Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog

Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

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A beloved and talented musician from Venezuela was killed in an Orlando pedestrian accident recently while chaperoning a group of children on vacation. pedestrian3

Grammy-Nominated DJ Luis Borges was staying with a group of children whom he and other adults were chaperoning at a hotel near Lake Buena Vista. He and one of the chaperons decided to walk to a nearby grocery store to stock up on food. The two adults loaded up their carts at a local grocery store, pushed the carts back to the hotel, unloaded the food and then walked back to the store with the carts to return them.

Around 12:35 a.m., it was raining heavily and Borges was reportedly walking in the road. A 42-year-old man driving on Lake Street says he never saw the pedestrian before striking him. There were no street lights and Borges was not in a crosswalk. The driver did remain at the scene until troopers arrived. Neither alcohol impairment nor speeding is believed to have been an issue, and no criminal charges are expected. Continue reading →

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Crosswalk signals are intended to make pedestrians safer when crossing the street, particularly at intersections. But they may not always achieve this goal. pedestrian1

A 2007 study by the AAA Foundation for traffic safety revealed traffic signals were problematic for pedestrians over age 65 because they changed too quickly, failing to allow them additional time to safely get across. There was also evidence that pedestrians don’t always understand the nuances of the traditional pedestrian signal countdown. That too affects their behavior and walking speed, which could in turn increase the risk of a crash.

In the recent case of Castro v. City of Thousand Oaks, the complaint involves an assertion the crosswalk signal was flawed, giving pedestrians the feeling they were safe when in fact they were not. The lawsuit was filed against the city for injuries. After a trial court granted summary judgment to the city, a California appellate court reversed, finding a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the intersection/crosswalk posed a substantial risk of injury to a pedestrian who is exercising due care. Continue reading →

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A husband and wife out for a leisurely stroll in their neighborhood would never return home the same again. It was a summer day in Maryland in 2009. As they passed a residential driveway, a driver in his 20s backed out of the driveway without looking. crashedbumper

In so doing, the driver struck the couple. The wife screamed and, as she would later allege in her complaint, hit the vehicle with her hand to alert the driver and make it stop. She reportedly then made eye contact with the driver, who stopped momentarily and then nevertheless seeing what had happened, continued moving his car, backing over her husband in an attempt to flee the scene.

Both husband and wife sustained serious injuries, though the husband had the worst of it. His injuries included a traumatic brain injury and other severe head injuries, as well as injuries to his neck, body and limbs. He was transported to a local hospital and then, later to a rehabilitation center, where he died two years later.

The wife, meanwhile, sustained injuries to her back, neck, arm and leg. She also suffered the emotional trauma of watching her husband be run over by a vehicle.

The subject of a lawsuit recently before the Maryland Court of Appeals, Connor v. GEICO, deals with the amount of coverage the couple’s own insurance company should have to pay after they had reached the maximum limit of compensation with the driver’s insurance company.

Pedestrians who are struck by a vehicle often do not realize that their own insurance company is probably responsible to pay some of the damages, if the at-fault driver’s insurer does not. That’s because even though the pedestrian wasn’t driving at the time of the accident, it’s still considered an “auto accident” worthy of coverage. Typically, we’d be dealing with uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage in these instances.

This type of coverage, which comes standard in most auto insurance policies, allows for the policy holder and others covered under the policy to receive the difference between their damages and what the at-fault driver’s insurance company paid. So if the at-fault driver had no insurance, the injured pedestrian would receive the full UIM coverage amount (assuming his or her damages met that threshold or more). If an at-fault driver’s insurance company only paid $20,000, but damages were at $50,000, the insured should receive $30,000 from his or her own insurance company, assuming the policy allowed for at least $30,000 in coverage.

The Connor case dealt with whether the insureds should receive the total UIM policy amount of $300,000, even though the at-fault driver’s insurance company paid $100,000 to each individual.

In an auto accident lawsuit like this one, what is going to be key is the unambiguous language of the individual policy.

Here, plaintiffs argued that in addition to the $200,000 they had received total from the at-fault driver’s insurer, they should also receive $300,000 from their own insurer per the terms of the UIM policy.

The insurer instead paid them $100,000 – the remaining amount left on the UIM policy, minus the $200,000 already paid by the other insurance company. Plaintiffs sued to collect the remaining $200,000.

