March 3, 2014

Broward County To Make Roads Safer for Pedestrians and Bikes

Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer Joseph Lipsky knows, having represented hundreds of pedestrians and bicyclist who have been seriously injured by careless motorists, that our local roadways aren’t always meant to be shared. For that reason, we are happy to report that the Broward County commission recently implemented its Complete Streets policy, which requires future roads to be designed with increased safety measures to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents.

Some of the expected roadway improvements will include wider pedestrian and bike lanes, and open medians. According to the recently enacted rules, roads in Broward County will be constructed "to enable safe, convenient, and comfortable travel and access for users of all ages and abilities, regardless of their mode of transportation.” This needed trend toward protecting pedestrians follows similarly implemented rules by the Town of Davie and the cities of Sunrise, Pembroke Pines and Hollywood.

In order to facilitate wider bike lanes, car lanes will be narrowed, thereby providing bicyclists with an additional 3 feet of protection. Wider roadway medians will give pedestrians a safe place to wait for traffic to pass, if they are unable to fully cross a street before a light changes color.

Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney Joseph Lipsky certainly believes, that given the active South Florida community, in which many of our fellow residents enjoy walking and bike riding, that these roadway design changes will reduce the number of deadly car versus pedestrian and cyclist accidents.

February 27, 2014

Elderly Drivers Less Likely to Die in Car Accidents

Having represented hundreds of order drivers, Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney Joseph Lipsky knows too well the public’s general perception about elderly driver’s driving habits. Contrary to most people’s beliefs that elderly drivers are the cause of many dangerous car accidents, a recent publication from the Institute for Highway Safety actually revealed that current older drivers are not more likely to be injured in a car accident, as previous generations were.

In fact, Miami car accidents with drivers over the age of 70 which resulted in wrongful deaths have decreased at a greater rate than similar deadly car accidents among middle aged drivers. The study demonstrated that car accident related deaths of elderly motorist actually dropped more than thirty percent over the past decade. This drop in so-called elderly involved car accidents is good news as the number of drivers in Florida over the age of 70 is expected to double over the next 25 years.

Much of the decrease in such deadly Fort Lauderdale car accidents may be attributed to better built cars, as required by increasingly strict federal law. Some of the federally mandated vehicle safety improvements include side air bags, traction control and crash avoidance. While a motorist aged 70 or above is still 3 times more likely than a middle aged driver to die in a significant car accident, we believe the decrease from almost 4 times, is good news.

Miami personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky recommends all elderly motorists follow basic common sense rules, such as always using seat belts, avoiding driving in bad weather and not drinking and driving, to make sure they have a better chance of avoiding and surviving a car accident.

February 3, 2014

Speeding Along I-95 Express Lanes Miami Result in Serious Car Accidents

Driving along the I-95 expressway in Miami on the way to and from the Dade County Courthouse is always an adventure for Miami Personal Injury Attorney Joseph Lipsky. Due to the time constraints of attending hearings, Joseph Lipsky usually takes the so-called express lanes, which were designed to allow motorists an opportunity to travel at a quicker pace. One of the unexpected downside to creating the express lanes was the narrowing of all lanes, including the roadway's safety shoulder.

Due to the narrow width of the safety shoulder, which was reduced from 13 feet to 8, Florida Highway Patrol Troopers are extremely reluctant to make any traffic stops in the express lanes, for fear of placing the motorists they stop, and themselves, in danger from the traffic speeding along side. Apparently many express lane users realize the FHP will avoid stops in those lanes, and therefore, they speed at a higher rate than typical highway traffic. In fact, the average speed in the express lanes after seven o'clock in the evening is more than 10 miles above the posted speed limit.

Now, due to an increase in Miami car accidents, and motorist complaints, the FHP is beginning to step up its enforcement along I-95 with their Operation I-95 Saturation. While most motorists don't like to see police increase their ticket writing, as a personal injury attorney in Miami, we know one thing too well, speed kills; and for that reason we applaud the highway patrol in their efforts to make our roads safer.

