A Dangerous Walk – Florida Pedestrian Accidents

In addition to being the most dangerous state for motorcyclists, Florida also holds the record for being the most dangerous state for pedestrians. Of all the metro areas in Florida, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach are is 11th, so we’re a little better than Tampa-St. Pete, Orlando Kissimmee, Jacksonville, and a few others but we have a lot of work to do to make our crosswalks safer.florida pedestrian accident attorneys

What are the numbers?

In Florida, during the 10-year period ending in 2014, 5,142 people were killed by a car while walking. In South Florida, the toll was 1,508, an average of 150.8 per year.

The population of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties is 5.6 million people.

A report titled “Dangerous by Design 2016” compiled the statistics and is available by clicking here. Most of the blame was directed at poor road design.

If you’ve ever visited New York City, you have witnessed people crossing the street at intersections when the “walk” light flashes on without even looking for cars. Huge numbers of people just plow right into the intersection and cross without giving a single thought that they might be hit. It is customary for drivers to also obey the crossing signals and red lights, and actually stop. Pedestrians are usually given the right of way and in 2016, 144 pedestrians were killed in the whole city. Population 8.5 million.

If you live in south Florida, you should be aware that this is not even close to being the same situation. For some reason, pedestrians are often ignored and it seems drivers just don’t see the signals.

Until designs are improved and crosswalks are safer, pedestrians would be prudent to look both ways and watch out for cars. Just because the crosswalk light says “walk” doesn’t mean you’re safe. Look both ways. Look every way! And cross with caution.

We have handled far too many cases involving pedestrian injuries and death. If you have questions, please reach out to us at 954-356-0006 and we’ll be happy to set up a consultation. Thank you.

Motorcyclists: Two Things Can Help Protect You

The latest numbers are out and Florida continues to hold the dubious distinction of being the most deadly state for motorcycle accidents.  According to AAA, motorcycle deaths rose 30 percent in Florida, between 2014 and 2015. In 2015, Florida holds the top spot for the number of motorcycle accident fatalities, at 606.

So what are we going to do about this?

We are proponents of the “look twice, save a life” program which urges drivers to pause and check two times to make sure there is not a motorcycle coming before they pull out into traffic. Also, we stress constantly that drivers should never text and drive – these two things are responsible for thousands of fatal motorcycle accidents every year.

What can motorcyclists do? Two things: Skill, and Gear.

Skill: Even the most advanced and experienced riders need to occasionally take a safety course. Airline pilots receive constant instruction and testing to keep their skills fine-tuned. Motorcyclists need to do the same. In south Florida, contact the Safety Council of the Palm Beaches  or click here to find courses all over the state of Florida.

Never drink and ride. Don’t speed.

Fort Lauderdale Motorcycle Accident AttorneyGear: According to the National Safety Council, A helmet is the most important equipment a biker can use. In 2015, 1,922 motorcyclists who died were not wearing a helmet.

Helmets are estimated to be 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries for operators and 41% for passengers, and they saved an estimated 1,772 lives in 2015, according to Injury Facts® 2017. An additional 740 lives could have been saved that year if all had worn helmets.

Wear a protective jacket designed for motorcycle riders. Wear proper gloves. Choose a bike that’s the right size for you, and invest in anti-lock brakes.

Fort Lauderdale Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Serious motorcycle accidents have been a major part of our law practice for over 20 years, and we have represented hundreds of victims. We help injured people get their lives back after devastating injuries, getting them the maximum compensation for their pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost work.

Call us at 954-356-0006 to arrange a confidential conversation with our attorneys.

Driving with the Dog – Please do it Safely

Personal Injury Attorneys South FloridaCruising around south Florida in the car on a beautiful sunny day, it’s one of the reasons we live here. And taking the family dog might seem like fun for the driver and the dog, but dogs present some issues regarding safety for everyone.

First of all, we often discuss the issue of distracted driving as it pertains to texting or talking on a cell phone. But a dog in the car can be an equally dangerous distraction. The American Automobile Association conducted a survey and found that many people enjoyed riding with their dog on their lap, petted their dog while driving, and many even said they liked to take pictures of their pooch while driving. Talk about distracted. One moment of distracted driving can cause a horrific accident and so ee urge people not to do any of these things for obvious reasons.

Let’s talk about the safety of your pet. Driving with an unrestrained dog in the front seat is very dangerous for several reasons, but one in particular is that most cars today have airbags, front and side. If an airbag goes off, it may actually throw your dog through a window and out of the car onto the street. This has happened, and it’s totally tragic. Petco.com has several dog restraints here: Click Here.

Let’s also not forget about the terrible potential danger of leaving a dog unattended in your car. It seems unthinkable that a responsible person could leave their beloved pet in a hot car, but it happens all the time.

