Various news outlets reported that a driver-less vehicle crashed into a semi truck following its launch at an event in shuttle-bus-300x296Las Vegas earlier this month. The crash occurred just two hours after the introduction and promotion event for the first self-driving shuttle in the United States aimed at serving the public. Interestingly, it was the human driver of the other vehicle that was reportedly at fault. Fortunately the incident only caused minor damage and there were no injuries.

The shuttle in question, which can transport up to 12 passengers at a time, comes equipped with electric curb sensors and uses a Global Positioning System (GPS) in lieu of a steering wheel or brake pedals.

The introduction of the shuttle comes on the heels of the passage of the Self Drive Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this fall. If passed in the Senate, the bill would exempt car manufacturers from having to follow various state and federal regulations that typically apply to automobile manufacturing. States would still be able to determine whether or not to allow self-driving cars on their roads.

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scaffolding-1518087-300x225Last month provided several examples of the serious personal safety issues that can arise with construction site work.

Construction Worker Falls from Crane on Dolphin Expressway

First, a construction worker fell from a crane on the Dolphin Expressway one morning, near the Northwest 37th Avenue overpass. A Miami fire department official stated that the man fell a total of 30 feet from a crane that was attached to a flatbed truck. The worker was using the crane’s controls on the side of the truck when it suddenly fell over, throwing him off of the overpass. As he fell, thankfully he did not fall into the flow of traffic below. The man was transported to a local hospital for treatment of his critical condition.

The area where the accident occurred is currently under construction, as Miami-Dade Transit is working to add an additional lane in both directions on the Dolphin Expressway.

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A Florida district court of appeals recently rendered its decision on an appeal based on the trial court’s decision to chromed-out-1451031-300x225exclude various pieces of evidence from consideration by the jury.

In the case, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendant revved the engine of his Chevrolet Camaro, thus signaling his alleged desire to race the plaintiffs. Plaintiffs alleged that after riding next to their two motorcycles and swerving into their lane twice, he hit the first motorcycle (which had one passenger), which then crashed into the second motorcycle and then drove away. The plaintiffs survived the accident, but suffered serious personal injuries which required medical treatment. Prior to the accident, the plaintiffs had stopped at a restaurant and then a bar, and were headed home when the accident occurred.

At trial, the defendant claimed that the motorcycles caused the accident to occur by one driver accidentally turning onto the other one. He claimed comparative negligence as a defense. Witness testimony as to what happened was similarly inconsistent.

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security-camera-1245610-300x199According to various reports, Miami Beach Commissioners recently voted to close Miami Beach east of the dunes at 10 p.m. The decision to close the beach two hours earlier is an attempt to curb crime and keep both residents and tourists safe. The beach will continue to open at 5 a.m.

The vote was prompted by a recent string of violent crimes and thefts that have occurred late at night, including the vicious assault and rape of a tourist on the beach that happened over the summer, after the woman had fallen asleep.

Proponents of the earlier closure asked the commission to engage in an educational outreach designed at educating the public about the reasons for the change. In response, the commission stated that it was investigating the best ways to engage in an information campaign, including signs and other outreach.

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Our Miami personal injury law firm found a very interesting report that was recently released. The study’s Coupe_sign_imitation-300x175outcome was to determine whether ride-sharing services, such as Uber, have contributed to a decrease in accidents related to driving under the influence over a certain period of time. The implication here being that as people that may be too intoxicated to drive and then call sober ride-share drivers for their ride home, there are less drunk drivers on the road causing accidents. However, apparently the results of this study found that this was not necessarily the case in all American cities.

The study looked at the availability of the ride share service Uber (currently the largest among ride-sharing companies, which purportedly also include: Lyft, Sidecar, Wingz, Summon, Taxify, Haxi, Didi Chuxing, and Moovn) from 2013-2016 in four major cities in the United States. The study author is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Injury Science Center.

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glass-1-1188487-300x225According to several news reports, a young woman was killed by police officers after she reportedly crashed into two vehicles, and according to onsite officers and witness accounts, attempted to flee the scene.

