March 2011 Archives

Florida Lawmakers approve law limiting liability of car manufacturers in product defect cases

There were two bills pending before the state's legislature which allow juries to hear evidence that the driver's negligence contributed to the accident in product liability cases involving automobiles. This would allow juries in Florida to consider all parties fault when determining damages in these legal proceedings.

Typical product liability defects are due to manufacture , design or failure to warn defects. Under the current law, the responsibility of a defective product rests completely with the manufacturer of that product. Both bills, in the House and in the Senate, however, would significantly impact those who have suffered damages as a result of product defects in auto products by assigning partial cause to an individual.

It is apparent that these bills are attempting to limit the amount of the financial awards in legal claims against auto and auto parts manufacturers by allowing jurors to allocate financial responsibility on drivers or any other person that contributed to the accident and resulting damages.

These bills arose after the Florida Supreme Court prevented jurors from hearing whether a driver was drunk and speeding, and therefore at partially at fault in contributing to the accident. In this case, the Court ruled that evidence regarding the fault of the manufacturer would be permitted, but excluded other evidence regarding the cause of the crash.

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Man in wheelchair killed in truck accident

According to a report by NBC Miami, on March 28, 2011 a man crossing the street in a wheelchair in the northwest part of Miami was struck by an 18 wheeler and killed in this truck accident.

The unidentified man in the wheelchair was crossing NW 27th Avenue heading west when the truck, hit and killed him. The truck was a vehicle carrier. There has been no determination of fault and no charges filed as the date of this article.
Our condolences go to the family of this victim.

Liability and Damages in Wrongful Death Truck Accident Cases

If an investigation reveals that this accident was due to the negligence of the driver of the tuck, then the family of the deceased may seek damages against in a wrongful death claim against the insurance carrier for the semi, the truck owner and/or the driver. Each surviving family member may be able to recover for loss of the deceased's financial support or services. They may also recover for loss of the decedent's companionship and protection. Additionally, they may seek recovery for pain and suffering and funeral and medical expenses .

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Homestead newlywed loses husband in car accident with Fedex Truck

On February 23, 2011, a man was traveling with his family from Miami to Chicago just days after his wedding when the vehicle was struck by a FedEx truck. Of the seven passengers traveling in the vehicle, three were killed. These included Brianna Chacon, age 10, Tatyana Alvarez, age 11,and Victor Chacon, Jr., age 26, the groom.

The groom's wife was in Homstead, Florida, a Miami suburb at the time of the incident.

Presently a thorough investigation is being conducted in order to determine the cause of this accident. Should it be determined to be due to the negligence of the driver of the FedEx truck, the family of the deceased may have wrongful death claims against FedEx.

My sincere condolences go out to the family members of the decedents.

Wrongful Death Claims

The Florida Wrongful Death Act allows the spouses, children and parents of the victims to be elogoble to recover damages. These damages are in the form of economic damages for medical and funeral expenses, in addition to non-economic damages for loss of companionship of the family member and emotional suffering.

Wrongful death claims arise from an accident or intentional act causing death. These include fatal car accidents, medical malpractice, dangerous premises, defective productsand so on.

If you have lost someone due to the negligence or intentional act of another then it may be wise to seek the counsel of a Miami wrongful death attorney in order to investigate a claim and secure experts to establish loss.

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Intersection car accidents on the decline

In 2001, the most dangerous traffic intersection in the country was reported to be right here, north of Miami in Pembroke Pines. State Farm insurance company reported that the intersection of Pines Blvd and Flamingo Road had the highest number of intersection accident claims of any other intersection in the country.

On March 3, 2011, the National Safety Council issued the results of a new study that fatal crashes at intersections with stop lights decreased by 17% between 2005-2009 . The study also found that the number of deaths due to running of red lights decreased by 27% for the same time period.

Liability in Intersection Accidents

Florida law requires that at intersections with yield and stop signals, the driver approaching the intersection shall slow down or stop to yield the right of way to any vehicle currently in the intersection.

In cases where an operator of a vehicle fails to follow the law in yielding or stopping at an intersection , then this driver may be held liable for any injuries resulting from that failure to adhere to the rules. A Miami personal injury lawyer can assist injured victims of such accidents by conducting a thorough investigation to determine fault.

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Miami Dade Transit bus hit in head on accident

In the southwest area of the city , a Miami Dade Transit bus and car were involved in a head on collision.
WSVN-TV reports that this accident happened in the morning at the intersection of southwest 56nd Street and 152nd Avenue. Six people on the bus were injured. There has not been a determination of fault.

If this accident was due to the negligence of the driver of the car, then the bus passengers may be able to recover their losses from the driver and/or their insurance Carrier. A thorough investigation of liability would have to be conducted.

Bus Accident Statistics

In November 2009 a major study was conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and reported to congress. It found that most bus crashes occur in metropolitan areas, such as Miami, Florida. Approximately fifty ( 50) people are killed and fewer than 1,000 injured every year in cross-country and inter-city bus crashes.
Motor coach crashes account for the majority of bus accidents, followed by transit buses then school buses.

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Motorcycle Accidents a major concern

Motorcycle accidents continue to be one of the leading causes of death in traffic crashes across the United States and in Miami. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has made an effort to decrease motorcycle fatalities and injuries by 10% between 2008 and 2010. This has been done by improving motorcycle safety awareness and training programs.

Despite these programs, accidents still continue to happen due to the drivers of other vehicles who fail to obey the traffic rules with respect to motorcycles. The motorcycle rider in Miami who obeys all traffic laws still runs the risk of serious injury due to lack of protective covering and helmet.

Following the repeal of the mandatory helmet law in Florida, the Department of Surgery at the University of Miami School of Medicine studied the impact of crashes on riders. The patients were studied over a six month period. The study found that even after one year post the motor cycle accident, most motorcycle riders continue to experience physical defects.

These physical defects are often life changing; resulting in loss of income and permanent bodily injury. When a motorcycle accident occurs due to the negligence of another driver, then the other driver may be responsible for this loss and payment of damages. This is why it is important to have competent legal counsel to assist you in recovering your losses.

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