Orlando Injury Law Blog

STOP for School Buses

Wednesday, February 04, 2015
The current law in Florida requires drivers traveling in both directions to stop for a school bus that has its stop sign out.  On roads with a raised median, barrier or other open space, traffic heading in the opposite direction does not have to stop.  The fine currently is $265.00 and suspension of your driver's license.   After several recent severe injuries and fatalities to children, a new bill is up for Senate vote called "Gabby's Law" which would make it a crime to pass a stopped school bus, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine up to $500.00.  A second conviction would bring the jail time up to six months and the fine up to $1,000.00.  Gabby was killed by a car shortly after getting off her school bus in DeBary in 2010.  She was 12.

Happy Holidays

Monday, December 08, 2014

During the hustle and bustle of the holidays, unfortunately accidents can happen.  If you have an accident and are injured, don’t let the time clock run on you to seek medical attention.  During this time of year, the days quickly pass.  Drivers involved in crashes with injuries, must seek medical care within 14 days from the date of their accident to take advantage of their automobile insurance PIP (personal injury protection) policy benefits.  On day 15, you are no longer eligible for the benefits you paid for.  To qualify for your full $10,000.00 benefit, your injuries must be diagnosed as an “Emergency Medical Condition”.  If this threshold is not met, your maximum benefit is $2,500.00, even though you paid for $10,000.00 in coverage.  Bottom line, don’t delay after your accident.  If you need additional advice on this information, please call my firm, (407) 628-4871.  If you’ve had an accident and are injured, I am here to help you.  I wish all a happy and safe holiday season.

---  R. David Ayers, Jr.

Airbag Explosion of Metal Shrapnel Suspected of Causing Death

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Metal shrapnel from a faulty airbag, which exploded after an automobile accident, is thought to have caused the death of an Orlando woman.  Her family is pursuing legal action against the car manufacturer and maker of the airbags.  If you suspect you or a loved one has been injured by a faulty airbag, you should contact a Board Certified Civil Trial lawyer to discuss your rights and time limitations to file a claim.  In any event, call the manufacturer of your vehicle to be sure the airbags in your car have not been recalled for the safety of you and your family.  Due to the high humidity levels found in Florida, the problem with the airbags appears to be worse.

Florida Is Home to Many Dangerous Intersections in the Country

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Florida is already one of the most dangerous states for pedestrians. A new analysis indicates why that is so. According to data by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, several of the most dangerous intersections in the country are located in Florida. Many pedestrian accidents occur near intersections, and many of these intersections, suffer from varied design flaws.

According to the data, intersections that were included on the list of dangerous intersections, had several common factors, including poor signage, bad lighting, lack of continuous sidewalks, and aggressive motorists. Many of these intersections saw high volumes of traffic, placing pedestrians and bicyclists at risk of being injured in accidents.

The most dangerous intersection in the country is in Pennsylvania. Florida accounted for five of the other most dangerous intersections in the country. These included the Intersection of State Road 40 and State Road in 19 in Astor, Intersection of North Semoran Boulevard and Old Cheney Highway in Orlando, the Intersection of Visat del Lago Boulevard and Route 192 in Kissimmee, the Intersection of S. Scenic Hwy. and County Road 700 in Frostproof, the intersection of Hialeah Gardens Boulevard and North Okeechobee in Hialeah Gardens. Each of these intersections saw an average of 6 fatal accidents over a 10 year time period.

The other most dangerous intersections in the country are located in New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina and Missouri.

Pedestrians who are involved in accidents may suffer catastrophic injuries that require extensive hospitalization, and could even result in disability. If you have suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, you could possibly be eligible for compensation that includes medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. Speak to an Orlando car accident pedestrian accident lawyer about filing a claim for your losses.

Florida Records Increase in Bicycle Accident Fatalities

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Florida continues to top the charts in undesirable ways. According to new statistics released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, the state recorded one of the highest increases in bicycle accident fatalities between 2010 and 2012.

