to claim PIP benefits.  Third, injury victims must obtain certification from a specifically designated medical professional that immediate medical attention was necessary.

PIP coverage also was revised to exclude certain healthcare practitioners, such as acupuncturists and message therapists.  These so-called “reforms”, which were the product of intense pro-insurance lobbying efforts, also permit insurers to make changes to PIP coverage without prior notification to policyholders.  Our Miami Car Accident Lawyers explore all available sources of compensation to obtain the fullest monetary recovery.

Greenberg Stone and Urbano:  Seeking Maximum Recovery for Damages Sustained Due to Negligence 

If you or your family member has been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Miami or the surrounding areas of Florida, our Florida Auto Accident Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano can explain your options and tenaciously pursue the full compensation you deserve.  For over 130 collective years, our firm has assisted accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death actions across South Florida.  We seek to obtain compensation for your tangible and intangible damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.  Our skill and dedication has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald.   Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.


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This is Part II of our two-part blog post reviewing why Florida has been deemed the most dangerous state for pedestrians and discussing the benefits and difficulties faced by injured pedestrians pursuing legal remedies.  As this post makes clear, pedestrian accident lawsuits often involve severe injuries and aggressive attempts by insurance companies to transfer blame to the pedestrian.  If you or a family member has been injured in a pedestrian accident in Miami, we invite you to contact our lawyers about your specific situation.

Florida Criminal Justice System Often Fails to Achieve Justice for Injured Pedestrians

If you are a pedestrian who is struck by a vehicle or a family member of someone who dies in a pedestrian accident, your grief and anguish can be intensified by a lack of justice.  Negligent drivers who cause injury to pedestrians often receive sentences in Florida that do not provide the victim and/or the victim’s family with a sense of justice.  The Orlando Sentinel article that closely analyzed pedestrian accidents in Florida reported that out of 54 criminal cases involving drivers who ran over pedestrians, motorists who caused serious injury and death faced negligible or no jail time.

The tragic story of Bobby Stout provides a telling example.  Bobby Stout was run down while walking on the sidewalk, but an Orange County circuit judge did not sentence the driver to any jail time.  The writer of the story reviewed 333 pedestrian accident deaths and 880 incapacitating injuries to pedestrians in three Florida Counties from 2007 through 2012.  Shockingly, the article reports that 80 percent of the drivers got traffic tickets for running red lights, careless driving, failure to yield, and speeding, but the typical penalty imposed was a $166 fine.

According to the article, there is rarely an additional penalty even if a pedestrian is killed in the collision.  Of the 54 motorists who were charged with more serious criminal driving offenses, only eleven received more than a year in jail.  Even more appalling, the vast majority of cases involved drivers under aggravating circumstances or with prior criminal records.

While a fatal pedestrian accident that resulted in the stiffest sentence of ten years might sound like a rare case of justice being served, this is not so clear when the circumstances of the fatal crash are considered.  The driver had a prior state prison record relating to an incident where the driver navigated his car around an officer directing traffic onto a busy sidewalk before seriously injuring a pedestrian after slamming into her.  Instead of stopping to render assistance, he fled the scene and led police on a high-speed chase.  Some of the other sentences included:

  • 25 drivers who received probation with no jail time
  • 6 people who received a few days in jail
  • 3 driver who got one to five months
  • 4 motorists who got one year in jail
  • 5 of the 54 cases still pending at the time of publication of the article

Civil Lawsuit Provides Opportunity to Hold Careless Drivers Accountable

Although legal claims for injuries suffered in pedestrian accidents can present difficult issues of proof, civil lawsuits often provide the best option for holding negligent drivers accountable for the harm they cause.  Obviously, the primary objective of a personal injury lawsuit is to obtain compensation for an injury victim, but a secondary objective is to ensure that intoxicated, distracted, and otherwise unsafe drivers are punished.

The analysis of Florida pedestrian accidents conducted by the Orlando Sentinel found that drivers were at-fault, at least in part, in 20 percent of pedestrian crashes.  The investigating officers determined that these motorists engaged in such unlawful or unsafe driving practices as speeding, running traffic lights, driving under the influence (DUI), distracted driving, failing to yield, and reckless driving.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a careless driver in Florida, you might consider the penalties imposed by a criminal court unsatisfying.  Although the principle function of a personal injury lawsuit involves recovering monetary damages to compensate the injured, civil lawsuits also serve a justice and deterrent function.  A large monetary judgment against a negligent driver can impose “financial penalties” while discouraging similar unsafe driving in the future.

Admittedly, financial compensation cannot give a parent back the love of a child or a spouse the companionship of a husband or wife killed in a pedestrian crash.  However, a loved one can obtain the financial means to help a permanently disabled family member maintain the highest quality of life and obtain a sense of closure by holding a drunk, distracted, or reckless driver accountable for the pain, emotional harm, and financial challenges caused by the driver’s irresponsible conduct.

Greenberg Stone and Urbano:  Seeking Maximum Recovery for Injuries and Wrongful Death Suffered in Pedestrian Crashes in Florida

If you or a family member has been injured in a pedestrian accident, our Florida Pedestrian Injury Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano will tenaciously pursue the full compensation you deserve.  For over 130 collective years, our firm has assisted accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death actions across Florida.  We seek to obtain compensation for your tangible and intangible damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.  Our skill and dedication has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald.   Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.




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