Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog
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The Federal Highway Administration encourages roadway agencies to adopt roadside vegetation management programs that identify the best maintenance practices for each location. An integrated approach includes:

  • Mowing
  • Cutting (mechanical and hand)
  • Use of herbicides
  • Grazing of livestock
  • Cultivating desirable vegetation
  • Re-vegetationroadbush

Essentially, drivers have to be able to see and navigate the road clearly. If overgrowth of vegetation blocks a driver’s view of roadway signs or oncoming traffic, the municipality in charge of maintenance could find itself facing a car accident lawsuit.

That’s the situation in Wuthrich v. King County, a lawsuit recently revived by the Washington Supreme Court.  Continue reading →

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Plaintiff in McFadden v. Dept. of Transportation has won the right to continue pursuit of her wrongful death claim on behalf of her husband’s estate, alleging state liability for negligent highway maintenance involving a pavement drop-off. The decision was recently handed down by the Iowa Supreme Court. roadshoulder

The case highlights an important roadway defect that can cause serious problems for motorists – especially motorcycles and other small vehicles – on Florida’s fast-paced roads.

Pavement drop-offs and shoulder edge drop-offs are road conditions where there is a significant change in elevation or uneven pavement from one travel lane to the next or from the travel lane to the shoulder. It’s a characteristic that is known to be dangerous to drivers, and it’s generally seen as a highway engineering flaw. Continue reading →

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Lost income and loss of employment benefits are among those factors taken into account when awarding damages to a car accident victim.brakes

In most cases, if you’re employed by someone else, you simply request a letter from your company indicating your position, rate of pay, hours typically worked, number of hours or days missed after the accident and whether you took sick leave, vacation time or a leave of absence.

However, when victims are self-employed (as an 26 million people in the U.S. are), proof of lost income gets trickier. It’s usually advisable to hire a forensic accountant to assist in studying past income and offer a forecast of potential future income and business growth rate (or lack thereof).  Continue reading →

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City leaders and safety advocates in Fort Lauderdale have a goal: Zero traffic deaths. pedestrians1

No one dying on bicycles. No one killed in car accidents. No one fatally struck while crossing the street.

It’s a lofty one, considering Fort Lauderdale has a horrible track record when it comes to traffic safety. In the last five years, there have been nearly 41,000 auto accidents, 134 deaths and 1,450 injuries just of bicyclists and pedestrians, according to state and federal data.  Continue reading →

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Most people understand that when they are involved in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, they are entitled to collect damages for serious injuries. What is less understood is the fact there are two kinds of damages: Compensatory and punitive.driving2

While compensatory damages are intended to compensate victims for actual losses, punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and discourage similar future acts. There are certain criteria for pursuit of punitive damages, and in Florida, the criteria is described in F.S. 768.72Plaintiffs will have to show defendant either acted with gross negligence (conduct so reckless it constituted a conscious disregard or indifference for life, safety and rights of others) or intentional misconduct.

Punitive damages aren’t applicable to every case, but they are usually worth exploring because they can substantially increase the sum owed to car accident victims. However, plaintiff attorneys must be cautious because filing for punitive damages absent a sound basis to do so may result in sanctions from the court.  Continue reading →

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An early morning car accident in Palm Beach County claimed the lives of two renowned equestrians in South Florida, including Olympic-caliber rider Andres Rodriguez of Venezuela.equestrian

The 31-year-old Rodriguez was driving with an amateur rider Sophie Walker, 30, in a gated community near the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club in Wellington. Authorities told The Palm Beach Post it was nearly 3:30 a.m. when Rodriguez rounded a curve, lost control of his 1992 Porsche sports car and slammed into a concrete pillar.

