Duty to Give Information and Render Aid – Florida Accident Attorneys

florida accident attorneysWe’ve discussed what to do if you’re involved in an accident in Florida. The first thing is, of course, call 911 and render aid to others if you are able. Call your insurance company, cooperate with the authorities, call an accident attorney, and do not share information on social media. Click here to read our article from November 2016.

Recently there was a very disturbing story in the news about an auto accident in Pompano Beach that involved a car crashing into a tree. Allegedly the driver had a 6-year-old child in the back seat without a car seat, and after the accident she ran away, leaving the injured boy alone in the car. Channel 10’s story is here: Local10.com

No doubt the driver will face a variety of charges including failure to render aid. Chapter 316.062 of the Florida Statutes states, in part:

Duty to give information and render aid.—
(1) The driver of any vehicle involved in a crash resulting in injury to or death of any person or damage to any vehicle or other property which is driven or attended by any person shall give his or her name, address, and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving, and shall upon request and if available exhibit his or her license or permit to drive, to any person injured in such crash or to the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle or other property damaged in the crash and shall give such information and, upon request, exhibit such license or permit to any police officer at the scene of the crash or who is investigating the crash and shall render to any person injured in the crash reasonable assistance, including the carrying, or the making of arrangements for the carrying, of such person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary, or if such carrying is requested by the injured person.

Now, if you are in an accident and someone is injured, you’r in the middle of nowhere with no access to a phone, and someone is hurt, perhaps bleeding, can you help and not worry about being sued? Probably:

768.13 Good Samaritan Act; immunity from civil liability.—
(1) This act shall be known and cited as the “Good Samaritan Act.”
(2)(a) Any person, including those licensed to practice medicine, who gratuitously and in good faith renders emergency care or treatment either in direct response to emergency situations related to and arising out of a public health emergency declared pursuant to s. 381.00315, a state of emergency which has been declared pursuant to s. 252.36 or at the scene of an emergency outside of a hospital, doctor’s office, or other place having proper medical equipment, without objection of the injured victim or victims thereof, shall not be held liable for any civil damages as a result of such care or treatment or as a result of any act or failure to act in providing or arranging further medical treatment where the person acts as an ordinary reasonably prudent person would have acted under the same or similar circumstances.

We are Florida accident attorneys, and we represent victims of serious crashes. We believe it is our responsibility to offer as much information and advice as we can to help reduce accidents and injuries. Please drive responsibly, never drink and drive and do not use your phone when driving. Help others in need whenever possible. If we all do this we will make Florida a better place to live, work, and drive for everyone.

If you would like to reach us please call 954-356-0006, and thank you.

Liquor Liability – Florida Dram Shop Law

Despite the horrific statistics on alcohol-related car accidents, some people in Florida continue to drive drunk. Whenflorida car accident attorneys they do and are involved in a crash, the penalties are severe and the civil liability that may result can also be devastating. Many people are unaware of laws that pertain to bars, restaurants, liquor stores, and other businesses or even private hosts who serve alcohol. These laws vary state-by-state.

Dram shop or dramshop is a legal term in the United States referring to a bar, tavern or the like where alcoholic beverages are sold. Traditionally, it referred to a shop where spirits were sold by the dram, a small unit of liquid.

Dram shop liability refers to the body of law governing the liability of taverns, liquor stores, and other commercial establishments that serve alcoholic beverages. Generally, dram shop laws establish the liability of establishments arising out of the sale of alcohol to visibly intoxicated persons or minors who subsequently cause death or injury to third parties (those not having a relationship to the bar) as a result of alcohol-related car crashes and other accidents.

Florida is unlike most dram shop laws in the sense that it almost completely restricts the liability of establishments selling and serving alcohol. This makes Florida’s dram shop law very limited in scope and application. Florida Statute 768.125 states: Liability for injury or damage resulting from intoxication.—A person who sells or furnishes alcoholic beverages to a person of lawful drinking age shall not thereby become liable for injury or damage caused by or resulting from the intoxication of such person, except that a person who willfully and unlawfully sells or furnishes alcoholic beverages to a person who is not of lawful drinking age or who knowingly serves a person habitually addicted to the use of any or all alcoholic beverages may become liable for injury or damage caused by or resulting from the intoxication of such minor or person.