However, the trial court ruled and the appellate court recently affirmed, that the clear terms of the policy indicated the couple’s damages were capped at $300,000, and that because $200,000 had already been paid by the other insurer, that amount offset the total they could receive from their own insurer.

Not every case with similar circumstances is going to have this exact outcome. Again, it highly depends on the individual facts and the policy language in the insurance documents.

Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.

Additional Resources:

Connor v. GEICO, April 17, 2015, Maryland Court of Appeals

More Blog Entries:

Jones v. Alayon – Challenging the Seat Belt Defense, April 25, 2015, West Palm Beach Car Accident Attorney Blog

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A Fort Lauderdale firefighter was killed after he stopped on the side of the road to change a flat and was struck by an oncoming vehicle on Interstate 95. The case is a reminder to drivers not to text and drive and to avoid other distractions while driving to prevent similar accidents. Drivers who must pull over to change a flat, handle maintenance, or in the event of an emergency should also remember the danger of pulling onto the shoulder. According to media and accident reports, a 48-year-old driver struck the SUV in her Hyundai Sonata in the southbound lane just north of Yamoto Road in Boca Raton.

self-driving-google-car-2A 911 call detailing the scene of the accident was made available to the media. In the recording, it is clear that the driver was overwhelmed with grief and shock as she begged the dispatcher for help. Immediately, the driver recognized that she veered off the road and “hit a man.” When the emergency rescue team arrived, the driver was standing over the victim, who was still breathing but unresponsive. Throughout the six-minute 911 call, the driver begged the dispatchers for help while they tried to keep her calm.

Police stated that the driver tried to avoid hitting the victim by veering to the right, but drove into the victim who was next to his car. The driver went to aid the victim as she called 911 and though he tried to speak, she could not understand what he was saying. When other eyewitnesses pulled onto the scene, many called 911 to report the tragedy. All of these reports will be relevant in a criminal or civil matter. At least one eyewitness said the driver “panicked” and hit the victim. No charges have been filed, but the case remains under investigation.

According to a representative from the Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue team, the victim was 48 years old and a 29-year-veteran. He was pronounced dead at Delray Medical Center. After hearing news of their loss, members of the family, his firefighting squad, and the community joined for a procession from the hospital to the medical examiner’s office. He is survived by a wife, three children, and one grandchild.

Taking your eyes off the road, even for a few seconds can have deadly consequences. According to the 911 recording, the driver veered off the road after the car in front of her suddenly slowed down. She veered to avoid the car in front of her, and the victim’s vehicle, but didn’t see him standing next to it. Police reports indicated that he was thrown onto her windshield. As with any case involving a fatal accident, there is an ongoing investigation being conducted by authorities. The victims’ family should also consult with an experienced representative who can help protect their rights. Our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys are experienced with wrongful death accident cases and can perform a thorough and effective investigation.

Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:
Enforcing Coblentz Agreement Requires Experienced Lawyer, May 23, 2014, Deerfield Beach Car Accident Lawyer Blog

Broward Pedestrian Accidents a Serious, Ongoing Safety Threat
, April 15, 2014, Broward Pedestrian Accident Attorney Blog

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Hit-and-run collisions pose a significant risk to Florida’s pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. When a driver flees the scene, it is less likely that a victim will get necessary medical care. To make a medical condition work, some victims will suffer additional injuries after being struck and dragged by a vehicle. According to recent reports, South Florida, as well as Tampa, Jacksonville and Orlando are some of the most dangerous places for pedestrians. The analysis was compiled by the National Complete Streets Coalition and discussed in a CBS 12 report.


Pedestrian safety is a significant issue in South Florida and statewide. Due to the weather and number of state and federal highways, there are more pedestrians and a higher risk of accidents and injury. Florida not only has a high rate of pedestrian accidents, it also has a high rate of hit-and-run collisions. Our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys are dedicated to representing the victims of hit-and-run accidents. We are also committed to raising awareness to prevent future accidents and to hold negligent drivers accountable.
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Recently in Weston, a hit-and-run driver struck a pedestrian on U.S. 27, causing the adult male victim to suffer serious injuries. He was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
Authorities are looking for the driver, but our pedestrian accident attorneys in Broward know that many times in these situations, when the driver is never caught, victims must turn to their own insurance company for help. We are experienced in handling claims involving uninsured (or unidentified) and underinsured drivers.

