Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Every teen looks forward to the day they finally get their driver’s license, but this same rite of passage instills fear and dread in many parents who appreciate the risk of teen car accidents. If your child is or will be driving soon, your concerns are understandable. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), traffic crashes rank second among the leading causes of death for teens, with around seven fatalities every day in the 13- to 19-year-old age group. Motorists aged 16 to 19 years old are also three times as likely to be involved in a deadly car accident, as compared to drivers aged 20 and up.

The good news is that teen auto crashes are preventable. Of course, you know the risk is reduced when a parent is along for the ride, but you will not always be sitting shotgun to supervise. The best strategy is to focus on raising a safe, responsible driver who makes wise decisions when you are not around. The following tips can guide you in protecting your teen from Miami car accidents.

Choose a safe vehicle

Though the electric vehicle automaker will still have to pay compensation to the plaintiffs, Tesla recently gained a victory of sorts after a jury’s verdict in a Florida auto defects case. According to NBC Miami News Channel 6, jurors initially awarded $10.5 million to the family of a teen victim who was killed in a fiery, single-car collision in 2018. Then, after rendering a verdict in favor of the plaintiff, the amount was then reduced to $105,000 through application of the state law on contributory negligence. The plaintiff had claimed that the lithium ion batteries in the Tesla Model S were defective, leading them to burst to flames upon impact. However, the jury found that the deceased victim was partly to blame for speeding. 

The victim’s family may be disappointed with the outcome, while Tesla breathes a sigh of relief for not having to pay the full $10.5 million in damages. Still, the case is useful for showing how Florida’s statute on comparative fault in product liability matters. A Miami auto defects attorney can explain how the law may impact your rights, though a legal summary is useful.

Pure Comparative Fault Reduces Compensation

There are multiple concepts under Florida personal injury laws that extend liability to individuals or entities other than the negligent party, which essentially impute fault to a party that might not even be anywhere near the scene of an accident. One is the principle of dram shop liability, a factor in many drunk driving collisions. This theory states that a bar or tavern may be held accountable for overserving someone who later causes a crash. Florida does have a dram shop law, but not one that supports the interests of DUI accident victims: The statute provides that an establishment cannot be liable under such circumstances. 

However, a ban on dram shop liability does not preclude other legal remedies for victims. It is still possible to recover compensation for your losses, and a Miami drunk driving accident lawyer can assist with challenges. Some information on your options and tips on what to do after a DUI crash are also helpful.

Legal Remedies for Drunk Driving Collisions 

Six years after suffering catastrophic injuries in a South Florida car accident, a young girl and her family will finally gain some financial relief for their devastating financial, physical, and emotional losses. Miami NBC-affiliate WFLA News Channel 8 covered the story, reporting that the victim’s spinal cord was severed in a collision with a police cruiser. The officer driving the vehicle was speeding through an intersection without properly working traffic lights as Hurricane Matthew was bearing down on the state in 2016. The girl, an infant at the time, was traveling in a vehicle driven by her mother when it entered the intersection. The police cruiser smashed into the car, causing an impact that severed the victim’s spinal cord. 

The $4 million was reached by settlement of the parties, and it is the largest sum Miami-Dade County has ever paid for an accident claim. You should consult with a Miami catastrophic injuries lawyer if you or a loved one suffered harm to the brain, spinal cord, or spine, but a few points about this case are informative.

Distribution of the Settlement Award

You might not give much thought to the countless intersections you turn on or pass through as you navigate your way throughout South Florida roadways, but there are risks involved with every encounter. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), around 25% of all traffic deaths and half of all vehicle accident injuries are linked to intersections. Despite clear signage and laws regarding yielding when drivers approach cross-streets, motorists are still careless or unaware of right of way rules. 

Florida auto crash laws allow victims to pursue damages from the at-fault driver, so it is comforting to know that you have options for recovering compensation. A Miami intersection car accidents lawyer can explain your remedies, but some additional statistics and causes behind these incidents is useful for understanding the risks.

