May 9, 2008

Florida Leads Nation in Boating Accident Deaths

Not surprisingly, given our location and the number of boaters in Florida, we again lead the nation in the number of boating accident fatalities. Unfortunately, Miami-Dade County has the dubious distinction of leading the State, having had 13 such wrongful deaths last year.

The findings, reported by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, revealed that 77 people suffered wrongful deaths on Florida waters in 2007. Apparently the vast majority of all boating accidents occurred with operators who had no safety training.

Thankfully, the State has finally approved plans to increase mandatory boater education requirements over the next decade. The hope is that this increased training will reduce fatalities by as much as 25 percent; we certainly share the State's hope.

May 6, 2008

Hollywood Car Accident with Tractor Trailer Leaves One Dead

A late night car accident in Hollywood, Florida, between a car and a tractor trailer resulted in the wrongful death of the car's driver. The car was heading south on the Florida Turnpike when it apparently lost control, crashed through a concrete wall and into oncoming traffic.

Dradine Knowles of Lauderhill, a suburb of Ft. Lauderdale, apparently lost control of her car a couple of miles south of Hollywood Boulevard. According the the Florida Highway Patrol, the 2006 Chevy HHR smashed through the concrete barrier wall, which divided north and southbound traffic, and then went into oncoming northbound traffic, when it collided with the truck.

We can only assume was another case of failing to use a seat belt, both the car's driver and passenger were ejected into the street. We again stress to all drivers that the consequences of not using seat belts and child car seats are unfortunately deadly.

July 19, 2007

Another Florida Jet Ski Accident Ends in Death

In an alarming trend, another Florida jet ski rider died, and another passenger was critically injured, when their Jet Ski collided with a dock in Pompano Beach. This was at least the third such death caused by a jet ski accident in South Florida over the past few months.

Considering the number Jet Ski operators in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties who are untrained and inexperienced, we, unfortunately, expect these types of accidents resulting in wrongful deaths to continue. As such, it is not surprising that Miami-Dade and Broward Counties dubiously rank in the top ten Florida Counties for such boating accidents.

Currently there are no mandatory training requirements for Jet Ski operators in Florida. In fact, Florida Law allows anyone over the age of 14 to operate one of these personal water crafts, some of which reach speeds of greater than 30 m.p.h., without any adult supervision. Sadly, many victims learn too late that these vessels usually will not respond or turn if the throttle is not engaged.

In our practice we have representing a number of unfortunate families who endured the catastrophic injury and death of a loved one at the hands of such untrained operators. Given the frequency and severity of these type of accidents, we remind everyone to be particularly aware of Jet Skis, and to use the utmost care while operating them.