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Bicycle-Accident-300x267In Florida and other States, bicyclists have a right to use of the roadway.  Drivers have a duty to share the roadway with bicyclists.  Whether the bicyclist is riding solo or whether there is a peloton or pack of riders, drivers should be mindful and careful any time that there is a bicyclist or there are bicyclists on or near the the roadway.

As noted by Section 316.2065, Florida Statutes – Bicycle Regulations, a person propelling a vehicle by human power has all of the legal rights that apply to drivers of any other vehicles in the State of Florida.  As further noted by Section 316.083, Florida Statutes – Overtaking and Passing a Vehicle, the driver of a motor vehicle must give a bicyclist a safe distance of at least 3 feet when passing a bicyclist.   This particular statute is for the safety and protection of bicyclists under the laws for the State of Florida.

Certainly. all drivers in the State of Florida should be close attention any time that there is a pedestrian or bicyclist on or near the roadway.  It is abundantly clear that a pedestrian or bicyclist is no match for any sized motor vehicle whether it is a compact vehicle or commercial vehicle.  When a pedestrian or bicyclist is hit by a motor vehicle, the resulting personal injuries can be quite devastating to the injury victim and the family.

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Florida is a hub of commerce for interstate and intrastate trucking companies.  Interstate 95 runs from South Florida all the way to the Florida Georgia Border.  Interstate 75 runs from South Florida all the way to the Florida Georgia Border through the heart of the State.  Finally, Interstate 10 runs from Jacksonville on the Eastside of the state all the way through Pensacola and onward to the Florida Alabama Border.  With these roadways and others, you will commonly see 18 wheelers, other commercial vehicles, and, yes, trucking accidents.  Some of these trucking accidents result in serious injuries to driver and occupants of passenger vehicles which by their size and weight are no match for any collision with a heavy duty semi tractor trailer or commercial vehicle.

A recent crash was reported on Interstate 10 that involved a passenger vehicle and a semi tractor trailer.  It was reported that an 18 year old young man (Shawn Back) from the Atlanta area (Suwanee, Georgia) died.  He was a passenger in a Honda CRV that was driven by Shin Ok.  The collision between the Honda CRV and the truck took place near the exit for Highway 301.  The semi tractor trailer was pulling out of an emergency lane at the time of the crash.  You can read more about this crash at Deadly Trucking Accident Reported in Duval County, Florida. 

Florida is a comparative fault state. In other words, a case can be brought by the injury victim OR the family of the deceased injury victim even in situations where there is a percentage of fault attributed to two or more drivers. In other words, a legal case can still be brought even if the fault or liability is not completely 100 % on one particular driver.

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Slip and fall incidents commonly take place at restaurants, hotels, shopping malls, department stores, fast food restaurants, and other locations. A property owner or business is liable for the injuries caused by a slip and fall incident or accident if the property owner or business knew or should have known that there was a dangerous condition on the premises and it failed to either warn guests of the dangerous condition OR failed to take remedial measures to clean up or correct the problem.  While slip and fall cases are quite common, the proof required to successful pursue a case or claim on behalf of a personal injury victim is not always so simple or easy to present.  To successfully pursue a slip and fall case to a settlement or jury verdict, there must be four elements established as follows:

Duty;

Breach of Duty;

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Texting-While-Driving-300x200While technology has brought many advances to make vehicles safer, technology has also brought advances that has made driving much more dangerous – namely the development of iPhones, Droids, and other devices.  Just about every driver on the roads owns and travels with a mobile phone device.  Certainly, having a mobile phone while traveling can make the driver, work, and personal errands a bit more efficient and effective.  You can call ahead for reservations.  You can call a work colleague to re-arrange appointments and check e-mails and text messages.  However convenient that a mobile phone has made life in general, it is made the operation of a motor vehicle so much more dangerous.  A troubling survey was completed which place the State of Florida as the second worst state in the United States for distracted driving.  The survey which was conducted by Everquote, Inc., an online insurance company, reported that 92 percent of drivers who owned mobile phones used the mobile phone in a moving vehicle.  While it is lawful in the State of Florida to make and receive calls during vehicular travel, this does not mean that it is safe to do so for many people especially those who are poor drivers to begin with.  Anything that causes a distraction for some drivers can lead to an automobile accident.

