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A rash of early-morning school bus accidents across the country – in Florida, Indiana, Mississippi and Pennsylvania – over the course of a single week have highlighted the serious scourge of distracted driving. Florida bus accident attorneys understand these incidents collectively ended in the deaths of five students, while six others were hospitalized. school bus accidents

Florida law very clearly outlines the rules for drivers encountering school bus stops. F.S. 316.172 requires any driver who approaches a school bus displaying a stop signal to bring their vehicle to a full stop and not pass the bus until the signal has been withdrawn. The only exceptions are motorists driving on a divided highway with an unpaved space of at least 5 feet, a raised medium or physical barrier; they aren’t required to stop when traveling the opposite direction.

Tougher Penalties for Florida School Bus Accidents  Continue reading →

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Florida is a “no-fault” state when it comes to auto insurance and how people are compensated for car accidents. To be crystal clear though: Fault still matters in Florida crash litigation. Jurors are asked to “score” each party’s fault. Based on the comparative negligence finding, total damages plaintiff can collect are proportionately reduced. It’s rarely “all-or-nothing,” but an experienced car accident lawyer will work diligently to dispel or minimize any allegations of comparative negligence.car accident lawyer

Recently, a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer at Freeman Injury Law cleared a major fault-related hurdle when he was able to secure a multi-million-dollar settlement on behalf of a crash victim seriously injured in a wrong-way, head-on collision.

Let’s start with the fact that wrong-way car accidents are relatively rare compared to other types of crashes. Hundreds of thousands of crashes are reported to police every year, and of those, just 2,600 in 2016 were wrong-way crashes, many involving drivers who are novice, elderly or impaired. They are the sort of occurrence that just should never happen. From the perspective of a car accident lawyer, fault in wrong-way crashes is typically straightforward – and all on the wrong-way driver. But Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer Christopher Lassen‘s case was a bit more complicated. Continue reading →

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If you’re in a serious car accident in South Florida resulting in damage to the spinal cord or paralysis, a consult with a spinal cord injury attorney is imperative. Depending on the circumstances, you may be have numerous options for compensation. Given the disabling and permanent nature of such injuries, full and fair damages recovery is critically important. Sometimes, all it takes is filing a claim, such as with the state’s brain and spinal cord injury program, as outlined in F.S. 381.76. In other cases, it may unfortunately require a drawn-out spinal cord injury lawsuit. Such claims may still resolve in settlement prior to trial, but a dedicated spinal cord injury lawyer may be needed to help ensure the compensation you get is complete and equitable. spinal cord injury attorney Florida

In addition to incurring much higher medical bills than the average Broward County car accident victim, those with spinal cord injuries are much more likely to require ongoing physical rehabilitation to cope with their new impairments. Many tend to find it extremely challenging if not impossible to return to their previous line of work. Many a Florida spinal cord injury plaintiff has asserted they weren’t able to return to work at all. Most patients need some form of ongoing psychological therapy to mentally and emotionally process the changes this will mean for their lives.

The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center reports annually yearly expenses just for health care for an average 25-year-old with paraplegia is about $2.3 million. This does not include indirect losses in wages, fringe benefits and productivity, which vary depending on one’s neurological impairment, pre-injury employment history and education, which average out to an additional $72,000 a year.  Continue reading →

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When it comes to hired driver accidents (such as those involving Uber and Lyft drivers, taxis and limousine services), Florida personal injury compensation guidelines and expectations will depend heavily on a number of factors. Among important elements: The type of service, whether the driver was an independent contractor or employee, whether a vehicle defect was a factor (and if so, how long ago the vehicle was manufactured), how many other people were hurt and how much fault is assigned each motorist if more than one vehicle was involved.Fort Lauderdale personal injury compensation claim

Recently, a hired driver accident in New York that resulted in 20 deaths, including all 17 passengers, the driver and two pedestrians, raised questions about whether the limousine company (a national firm with locations in Florida) had the appropriate level of auto insurance and whether the driver (who reportedly ran a red light) was properly licensed. There is a reason why the personal injury compensation guidelines pertaining to commercial and for-hire vehicles is so much higher, and it’s precisely because such crashes can result in utter devastation.

The Sarasota Herald Tribune recently asserted that the limousine crash in New York isn’t an “isolated incident,” detailing one incident in August 2016 when an Uber passenger picked up from the Tampa airport on his way home had to leap from the moving car on I-275 after the vehicle caught fire and the driver screamed the brakes weren’t working. The driver was killed. The passenger was rushed to the intensive care unit’s burn center, where doctors gave him a 20 percent chance of survival. He was able to recover about $1 million in medical expenses, but had no legal recourse to recover damages from the vehicle manufacturer (thanks to the Statute of Repose, barring product liability lawsuits for any vehicle made more than 12 years earlier). This was despite the fact the vehicle had been recalled for a faulty switch that could cause fires and electrical failures. Though they did not pursue a personal injury compensation claim against the driver, they did file one against the car service, learning it had minimal liability insurance. Continue reading →

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A teenager in Weston recently suffered serious head injuries when the bicycle he was riding on his way to school was struck by a car while crossing the intersection of Bonaventure Boulevard and Orchard Road. Authorities reported the student was not wearing a bicycle helmet at the time of the collision – something long-time traumatic brain injury attorney Dean Freeman has stressed for years as an imperative for bicycle safety. It’s necessary to point out that while F.S. 316.2065(3)(d) requires bicycle passengers under 16 to wear a properly-fitted, federally-approved safety helmet, state law expressly forbids using one’s failure to do so as evidence of negligence or contributory negligence. traumatic brain injury attorney

Local ABC-10 News reported the car driver remained at the scene of the crash (something unfortunately not all do, though required by law, as bicycling accidents are commonly associated with hit-and-run drivers). Investigators did not indicate whether the woman would be cited for failure-to-yield to the injured teen bicyclists, who was airlifted to a hospital in Hollywood and later upgraded to fair condition.

