Why You Should Be Careful On the Road Thanksgiving Eve

Why You Should Be Extra Careful On the Road Thanksgiving Eve

You’ve probably heard about the dangers of driving on Thanksgiving. After the big meal, roads often fill up with people driving back home. Or, in recent years, to camp out at their store of choice to make sure they’re first in line for Black Friday deals.

 

These are people likely to be feeling a bit drowsy from all the food. Not to mention the fact that many of them have probably had one too many alcoholic beverages. The night after Thanksgiving can be a scary time to be on the road.

 

However, the night before may be even more dangerous.

 


 

“Blackout Wednesday”

 

You may not have heard yet, but the night before the big feast has gotten the notorious nickname of “Blackout Wednesday.” Why? Quite simply, because of all the people who end up getting blackout drunk.

 

If you’re out at the bars on Blackout Wednesday, you’ll probably see a lot of college kids back to see their hometown friends, or adults who would rather not think about what the conversation at the dinner table will be like with their extended family the next day. Unfortunately, all of these people have to head home eventually, and many end up driving themselves.

 

All that drunk driving means more traffic fatalities on the road. In fact, hundreds of people are killed by drunk drivers every year on Blackout Wednesday and Thanksgiving Day.

 

If You Are Hit By a Drunk Driver

 

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If you go out Thanksgiving Eve, make sure you have a designated driver and take the right steps to avoid a DUI accident. Unfortunately, even if your designated driver sticks to their promises all night, obeys all traffic laws, and your crew is respectful as passengers, you still run the risk of getting into an accident with a drunk driver.

 

Use the following tips to give yourself and everyone with you the best chance at staying safe and getting the compensation you deserve if an accident does occur due to another driver’s negligence.

 

Be Extra Cautious Out on the Road

It’s not easy after a few drinks, but make sure everyone in your car is wearing their seat belt and isn’t doing anything to distract your driver. If the driver needs directions, make sure they hand their phone or navigation system to a passenger. Also make sure your driver isn’t speeding or running any red lights.

 

If your damages exceed what your insurance can cover, you may have to take your case to court. Taking all of the above precautions will reduce any arguments the drunk driver could have regarding your level of fault in the accident.

 

Call the Police

For the most part, you want to treat this accident like any other accident, documenting evidence and getting all information you need. In addition to this, though, make sure everyone sticks around until the police arrive.

 

You’re always supposed to call the cops, but in a typical fender bender this is a step that many people understandably skip. You can’t do that if drunk driving is involved, and you don’t want to. Making sure the other driver gets a chemical test is key to proving that they were intoxicated at the time of the accident.

 

See a Doctor Quickly

Enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner if you can, but be sure to get checked out by a doctor within the next two weeks so you can file a claim for the appropriate amount of medical bills. Your personal injury protection will only cover you if you seek medical treatment within 14 days of your accident.

 

For claims of under $10,000, you can receive compensation regardless of whether you or the other driver in the accident were consuming alcohol. If you sustain permanent injuries or your injuries exceed $10,000, however, the other driver’s BAC will definitely come into play. Their insurance company will be more willing to make a fair settlement offer if that means they can avoid a DUI lawsuit.

 

Meet with a Florida Auto Accident Lawyer. After an accident, a personal injury attorney can help you get the compensation you need for any damages and losses you may have suffered at the hands of a drunk driver.

 

 

 

 

south florida thunderstorm rain auto accidents

Keeping Safe While Driving In South Florida Rain

Living in South Florida, it’s inevitable to deal with rain. According to statistics by US Climate Data, the West Palm Beach alone area receives 62 inches of precipitation annually. When researchers ranked the top 10 wettest cities to live in, two of which are in South Florida (Miami and West Palm Beach).

 

Driving  in South Florida is a dangerous and even deadly situation to be in under wet conditions. More than 7 thousand people lose their life in weather-related auto accidents.
According to statistics by US Climate Data, the West Palm Beach area receives 62 inches of precipitation annually.
When researchers ranked the top 10 wettest cities to live in, two of which are in South Florida (Miami and West Palm Beach).

 

The AMA (American Meteorological Society) published a study that highlights the increase of dangerous road conditions and the elevated risk involved.

 

“[Scott] Stevens, a data analyst and meteorologist at the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies, and colleagues looked at 125,012 fatal car crashes in the Lower 48 states from 2006 to 2011, factoring in how many cars are on the road, to calculate the risk of a fatal accident. While other studies have used police reports and the nearest weather station to calculate rain and snow conditions, Stevens said his is the first study to use more precise weather radar data. It was able to distinguish how hard the rain or snow was falling to come up with results showing an increase in fatal crashes even in rain of less than one-tenth of an inch per hour.”

 

All the evidence points to the same: when the road is wet, your chance of being involved in an accident can drastically increase. As the visibility level lowers due to rain and how the road becomes slippery when water has accumulated on it.

Hydroplaning becomes an issue when rain is especially heavy – a common occurrence in Florida. Hydroplaning refers to a situation when a car starts to slide uncontrollably because of the tires encountering more water that it can scatter. As the water carries the car, the brakes and other controls become useless. Quick turns and movements on wet roads can also cause the vehicle to hydroplane as well.