Fortunately, Governor Rick Scott signed House Bill 131 into law, allowing Floridians to break into locked automobiles to rescue animals or vulnerable people who are “in imminent danger of suffering harm.”

The bill comes as a direct response to the growing number of incidents where pets and children have died because they have been left in overheated cars. However, the new law will only protect breaking into a vehicle under strict guidelines. If you’re faced with the situation, here’s what you need to know: First, you must check that the vehicle is locked. After doing so, call 911 or law enforcement before entering the vehicle or immediately after rescuing the child or pet. Finally, use no more force than is necessary to break in — and remain with the person or animal until first responders arrive.

Here’s our advice: Leave the dog home, unless you’re taking it to the vet or moving.

South Florida Accident Attorney

In 20+ years of representing victims of serious car crashes, we have seen it all including pets injured and pets causing accidents. Dogs and cats are wonderful companions and they are like family to many people, but they simply don’t belong in our cars.

We are experienced personal injury attorneys representing people all over Florida who have been injured to to the carelessness or negligence of someone else. Please call us if you have any questions,, and thank you for reading our blog. 954-356-0006.


Car Seat Safety – Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorney

Fort Lauderdale Accident AttorneyEveryone knows that children should be properly belted in to a child-restraint seat while in a moving car, right? Not necessarily. A recent survey revealed that 21% of adults in the U.S. don’t think it’s necessary to buckle kids in car seats when going on a “short trip.” (Source)

In 2013, three children were killed and 470 were injured every day in car accidents in the United States. (Source)

Finally, 26% of children killed in car accidents in 2014 were not restrained in car seats. (Source)

Lets see what the law says in Florida:

Chapter 316.613 of the 2017 Florida Statutes: 316.613 Child restraint requirements.—
(1)(a) Every operator of a motor vehicle as defined in this section, while transporting a child in a motor vehicle operated on the roadways, streets, or highways of this state, shall, if the child is 5 years of age or younger, provide for protection of the child by properly using a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device.
1. For children aged through 3 years, such restraint device must be a separate carrier or a vehicle manufacturer’s integrated child seat.
2. For children aged 4 through 5 years, a separate carrier, an integrated child seat, or a child booster seat may be used. However, the requirement to use a child restraint device under this subparagraph does not apply when a safety belt is used as required in s. 316.614(4)(a) and the child:
a. Is being transported gratuitously by an operator who is not a member of the child’s immediate family;
b. Is being transported in a medical emergency situation involving the child; or
c. Has a medical condition that necessitates an exception as evidenced by appropriate documentation from a health care professional.

The statute goes on further – click here – but the penalty for failure to comply is a moving violation, and three points will be assessed against the driver’s license of the offender. This seems like a trivial punishment considering the possible damage to a child and indeed the entire family of a young life lost in an accident.

There is no excuse for not obeying this important law.

Using the right car seat is also crucial. Here is a link to a service that calculates the proper seat based on a child’s age, weight, and height: Click Here.

Once you have a car seat, almost every police department in south Florida will inspect it to make sure it is properly installed and you are using it properly.

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorney

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has helped victims of serious auto, truck, and motorcycle accidents for over 20 years and unfortunately we have worked with many cases that involved children. Serious injuries to children are almost always preventable by simply taking the time to install and then a car seat.

Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorney

I’m Going to File a Lawsuit! Florida Personal Injury Attorney

Some say we live in an overly litigious society. Personal Injury Case Review

How often have you been “wronged” by someone, and the first thing you think of is taking them to court? It’s a normal reaction because everything we see in the news is about cases where someone finds a fly in their soup and receives $50 billion dollars in a judgment. Those things really don’t happen.

The truth is that a conscientious, responsible attorney does everything to avoid going to court. It starts with case review.

The prudent course of action before starting any type of legal case is to get the facts. Who, what, when, where, and why? Accumulating this information can make the difference between a successful case and wasting time and money. Judges don’t appreciate having their time wasted, and most will not tolerate frivolous lawsuits.

On the other hand, you may have an excellent case, but how will you know?

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has earned a sterling reputation for successfully representing victims in south Florida because we conduct a thorough case review prior to moving forward with any legal action. We are very meticulous about this because we want to make sure we are giving victims the straight story and not wasting their time.

Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorney

Reaching out to us is easy! You can call us at 954-356-0006 or you may click here and fill out the form. We will be in touch with you fast, and we’ll listen carefully to your story. It’s far better to get the real story up front.


pharmacy negligence attorney

How Many New Drugs are Approved Each Year?

Florida Pharmacy LawyerWhen you go to the pharmacy and see all those bottles behind the counter, do you ever wonder how many drugs there are? How many new drugs are introduced to the market? How do they keep track of all those drugs?

