Articles Posted in Car Accident

According to some metrics, Florida is the most dangerous state for pedestrians. In fact, researchers from the non-profit organization Smart Growth America (SGA) gave Florida a 201.4 rating on their pedestrian danger index, with Alabama coming in a distant second with a score of 174.6. This is in large part due to the fact that 5,893 people were killed in pedestrian accidents between 2000-2019 in Florida. In 2019, alone 713 pedestrians died in Florida. The SGA report found that older people, as well as those living in lower-income neighborhoods, are at the highest risk of being killed in pedestrian and car accidents. People of color are also at an exceedingly high risk of fatal pedestrian accidents. SGA reported that the number of fatalities among Black pedestrians was 82% higher than with white pedestrians from 2010-2019.

As people age, it can complicate their ability to avoid cars as pedestrians. Not only do older adults tend to physically move at a slower rate, but older people can often be injured or struck by cars because they have issues seeing or hearing incoming traffic. Additionally, many fatal crashes occur in the evening and away from city lights. Simply, the darker it is, the harder it is for motorists and drivers to see pedestrians on the road. A recent local news article discussed a fatal Florida pedestrian accident from September of 2022.

According to the news article, the accident occurred when an Orlando man exited his vehicle after crashing on the Florida Turnpike in Lake County. After exiting the vehicle, the man was struck and killed by an SUV in a separate collision moments later driven by a 24-year-old Florida woman. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the fatal crash occurred on the Florida Turnpike at mile marker 276 around 9:45 PM following the initial crash. After the initial accident occurred, the driver then exited his vehicle, walked across the southbound lanes of the Turnpike, and crossed the concrete median, the crash report shows. As the victim entered the northbound inside lane of the Florida Turnpike, he was struck by the SUV. The man died at the scene after being struck by the SUV. According to law enforcement, both crashes are still being investigated.

By the virtue of their employment, law enforcement officers and other public safety officials often find themselves in situations that present a danger to themselves or other members of the public. When people are hurt or killed as a result of negligent police activity, it may be challenging to determine if the law enforcement officer or agency bears some civil responsibility for the loss. On one hand, police officers are human and are forced into dangerous situations very often, holding them accountable for any negligent acts would prevent police from properly performing their duties. On the other hand, law enforcement officers are tasked with protecting the public, and if an officer negligently or intentionally acts in a way that results in the death of an innocent person, there must be some consequences. Florida law addresses these considerations by operating within a framework that allows public employees, including police officers, to be sued personally for damages under some circumstances. A recently published news report discusses a jury verdict recently handed down in a wrongful death case filed by the family of a deceased teenager.

According to the news report discussing the recent jury verdict, the trial centered on the death of a 12-year-old boy who had been visiting the fair on the day he died. According to the report, police officers were called to the fair because some youths were causing a disturbance and committing small crimes. Although some of the youths were arrested or detained, the deceased boy was not accused of any criminal activity, however, the officer chose to eject him from the fair nonetheless. Instead of allowing the child to leave the fair through the exit, the officer forced him to go out of a side exit that had no safe pedestrian access and abutted a busy highway. When attempting to cross the highway, the boy was hit by a vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The boy’s family pursued a wrongful death claim against the officer and the department in Florida state court. According to the complaint, the officer was grossly negligent in forcing the young child out of the far and onto a busy highway, where he was ultimately killed. In responding to such claims, municipal law enforcement agencies often claim that qualified immunity protected them from being sued. Qualified immunity is a legal doctrine that protects public employees (including law enforcement officers) from legal liability for acts of negligence that occur while the employee is acting within the scope of their employment. Qualified immunity has been used in Florida to protect thousands of public employees from the consequences of their negligence, but the protection is not absolute.

It is common knowledge that riding a motorcycle is more dangerous than driving that same distance in a car or larger motor vehicle, but the discrepancy in safety might surprise you. Some sources claim that someone riding on a motorcycle is 26 times more likely to die in an accident than someone riding or driving in a car over that same trip. The increased level of risk presented by motorcycles on the road should lead drivers of cars and motorcycles to exercise extreme caution when on the road. The open nature of motorcycles and the smaller vehicle weight and profile mean that drivers should be extra vigilant and aware when they are more likely to encounter motorcycles on the road. A recently published local news report discusses a fatal motorcycle crash last month that killed two Harley riders.

According to the local news report, the accident occurred in Melbourne on Wickham Road when a 2012 Ford Focus driven by a 75-year-old Melbourne man exited the parking lot of a shopping center and attempted to cross Wickham Road to travel east onto College View Drive. Two men were riding on a 2001 Harley Davidson northbound on Wickham Road at the time when they struck the Ford Focus on the right side. Both of the motorcycle riders were taken to the hospital where they died according to police. According to the authorities, there is an ongoing investigation to determine if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash. The police did not say if the driver of the Ford Focus was injured in the accident.

