Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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Car accidents can lead to a variety of serious injuries that could lead to chronic conditions.  One potential condition is known as fibromyalgia.  Few people fully the condition of fibromyalgia, even though it is believed to affect millions of Americans.  Most fibromyalgia sufferers are women, though researchers do not fully understand why this is.  Fibromyalgia can be a debilitating condition, impacting nearly every aspect of the sufferer’s life.  The constant pain and fatigue makes it difficult for many sufferers to maintain their employment, friendships, and family life.

At Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, our car accident lawyers understand the considerable suffering experienced by those with fibromyalgia.  We also understand that much is misunderstood about this disorder and numerous misconceptions exist.  Studies show that those involved in an automobile accident have a chance of going on to develop fibromyalgia.  Continue reading →

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Broken bones are common injuries in car accidents due to the force of the collision.  Nearly any bone in the body can become injured in the event of a serious crash.  Fractures can be excruciating and may require surgery, potentially leading to long recovery times and complications.  Any car accident victim who has sustained a broken bone will require immediate treatment in order to ensure proper healing.  These accident victims may also be eligible to seek compensation for their broken bone injuries from the at-fault driver responsible for the accident.

At Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, our Miami personal injury lawyers understand how painful and devastating broken bones can be.  Car accident victims with fractures or breaks may find themselves unable to return to work and perform daily living tasks for some time following the accident.  Our Miami car accident lawyers diligently fight for our injured car accident clients to obtain compensation for their losses stemming from the accident. Continue reading →

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There are about 170,000 car crashes a year that involve pregnant women. When motor vehicle accidents result in serious consequences to the baby, the lack of a seatbelt typically plays a substantial factor approximately 62 percent of the time.  Proper seatbelt use by women who are pregnant could result in prevention of 84 percent of disabling injuries and deaths to fetuses involved in auto collisions.  These statistics were gleaned from a study conducted by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan Health System.

This study conducted by Dr. Mark Pearlman was designed to dispel the myth that women who are pregnant should not wear seat belts.  Approximately 370 fetuses per year are killed in motor vehicle accidents in the U.S.  The study conducted by Dr. Pearlman was intended to challenge the claim by some that seat belt use actually results in an increase in the number of fetal deaths in car accidents. Continue reading →

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There are many reasons that an injury victim’s selection of a motor vehicle accident lawyer is important to the outcome of a legal claim for compensation.  One vital consideration involves the injury victim’s comfort level in communicating all relevant facts, including information that is unflattering or detrimental to the lawsuit.  Misrepresenting or withholding negative information often causes substantial damage to a civil lawsuit because the adverse facts usually will come out at some point in the legal process.

The advantage of candid communication between an attorney and client is that the sting of the damaging information often can be mitigated by a skilled legal advocate.  The way this information ultimately is presented to the judge or jury typically determines the impact of adverse facts.  Further, the court can actually dismiss a case when there is a pervasive pattern of fraud or misrepresentation by a plaintiff.

In the recent 3rd DCA case, Middleton v. Hager, 179 So.3d 529 (3rd DCA), the passenger in a vehicle brought a lawsuit against the driver after suffering injuries in a rear impact crash.  The trial court appointed a magistrate to review the decision-making process related to discovery.  The magistrate noted a litany of material misrepresentations about her medical treatment and physical condition prior to the collision that included: Continue reading →

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Many motor vehicle accidents that cause catastrophic injury or even wrongful death involve motorists with no insurance or insufficient coverage.  In such situations, the potential liability of government entities for unsafe road design or maintenance becomes an important issue.  Government entities have the financial resources to pay a personal injury judgment.  Because public entities benefit from sovereign immunity to the extent not waived by tort claims acts, personal injury lawsuits against the State of Florida, counties, or municipalities involve additional issues, special procedures, and tighter deadlines for providing notice of a legal claim.

In Manfre v. Shinkle, the 5th DCA considered whether the Sheriff of Flagler County owed a duty of care to a motorist who hit a dead horse laying in the roadway.  The plaintiff filed a tort claim against the sheriff alleging the sheriff was negligent in neutralizing the hazard created by the two horses that were running-at-large near the roadway.  The jury returned a verdict for the sheriff.

The plaintiff alleged that the sheriff’s office was notified that two horses had wandered into the road an hour and a half prior to the accident.  A deputy was dispatched to the location, and the horses, which were perhaps spooked by the flashing lights, retreated from the roadway to a pasture.  The deputy did not get out of the vehicle or talk to the owner of the horses.