January 30, 2014

Teen Driver Contract Now Available for Parents of New Drivers

For those parents who have, or are about to have, a new driver in their family, it is an exciting and worrisome time. New drivers are more dangerous and cause many car accidents, not only due to their inexperience, but because they may lack the necessary maturity to be safe in many driving situations. it is no surprise that new drivers are one of the leading causes of car accidents in South Florida.

In hopes of helping our fellow Floridians, and parents of new drivers, we at the Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Law Offices of Joseph Lipsky, are releasing our Parent and Teen Driver Contract. This agreement, which is printed below, tries to cover many of the most often abused teen driving issues. We hope that you use this contract, and share it with other friends and family members with teenage drivers, to help hold them accountable for the serious responsibilities which accompany driving a car.

_________________________________________________________________________

PERSONAL INJUYRY
LAW OFFICES OF
JOSEPH I. LIPSKY, P.A.

1200 South Pine Island Road
Cornerstone One • Suite 320
Plantation, Florida 33324
Toll-Free 888-FLA-LAW8 www.lipskylaw.com

PARENT AND TEEN DRIVER CONTRACT

I ________________, understand that driving is a privilege and not my right, just
because I now have a driver’s license. In order to keep my license, and the privilege
of driving, I promise to follow the rules listed below:

TEEN DRIVER’S RULES OF THE ROAD

- To call you before I drive

- To let you know where I’m going and what time I will be home

- To let you know whom else will be in the car with me

- To always wear my seat belt, and to make sure all of my passengers wear theirs on too

- I will follow all traffic laws, and will stay within the speed limit and not drive aggressively

- I will NEVER use the car to race or to try to impress someone else

- I will not drive with more than ____ passengers in the car at any time

- I will stop driving immediately, and call you, if one of my passengers is acting unsafe

- I will NEVER use my cell phone while driving, regardless of whether it’s to text, use
the internet or use GPS

- I agree that I will only answer incoming cellphone calls if I am able to use a hands-free
system – BUT I will not make any cell phone calls at all

- If I need to use my cell phone to make a call, I will pull off the road to safe location

- I will not eat while driving

- For the next ____ months, I will not drive in bad weather

- I will NEVER drive if I’ve used any drug or consumed alcohol

- I will NEVER allow anyone else to use drugs or drink alcohol in the car

- I will NEVER get in to another car if that driver has used drugs or consumed alcohol

- I will NEVER get in another car if drugs or alcohol are present

- I will NEVER give a ride to someone I do not know or a hitchhiker

- I will NEVER let someone else drive the car unless you give me permission

- I will NEVER drive someone else’s car unless I have their parent’s permission

- If I ever receive a traffic or parking ticket, I promise to notify you and I understand
that I will be fully responsible for paying for that ticket

- I understand that keeping my grades up is one of the jobs I must do to maintain my driving
privileges. I agree that if my grade point average drops below a B, that I will lose my
driving privileges until my grades improve.

In the event I break one of the above Rules of the Road, I agree that I will lose my
driving privileges as follows:

PENALTIES

- Drove after drinking alcohol or using drugs, No driving for ____ months
- Got ticket for speeding or moving violation, No driving for _____weeks
- Drove with too many passengers in the car, No driving for _____weeks
- Drove without wearing seat belts (self and others),No driving for _____weeks
- Any other Rules of the Road violation, No driving for ____ weeks

PARENT(S)’S COMMITMENT

- I/we will not be angry or upset, and I/we promise to pick you up, when you call if
you feel driving is not safe, regardless of when or where you are
- I/we will not embarrass you if you decide not to drive and want me/us to pick you up

Teen Driver Acknowledgment
I agree to follow each and every rule listed above, and to use my common sense when driving, in order
to keep my driving privileges.

_____________________________
Signature: Date:

Parent(s) Acknowledgement
I/we promise to teach you good driving skills.

_____________________________
Signature: Date:


While this contract does not cover every situation which may arise concerning a new teenage driver, it provides a basis for a commitment with your teenage which will hopefully prevent an accident and save lives.


January 27, 2014

Buzzed Drivers Cause Florida Car Accidents Too

Fort Lauderdale Car Accident attorney Joseph Lipsky wants you to know that according to a recent study from the University of California, driving a car after drinking, with only a little buzz, increases your chances of causing a crash. The study which reviewed deadly car accidents over a 17 year time period, essentially determined that there is no amount of alcohol in a driver’s blood stream, with which it is safe to drive.

