Articles Posted in Car Accidents

basil-samuel-lade-1132874-unsplash-copy-300x200For anyone who enjoys getting around the city, Miami’s WalkScore of 79 out of 100 points should come as no surprise. The year-round warm climate, spectacular water views, and luxurious beaches offer plenty of reasons to walk and enjoy the outdoors. Plus, the mayor closes major roadways to motor vehicle traffic once a month, allowing pedestrians and bicyclists to take to the streets. 

Of course, there can be a downside to foot-based transportation. Pedestrians are at risk of serious injuries when motorists are careless behind the wheel. Fortunately, state law provides you with rights as a victim, and a Florida pedestrian accident lawyer can help protect them. In addition, you may find it useful to review some general information about these cases.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

andras-vas-559764-unsplash-copy-300x200There is no question that getting around town by Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare is convenient, but that does not make it safer. Any vehicle on the roadway is at risk of an accident, including those that are part of a “transportation network company” (TNC), as these services are defined by Florida law. The same statute also regulates the operations of TNCs and provides certain requirements for insurance purposes in the event of the accident. It is good to know that you are covered in an Uber/Lyft crash that was not your fault, but the legislative landscape does make these matters more complex than a typical collision. You should discuss your circumstances with a Florida car accident attorney. 

TNCs and Insurance Requirements in Florida 

As of January 2017, Florida made certain insurance coverages required for TNCs and the drivers who use their digital services to provide ridesharing services. The insurance must cover the TNC driver as follows:

nathan-dumlao-1064615-unsplash-copy-200x300Miami city commissioners recently announced a six-month trial program to implement 300 electric scooters across District 2, a region that incorporates the downtown area, Coconut Grove, Morningside and Edgewater. An article appearing in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel outlined the plan involving Bird, Lime, and other companies that operate the dockless rental vehicles, familiarly called “e-scooters.” The announcement comes as good news for people looking for a convenient, affordable, and sustainable option for getting around town. A user simply downloads the app, pays low fee to unlock the e-scooter, and then drops it off when finished.

E-scooter programs in Coral Gables and Fort Lauderdale have been quite successful, especially among students. Opponents argue that e-scooters increase the likelihood of traffic-related accidents. Fortunately, injured victims may have rights under well-established legal rules regarding negligence, and a Florida personal injury lawyer can explain in more detail. Still, to reduce the risk of accidents, you should review some safety issues and tips regarding e-scooters.

Risk Factors with E-Scooters

jonathan-borba-1598686-unsplash-copy-300x200One minute, visitors to a Port Charlotte Harley-Davidson store were listening to a live concert; the next, they were running for their lives from a luxury sports car that an intoxicated woman plowed into the crowd. According to a June 12, 2019 article in the Miami Herald, none of the concertgoers were injured in the chaos that ensued. However, the local country music star who was headlining the event suffered injuries to his foot. Upon arriving at the scene, police detained the woman for questioning, and eventually arrested her for DUI, among other charges.

The penalties for DUI are harsh in Florida, including fines, jail time, and a driver’s license suspension. Unfortunately, these sanctions do nothing for victims who are injured as a result of a drunk driving collision. You do have rights if you are hurt in a DUI crash, and a Florida car accident attorney can assist with your claim. Some general information regarding these cases may also be helpful.

Comparing Criminal and Civil DUI Cases

Around 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 5, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to a collision between a Virgin Trains USA train and a silver SUV near Biscayne Boulevard and 141st Street. The SUV sustained significant damage, and the airbags were deployed. The back end of the SUV was crushed, the windows shattered, and the front bumper was detached and on the ground. One report stated the train was heading south when it struck the SUV on the driver’s side of the vehicle and pushed it 180 degrees. One victim was transported to Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, and their condition was unknown. A report stated witnesses saw the driver get out of the SUV and looked visibly OK. After the collision, the train stopped nearby. Virgin Train USA representatives came to the scene to assess damage to the train. There was visible damage to the train’s front car. There are no reports of any harm to train employees or passengers Commuter trains like Virgin Trains USA  are growing in popularity in Florida and around the US. However, they pose a significant risk at intersections where railroad tracks public cross streets. If you or a loved one were a victim of a train-vehicle crash in Florida, do not hesitate to contact a Miami car accident lawyer at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. You can reach out to schedule a free consultation by calling (877) 475-2905 or using our online form.

Virgin Trains USA Used to be Bright line

In March 2019, Virgin Group announced its first train line would be Virgin Trains USA in South Florida. The majority owner and operator of the train is Fortress Investment. Virgin Group is a minority investor providing the iconic branding for the train. This train line was originally known as Bright line and began service in May 2018, with test runs starting in 2017. It is a high-speed intercity system that currently stops in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. Virgin previously announced it intends to extend the train line to Orlando and Tampa. Individuals who are injured in an accident involving a Virgin train should contact an experienced lawyer in Miami. If the incident was a train-car collision, our Miami car accident attorneys are here to investigate the crash, determine what went wrong, and identify the liable party. Our lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. are highly experienced in handling all types of vehicle collisions, including those involving commuter and freight trains. We are not afraid to hold large and popular businesses responsible in court.