Late Sunday night of the holiday weekend, according to police the driver of a black BMW sedan and her companion got into the vehicle and sped into oncoming traffic on Ocean Drive, which resulted in collisions with two separate vehicles– all in full view of people looking on from the sidewalk.

Sources report that the car first ran a red light, which led to a collision with one vehicle. The passenger in the car that was hit reported that the light was clearly green and that two other cars had already gone through the intersection at the time of impact, and that he believed the driver was going at least 60 miles per hour.

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Distracted driving has become a national public health crisis. While food, drinks, children, and pets have always provided drivers with ample distraction from the road, technology is increasing the problem to unprecedented proportions. In-vehicle entertainment systems, navigation systems, and the ubiquitous smartphone are diverting drivers’ attention from the road as never before.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you have legal rights which must be protected. Miami residents trust the team at Gerson & Schwartz to secure fair compensation for the auto accident injuries. Our Miami car accident lawyers will aggressively protect your legal rights after any car accident including distracted driving accident cases.

What is Being Done About this Public Health Crisis?

Fatal car accidents occur on the roads of Miami every day. Even when an accident was not caused by drunk driving, or texting while driving, or other behaviors which pose an obvious risk, it can still permanently change the lives of everyone involved. This is a lesson which tennis star Venus Williams is learning the hard way. Miami area residents and visitors have long trusted Gerson & Schwartz to protect their legal rights after any car accident. Gerson and Schwatz, PA  employ some of the best car accident attorneys  in Miami, Florida when it comes to negotiating and litigating injury claims arising from car, truck or motorcycle accidents, and many other types of personal injuries.

A Simple Accident That Changed Lives Forever

On June 9, 2017, Venus Williams was driving near her home in Palm Beach Gardens. She entered an intersection on a green light but was stuck in the intersection after the light turned red, due to stopped traffic ahead of her. Linda Barson, driving the opposite direction, drove through her green light into the intersection, where she collided with Williams’ sport utility vehicle. Witnesses initially told investigators that Williams ran the red light., Body camera footage from a responding officer showed him telling her that she had the right of way when she entered the intersection, but lost it when the light turned red. He declined to issue her a traffic citation because she “got stuck in a bad situation” and he felt she should “let the insurance companies work it out”. Barson suffered minor injuries, and her husband – a passenger in the vehicle – was initially conscious but disoriented. After fourteen days in the hospital, he died of internal bleeding, a fractured spine, and massive internal organ damage.

Too often, negligent drivers fail to appreciate the severity of their actions. This is a lesson which one young Miami resident learned the hard way. Franklin Chavez, a twenty-four-year-old massage therapist, was sentenced to seven years in prison and eight years on probation for causing an accident which killed a young medical student and crippled her brother.

A Fun Night Turned Nightmare

The accident caused by Franklin Chavez occurred in December 2015. He began his evening by joining his Crossfit friends at a bar. Later, he went to another bar, where he was believed to have been drinking through the night. At 5:22 a.m., Chavez was traveling the wrong way on the I-95. His Toyota Yaris did not have its lights on. He slammed into a vehicle driven by Elisa Diaz at over seventy miles per hour. Diaz’ children, Carmen and Bryan Criales, were passengers. Twenty-three-year-old Carmen, a medical student, was killed on impact. The force of the collision was so violent that her body could not be removed from the vehicle on the scene. Bryan and Elisa were taken to a hospital in critical condition. Elisa was forced to miss her daughter’s funeral, and Bryan was confined to a wheelchair. He no longer has the ability to speak.

Attorneys, especially personal injury lawyers, often suffer from a bad reputation among the general public. One of the most ubiquitous stereotypes about the profession is that of the “ambulance chaser.” The term brings to mind an image of a sleazy attorney in a bad suit hoping to make a fee by following an ambulance to the hospital and harassing the family of an injured person while their loved one lays in a hospital bed.

The vast majority of attorneys work hard to combat these negative and outdated stereotypes of the legal profession. Unfortunately, there are still a few lawyers and legal professionals practicing today who continue to give attorneys a bad name. At Gerson & Schwartz, P.A., our Miami car accident lawyers work hard to give clients the best legal representation possible, without the high-pressure sales tactics that lead to unfair characteristics of the legal profession.

Ambulance Chasing Is Illegal

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