Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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Many thousands of people vacation in Florida annually. People from all over the world turn to Florida’s amusement parks, its beautiful beaches, great golf, abundant fishing, and year-round warm weather for rest and relaxation with family and friends. Tragedy can strike while on vacation. You need to know where you can turn for help when you are out of your familiar surroundings, and something terrible happens. You need to know where to turn for help. If you or someone in your family suffered personal injuries or died as a result of another person’s careless acts, you need the law firm the Miami Herald voted to be the Top Law Firm in South Florida: Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano.

While terrible and tragic, severe car crashes occur on Florida’s highways that involve vacationers from out of state. For instance, a dream vacation for a family from Leadwood, MO turned into a terrible nightmare. The parents of two young girls were killed on Interstate 4 just outside of Orlando recently when another car struck the front end of their car. The force of the collision forced the victims’ car off of the road and into a tree. The impact with the tree killed both parents. Their two daughters, aged 13 and 8, survived but suffered very serious personal injuries.  It was a dream vacation gone wrong. The parents saved money for months so they could show their daughters what it was like to go on vacation. The family was traveling to the beach when the fatal car crash happened. The family visited Walt Disney World and Universal Studios over the previous couple of days before the crash.  Due to the severity of the injuries to the children, they do not know that their parents died in the crash. Relatives flew to Florida to be with the children and break the heart-wrenching news to them. Continue reading →

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Our lawyers see many people who suffer debilitating injuries in collisions caused by uninsured or under-insured motorists.  While the physical pain and emotional trauma of recovery take a toll on crash victims, the emotional hardships increase exponentially when the other driver is not adequately insured.  Medical bills can mount, and the loss of household income take its toll.  Drivers might be inclined to dismiss the possibility of being hit by an uninsured driver as unlikely.  Florida consistently ranks in the top ten for the highest number of uninsured drivers in the U.S.  Almost one in five Florida drivers carries no insurance while many others carry only minimal coverage according to the Insurance Information Institute (III), which makes uninsured motorist (UM) coverage an extremely important form of financial protection.

Our car accident attorneys take notice of significant uninsured motorist decisions because they can have a significant impact on many accident victims.  The Seventh Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals recently affirmed a lower court opinion that denied UM coverage to a driver and two injured passengers.  The plaintiffs in Trotter v. Harleysville Insurance Company suffered serious injuries when the car they were traveling in was hit in an intersection by a motorist who blew through a stop sign. Continue reading →

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Despite the heightened level of concern parents have regarding their children’s safety, motor vehicle collisions constitute the leading cause of death of children under the age of fourteen in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Based on a CDC study, approximately 638 children age 12 and under died and another 127,250 suffered injury in passenger vehicle accidents during a recent one-year period.   Given these alarming statistics, parents have a legitimate reason to worry about the safety of their children who are passengers.  Florida law provides special protections to safeguard the interests of child passengers pursuing personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.  Our Miami auto accident attorneys discuss a special statutory protection for minors injured in collisions in this post.

In this blog post, our lawyers review a recent court decision that applied a special statutory protection for children in personal injury litigation.  In this heartbreaking case, a grandmother died while her two children (one an adult) and two minor grandkids suffered injury when they were struck by an intoxicated driver.  All of the passengers suffered injuries of varying degrees of severity.  The coverage limits of the insurer for the drunk driver were $25,000 per bodily injury victim and $50,000 per incident for all victims.  After the tragic crash, the children’s mother filed a lawsuit on behalf of her kids, herself, and the estate of her mom.  While the insurance company agreed to tender the full amount, confusion later arose about whether the money offered was to be considered a tender of policy limits or a full settlement of all claims.  Ultimately, the insurance carrier tendered $25,000 to the estate of the grandmother, $25,000 to the mother, and nothing for either child. Continue reading →

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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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