 

 

The Hazard of Hazard Lights

You may see other drivers with hazard lights flashing to indicate they are moving slower than surrounding traffic during stormy conditions. But in Florida, it’s actually illegal to use hazard lights while driving unless you are part of a funeral procession. Flashing lights were designed with the express purpose of indicating a hazard to other drivers, and they should only be activated when your vehicle is a hazard on the side of the road. Using them under any other circumstance is not only unnecessary, but it also causes confusion. If it’s raining, the only lights you should turn on are your headlights.

Rainy weather may make driving more difficult, but it does not relieve drivers of their responsibilities behind the wheel. With proper vehicle maintenance, knowledge of local laws and a bit of common sense, you can travel safer during a downpour along with a helpful tips to keep in mind.

 

 

Keeping Safe While Driving In South Florida Rain 1 DUI Accidents South Florida Injury Law Firm

5 Tips to avoid an auto accident
in slippery road conditions

Check Tire Pressure Regularly
Tires with weak tread may not grip a wet road as well as newer tires with thicker tread. Make sure your tires are safe for the roads.
Before setting out when rain is present or forecasted, it is even more important than normal to make sure your tires are in good shape and have adequate tread depth since bald tires can increase the risk of hydroplaning.

Gust Awareness
Drive at a speed that compensates for high speed gusts that can otherwise impact your vehicle.
Watch out for larger vehicles.
Larger vehicles are much harder to control when it is windy and can have difficulty staying in their lane.

Maintain Distance
Maintain a large distance with the car in front of you. Cars may have difficulty stopping due to wet conditions. Brake earlier than usual, and apply less force to increase the stopping distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you while also alerting the driver behind you that you are reducing your speed.

Know Anything Can Happen
Often times during storms, other drivers fail to drive safely. Make sure to watch around you and drive defensively.

Get There Safe, Not Fast
Getting to your destination without an accident is more important than keeping a schedule. Maintain a safe speed limit and be sure to obey all traffic rules and signals. Drive more slowly, take turns slowly, and be sure to give your fellow motorists ample following distance.

In other words, when it rains, whether heavy or light, slow it down. The most important thing you can do to protect yourself and others when driving in the rain is adjusting how you drive according to the current weather conditions.

 

 

Keeping Safe While Driving In South Florida Rain 2 DUI Accidents South Florida Injury Law Firm

Have you been involved in an
auto accident under rainy conditions?

Sadly, even riders who follow the above tips can still end up hurt by a reckless or distracted driver.
Determining which driver is at fault for an accident requires an investigation of the collision. The investigation involves the review of all pieces of evidence that are available, such as photographs or video surveillance of the accident, testimony from any witnesses to the accident, and a digital reconstruction of the accident that incorporates all relevant factors, such as the rainy weather.

If you were hurt in an auto accident because of a drunk, distracted, or otherwise reckless driver, you can call The South Florida Injury Law Firm anytime at (954) 488-JEFF – we’re available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Complete our online form to get a free case evaluation and our team will assist with the legal aspects of your claim so you can focus on your health . Remember, the consultation is completely free! That means you don’t owe us anything until we recover for you.

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Auto Accident Liabilities: Finding Who Is At Fault

Accidents happen every day. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 6,452,000 police-reported accidents in one recent year. That’s an AVERAGE of over 17,000 accidents per day! Thankfully, a great deal of these are minor accidents. Regardless of the severity of the accident, there is one critical factor that all insurance companies will want to know:  Who is at fault?

 


Determining liability in a car accident—whether pursued through the insurance company’s claim process or through a personal injury lawsuit—will only be paid out if the injured plaintiff can prove negligence.
There are times when the blame is clear, such as in most rear-end accidents. However, there are other times when there is more than one individual at fault.

 


 

Here is a look at some common car accident scenarios and the process of evaluation that goes into determining fault.

 

  1. Left-turn Accidents

    Left-turn accidents occur when one vehicle is going straight through the intersection while another car is making a left turn and collides into the side of the straight-moving vehicle. Like rear-end accidents, liability is generally easy to determine. Left-turning vehicles have a lower priority in this scenario, meaning that—unless there is a green arrow—they must yield to those moving straight through the intersection. A study from the federal government discovered that the left-turning driver most often committed a critical error, such as “turning with an obstructed view,” “misjudgment of gap or speed,” “inadequate surveillance,” or “false assumption of the other driver’s intentions.”These are all errors that place liability for an accident at the hands of the left-turning driver.

    Are there ever cases where the other driver is at fault, though?

    Yes. While rare, the driver of the straight-moving car may incur some liability for an accident. One such circumstance is in the case of an accident in which the driver of the straight moving car was traveling at a speed far in excess of the speed limit, making it impossible for the turning driver to either see him or her in time or to calculate how much time he or she has to complete the turn.

