Recently in Pedestrian Accidents Category

Deadly Weekend for South Florida Pedestrians

April 15, 2014

The weekend of March 21, 2014 proved deadly for South Florida walkers after two adults and a child died and three other individuals were injured by car crashes. Our Miami personal injury lawyers know how these deaths have sadly become a part of South Florida's lethal history for walkers:

• On a Friday night, in Coral Springs, two men were crossing North University Drive around 9 p.m. They were midway across when they were hit by a vehicle. Jose Gutierrez, a 22 year old young man, died instantly as a result of his injuries, while 20 year old Tyler Sanders-Nielson was airlifted to Broward Health North in Deerfield Beach with life-threatening injuries.

• Twenty-four hours later, four year old Abdallah Staih, his mother Natalie Munzer Alja'Ouni, and eight month old brother Ahmad Staih, were walking along the sidewalk on Pine Island Road in Sunrise. The two young boys were riding in a dual stroller. A driver, who was attempting to avoid collision with another vehicle, lost control and hit the family. The stroller was impacted heavily, and four year old Abdallah was killed. Abdallah's mother and brother were sent to the hospital, were both are said to be in stable condition.

• On Sunday afternoon, 19 year old Jacqueline Elizabeth Postrel-Jambor was skateboarding in North Miami Beach along Northeast 23rd Avenue. A Ford sedan traveling on Northeast 137th Street fatally struck the young woman.

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South Florida's Elderly Population Most Vulnerable To Pedestrian Accidents

December 17, 2013

As of 2011, the Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Pompano region of Florida was named as the fourth most dangerous metropolitan area in the nation for pedestrians to move about, according to Transportation for America. South Florida has a large elderly population, and Miami-Dade County has the largest amount of elder pedestrian with vehicle accidents in the state. Our Miami personal injury lawyers understand that efforts have been made to make South Florida safer for our elderly population, but such efforts have not proven to be successful.

As people grow older, their ability to move, see and hear becomes a limitation on their activities of daily life. The elderly feel healthier in today's world than they did ten, twenty or even thirty years ago, so many of these individuals are choosing to live in their own homes as opposed to assisted living facilities. While assisted living facilities offer care in helping the elderly walk down the street to the market, or for simple exercise, many elderly individuals living in their own homes do not have this luxury.

What Can Be Done To Limit Elderly Pedestrian Accidents

There are a variety of safety measures that can be taken in South Florida to help prevent our elderly population from suffering significant injuries and even death from accidents, whether they are hit by a cyclist, or by a motorist. The measures listed below, if followed, could be a step in the right direction in preventing tragic, unnecessary injuries and deaths.

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Florida Cities Top List of Most Deadly for Pedestrians

November 14, 2012

Transportation for America, a group that advocates for the rebuilding of our nation's road infrastructure, has named four Florida metropolitan areas at the top of the country's 52 most dangerous large metros for pedestrians: Orlando-Kissimmee, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Jacksonville and Miami-Fort Lauderdale.

Nearly 50,000 pedestrians died in the United States from 2000 to 2009. This is the equivalent of a full jumbo jet crash every month. Florida suffered 5,100 pedestrian deaths during the period, giving the state the highest Pedestrian Danger index in the nation.

Vehicle Fatality Rates Down

Although Transportation for America's "Dangerous by Design" report states that overall traffic fatality rates have gone down across the nation, it also found that pedestrian fatalities have decreased only half the rate of motorists and passenger fatalities. In fact, in 15 of the largest metro areas, death rates for pedestrians have increased.

Vehicle Transportation Given Priority Over Pedestrians

According to einnews.com, the reason why Florida ranked so badly is the state's rapid growth during the last 50 years. For example, the unprecedented growth in areas of Central Florida has given priority to people traveling long distances between home, school, work and errands, therefore designing easier routes for cars, trucks and buses and not for pedestrians.