Detailed Data on Intersection Auto Crashes

Even after years of public safety campaigns and issuing tickets for cell phone use, it seems that many motorists could use a reminder on the dangers of texting, talking, and other forms of distracted driving. Once again, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is hosting its annual Distracted Driving Awareness Month this April 2022. The “U Drive, U Text, U Pay” slogan is directed at prevention through pointing out the financial implications, but other details are important for revealing the risks of distracted driving. This risky misconduct causes more than 3,100 fatalities every year and, instead of decreasing, the number of deaths is on the rise. 

It may be tempting to grab your phone while behind the wheel, but you are less likely to reach for it when you understand the dangers. While you should consult with a Miami distracted driving accidents lawyer if you are involved in a crash, it is helpful to review some tips in avoiding the temptation.

Why Distracted Driving Increases the Risk of Crashes 

Aggressive driving and “road rage” have become serious problems nationwide in recent years, and Florida followed in the steps of several US states by enacting laws to penalize dangerous misconduct. State traffic laws define aggressive driving as driving at excessive speeds, making unsafe lane changes, “tailgating,” and cutting off another motorist while passing. A first-time offense could mean up to 90 days in jail, a fine ranging from $25 to $500, or both. The penalties get harsher with subsequent offenses, which are punishable by up to six months’ incarceration and fines up to $1,000. 

Unfortunately, the threat of jail time, fines, and a driver’s license suspension are not sufficient to discourage all motorists from aggressive driving. Their outrageous conduct puts everyone on the road at an increased risk of crashes, and the injuries to victims are far more severe. You should consult with a Miami aggressive driving accident lawyer right away if you were hurt, but some tips may help you avoid being involved in such an incident.

Avoid Being a Target: Drivers often enter road rage mode after getting frustrated with traffic maneuvers by other motorists that, while legal, can be maddening. When traveling on multi-lane highways, do not drive slowly in the fast lane – even when you are doing the speed limit. If you spot a vehicle rapidly approaching in your rearview mirror, you should wait to attempt a passing move.

Contrary to popular misconception, YES, you can be arrested for drunk driving while on a bicycle in Florida. The state statute on driving under the influence (DUI) applies to anyone on a vehicle, and the law specifically excludes the word “motorized” when describing the offense. You could be charged if you have a blood alcohol concentration in excess of the legal limit, but officers could also arrest you if they believe your capabilities are impaired by alcohol. If convicted, you face up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. 

However, the potential for a criminal conviction is not the biggest concern for bicycle riders. Alcohol has the same effects on your mind and body no matter what vehicle you are operating, so you put yourself at risk of serious injuries in a Miami bicycle accident. Some information on the dangers should convince you to avoid riding after consuming alcohol.

Statistics on Drunk Driving and Bike Crashes

A South Beach community is reeling after an incident involving an elderly woman who drove her vehicle into a popular outdoor café, killing one man and injuring six others. Miami’s Local 10 News reported on the accident, which occurred during the busy evening hours when the restaurant was packed with diners enjoying their meal on the terrace. Witnesses believe the woman was attempting to parallel park her Bentley when she mistook the “Park” pedal and put the car in reverse. As a result of her confusion, the woman plowed through an embankment, over the curb, and into the outdoor dining space. 

The woman is not facing criminal charges, but victims and their families may already be considering legal action through Miami personal injury lawsuits. As the investigation into the deadly accident continues, some of the details are raising more questions than answers.

What liability concepts apply? There are two possible personal injury claims that victims and their families might consider pursuing, as the incident encompasses both premises liability and motor vehicle accident concepts. However, the basis for liability is the same: These accidents happen because of negligence, so victims must prove that the incident occurred because a party failed to exercise reasonable care.

Every major city in the US has traffic problems, and Miami is no exception. On any given day, especially during morning and evening rush hours, motorists could be looking at a bumper-to-bumper scenario – were it not for the miracle of express lanes. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has established regulations regarding “managed” lanes, which you may know familiarly as the optional express lanes that you can steer into for a more efficient commute. There are multiple express lanes throughout South Florida, including portions of I-97, I-75, and even US Route 1. 

However, even as express lanes offer the benefits of managed traffic congestion and route options, the risk of vehicle crashes remains. In fact, certain factors may contribute to an increased risk. If you were involved in such a crash, it is critical to reach out to a Miami car accident attorney right away. Plus, some tips should help you get through the chaos and confusion that ensues.

Pull Over Safely

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