Walker was pronounced dead at the scene, while Rodriguez died at the hospital a few hours later. Sheriff’s Office investigators have stated alcohol was a factor in the single-car crash, but have not released the details upon which that assertion is based.  Continue reading →

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For years, state officials in Oregon dragged their heels when it came to putting up barriers they knew were needed along the interstate. They knew the deadly consequences for failing to do so, and yet set other priorities, vote after vote, year after year. guardrail

Then in 2014, a psychiatrist and mental health counselor were carpooling to work at a local hospital one morning when a pickup truck, thrown off course by a torrential downpour and a speeding oil truck, came careening from the other side of the highway, across the raised dirt median and directly into their lane. The health care workers were struck head-on and both were killed.

The widow of the deceased driver happened to be a commissioner for the City of Portland. She vowed enough was enough. She pushed state legislators and the governor into passage of the “Fritz-Fairchild Act,” so named after the victims, that gave the state a six-year timeline to install $20 million worth of cable medians along 100 miles of protected highway. She also settled for $1.45 million a pending lawsuit against the state, alleging negligent highway design. Evidence had been presented indicating state officials knew not only were the dirt berms in the median ineffective at preventing cross-over crashes, they may have actually made them worse by serving as a “launching pad.” Another negligence lawsuit for $9.5 million brought by the commissioner against the pickup truck driver and the oil truck company is still pending. Continue reading →

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Broward County Transit is coming under fire for its continued employment of a bus driver who in two decades of service has racked up:

  • 25 written warning slips
  • 16 accidents
  • 30 days of unpaid suspensionbus

Troubles with his employment started little more than a week after he was hired, and have continued through this year. In 2013, he caused a four-vehicle pileup on Interstate 95 that resulted in serious injuries to one of the women involved. Broward county commissioners recently signed off on a $75,000 settlement to resolve her personal injury claims against the county for negligent hiring, supervision and vicarious liability.

The driver, 62, is still on the job and isn’t set to retire for another five years. Continue reading →

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The Alabama Supreme Court affirmed a $15 million dram shop verdict in favor of four plaintiffs – three seriously injured and the mother of one killed – in a drunk driving accident eight years ago. budweiserbeerbottles

Decedent was a 13-year-old boy. Two older teen passengers were seriously injured, as was the teen driver.

The 19-year-old behind the wheel had purchased liquor from a local convenience store that had a reputation among youth for selling booze to underage consumers. The crash, which occurred in Tuscaloosa, occurred when driver careened off the road and struck a tree. Although the passengers were wearing their seat belts, the sheer force of impact caused them to be ejected anyway.

The case was significant for a few reasons. First, it is believed to be the largest dram shop lawsuit verdict affirmed by that state’s supreme court ever. Secondly, it affirms the fact that punitive damages – which are intended to punish a wrongdoer for egregious or especially reckless actions – can be sought even a plaintiff is comparatively at-fault (as the driver was in this case). It also allows that punitive damages to be determined on a per-plaintiff basis, rather than as a whole and then divvied up. Finally, it affirms the right of dram shop plaintiffs to pierce the corporate veil in order to hold business owners personally liable for such damages, which combined with the hefty punitive damages creates a substantial incentive to prevent such action in the future. Continue reading →

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Travel safety advocates at AAA report there will be 95 million people traveling more than 50 miles or more from home over the holidays this year. That’s a substantial increase of travelers compared to last year. Only one will have the luxury of a magical sleigh powered by reindeer. Some will board a plane, train or bus. But many more – about 89 percent – will pile into the car. caraccident1

In fact, the number of people who are getting behind the wheel this season is up for the seventh year in a row. A huge part of that has to do with the fact that gas prices are at an all time low – down to an average of $2.20 a gallon from $3.50 just three years ago. In fact, gas prices for motorists in the Southeast are the lowest they’ve been in six years. Unemployment is shrinking, and that means more people have disposable income. That means a bigger travel budget, and many of them are springing for a warm holiday getaway in South Florida.

That’s going to mean more drivers and higher risks on Florida roads. People are rushing to finish holiday chores, head out to parties and drive across state to see relatives or take advantage of the time off for a getaway. That’s why the holidays are the No. 1 most dangerous travel period of the year. Continue reading →

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