According to statistics from the Florida Department of Transportation:

  • 22.7% of all traffic crashes, fatalities, and injuries involve pedestrians
  • and bicyclists
  • 48% of pedestrians are killed when crossing the road, but not at an
  • intersection
  • 43% of pedestrian traffic fatalities occur at night on illuminated streets
  • 40% of all pedestrian fatalities are alcohol related.

South Florida Not Far Behind

South Florida continues to be a place where pedestrians get killed almost on a daily basis. Most recently, a 58-year-old man was killed as he crossed a street in Fort Lauderdale last weekend. According to miamiherald.com, Lawrence Weir of Lauderdale Lakes was crossing Northwest 31st Avenue near 13th Street just before 7 pm Saturday when he was struck by a 2003 Dodge Ram 2500. The driver, Donald Evans, stopped and waited for police to arrive. Unfortunately, Mr. Weir was pronounced dead at the scene.

Additionally, an elderly woman lost control of her SUV and hit another pedestrian, this time in Miami. The accident happened in the parking lot of the Seventh Day Adventist Church on North Miami Avenue just as service let out, stunning parishioners. Fortunately this pedestrian survived and was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he is still recovering from his injuries. The elderly driver was given a citation.

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Florida Officials Launch Campaign To Curb Number of Pedestrian Accidents

August 21, 2012

The Florida Department of Transportation and local law enforcement are launching a public safety campaign in Miami Dade and Hillsborough counties to raise awareness for the need to increase safety for pedestrians and bicyclists alike. According to carrollwood.patch.com, Hillsborough County has already had 16 pedestrian and eight bicyclist deaths in 2012, and is on pace to match or top the statistics for 2011, when 30 pedestrians died on county roadways.

As we reported in a recent post, Orlando, which is not located in either of these two counties, is the deadliest city for pedestrians in the country. The Tampa Bay area in Hillsborough County is 2nd only to Orlando when it comes to pedestrian deaths in the nation. Just to give an idea of how bad the situation is in the Tampa Bay area, Major J.R. Burton, from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said in a recent press conference that if the Tampa Bay area were a state, it would be the 16th most dangerous state in the country for pedestrian deaths per year.

Not that things are much better in Miami Dade County...As we recently reported, six pedestrians were killed in the streets of Miami in one weekend alone. (See post dated 07-10/2012).

The campaign will include public service announcements highlighting the need to increase safety for pedestrian and bicyclists, as well as a law enforcement component consisting of officers citing motorists as well as pedestrians, for right of way and other violations.

According to statistics from the Florida Department of Transportation:

  • 22.7% of all traffic crashes, fatalities, and injuries involve pedestrians
  • and bicyclists
  • 48% of pedestrians are killed when crossing the road, but not at an
  • intersection
  • 43% of pedestrian traffic fatalities occur at night on illuminated streets
  • 40% of all pedestrian fatalities are alcohol related.

Another Pedestrian Tragedy in Miami

According to cbslocal.com, a Miami Dade judge scalded a Delray Beach resident who stood before her accused of DUI with serious bodily injury to another person, leaving the scene of a crash with an injury, driving with a suspended license and DUI with damage to property or a person.

According to police, 33-year-old Robert Sinn was driving drunk on Biscayne Boulevard and NE 64th Street when his Chevrolet Impala jumped the curb, knocked down a pole and struck a pedestrian standing on the side walk. The victim, Jermaine Todd Campbell, 40, was thrown about 30 feet in the air and was subsequently found wrapped around a bus stop pole near the scene.

Apparently Mr. Sinn did not like that Mr. Campbell was standing in the way of his out of control vehicle because he got out of his car, yelled at Mr. Campbell, returned to his vehicle and left the scene. Thankfully, he was stopped soon thereafter by an alert motorist just a few blocks away.

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Several Pedestrians Killed in Miami in One Week

July 10, 2012

At times it feels like an epidemic: so far six pedestrians have been killed in the streets of Miami in one week.