Nationwide, pedestrian deaths have seen a dramatic increase of 15 percent between 2009 and 2012, even as the instance of all other motor vehicle fatalities declined by 3 percent. The Governors Highway Safety Association reports that based on preliminary data for the first six months of 2013 in all 50 states plus D.C., there were 1,985 pedestrian fatalities. That’s a marked decrease from the 2,175 that was reported in the first six months of 2012;. Whether those figures continued to bear out for the rest of the year remains to be seen, as more recent statistics are not yet available.
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It’s Halloween, and that means more than haunted houses and sweet treats. It means some serious risks for pedestrian accidents. As a matter of fact, Halloween is the most dangerous night of the year for pedestrian accidents, especially among young children. According to a recent study, and a look over at more than four million records in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) from 1990 – 2010 for children 0-18 years of age on October 31, it was concluded that there have been 115 child pedestrian fatalities through the 21 years of analysis. That’s an average of close to 6 fatalities on the haunted night each and every year — compared to the average of about 2.6 on every other night of the year.

The deadliest hours for trick-or-treaters were from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. About 60 percent of all of the child pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night occurred during this time. About 70 percent of them happened at areas away from a crosswalk or an intersection and they were most likely to happen among children between the ages of 12 and 15, according to StateFarm.

Our Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident lawyers understand that Halloween is supposed to be a fun, lighthearted night for our youngster, but it’s our responsibility to make sure that this is all good, safe fun. We advise parents to take advantage of local businesses and downtown activities for trick-or-treating, but if you’re set on hitting the neighborhoods, please review and follow these safety tips:
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A simple trip to the airport to pick up an arriving traveler turned deadly after a pedestrian was struck by a charter bus. According to the Huffington Post, the accident happened at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport when the pedestrian tripped while crossing the busy four lanes of traffic right outside the arrival area of the airport. it happened just before 3:00 p.m. outside Terminal 4.
According to accident reports, the woman arrived in an SUV, which stopped in the middle of these four lanes (where traffic is not supposed to stop). The woman exited the rear of the SUV and at one point stumbled and fell to the ground. Upon hitting the pavement, she was run over by a passing bus. No one on the bus was injured.

Our Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident lawyers understand that the airport can be a confusing and dangerous place. With all the excitement of picking up friends and family members, or tossing your bags on a plane and flying out of town, it’s no surprise that safety takes a back seat. Unfortunately, there are plenty of risks to be found in and around airports, whether you’re coming or going.

In this area (in the lanes where the involved vehicles were traveling), traffic is not allowed to stop to let anyone get in our out of a vehicle. But who’s to know that in these busy and confusing travel areas. Are signs working well enough? Are drivers paying enough attention?

“It’s tragic any way you look at it,” said Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles.

Officers are still investigating the accident, and have not reported if there will be any charges filed.

The truth of the matter is that dropping off and picking up passengers is statistically not that safe. Each and every year, there are a number of accidents and fatalities that happen as a result of vehicles driving around airport terminals. These are the lanes near the airport entrances and exits and they’re filled with parking lot shuttles, city buses, cars, cabs and many are double-parked. If you’re not used to this kind of traffic, the layout can be awfully confusing — and dangerous.

These conditions are especially risky for those on-foot travelers.

When you’re walking through this area, it’s critical that you have your full attention on your surroundings. Unfortunately, traffic in the area is more concerned with picking up or dropping off their passengers than on the safety of the traffic around them.

When you’re walking outside an airport, it’s important that you:

-Walk in designated crosswalks.

-Only board/exit vehicles where permitted.

-Stay one step ahead of the traffic around you.

-Only cross the road when you KNOW you have enough time. Avoid hurrying across.

-Only board/exit vehicles in designated areas. You cannot always just stop your vehicle and hop in/out whenever you’d like.

Following these simple safety tips will help to make sure you make it to/from your flight safely.
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Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are asking that all vehicles meet a minimum sound standard.

In particular, they are targeting hybrid and electric vehicles in an effort to help keep pedestrians, bicyclists and other vulnerable travelers safe out there.