  2. T-Bone Accidents

    In a collision where one vehicle rear-ends another, the driver of the trailing vehicle is at fault far more often than the leading vehicle. Lawyers will look for signs of distraction, speeding, and following too close on the part of the trailing driver, while also keeping in mind that the lead driver could share blame. Mechanical failure can also contribute to these accidents, so lawyers will pay attention to any signs of a defective part.

    Typically, in a T-bone accident, one vehicle comes flying through an intersection without stopping. The driver might miss the presence of a stop sign or fail to notice that a light turned red. Drunk driving or distracted driving can increase the risk of a T-bone accident. Usually, in these scenarios, you might assume the driver who struck the side door of a vehicle bears liability for the accident. However, you should ask several questions to help determine liability in this scenario.Keeping Safe While Driving In South Florida Rain 3 DUI Accidents South Florida Injury Law Firm

  3. Running The Light

    Which driver ran the light? In an intersection with a red light, consider which driver ignored traffic laws and came through the intersection without stopping for a red light. Usually, other drivers can easily confirm which driver ignored the light.Which driver ignored a stop sign? In an accident at an intersection with a stop sign, the driver responsible for the accident may have failed to stop for the stop sign or came through the intersection after another driver had already started progressing through the intersection.

    Were both drivers moving at the time of the accident?

    Sometimes, in a T-bone accident, one driver might strike another, stationary vehicle. Sometimes, a car might stall in the middle of the intersection or get stuck due to traffic. While drivers should try to avoid sitting in an intersection, sometimes, circumstances make it impossible to avoid it completely. If one vehicle had to stop, and another one strikes it in the side, the driver who moved after the other vehicle stopped bears liability for the accident.

  4. Head-on Collisions

    Perhaps one of the most deadly types of accidents is a head-on collision. Sometimes referred to as a frontal crash, this type of accident occurs when two vehicles strike one another while traveling in opposite directions. When the fronts of two vehicles collide, it is often at high speed.Survival may depend upon the stretch of road, the reaction time of one or both drivers, and the type of vehicles involved. With the front end of the car receiving the brunt of the impact, larger and heavier vehicles protect occupants better than smaller, lightweight cars.

    Consider the weights of the following vehicles and the force of the impact when they meet, head-on, at high speeds:
    Car (SUV): 3,778 pounds
    Pickup truck: 5,217 pounds
    Minivan: 4,485 pounds

  5. Single-Car Accidents

    Single-car accidents occur when a motorist loses control of a vehicle rolls over, drives off the road, or collides with a stationary object. On the surface, one might assume single-car accidents are always the fault of the driver. But that isn’t the case. Drivers in single-car accidents too-often blame themselves for a crash. In fact, as often as not, fault for single-car accidents lies elsewhere.To begin, even without a collision there can still be another motorist who causes a single-car accident. Take, for example, the common scenario in which a car swerves and crashes into a tree or road barrier in reaction to erratic driving by a second vehicle that goes unharmed. In that case, the driver of the second vehicle has fault, even though he wasn’t technically involved in the accident.

Similar to other scenarios above, automotive manufacturers and municipal road contractors may also have fault for single car accidents if their actions create unsafe conditions leading to a crash. Another party who could have fault for a single-vehicle accident is a drug manufacturer, if it markets a medication with dangerous side-effects without warning about them, leading a driver to fall asleep or to become disoriented behind the wheel.

 

 


What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident

The most important step immediately after a car accident is to seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine, accept transport to the nearest hospital. Internal injuries are often invisible to the naked eye while causing serious harm to your organs. Only a medical professional can determine the true extent of your injuries.

Do provide as much information as you can to law enforcement. If possible, take pictures of the accident scene and if you are too injured to do so, ask a witness to take them for you. Collect the contact information for witnesses and most importantly, try to remain calm. Do not approach or talk to the other driver.

 


 

How a Florida Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You Fight Back

 

As we said at the outset, fault forms the core of the inquiry into who has legal liability for a car accident and the damage it inflicts on innocent victims. Accordingly, lawyers, insurance adjusters, judges, and juries focus a significant amount of effort on determining fault in car accident cases.

 

Finding fault means investigating facts in detail. An attorney representing a client injured in a car accident will usually try to collect as much evidence as possible about the accident, and then (sometimes with the help of forensic experts) will piece that evidence together to form a picture of whose actions led to the collision or accident. In performing this task, lawyers pursue the facts as far as they go until there is no longer a provable, reasonably foreseeable connection between someone’s actions and the accident and injuries.

The more time and information you can provide to your lawyer to do this work, the better your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve. Once fault has been determined, a personal injury attorney can help you file a personal injury lawsuit and fair compensation.

 

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A skilled Florida personal injury attorney can ease your burden in dealing with all of this and help you fight to get the compensation you deserve. Reach out today for a free case review. We will look over the details of your situation and let you know what options are available to you.

 

 

When your life has been turned upside down due to another’s negligence and you are drowning in bills and struggling to recover, you want to make sure you work with the best law firm you can find.

 

What is the difference between a high-quality injury firm and one that will only do the bare minimum?

The people who work there. That is why The South Florida Injury Law Firm is made up of some of the most well-respected and successful injury attorneys around.

