Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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Although buses statistically provide one of the safest forms of transportation, the carnage and extent of injury can be devastating when Florida bus accidents occur.  Because passengers in Miami-Dade County embark on tens of thousands of trips covering hundreds of thousands of miles annually, serious bus accidents are predictable.  When bus drivers fail to exercise caution and remain attentive, or public entities and transit companies do not exercise care in screening, training, and supervising drivers, the risk posed to passengers increases dramatically.  While bus companies are considered common carriers who owe passengers a heightened duty of care, injured passengers seeking financial compensation from municipalities and other government entities that run bus lines face special challenges.  In this blog, our Miami bus accident attorneys review a recent settlement of a bus accident claim that focuses attention on these obstacles.

An article in the Sun Sentinel reported on the tragic story of a boy who suffered permanent debilitating injuries after being dragged by a bus.  The boy and his mom were approaching the bus when she fell, so she told her son to run to catch the bus.  A passenger on the bus informed the bus driver about “runners” approaching the vehicle.  While the teen was able to reach the bus before it pulled away from the curb, the driver closed the door on the boy’s arm.  The driver then pulled the vehicle away from the curb and dragged the boy for approximately seven seconds.  The teen fell and was then partially run over by the massive vehicle.  He suffered a traumatic brain injury and remained in a coma for more than a month.  The teen also was unable to return to school for 1.5 years.  The lingering effects of the bus accident included neuropsychological deficits in memory and processing speed, physical impairments, compromised motor dexterity, neurocognitive disorder, central auditory processing disorder, and adjustment disorder with depression. Continue reading →

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Discovery is an important part of the litigation process in any car accident lawsuit because this permits the issues in the case to be narrowed and each side to investigate the facts and allegations made by the opposing party.  Skillful use of discovery tools and close attention to the information provided could mean the difference between a substantial settlement or verdict and an outcome favorable to the defense.  While a party might have valid objections to answering certain questions, providing false information, misrepresentations, or material nondisclosure could have dire consequences.  In this blog post, our experienced car accident attorneys review a decision from the Florida Court of Appeals reversing the dismissal of an injury victim’s claim despite allegations of fraud perpetrated upon the court.

In the recent case of Duarte v. Snap-On, Incorporated, a motorist suffered a serious injury after an intoxicated truck driver plowed into his car while traveling at freeway speed.  The trucking company did not dispute liability based on the actions of its employee, but the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injuries were fiercely contested.  The issue of damages was complicated by the fact that the injury victim was involved in a second collision between the time of the first crash and resolution of the lawsuit involving the initial accident. Continue reading →

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The legal doctrine of negligent entrustment authorizes the imposition of liability on the owner of a dangerous instrument, such as a motor vehicle, for negligence by a motorist the owner knows or should know poses an unreasonable risk of harm.  The basic rationale for this legal theory is that a vehicle owner should exercise ordinary care when placing a dangerous instrumentality like a motor vehicle in the hands of another.  While actual knowledge that the person using the vehicle has a pattern of drunk driving convictions, citations for reckless driving, or a history of at-fault accidents can justify liability, vehicle owners cannot bury their head in the sand to avoid liability.  The legal relationship between the parties as well as known facts might give rise to a duty to inquire further.  In this blog, our Miami personal injury attorneys highlight a recent case where a Florida appellate court allowed a claim of to go forward based on the negligent driving of an employee under the legal doctrine of negligent entrustment.

An employer gave an employee permission to use a company car for the weekend to move a mattress as part of a move.  Permission was given to use the company car during off-work time and for the sole convenience of the employee.  The employee proceeded to down several alcoholic drinks before operating the vehicle and subsequently collided with the plaintiff.  The injury victim filed a personal injury lawsuit against the employee based on negligence and against the employer based on negligent entrustment.  The trial judge granted the employer’s request for summary judgment based on the grounds the company did not know of the employee’s pattern of unsafe driving. Continue reading →

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Our Miami Personal Injury Attorneys Invite You To Take Our Distracted Driving Quiz!

Distracted driving is a serious problem in Florida and across the nation. The personal injury attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano are alarmed by the high rates of distracted drivers in our area.  Our attorneys recognize that some people simply do not understand what behaviors constitute distracted driving or how dangerous driving distracted can be.  We offer a quiz below to test your distracted driving knowledge:

Q. True or False: If you are stopped at a traffic light it is okay to read or return a text.

A. False: It is extremely dangerous to text while you are stopped at a traffic light. You may not see when the light changes and could start to drive too late, or too early. Texting while driving is against the law while the vehicle is in operation, which includes while it is stopped at a traffic light.

 

Q. True or False: Using a hands-free device is a safe alternative to using your cell phone while driving.

A. False: Several studies have shown that hands-free devices can cause significant distraction to drivers.  Even though your hands are on the wheel, your mind will be torn off the road if you are talking, texting, or engaging in other activities with your hands-free device.

