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Even if you are not a fan of Formula One racing, there is a good chance you would have been impressed by a recent incident that could have ended tragically – but did NOT due to advancements in safety technology. A December 6, 2020 article published by Wired magazine covered the racing event, which erupted into mayhem within the first few turns. In short, during the frenzied push to gain position on the opening lap, the tires of two cars slightly bumped at speeds exceeding 135 miles per hour. One vehicle careened away, slamming into a barrier positioned to absorb the energy of a violent impact. The race car and driver exploded into flames. 

Mere seconds later, the driver emerged from the fiery vortex and walked away – mostly unscathed, but for some scrapes and minor burns. Those who witnessed or viewed the video were shocked; the result was no surprise to those who understand the science behind safety measures used in racing. The incident highlights four different technologies designed to minimize the effects of fatal and injury causing accidents, including:

Halo: This device is a padded ring that is positioned above the driver, which protects the head, neck, and spine as it absorbs the impact of the crash. The Halo is a relatively new technology that gained widespread use, and it is required by some racing circuits after the tragic death of popular racer Dale Earnhardt, Sr. Deceleration at a rate of 25 times that of gravity, combined with the weight of the helmet he was wearing, caused Earnhardt to suffer fatal trauma to his brain, neck, vasculature, and spine.

If you were hurt in an accident of any kind, your focus will be on recovery and getting back to life as you know it as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may sustain significant losses as you incur medical bills, lose income from missing work, and endure considerable pain and suffering. It is a relief to know that Florida law protects your interests by providing you with legal remedies to obtain compensation for these losses, especially if your recovery is long-term or you are permanently disabled. 

However, there is one implication of an injury-causing accident that you might not have factored in — the consequences for your children. In many ways, they suffer along with you when you are unable to take an active role as a parent. Fortunately, Florida law also protects children in such a situation, and a Miami personal injury lawyer can explain in more detail. A summary of the relevant laws may help you understand the basics.

Overview of Florida’s Parent-Child Liability Law

Motorists throughout South Florida should take note of a recent press release from automaker Ford Motor Company, which announced that it will be launching its self-driving commercial business division in 2022. According to an October 20, 2020 article published by CNBC, the company will be integrating its fourth-generation of self-driving test vehicles in several US cities, including Miami. The latest technology, such as higher resolution cameras and improved sensors, serves as an upgrade to the fleet of Ford Escape Hybrid crossovers. 

However, safety concerns remain, and you could be at an increased risk of car accidents in Miami when you are driving around these test vehicles. Some information on the dangers, as well as some benefits of autonomous automobiles, may be useful.

Dangers of Self-Driving Automobiles

The last place you should worry about suffering injury is when you are lying in bed and relaxing, but the experience was quite the opposite for several victims who were hurt while sleeping in defective beds. A November 15, 2020 article in the Miami Herald outlined the details of a recent recall jointly announced by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and manufacturer Zinus. The recall covers 26,000 metal bunk beds that were not welded together properly, causing the upper bed to collapse. There have been 13 accidents reported involving the defective products, and victims have suffered serious injuries when falling or being crushed by the upper bunk. 

If you were hurt by any type of product, it is essential to speak to a Miami products liability lawyer about your circumstances. You may have options regardless of a recall, but you should understand the basics about your rights when a product is withdrawn because of serious defects.

Common Recalls of Household Goods

If you take certain medications for high blood pressure, heartburn, ulcers, and related medical conditions, you may be aware of multiple product recalls announced during 2019 and continuing throughout 2020. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) outlines the risks involved with these prescription and over-the-counter drugs, which may contain unsafe amounts of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) – a substance recognized by US officials and international medical groups as having the potential to cause cancer. 

While the NDMA contamination may seem like a typical dangerous drug case, there are several factors that make these matters complicated. You can trust a Miami products liability lawyer to explain the laws and assist with your legal remedies, but some basic information may be helpful.

