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Labor Day weekend was marred by several drunk driving accidents in Southwest Florida.

The Florida Highway Patrol provided extra enforcement as part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, beginning August 15th and lasting through Labor Day weekend. It will be one of a series of enforcement blitzes as we head into the fall holiday season. While Labor Day is one of the deadliest in the nation, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years typically prove deadlier. The start of fall football season also results in a measurable uptick when it comes to drunk driving crashes. Whether high school football under the Friday night lights, or cheering for your favorite college or pro football team, fans are encouraged to be responsible party hosts, and to make a commitment to never drink and drive. beer-taps-300x225

“If you are under the influence of alcohol or any substance, be responsible and have a designated driver to get you to your destination safely,” said Colonel Gene S. Spaulding. “There is never an excuse for impaired driving.”

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A 50-year-old woman was killed in a Lehigh Acres pedestrian accident after being struck by three vehicles, two of which fled the scene, according to FOX4 News.

Florida Highway says the incident happened Tuesday, September 4th just before 9:30 p.m. on Homestead Road North, near Plaza Drive. FHP reports the woman was attempting to cross the northbound lanes of Homestead Road from the McDonald’s when she was hit by three northbound vehicles. intersection1-300x225

This unfortunate tragedy highlights the growing risk of walking in Southwest Florida. Burgeoning population growth has led to rapid development, often with little forethought or planning when it comes to the safety of cyclists and pedestrians. In fact, Smart Growth America’s landmark study, Dangerous by Design, found the Fort Myers-Cape Coral area is the most dangerous metro area in the nation for walkers. Eight of the nations top 10 most dangerous cities are located in Florida. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford ranked third, followed by Jacksonville, Deltona-Daytona Beach, Lakeland-Winter Haven, and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton followed closely, ranked the tenth most dangerous.

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As a general rule, bicycle helmets are a smart safety investment in safety all cyclists, regardless of age or skill – especially in Florida, which has the unfortunate, long-running reputation as the most dangerous in the U.S. for riding. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported of the thousands treated in hospital emergency rooms nationally for bicycling injuries, traumatic brain injuries account for 60 percent of deaths, 67 percent of hospital admissions and 33 percent of injuries. Only 17 percent of all cyclists killed in crashes were wearing helmets.

If you weren’t wearing a helmet at the time of your bicycle accident, it’s important to understand how that will – and won’t – affect your claims and/ or litigation.

What is Florida’s Bicycle Helmet Law?

bicycle accidentLegally, there is no universal bike helmet law in Florida. If you’re 16 or older, you don’t have to wear one. However, if you’re younger than that, the law says you must wear one that meets federal safety standards, fastened to your head security with a strap.

However, a defendant in a Fort Myers bicycle accident cannot use your decision to wear a bike helmet – or to ensure your child is wearing one – as a means to gain the upper hand in the case. The defense strategy, existing in some states that don’t expressly forbid it, involves asserting that a cyclist’s decision to forego the known protection of a helmet, is an act of contributory negligence resulting in exacerbated trauma that otherwise would not have been sustained, and therefore, defendant shouldn’t be responsible for the full extent of your injuries.

Florida law expressly prohibits this defense tactic. Continue reading

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Year around sunshine in Southwest Florida means motorists are often wearing shorts, tank tops, flip-flops and other light summer garb.

Click Orlando reports Florida is among the states where driving in flip-flops or barefoot is not illegal. And that’s a good thing or most of us would be violating the law on a regular basis. Is it illegal to drive barefoot or in flip-flops in Florida

Our Fort Myers injury lawyers know limbs, including hands and feet, are always vulnerable in serious traffic collisions. Leg compartments of modern vehicles extend to the front axle in many vehicles. Hands and arms are often caught between your body and the steering column. Crush injuries and degloving injuries can result

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While May was Motorcycle Safety Month, watching for riders is a year-around job in Southwest Florida.

Motorcycles are incredibly popular in Southwest Florida, probably because we enjoy what is easily one of the best riding landscapes in the country – long stretches of flat roads, ideal weather year-round and captivating scenery. motorcycle injury lawyer

But our injury lawyers in Fort Myers also know Florida is also one of the most dangerous places to ride a motorcycle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) tallied 577 Florida motorcyclists killed in a recent year – by far more than any other state (even California and Texas, which trump Florida in both size and population).

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Just last week, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board released statistics showing in 2016 fatal crashes on privately owned aircrafts was at its lowest level in 50 years.

According to the NTSB, the fatal-accident rate was 1 per 100,000 flight hours recorded which is the lowest in decades. 386 people were killed in private-aviation in 2016 compared to 631 in 1997. Although, the total number of fatalities were up slightly from the year prior, the overall rate was down due to the increase in private plane hours in flight.

At the Garvin Law Firm, we were happy to learn about the new statistics from the NTSB given the fact that Attorney Jeff Garvin, has a passion for flying and often flies for law firm business.  Jeff has been flying since 1975 and has logged more than 2,000 hours of time on his Cessna 210 traveling for both work and pleasure.  In Jeff’s spare time, he continues to flight-train and takes lessons regularly to stay up to date with skills and technological advances that help him be safer in the sky.