According to the GHSA statistics, there was a staggering increase of 37 fatalities between 2010 and 2012 in Florida. In 2010, the state posted 83 deaths in bicycle accidents were, and that number had spiked significantly to 126 by 2011. By 2012, the state had recorded a drop of six fatalities, taking the total to 120 fatalities

Florida was just one among a few states that managed to record high increases in bicycle accident fatalities during the study period. Across the country, there was a 16% increase in bicycle accident fatalities, and much of that increase was driven by states like Florida, that posted heavy increases during the study period.

That was the bad news. The good news is that transportation safety agencies in Florida seem to be taking some steps to help keep bicyclists safer. For instance, police officers in Florida are now cracking down on bicyclists, who ride at night without their bicycle lights. Officers are also distributing lights to bicyclists who can't afford the lights, and also helping install the lights on bicycles. In Florida, the focus on reducing bicycle accident fatalities is centering on making bicyclists more visible to motorists, and bicycle lights can help do that. If you're riding in the daytime, wear brightly colored or florescent-colored clothing that can make you stand out in traffic.

Florida is also making significant monetary investments in helping reduce bicycle accident fatalities. The state has earmarked $1.5 million for enforcement programs, targeting motorists and bicyclists for violation of traffic laws.

Florida Trucking Company Ordered Out Of Service after Series of Violations

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has declared a Florida-based trucking company as an “imminent safety hazard.” The agency has ordered the company out of service.

The company, Ken’s Trucking LLC, based in Grand Ridge has been involved in at least five accidents over the past 12 months alone. The company operates a fleet that consists of 33 trucker trucks-tractors, and 29 truckers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has ordered the company to immediately stop all commercial motor vehicle operations.

The order came after an investigation that was conducted by the federal agency into Ken’s Trucking operations. That investigation was launched in August. Investigators found that trucks operated by the company were involved in at least five recordable accidents over the last year alone. At least two of those accidents were linked to maintenance problems with the vehicle.

In fact, the owner of the company Ken Branch also seems to have operated as a CDL driver in the company, and he himself was involved in an accident earlier this year that was linked to malfunctioning truck components.

According to the federal agency’s order, the company has a poor maintenance program that does not include regular inspections, repairs and maintenance of its vehicles, increasing the likelihood of accidents and injuries involving its fleet. In fact, many of the company’s violations had the potential to cause serious accidents. The company chalked up a number of violations, including failure to oversee and maintain driver qualification files, allowing drivers who tested positive for drugs, or those with suspended commercial driver’s licenses to operate trucks and failure to monitor drivers to ensure that they complied with the federal Hours Of Service rules, limiting the number of hours that a trucker can drive consecutively.

Orlando Is Riskiest City for Pedestrians in US

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The city of Orlando in Florida is the most dangerous city for pedestrians in the country. In Orlando, pedestrians have the highest risk of suffering serious or even fatal accidents.

The listing was compiled by Smart Growth America, and was based on a Pedestrian Danger Index for all of the major cities in the country, as well as all the states. Florida was rated the most dangerous state in the country, and Orlando was rated as the riskiest city for pedestrians. In fact, Florida accounted for the top four positions on the list.

Orlando had a pedestrian Danger Index of 244.3. Between 2003 and 2012, the Orlando-Kissimmee metropolitan region saw 583 pedestrian fatalities.

Florida accounted for some of the most dangerous areas in the country for pedestrians. At second place on the list was the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater region, with 874 fatalities over the study period, and a Pedestrian Danger Index of 190.1. In third place was the Jacksonville region, with 359 fatalities during that period of time, and a Pedestrian Danger Index of 182.7. Rounding out Florida's presence on the list was the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach area with a total of 1,539 pedestrian accident fatalities recorded during the study period and a Pedestrian Danger Index of 145.8.

Better pedestrian safety infrastructure could help keep many pedestrians safer in Florida. The state has a severe shortage of safety infrastructure, including adequate number of marked and designated crosswalks, not just in Orlando, but across the state, as the study shows. Florida’s pedestrian safety record is dismal, and things will not get better unless state transportation agencies understand that this state has a serious pedestrian safety problem, and that people in the state are being discouraged from walking purely because of safety concerns.