Last year a Florida man sued Kahuna’s Bar and Grill in St. Petersburg, Florida after drinking at the establishment and then crashing his car. The press reported:

The suit claims that Campbell was a longtime patron of Kahuna’s. On several occasions, when it was clear he had too much to drink, bartenders and staff nevertheless continued serving Campbell, even taking shots of liquor with him. Due to his drunken state, Campbell had previously passed out, fallen face first to the ground, spilled beer on tables, and even vomited on the patio.

The status of this case is unknown.

Florida Accident Attorneys

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus works with victims of car accidents, and often there is alcohol involved. Whatever the circumstances, we will work to get the facts and protect the rights of our clients as we have done for over 20 years. We urge all Florida drivers to not drink and drive, to refrain from and cell phone use while driving, and to obey all traffic laws.

If you have been involved in a Florida car accident, please reach out to us by calling 954-356-0006 and asking for a free consultation. We will be happy to meet you at your convenience.

“Sorry, It’s My Fault” – Don’t Say That! Florida Accident Attorney

Florida Accident AttorneyYou’re a nice person, I can tell. And you’re polite. When you bump into someone in the store because you’re looking at your phone (you don’t do that in the car) you say “Sorry, my fault.” I do that too!

But. It’s not a good idea to do that after an accident. Even if it was your fault. We have discussed what to do immediately after an accident but we didn’t cover this and it recently came up in another case.

When you have an accident you first priority is safety and medical attention, if necessary. Don’t admit fault because that may come back at you later. Plus, you may think it’s your fault, but it’s really not. Often things are not as they first seem to be, which is why we investigate accidents.

Here’s a checklist of things to do and not do right after an accident:

  1. If anyone is injured call 911 immediately. And help as much as you can.
  2. If it’s a minor accident and you are going to work it with the other driver make sure you get all the information: insurance card, tag number, and take pictures.
  3. If you believe the police should be called, call them.
  4. If you are not injured get the names of witnesses who may have seen the accident. Once again, try to take pictures if you are able.
  5. Note the condition of the other driver and try to write down notes about everything you observe.
  6. If the police respond, cooperate but don’t offer information or make small-talk. Answer questions.
  7. Call your insurance company.
  8. Sometimes insurance adjusters will respond to the scene. Same as above, just answer questions and don’t offer your opinion or any chit-chat. Just because it’s your insurance company doesn’t mean they are anxious to pay you a lot of money.
  9. Don’t give a recorded statement to your insurance company. Tell them that can wait until later.
  10. Do not sign a general medical release. That’s another thing that can wait until later.
  11. Once you are finished with all on-scene responsibilities, call an experienced accident attorney. There will get guidance on what to do next.
  12. Finally, don’t post anything on social media! If there is any dispute or legal action, that has proved to be very bad in many other cases. It’s best to remain silent and speak only with your attorney.

florida accident attorneyFlorida Accident Attorney

The attorneys at Lazarus and Lazarus have been helping victims of car accidents for over 20 years, so we are well aware of the pitfalls of not keeping on course with the above list. We want the truth to come out and for our clients to get the best representation possible to receive the maximum help for their damages and injuries.

We invite you to examine our record, our qualifications, and our reviews online. Then we hope you call us if you are involved in any accident. Call us at 954-356-0006.

Florida Personal Injury Attorney

Ten Leading Causes of Death – Know Them and Avoid Them

Most people want to live as long as possible and while they are living they hope to enjoy a productive, harmonious, healthy existence with family and friends. Death is a subject most people don’t even want to think about. But since the number of people who have avoided death since the beginning of time is zero, it’s not likely you or I will be break that string of inevitable mortality. Let’s examine how people die, why a lot of people die before they should, and how we might avoid an early exit. The current life expectancy in the U.S. is 78.7 years, so let’s all get there, and more!

The top 10 causes of death in the U.S. are:

Heart Disease
Cancer (malignant neoplasms)
Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease
Accidents (unintentional injuries)
Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases)
Alzheimer’s Disease
Diabetes
Influenza and Pneumonia
Kidney Disease (nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis)
Suicide

Read more “Ten Leading Causes of Death – Know Them and Avoid Them”

What’s Causing the Biggest Spike in Highway Deaths in 50 Years?

Florida Accident Attorneys Lazarus and Lazarus are Concerned for Florida Drivers and Passengers

florida accident attorneysYou may not believe this, but when you take a picture using the mobile app Snapchat you can overlay onto the photograph a digital representation of your speed. In miles per hour. When I first heard about this so-called feature, with my understanding of human nature I immediately determined that this was a very bad idea.

