Researchers say Florida should improve traffic laws

In Florida and across the United States, there are many factors that are assessed in the context of traffic safety. Of course, driver behavior is one of the first issues that is considered when there is a motor vehicle accident with injuries and loss of life. That, however, often hinges on the state laws for driving safely. For example, if a driver is behaving recklessly or swerving unusually, law enforcement is likely to keep an eye on that driver and initiate a traffic stop. Even with that, there is a limit to what law enforcement can do based on the laws that are in place. This should be considered when taking to the road and especially after there has been a crash.

Suggested improvements

A recent study found Florida to be lacking in various laws that are believed to enhance safety. According to Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, there are 16 optimal laws that states should implement to maximize safety. Among them are rules for younger drivers, laws against distracted driving, requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets and more. In its report, states were labeled with red, yellow and green lights based on how many of these optimal laws they had in place. Florida was given a red light because it only as six of the suggested laws.

Seatbelts were referenced as a major safety concern. Since law enforcement cannot stop and cite a driver if a person in the backseat was not wearing a seatbelt unless a separate violation had been committed, many people do not wear the seatbelt when in the back. In addition to the rules it suggests, the group would like the Sunshine State to put stricter mandates in place for DUIs, distraction and young drivers. Given the costs that accompany an auto accident, these ideas could be beneficial to make the roads safer for everyone.

Justice after an accident

People who are injured or have lost a loved one in an auto accident will undergo dramatic life changes in every way. They may not be able to do the same type of work they did before, could face problems contributing to a family and deal exorbitant medical expenses. Thinking the insurance company will cover for all that was lost is often a mistake. From the outset, it is imperative to be protected. For experienced and caring advice, consulting with those who are experienced in state laws and investigating the circumstances of the crash can be helpful to achieve a positive result.

Understanding the signs of nursing home neglect

Placing a loved one in a nursing home facility is not an easy decision to make. Whether it is a collaborative or unilateral decision, one may be concerned that an elderly loved one may not receive the care they require and deserve at a nursing home facility. Even more so, one should be cautious of nursing home abuse and neglect, as it is possible to overlook the signs of either.

The difference between abuse and neglect

While both nursing home abuse and neglect are concerning situations that could bring great harm and even death to a nursing home resident, the two differ. Abuse is when there is willful infliction of harm. It could be physical, mental, emotional or economical.

In contrast, nursing home neglect occurs when there is the failure to provide the services, care and items necessary to meet the medical, physical, mental and emotional needs of the residents. As such, negligence can be difficult to spot and could be more complex.

Signs of nursing home neglect

Signs of nursing home neglect include falls, medication problems and pressure sores. This indicates that they are not ensuring safety and the prevention of falls, failing to properly handle medications and failing to regularly adjust residents in their bed and wheelchairs.

While nursing home neglect can be difficult to spot, there are certain red flags one should be on the lookout for. This includes poor hygiene, poor living conditions, malnutrition, dehydration, unexplained injuries and psychological symptoms.

If one believes that a loved one has suffered harm due to nursing home neglect, it is possible to take action. A civil suit not only helps hold the negligent party or parties accountable but it also help one recover damages for the losses and harms suffered.

Understanding the effects of a spinal cord injury

When a person is in an accident, he or she can suffer from a catastrophic injury. One of these is a spinal cord injury and it can have a long-term effect on the person’s ability to do everyday tasks.

Spinal cord injuries

A spinal cord injury is damage to part of the cord or nerves at the end of a person’s spinal column. It can cause physical problems with strength and loss of feeling in the affected area and can also cause mental, emotional and social difficulties for the victim.

There are two types of spinal cord injuries, complete and incomplete. A complete injury means that the person loses all feeling and movement below where the injury is on his or her body. An incomplete injury means that he or she has lost some function below the affected area. If a person is paralyzed from the injury, his or her arms, legs and torso can be affected.

The victim may not be able to feel heat, cold or touch, may have pain from nerve damage and may have a hard time breathing or coughing, among other symptoms.


