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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.

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.

A recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) confirms what Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney Joseph Lipsky unfortunately knows too well, that the number of pedestrian wrongful deaths increased by 19 percent from 2009 to 2014. Sadly, pedestrian deaths are now at their largest proportion as compared to all car accident fatalities over the past 25 years.

The study estimates that there is a 10% increase in the number of pedestrians wrongful deaths in 2015, in comparison to 2014. Pedestrian wrongful deaths have risen at a steady rate of thirteen percent annually since 2005. Incredibly, Florida is one of four states which account for over forty percent of all pedestrian vs motor vehicle deaths, the other states are California, Texas and New York.

The number of pedestrian fatalities continues to rise despite the ongoing efforts of states to use technological innovations, increased law enforcement and more pedestrian education. Of course, a decrease in cell phone use by pedestrians would certainly help decrease such deaths.

Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorney Joseph Lipsky frequently represents injured victims of car accidents caused by drivers who are distracted due to texting while driving. Lately, he has seen a drastic rise in the number of distracted walking accidents. That’s right, distracted walking, when a pedestrian is so engrossed in using their phone that they disregard the dangers around themselves, and actually fall or walk in front of a car.

Mr. Lipsky’s experience is apparently not a fluke. According to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal, texting while walking is now one of the most often cited reasons for an injured person who is seen at an emergency room. The National Safety Council’s own research indicates that when someone is injured while texting or reading on their phone, those injuries are substantial, and include fractures, concussions and dislocations.

Texting while walking results in what scientists refer to as inattentive blindness. This lack of awareness to a pedestrian’s surroundings resulted in over 2500 emergency room visits. In fact, the study’s research demonstrates that cell phone use while walking results in more than ten percent of all pedestrian related injuries.

Choosing the right Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney can be an extremely important decision. Finding a personal injury attorney in Fort Lauderdale with the experience and a history of success is one of the best ways to know that your case will be handled right.

If you would like to know more about choosing a potential Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney, please contact the Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A. or call 1-888-FLA-LAW8 today to schedule a free initial consultation.

Choosing a Personal Injury Attorney

The Broward County Sheriff’s Department along with state and local law enforcement plan to ramp-up the presence of DUI checkpoints as we near the 4th of July. These checkpoints are, of course, intended to lower the number of drunk driving accidents which tend to escalate right around the time we celebrate our nation’s independence. Many people do not know that in 1990, the United State Supreme Court ruled that such checkpoints were probably an infringement upon citizen’s rights, but were permissible under certain guidelines, including police department’s notifying their communities about the location and date of such checkpoints. As a result, many drivers who go out knowing that they will be drinking purposefully avoid these checkpoints.

Sadly, a larger police presence and an increased number of checkpoints will not deter everyone from driving drunk. Nor will they prevent some of those people from causing accidents and seriously injuring or killing other people on the road. In fact, there are about 1,100 DUI related wrongful deaths in Florida every year, and over 11,000 such alcohol related car accidents nationwide annually.

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Summers in Florida are filled with motorcycle rallies and events, making them an ideal time to brush up on your motorcycle safety, in fact, May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. However, even the safest biker cannot prevent other drivers from driving negligently and may still be injured in a serious motorcycle accident. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, motorcycle riders are 30 times more likely to be involved in a deadly accident, as compared to car and truck drivers and occupants; and, motorcyclists are five times a likely to be injured in an accident. Sadly, motorcycle related wrongful deaths have increased by over 130 percent over the past ten years.

Despite the public perception of victims of motorcycle accidents, they deserve justice when they are injured due to another motorist’s carelessness. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or surrounding areas of Florida, attorney Joseph Lipsky is here to help ensure you get the justice you are due.

Keeping Safe

Consumers in Fort Lauderdale like consumers throughout the country, have a right to expect the products they use will be free of defects and will operate as intended. Sadly, many men, women, and children, who are the most susceptible to dangerous products, in the Fort Lauderdale area are injured or killed every year by defectively designed or improperly manufactured products, and may not even know they have a right to seek compensation for their damages.

Dangerous products, including recalls, are monitored by the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission. In Florida, product complaints are monitored by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in Tallahassee. According to the CPSC, there are over 200,000 emergency room visits annually due to dangerous toys.

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