On April 25th, around 9:30 p.m., a Tesla driven by George McGee, 42, entered the intersection of County Road 905 and Card Sound Road near Key Largo, Florida without stopping at the stop sign. The Tesla struck Miami woman Benavides Leon Naibel, 22. The impact threw her approximately 20 ft into nearby woods and she was killed.Another pedestrian, Angulo Dillion, 27, was struck and injured. He was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital South in serious condition. Naibel and Dillion had been standing next to a parked Chevy Tahoe truck on the east shoulder of 905. McGee faces criminal charges. Currently, there is no information regarding whether the Tesla was in Autopilot or whether McGee was in full control of the vehicle. There also is no information on whether drugs or alcohol were involved.

After many accidents like this, it takes time to determine what happened and why. While car accident victims and their families may wait to see if prosecutors pursue criminal charges, they can and should reach out to a Miami car accident lawyer at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. for help.

Our experienced and skilled car accident attorneys are here to help crash victims pursue personal injury compensation. We also represent surviving family members in pursuing compensation through Florida wrongful death claims. To talk with us about how we can help, call us at (877) 475-2905 to schedule a free consultation.

Breanha Free-Baker, 17, her mother Michelle Free-Baker, 40, and her grandmother Robyn Underwood, 61, were driving to dinner on a Saturday night when they were struck by another vehicle head on. A vehicle speeding down Hillsboro Boulevard crossed over the median and into the Free-Baker’s vehicle and several other cars. Breanha and her grandmother died in the crash. Breanha was a senior at Coral Glades High School. Michelle Free-Baker and a driver of another vehicle, Melanie Perozin, were injured and hospitalized at Broward Health North after the crash. If you were recently hurt or lost a loved one in a crash, contact a car accident lawyer for Miami at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. You can reach out to us through our online form or you can call (877) 475-2905 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Who Caused the Crash?

According to local reports, the at-fault driver was Andrea Schneider, 21. Schneider has a history of driving offenses and criminal convictions. Schneider had been convicted of driving without a license and driving on a suspended license several times in the past. At the time of the crash, she was on probation for trespassing in an occupied structure. It is unclear whether she had a valid license.The crash remains under investigation. Police currently do not know whether drugs or alcohol were involved, though this has not been ruled out.

On December 5, Carmelo Gonzalez, 44, was driving north on the Florida Turnpike near Quail Roost Drive. Another driver cut Gonzalez off and he lost control of his Toyota vehicle. Gonzalez’s vehicle left the road and he slammed into a tree. The car struck the tree on the driver’s side, trapping Gonzalez in the car. First responders from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue were surprised to find Gonzalez alive. They worked for over an hour to free him from the vehicle, so he could receive medical attention. He is suffering from two broken legs and a broken arm. He is expected to stay in the hospital for several weeks and has a long recovery ahead of him.

There were no reports on whether the vehicle that led to the single-vehicle crash was identified or whether that driver was ticketed. In accidents like these, another driver may not be found at fault. However, if the other driver can be identified, it may be possible for the crash victim to pursue personal injury compensation through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.

If you were injured in a crash that was caused because of another person’s careless or reckless driving, contact a car accident lawyer from Gerson & Schwartz P.A. at (877) 475-2905. We are here to investigate your situation and advise you of your right to pursue compensation. If you have a valid claim, we will represent you in seeking a full and fair car accident settlement.

Natalie Farber, 75, was seriously injured in a hit-and-run crash. Farber is a retired Miami-Dade County Public Schools teacher and tennis coach. She suffered several broken bones due to the crash, including a fractured skull, according to her husband Frank Farber, and recently underwent her third surgery. The crash occurred around 2 p.m. when Farber was walking near Bedlington Road and Fairway Drive in Miami Lakes, FL. The vehicle struck Farber as she was walking. The driver did not remain at the scene of the collision. When Farber was discovered, she was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center. The driver responsible for the accident is still being sought by police. Due to the hit and run, the matter is a criminal investigation. If the driver is discovered, Farber has a strong personal injury claim against them and could pursue compensation for her medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more. If you or a loved one were recently injured in a hit-and-run crash, you should speak with a Miami hit and run attorney about your rights. One of our highly experienced lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. can help you navigate the aftermath of the accident. We will review whether you have an insurance policy that will cover your injuries. If so, we can represent you during the insurance claim process and fight for you to receive appropriate compensation. You can reach us through our online form or by calling (305) 371-6000.

Miami-Dade County Hit-and-Run Crash Statistics

In early 2018, the Florida Highway Patrol released Florida’s 2017 hit and run statistics. That year, the FHP stated there were 98,000 hit-and-run crashes, which accounted for about 24 percent of all crashes. Additionally, a study published by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that Florida was in the top three states for hit-and-run crashes, based on per capita rates. Between 2006 and 2016, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Florida had the highest rates of fatal hit and runs. In 2006, hit and run fatalities in Florida were 195. By 2016, hit and run fatalities in the state had increased to 206. The lowest rates were in 2010 and 2011, when Florida had only 135 hit and run fatalities both years.

Florida and much of the south has a distinct advantage when it comes to holiday driving—there is lower chance of bad weather. The temperatures in Miami and around the state fall a little, but not where near the temperatures needed for snow, sleet, and freezing rain, like what is experienced on the east coast and in the Midwest. This lack of severe weather makes it a bit safer to drive around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Unfortunately, these holidays are still known for a high rate of car crashes and fatalities.

As we approach Thanksgiving and the entire holiday season, Florida drivers need to prepare for getting about safely and avoiding crashes. If you are in a collision over the holidays this year, do not hesitate to contact a Miami car accident lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. at (877) 475-2905.

The Holidays, Drunk Driving, and Car Crashes