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We walk on sidewalks on a daily basis, often many times a day. Rarely do we stop and consider our personal safety while walking upon a sidewalk. However, our Miami personal injury lawyers know how a single poorly placed uneven flag of concrete, crack in the pavement, or protruding root can send you pummeling to the ground, shattering that illusion of safety. Sidewalk injuries occur at alarming rates across the state of Florida, with walkers slipping, tripping, and falling on any number of obstacles and dangerous conditions annually.

Sidewalk falls can be caused by a number of factors. In Florida, some of the most common causes include:

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There are over 600,000 registered motorcycles in the state of Florida, and many more visitors on motorcycles travel our roadways every day. While Florida’s temperate weather and numerous freeways make it ideal for motorcycle riding, the state is also home to a considerable number of serious motorcycle accidents a year. In fact, Florida is currently ranked the third most dangerous state for motorcycle riders, and the number of fatalities in Florida has actually been on the rise since 2010.

In Part I of this two part series, we examined a few of the questions most often asked by our Miami motorcycle accident clients. In Part II, we continue this list of questions, diving further into the realm of motorcycle accident law and recovery.

What actions can the family members of a deceased motorcycle accident victim pursue?

The Florida Wrongful Death Act allows the survivors (as defined by Florida law) of deceased riders or passengers to seek compensation for lost support or services following the death of their loved one. Survivors may include a spouse, child, or parent.
What types of compensation are available to motorcycle riders hurt or killed in an accident?
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Florida is home to a large number of motorcyclists. Our balmy climate and many highways that stretch the span of the state make Florida an ideal place to ride. Tourists flock to Florida on their motorcycles annually, and our state is host to a number of motorcycle enthusiast events. Sadly, with the popularity of motorcycles comes a high rate of accidents. Each year, approximately 7,300 individuals are injured in crashes across the state.

Over three hundred riders are killed on motorcycles annually. Miami-Dade, with its miles of highways and more than its share of distracted drivers, is considered the most dangerous Florida county for motorcyclists, home to nearly 40 deaths each year. Given the high rate of serious injury or death, victims of motorcycle accidents and their families require the assistance of a Miami motorcycle accident attorney who will pursue their interests to the fullest extent in either a personal injury or wrongful death action.

The following is a compilation of questions frequently asked by motorcycle accident victims and their families. These questions can provide you with some initial information and understanding, which your licensed Florida motorcycle accident attorney can further expound upon.

What are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Florida?

1. Left hand turns into motorcyclists–by some accounts, motor vehicles making a left hand turn in front of motorcyclists who have the right of way is the leading cause of motorcycle accidents. The drivers of cars and trucks frequently fail to check their mirrors, observe stop signs or stop lights, or yield the right of way. This can leave the motorcyclist with no time to react before he or she pummels into the side of the vehicle. Motorcyclists injured in this manner will have a strong personal injury claim based on the motor vehicle driver’s negligence.
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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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As part of the warm South Florida driving culture, cars and motorcyclists share the road throughout the year. Although there are accidents that are caused by the biker, many times, it is the driver of the passenger car or light truck that causes the accident because of the decreased visibility of the biker, coupled with the more vulnerable position of the rider with no real safety protections on the bike. Following behind the bike without sufficient stopping distance is a common cause of serious accidents.

Bikers are very aware of the dangers of taking to the road with other drivers; however, the thrill of riding outweighs the perils. When there has been a collision and you have been injured in a bike accident, you need the hard-working Miami motorcycle accident attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. to fight for your rights and get you the damages award that you need to move forward.

The dangers of following too closely became tragically apparent on January 4, 2014, when a 64-year-old driver of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle was struck by a 23-year-old driver of a vehicle traveling behind him. According to the article in the Palm Beach Post, the driver of the car did not realize that the biker had slowed because of backed-up traffic. The impact ejected the biker, Joseph Comparetto, from the bike into the emergency lane, where he was struck by the driver of another vehicle, a Ford Edge. Mr. Comparetto died at the scene. This type of accident happens often between motorcycles and other motor vehicles.
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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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On New Year’s Eve, a Mini Cooper made a left hand turn in front of a motorcyclist and caused the bike to collide with the passenger side of the car, leading to the death of the biker at the scene. The driver of the car was turning into a Costco parking lot when the vehicle moved into the path of the biker, according to a WPTV article. The biker was thrown from the motorcycle. A passenger in the Mini Cooper suffered from minor injuries. This fatal crash occurred in Boca Raton, Florida and demonstrates the dangers that motorcycles face when traveling through Florida intersections.

Motorcycle accidents pose great risks to bikers because there is little that can be done to prevent harm once impact has occurred. With more than three decades of experience, the Miami personal injury lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. know how to put together a comprehensive strategy to get justice for bikers who were injured as a result of another driver’s negligence.

Turning vehicles account for a large percentage of deadly bike crashes. In early February, 2014, a Naples motorcyclist was killed in Collier County when another motorist negligently turned right into the path of the biker, leading to a collision. The impact was head-on and the biker died at the scene, according to a News-Press article.
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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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Choosing to get on a bike and going for a ride, whether for recreational purposes or with the intent of getting somewhere specific, is supposed to be a healthy choice for the individual and the environment, but as bicycle accidents continue to increase on South Florida roads, it may be a hazardous decision. A recent article in the Sun Sentinel reported that bike accidents in Broward and Palm Beach Counties have increased in the time period between 2010 and 2012, with a 42% increase in Broward and a 21% jump in crashes in Palm Beach.

Any accident on a bike can lead to serious injuries, but when a bicyclist collides with a motor vehicle, the consequences can be tragic. The skilled and dedicated Miami personal injury attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. have more than 100 years of experience in getting our clients the compensation that they deserve for the harm they have suffered and we are prepared to fight for you. Our firm has favorably resolved many cases where our client was injured or killed because of the negligence of a motorist.
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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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