Three Family Members Killed Outside Marlin Stadium

Three family members were struck and killed on July 3, 2012, by an out of control minivan just outside Marlins stadium in the 1700 block of NW 7th Street. According to CBSlocal.com, police are investigating whether 67 year old Raul Ortega Arias, who also died in the accident, suffered some kind of medical condition before losing control of his 2006 Dodge Caravan. He run on to the sidewalk, where he struck a grandmother and three children walking to their car after watching the Marlin's game. Esther Terrero de Diaz, 53, Franklin Diaz, 14, and Adriana Diaz, 13, were struck and killed, while 10 year old Magdeline Diaz is still recovering from her injuries at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Two Church Officials Struck Outside Jumbos Restaurant

Meanwhile, on the night of July 8, 2012, two church officials were killed by a drunk driver that run his car into Jumbos, a popular local restaurant. Aljo Hamlin, 63, and Wilton Thomas Harris, 61, were killed last weekend as they dined at Jumbos. About 11 people were inside the popular Liberty City eatery on Saturday night when tragedy struck.

According to nbclocal.com, police have charged 53 year old Antonio Lawrence with two counts of DUI manslaughter after he lost control of his pick-up truck and slammed it into a truck parked outside the restaurant. This second truck then crashed thru the restaurant's entrance, striking one of the victims and throwing him inside after running over and killing the other victim. Both men were long time customers and friends of the restaurant's owner, Bobby Flam, who organized a community gathering Sunday afternoon to remember the victims.

Homeless Man Killed by Hit & Run Driver

Finally, police have identified another pedestrian struck and killed at around 5:00 a.m. that same day near North Miami Avenue and 79th Street. The victim, Carl Jones, was a homeless man attempting to cross 79th Street. Surveillance cameras caught the moment when a dark colored car struck Mr. Jones and kept going. Police are looking for a black Pontiac or another similarly colored vehicle for this accident.

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Two Men Arrested for Hit and Run Death of Girl From Fort Lauderdale

March 20, 2012

The South Florida hit and run epidemic continues, this time claiming the life of an innocent 5 year-old girl riding her tricycle in front of her trailer home. Thankfully, those responsible for her death have been arrested by police.

According to sun-sentinel.com, 5 year-old Yanelle Lucero was riding her bike on Sunday afternoon when she was struck by a 1997 GMC Van driven by Erik Garcia, a Mexican citizen who has been charged with failure to remain at the scene of an accident involving death, failure to use due care while operating a vehicle and driving without a drivers license.

Apparently, the accident occurred within the confines of the Pan American mobile home park where the victim lived. According to witnesses, the van was going fast, despite the posted limits and speed bumps typically present in trailer parks.

Police also arrested Pompano Beach resident Mario Argumedo in connection with the accident. Mr. Argumedo, who was initially a passenger in the GMC Van, lent it to Mr. Garcia, despite knowing that his friend did not have a valid drivers license.

Not Enough Sympathy to Stick Around

Police say that after seeing what happened, Mr. Argumedo carried the little girl back to her mother and insisted that she take the child to the hospital herself instead of calling rescue personnel, allegedly because it would take emergency services too long to get there. Also thinking that she could get help faster, the victim's mother, Katherine Diaz, put the child in her own car and took off. While on their way to the hospital, Ms. Diaz pulled to the side of the road and called Fort Lauderdale fire rescue. Unfortunately, by the time they arrived at Broward General Medical Center, Yanelle was dead.

Despite his apparent gesture of sympathy for the victim, Mr. Argumedo did not hesitate to drive away in the van, which is why he has been charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving a death, tampering with evidence and allowing an unlicensed driver to operate a vehicle in his possession.

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Air Bags for Pedestrians?

March 8, 2012

Given the high incidence of pedestrian related accidents we have in Miami, as well as how often I write about pedestrians and cyclists getting killed by cars in our city, this article immediately caught my eye. According to autoblog.com, Volvo has just come out with a pedestrian detection system and an air bag to help protect those pedestrians that end up getting struck by the car despite the detection system. These new safety features are initially available on Volvo's five door V40 model.

