August 31, 2008

South Florida Car Accident Deaths Declining

Finally in some good news for Broward County residents, police are reporting a seven percent decline in car and motorcycle deaths this year, compared to 2007. This makes the second consecutive year of such decline. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, car and motorcycle accident wrongful deaths are decreasing monthly.

Reports indicate the drop in such car accident related deaths is associated with the apparent decrease in vehicle traffic in South Florida. This trend mirrors national statistics in the reduction of vehicle traffic, possibly tied into the dramatic increase in the cost of gas, which also has drivers speeding less, in an apparent effort to save fuel.

Unfortunately, there still were 134 traffic deaths in Broward County this year, a figure that in our opinion remains too high. We only hope Florida driver, particularly those in Ft. Lauderdale and the surrounding area, continue to take precautions such as slowing down, and wearing seat belts, to continue with this trend.

Broward traffic deaths in the same period of 2008

August 20, 2008

Injured Florida Car Accident Victims Cannot Sue Rental Car Companies

In what is certainly bad news for those injured in car accidents caused by the negligence of rental car drivers, Federal Law now definitively prevents any such personal injury cases against those rental car companies. While the United States Congress previously enacted the so-called Graves Amendment, a number of lower courts in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale had found the amendment to be unconstitutional.

However, yesterday, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which essentially oversees all cases in the Southeastern United States, issued a ruling that the Graves Amendment is constitutional. This ruling, for all intensive purposes, puts an end to all such personal injury and wrongful death cases against all rental car companies.

Considering the number of out-of-town and international drivers operating rental cars upon the roadways of the State of Florida, it is truly disappointing to inform our severely injured clients and surviving family members of such deadly accidents, that they will be without any recourse, unless the renter of the car actually took out additional liability insurance. We can only hope that the new congress will rethink this law, which only serves to protect an industry which profits significantly from those out-of-town drivers, many of whom are unaware of, or disregard, the dangers of driving on our roadways.