Car Accidents Slip and Falls Motorcycle Accidents Medical Malpractice Nursing Home Abuse
January 25, 2015

Report: Florida Worst Place to Have a Collision

One would think there is no ideal place to be involved in a car accident. However, a recent study indicates some states may be worse than others when it comes to financial impact for crash victims. caraccident.jpg

Turns out, Florida is ranked the very worst place in the country in this regard.

The research was conducted by reporters at WalletHub, who analyzed rates of uninsured drivers, the various amounts of minimum liability coverage mandated by state governments, state-required insurance for medical expenses or personal injury protection and efforts to shield drivers from uninsured/underinsured drivers. Information was culled from all 50 states, and the District of Columbia.

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January 20, 2015

Florida Bicycle Injuries, Fatalities Remain Serious Problem

A 31-year-old bicyclist was killed in Volusia County recently when he was struck by a vehicle, according to investigators with the Florida Highway Patrol.
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Authorities are still piecing together details of the crash, which occurred on U.S. 1, but say it appears the bicyclist was crossing the road when he traveled into the path of a Jeep driver. The cyclist was struck, tossed from the bike and pronounced dead at the scene.

The 55-year-old Jeep driver was not injured. It remains unclear at this point whether she will face any charges.

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January 15, 2015

Liability When At-Fault Driver Suffers Medical Emergency

The Orlando Sentinel recently reported a car-versus-truck crash wherein the driver of the car "zoned out" and drifted in to the left lane, crossing the median and striking a work truck, causing both vehicles to ignite and four people to suffer serious injury.
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A Good Samaritan, a former law enforcement officer who happened to be passing the scene, rescued all of the victims from the burning vehicles.

That man, later speaking to a news reporter, speculated the driver of the car "must have been having some type of medical emergency."

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January 12, 2015

Daytona Fireworks Injury and Negligence Law

It's not uncommon throughout the country - and especially in Florida - for revelers to ring in the New Year with a homemade fireworks display. fireworks2.jpg

The problem with this is not only that it's illegal, but also very dangerous. This Daytona News-Journal reported this past New Year's Eve, a Daytona Beach Shores man lost his right hand as he set off fireworks in his back yard.

The injury-causing explosion occurred just 20 minutes before the clock struck midnight. The man was rushed to the emergency room. However, doctors will not be able to reattach his hand because responders were only able to uncover pieces of it.

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January 7, 2015

New Year, New Florida Car Seat Law, Effective 1/1/15

Effective Jan. 1, 2015, children between the ages of 4 and 5 must be strapped in to either a child-safety or booster seat. Previously, children in those age groups were allowed to simply wear a regular safety belt provided they met certain physical requirements. seatbelt1.jpg

Officials with the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles noted that while seat belts are an effective means of ensuring safety in the event of a crash, they only work when worn properly. A child who is 4 or 5 years-old is not, on average, large enough for a typical seat belt to fit correctly in order to maximize protection. This is why a child safety seat or booster seat, which elevates the child, will ensure they are protected.

As of December 2014, the Florida Highway Patrol reported five children had died and 145 were injured in motor vehicle crashes directly as a result of not wearing safety restraints or not being properly restrained.

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December 27, 2014

Florida Winters See Increase in Motorcycle Accidents

Florida is a biker's paradise - especially in the winter. Just like an annual bird migration, motorcyclists flock to Florida for a warm respite from the brutal northern cold and snow. The milder, dry conditions are ideal, and generally makes for a safer trip. Even locals tend to ride more in the winter, as there is a break from the oppressive heat and humidity that plagues the state in summertime.motorcycle1.jpg

This is largely why organizers of Daytona Beach Bike Week hold the massive annual festival in late February/early March, at the tail end of the winter season.

But all of this of course means more motorcyclists on the road, which inevitably leads to a higher number of crashes. This is especially true at the start of the winter season, when seasonal riders and residents first begin to arrive. While many Florida motorists are used to watching for motorcyclists, drivers from up north tend to be less inclined, especially when they first arrive.

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December 24, 2014

Daytona Drunk Driving Increases Amid Christmas, New Year's Revelry

It's easy to be swept up in the merry holiday revelry - the lights, the gifts, the food and, of course, the drinks. christmaswine.jpg

All this unfortunately leads to an increased number of drunk driving accidents in Florida and across the U.S. Local law enforcement has responded by initiating their "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaigns, hoping to thwart those who drive impaired during the holidays.

Best case scenario for drunk drivers is a misdemeanor conviction. That's assuming they don't cause a crash. In the worse case scenario, they seriously injure or kill themselves or someone else.

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December 21, 2014

Be Alert for Signs of Daytona Nursing Home Abuse During Holiday Visits

For many nursing home residents, the holidays are a special time because it often means an extended visit from family and friends whom they might not regularly see.
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But in addition to catching up, loved ones should also be mindful to watch for any red flags that may indicate neglect, abuse or negligence involving their loved one. A federal study released in July found 30 percent of nursing homes were cited for nearly 9,000 instances of abuse over a two-year period. That meant 1 in 3 homes were found to have issues with untreated bedsores, malnutrition, dehydration, preventable accidents, inadequate medical care, inadequate hygiene and sanitation - and those are only discovered instances.

It's disheartening to think of how many other instances go unreported, often because patients can't speak for themselves or fear reprisal if they do. While bearing in mind facilities know there will be an increase of visitors in the month of December - and will likely put their best foot forward during this time - family members need to be alert to anything that seems amiss.

