Articles Posted in Transportation Accidents

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Did you know that the insurance companies use your credit score in determining your auto insurance premiums? It doesn’t matter if you have a clean driving record. Insurance companies use their private formulas and your credit score to determine your likelihood to file an insurance claim. They also are looking to see if you can pay your premiums. You have limited recourse. You can talk to your agent or insurance company to see what you can do to improve your score, you can verify your credit score to ensure its accuracy, and you can shop around to see what other insurance companies are charging.

If you or someone you know have been involved in a South Florida motor vehicle accident, or if you have insurance questions regarding Uninsured and Under-insured Motorist Coverage, it’s important to speak with an experienced Florida auto accident lawyer that can help you obtain compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and other damages

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According to the Parasailing Safety Council (PSC) more than three to five million people each year enjoy the sport of parasailing. The ride normally lasts between 10 and 15 minutes.

A day of fun on the water can quickly turn into a terrifying experience which can and has resulted in serious or catastrophic injuries and even death. Since 1998, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has reported that Florida has had 26 parasailing accidents that have resulted in 35 injuries and six deaths.

Yet the industry is allowed to operate following what they deem as “best practices” that are outside the bounds of any federal or state government oversight. They follow the minimum of safety standards, which are often voluntary and the quality levels vary. Their industry is virtually unregulated.

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Cruise ships are a popular method of vacationing. From 2005 to 2010, about 100 million passengers took cruises according to the Cruise Lines International Association. Annually almost 12 million passengers embarked on cruises worldwide. In South Florida alone, there are more than 8 million visitors to Florida’s seaports (Port of Palm Beach, Port Everglades, Port of Miami).

Each year thousands of passengers are injured on cruise ships. Many believe cruise ship injuries and cruise ship deaths were underreported, and until recently, cruise lines were not required to report incidents in a timely, meaningful way. In 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act, which requires cruise lines to report all deaths, missing persons, theft, sexual harassment and assaults.

While the cruise line and cruise ship industry have a duty of care to guard against accidents and injury, some of the common injuries can include: slip and fall accidents, falling overboard, pool or recreational area accidents and drowning (scuba diving and snorkeling), medical staff negligence, food poisoning, Norwalk virus (norovirus), legionnaires disease, assault or battery by crew or passengers due to negligent security, sexual assault by passengers or crew, wrongful death due to cruise negligence, injuries arising from a cruise line-approved excursion and employee injuries (boiler room and engine room explosions).

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There are many trains in use today throughout the United States and the state of Florida. They include freight trains (transport goods, materials, cargo and chemicals), high speed trains (Amtrak), inter-city trains, commuter trains / regional trains (brings workers to and from work), rapid transit (metro or subway) and light rail (trolley or street cars).

According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) states that approximately 3,000 train accidents occur each year in the United States with nearly 1,000 people dying as a result.

Railroad accidents are often caused by trains colliding with each other, vehicles or pedestrians, are a result of derailments, excessive speed by drivers, intoxication of drivers, distracted train operators, fatigued trained operators, inadequately trained train operators, warning signal failures, visual obstructions, mechanical failures, poor maintenance and inadequate security.

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The holiday season is in high gear. This means increased stress levels, holiday shopping, time with family, and numerous parties and festivals. You may be surprised to learn that the holidays are becoming one of the most dangerous times of the year for alcohol-related accidents and deaths.

Each year approximately 11,000 people will die in drunk driving crashes – one every 50 minutes, according to MADD. Sadly, in 2009, Florida ranked third in the nation for DUI fatality rates for both adult and underage drivers, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

It is important to remember that drunk driving is preventable.

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PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL-A 20-year law enforcement veteran was killed Sunday when he attempted to cross lanes of traffic on his motorcycle to block vehicles while working a presidential motorcade. The Miami, FL personal injury lawyers at our firm understand the serious nature of car and motorcycle accidents. Bruce Edwin St. Laurent, a 55-year-old Jupiter Police Officer, was driving south on I-95 when he was struck by a Ford F-150 pickup truck driven by Susan Holloway, a West Palm Beach resident.

St. Laurent had his emergency lights on, according to a preliminary report issued by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, and was attempting to block traffic from entering I-95 from the southbound on-ramp at 45th Street. In his attempt to block cars from entering the highway, he crossed several lanes of traffic, moving himself directly in the path of Holloway. The speeds St. Laurent and Holloway were traveling at are unknown, but according to the report, Holloway was accelerating her speed right before the accident to safely merge onto the highway. Holloway attempted to slam on her brakes in order to avoid the crash, but it was too late. The front of Holloway’s truck slammed into St. Laurent’s motorcycle.

Upon impact, St. Laurent was thrown off of his motorcycle. His motorcycle became lodged underneath Holloway’s truck. St. Laurent was declared dead after arriving at the St. Mary’s Medical Center shortly after the crash. Holloway suffered no injuries.

At the time of the crash, St. Laurent was in the front of the motorcade, clearing the way for President Obama to travel to the Palm Beach County Convention Center for a campaign stop. President Obama did not see the accident, but he was informed of St. Laurent’s death on his flight from Palm Beach back to Washington, D.C.

St. Laurent is not the first police officer who was killed while working a motorcade for a president or presidential candidate in Palm Beach County. In 1992, Kevin Matthews, a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Deputy, died after being struck by a limousine while escorting Democratic presidential hopeful Paul Tsongas.