It should be noted that there is law in place in the State of Florida that prohibits texting while driving.  The same law prohibits any browsing or reading of a mobile device while driving. You can read more about the Florida law at Section 316.305 – Florida Statutes – Wireless Communication Devices – Prohibition.

When distracted driving takes place, traffic regulations and rules of the road tend to get violated.  This, in turn, leads to automobile accidents and related personal injuries.  If a person has been the victim of  a distracted driving accident, the victim can pursue a case or claim for damages. There are essentially two types of damages to pursue:  Economic Damages and Non-Economic Damages.

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On highways and roads throughout the United States, you will see semi-tractors, dump trucks, logging trucks, cement trucks, and other commercial vehicles.  These trucks and vehicles are quite large when compared to the typical passenger vehicle on the road.  When there is a crash or collision with a commercial truck, the resulting personal injuries can be quite devastating.  

If the truck driver is wholly or even partially at fault, there can be a case or claim for compensation or damages brought against the truck driver and commercial truck company.  Some States have limitations on compensation for pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental anguish.  Most do not have such limitations.  A review of the applicable laws in place by a qualified and experienced Truck Accident Attorney can provide the necessary guidance a victim and family needs moving forward with a case or claim against the truck driver and the truck company.  

Truck drivers have a duty to operate the commercial trucks in a reasonably safe manner and to obey all applicable traffic statutes and ordinances.  Commercial truck drivers have training requirements and should understand the proper operation of the trucks.  Speed limits should be obeyed and when turns are attempted – the turns should be made in a reasonably safe manner taking into account the speed limit, traffic, and road conditions.  

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https://www.davidalanwolf.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Skateboarder.001-300x296.jpegPeople commonly see campaigns for the safety of bicyclists, motorcyclists, and others.  It is not too often you hear or see campaigns for the safety of skateboarders.  Drivers should be on the look out for skateboarders as well. Let’s face it – a skateboarder is just a pedestrian on top of a piece of wood or plastic with wheels on it.  A skateboard is not match for the weight, power, volume, or force of a motor vehicle.  When a skateboard is hit by an automobile, the resulting personal injuries can be quite significant. Tragically, a skateboarder can and does often die as a result of the injuries sustained in an automobile / skateboarder accident.

Florida is a comparative fault state. In other words, the liability or fault for the accident can be apportioned to more than just one person. Let’s explore an example.  Let’s say that a skateboard is riding on the side of the street.  The skateboarder is then hit by an automobile and suffers personal injuries. Who is at fault?  Additional facts and information would need to be established to determine the fault or liability for the personal injuries sustained by the skateboarder.  In the State of Florida, a police officer usually arrives at the scene after the accident rather than personally observing the accident as it takes place.  The police officer will evaluate the scene of the accident and take witness statements.  Then, the police officer will decide whether or not to issue a citation.  In the State of Florid, there is the Accident Report Privilege which means that the contents of the police report and the issuance of a traffic citation (if any) are not admissible in evidence in a civil trial.  As such, the issuance or non-issuance of a traffic citation for an accident involving a skateboard is not dispositive or controlling on the decision of the skateboarder / family of the skateboarder to pursue a civil case or insurance claim on behalf of the skateboarder.

Certainly, drivers should pay close attention to traffic and conditions when operating a motor vehicle.  Whenever there are pedestrians, bicyclists, and, yes, skateboarders nearby, the most prudent action should be for the driver to slow down and attempt to change lanes away from the bicyclist, pedestrian, or skateboarder if possible.  Whenever there is a death as a result of an automobile accident involving another driver, passenger, pedestrian, bicyclist, or skateboarder, there will be a Florida Traffic Homicide Investigation completed by local law enforcement and / or the Florida Highway Patrol.  This report can contain important details and finding about the automobile accident.

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Amusemnt-Park-Injuries-284x300In the State of Florida, millions of adults and children visit theme parks and amusement parks every year.  Most visits are filled with fun and the “magic” of being in a wonderful make believe world filled with characters, rides, candy, junk food, and music.  At times, a visit to a Florida amusement park or theme park can be quite different when an adult or child is injured as a result of the negligence of the theme park and its staff.  It should be pointed out that an amusement park or theme park is not liable every time there is an incident or injury.  In other words, an amusement park or theme park is not an insurer of the safety of the guests.  The theme park / amusement park has a duty to provide and maintain a reasonably safe environment for the guests – many of which include children.

