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Car Accident Injuries Can Be Life-Changing

Car Accident Injuries Can Be Life-Changing

Any injury from a sudden car accident can disrupt your life. You may need to cancel your plans for the day and head to the emergency department. You may have to miss work for doctor’s appointments, medical procedures, physical therapy, or because your injury prevents you from performing your job for a period of time. You may have to briefly refrain from athletic or other recreational activities that you enjoy. While any disruption of your life can be frustrating, some car accidents result in injuries that permanently change your life. Legal claims under these circumstances can be much more complex, as the damages sought can be substantially higher and proving future losses may require the help of experts and other resources. The following are some examples of permanent car accident injuries, and if you have sustained any permanent injuries, you need the help of a highly experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Common Injuries From Crashes That Can Have Permanent Effects The following are some injuries that have the potential to be catastrophic and result in lifelong effects for victims: Traumatic brain injury (TBI)—While some TBIs are relatively mild and victims make a full recovery in a few weeks, other brain injuries are categorized as “severe” and can have permanent effects. First, a severe TBI can often cause a coma, which can last for months and keep a victim hospitalized. Increased intracranial pressure due to hemorrhaging or swelling of the brain can also require ongoing hospitalization. People with severe brain injuries may have permanent cognitive and physical impairments that can cause many challenges at work, school, or...
Common Causes of Distracted Driving that Result in Collisions

Common Causes of Distracted Driving that Result in Collisions

Distracted driving1 is a major contributing factor in many automobile collisions. In an effort to gain insight into the common types and causes of distracted driving and the resulting accidents, Erie Insurance did a study of all fatal collisions in the US that took place in 2010 and 2011 in which the driver was distracted.2 The results were stunning. In 62% of the fatal accidents studied, the distraction was solely the fault of the driver. Namely, the driver was just inattentive or “lost in thought.” The other 38% of drivers were distracted by external factors. This comprehensive study outlined the major causes of distracted driving and shows their likelihood to contribute to an accident. Cell phone use – The biggest external factor in distractions that Erie found was cell phone use, occurring about 12% of the time in fatal collisions involving a distracted driver. Cell phone use includes talking on the phone, listening to something on the phone, texting, and dialing. Florida has specifically tried to address this issue with its ban on texting and driving3 and many automobile manufacturers now produce vehicles that allow for hands-free phone use to attempt to address the safety issue created by people paying more attention to their phone than the road. Using these hands-free devices and waiting to respond and send texts until you’ve reached your destination are your best bets at avoiding this risk. Outside person, object or event – The next biggest distractor, occurring about 7% of the time, is where the driver is paying more attention to something outside of the car than to the road. Frequently referred to...
Rise in Car Crashes Over Labor Day Weekend

Rise in Car Crashes Over Labor Day Weekend

Summer brings three major national holiday weekends – as well as a significantly increased risk for serious car accidents over those weekends. Reports indicate that more traffic fatalities occur over Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Fourth of July weekends than almost any other time of year across the United States. With Labor Day weekend coming up, it is important to understand the risks of crashes and serious injuries and to know what to do if an accident disrupts your holiday weekend this year. The following are only some reasons why there is an increase in crashes over Labor Day weekend. Road Trips Many families pack up the car and take off on a road trip for what many consider to be the “last hurrah” of summer. After Labor Day, the focus for many households is likely on school and other obligations until the winter holidays present another distraction. Therefore, Labor Day is an optimal time for a quick road trip to visit family or friends, to camp, or to simply explore a new place. However, road trips also come with the risk of accidents due to the following: More traffic on the highways often means more crashes Drivers may be unfamiliar with the area and may make errors that cause collisions Some people may not adequately inspect or maintain their vehicles and a long trip can lead to malfunctions and loss of control Road trips with the family often bring many distractions in the car and distracted drivers can easily crash into your vehicle No matter how safe you are on your road trip, you cannot control the actions...
DUI In Florida