Dangerous Drugs Linked to NDMA Impurities

Even if you are diligent about complying with all Florida rules of the road when out driving around Miami, there is a good chance that there are plenty of other motorists who do not. Some may be in a rush to get to their final destination, while others did not see a traffic sign or vehicle traveling in their blind spot. At times, drivers may even engage in intentional violations of traffic laws because they do not want to be inconvenienced or believe that a phone call is too important to miss. 

Regardless of the reasons behind their actions, drivers who disregard the rules put everyone else on the road at risk of serious auto crashes. Not only do they threaten other individuals in motorized vehicles, but negligent motorists can cause severe harm to pedestrians and bicycle riders. A Miami car accident attorney can advise you on your legal options if you were hurt, but you can take action to protect yourself when you know the top traffic laws that drivers do not follow.

  • Speed Limits: Probably the most common – and certainly one of the most dangerous – traffic laws to break involves speeding. Authorities designate speed zones for various reasons, but they generally all center on safety. Going faster than the posted limit could increase the potential for accidents if the mph was set due to curves, traffic volume, a steep grade, narrowing of lanes, or many other factors.

You are at risk of being injured in a car accident any time you are driving around Miami, and statistics from the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reveal that the safety threat is high even when you travel for work. In 2017, there were 2,077 workers killed in occupational transportation crashes, representing 40% of all work-related fatalities. Plus, transportation collisions are in the top five most common causes of non-fatal workplace accidents. 

While you might assume that these incidents would be covered by Florida workers’ compensation laws, you may be surprised to learn that you may qualify to file a civil claim after an auto crash. There are multiple benefits for seeking legal remedies rather than workers’ comp benefits, and a Miami car accidents attorney can explain the advantages. You might also benefit from reviewing some of the basics about work-related vehicle collisions.

Florida Workers’ Comp Claims and Exceptions

If you were recently injured in a Miami car accident, slip and fall on property, or through other forms of negligence, you might currently be working with the responsible party’s insurance company to obtain compensation. Filing an insurance claim is typically the first step your Miami personal injury lawyer will take in such a case, followed by settlement negotiations with the insurer. 

However, you may not be as familiar with what happens if the insurance company refuses to settle for a fair, reasonable amount: The civil litigation process that starts when you file a lawsuit in court. Suing the responsible party to recover monetary damages triggers an entirely different legal process, so you should become familiar with the key stages of your case.

Filing Documents to Initiate Litigation

Biking is a great form of exercise and an enjoyable way to get around Miami, but it is also a popular mode of transportation for traveling to and from work. The daily commute is also one of the most dangerous for bicyclists who choose to ride. According to Crash Dashboard data reported by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there are around 824 bicycle accidents in Miami-Dade County every year. Hundreds of people are injured in these incidents, and 18-20 victims are killed annually. 

While these statistics will probably not dissuade many riders from commuting via bicycle, they should convince you to be cautious. Talk to a Miami bike accident lawyer if you were hurt in such an  incident; there are a few tips to remember when you are commuting rather than biking for fun.

Make Adjustments for Your Ride: You might not carry along much more than your wallet and some water when biking for fun, but your commute is a different scenario. It may be necessary to pack up an extra set of clothing, work-related papers and supplies, and other items. The extra load and potential imbalance on a two-wheeled bike may affect your safety, so you make necessary adjustments for stability.

Government officials and consumer groups often team up to raise awareness about public safety issues and empower people to protect themselves and their families. The Road to Zero Coalition,

managed by the National Safety Council (NSC) and supported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is an example of such an initiative. Together, these organizations have developed multiple strategies intended to end traffic-related fatalities in the US by 2050. The cornerstone of the plan hinges on NJTSA’s “Three Lanes,” which ideally would result in Zero roadway deaths if each path comes to fruition.

While public awareness campaigns about preventing auto crashes are important, the risk of serious crashes will persist as long as there are negligent motorists on South Florida roadways. It is essential to work with a Miami car accidents attorney to pursue your legal rights, but you might find it useful to review some basic information about the Road to Zero.

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