Spinal cord injuries are often caused by accidents when there is a sudden impact to the person’s body and all of their injuries may not be immediately known. This is because in the days, weeks and months after an accident, he or she can suffer from bleeding, swelling and inflammation that gets worse.

A person who suffers from a catastrophic injury may no longer be able to work and may have many expensive medical bills to pay. An experienced attorney can file a claim for compensation on the injured person’s behalf.

Motorist tries to evade crossing gate and two die

Railroad crossing gates provide a tempting target for risk-taking drivers. The gates appear to have plenty of extra space to drive around them, and no one has had much experience in estimating the speed of a large diesel locomotive. Consequently, crossing gates do not provide 100% prevention of serious accidents, as was demonstrated by a recent accident in Hallandale.

The accident

The incident occurred on East Dixie Highway near Northeast 215th Street. Surveillance video of the accident show a heavily mangled car on the shoulder of the road in the grass. Two men who were in the car appeared to have died instantly. Brightline has experienced several accidents since it resumed its high-speed service in south Florida. In one case, a train hit a pedestrian, and police concluded that the victim was attempting suicide.

Who is liable?

In many railroad crossing accidents, the railroad has been held liable for its failure to install modern crossing gates and warning signals. In this case, the railroad who owns the right-of-way used by Brightline has apparently installed state-of-the-art crossing gates and warning signals. In a study published by the Associated Press in 2019, Brightline was ranked as having the highest death rate on its tracks as measured by deaths per mile. In this case, where the railroad appears to have installed modern warning signals and crossing gates, and where the automobile driver appears to have been especially negligent in trying to beat the train to the crossing, the railroad is not likely to be deemed negligent unless further investigation reveals a malfunction of the signals.

What next?

Further investigation may show a defect in the crossing signals or gates or an error by the train crew. Anyone who has been injured or lost a loved one in similar circumstances may wish to consult an experienced injury lawyer for an evaluation of the evidence and an opinion on the likelihood of recovering damages for lost income, medical expenses and pain and suffering.

Forklift driver dies after collision with semi-trailer truck

Anyone who has ever driven into the parking lot of a Home Depot or Wal-Mart Store has observed the high number of semi-trailer trucks attempting to deliver their loads. Perhaps more than a few drivers have seen store-owned fork lift trucks moving heavy loads from the 18-wheelers to the store’ loading dock. Unhappily, all of this activity recently caused the death of an employ of a Home Depot Store in Fleming Island, an unincorporated township south of Jacksonville.

The incident

The details of the incident are very sparse. Police were called to the Home Depot Store in the morning to check on a reported collision between a fork lift truck and a semi-trailer truck. The driver of the fork lift was seriously injured, and he was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died within 90 minutes. The driver of the big rig was not injured and he remained at the scene to cooperate with police. The police report on the accident does not provide any details about what happened. The United States Occupation Safety and Health Administration sent a compliance officer to the scene to assist with the investigation.

Who pays?

The decedent’s family will have a claim for decedent’s benefits under Florida’s workers’ compensation law. The reports so far appear to conclude that the decedent was an employee of Home Depot and that Home Depot’s workers’ compensation insurer will pay the greater part of the claim. If, however, the decedent were the employee of an entity other than Home Depot, hired perhaps as an independent contractor to provide loading and unloading help, the subcontractor may have significant exposure. In such a case, Home Depot may have significant liability as a third party. Also, the owner of the big rig may have similar third-party liability if the investigation shows that the driver of the semi was at fault.


Whether a viable third-party claim can be found in the facts of this case will significantly affect the damage award that may be recovered by the victim’s family. Anyone who has suffered an injury or lost a loved one under similar circumstances may benefit from consulting an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for an assessment of the evidence and an opinion on the likelihood of recovering damages for lost income, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.

