Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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A recent news article from the Miami New Times takes a look at the five worst intersections in the city for bike crashes.  While we are not going to focus on the specific intersections for the purpose of the blog, it is interesting to see how they are spread out throughout the city and are in places that people might not ordinarily think would be hot spots for bike-car crashes.

Bike Crash LawyerOne thing to keep in mind is that we are seeing more and more studies and articles like this, because bike riding is becoming more popular across the country, including in South Florida, and our area is becoming more bike friendly.  However, there is still a lot of work that can be done to make the area safer for bikers.  One of the major areas of needed improvement is that there must be bike lanes added. This is not only at these five deadliest intersections, but also around the city in general. Continue reading →

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A pickup truck collided head-on with a church van recently, killing a total of 13 people on a rural road in Texas. iphone

Now, after a witness asserted he had seen the truck moving erratically on the two-lane road just before the crash, the pickup truck operator admitted he was texting and driving. The witness had perceived the pickup truck driver’s maneuvers behind the wheel to be so dangerous, he called authorities and was following the truck at the time of the fatal collision. Just before the crash, he told dispatchers that they needed to send someone soon to get him off the road, “before he hits somebody.”

The witness watched in horror as the truck slammed into the bus. Soon thereafter, he spoke with the 20-year-old pickup truck driver, who was injured but survived.  The driver reportedly apologized repeatedly. The witness said, “Son, do you know what you just did?” to which the pickup truck driver again apologized and said he was, “Just texting.”  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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An overloaded 15-passenger van careened off a rural Florida highway and into a water-filled ditch, killing eight passengers and wounding 10 others. van1

The group was on an unlit stretch of road in Glades County shortly after midnight, on their way back to Fort Pierce following a church revival on the coast of Southwest Florida. Passengers ranged in age from 4 to 89. The 4-year-old, who survived, was listed in stable condition.

The National Safety Transportation Board has launched an investigation into the accident, something that literally only happens in 1 out of every 1 million accidents, according to news reports. Factoring into that decision was the high number of deaths and the fact that this was a 15-passenger van, a vehicle with a notoriously spotty safety history.

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High-speed driving and even pursuits are an especially dangerous part of police work. This is why many states, including Florida, have laws barring officers from acting with reckless disregard for the safety of others – regardless of the circumstances (F.S. 316.072(5)(c)). policelight1

That said, establishing liability for injuries or death resulting from a police pursuit may prove challenging. It will depend on the circumstances. When innocent civilian drivers or pedestrians suffer personal injury or are killed as a result of a reckless or ill-advised high-speed pursuit, the chances of securing compensation are optimum.

However, if plaintiff or decedent was in any way involved in the pursuit, the case may prove more difficult.

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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.

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Wrong way accidents are one of the deadliest causes of collision on the nation’s highways. Many of these accidents occur near on-or off-ramps, where improper signage can mislead drivers; however, a substantial number of the accidents have also involved drunk drivers or drivers under the influence of narcotics or prescription medications. Among the most recent tragedies, 11 people died on a February Sunday in two separate highway collisions—both involving wrong way accidents. The accidents occurred on opposite sides of the country, but both have confounded law enforcement officials who are seeking to understand and prevent these fatal collisions.

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Deadly car accidents involving wrong way accidents are making headlines nationwide. Law enforcement agencies and other safety advocates have continued to study the cause of wrong way collisions, because they pose such a significant risk to motorists. Our car accident attorneys in Fort Lauderdale are committed to providing sound counsel to victims and families of auto collisions. In addition to helping uncover the cause of any accident, we will also work aggressively to maximize compensation for victims and families.
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A pair of deadly 15-passenger van accidents has the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issuing a warning to churches, schools, and other organizations that use them for transportation.

A church van overturned in Georgia earlier this month after blowing a tire; four passengers were killed and 15 were injured. Last month, six passengers were killed in a New York van accident. Our West Palm Beach injury lawyers understand the complexities of such accidents and have the experience necessary to represent accident victims in cases where there are competing injury or wrongful death claims. Whether a church, soup kitchen, nursing home facility or other group, an organization has an obligation to ensure the safe passage of its members, customers or guests.

Such vans are frequently used by schools, churches, nursing homes and other organizations and the fall and winter driving season increases the risk of an accident. The NHTSA reports that tire maintenance is critical to preventing tragedies like the recent fatal rollover crashes.

“Users of 15-passenger vans need to make sure the vehicles have appropriately-sized tires that are properly inflated before every trip,” the government reports. The government also discourages the use of spare tires to replace worn tires because tires degrade over time. A tire more than 10 years old should not be used at all.

The government is specifically addressing the advisory toward church groups, colleges and schools and other nonprofit organizations that use older 15-passenger vans. The agency says primary and secondary schools should not use the vans to transport children at all because they do not provide the same level of safety as school buses.

It is also against federal law to buy new 15-passenger vans for school transportation purposes.

Safety tips for 15-passenger vans include:

-Make sure the vehicles is properly maintained.

-Drivers need to be fully trained and experienced in operating a 15-passenger van.

-The 15-passenger vans are very sensitive to overloading and should not be overloaded under any circumstances. Overloading not only increases the risk of rollover, it also negatively impacts handling.

-Tire inflation and wear should be checked before every trip.

-Passengers should wear seat belts.

Here you can find additional safety information for 15-passenger vans.
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