Q. Approximately how many people are killed due to distracted driving each day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)? Continue reading →

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Miami Personal Injury Attorneys Explore How Technology Could End Car Accidents

The United States Department of Transportation issued a proposed rule recently that would mandate the development and widespread adoption of connected vehicle technologies throughout the nation. Under the proposed rule, all new “light duty” vehicles, which includes any vehicle weighing 10,000 pounds or less, would enable vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology.  Accordingly, all new vehicles would have the potential to avoid a multitude of crash scenarios by “talking” to one another.  Soon, the DOT also plans to issue a rule requiring the adoption of vehicle to infrastructure technology, which allows cars to communicate with their surroundings, such as traffic lights and stop signs.  Our South Florida personal injury lawyers anticipate that these technologies combined will save thousands of lives.

Vehicle Communication Technologies

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Miami Personal Injury Attorneys Celebrate the Use of Seatbelts

The United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released a promising new finding—seatbelt use in the United States has reached its highest level since the government began conducting surveys. Our personal injury attorneys are pleased to announce that today, approximately 90 percent of all drivers and passengers wear their seatbelts while their vehicle is in operation, which is up from 88.5 percent in 2015. The data was gathered through a mass observational study known as the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS).

Seatbelts Save Thousands of Lives Annually

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Our car accident lawyers report that a well know accident intersection is under scrutiny by Florida’s Department of Transportation after a crash recently claimed the life of an 82-year old Uber driver.  The fatal crash occurred at the intersection of Federal Highway and Northeast First Street in Delray Beach. This intersection is known as a very dangerous intersection. In fact, the city of Delray Beach hung signs warning drivers they were about to enter a notorious intersection. Unfortunately, a man tragically lost his life despite those warnings. If you or someone you love was injured or killed in a car accident in South Florida, Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano can win the compensation you deserve.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, the man driving a Lamborghini luxury sports car remained hospitalized for a very long time after the crash. The sixty-year-old man’s condition continues to improve, but the timetable for his release from the hospital remains uncertain.  He is lucky compared to the 82-year-old driver of a minivan who was working for Uber at the time of the crash. That man died from injuries he suffered in the crash. Police have made no arrests to this point, and the crash remains under investigation. Continue reading →

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In South Florida, many people try to stay healthy and lead an active lifestyle. Walking, jogging, and bicycling are three common exercises people of all ages enjoy. However, our lawyers know that danger lurks around every corner. Hundreds of pedestrians are injured or killed each year in Florida. This number hopefully will not go up, but one cannot be sure given the number of distractions people have while driving these days. Our personal injury attorneys know how to protect your rights and help you fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

As experienced Miami personal injury lawyers, we see many cases just like the one that appeared in the Miami Herald on September 25, 2016. A driver left the scene of a fatal crash with a person who was jogging according to Florida Highway Patrol. Unfortunately, the man did not have identification on him and police sought the community’s help identifying him.  The driver ultimately identified herself to law enforcement because she believed she hit something along the side of the road. The crash occurred around 6:30 in the morning on State Road 84 in West Broward. The initial investigation reveals that the right front portion of the car struck the jogger. Continue reading →

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A July 2016 decision by the Florida Court of Appeals demonstrates why you need highly skilled, experienced, and professional attorneys representing you if you suffered personal injuries through no fault of your own.  The trial judge allowed a bio-mechanical expert to testify about the velocity change in an accident and forces applied to the human body in an accident.  That is only part of this story. The attorney’s behavior at that trial fell measurably below how an attorney should act. South Florida personal injury attorneys Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano received an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell for their professionalism and success.

The plaintiff in the case suffered injuries when a truck traveling in the same lane of traffic as she hit her car as she turned into her driveway.  The driver of the truck claimed that she swerved, and he could not avoid her. The plaintiff claimed permanent injuries to her shoulder, neck, and back as a result of the crash. The jury returned a verdict that the defendant truck driver was not negligent in causing the accident. The plaintiff appealed the jury verdict.

The plaintiff complained that a biomechanical expert testified at trial about the change in velocity of the cars at the time of the crash and how that change in velocity effects the human body. Change in velocity is called “delta-v.” Delta means change and “v” stands for velocity.  The change in velocity causes physical forces to be applied to the body. Courts allow biomechanical experts to opine how the changes in velocity affect the severity of the impact of the vehicles.  Courts do not allow a biomechanical to testify that an accident could or could not have caused certain injuries to be permanent because they lack medical training. Biomechanical experts can, however, give an opinion as to the car crash caused the injury. The plaintiff lost this argument on appeal. The appeals court ruled that the defendant’s biomechanical expert testified properly. The appeals court reversed the case on other grounds. Continue reading →

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In Florida, car accidents in which damages for personal injuries are at stake, the issue of whether the injuries are permanent is most often left up to a jury to decide.  Judges can take that decision away from the jury in very limited circumstances. Only when there is no issue of fact for the jury to decide, then the judge may make a finding of a directed verdict. Judges must make very detailed findings on this issue. We at Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, a Miami personal injury law firm, as rated by the Miami Herald, have faced directed verdicts in the past and have persuaded judges to let the case go to the jury.

In the appeal court’s most recent decision in the James case, the plaintiff was riding in a car in the city of Tampa. A trash collection truck moved slowly in front of the car in which James rode. The trash truck backed up and collided with the car. James alleged that the trash truck struck the car once, but the City of Tampa claimed the truck hit the car only once. James suffered personal injuries from the crash with the trash truck. The City of Tampa contested James’ injuries. James suffered injuries in a car crash four months prior when another vehicle struck him broadside. James waited three months before seeking treatment for his injuries from the first crash. Continue reading →

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