Like other types of personal injury cases, there are four essential elements to establish for a case or claim to be brought against a theme park or amusement park personal injuries as follows:

Duty;

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In the State of Florida and other States, hit and run accidents continue to occur on a frequent basis.  The at-fault driver flees the scene for a number of reasons or for no reason at all. The driver may flee the scene because of one or more of the following reasons:

Failure to have a valid driver’s license;

Failure to carry the proper automobile insurance;

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https://www.davidalanwolf.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Car-Crash.001-300x155.jpegIn the aftermath of a Florida automobile accident, there are a number of challenges and questions that arise.  Many such questions involve insurance coverage and benefits.  Florida has unique and confusing laws as to insurance coverage requirements, insurance policies, and entitlement to damages for pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and mental anguish.  As a Florida Personal Injury Attorney, one of the first questions that I ask a prospective client involves insurance coverage.  More often than not, potential clients do not know or understand the type or amount of coverage in place under the applicable Florida automobile insurance policy.  In addition, it is a bit unknown up front as to the amount and type of coverage in place for the other driver who is at fault for the Florida crash.

The fault or liability for the accident is just the start of a potential case.  Just because the other driver is deemed to be at fault or responsible per the police report.  The personal injury case or claim does not begin and end with the police report.  In fact, the police report in most personal injury cases cannot be used as evidence at trial.  Back to the issue of Insurance, Florida only requires a motor vehicle owner to carry two types of insurance in the form of PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance and PD (Property Damage) insurance.  Let’s day that there is a rear end crash in which Jane Doe (the victim) suffers serious personal injuries in the form of neck fracture.  The at-fault driver was covered under an automobile insurance policy with PIP and Property damage coverage.   The victim was covered under a minimal policy as well in the form of PIP and Property Damage.  Under this Florida Automobile Accident fact scenario, the victim can get up to $10,000 for medical bills under the victim’s PIP policy and get up to $10,000 for the property damage claim.  Even though the personal injuries are quite serious, there is no insurance in place under this fact pattern for the bills beyond the $10,000 or pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, or mental anguish.

From a practice standpoint, it is important that the at-fault driver / owner have Bodily Injury insurance.  In addition, it is helpful if the victim has access to what is called Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist insurance.  Both Bodily Injury insurance and Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist insurance is optional.  The amount of coverage can range from $10,000 to over $1,000,000.

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https://www.davidalanwolf.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Personal-Injury-Wolf.001-300x71.jpegThe Personal Injury Wolf is a source of information for victims and families.  David Wolf is an attorney with over 26 years of experience.  He is an attorney, advocate, and author.  When there is an accident or incident leading to a personal injury, there are often questions, challenges, and issues presented to the victim and family.  The Personal Injury Wolf will provide articles, advice, and answers that you can use in the aftermath of an accident causing personal injuries.  Furthermore, the posts will also help many people, businesses, and even governmental entities put measures in place that will avoid serious accidents and incidents leading to personal injury.

Certainly, the laws of the respective jurisdiction should be followed.  Furthermore, there is something to be said of common sense, attentiveness, and unselfishness when it comes to accident and injury prevention.  For instance, many automobile accidents can be avoided with better driving that should include following the posted speed limits, obeying traffic signs and signals, adjusting travel for traffic, road conditions, and weather, and being on the lookout for pedestrians, cyclists, and others.  Imagine how many accidents can be avoiding by following these simple steps.

When analyzing a potential personal injury case, there are typically four elements to establish.  This is applicable to all kinds of injury cases or claims including accidents involving automobiles, trucks, bicycles, pedestrians, and other traffic crashes.  The four basic elements also can apply to injuries related to a wide variety of incidents.  David Wolf – Personal Injury Attorney – provides a Free Consultation on all personal injury cases.  To find out if your case is one that can be pursued from both a legal and practical standpoint, contact David Wolf today for a a free consultation.

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