The pedestrian detection system is very similar to those systems already present in other luxury models (some Mercedes Benz models have it) that stop the car when they detect that the vehicle in front has stopped. The difference here is that the system is designed to stop the vehicle when a pedestrian is detected. On the other hand, the air bag for pedestrians deploys from a cavity that expands the width of the car in the area under the hood, close to the base of the windshield. As it deploys, the air bag covers the windshield, softening the impact of people who end up hitting the windshield after being struck by the car.

Kudos to Volvo! As a very concerned South Florida resident, a place where pedestrians are treated like moving targets, I hope the system proves as effective as the company hopes and that it becomes a standard safety feature, forcing the rest of the automotive industry to catch up as fast as possible.

Pedestrian Fatalities on the Rise in Florida

The State of Florida ranks as the 2nd state (closely behind California) with more pedestrian fatalities in the nation. The latest statistics available (2009 - 2010) show that there was an increment of 3.53 percent in the number of pedestrians killed in our state from 2009 (484) to 2010 (499). However, both the number of pedestrians injured and the number of pedestrian crashes decreased from 2009 to 2010. In 2009, 7,676 pedestrians were injured, while 7,290 were injured in 2010.

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South Florida: Hit & Run Capital of the World?

March 1, 2012

Unfortunately, it seems like every other day we have a hit and run accident that costs the life of a pedestrian crossing our roads. Not too long ago I wrote in this blog (post published 05/29/2011) about statistics that place some Florida cities among the most dangerous for pedestrians in the country.

According to those statistics, the Orlando - Kissimmee metro area is the deadliest metro area for pedestrians in the United States with 550 pedestrians killed in the last decade alone. Tampa - St. Petersburg - Clearwater follows as number 2; with Jacksonville as number 3 and Miami - Ft. Lauderdale - Pompano Beach as number 4. Not surprisingly (at least not to me), Florida was the State with more cities on the list. Our benevolent climate, I believe, is one of the reasons for the preceding statistics: it prompts more people to walk or ride than the colder weather of our Northern states.

I do not have statistics of how many hit & run accidents occur per city in our country. However, I cannot help but wonder if my loved ones and I live in the hit & run capital of the World. Maybe...

One More Hit & Run In Miami

Just a couple of days ago, 22-year old Luis Castilla was charged with the deadly hit and run accident that killed 79-year old Delia Temoche while she was crossing 7th Street at the 8200 Block. According to cbslocal.com, Mr. Castilla not only did not stop to aid the victim or wait for police: he drove all the way to Hialeah and called police to report (together with his companions) that they had been the "victims" of a hit & rum accident involving another vehicle...

Police believe that "Castilla & Associates" were trying to establish an alibi for his participation in the events that took the life of Delia Temoche. Thankfully, police had no trouble connecting the extensive damage to the front of Mr. Castilla's vehicle to the accident that killed Ms. Temoche. Mr. Castilla had warrants out for his arrest for reckless driving, DUI with property damage, DUI and driving with an expired license.

Safer Roads for Cyclists and Pedestrians in Miami

On a very related note, the unfortunate death of cyclist Aaron Cohen on the Rickenbacker Causeway a few weeks ago (and the subsequent public outcry for safer roads for cyclists), has prompted Miami-Dade County officials to undertake a few "quick-fixes" to improve riders safety at the causeway, like lowering the speed limits, having more police vigilance and setting "buffer zones" to better separate bicycle and car lanes. Mr. Cohen died at the hands of another driver with a suspended license and a reported drug history.

Yet, the problem is not limited to the Rickenbacker Causeway or to cyclists. According to the Alliance for Biking and Walking, a national advocacy group, Florida is the worst state for bicyclists and pedestrian fatalities and Miami is close to becoming the worst city in the country for bicyclists and pedestrian deaths. Traffic reports by the Florida Department of Transportation tell a deadly tale caused by speeding cars, drivers in too much of a hurry taking unnecessary risks and a ferocious competition for the available road space.

Other Florida cities are creating a safer and healthier environment by lowering (and enforcing) speed limits; improving bicycle ways throughout the county; widening sidewalks and narrowing traffic lanes to slow traffic; creating special signals and other improvements to help pedestrians cross the street and what is perhaps most important; building a more efficient and convenient public transit system that reduces the number of cars on the road, relieving congestion and giving people transportation alternatives that free them from their cars. Let's hope that Miami Dade County follows suit soon and that by doing so we can stop (or at least slow down) the onslaught.