Our lawyers have more than 60 years of combined injury law experience, and they have handled just about every type of Florida injury case you can imagine. They are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an elite group of attorneys who have helped settle injury cases worth more than a million dollars. They have been named to Florida Trend’s Legal Elite. They are recognized by the Florida Worker’s Advocates group.

Perhaps even more importantly, they have received glowing reviews from clients – and they get results.

Teen Drivers: Why Floridians Should Steer Clear This Season

Teen Drivers: Why Floridians Should Steer Clear This Season

Teen Drivers: Why Floridians Should Steer Clear This Season

In one recent Ohio accident, a 17-year-old driver was speeding and overcorrected, which ejected two teens from the vehicle and injured the other passengers. One of those teens was killed in the crash.

The reason the driver was speeding? The teens were running late to prom.

Over 5,000 teens are injured in car accidents every year across the nation during prom and graduation season, and one-third of teen driver accidents involve alcohol use. A full one-third of people under age 21 who die in accidents do so during graduation season, and many of them die in car accidents. Because of this, the months of April, May, and June are known as the most dangerous months for teens to be on the road.

It doesn’t end with teens, though – all Florida drivers need to be cautious. Even in the best of times, teens don’t typically drive with the same caution older drivers use. They take more risks and are less likely to make responsible choices in sudden situations. Teens are much more likely to be distracted drivers due to phone use, conversations, and peer pressure from teen passengers.

Now imagine that magnified by the lure of high school ending and the freedom of adulthood coming. Of teens wanting to have one last hurrah with their friends before they head off to college. That’s where we are right now.

Drinking and Driving on Prom or Graduation Night

Too many teens choose to celebrate these important life events with binge drinking. On graduation night, the percentage of alcohol-related fatal accidents moves up from 33 percent to 40 percent.

Teens often underestimate the risks of drunk driving. They may assume that someone at the party hasn’t had anything to drink and is safe to drive, but that’s frequently not the case.

If you are in an accident with a teen driver, the teen’s negligence may have caused your injuries, and you owe it to yourself and your family to hold them accountable for their actions and sue for compensation.

Understanding Florida Personal Injury Lawsuits

If you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit against a teen, here are the basics of car accident laws in Florida.

First, you must file a claim within four years of the date of the accident. If you don’t file within four years, you have no rights to compensation.

The court system will look at all parties involved in the accident and assign percentages of fault to each party. Your compensation will be reduced according to your percentage of fault.

For example, if you were speeding when the accident occurred, you may be held responsible for 20 percent of the accident. If the court decides to award you $100,000 for your injuries, that means the maximum amount you can actually receive under the pure comparative negligence rule is $80,000.

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Florida also has a no-fault insurance law, which means that each driver is covered first by $10,000 in personal injury protection insurance. This applies no matter who is at fault for the accident. You can file for additional compensation only if the accident caused serious injuries. The courts also place caps on the amount of damages you can recover.

Want to learn more? Reach out today for a free consultation. One of our skilled Florida injury attorneys will be able to look at the facts of your case and tell you what options are available to you. 

About the Author: 

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.

How to Avoid a Valentine's Day Drunk Driving Accident in Florida

How to Avoid a Valentine’s Day Drunk Driving Accident in Florida

How to Avoid a Valentine's Day Drunk Driving Accident in Florida

We don’t tend to think of Valentine’s Day as a “drinking holiday” like some others, but many people do drink when they go on Valentine’s dates. A lot of people.

 

In fact, One breathalyzer company collected data from 100,000 anonymous users and found that Valentine’s Day ranks as the third most popular American holiday for people to register as legally drunk on breathalyzer tests. The average blood alcohol content level on Valentine’s Day is 0.081, outranked only by New Year’s Eve at 0.095 and Super Bowl Sunday at 0.087. The findings also reveal that people may begin drinking earlier in the day on Valentine’s Day as compared to other holidays.

 

Like Erin Lynch. On Valentine’s Day in 2016, the Boston-area woman was allegedly driving drunk when she crashed into another driver. That’s bad enough, but the officers who asked to see her license after the crash reported that she actually drank wine in front of them. Police recovered a bottle of wine and a wine glass from the scene, and she was transported to a local hospital and charged with various crimes.

 

Now, chances are your night won’t end like Ms. Lynch’s, but why even take the risk? Celebrate Valentine’s Day without the use of alcohol by trying one of these Valentine’s Day date ideas that don’t involve drinking.

 

Cook a Meal Together

 

If you want a delicious meal without the waiting time and inflated prices, skip the restaurant and cook a meal together. Choose your favorite cuisine or try a new recipe. Whatever kind of meal you prepare, have fun in the kitchen together. You can make an alcohol-free sparkling drink to accompany your meal.

 

Go for a Walk

 

An evening stroll can be a wonderful bonding experience. Watch the sunset together or star gaze while holding hands. Spending time outside is proven to boost your mood – why not do it together?

 

Go Shopping

 

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a shopping date. Visit a used book store or a thrift shop and find an inexpensive gift for each other.