DUI In Florida

Drunk driving, or driving under the influence (DUI), is one of the single most dangerous actions one can be guilty of without malice being a factor. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports approximately 9,900 fatalities in alcohol-related crashes in 2014 (the most recent available data), and while this is a decrease from previous years, it is still far too high. Understandably, given that the cost in lives, time and money is so high, civil and criminal punishment for driving under the influence can be extremely high. If you have been injured by a drunk driver, there are multiple legal theories that you may be able to use to make your case and receive compensation that can help pay the bills. Negligence Law In a civil suit, perhaps the most common theory under which drunk drivers are sued is that of negligence law. If you want to try and prove that you were harmed due to a drunk driver’s negligence, there are four things you must be able to prove to the court: That a duty of care existed between you and the drunk driver (in other words, that the driver had an obligation to exercise reasonable care in interacting with others on the road, as did you); That the duty was breached; That the breach happened solely because of the drunk driver’s conduct, with no other intervening cause; and That you suffered tangible harm (not necessarily physical, but tangible; something more substantial than a mild shock or cuts and bruises). Florida common law does establish a duty of care between motorists, requiring that everyone exercise reasonable care...
That’s No Myth: Distracted Driving in Florida

That’s No Myth: Distracted Driving in Florida

With all the talk about distracted driving on U.S. roads in recent years, some people have started to tune out the statistics and horror stories. Some people might even characterize the alleged epidemic of distracted drivers as a myth. However, statistics show that it is decidedly not a myth, and indeed, the tendency to drive while multitasking is actually increasing in frequency. It is one of the most common causes of automobile accidents across the country, and in Florida, the problem is exceptionally relevant for a variety of reasons. Patterns Are Clear While most people think of distracted driving as using a smartphone or other electronic device while driving, in reality, anything that takes your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road can qualify under Florida law. Texting qualifies, and it is perhaps the worst offender in terms of causing accidents – studies have shown that more than 50 percent of people have used a mobile app beyond GPS while operating a motor vehicle. For the last four years of available data, the overall crash rate in Florida has risen, with a significant rise between 2015 and 2016. The numbers of injuries have risen slowly but steadily – from 39,141 in 2013 to a record-setting 49,231 in 2016. In terms of texting or smartphone use specifically, the numbers give one pause for concern. A recent study conducted nationwide gave Florida the second-worst percentage of distracted drivers, second only to Louisiana. However, there are demonstrably fewer consequences for distracted drivers in Florida because it is one of only five states where texting while driving is not a...
Can Florida Businesses Be Liable for the Actions of a Drunk Person?

Can Florida Businesses Be Liable for the Actions of a Drunk Person?

It is an obvious fact that drinking and driving is a deadly combination and can result in a very preventable tragedy.  Tragedies are only magnified when a drunk driver kills multiple people, such as when on New Year’s Eve, 2016, an alleged drunk driver killed five individuals when driving the wrong way down I-95 in Florida, or when two young children died and six others were hospitalized from an alleged drunk driver in October of 2016. For those who survive a drunk driving accident, life is irrevocably altered but they must pick up the pieces and find a new normal without their loved ones or learn to live with their new injuries and physical limitations.  When the driver’s insurance only covers a small portion of the damages or when the drunk driver ends up in jail and with no assets, where do the injured and aggrieved parties turn to in order to pay for the injuries and losses?  If a mother or father of a household can no longer work, it is a legitimate question to ask as to how the family will survive financially. In many cases, it may be necessary to prove liability beyond the drunk driver themselves and look to the establishment that served the driver the alcohol.   Dram Shop Actions Florida’s Dram Shop law is limited compared to other states and only covers two specific circumstances.  In Florida, a bar or establishment that serves or sells alcohol may be liable for the damages or injuries caused when they do either of the following: Willingly and unlawfully sell or furnish an underage person alcoholic beverages; or When...