The study focused on blood alcohol levels of driver who were found to be at fault for causing deadly accidents, including running a red light and causing an intersection collision, which are most of the most prevalent types of Fort Lauderdale car accidents. Of most surprise, even drivers with a blood alcohol level of .01, had an almost 50 percent greater chance of causing a collision compared to a driver who had not consumed any alcohol.

The researchers compared Florida’s .08 alcohol level with those from other countries which have a lower .05 limit, and found that the only safe vehicle operator is the one who had no alcoholic beverages. While Florida’s so-called legal blood alcohol levels have steadily dropped from .15 to .10 and now .08, it seems clear that a lower level, such as .05, is a reasonable change to help reduce the number of alcohol related accidents along our roadways such as I-95, the Florida Turnpike and I-595.

Most drivers are unaware that they may be found guilty of DUI, with even a .02 blood alcohol level, as the .08 level presumes a vehicle operator was under the influence. So on behalf of our fellow Floridians, we urge you to not to drink any booze and drive.

December 13, 2013

Deadly Hit and Run Car Accidents on the Rise on Miami

Sadly one of the most frequent types of accidents Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury lawyer Joseph Lipsky is asked to help accident victims with involve hit and run car accidents which cause someone's wrongful death. In fact, about once a week someone needless dies in a hit and run accident somewhere in Miami, Fort Lauderdale or the Palm Beaches.

Given the increase in these deadly accidents, a bill requiring tougher mandatory sentencing is making its way through the Florida Legislature. The bill titled the "Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act," is named after a bike rider killed on the Rickenbacker Causeway in 2012.

The proposed legislation would require a minimum jail sentence of 10 years for someone convicted of leaving the scene of a crash resulting in a wrongful death. Currently, there is no minimum sentence for running from the scene of a deadly accident. The proposed legislation would also require the convicted driver to have his license suspended for at least 3 years.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, over the past year there was an increase of more than 500 deadly hit and run car accidents. Incredibly, in 2012, there were about seventy thousand hit and run accidents in Florida alone. Of those, more than 90 resulting in wrongful deaths in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and the Palm Beaches.

In an effort to reduce the number of hit and run accidents, hoping to make motorist take responsibility for the carelessness, the Florida Highway Patrol started a campaign, called "Hit and Run. From Bad 2 Worse." Miami personal injury lawyer Joseph Lipsky reminds our fellow drivers to take responsibility for their carelessness; while causing an accident is just negligence, leaving the scene makes it a crime.

December 9, 2013

Increase in Bicycle Accidents and Injuries in Fort Lauderdale

As a Miami bicycle accident attorney, Joseph Lipsky is sad to report that the number of bicyclists in Miami, Miami Beach, Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale injured while riding on our roadways has risen in the past two years. In fact, the number of bide riders who suffered personal injuries in accidents over the last 2 years has increased more than 40 percent in Broward County and by more than 20 percent in the Palm Beaches, according to data released by the FDHSMV.

Those percentages equal more than 750 bike riders in Broward County and more than 400 injured bike riders in the Palm Beaches. Part of the reason for the increase can be attributed to more bike riders on the road, for both exercise and as a primary means of transportation.

According to statistics, the amount people riding bikes to more has risen by more than 10 percent each of the last couple of years, with an almost 60 increase in Florida over the last 7 seven years. In fact, metropolitan Fort Lauderdale ranks within the top twenty nationally of cities with the greatest amount of bicycle riders commuting to work.

Not surprisingly, distracted driving, including cell phone use is one of the biggest threats to bike riders safety. However, bike riders must be mindful to follow traffic regulations including obeying stop signs and red lights. Additionally, bike riders must also take precautions such as avoiding placing themselves in danger when riding on sidewalks.

While an increase in dedicated bike lanes, and municipalities lowering speed limits in areas known to be frequented by bike riders may help in making cycling safer, Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer, Joseph Lipsky reminds cyclists of the safety benefits provided by wearing helmets, using lights while riding at night and having properly placed reflectors.