Our Fort Pierce car accident lawyers understand quieter vehicles can increase the risks in traffic — especially for cyclists and pedestrians. With the hybrid and electric cars, vehicles are seemingly silent. Unfortunately, many pedestrians and bicyclists rely on their hearing to help avoid approaching traffic. .

“Safety is our highest priority, and this proposal will help keep everyone using our nation’s streets and roadways safe, whether they are motorists, bicyclists or pedestrians, and especially the blind and visually impaired,” said Ray LaHood with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

These new, fuel-efficient and hybrid cars often don’t run on gas like normal, and at low speeds they’re alarmingly quiet. Under the new proposed standard, officials are asking Congress to require that in the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act these quieter cars meet a minimum sound requirement. They would only have to meet this standard when traveling 18 mph or slower because officials believe that their sound is sufficient at faster speeds.

Sounds would have to be the same for the same make and model of vehicle. The NHTSA has even gone as far as to provide car manufacturers with sample sounds already.

David Strickland with the NHTSA says that it’s all about helping to make our roadways safer for all travelers. He adds that this is a move that will largely benefit those who are hearing-impaired, as well as those who are visually impaired and so rely more heavily on the sound of approaching traffic.

It’s our responsibility as pedestrians to be on the lookout. We need to stay one step ahead of the vehicular traffic around us. Unfortunately, we can’t always rely on the safe habits of drivers. They’re oftentimes distracted if not blatantly ignoring on-foot travelers. Be sure that you’re doing all that you can to make yourself seen — like wearing bright colors, using reflective materials and traveling with a flashlight when it’s dark out. You’re also reminded to always use sidewalks and steer clear of passing traffic. Cross the road by using crosswalks and street corners.

This is especially important for pedestrians here in the South Florida area. According to Transportation for America, South Florida holds the top 4 most dangerous spots for pedestrian accidents in the country. These areas are Orlando-Kissimmee, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Pompano-Clearwater, Jacksonville and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach.

The truth is that many pedestrian-car accidents can be prevented with awareness. Let’s all work together to remain aware of one another out there and work to improve roadway safety for all.
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Florida is in some trouble. According to a recent press release from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of fatalities among bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists in the country is on the rise. These numbers were significantly higher in 2011 in comparison to 2010.

Florida is among the nation’s most dangerous state when it comes to all three types of crashes.

With all of this bad news, officials are still patting themselves on the back for some overall decreases. While the total number of traffic fatalities may have decreased nationwide during this time, many forms of transportation continue to grow more dangerous

“Even as we celebrate the progress we’ve made in recent years, we must remain focused on addressing the safety issues that are continuing to claim more than 30,000 lives each year,” said the Administrator for the NHTSA, David Strickland.

Our Tamarac accident attorneys understand that there were close to 2,500 people killed in traffic accidents in the state of Florida in 2011. We were actually ranked as the third most dangerous state in the nation — behind California and Texas.

In 2011, there were more than 32,300 people killed in traffic accidents throughout the U.S. While officials boast this is a 2 percent decrease from the year before, there are still tens of thousands of people dying on our roadways every year. What’s most unfortunate is that most of these accidents are actually preventable. In addition to these fatalities, there were another 2.22 million peopled injured.

There are more reasons than “good driving” for the overall decrease. Officials report that the total number of vehicle miles driven was down in 2011 in comparison to 2010. When people are driving less, there are obviously fewer risks for accidents. Americans were staying home more because of the struggling economy and because of the rising gas prices. But that’s all changing!

Now that the economy is improving and gas prices are dipping, residents are feeling a little more comfortable hitting the road and taking those vacations they’ve passed up in recent years. The total number of vehicle miles traveled is expected to increase and with that we’re going to see more risks and ultimately more accidents, injuries and fatalities. It’s time like these that we need to pay the utmost attention to our driving skills. We also need to pay attention to the most vulnerable travelers along our roadways.

Pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists are urged to be extra careful. Here are the alarming stats:

-Bicyclist fatalities increased by more than 8.5 percent.

-Pedestrian fatalities jumped by about 3 percent.

-Motorcyclist fatalities increased by more than 2 percent.

Snowbirds are in town and visitors are venturing south for the winter. This is when our accident risks are the highest. Be safe out there and stay one step ahead of the traffic around you. Alert and defensive driving habits are your number one defense against a serious accident.
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