Fort Lauderdale Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Underscores Florida Bicycle Safety

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in just one recent year alone, more than 1,000 bicyclists died and nearly 467,000 were injured as a result of bicycle-related injuries, many of those involving some type of traumatic brain injury. Florida leads the pack. Continue reading →

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Florida has an estimated 21 million residents and another 116 million tourists a year. A huge portion of them drive a motor vehicle to get to where they’re going. If you’re involved in a West Palm Beach car accident (or a collision anywhere in the Sunshine State), it’s worthwhile to know the worth of the average claim for auto insurance.Florida auto insurance claim

As long-time injury attorneys in Palm Beach County can explain, claims for damages in Florida crashes work a bit differently than those in many other states because of the fact this is a no-fault state. That means every motorist is required to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, pursuant to F.S. 627.736.

PIP benefits impact the amount of the average claim for auto insurance because the initial amount – up to $10,000 – is paid by your own auto insurance company, regardless of who is at-fault in the crash. That includes up to 80 percent of your medical bills, 60 percent of your lost wages and death benefits, up to that $10,000 limit. However, that presumes your injuries are “emergent,” (as outlined in F.S. 395.002) meaning they require immediate medical services within a period of 14 days. Otherwise, the most compensation you can expect to receive in PIP benefits is $2,500 (a 75 percent drop in benefits). It is only if your injuries cross the “serious injury threshold,” as outlined in F.S. 627.737 that you can step outside of Florida’s no-fault system and pursue litigation against the at-fault party. Continue reading →

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Distracted driving is a plague across America. Florida isn’t immune. In fact, with car accident injury attorneys noting the rising number of collisions overall, it’s no wonder traffic officials are citing inattention as a top concern heading into the busy snowbird travel season. Those in Orlando should be on special alert, given a recent report by WKMG Click Orlando, which revealed this county to be No. 1 in the state for distracted driving.car accident injury attorney

Reporters detailed the case of one such woman who was struck – and injured – twice in the course of just four months by other at-fault drivers – who in both cases were cited for distraction.

In an in-depth analysis citing Florida distracted driving statistics from state officials between 2013 and 2017, there were thousands of distracted driving collisions just in a single recent year. The Florida Department of Safety and Motor Vehicles revealed that since state legislators passed a measure allowing for secondary enforcement of texting-and-driving five years ago (F.S. 316.305), the number of distracted driving collisions and fatalities has not fallen. In fact, it has risen. Dramatically.

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If you’re involved in a crash wherein there are multiple victims and/ or multiple drivers, it’s likely you’ll be dealing with more than one auto insurance company. One insurer is often a handful enough. Facing many is more than just a headache, and even the smallest mistake could have a big impact in how much money you ultimately receive.car accident

That was the situation in a recent case out of Montana, wherein a plaintiff was dealing with multiple insurers to cover some $75,000 in damages. Plaintiff was a passenger in a crash resulting in five injury claims. Insurers involved included those covering the driver of the other vehicle, the driver of the vehicle she was in and her own uninsured/ underinsured motorist carrier.

This is the type of car accident case in which involvement of a South Florida injury lawyer is imperative. Continue reading →

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Much of the focus of motorcoach accidents in Florida and elsewhere have focused on operator error. These are valid concerns as a number of motorcoach and tour bus crashes in recent years have been caused by drivers who were too tired, too inexperienced, too distracted or too careless. However, the condition of the bus or motorcoach itself is worth examining because it can point to potential liability of the bus owner, operator or manufacturer.bus accident

This is allegedly the case for a pending wrongful death case in Texas against a tire manufacturer and a tour bus operator that allegedly installed bus windows that failed to comply with local, state and federal regulations or industry standards and further failed to install seat belts on the bus. They are seeking more than $1 million in damages.

According to the 23-page complaint filed on behalf of wrongful death lawsuit complainants, defendants are the tour company, the motor carrier and the tire manufacturer. Although tire failure, particularly on commercial vehicles, is often the result of failure to replace old, worn tires (which of course are expensive but extremely dangerous). In this case, however, the faulty tire in question was reportedly just manufactured and sold several months before this bus accident occurred – yet it sustained “catastrophic tread-belt separation” while the bus was in motion, resulting in the driver losing control. Plaintiffs allege defendant manufacturer had several other tires of similar dynamics that are less safe and prone to tread separations. Continue reading →

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Some of the first people you’ll likely see in the aftermath of a serious West Palm Beach car accident are the Palm Beach County EMS workers. These include firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics. Their appearance on site is a relief. It means help is finally here, and you trust them to give you the medical care you need and get you (or your loved one) to the hospital as quickly and safely as possible.car accident attorney blog

However, if these professionals fail to provide you with proper care or are in some way generally negligent, both on scene at the crash and during transport, you could have grounds for a personal injury claim or lawsuit against Palm Beach County (or whatever the respective government entity or private contractor).

This was exactly the scenario reported recently by The Palm Beach County Post after the county agreed to settle with a woman for $100,000 after she was allegedly dropped by paramedics loading her into the ambulance on a stretcher at a West Palm Beach car accident scene.  Continue reading →

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