Slip-and-fall accidents may be due to negligence

While people in Miami may not have to worry about slipping and falling on an icy sidewalk, slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere, including stores, restaurants and hotels. All it takes is a spill on the floor or a tear in the carpeting for a person to be injured in a slip and fall accident. Slip-and-fall injuries such as broken bones, spinal cord injuries and head injuries can be severe, so it is important to know your rights in such situations.

The statistics on falls

Slip-and-fall cases are, unfortunately, common. Over one million people are seen in the emergency room for slip and fall injuries. Slip and falls are the leading cause of lost time from work. Flooring issues are a factor in over two million fall injuries annually. Older people are more apt to fall. Each year one in every three people over 65-years-old will experience a fall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that an estimated 1.8 million individuals over 65 years old need emergency care due to a fall.

What is negligence?

Some slip-and-fall accidents are simply that — accidents, and they are not the fault of anyone. However, sometimes the property owner could have done something to prevent the fall and did not. Sometimes a property owner is negligent, and you may pursue a personal injury lawsuit against them.

There are five elements that must be met to prove negligence. First, the property owner must owe you a duty of care, for example, keeping store floors dry. Second, the property owner must breach that duty, for example, by not cleaning up a known spill causing you to slip and fall. Third, the breach must cause your injury and but for your breach the injury would not have occurred. Fourth, the cause of your injury must have been foreseeable. Fifth, you must have suffered monetary damages due to the breach.

Personal injury lawsuits can be complicated. Oftentimes there are gray areas when trying to prove negligence. Fortunately, those injured in slip-and-fall accidents can seek the information they need to better understand their rights and options.

Common causes of personal injuries in Florida

A recent article in a college journal called “Scholarship Media” attempted to itemize the most common personal injuries in Miami, Florida. Some of the findings may be surprising.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Not surprisingly, motor vehicle accidents are the most common type of accident in Florida, with hundreds of such accidents reported on a daily basis. The leading causes of motor vehicle accidents are reckless driving, sub-optimal road conditions, driving above driving above the posted speed limit, drunk driving, and others.

Car injuries include whiplash, fractures, scrapes and cuts, internal bleeding, spinal cord injuries, and brain injuries.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when a health care giver fails to adhere to the established standard of due care in treating a patient, whether the treatment is diagnosis and treatment of a disease, performing a surgical procedure, of other procedure that results in serious injury, irreversible harm, or the wrongful death of the patient. Most medical malpractice claims involve surgical errors, birth injuries, misdiagnosis, and prescribing the wrong medication, or an incorrect dose of the correct medication.

Premises liability

Many serious accidents occur on premises owned or controlled by another person. Under Florida law, the owner or person in control of a property has a duty to keep the property safe for people who may visit. Premises injuries can include inadequate security, dog bites, slippery floors and stairways, electrocution, insufficient light, and catastrophic injury caused by structural collapse.

The article suggest that anyone who has suffered an injury in any of the cases reviewed contact an experienced personal injury attorney for an evaluation of the evidence and an opinion on the likelihood of recovering damages for medical expenses, lost income, future disability and pain and suffering.

Benefits of hiring a dog bite attorney

Dogs are one of the most common types of pets in Miami and throughout the country. In fact, almost 40% of Florida residents own a dog. Most of the time a dog is a friendly and loyal companion but occasionally dogs can turn vicious and attack. If a person has been the victim of a dog bite, they know how scary the incident can be. They may also now be facing unexpected medical bills, may be dealing with scarring and may even be out of work while they recuperate. These are all reasons why a person should consider hiring an attorney.

There are many benefits in hiring a dog bite attorney. A victim may think hiring an attorney is not necessary, but they offer many benefits. These include:

  1. Understanding state laws. A dog bite attorney understands Florida law surrounding dog bites. A victim is recovering from a dog bite and doesn’t have time to do this research. An attorney knows dog bite laws and any legislation that affects them.
  2. Skilled negotiator. An insurance company may offer a dog bite victim a settlement, but it may not be the amount a victim deserves. An attorney knows how to negotiate with insurance companies in order to get maximum compensation for their client.
  3. Experience. If a dog bite victim’s case is complicated, an attorney has experience with investigators to help get answers as to what happened.
  4. Personal advocate. An attorney is a dog bite victim’s personal advocate. They will fight for their client’s right for compensation and ensure the dog does not attack anyone else.