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating an October 26th crash near Tampa that killed five people. Just prior to the collision one of the passengers recorded a Snapchat video showing that her vehicle was traveling 115 miles per hour.

Is it any wonder that mobile apps and distracted driving in general is being blamed for a substantial increase in traffic collision deaths? We have advanced technology far enough to add a myriad of safety features into our cars, trucks, and motorcycles to make them safer, but then mobile app technology erodes the progress when irresponsible people misuse it to cause horrific traffic crashes.

In the first 6 months of 2016, highway deaths jumped 10.4% to 17,775, from the comparable period in 2015.

What can be done about this alarming trend?

The U.S. Department of Transportation has embarked on a program to toughen enforcement of seat belt laws for cars, helmets for motorcyclists, and for drunk and distracted drivers. But the only real change will likely come from……technology.

florida accident attorney

Driverless cars continue to be improved to the point where they may be a widespread reality in the next 15-20 years. In the interim most auto manufacturers are adding software that connects to smart phones and allows drivers to make calls, text, and navigate and use apps through hands-free interfaces.

The problem is that just because someone’s hands are free, doesn’t mean their concentration is on the road. Many researchers believe that drivers engaged in any external activity are distracted from what should be their only focus: driving. Hands-free options have been available for many years, and yet the statistics continue to show that something is causing more tragic crashes.

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus

Serious automobile accidents are going to be too frequent an occurrence until fatalities reach zero. Until that day, we have to deal with them as best we can, and the Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus is committed to providing superior representation to victims throughout the state of Florida. We are experienced and qualified Florida accident attorneys who specialize in helping victims deal with their injuries, their expenses, and their recovery. Your rights under the law are our primary concern.

You may reach out to us any time by calling 954-356-0006 and asking for a confidential consultation.

Lazarus and Lazarus

Florida Accident Attorneys

Ft. Lauderdale
Wells Fargo Tower, 1 E Broward Blvd #700
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Weston
1625 N Commerce Pkwy #225
Weston, FL 33326

 

What to do After a Motor Vehicle Accident in Florida

Florida Law Requires Certain Actions After an Accident – Florida Accident Attorney

florida accident attorneyIf you witness an accident, but are not actually involved you are not required to remain at the scene. However, your input may help authorities determine what the caused the accident, who is at fault, and would probably be the right thing to do. Make sure authorities are notified and if there are injuries be sure they are aware. Unless you have medical training it’s best not to try to administer medical assistance.

Don’t put yourself in danger by stepping into the roadway or approaching a dangerous situation. If other drivers are arguing, do not get involved. Wait for the authorities and be prepared to recount what you witnessed.

If you are a driver and are involved in an accident, you must stop your vehicle immediately after the accident and do not leave the scene. 

Position your vehicle in a manner that won’t obstruct other motorists. If you can’t do this, then either ask for help, or call a tow truck. If someone has been hurt, you must attempt to secure medical help right away.

Give your name, address, and registration number to anyone involved in the accident who requests this information. You may have to show your driver’s license, too. Law enforcement officers arriving on the scene have the right to all of this information, as well.

Accidents involving an injury or death, a hit-and-run or intoxicated driver, or property damage that appears to be over $500 need to be reported immediately to law enforcement. The investigating officer will make a written report on all accidents involving a death or injury.

If an officer completes a report, you won’t need to file a crash report. However, if a crash report hasn’t been filed by law enforcement, then you’ll need to do so within 10 days of the accident.

Unattended Vehicles

Many people aren’t aware of your obligations when it comes to cars that are unoccupied. If you are involved in an accident with an unattended and unoccupied car, you’re required to notify the owner. If you cannot find the owner, then attach a note to the damaged vehicle or property which contains your name, address, and license plate number. Be sure to write legibly. Also, report the accident to law enforcement right away.

For any accident, once you are certain that you have made sure injured parties are receiving treatment and you have complied with all reporting requirements and notified and cooperated with law enforcement, you should contact an attorney specializing in motor vehicle accidents.

Speak only to an attorney, and do not share information about the accident, including photographs with others, especially on social media or anywhere on the internet. Listen to the advice of your attorney and follow his or her instructions.

Florida Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus in Fort Lauderdale has been advising and representing people in Florida who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents for over 20 years. Calling 954-356-0600 will put you in touch with Gary and Arleen Lazarus, who are eminently qualified to help.