Comparative negligence is the legal concept that parties in an accident are assigned the percentage of fault that they were responsible for in the accident. Under the pure comparative negligence theory, an accident victim can recover money from an equally or less negligent party. Under Florida law, accident victims can recover compensation from the other party, even if the victim is partially at fault, including fault that exceeds 51%. In practice, this means that even if the victim is found to be mostly at fault for an accident during a trial, they can still seek compensation for personal damages from the other party. If the claim is successful, the total damages awarded will be reduced by the victim’s percentage of fault.

Wrong-way car crashes refer to situations where one vehicle collides with another automobile while going in the wrong direction on a street, resulting in a violent collision between two incoming vehicles. According to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAAFTS), between 2010 and 2018 there were 2,921 fatal wrong-way crashes resulting in 3,885 deaths—an average of 430 deaths per year. Florida is not exempt from these types of accidents, ranking second out of all states with an average of 34.4 per year. A recently published CNN news report discusses a fatal wrong-way crash in Miami-Dade county.

According to the CNN news report, the accident occurred one early morning last month after a 30-year-old man was driving at a high rate of speed in the wrong direction on State Road 826. The police stated that the man was driving in the wrong direction at a high rate of speed for at least a mile before hitting another vehicle head-on, killing all five passengers in the other vehicle. There were four women and one man between the ages of 18 and 25 killed in the crash. The wrong-way driver was airlifted to Ryder Trauma with serious injuries according to the police. The highway patrol stated that he remains hospitalized and will be booked into jail once discharged and is being charged with several counts of vehicular homicide. Troopers are awaiting a toxicology report to determine if impairment was a contributing factor. If the driver was impaired at the time of the crash, more charges could potentially be filed.

According to the AAAFTS, the most common causes of wrong-way driving include drunk or impaired drivers, unlicensed drivers, older vehicles, and drivers over the age of 70 years old. The AAAFTS states that drivers with one or more of these factors are heavily present in the wrong way crashes. While these factors may seem relatively distinct, each one has the potential for a distracted or inexperienced driver more prone to making fatal errors. Although establishing fault in a wrong way driving accident may seem straightforward, many factors could impact a victim’s recovery. An attorney can help accident victims at all stages of the claims process, including by helping gather evidence, leading settlement negotiations, litigating, and appealing.

At any second, a small fender-bender can happen, disrupting the commute of those involved in the accident, and sometimes, disrupting the commute of those who are not directly involved. In these smaller fender-bender accidents, it can cause you the inconvenience of having to make an insurance claim and deal with car damage, and in some cases, caring for any injuries. In much scarier situations, automobile accidents can cause a lot of damage, including when it involves a head-on collision. You’ve probably seen an action movie where a high-speed chase is occurring, and a driver chooses to drive in the wrong direction for some period of time. But it’s not on an everyday basis that you see such wrong-way driving in real life. Wrong-way driving can lead to scary head-on collisions, and in the case that you observe a driver driving in the wrong direction, it can be extremely important to safely move off the road if possible and report local authorities.

According to a recent news report, a deadly multi-vehicle accident occurred in Leon County. Florida Highway Patrol received calls of a wrong-way driver, to which troopers responded and arrived moments after the initial calls. The troopers located a sedan that was facing eastbound in the westbound lane, and the vehicle was involved in a head-on collision with another sedan. Unfortunately, both drivers were pronounced dead at the scene. The Fire Department put out fires at the scene of the accident.

What are Common Causes of Head-On Collisions?

Head-on collisions, although less common than the everyday fender-bender, can happen for a variety of reasons. These types of collisions may occur because of a mistake, where one driver confuses the direction of traffic, for example. The collision may occur because of mechanical issues with a vehicle, such as a vehicle being unable to brake or turn properly. In other situations, head-on collisions may occur because of distracted driving or driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Continue Reading ›

Crosswalks and roadsides can be some of the most dangerous areas in Florida cities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists alike. Traffic equipment failure, visibility obstructions, and negligent driving all contribute to the dangers that pedestrians face when walking near a roadway or crossing at a crosswalk. A crash that occurred late last month in Nassau county involving two vehicles and two pedestrians has left one 73-year-old St. Petersburg man dead, and another woman in critical condition.

According to the facts discussed in a local news report, two pedestrians were walking along the roadside when another vehicle approached from behind, striking the pedestrians and then crashing into a parked car. It is unclear from the article if speed or intoxication were at issue, although the article does not mention charges being filed against the driver.

Drivers must be attentive at all times while driving and keep on the lookout for pedestrians and other vehicles. During early mornings and late nights, it can be hard to see pedestrians along the roadside, however, it is especially important for drivers to maintain their attention on the road. Parked cars along a roadside, especially near an intersection, can obstruct both drivers’ and pedestrians’ views of the roadway, and increase the risk of an accident. Florida’s auto and pedestrian infrastructure is also in need of maintenance and improvement, and some intersections do not have properly functioning signage or traffic control devices.

