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Articles Posted in Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorney

Here we go again, Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer Joseph Lipsky sadly reports that nearly 10,000 people were killed in car accidents in the first quarter of the year, federal transportation officials said Wednesday, which is a number representing the deadliest start in America over the past twenty years. In states such as Florida, car accident deaths were up nearly 10% compared to the same quarter last year. The figures, which represent actual deaths, from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not state the causes of the deadly crashes. The researchers do not have an explanation for the drastic rise in car accident deaths, but initially believe the continued lower congestion since the pandemic, has allowed already reckless drivers to drive at even more dangerous speeds. There is also speculation that those reckless drivers are more frequently driving under the influence and not using seat belts. The continuing rise in deadly car accidents began in the first quarter of 2020, when nearly 8,000 people died in car and truck accidents. That number rose in the first quarter of 2021, when the number rose to nearly 9,000. The first quarter of the year, January, February and March, is generally the least deadly on American roads.

Transportation Secretary Buttigieg previously said the government was working to reduce deadly car accidents by commencing a “safe system” approach that would evaluate roads and cars designs. The program will be funded from the infrastructure law, which includes a $5 billion fund that will provide grants aimed at protecting bicyclists and pedestrians. The infrastructure law requires technology that could address some causes of fatalities, such as including breath monitoring devices in cars. The government released this deadly car accident information in advance of the Labor Day holiday, in hopes of educating drivers to avoid reckless conduct, like drinking and driving, and texting while driving. The government is also introducing a multi-million-dollar campaign to advanced driver education and safety. While NHTSA has responsibility for the safety of vehicles, much of its budget is dedicated to advertising campaigns and help for law enforcement. Some safety advocates say the federal government has struggled to move beyond its long-standing focus on driver behavior.

As we remember during the beginning of the pandemic, roads had much less traffic but those on the roads drove at much faster speeds, not being burdened by rush hour congestion. With most people thinking the pandemic is in the past, Americans drove more than 750 billion miles between January and March, a rise of more than 5 percent versus 2021.NHTSA determined that the death rate on U.S. roads during the first three months of this year was 1.27 per 100 million miles driven, also a significant rise from 2020. .

Nursing homes should be held accountable when they disregard their residents’ rights. Many years of lobbying by the nursing home industry convinced  the Florida Legislature to enact numerous laws which eroded residents’ rights, and made it more difficult for injured residents to hold those negligent accountable for their actions. The legislature failed to mandate nursing homes accept responsibility for their residents, by allowing them to play a shell game with each facility’s ownership and by allowing residents’ rights to be limited by arduous mandatory arbitration agreements. Hopefully the legislature will not allow the tragedy in Hollywood to go unaddressed. When nursing homes know they may be held accountable for their carelessness, they will take the actions needed not only to protect their bottom line, but more importantly, to keep their residents safe. Check our recent appearance on CBS4, where we discussed this issue.

 

As a personal injury attorney helping seriously injured victims of crime in apartment complexes and business locations, so-called negligent security cases, Joseph Lipsky knows too well the affect a business owners’ ignorance of a rising crime rate can have the level of security they should have to protect their paying customers and tenants. Now, after a multi-year drop in violent crime, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is reporting that violent crime rose nearly four percent over the last year.  The FBI is also reporting a nearly eleven percent rise in the murder rate.  This disconcerting rise in crime should be on the forefront of all business and apartment complex owners and operators’ minds.

In Florida, the law requires business and apartment owners and operators to take precautions to protect their business invitees, that is, their paying customers, from crime which is foreseeable. Basically this means, businesses must keep abreast of crime on and around their property; and, depending upon that level of crime over the past couple of years, take reasonable measures to deter and prevent future crime from occurring.  One of the most valuable tools for business owners is the FBI crime report, which is based upon actual police reports from every police department across the United States.  Also, in Miami and the surrounding communities of Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines and Hollywood, most local police departments have readily accessible on-line instant crime data.

While a responsible business owner will regularly monitor the crime reports, so as to change the level of protection they provide for their customers, too many businesses bury their head in the sand and purposefully ignore the crime report and their customers’ safety. By reviewing nearby crime, a business owner who is concerned about the customers may justifiably install additional lighting, add video surveillance cameras, locked gates, fencing and armed guards. Florida law does not require every business to enact all of the various types of crime prevention techniques, but only those which are reasonable for their property based upon the history of crime on and around their premises.  Also, the law does not require a small mom and pop type business to have the same level of crime prevention as a large apartment complex, such as a government subsidized section 8 type property, or a large gas station.  Larger businesses generally have more resources to provide a higher level of crime deterrence than small less profitable ones.

Florida personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky wants to make sure all seriously injured victims of all types of accidents, including car accidents and slip and falls accidents, understand the importance of telling their attorneys and treating doctors about any prior injuries and accidents they’ve had. With the technological advances in “cloud” based computing and analytics, personal injury victims need to understand the ease at which all insurance companies can access their past accident and injury information. Failure to disclose prior accidents and injuries often times may result in a judge dismissing a personal injury case for what they believe is “fraud upon the court.”

One of the first things insurance companies and their attorneys do when an accident victim files a claim for personal injuries is investigate that person’s past for any other accidents and/or injuries. Thereafter, when an injured accident victim fails to disclose any such prior injuries and accidents, especially in a deposition or in answers to interrogatories, the insurance company’s attorney will seek to present evidence to the presiding judge about those prior accident and injuries, for purposes of having the judge will dismiss the case.

Recently the Third District Court of Appeals, which presides over Miami-Dade and Monroe County, took such action when it dismissed a personal injury case against Home Depot. In that case, the injured plaintiff did not disclose a prior accident in which she received medical care.  The plaintiff also failed to disclose a prior hospital visit in which she complained of pain in her back, which was one of the injuries she was suing Home Depot for causing.  Once Home Depot presented evidence to the trial judge that the accident victim provided false and misleading deposition testimony, in not revealing the prior accident and medical care, the judge dismissed the personal injury case.

Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney Joseph Lipsky reminds drivers to be careful in only relying upon a new car’s “accident avoidance” technology, rather than truly paying attention to your surroundings. According to a recent study from AAA, those backing up systems and cross traffic alerts are not as reliable as most drivers believe. The study’s lesson, drivers should use their experience and behind the wheel skills rather than just relying upon technology to save themselves from being involved in a car accident.

While a car’s warning systems are supposed to alert drivers about possible hazards, tests results reveal that every vehicle’s accident prevention systems vary greatly. Incredibly, tests demonstrated that when a car with rear warning systems was parked in between two other vehicles, it failed to warn the driver of passing motorcycles, bicycles, smaller cars and pedestrians about 50% of the time. Sadly, most drivers are unaware of this significant likelihood of failure, as they are lead to believe, mainly by mainstream advertising, that the car’s systems are truly reliable. Regardless of the manufacturer, and the added costs of such warning systems, which averages around $3,000.00, tests proved that no on vehicle was 100% reliable in detecting all hazards behind a vehicle.

We agree with the AAA that all motorists, regardless of which safety features their vehicle has, should always look behind and to the sides of their car and check the rear and side-view mirrors before backing up. Backing into a parking space will can assist drivers in eventually preventing accident, unfortunately, most parking lots require vehicle “head in” parking. This is precisely one of the reasons why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is requiring all new vehicles, by the model year 2018, to have mandatory backup cameras. The government hope is that requiring such cameras will help avoid wrongful deaths and personal injuries. According to the NHTSA, backing up accidents cause more than 250 deaths and over 15,000 personal injuries each year.

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