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December 18, 2014

Holiday Shopping Falls a Growing Concern Among Merchants

We have yet to encounter a business intent on harming customers who are there to patronize. The problem, however, especially around the holidays, is safety protocol is either not properly developed or overlooked. The result is people get hurt.
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In bustling stores packed with eager shoppers and harried workers, this most often manifests in the form of falls - either slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall. It's not just malls, either. Even a trip to the grocery store can be treacherous during this busiest of seasons.

There is a growing awareness among merchants they need to do more to protect visitors who come to their property to shop - known in legal terms as a "business invitee." For example, in Ohio recently, the state's Council of Retail Merchants formed a partnership with the state's Department of Aging to help older customers avoid injuries and falls in crowded malls and stores. In that state - as in Florida - falls are the No. 1 cause of injuries leading to emergency visits, hospitals stays and death of those over the age of 65.

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December 14, 2014

Fatal Daytona Truck Crash Blamed on Faulty Tires

A woman and her newborn baby were killed several months ago when a Volusia County dump truck crashed into a sport utility vehicle they were occupying.
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Now it seems faulty tires are to blame, which could prove sufficient grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit, as there are indications the county knew or should have known about issues with the tires and failed to timely address them.

Proper vehicle maintenance is the responsibility of all vehicle owners. This is especially true when it's a commercial or public vehicle that is not only large (having the ability to do a great deal of potential damage) but also gets a lot of use.

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December 7, 2014

Holiday Travel Season in Florida Heightens Crash Risk

December is one of the busiest travel times of the year, particularly in Florida, with the Florida Retail Federation predicting some 20 million tourists will visit the state at some point this month. Authorities anticipate a 4.2 percent increase in visitors from last year, which had the highest holiday tourism count since 2007. christmastable.jpg

Travel experts say falling gas prices and a rise in employment rates and disposable income are key factors contributing to the increase.

Historically, Thanksgiving weekend is noted as one of the most dangerous for those on the road. Thanksgiving weekend 2014 was the busiest in seven years, with some 2.3 million Floridians driving somewhere within the state. The vast majority of holiday travelers choose to get to their destination by motor vehicles, which means a higher-than-average number of crashes in the last part of the year.

Florida highway travelers should continue to operate with increased caution throughout December, as there will continue to be greater traffic volumes. Plus, December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, with Mothers Against Drunk Driving seizing the opportunity to warn of the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

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November 26, 2014

Report: Florida No. 1 for Drownings Following Crashes

Driving a car is treacherous no matter where in the country you live. While Florida may be fortunate in the sense our motorists don't generally have to grapple with a daily grind of snow and ice like our northern neighbors, there are plenty of roadway risks.
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One of those is vehicle drowning following a traffic accident.

According to a recent report by the Orlando Sentinel, where reporters culled federal crash data yielded over a five year period, Florida is No. 1 for vehicle drownings in the nation - and by a fairly significant margin.

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November 24, 2014

Poor Care Doesn't Deter Nursing Homes From Federal Loan Perks

Nursing homes that violate the rights and basic care standards of patients should always be held accountable. One way government regulators seek to do this is by issuing poor ratings to nursing homes that fail the grade. Fines are levied in some cases, but the other benefit is potential residents and family members can easily access the information and decide whether to patronize such a facility.
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Now, a recently-released report by the non-profit journalism Center for Public Integrity indicates many of these poorly-rated nursing homes are receiving huge taxpayer-backed benefits in the form of low-interest loans offered under an antiquated system that existed before Medicaid.

The center found 240 facilities with a one-star rating had collectively received some $2 billion in federally-backed mortgages and other loans in recent years. It's part of the National Housing Act of 1959. This was six years before Medicaid offered a steady, guaranteed stream of income for facilities providing a valuable service by caring for infirm, elderly adults. Prior to that, the nursing home industry was seen as risky business, which meant many facilities had trouble securing loans for acquisition, construction, refinancing and improvements.

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November 22, 2014

Wrong-Way DUI Crash in Volusia Devastates Families

An Orange City woman sat in a courtroom recently, holding back tears as she apologized. Repeatedly. She struggled for months to find the right words that might bring healing. But when the crime involves the loss of two sisters due to the reckless actions of a drunk driver, words are bound to fail.
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The surviving family of the two Daytona Beach sisters, ages 57 and 59, questioned her sincerity, wondering whether her grief had more to do with the loss of the next 20 years of her own life. Ultimately, a judge sentenced the 31-year-old to 20 years in prison after she accepted a plea deal. That sentence will be followed by 10 years probation. Had she been convicted at trial, she faced up to 30 years for two counts of DUI causing death, a second-degree felony.

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November 20, 2014

Florida Guardrail Safety Questioned Amid Litigation

In the wake of a $175 million verdict against highway guardrail producer Trinity Industries Inc., some 30 states banned new installation of the devices by that manufacturer. Florida was not among them.
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According to the federal False Claims Act lawsuit, the company altered the designs of highway guardrail end pieces to save money, but did not have those changes approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The new end pieces, rather than serve as an impact absorbent, cause the devices to act more like a spear, impaling vehicles and causing serious injury and death to occupants.

If the verdict is upheld, the company could be made to pay treble (triple) damages under federal law, for a total of $525 million in damages.

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