Risk of Dog Bites in Florida Increases during Summer

Sunday, July 06, 2014

More children in Orlando will be at risk of being bitten by a dog over the next few weeks. With summer here and schools out, more children will be out in parks and playgrounds, or out walking with their parents, where they are very likely to come across dogs being walked by their owners.

In summertime, dogs and children have a much higher risk of coming into contact with each other, placing children who are already at the heaviest risk of dog bites at a much higher likelihood of being involved in an attack. The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention estimates that every year, there are more than 4 million dog bites across the United States, a majority of them involving children below the age of five.

Children are much smaller, and physically vulnerable to an attack. They may not be able to fight off an attack, especially if it involves a strong, powerful or large dog. Additionally, children are trusting by nature, and are naturally attracted to dogs. The natural childish tendency to pet an animal can result in a dog bite, unless other adults around are not careful.

Children are also at some of the highest risk of injuries it comes to dog bites. They may suffer from severe facial injuries, including injuries to the eyes, nose, lips, mouth, cheeks and years. There may be internal injuries as well. All of these injuries will require extensive medical treatment, hospitalization, and even multiple cosmetic surgeries to restore the child’s appearance.

In Florida, parents of children who have suffered injuries in a dog bite can claim compensation from the owner of the dog. Under Florida's strict liability dog bite laws, plaintiffs may file a lawsuit even if it was the very first time the dog was involved in a bite.

Orlando Initiative to Make Streets More Pedestrian-Friendly

Monday, June 02, 2014

It is one of the most pedestrian–unfriendly cities in a state that ranks number one in the country for the number of people killed in accidents while walking. Orlando has a massive challenge ahead of it, as it launches an initiative to help reduce the number of accidents involving pedestrians on its streets.

According to NPR, the Semoran Blvd. in Orlando is one example of exactly why the city is so unsafe for pedestrians. There have been at least 28 pedestrian accidents on this stretch of road over the last seven years alone. Six people died in those accidents. Florida already has a terrible reputation as far as pedestrian safety is concerned, and is regarded as the most dangerous state in the country for pedestrians.

However, some city planners in Orlando have been working quietly behind the scenes to understand what changes can be made to the current infrastructure to bring down fatality numbers. According to at least one planner, there are a number of features on Semoran Blvd. that make it very dangerous for pedestrians. For starters, this road has six lanes, and no median. It is also a major traffic artery, and cars travel here at very high speeds of at least 40 mph.

This also happens to be a pedestrian-magnet because there are many commercial and convenience facilities around. Many pedestrians cross the road in the middle of the street across six lanes of traffic to get to the other side.

Apart from making changes to the infrastructure, the initiative in Orlando will include a campaign called Best Foot Forward, which includes regular sting operations, and citations of motorists who endanger pedestrian safety by breaking rules, especially in crosswalks. Schools will also include pedestrian safety as part of their curriculum.

Drugged Driving High among College Students

Thursday, May 01, 2014

College students in Orlando who are driving under the influence are much more likely to be driving under the influence of marijuana than alcohol. According to the results of a new study that was published recently in the Journal JAMA Pediatrics, approximately 44% of college- age students admitted that they drove while they were under the influence of alcohol and marijuana during the previous month. In comparison only 12% of the men admitted that they drove while drunk.

In fact, the study found that college males are approximately 3 times more likely to drive under the influence of marijuana, than to drive under the influence of alcohol. It appears that college students are slowly moving away from the intoxicating effects of alcohol, thanks to the stringent focus on the risks of drunk driving accidents. However, students need to know that driving after using marijuana can also be dangerous. Drugged driving, or specifically driving under the influence of pot is a much underestimated and neglected problem in this country, and many students believe that it's much safer to drive after using pot, than it is to drive after having a few alcoholic beverages.

The study also found that women of college age were much less likely to drive under the influence of marijuana, and only 8% reported that they had driven after using marijuana. However, women do seem to be very likely to ride in a vehicle operated by a person who had used pot. Approximately 35% of the women admitted that they had been a passenger in a car that was being operated by a drunk driver.

Drugged driving involving marijuana use is blamed for approximately 12 percent of all fatal accidents involving motorists in the 16- to- 20 age category.

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