 

Read to Each Other

 

If you both like to read, choose love poems or romantic passages and read them out loud to one another as personal expressions of love.

 

Play Video Games

 

Many of us grew up playing video games for fun and healthy competition, but they can also be a great way to bond. So if you’re both into the idea, break out your console and play an old-school game together to get closer with pixels.

 

Share a Dessert

 

Beat the crowds by visiting a pastry shop or an ice cream parlor and share a dessert for a sweet and inexpensive Valentine’s date.

 

Take a Class Together

 

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Would you like to learn how to dance? Sign up to take a class together. You can find a class on almost any topic. Choose one that suits both your interests and enjoy learning together.

 

Take a Road Trip

 

A quick overnight road trip can help you break away from life’s stresses and enjoy one-on-one time together. Book a night at a bed-and-breakfast or choose a hotel with an ocean view.

 

Visit a Spa

 

A couples’ massage is a relaxing and romantic choice for both of you.

 

With these tips, you can enjoy a romantic Valentine’s Day without the chance of driving drunk. However, you might notice that many of the above tips still involve going out, and even if you don’t drink, others still will.

 

Not drinking will reduce your risk of personal injury, but it won’t eliminate it. If you’re hurt by a drunk driver, fight back with the help of a knowledgeable Florida personal injury attorney.

 

 

About the Author: 

 

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.

Why More People Drink and Drive During the Christmas Season

Why More People Drink and Drive During the Christmas Season

Why More People Drink and Drive During the Christmas Season

 

The Christmas season is a time for family and friends to come together in celebration of the holiday and of the bonds they share. It’s also a very special time for young children, who celebrate the Christmas season with unbridled enthusiasm.

 

Alcohol consumption is central to the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations of many people. Fortunately most choose to drink responsibly, including planning ahead to prevent driving while under the influence. However, drunk driving still increases dramatically during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, as do DUI accidents and fatalities.

 

So why does drunk driving increase this time of the year, and how can you protect your family?

 

Why Drunk Driving Increases Around the Holidays

 

There are a number of reasons that alcohol consumption increases during the days leading up to Christmas and over the New Year’s weekend.

 

Work Parties

 

Many Christmas and New Year’s events include alcohol, and social binge drinking is often encouraged. Office holiday parties often involve the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Most of us have heard stories of employees who overindulge at the company Christmas party and make questionable decisions that become hot topics for office gossip.

 

Unfortunately, some attendees may also make the very poor decision to drive home while impaired, risking a DUI and potentially bringing great harm to other drivers on the road.

 

Family and Friend Get-togethers

 

The holidays are a time for families and friends to eat, drink, and be merry. Partially because of this, many family and friend get-togethers include social drinking, and some guests may drink more than originally intended. If guests don’t have a plan in place prior to the event, they’re much more likely to drive home drunk.

 

If you are hosting a get-together and plan to serve alcohol, you can take some precautions to keep your guests from driving home drunk. Limit the number of alcoholic beverages you serve guests if possible, and switch to non-alcoholic beverages an hour or so before the event ends. Also be sure to serve plenty of snacks, and keep an eye on any guests that become impaired to ensure that they don’t attempt to drive home.

 

De-stressing

 

The holidays can be enjoyable, but are also a stressful time for many Americans. The hustle and bustle of the holidays can be exhausting, and holiday event planning is often overwhelming. Further, family get-togethers can bring up old conflicts, and may therefore be tense events for some families.

 

All of these factors make individuals more likely to turn to alcohol as a way to de-stress. Stress can also make destructive decisions such as drunk driving more likely.

 

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Recovering Alcoholics and Addicts

 

For recovering alcoholics and addicts, relapse is more common around the holidays. Increased alcohol consumption by everyone around them may tempt alcoholics to drink. Further, the holidays bring strained family relationships to the forefront, causing those in recovery to turn to their addiction.

 

This is doubly unfortunate because alcoholics and addicts are more likely than other individuals to engage in high-risk behaviors such as driving while impaired, increasing the risk of DUI accidents.

 

New Year’s Eve

 

Tradition holds that New Year’s Eve is one of the year’s biggest drinking holidays. Although some celebrators drink responsibly, others may choose to drive while impaired, causing a dramatic increase in DUI accidents and fatalities on New Year’s Eve.

 

These factors, when combined with an increased total number of cars on the road, make for a deadly combination. Up to 42% of accidents on New Year’s Eve involve drunk drivers.

 

Keeping Your Family Safe from Drunk Drivers

 

To decrease the risk of a DUI accident, make travel plans to avoid being on the road late at night, when drunk driving is more common. When you’re on the road, remain alert and be aware of signs of drunk driving such as swerving, wide turns and inappropriate speed. Avoid these cars, and report them to the Highway Patrol to help keep other motorists safe.

 

Keeping Your Family Safe from Drunk Drivers

 

If you are injured by a drunk driver, reach out to a Florida personal injury attorney to get the compensation you deserve. A holiday DUI accident not only ruins the holidays, but likely also has lasting consequences.