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In most auto accident lawsuits, the insurance company for the at-fault driver will tenaciously work to dispute its insured’s negligence.  However, there are situations where the defendant might be inclined to concede that he or she engaged in unreasonably unsafe conduct to keep egregious facts from appearing relevant to the litigation.  The theory is that admitting fault makes facts that could poison the jury against the defendant no longer relevant after the defendant concedes liability.  This strategy is designed to prevent the jury from hearing facts that might motivate the jury to award larger damages.

The Florida 4th District Court of Appeals case, Lenhart v. Basora, 100 So.3d 1177 (4th DCA 2012), provides an example of a negligent driver attempting to use this litigation strategy.  The plaintiff was riding a scooter when the defendant suddenly moved into the lane of the scooter which caused the collision.  The plaintiff, who was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash involving the scooter and car, suffered a serious traumatic brain injury.  Continue reading →

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This is the second installment in our two-part blog post discussing the potential danger to children when vehicles back out of a driveway.  Although motorists might not consider this simple driving maneuver a high risk activity, hundreds of kids die and over ten thousand are injured by vehicles backing up every year.  This installment discusses legal changes and safety strategies designed to prevent these tragic child pedestrian accidents.

New Rear Visibility Safety Standards

Fortunately, The Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act has prompted new standards from the Department of Transportation (DOT).  Under the final rule issued April 7, 2014, the required field of vision for all passenger vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds has been expanded.  The regulations mandate that the area behind a vehicle be visible to a driver when the vehicle is put into reverse.  The DOT presumes that motor vehicle manufacturers will install rear back up video monitoring systems with in-dash displays to comply with the requirements. Continue reading →

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Although most people recognize the danger posed by intoxicated and distracted drivers on Florida roadways, the risk of injury or death posed by a motor vehicle can exist much closer to home.  The family driveway can be a dangerous place for small children.  Vehicles backing over children while pulling out of driveways claim the lives of fifty children per week according to the website kidsandcars.org.  The site also indicates that approximately 7 in 10 fatal back up accidents occur when a relative is behind the wheel.  In this two-part blog post, our Miami personal injury attorneys provide important safety information that can reduce the risk of a back over crash.  Part I of this article focuses on important risk factors while Part II discusses new safety standards and preventative measures.

Many of these tragic fatal pedestrian accidents are the result of something referred to as the “Bye-Bye Syndrome.”  This situation occurs because children do not want adults to leave, so they frequently follow departing adults outside into the driveway.  The drivers are unaware that their kids are no longer safe inside the home because they do not check behind the vehicle before climbing into their car.

These types of auto accidents have a particularly high fatality rate because extremely young children often lack the experience and cognitive skills to fully appreciate the potential danger of an approaching vehicle.  This mean that small children who are not visible through rearview mirrors and not protected by safety equipment face a disproportionately high risk of suffering a severe injury like a traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury (SCI), or even death. Continue reading →

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The process of proving damages in a car accident lawsuit can be difficult especially when attempting to establish intangible damages like pain and suffering.  While lost wages and medical costs can be established based on objective evidence, one of the important functions of an experienced Florida car accident lawyer involves persuasively advocating for a maximum award in terms of these types of hard to quantify forms of loss.  The recent decision by the 3rd District Court of Appeals for Florida, Ortega v. Belony, demonstrates the importance of skilled advocacy in the measure of compensation received for this type of damages.

The plaintiff Blanchard Belony suffered a broken neck and was hospitalized in traction for eight days following her crash.  Belony’s doctor suggested surgery, but the plaintiff elected an alternative course of treatment that involved wearing a “halo” (used to immobilize the head and neck) for a three month period while the fracture healed.  Evidence presented at trial reflects that Belony moved in with his brother during this recovery period to obtain assistance with bathing and other basic needs.  Belony also experienced insomnia and had to return to the hospital to have screws on the halo tightened.  After the halo was removed, Belony’s only complaint was residual neck pain. Continue reading →

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Distracted driving is a tremendous national problem that has reached epidemic levels.  The personal injury attorneys at Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, are concerned by the high rates of distracted driving nationally and locally.  We have provided the following list of frequently asked questions concerning distracted driving in hopes of raising increased awareness to the tremendous problem of distracted driving and the penalties texting drivers may face in Florida:

What is considered distracted driving?

Distracted driving encompasses driving while engaging in any other activity that distracts your attention, eyes, or hands from the road.  Distractions could include simple things like changing the radio station, inputting information in your GPS, or attending to a small child.  It can also be more complex, such as texting while driving, taking pictures on your cell phone, or engaging in social media. Continue reading →

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