When negligent or reckless driving is at play, the consequences can be severe, as is evident from a recent fatal collision that took place near Miami. A popular news site recently published information on the accident, revealing details about the driver as well as the victims of the devastating crash.

According to the article, a Florida driver was driving the wrong way on an expressway around 4:30am one recent Saturday. His Nissan Infiniti was going eastbound in the westbound lane, and he encountered a Honda sedan going the correct way on the road. Neither the Infiniti nor the sedan had an opportunity to swerve, and the cars crashed into each other head-on. There were four women and one man inside the sedan, and all five of them were killed upon impact. The driver of the Infiniti was taken to the hospital, where he is still being treated for his injuries.

Investigations revealed that the driver has not possessed a valid driver’s license for eight years, since he was arrested in 2014 for speeding. According to one report, the driver had been arrested for driving 109 miles per hour, which is significantly above any speed limit on Florida’s expressways. The driver’s license had not been reinstated; thus, he was operating his vehicle illegally when he crashed into the five victims. It is unclear whether alcohol or drugs were involved in the accident, and at the moment, no foul play is suspected.

Although every motor vehicle crash has its own complex dynamics, most of these incidents are preventable events. While weather or road design and condition may impact the likelihood and severity of an accident, the human factor stills play a predominant role in Florida accidents. This is especially true in T-bone accidents.

T-bone or side-impact collisions refer to situations when the front of one vehicle slams into the side of another. These accidents can lead to serious life-altering injuries and even death. According to some studies, T-bone collisions are the primary reason for 60% of all deaths in economic cooperation and development (OECD) member countries. Further, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that these intersection collisions contribute to nearly half of all collisions in the nation.

Who is Liable in Florida T-Bone Accident?

Many situations can lead to T-bone or side-impact collisions. Some common liable parties in a Florida T-bone accident include:

  • Drivers: Negligent drivers speeding through a yellow light or stop sign and slamming into another driver are often responsible for these accidents.
  • Vehicle Manufacturers: These accidents may also result from defective brakes or other car parts.
  • Government Entities: Poorly designed roadways or roads without appropriate signage may increase the likelihood of a T-bone accident.
  • Businesses: Businesses who maintain control over a parking lot with inadequate signage or broken direction signals may be liable for these accidents.

Continue Reading ›

Driving or riding in the front seat of a car without a seatbelt can increase your risk of moderate to fatal injury by 50% and of dying by 45%, and each year thousands of people experience more severe injury or death in Florida car accidents due to their failure to wear seatbelts. Car drivers and passengers should always wear their seatbelts while the car is in motion. While occupants of cars might be tempted to unbuckle their seatbelts, either because they are driving a short distance or because they are driving at low speeds, doing so could have a significant impact on a victim’s recovery in the event of a car accident.

Given the substantial risk of dangerous car accidents in Florida, drivers should be aware that in Florida, pure comparative negligence in a car accident can have a significant impact on a victim’s recovery. A skillful plaintiffs’ attorney can use pure comparative negligence to advocate for a larger recovery for a victim and navigate past strong legal defenses. A recent local news article discussed a fatal Florida car accident that occurred in July 2022.

According to the news article, the accident occurred when a 23-year-old, driving a jeep with two passengers, lost control and veered off of I-95 South and collided with the guardrail. The force of the collision with the guardrail caused the car to cross over into the center median. During the crash, the front passenger was ejected from the vehicle, landing in the left lane of I-95 North. He was subsequently struck by an oncoming vehicle and killed. The accident occurred around 2:45 a.m. on Sunday approximately 1.5 miles north of County Road 210. The driver and the third passenger in the jeep received minor injuries and nobody in the second car was hurt. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, none of the three individuals in the jeep were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash.

The meteoric rise of the automaker Tesla, known for its stylish electric vehicles that contain an “autopilot” feature, has been accompanied by increasingly concerning reports of accidents that may have been caused by misuse or a malfunction in the autopilot system. A popular international newspaper recently published a report on a Florida accident involving a tesla that left two occupants of the vehicle dead. An investigation is ongoing, but the increasing prevalence of these types of accidents is giving regulators and members of the public concern.

According to the article discussing the accident, the vehicle involved was occupied by a couple in their mid 60’s when it inexplicably exited the highway near Gainesville and crashed into the back of a semi-truck, The tesla went underneath the trailer portion of the semi, and the top of the car was sheared off. Both occupants were pronounced dead at the scene, and the crash remains under investigation. As of the time the article was published, it is not clear whether the autopilot feature was being used leading up to the crash.

Products manufactured and marketed for sale in the United States are expected to be safe for people to use in the manner that they were intended. New technologies like self-driving cars should be implemented with extreme caution, especially considering the inherently dangerous nature of driving. If the Tesla autopilot feature has inherent problems that result in these types of accidents, the manufacturer may be in serious legal jeopardy. Tesla advises its customers to always keep their hands on the steering wheel when using the autopilot feature, but consumers seem reluctant to follow these instructions, and their own lives and the lives of other motorists are being placed in jeopardy.

Contact Information