Articles Tagged with injury lawyer

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Florida emergency vehicle accidentsWe all know that when an emergency vehicle approaches with its lights flashing and sirens blaring, other motorists should make way – and fast. But what if you cannot move quickly enough? What if you did not see the lights or hear the sirens before it was too late? What if there were no lights or sirens activated at all?  As our South Florida injury lawyers can explain, state law allows for legal accountability in Florida emergency vehicle accidents in some circumstances. Proving it will likely require an extensive investigation, expert witness testimony, and an experienced legal team.

According to the National Safety Council, emergency vehicle crashes – those involving police vehicles, ambulances or fire trucks – caused 168 U.S. deaths in 2018. Of those, less than half (48 percent) occurred while the authorized vehicles’ lights and sirens were in use. Most of those who died were either an occupant of non-emergency vehicles or pedestrians (69%). Police vehicles were involved in the most fatal crashes (64%), followed by ambulances (28%), and then fire trucks (8%). These numbers provide some insight but do not give us a full picture as non-fatal crashes are not included.

F.S. 316.072 allows emergency vehicle operators some leeway when it comes to traffic rules. For example, they can proceed past a red light or through a stop sign – but only after slowing down as necessary for safe operation. They can exceed the maximum speed limit – so long as the driver does not endanger life or property. They can also disregard regulations governing direction, movement, or turning – but only so long as life or property is not endangered. Many departments also have written policies that outline the caution their employees should use when responding to an emergency.

What the law makes clear is that while these first responders are tasked with critically important duties for which seconds count, they do not have free reign to drive recklessly on our roads or needlessly endanger others.

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Fort Myers bicycle accidentThe coronavirus pandemic has spurred a nationwide biking boom. Bike sales nationwide have doubled in recent months compared to last year. Some cyclists like cheap transportation while others find it safer to cycle right now than take a public bus or subway. Many simply welcome a healthy outdoor respite from social isolation. Numerous Florida cities have seized on the reduced traffic counts as an opportunity to get a jump start on building new bicycle lanes or connecting existing ones to create a more expansive, safer biking network. However, South Florida is still one of the most dangerous regions in the deadliest state for bicyclists and the risk of a Fort Myers bicycle accident remains high.

The Miami Herald reports that despite the high demand for bike infrastructure, few South Florida cities are taking the initiative to make biking safer. Transportation safety advocates note that in many communities throughout the state, there is no network of safe bicycle pathways. Instead, we have these fragmented stretches of random bicycle lanes that do not connect to one another, are often not separated from traffic, and are far too frequently ignored by careless motorists.

Our South Florida bicycle accident attorneys know that many communities from Tampa to Miami have made big plans when it comes to bike safety, but many have stalled if they were ever begun in the first place. There has been discussion of expanding and connecting the Gulf Coast Trail, which would serve as a Southwest coast connector from Clearwater to Naples, with segments adjacent to motor vehicle traffic. WINK News reports the last time the City of Fort Myers created a plan to make biking and walking easier was in 2007, though they did recently release a survey asking residents to chime in with suggestions for improvement. Meanwhile, there has been little movement on Miami Beach’s nearly-200-page bicycle master plan for Miami Beach. So far, the city’s only built one-tenth of a mile of the 17 miles of protected bicycle lanes promised back in 2009.

Bicycling is great for individuals and communities in a number of ways, but there is cause for concern when there is an uptick in ridership combined with a lack of safety infrastructure – especially because Florida does not have a great track record when it comes to preventing bicycle accidents. Continue reading

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In its dogged push for e-commerce dominance, tech firm Amazon.com, Inc. has spent years building a massive logistics empire, all on the promise of getting your stuff to your door in as little time as possible. It’s fast, reliable – and all-too-often deadly. Amazon delivery accidents are increasingly common not only because the company is ubiquitous, but its drivers are rushed and under intense pressure.

Fort Myers Amazon delivery accidentsAmazon is a $1 trillion company, the founder’s net worth climbing by some $260 million daily, but according to a recent co-report by The New York Times and ProPublica, the company has been less-than-generous in covering the human costs associated with Amazon delivery accidents.

Part of what makes establishing liability so difficult is the fact that Amazon, in an effort to reduce any dependence on long-time carriers like UPS, has forged a vast network of independent contractors, each supplying their own vehicles and drivers. On the one hand, this does allow the firm to shrink and expand its delivery forces as necessary, with the added bonus of avoiding payment of benefits and workers’ compensation when injuries occur.

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“Every week it seems there’s a report of an accident between pedestrians and trains,” noted the Miami Herald in a recent story.

Fort Myers injury lawyerFort Myers personal injury lawyers know that “trains” aren’t typically the first thing that comes to mind when we talk “crashes.” However, a recent four-year review of data from the Federal Railroad Administration revealed that Florida is No. 6 among states with the most railroad crossing deaths in the nation.

From 2014 to 2018, more than 460 railroad accidents. Of those:

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