The Sheriff’s Office is conducting a full investigation, but no charges have been filed against Holloway at this time. The Florida Highway Patrol is expected to release a more detailed report later this week.
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DAVIE, FL-An 86-year-old woman was struck from behind and dragged by a car that ran from the scene Monday morning in her gated senior living community. Rita Chiero was transported to Broward Health Medical Center by a fire-rescue truck and was subsequently pronounced dead. The Miami, FL auto accident lawyers at Hannon Legal Group have extensive experience handling hit and run automobile cases. Our firm is a state-wide law firm based in Maimi, FL. Wrongful death lawyers understand the devastating impact of these accidents.

Chiero was walking through the community, with the assistance of her walker, Monday morning, heading to catch a minibus that would take her to the store when she was hit by the vehicle. She was walking east in the westbound lane of Southwest 33rd Street when she was struck. Her son, 50-year-old Joseph Chiero, believes that the driver swerved across lanes of traffic to hit his mother from behind. A neighbor came outside to find Chiero lying in the street.

Wednesday, the police released information that they had a car and a suspect in custody. The investigators would not release further information about what led them to believe this was the right car or driver. Investigations continue while the family of Chiero grieves over her wrongful death.
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MIAMI, FL-A wheelchair-bound veteran was killed Wednesday morning after being struck by a van in Northeast Miami. Miami, FL. car accident lawyers may be able to help the family of David Bill Myer, a 63-year-old veteran learn exactly what occurred. Myer was allegedly hit by the van when he was, according to Officer William Moreno, “crossing the street illegally, outside the crosswalk” during morning rush hour. The accident occurred between Biscayne Boulevard and Second Avenue at Northeast 79th Street.

The victim was often seen outside his home, not far from the accident scene, in his wheelchair, according to neighbors. Neighbors did not release any further comments about the victim.

The driver of the van that hit Myer remained on the scene, after calling the police, and answered questions concerning the accident. No criminal investigation is being conducted because the tragedy was “clearly an accident,” according to Officer Moreno.

Miami FL. automobile accident lawyers know that accidents which involve a pedestrian and a vehicle often cause devastating personal injury or even death. These accidents can be prevented by taking adequate precautions and staying alert at all times to all of one’s surroundings. However, if you or someone you know has been injured or killed as a result of an accident involving a pedestrian and a vehicle, it is important to know that you can recover damages for your injuries or wrongful death.
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A Miami, Florida boat accident claimed the life of a 27 year old Miami man Sunday evening when his personal water craft struck a 22 foot boat in Biscayne Bay. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers are investigating the fatal boating accident in Biscayne Bay. It has not yet been determined if alcohol was involved. Miami, FL product liability lawyers know that accidents like this are usually caused by operator error or a defective product like a personal water craft that was designed without navigation lights.

FWC spokesman, Jorge Pino said that investigators think 27-year-old Carlos Alberto Fernandez, who died after his personal watercraft crashed into a boat, was going too fast in a slow-speed area and was violating the law which prohibits operating a personal watercraft at night. Fernandez was riding a black Yamaha personal watercraft on the bay when the fatal collision occurred. His friend, Jose Luis Moreno, who was also operating another watercraft nearby called for help. Fernandez, who was pronounced dead on the scene, leaves behind a wife and children.

“It’s hard enough to spot a vessel with navigational lights and proper safety equipment,” Pino said. “Now you have a black personal watercraft at night at a high rate of speed. It’s just a recipe for disaster.”

Pino stressed how important it is for boaters and those engaged in water sports to abide by safety rules. Florida has the more registered vessels than any other state in the country and reported 742 boating accidents in 2011. 22 percent of those involved some type of personal watercraft.
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BROWARD -Two Miami-Dade men were indicted for first-degree murder on Thursday by a Broward grand jury after one of the men allegedly ran over and killed two bicyclists in an attempt to evade the police in the early morning hours of August 5. The Miami, Florida car accident lawyers at our firm have handled many automobile accident cases. Our team of Miami, Fl wrongful death lawyers, private investigators and accident reconstruction experts work together to maximize the amount of compensation the victims family receives.

The bicyclists that were killed after allegedly being hit by Obrian Ricardo Oakley, 26, and Sadik Rashad Baxter, 25, were 61-year-old Christopher McConnell and 60-year-old Dean Amelkin. Oakley and Baxter now each face two first-degree murder charges for those deaths.

The men also each face five counts of burglary and Oakley faces additional charges for vehicular homicide and aggravated fleeing from police.

Early August 5 Oakley and Baxter were spotted by residents in the Rock Creek neighborhood of Cooper City burglarizing vehicles. The residents called the police, who quickly arrived on scene and were able to arrest Baxter. However, Oakley fled the scene and led the police on a high-speed chase. At the intersection of Palm Avenue and Sheridan Street, Oakley hit another vehicle, causing his own to spin out of control. As Oakley’s vehicle spun across the road, McConnell and Amelkin were struck and killed as a result of “multiple blunt force trauma.”

Originally, Oakley was the only one facing the murder charges. However, the State Attorney’s Office later charged Baxter as a principal to first-degree murder because, under Florida law, according to a State Attorney’s Office representative, “It’s not the intent to commit the homicide that controls the filing of the charge, . . . but rather the intent to commit the underlying felony [of burglary].”

A major problem that prosecutors will face in this case is whether the Broward Sheriff’s Office actually engaged in a high-speed chase with Oakley. If so, that office too may face a suit brought by the families of the deceased, as Broward Sheriff’s Office policies do not permit police chases except in the case of a violent felony.

No matter what decision is made over the high-speed chase issue, two families will continue to suffer from the tragic loss of their loved ones.
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