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Best Personal Injury Lawyers Fort Myers

Attorneys Leland and Jeff Garvin

The Garvin Law Firm is proud to have been listed in the 2018 U.S. News & World Report Best LawyersBest Law Firms” list. In addition, Founding Partner Jeffrey R. Garvin has been recognized as the 2018 Fort Myers Lawyer of the Year in the practice area of Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs.

Inclusion in Best Lawyers is based on a rigorous peer-review survey process. No fee or payment to participate is allowed. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence.

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https://www.garvinlegal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Screen-Shot-2017-07-20-at-5.52.53-PM-300x300.pngLast legislative session, the Florida legislature failed to pass a bill that would have required mandatory bodily injury insurance for drivers in Florida.  The bill would have replaced laws enacted in 1971 as part of a no fault automobile insurance plan.  This change in law aims to replace the current no fault system under which Florida drivers are forced to purchase only Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, which is costly, and requires Floridians to purchase additional health insurance that is only in place when they are in a vehicle. According to a State-commissioned actuarial study, the proposed reforms would have saved drivers an average of $81 per car.  Thankfully, last week a second and similar bill cleared it’s only committee in the Florida House and is heading to the floor for a vote. As always, we continue to recommend that Florida drivers purchase Uninsured Motorist insurance coverage as there is currently no requirement that Florida drivers purchase bodily injury insurance to cover the damage they cause unfortunate event of an automobile accident.

Florida’s Current No Fault Automobile Insurance Laws

In 1971, Florida adopted a no fault automobile insurance plan. “No fault” and “PIP coverage” are used interchangeably to describe an automobile insurance plan that allows policyholders to recover money for certain financial losses from their own insurers.  The system was designed to provide injured drivers with up to $10,000 to cover medical bills and certain other costs, regardless of who was at fault for the accident that resulted in their injuries.  Currently, owners of automobiles in Florida are required to  purchase only $10,000 in PIP coverage and $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PD coverage).

This current system is not working out very well.  PIP coverage with a $10,000 limit does not cover much, insofar as it covers only 80% of medical expenses and 60% of lost income, leaving claimants responsible for 20% of medical expenses and 40% of lost income; and that’s only up to $10,000.00.  Drivers with healthcare insurance are paying for PIP insurance that may overlap, thus double paying; this is especially costly for veterans, and the elderly who are already covered under federal health plans.  A bigger problem is that, according to information provided to a panel of the Florida Senate, Florida drivers are paying insurance premiums that are among the country’s five highest for some of the lowest required coverage amounts. The vast majority of states do not have Florida’s no fault system that continues to riddled with fraud and leaves many victims responsible for their medical bills caused by the negligence of another driver.

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Unlike 48 of the other 50 states, Florida does not require its drivers to carry insurance that will pay for bodily injury caused by a negligent or reckless driver.

Fort Myers Auto Accident AttorneyAccording to a recent study done by the Insurance Information Institute, Florida is second only to California in the number of uninsured motorists on the highways. Currently, Florida has 3.2 million drivers on the highways driving without any type of insurance which would pay for the injuries or death of the people they may hurt or even kill. Florida and New Hampshire are the only two states in the entire country that do not currently require even a minimum amount of bodily injury liability coverage. On top of the 3.2 million that are totally uninsured Florida has another major problem. Of those drivers in Florida counted as “insured” many have chosen to only buy PIP insurance that provides minimum payments to themselves and nothing to others that they may harm.

Under current Florida law, a vehicle owner can legally purchase an insurance policy that qualifies him or her as an “insured” that only provides Personal Injury Protection for themselves. Taken together, we have the 3.2 million who have absolutely no insurance and countless others who have simply bought PIP coverage with no liability insurance included. As a result, there is a strong likelihood that if a driver is involved in an accident in Florida the person who caused the accident is carrying no insurance to pay for the victim’s injuries.

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Fort Myers Personal Injury Lawyer - Jeffrey R. Garvin
FORT MYERS, Fla., October 3, 2012 – Florida Attorney Jeffrey R. Garvin of The Garvin Law Firm has been named 2013 “Lawyer of the Year” in the practice area of Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs for the Fort Myers / Naples metropolitan area.

Only a single lawyer in each practice area in each community is honored as “Lawyer of the Year,” according to Best Lawyers® and The Best Lawyers in America® (Copyright 2012 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC).

Attorneys recognized as “Lawyer of the Year” are selected based on particularly impressive voting averages received during the exhaustive peer-review assessments conducted with thousands of leading lawyers each year, according to the Best Lawyers® website.

Justia Lawyer Rating for Jeffrey R. Garvin
Florida Legal Elite 2016
Super Lawyers
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
The Best Lawyers in America
Martindale-Hubbell
American Association for Justice
Florida Justice Association
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