 

Your family could be facing high medical bills, lost wages, and potentially life-altering injuries – or even the loss of a loved one. This is traumatic for the entire family, and may also make your family’s financial future uncertain.

 

Seeking damages can help address financial concerns, and provide closure on this traumatic event. Just as importantly, it allows you to hold the drunk driver accountable for his or her actions and hopefully prevent them from doing something like this to others.

 

 

 

About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.

Watch Out! Common Ways Florida Kids Get Injured Around Christmas

Watch Out! Common Ways Florida Kids Get Injured Around Christmas

Watch Out! Common Ways Florida Kids Get Injured Around Christmas

Any parent or relative of small children will tell you that there is nothing quite so special and rewarding as sharing the holiday season with little ones. Children’s unfettered enthusiasm for Christmas is contagious, helping to bring out the kid in all of us.

 

The Christmas holiday is therefore an occasion marked with excitement and joy for Florida families. However, all of that excitement means that kids and adults alike may be a little less cautious than usual, and holiday injuries can happen in the blink of an eye.

 

A Christmas injury to your child will not only spoil the holiday fun, but can also have long-lasting consequences. Your child could be left with permanently debilitating injuries or potentially even be killed.

 

It is therefore important to familiarize yourself with common ways that kids get injure around Christmas, and have some ground rules in place for the festivities.

 

Toy-Related Injuries

 

On average, 18 children are admitted to U.S. emergency rooms every hour with toy-related injuries. Further, toy-related injuries account for around 43% of child hospital admissions.

 

Around Christmas, those numbers skyrocket as children test out new toys, some of which may not have been appropriately selected. Appropriate toy selection and supervision during toy use can help avoid some of these common toy-related injuries.

 

Ride-on toys. Such as scooters, bicycles, tricycles, rollerblades, skateboards and motor-powered kiddie vehicles. These types of toys are by far the most common culprit for serious toy-related injuries – particularly in older children.

 

One way to prevent serious injuries related to these toys is to make sure that children are wearing all recommended safety gear, especially helmets, at all times. If you will be purchasing a ride-on toy for a child in your life, make sure to also purchase appropriate safety gear and gift this as well. It is also important to supervise children during the use of ride-on toys, especially as they are learning to use them.

 

Importantly, foot-powered scooters are the most injurious ride-on toy. Due to the high rate of injury, these toys are best avoided, especially for younger children with less-developed motor skills and coordination. If your child will be riding a scooter, be sure that he or she wears a helmet at all times, and consider the use of protective gear to shield knee, elbow and wrist joints.

 

Trampolines. Another common cause of serious toy-related injuries among older children. Children are susceptible to falls, head trauma, strains and sprains while using this popular toy. For large trampolines, installing a guard net may be helpful in preventing falls. Further, children should always be supervised during trampoline use.

 

Choking Hazards. Choking and asphyxiation hazards are common causes of toy-related injuries and fatalities in children under the age of two.

 

These injuries can be prevented in part by selecting age-appropriate toys. Check the package labeling or online product descriptions for more information, and keep toys intended for older children in the household out of the reach of younger siblings.

 

Florida Defective Toys Injury Lawyer

 

Defective Toys. Not surprisingly, defective toys are more likely to result in toy-related injuries. To prevent these injuries, check the toy’s safety specifications prior to purchase, and keep an eye on recalls posted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

 

Deck the Halls with Care

 

Putting up and taking down holiday decorations is a common cause of injury for children and adults alike. Falls from ladders and stools are most likely to result in serious injuries during holiday decorating.

 

If your children will be helping to decorate, be sure to supervise them closely. Also, younger children should never be allowed on ladders.

 

Ingestion of Decorations

 

Christmas decorations are very inviting – they’re glittery, colorful, and something new on young children’s radars. It’s therefore very common for younger children to attempt to eat Christmas decorations.

 

To prevent this, make sure that decorations are displayed out of the reach of young children, and supervise your children around decorations if you’ll be visiting friends or relatives who may not have taken these precautions.

 

Drunk Driving

 

The Christmas season is a common occasion for drinking, and many families travel to visit relatives, often driving to reach their destinations. Unfortunately, this makes alcohol-related motor vehicle injuries and fatalities much more likely on Christmas.

 

Boca Raton DUI Accidents Attorney

To protect your family from drunk drivers, avoid driving late at night if possible. Also remain alert, and watch for signs of drunk drivers, such as inappropriate speed and swerving. Avoid these cars, and consider reporting them to the Highway Patrol to help keep drunk drivers off the road.

 

What to Do If Your Child Is Injured

 

If your child sustains an injury due to someone else’s negligence, he or she should be held accountable for their negligent actions. Seek compensation for your child’s injuries by reaching out to a knowledgeable Florida personal injury attorney and you give yourself the chance to ease financial concerns related to the injury, while also providing closure on what was likely a traumatic event for the whole family.

 

About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.