Hiring an attorney to help with a dog bite case can be beneficial for a Florida dog bite victim. These are situations in which a victim should not take the matter into their own hands and an attorney can help their client recover and protect their future.

Driver negligence is a compensable cause of motorcycle accidents

Motorcycles are popular modes of transportation throughout Florida. They are a great way to enjoy the sunshine and beautiful weather that the state has to offer. Many motorcycle riders take their operating duties seriously and practice safe driving when on their two-wheeled vehicles.

Unfortunately, not all other drivers use their best operating practices when behind the wheels of their automobiles. When drivers of larger vehicles allow distractions to cloud their attention, they can quickly become dangerous to motorcycles and their riders. This post will discuss some of the negligent driving behaviors that drivers can engage in that can harm motorcyclists.


One of the biggest mistakes that drivers make is to allow distractions to impact their driving. A distracted driver may not see a motorcycle riding next to them or may fail to check their blind spot for a smaller vehicle. Distracted drivers can miss intersection signage and can crash into motorcycles making legal turns and intersection maneuvers.

Traffic and roadway infractions

Some drivers fail to follow the rules of the road, and their missteps can put others, including motorcyclists, in the path of harm. For example, drivers who fail to signal and who do not stop at stop signs may drive into the way of motorcyclists. Speeding drivers can lose control and not have sufficient time to stop when encountering other vehicles, including motorcyclists. Breaking local and state driving laws can cause drivers to create dangerous situations for motorcyclists.

Failure to adapt to conditions

Florida can get a lot of rain and other hazardous forms of weather. When conditions are treacherous, drivers may have to adapt their speeds and operating practices to stay safe in wet or windy weather. Drivers who do not make these accommodations can be dangers to themselves and others when on the roads.

Motorcycles and their riders are small. They can easily become lost on the roads. When drivers do not do their best behind the wheel, they can quickly create dangerous for others. Motorcyclists who have been hurt in negligence-based accidents may have legal rights to seek compensation for their losses.

Crash numbers decreased but fatalities increased in Florida

The statistics on motor vehicle accidents in Florida have been surprising over the past few years. For example, according to the Florida department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles the total number of crashes in the state went down from 2018 to 2019 (the most recent year with available numbers so far). However, the number of fatalities has gone up. This is an indication that the crashes are more serious than the year before.

Side-by-side comparison of crash statistics from 2018 to 2019

Looking at statistics from 2019 and 2018, the total number of crashes decreased in 2019. Those numbers include injuries, fatalities, and property damage. The increases and decreases fluctuated in the different scenarios for drug & alcohol impairment and, in many cases, the numbers were almost equal. In the category of “vulnerable road users,” which includes motorcycles, pedestrians, and bicycles, the statistics did not consistently increase or decrease. There were some of each.

Getting proper support after a motor vehicle accident

Sadly, motor vehicle accidents are too common and the consequences are often dangerous and prolonged. If you have been involved with a motor vehicle accident, an effective lawyer is essential to your receiving the compensation that you deserve. If you go after compensation on your own, it is possible that you will not receive a fair and just amount. That is where a knowledgeable lawyer with expertise in motor vehicle accidents can really turn the situation around in your favor.

Florida is one of 12 “no-fault” states, which means that if you suffer injuries in a motor vehicle accident, your insurance will compensate you. Conceptually, that seems like a good thing; however, your compensation may not be enough to cover what you need based on the medical treatment that you must receive for your injuries. It is sensible to proceed with caution and speak with a lawyer before you accept whatever your insurance company wishes to give you.

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is essential that you protect your health, financial standing, and well-being over the long term. Serious injuries can affect your life for a long time and it is important that you have the proper support and protection going forward.