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South Florida Roads Not A Good Place For Anyone Not In A Car

January 24, 2012

South Florida roads continue to be a very hazardous place for anyone not actually inside a vehicle. And I don't mean pedestrians, who at times have seemed to be a favorite target... I mean any unfortunate driver that suffers a mechanical breakdown or an accident. Last weekend three people lost their lives when they were struck by another vehicle passing by where their damaged vehicle was stopped, according to the SunSentinel.com.

Good Samaritan Losses His Life Too

On Saturday, two 22 year old young ladies, Cheresa Nave and Megan Kea, suffered a minor single car accident when they hit a tree at about 4:30 a.m. Subsequently, 24 year old Andrew Edmond, a good samaritan, stopped to offer assistance. Shortly thereafter, the three were struck by a passing vehicle. Kea was killed at the scene, while Nave and Edmond died later at Broward General.

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Orlando Is The Most Dangerous City For Pedestrians In The United States

June 6, 2011

According to a study cited by USA Today, the Orlando - Kissimmee metro area is the deadliest metro area for pedestrians in the United States with 550 pedestrians killed in the last decade alone.

Four Other Florida Cities Top The List

The study by Transportation for America, a safety advocacy coalition, only included cities with more than one million inhabitants. Florida was the State with more cities on the list with Tampa - St. Petersburg - Clearwater as number 2; Jacksonville as number 3 and Miami - Ft. Lauderdale - Pompano Beach as number 4.

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Florida Cities Ranked "Most Dangerous For Pedestrians In The Nation"

May 29, 2011

Four Florida cities are among the top ten most dangerous cities for pedestrians in the United States, according to USA Today.

Orlando is No. 1

A study by Transportation for America, a safety advocacy coalition, found the Orlando - Kissimmee metro area to be the deadliest metro area for pedestrians in the United States with 550 pedestrians killed in the last decade alone. The list included only cities with more than one million inhabitants. With Tampa - St. Petersburg - Clearwater as number 2; Jacksonville as number 3 and Miami - Ft. Lauderdale - Pompano Beach as number 4, Florida was the State with more cities on the list.

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Technology Aids in Event of Accident

February 14, 2011

A new, more comprehensive, "Black Box" system for motor vehicles will be available later this year.

In-Vehicle Event Management System (IVEMS)

This technology is not new. Event data recorders that keep records of things like the speed a vehicle was traveling at a certain time; failures of a number of mechanical or electronic systems, etc. have been around for a while.

Not Popular Among Common Car Owners

However, while the system's tracking capabilities have been popular among fleet operators (cab companies, trucking companies, etc.) because it allows them, among other things, to control their driver's movements, these systems are not popular among regular car owners because of privacy concerns...And such concerns may only be heightened by the ability of this new In-Vehicle Event Management System (IVEMS) to store not only electronic data related to system's failures, but digital video surveillance data as well.

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Why Carry Uninsured//Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM)?

February 11, 2011

The concept of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is missunderstood by most people. It is maybe the most important insurance coverage you should carry to protect yourself and your loved ones.

To register a car, Florida drivers are only required to purchase $10,000.00 in property damage coverage and no-fault coverage. The property damage coverage pays up to $10,000.00 for the property damaged (car, tree, fence, etc.) in an accident caused by you or the driver of your car. The P.I.P. Benefit (Personal Injury Protection Benefit), also known as no-fault benefit, pays 80% of medical bills and 60% of any wages lost by you or a family member, up to $10,000.00 minus any applicable deductible.

No bodily injury (B.I.) coverage is required in Florida. This means that if someone else injures you in an accident they cause, they do not have to carry insurance to pay for your injuries. This is very important because the only way you can protect yourself and your loved ones, is to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM).