December 3, 2013

Protect Yourself From Uninsured Drivers In Florida Car Accidents

One of the most important pieces of advice that Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney Joseph Lipsky gives to everyone he meets is, make sure to add uninsured motorist coverage to your car insurance policy. For a number of reasons, many drivers in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and the Palm Beaches choose not to have any liability insurance. As Florida does not require drivers to have liability insurance, when those drivers cause an accident and badly injure someone, having uninsured motorist coverage is the only way to insure that there is a source of money to pay medical bills, lost wages and compensate injured victims for their pain and suffering.

A recent study by the Insurance Research Institute confirms Miami car accident lawyer Joseph Lipsky’s advice, as the study found that approximately 14% of drivers are not insured. In addition to being unable to pay for the damages they cause to others, those uninsured motorist cause drivers who actually have insurance, to pay significantly higher premiums.

While some states are trying to enforce mandatory insurance requirements, by means such as authorizing police officers to remove license plates from accident involved cars which are uninsured, many drivers still disregard their state’s laws. Other states are now penalizing uninsured drivers by prohibiting them from brining a claim for their own pain and suffering, even if they are injured due to someone else’s fault. As a personal injury attorney with over 20 years of experience, Joseph Lipsky does not believe a state has a right to restrict an innocent accident victim from pursuing compensation if they are hurt by someone else’s negligence, regardless of whether they themselves have insurance.

While studies indicate that such aggressive enforcement of insurance requirements may result in more drivers complying with their states’ laws, we issue the same advice; protect yourself by buying uninsured motorist coverage. While you may pay more money now, if you are ever the victim of an accident, you will know you have a source of recovery to pursue for your damages.

In Florida, the legislature recognizes how valuable uninsured motorist coverage is, which is why insurance companies are required to have drivers sign a form specifically rejecting uninsured motorist coverage if they decide not to buy it. Remember, while signing the form and rejecting uninsured motorist coverage may save you some money in the short term, it leaves you susceptible to being on the hook for all of your damages if you are hurt in an accident.

November 15, 2013

Reversing a Trend, Car Accident Deaths Rose in 2012

Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney Joseph Lipsky takes no pleasure in relaying news from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the number of car accidents resulting in wrongful deaths rose for the first time in over eight years, to a number which incredibly exceeded 35,000. The reason for the increase is due to a dramatic rise in the number of deadly accidents involving bicycle riders, pedestrians accidents and those riding motorcycles.

The numbers tell the deadly story. There were 1,800 more traffic deaths last year than in the prior year, with riders and pedestrians accounting for over 650 of those increased deaths. In fact the more than 9,000 riders and pedestrians who died in car accidents was almost equal to the number of car accident fatalities caused by drunk drivers.

According to the NHTSA, the vast majority of car accidents and resulting wrongful deaths are due to human error, drunk drivers, and vehicle occupants failing to wear seat belts. In fact, researches determined that more than three thousand motorist die annually because they failed to use a seatbelt.

The research also revealed that about a third of all car accidents happened when one vehicle struck another from the rear. Vehicle manufacturers are beginning to include automatic baking systems in car which may help reduce the more than 2,400,000 people who annually suffer car accident related injuries.

Considering the research found an increase of almost 5 percent in deadly drunk driving accidents, we strongly urge all motorists to bring along a designated driver, or take a cab when you drink; think of the lives which may be saved…including your own.

November 8, 2013

Avoid a Car Accident by Running Against Traffic

Having helped injured Floridians who've been seriously injured by a car or truck while walking, running or bike riding along a Florida roadway, including US-1, Biscayne Boulevard or Federal Highway, Miami personal injury lawyer Joseph Lipsky is often asked by friends and acquantances, “which side of the road should I be running along?” to avoid being injured as a pedestrian in a car accident.

Our first answer is always the same, use a sidewalk or path when they are available. Staying out of the road is always the best and safest practice to avoid being the victim of an accident. In fact, a police officer can write you a citation for failing to use an available sidewalk, pursuant to Florida Statute section 316.130, which specifically states “where sidewalks are provided, no pedestrian shall, unless required by the circumstances, walk along and upon the portion of a roadway paved for vehicular traffic.”