You might think that hundreds of new drugs hit the market every years, but actually it’s not that many. In 2016 there were 21 new drugs approved by the FDA. They are called novel drugs.

A Novel Drug or a New Molecular Entity (NME) is an active compound, complex, molecule that previously has not been approved by the FDA/EMA. This is different from a previously approved drug that has received approval for an different but new condition.

The new drugs for 2016 range from treatments for muscular dystrophy and cancer to drugs that help dry-eye syndrome. Click here to see a list of all the new drugs.

How many drugs, in total have been approved by the FDA? That number currently is about 1500 and over-the-counter drugs number about 5000. When you consider that doctors and pharmacists have to aware of all 6500, it’s quite a challenge. These professionals are responsible for understanding the side-effects, the interactions, and also how they may react when mixed with different types of foods and in different environments. Some drugs should never be taken with grapefruit juice, and others should not be taken at high altitudes.

Despite the complexity of the prescription medication industry, these are the responsibilities assumed by pharmacists and physicians. You, as a patient, should keep in mind that sometimes  medical professionals make mistakes and you should do everything you can to make sure you understand. Take a few minutes to ask your doctor about what medications might not mix with your diet. Ask your pharmacist to explain dosage quantities and times if you don’t understand.

Large pharmacy chains are always busy, but you deserve some time to make sure you’re taking medication that will heal you, not hurt you.

Pharmacy Negligence Attorney

Pharmacy errors has been a major part of our work with people across south Florida for over 20 years. We understand drugs uses, interactions, and side-effects and if you think you’ve been the victim of a mistake we might be able to help. Call us at 954-356-0006 and we’ll talk.

Florida Truck Accident Attorney

Large Truck Collisions – Florida Truck Accident Attorney

We would all like to live a nice, long, healthy life and pass away from “natural causes” after a few hundred years. The truth is, most people who pass away early die from unnatural causes like car accidents, homicide, poisoning, and all kinds of other scary things that, with some care and thought, might be avoided.

We constantly stress the need for safety on the road, and it’s for a very good reason. It’s dangerous out there!

Trucks are the foundation for our society’s delivery of food and other products, but in 2015, 1 in 10 highway deaths nationwide were the result of a crash that involved a large truck. Of the 3,852 people who died in truck crashes that year, only 16 percent were truck occupants. The rest were other drivers, passengers in those drivers’ vehicles, or pedestrians.

In Florida, the number of traffic fatalities overall increased 17.8 percent between 2014 and 2015. The number that involved commercial motor vehicles jumped 20.7 percent (232 to 280) during that same time.

So what’s the plan? Be careful all the time, but be really attentive when you’re near a big truck. Remember that trucks have something called “blind spots.” Truck drivers have areas where they can’t see other traffic, even with their mirrors. If you watch videos on YouTube that show real accidents, you may notice that a lot of them involve big trucks. Often, a car is passing a truck and the truck moves over into the car’s lane, causing a horrendous accident. This may be because the car is in the truck driver’s blind spot. See the diagram below and be aware of them. They can’t see you when you’re in the red zones.

Everyone is in a big hurry today, and often they feel the need to pass anyone and everyone ahead of them. First of all, try to slow it down, and second, be very careful going through the blind spots. Watch carefully and if the truck driver seems to moving over, drop back! You will never win a battle with a big truck.

Florida Truck Accident Attorney – Fort Lauderdale

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has been representing people involved in big truck accidents for over 20 years. We understand the complex issues that come up regarding ownership, insurance, and the accident investigation procedures with truck accidents. Call us at 954-356-0006 if you have questions, and thank you.

florida truck accident attorney


Train vs. Car Accidents in South Florida – Train Accident Attorneys

The railroad is what allowed south Florida to be developed. The dream of one man, Henry Flagler, was responsible for early settlers to finally get the food and supplies needed to build communities and then cities up and down the peninsula. Today we have freight trains, Tri-Rail, Amtrak, and the new Brightline will soon be speeding along on the tracks that parallel the busy Dixie Highway corridor through Miami Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.

Cars and pedestrians are natural enemies for enormous trains moving at high speeds, and while the nationwide statistics are better over time, many people are concerned that more speeding trains will bring more accidents.

Here are numbers for train accidents at crossings:

Year                Collisions   Deaths    Injuries

1981               9,461           728          3,293

2016              2,025          265           798

train accident attorneyThe Federal Railroad Administration provides a graphic that explains the force of a freight train hitting a passenger car is equal to a passenger car crushing a soda can.

Many communities in south Florida have requested “quiet zones” where Brightline trains will not sound horns, and this is another concern for traffic safety experts. The fact that south Florida is home to millions of older people who may have some hearing loss is concerning.

