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Articles Posted in Negligence

While the majority of Miami car accidents are linked to careless acts by drivers, the most common root cause of these incidents is violations of Florida Rules of the Road. Traffic laws are well-known to all motorists, so they are aware of their legal duties. When they do not comply with regulations aimed at keeping people safe, drivers put other road users at risk. If you were hurt in such a collision, you probably expect that the at-fault motorist will be ticketed, and you can use this information to support your claim. 

However, you might be surprised to find that drivers often do not receive a traffic citation after a crash. You probably wonder about your rights under these circumstances, so trust a Miami car accident lawyer to explain how the laws work. Some general information may also help you understand the relevant concepts.

Traffic Tickets are Separate From Civil Remedies 

The dangers of distracted driving are not new to motorists in Miami and throughout the US, claiming the lives of more than 2,800 people every year – including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and other road users. Motorists who text, talk on the phone, post to social media, and engage in other cell phone use remain a threat. However, it is worth noting that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) classifies many other activities under the umbrella of “distracted driving.” Any activity that diverts attention away from operating the vehicle could be a factor in a car accident. 

As such, you should be aware of numerous forms of distracted driving that do NOT involve cell phone use. You can avoid Miami car accidents by avoiding these activities yourself – and steering clear if you observe other motorists engaging in risky behaviors behind the wheel.

Eating and Drinking

Many US states have taken action against the dangers of texting and driving by enacting statutes that make certain types of cell phone use illegal while a driver is operating a vehicle. Florida’s approach is contained within the Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law, which took effect in July 2019. Police now have primary enforcement to pull over a motorist if they observe violations of the law, and there are penalties for getting a ticket. However, if illegal cell phone use is linked to an injury-causing accident, victims cannot always rely on law enforcement observations when pursuing their right to compensation. Unlike a drunk driving accident where the motorist’s chemical rests reveal a blood alcohol content over the legal limit, there are issues of proof with a distracted driving crash. 

You cannot expect the responsible driver to admit to texting, so you – through your Miami car accidents attorney – will need to explore other options to get essential evidence. An overview of the key issues may help you understand the importance of proof in texting and driving collision claims.

Florida Law on Texting While Driving

When you have been hurt in a Miami car accident, you are probably aware that recovering compensation for your losses starts with filing an insurance claim. Once you submit the initial paperwork, you can expect a call from the responsible driver’s insurer, since the company will want information regarding the crash, your injuries, and related details. Because you know that Florida law imposes a four-year statute of limitations, you are probably eager to get this discussion out of the way. 

While the adjuster may seem friendly and helpful during the conversation, you should note that this person is NOT just seeking basic information to get payment to you quickly. Instead, the insurance company’s employee is trying to figure out strategies to deny your claim. Because of the implications for your rights, it is best to have your Miami car accidents attorney handle the discussion. Still, you should be familiar with some of the questions the adjuster might ask.

Avoid Responding to Questions That Affect Your Rights

nabeel-syed-2856-copy-300x200While it is true that some Miami car accidents leave no doubt in terms of who caused the incident, there are many others that are not so clear-cut. Most auto collisions involve multiple contributing factors about which motorist’s conduct was a primary or secondary cause, and Florida’s law on comparative fault addresses this type of situation. The statute states that your potential compensation in a motor vehicle crash claim may be reduced if your own actions are linked to the accident. Your monetary damages are decreased proportionally by the percentage of your fault. 

In other words, you not only need to prove that the other driver was at fault – but you also need to present evidence that you were NOT, or that your contribution to the accident was minimal. A Miami car accidents attorney can explain the details, since contributory fault involves many of the same negligent acts you might allege against the other motorist. For instance, you could receive less in compensation if you were:

  • Speeding: When you are speeding, you have less time to react to traffic-related threats that can cause an accident. As such, even though the other driver may have been at fault by engaging in other careless actions, you could also contribute to the incident because you were traveling faster than what officials have set as the safe speed limit for that particular area.

lionello-delpiccolo-Dv65oNf9UI4-unsplash-copy-300x200Most drivers are well-aware of the dangers of speeding, but recent information published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sheds some light on the severity of the problem. Speeding has been a factor in around one-third of all fatal motor vehicle accidents for the last 20 years, and it contributed to 26% of such incidents in 2017. Not only does speed lead to a high number of fatalities, but it is also a top cause of serious injury-causing crashes. 

If you were hurt or lost a loved one in an auto collision caused by someone else’s negligent acts, including speeding, it is important to contact a Miami car accidents attorney right away. In the meantime, you can also review some information on the dangers of speeding.

How Speed Limits Impact Safety on Florida’s Roads

jacek-dylag-PMxT0XtQ-A-unsplash-copy-300x200Many people commonly associate personal injury cases with car accidents, and it is true that many of these matters involve collisions. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Crash Dashboard for 2018, there were more than 646,000 crashes in Miami-Dade County alone.

However, there are many other types of accidents and incidents that lead to serious injuries for victims, many of which could have been avoided. Discuss your situation with a Miami personal injury attorney if you were hurt under any of the following circumstances.

Negligence-Based Claims

lionello-delpiccolo-Dv65oNf9UI4-unsplash-copy-300x200You may not be surprised to learn that accidents are the top reason that people in Miami and throughout the US visit the emergency rooms. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that unintentional falls accounted for almost 8.6 million nonfatal injuries and motor vehicle crashes caused harm to more than 2.5 million people in 2017.

What may come as a surprise is that, though many of these victims had rights under Florida personal injury laws, there are laws that may place limitations on recovering compensation. This is due to state law regarding comparative fault, which may apply in your case if you are injured in an accident. You should discuss your circumstances with a Miami personal injury attorney, but read on for some important information.

Legal Basis for Personal Injury Claims 

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.

Cruise Ship Passengers Killed During Excursion

On May 13, 2019 two sightseeing planes carrying Princess Cruise passengers collided in midair in Alaska. The floatplanes were carrying passengers near Ketchikan, in southeast Alaska. According to Princess Cruises, one of the planes was carrying 10 guests for a shore excursion sold by the cruise line.The other plane was an independent flight tour and was carrying four people from the Royal Princess vessel as well.

The fact that the excursion was sold by Princess to cruise ship passengers in this case is an important legal detail. Princess may be held liable under various legal theories including joint venture, negligent selection or negligent retention of the excursion operator that selected the airplanes for the company being used to transport the passengers. Alternatively, Princess  may be vicariously liable if the plane was negligently maintained resulting in the crash.  The plane manufacturer, maintenance company will likely have legal liability for this case. However, given the catastrophic damages, all sources of legal and financial responsibility will need to be explored. This This is an egregious example of what can go wrong during cruise ship excursions. If you suffered injuries or a loved one passed away from a serious accident or injury resulting in a wrongful death  during a cruise ship activity or excursion, we recommend you call our cruise ship accident lawyers in Florida at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. at (877) 475-2905. You also can reach out to us through our online form or email info@gslawusa.com to schedule your free consultation.

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