Like most motorists, Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer Joseph Lipsky relies on his vehicle’s back up camera when pulling out of a parking spot into the street. Unfortunately, recent research indicates that even with the ever increasing presence and use of back up cameras, drivers keep having backing up car accidents.

A recent report demonstrates that ongoing efforts by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to require back-up cameras as standard equipment in all new vehicles by 2018, may not be the miracle most believe. As back-up cameras have been in vehicles for many years, the government has ample data to evaluate as to their effectiveness in preventing car accidents.

As review of that data demonstrates that while the number of vehicles equipped with back up cameras rose nearly 100% over the past three years, that the number of personal injuries caused in backing up car accidents only dropped by under 10%. On a positive note, car accident wrongful deaths caused by backing up accidents did decrease by thirty percent, from 274 to 189, over the last four years.

According to news reports, Volkswagen is agreeing to make cash payments of up $10 billion, or up to $7,000.00 to owners of their diesel cars, which apparently pollute more than advertised. The amount of each owner’s payment will depend upon the year of their car, among other factors.  The settlement is pending before the U.S. District Court for approval. The settlement stems from Volkswagen “fixing” of their emissions test results, in which they claimed their diesels were “clean” for the environment.

As Volkswagen is not expected to be able to repair these cars, owners will be entitled to a cash payment or negotiating a buyback of their vehicle.

Given the negative ramifications vehicle owners will have when they try to sell or trade-in their diesel vehicles in the future it is imperative that those owners seek legal guidance to make sure they make the best financial decision.  We are the Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky are available for free no-obligation consultations with owners of Volkswagen diesel cars to discuss the depreciation of their vehicles.  Feel free to contact us at our toll-free hotline 1-888-352-5298 (888-FLA-LAW8).  We are here to help.

 

 

Florida boat accident attorney Joseph Lipsky is surprised that a recent report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission determined that the number of boating related wrongful deaths actually declined nearly 25% last year, from 73 in 2014, to 55 in 2015. Predictably, more deadly boat accident happened in Broward County and the Florida Keys than anywhere else in Florida last year. Not to be left out, Miami Dade had the honor of having the greatest number of so-called reportable boating accidents, those involving personal injury and/or property damage more than $2,000.00, in 2015.

With the size of Biscayne Bay and frequent boating off shore of Miami Beach, Miami-Dade had 96 boating accidents in 2015, which resulted in nearly $3 million in property damage and unfortunately with three wrongful deaths and seventy four personal injuries. The Florida Keys, comprising of both Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, accounted for 78 accidents, resulting in 5 wrongful deaths and nearly 50 injuries. The 57 boating accidents in Broward County during 2015, resulted in five deaths and over 40 injuries.

According to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, about one half of all boat accidents were caused by operators failing to maintain a proper lookout and being distracted, just like the careless actions of distracted car drivers.

Miami car accident attorney Joseph Lipsky has seen an increase in the number of car accidents across Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach over the past year. Now it appears those rising number of car accidents and the personal injuries they cause are the reason of South Florida drivers paying some of the highest care insurance premiums in the United States. In fact, contrary to the promises made by insurance companies in their ever present advertising, car insurance rates across Florida have actually increased by fourteen percent over the last year and a half.

According to the state’s insurance commissioner, the insurance companies are steadily raising their rates because the number of drivers on the road is steadily increasing. The increase in drivers is certainly due to lower gas prices and less unemployment. Regulators blame the steady rise in personal injury protection, or PIP, claims as a major cause of the premium increases. PIP, generally referred to as no fault insurance, requires all drivers to have $10,000 of PIP to pay for their own medical bills and lost wages in the event they are involved in an accident. Each person is required to use their own insurance, not that of the at fault party, to pay the first $10,000.00 of their medical bills/lost wages. The portion of car insurance attributed to PIP is responsible for approximately 25% of all car insurance premiums.

Florida remains one of the only states with such a no-fault/PIP system. Most other states have mandatory liability insurance which makes the at fault party responsible for the damages they cause. But because such a change would require mandatory liability insurance, most insurance companies are opposed to changing the law. Also, most hospitals, which seemingly overbill accident victims, are also opposed to abolishing PIP, which they look upon as a cash cow given its higher reimbursement rates, when compared to Medicare and health insurance.

Florida car accident attorney Joseph Lipsky has seen an increase in the number of deadly car accidents over the past few years. Now a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety confirms Mr. Lipsky’s observations. It seems that the steady increase in highway speed limits over the last number of years is one of the most likely causes for the rise in highway accident wrongful deaths.

The IIHS’ study concluded that more than thirty thousand lives have been lost over the last 20 years, due primarily to higher speed limits. Last year alone nearly 2,000 people died in high speed highway car accidents. Incredibly, the rise in high speed highway deaths is more than the number of people saved by mandatory vehicle front crash airbags. Across the United States more than 9,000 people died in car accidents involving a speeding vehicle.

Ever since the U.S. Congress allowed states in 1987 to increase highway speeds above the 55 m.p.h. limit, the number of highway car accidents which resulted in wrongful deaths has risen exponentially. Most people do not realize that the reason speeds were allowed to rise, was not due to safety studies proving increased speeds were safe; rather, because gas price fears has subsided.  In fact, it was those concerns over energy prices which mandated the 55 m.p.h. speed limit.  The unexpected, and welcomed, side effect was a drop in highway car and truck accident deaths.

With the growing talk of self-driving autonomous vehicles, Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney Joseph Lipsky has wondered about the efforts of the companies hoping to sell driverless cares to protect other drivers and pedestrians. Apparently one of those companies, Google, has also been thinking about how to prevent pedestrian car accident personal injuries. Recently, Google received a patent for what can only be described as human fly paper.