And when there is no safe walkway, you should always run or walk, facing traffic, and you will be acting safer and within the law. Exercising while facing traffic gives you the best opportunity to see whatever danger may be approaching, and is the only legal way to walk or run along a street. In fact, Florida Statutes codify that walking facing oncoming traffic is the only legal way a pedestrian may walk along a roadway. Florida Statute Section 316.130(4) requires pedestrians and runners to use the shoulder on the left side of the road in relation to the direction they are moving, so they are facing traffic approaching from the opposite direction.

In addition to using the proper side of the roadway, we urge pedestrians, runners and cyclists to leave their music at home. When you are in a potentially dangerous situation, which is what you are in when you are in close proximity to vehicle traffic, it is always best to be fully alert and aware of your surroundings. Using your common sense, and moving against traffic can help prevent you from being injured in an accident.

November 5, 2013

Drowsy Driving Prevention Week: Rest to Prevent Car Accidents

Although it does not receive as much publicity as distracted driving or drunk driving, Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer Joseph Lipsky want to make sure you are aware that driving while over tired, or drowsy driving, is a dangerous problem which results in too many preventable car accidents annually. In hopes of reducing those crashes caused by sleep deprived drivers, the National Sleep Foundation declared this as National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week.

A review of Florida traffic accident reports shows that over the past year, there were more than 280 thousand car accidents or truck accidents in Florida, that means that about 770 times every day, someone has a car accident on one of our roads, including I-95 and the Florida Turnpike. In fact, there were over 50 thousand car accidents in Miami alone last year. Of those thousands of accidents, the likely that drowsy driving played a role as a driver had slower than needed reaction.

The NHTSA believes that more than 1500 people suffer wrongful deaths and more than 70,000 people are seriously injured in crashes in which drowsy driving played a role. Those most likely involved in driving while sleep deprived include men, under the age of 26 and those working in the medical filed who into the evening. In fact, drivers who work a "night" or "midnight" shift have a 6 times greater risk of causing an accident.

Too often over the past 20 years, we had to help a client overcome the destructive results of a truck driver who continued driving, beyond their statutorily regulated hours, and caused a crash. We remind everyone that if you are overtired, and have to open your car window, or play the radio loudly, in an effort to help you stay awake while driving; make our roadways safer by pulling off the road and taking a nap, before something bad happens.

November 1, 2013

Florida Car Accident Victims: Be Aware of New PIP Law

Florida’s First District Court of Appeals just overturned a challenge to Florida’s new personal injury protection, or PIP, law. Because the new PIP law is now unchallenged, there are numerous restrictions of which Florida car accident victims need to be aware. Fort Lauderdale based car accident lawyer Joseph Lipsky reminds all Florida car accident injured victims of the new law’s limitations which apply to all Florida car insurance policies as of January 1, 2013.

First, you need to be evaluated by a doctor, or at a hospital/urgent care center, within 14 days of your car accident. If you delay seeking initial medical care by more than 14 days, hoping that your pain subsides, your car insurance company will NOT pay any future accident related medical bills.

Secondly, you must complain about all of your injuries, no matter how minor you think they are, at your first evaluation. If you fail to mention some injury at your initial visit, and then bring it up to your doctor later, that “new” complaint will not be covered by your car insurance company.

Thirdly, unless a medical doctor, osteopathic doctor, or LPN makes a diagnosis of your suffering an Emergency Medical Condition, your car insurance company will only be responsible for the first $2,500.00 of your medical bills. With an appropriate diagnosis of an Emergency Medical Condition, you are still entitled to $10,000.00 of medical coverage. However, understand that a chiropractor is not permitted to render the Emergency Medical Condition diagnosis. Therefore, if you are only examined by a chiropractor, your car insurance company will only be responsible for $2,500.00 of your accident related medical treatment.

The law defines an Emergency Medical Condition as one which shows itself through immediately sever symptoms, including pain, that in the absence of immediate medical attention you would be expected to suffer from your health being in serious jeopardy, a serious impairment of your bodily function, or a serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or body part.

Finally, the new law allows your car insurance company to not pay for any massage therapy or acupuncture care.

Because of the stringent limitations placed on Florida car accident victims, personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky strongly recommends everyone injured in a car accident consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after their crash. Making sure you understand your rights and how to best protect them is more important than ever.