Boca Man Uses Role in Fatal DUI Accident to Raise Awareness

Boca Man Uses Role in Fatal DUI Accident to Raise Awareness

Boca Man Uses Role in Fatal DUI Accident to Raise Awareness

For many people who drive drunk and end up killing someone, the worst part is not the fines they have to pay, the license suspension, or any other criminal penalties. The worst part is the guilt that comes with unintentionally killing another human being. Something like that can irrevocably change a person’s life. What that change means, though, is different for everyone.

 

After killing an unborn child and a mother in a drunk driving accident, William Altier is determined to make his own change a positive one.

 

Boca Man Speaks About Vehicular Homicide Conviction to Prevent Future DUI Accidents

 

In 2003, Altier was speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol when he crashed head-on into a sedan. Marie Fabiano, 23, was driving the car. The auto accident killed both her and her unborn child.

 

Altier’s blood alcohol content was .10. He claimed to have had a vodka on the rocks and some of his girlfriend’s martini.

 

He was the first person in Palm Beach County to be charged with vehicular homicide in the death of a fetus. In a plea agreement, he also pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter and DUI causing serious bodily injury.

 

These charges are some of the most serious crimes in Florida’s book. Still, the agreement saved him many years behind bars. He only spent five years in prison for his cooperation and guilty plea.

 

Altier is currently serving a 10-year probation sentence, and has permanently lost his driver’s license, but he is determined to use his time outside of prison for good. The 37-year old currently visits schools and driver’s education programs throughout the state to talk about his experience. He brings his prison ID to his speeches to communicate the reality of DUI accidents.

 

While the memory of the crash stays with Altier every day (he claims that a person can never forget the unique smell of airbags), he attests that the crash has changed him for the better.

 

If You Have Been In A DUI Accident

 

If You Have Been In A DUI Accident in South Florida

Altier’s story provides some hope for the future. By learning about the mistakes of others, we can drive safer and prevent future DUI accidents and deaths. At the moment, though, we still have a long way to go before DUI accidents are a thing of the past. Every day, over two dozen people die from drunk driving accidents.

 

What Altier is doing is incredibly admirable, but these accidents can change or end the life of an innocent victim in an instant. Remorse and apologies can’t bring someone back to life, heal injuries, or help to pay the bills, and unfortunately DUI accidents can cost a fortune in medical bills, lost wages, car repairs, and increased insurance.

 

Want a sobering statistic? If each adult in our country took responsibility for the DUI accidents in America, we would all have to pay $800 a year. Of course, that’s not going to happen, but it is possible to receive compensation and justice for another driver’s actions.

 

If you suffered a serious injury due to the accident, you may file a lawsuit against the driver for damages. These damages may include, but are not limited to, the cost of car repairs, medical bills, and other financial losses directly caused by their negligence.

 

If you are looking to take legal action against a drunk driver who caused an accident or serious bodily injury, talk to a Florida personal injury lawyer.

 

About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.

Drunk Driving Deputy Example of Why to Fight for Compensation

Drunk Driving Deputy Example of Why to Fight for Compensation

Drunk Driving Deputy Example of Why to Fight for Compensation

When it comes to drunk driving, no one is immune to the consequences of the crime – including law enforcement officers themselves.

 

A few weeks ago, Alachua County Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Clayton Sperring was leaving a parking lot when he hit a vehicle. Twice. He left the scene without stopping to examine the vehicle’s damage or talk to anyone who owned the vehicle.

 

Sperring was shortly pulled over and officers noticed that he smelled like alcohol and his eyes were bloodshot. They asked Sperring to submit to DUI tests, but the Sheriff’s Deputy refused to perform any field sobriety tests or take a breathalyzer.

 

Sperring was then arrested and charged with driving under the influence. He is currently on administrative leave and Alachua County is performing an internal investigation into the incident.

 

Justice for All… Even If the Guilty Party Has a Badge

 

No matter who you are, or who is involved in your auto accident, Florida is committed to cracking down on DUI and getting justice for victims. There are two types of cases that victims can become involved in to get that justice: criminal cases and civil cases.

 

Though state prosecutors handle criminal DUI cases, as a victim you may be asked to testify about what happened to make it more likely that the person on trial will be found guilty.

 

Civil cases are far more hands-on for victims. Rather than the State of Florida filing a civil claim on your behalf, it is all up to you and your representative. You must decide to bring the lawsuit. You must gather and present the evidence proving that the other party is at fault. And the end result involves no criminal penalties. Instead, civil cases are about getting those who cause harm to compensate the victims of their actions.

 

Florida civil courts also have a lower standard than criminal courts to prove negligence and responsibility. For example, if you are hit by a drunk driver, you do not even have to prove that the driver in question was under the influence. All you and your lawyer must show is that the driver was likely under the influence. This, or any other evidence of driver negligence, is all you need to show that you deserve compensation for your accident.

 

Proving Driver Negligence

 

Proving Driver Negligence

Any act that is unlawful behind the wheel, or prevents the driver from fulfilling the duties of being a safe driver, is considered negligent. Beyond driving under the influence, the following actions may qualify as “driver negligence”:

 

  • Speeding
  • Driving while distracted (texting, eating, doing makeup, etc.)
  • Failing to wear a seat belt
  • Fleeing an accident scene
  • Refusing to take a breathalyzer
  • Failing to cooperate with other drivers or law enforcement

 

This is why it is so important for victims to collect a lot of information about the car accident and the circumstances around it. Witness testimonies, the damage done to both cars, and any evidence around the scene of the accident (cell phones or food around the driver’s seat, the speed limit in the area where the crash occurred) can help prove that the driver was negligent while behind the wheel.

