October 26, 2007

FHP Reacts to Deadly Truck Crashes with Crackdown

Due to a disproportionate number of deadly car accidents involving commercial trucks, the Florida Highway Patrol is heightening enforcement of aggressive tractor trailer drivers in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. The so-called "Operation Safe Ride" is part of the state's ongoing efforts to reduce wrongful deaths and personal injuries on Florida highways.

According to the Director of the Florida Highway Patrol, due to the size and weight of those commercial vehicles, drivers of smaller vehicles are at a greater risk for mass destruction and serious injuries. While commercial trucks are involved in about eight percent of all Florida roadway crashes, they are involved in almost thirteen percent of all deadly collisions.

On behalf of our numerous clients who were unfortunately seriously injured as a result of the recklessness of some tractor trailer operators, we applaud the highway patrol's efforts, and wish them success in their battle to safe the lives of our fellow Floridians.

October 25, 2007

Lack of Security Results in Third Attack at Pompano Casino

In what appears to be another example of a business' negligent failure to provide adequate security to their customers, two elderly patrons of the Isle of Capri Casino in Pompano Beach were were attacked while exiting the Casino. These attacks were the third such incidents to happen in the past month, the other two resulted in extensive personal injuries.

It seems the attacks began once the casino stopped using off-duty Broward County Sheriff's deputies to provide security. Not surprisingly, none of the attacks were captured by any of the casino's security cameras. As we too often see, the casino purposefully chose to only meet the requirements of their state licensing agreement, which only spell out a minimum level of security.

Too often in our practice we see businesses doing the bare minimum to protect their customers, rather than doing something which may cost slightly more, but would certainly add an extra measure of necessary protection to their patron. Certainly casinos who not only invite their customers to their properties, but encourage them to bring money to gamble, should do more to protect those customers.

October 10, 2007

"Put the Brakes on Fatalities" to Stop Florida Car Accident Deaths

Florida drivers are urged to be extra cautious today, the seventh annual "Put The Brakes on Fatalities Day." The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, in an effort to help reduce the more than 3,365 wrongful deaths which result from car accidents in Florida each year, is joining in the national observation of this special day.

Considering nine people die each and every day on Florida roads, we willingly promote initiatives like this to help educate Florida drivers about the dangers associated with driving a car, and how some additional driver responsibility will help safe lives. The initiative includes educating drivers about keeping their cars in good working condition, not using cell phones while driving and always using seat belts.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, there are more than 43,000 people who die in car accidents every year in the United States. Hopefully, initiatives such as "Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day" will help reduce this horrific loss of life.

October 5, 2007

Florida Legislature Says Car Accident Victims Must Still Have PIP

You can file this one as more news than my opinion, this afternoon the Florida Legislature passed a new version of the so called "PIP," personal injury protection law, which will apply to all Florida drivers and car accident victims effective January 1, 2008. As everyone, particularly in Miami, Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale, which was the focus of complaints regarding alleged fraud, are probably aware, the PIP law "sunset" on October 1, 2007.

The new law provides many of the same provisions previously mandated in Florida. Apparently, the most important differences include a medical fee schedule which will limit most medical providers reimbursements to 200% of Medicare's reimbursement rate; and a require $5,000.00 of the medical benefits be initially reserved for hospitals and their doctors who treat injured car accident victims.

Of course, due to the fact that from October 1, 2007, through January 1, 2008, there will be no PIP, anyone suffering a personal injuries in a car accident during that time will be entitled to pursue their claims under a strict tort system. Rather than being limited to the "no fault" threshold, apparently those injured car accident victims will not have to prove they sustained a permanent injury. As we already have a number of such injured clients, it will certainly be interesting to see how the courts will handle those who fall into this new category.