UM/UIM Coverage Explained

When you purchase uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage you have your own insurance company stand in place or in addition to the coverage carried by the person who caused the accident. Florida law establishes that your own car insurance company must offer you UM/UIM coverage up to the limits of the BI (Bodily Injury) coverage that you choose. This means that if you purchase bodily injury coverage for your car of 25/50 ($25,000 per person/$50,000.00 per occurrence) you are automatically allowed to purchase up to $25,000/$50,0000 in UM/UIM benefits. Also, if you have more than one car, you can purchase "stackable coverage" in which case you would have $25,000 in coverage for each car in your household. It is an inexpensive way to protect your family.

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Uninsured//Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM)

February 11, 2011

Most people do not understand the concept of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This is perhaps the most important insurance coverage you could purchase to protect yourself and your family.

In Florida, all that is required of a driver to register a car is insurance coverage of $10,000.00 in property damage coverage and no-fault coverage. The $10,000.00 in property damage coverage, pays up to $10,000.00 to anyone else for the their property (including a car, tree, fence, etc.) that is damaged by an accident that you or the driver of your car causes. The no-fault benefit or PIP (Personal Injury Protection Benefit), as it is also known, pays 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your loss wages or a family members loss wages, up to an aggregate of $10,000.00 minus any applicable deductible.

Florida does not require mandatory bodily injury coverage. In other words, if someone else causes an accident, and you are injured, they are not required to have coverage to pay you for your injuries. This is very important. The only way to protect yourself and members of your family, is for you to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM).

What is UM/UIM Coverage?

What this means is that you are buying coverage through your own automobile insurance carrier to take the place of or be in addition to the coverage provided by the person who was at fault for the accident. Under Florida law, your own automobile insurance company must offer you UM/UIM coverage up to the limits of the BI (Bodily Injury) coverage that you elect. In other words, if you purchase bodily injury coverage for your car of 25/50 ($25,000 per person/$50,000.00 per occurrence) you are automatically allowed to purchase up to $25,000/$50,0000 in UM/UIM benefits. In addition, if you have more than one car, you can purchase "stackable coverage" which means, that you would have $25,000 in coverage for each car in your household that is covered under the policy. This could dramatically increase the insurance for you and your loved ones at a very reasonable rate. It is an inexpensive way to protect your family.

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Now That I Had a Car Accident, What Should I Do?

February 11, 2011

Car accidents happen everyday. No one wakes up one morning expecting to have a car accident that day. And when accidents happen, they usually cause injuries and shock. I believe it is important to offer people guidance on what to do after a car accident to protect their rights and preserve the evidence. After being involved in a car accident, you or someone near you should:

1. Unlock your doors and turn off your engine.

2. If you can, check how are the other occupants of your car. If someone is hurt, ask them not to move and if you can, make sure they are immobilized.

3. If someone is bleeding, try to apply a tourniquet or compress the wound to stop the bleeding.

4. Call or ask someone to call 911 for you. Make sure to request the police and rescue.

5. As much as you can, preserve your calm and remain oriented. Answer as clearly as possible all questions asked by emergency rescuers.

Stay Put

Sometimes after an accident, a person is not in pain and responsive. Adrenaline and other factors may contribute to this. Should you find yourself in this situation, try not to move around unnecessarily. If you can, try the following:

a. Give your insurance information to the other driver and ask for their's. Also, give that information to the police.

b. Try to obtain the name, addresses and phone numbers of people who have witnessed the accident

c. If you can, take photographs or videotape the scene. This can be done either with a camera or, thanks to current technology, a cell phone.

d. If you are hurting or not feeling well to any extent, ask to be taken to an emergency room.

e. Tell the physician or emergency room doctor, nurse or paramedic, where it hurts. Give a detail account of everything that hurts, from the top of your head to your toes. Don't refrain from telling them about any condition and let them decide what's relevant or not.

f. Follow the orders from your healthcare providers. After all, they are the experts and for them to be able to effectively help you with your injuries, they must know as much as you can tell them about your past medical history. This also applies to your attorney. Tell him or her everything about your past so that he/she can properly represent you.

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