 

Of course, even if you think that you have gathered all the evidence that you need to win your claim, your best bet at a positive outcome is to have a Florida personal injury lawyer by your side. Because they have helped many people just like you before, they have a far better understanding of what you need to do to prove your case and win the compensation you deserve. They’ll ask questions you didn’t think about, and have ready answers for anything the defendant’s attorney attempts to use to protect their client or attack you.

 

Get in contact today to speak to a Florida car crash lawyer about your case.

 

Which Is More Dangerous - Distracted Driving or DUI

Which Is More Dangerous: Distracted Driving or DUI?

Which Is More Dangerous - Distracted Driving or DUI

Most of us probably have at least one ad campaign, billboard, or commercial about dangerous driving habits in the back of our minds when we get behind the wheel.

 

Controversial and shocking ads about dangerous driving are commonly created to scare people into practicing safe driving habits. Over the past few decades, the most typical “scare ads” revolved around drunk driving. In recent years, however, you may have noticed a shift. Ads about the dangers of drinking and driving have been widely replaced by ads about the dangers of texting and driving.

 

A quick text to a friend may seem harmless compared to an entire drive under the influence of alcohol, but statistics suggest that texting and driving – a well as other forms of distracted driving – is actually beginning to cause more danger and more deaths each year.

 

So which is more dangerous: distracted driving or driving under the influence?

 

Before we get into the statistics, let’s get something clear. Both are wrong, and both are dangerous. Why?

 

Anything that takes your eyes off the road puts you in danger. You may not be able to see a car ahead of you that is stopped, a pedestrian, or roadblocks if you are looking down at your phone or focusing your attention on another passenger. Moreover, if you’re driving at 55 miles per hour, you can cross an entire football field in the time that it takes to read a text (5 seconds).

 

Driving after drinking is dangerous because alcohol impairs your judgment. It’s as simple as that. Research has even shown that this happens after just one drink. Have a few drinks and your motor functions begin to work slower as well.

 

The combination of these two things – attention and judgment – is critical for safe driving.

 

DUI vs. Distracted Driving – The Stats

 

DUI vs. Distracted Driving – The Stats

Driving under the influence kills a shocking 27 people every day in the United States. Moreover, by the time someone has a BAC of .08, they are three times more likely to get into a car accident than a sober person.

 

Comparatively, distracted driving kills eight people every day in the United States.

 

Seems like drunk driving “wins,” right?

 

Not so fast.

 

Texting while driving takes more teenagers’ lives than any other driving habit. In fact, it takes more teenagers’ lives than any other cause of death.

 

Worse, the dangers and statistics don’t stop teenagers from texting behind the wheel. Half of all teen drivers still admit to texting while driving. If you have a teenager, be sure to talk to them about how to be safe when they’re in the driver’s seat.

 

Not sure how? We have some helpful tips on how to talk to your teen here.

 

Now let’s look at older adults. Drivers under the age of 25 are three times as likely to be texting behind the wheel when compared to older drivers, but that does not mean that older adults are safe from the dangers of texting and driving.

 

This is a problem that affects everyone. In a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 69% of drivers admitted to talking on the phone and 31% admitted to reading or sending a text message behind the wheel in the past 30 days before the survey was conducted. If you are texting while driving, you are 23 times more likely to get into a car crash.

 

Also remember that these are just some ways that people can engage in distracted driving. Eating food, applying makeup, and talking to passengers are all forms of distracted driving as well. We even wrote a blog post a few months ago about the dangers of playing Pokemon Go and driving.

 

Perhaps the most dangerous thing about distracted driving, though, is that so many people think it’s not that big of a deal. Others should do it, but they can handle it. A big part of the problem is that in most place our laws are quite lax.

 

Consequences for Texting and Driving in Florida

 

Consequences for Texting and Driving in Florida

Yes, texting and driving here is illegal. However, you can’t get pulled over for it. You have to commit another traffic violation, such as running a red light or a stop sign. Only then can a police officer slap on a small additional fine if you are caught texting and driving.

 

This fine is laughable compared to the thousands of dollars that we face in DUI-related fines. It’s something that likely will change eventually, but until then it’s not likely that police will be able to catch a majority of distracted drivers out on the road.

 

If there is a small silver lining, it’s this. Get into an accident with someone who has been texting and driving and it’s a very good argument that they were acting in a negligent manner.

 

Because of this, you can file a lawsuit against them for any damages that you suffer in the crash. Of course, getting compensation isn’t guaranteed. You’re going to need evidence and documentation to prove your case, and the personal injury laws in our state can be complicated and confusing.

 

If you have incurred damages due to the negligent behavior of another driver, get in contact with a Florida distracted driving attorney immediately.