Google’s invention is essentially a strong adhesive type tape which will be placed on the front/hood of their vehicles. In the event of a car vs. pedestrian accident, the tape would “hold” the pedestrian onto the hood of the vehicle, preventing them from falling to the roadway.  As many of the injuries pedestrians suffer after being hit by a car happen when that person is thrown onto the road after being hit by a car, the thought is the tape will help stop the so-called secondary impact.

The inventors envision the tape being covered by some type of shell which will break open upon impact with a pedestrian, but will keep the tape protected from road debris such as dirt and bugs.

With the increasing demand to legalize marijuana in Florida, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Joseph Lipsky wants proponents of legalization to realize that driving under the influence of marijuana has resulted in a dramatic increase in wrongful death car accidents in other states which have already legalized pot. While the deadly effects of a stoned driver are well known, unlike with drunk driving prevention, the issue confronting law enforcement is how to determine when a marijuana user is too stoned to drive.

Unlike alcohol use, which in Florida subjects a driver to criminal charges if he/she has a blood alcohol level of .08, marijuana uses has no such comparable test. As of yet, there is no test to determine when a pot smokes is too high to driver, although we would argue that no amount of marijuana use is safe, if the smoker is going to be driving. Considering THC affects different users differently,  as of now there is no way to determine if a particular “level” of THC in the blood stream equates to being too stoned to drive safely.

Not surprisingly, legal marijuana supporters like to point to a Department of Transportation study which determined that drunk drivers present a greater danger than stoned drivers. This position deflects from the point, which is that both drunk and stoned drivers are a danger to other motorists and pedestrians. Considering the difficulties associated with testing for THC, which requires a blood test, rather than a breath test as is available for suspected drunk drivers; determining the amount of THC in a person’s blood, so that they may be arrested for being impaired, is not accurate.  Law enforcement advocates recommend using a “road-side” test, similar to suspected drunk drivers, to try to ascertain the level at which a person is functioning while behind the wheel.

Miami Motorcycle Accident Attorney Joseph Lipsky reminds his fellow motorists that May is Motorcycle Awareness Month. The purpose of this designation is to remind all drivers that motorcycle riders have all the same rights as any other driver on the road. Having represented too many families who have lost loved ones in wrongful death accidents involving a motorcycle versus car or truck, we know too well what can happen when car and truck drivers don’t “share the road” with motorcyclists.

With the start of summer, which brings more riders out to enjoy the longer days, Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky, along with the American Motorcyclist Association, is making a profound plea to all drivers to be particularly conscience of motorcycle riders, by being sure to check your side and rear view mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes. While we hope this behavior is part of all drivers’ operation of their vehicles; too often in South Florida, motorists abruptly change lanes without any warning, putting other motorists, especially motorcycle riders, in danger. Incredibly, despite the continuous public relations campaigns, too many motorists continue to use their phones while they drive. Distracted driving is one of the most likely cited reasons why motorists fail to see motorcycle riders.

Many motorcycle riders understand the dangers associated with climbing on their bike, but to put those dangers into perspective, more than 4,000 riders lost their lives in motorcycle crashes last year. Not surprisingly, Florida had the third most such deaths. Those wrongful deaths accounted for almost 15 percent of all roadway traffic deaths. Of those killed, over ninety percent were men. Incredibly, alcohol use was involved in nearly 40% of all motorcycle crashes with a death. In addition to the fatalities, almost 10,000 riders and their passengers were injured in motorcycle crashes. Sadly, while vehicle related traffic deaths have steadily decreased, motorcycle fatalities have risen steadily over the past decade; and with over 600,000 registered motorcycles in Florida, it appears those number won’t be dropping soon.

As we rapidly approach the end of the school year, and the impending 4th of July Holiday, Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorney Joseph Lipsky reminds his fellow Floridians, particularly parents, of the dramatic rise in the number of children who have suffered personal injuries, including burns and amputations, due to fireworks being misused.  Last year alone there were over 11,000 people who suffered fireworks related injuries, and sadly, 10 wrongful deaths.

A recent study by the Pediatric Academic Society found that the number of children who have received care at hospital emergency rooms due to fireworks related injuries increased by almost fifty percent of the past three years. Almost half of fireworks related emergency room visits were by children under the age of 15, with nearly a third of those youngsters being bystanders, who thought they were safe.

The researchers believe that the lack of regulations over the sale of fireworks, particularly those which most people believe are illegal in Florida, is a direct cause of the increase in firework related personal injuries. Until such time as cities, counties and the State enact appropriate regulations to protect unknowing consumers, personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky reminds parents to take the following precautions:

As a parent of young children, Miami Personal Injury Attorney Joseph Lipsky knows too well that for too many children, play time on school and park playgrounds don’t always end with smiling faces. Unfortunately, personal injuries, mainly head injuries, from playground falls are rapidly increasing across the United States.

While many schools and parks have taken necessary steps to reduce so-called accidental traumatic head injuries, over the past decade, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the number of children under the age of 14 who have been seen at hospital ERs due to acute head injuries has risen to over twenty thousand annually. Generally parents focus on the number of head injuries associated with sports, such as football, but head injuries, including concussions, caused by falls on playgrounds are a growing epidemic which needs to be better addressed. The number of head injury visits to emergency rooms rose by almost fifty percent over the past 3 years. Boys made up nearly sixty percent of those emergency room visits. Nearly one half of the children seen at ERs were between five and nine years old.

Although some of the increase in head injury emergency room care may be attributed to parents becoming more aware of the dangers presented by head trauma, given the increased publicity about professional football plays; there can be no doubt that falls from monkey bars and swings play an increasing role in playground concussions. Not surprisingly, almost sixty percent of all children and adolescent head injuries happen on school playgrounds. Parents need to remain vigilant of the symptoms of brain injury children may display after suffering head trauma.