There are many variables involved when a train hits a car at a crossing, for example, were the gates properly deployed? Was the train traveling at the proper speed? Did the train blow it’s horn? Was the car trapped on the tracks? What were the weather conditions? All these factors must be examined in order to determine if there was negligence involved.

Everyone hopes the new Brightline is a success for south Florida, and only time will tell.

Fort Lauderdale Train Accident Attorneys

If you are involved in an accident involving a train, the attorneys at Lazarus and Lazarus are experienced handling these incidents and we are available to answer your questions about what to do. Reach out to us at 954-356-0006, and thank you.


Know What to do if You are Injured on a Bus – Bus Accident Attorney

If you have ever been on a public bus in south Florida, you know it’s not the most luxurious way to get around, but it gets you where you’re going. Just not very fast!

We talk about seat belts a lot, and many other safety concerns when you’re on the road, but buses are different because there is far less attention paid to safety devices and they are usually not required. If you are a passenger on a bus and the bus is involved in an accident, making a claim for your injuries may be difficult because most buses are owned by a government, city or county. There are special procedures involved when attempting to collect damages from a government agency and you should reach out to an experienced attorney.

There are videos from on-board cameras of passengers being thrown about during bus accidents, and many people haveFORT LAUDERDALE BUS ACCIDENT ATTORNEY received serious and fatal injuries.

If you’re involved in a serious bus accident, call 911 and make sure everyone gets medical attention. As with any accident, it’s best to give law enforcement only the information as required, and don’t speak with other people until you talk to an attorney. Someone may contact you about signing papers for an early settlement, but once again, speak to an attorney first.

School Buses

The law pertaining to school buses is different, and states: 316.6145 School buses; safety belts or other restraint systems required.—
(1)(a) Each school bus that is purchased new after December 31, 2000, and used to transport students in grades pre-K through 12 must be equipped with safety belts or with any other restraint system approved by the Federal Government in a number sufficient to allow each student who is being transported to use a separate safety belt or restraint system. These safety belts must meet the standards required under s. 316.614. A school bus that was purchased prior to December 31, 2000, is not required to be equipped with safety belts.
(b) As used in this section, “school bus” means a school bus that is owned, leased, operated, or contracted by a school district.
(2) Each passenger on a school bus that is equipped with safety belts or restraint system shall wear a properly adjusted and fastened safety belt at all times while the bus is in operation. The state, the county, a school district, school bus operator under contract with a school district, or an agent or employee of a school district or operator, including a teacher or volunteer serving as a chaperone, is not liable in an action for personal injury by a school bus passenger solely because the injured party was not wearing a safety belt. The full statute is here -> Click

Some common sense advice for anyone riding on any bus: Remain seated, and hold on to a strap or one of the metal poles and keep holding on until the bus comes to a complete stop and you are able to exit. Bus drivers start and stop suddenly, so always try to maintain a grip on something to stabilize yourself.

The attorneys at Lazarus and Lazarus understand the complexities of dealing with government agencies for accident cases, and we would be pleased to speak with you if you have been involved in an accident involving any government-owned vehicle. Please call us at 954-356-0006 and we will discuss the best course of action for your circumstances.

Broward County Transit produced a video on proper bus courtesy, which will make life better for everyone who rides the bus:



Roadwork is a Major Hazard for Motorcycles

Up north, roadwork is done primarily in the spring and summer months, but in south Florida it’s a year round project. As we all know, it never seems to end! Everyone needs to be more careful in work zones, for our safety, the worker’s safety, and for other drivers as well.

Motorcycles are particularly vulnerable to uneven surfaces and sudden, unfamiliar detours. When roads are designed, they are usually planned with plenty of space to prepare for curves and changes in roadway elevations. When road crews are laying out temporary detours, there is often not such meticulous planning, and all drivers are startled by big orange signs.

Experienced motorcyclists know that the surface of a roadway is critical to how a bike handles, effects stopping distances, and how a sudden turn can turn into a slide along the pavement.

Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorney

According to the Federal Highway Administration, an average of 700 motorists die each year in approximately 70,000 work zone crashes. This accounts for about 2 percent of all traffic fatalities in a given year. Of those fatalities, around 10 percent are motorcyclists.

While efforts are made to protect workers in construction zones and blame is often placed on the driver in a work zone motorcycle crash, seven times as many drivers die in these accidents as highway workers. Even when motorists obey warning signs, these zones present hazards that endanger drivers, particularly drivers of motorcycles.

Often, work zones are not properly marked with caution signs, and the construction companies are partially responsible for serious accidents.

Here are some of the roadwork hazards that are particularly dangerous for motorcycles:

  • Steel plates used to cover holes are extremely slippery, especially after and during rain.
  • Gravel surfaces are hazardous during  sudden stops, motorcycle tires can’d skid to a stop.
  • Uneven lanes will sometimes cause a severe wobble in the from wheel of a motorcycle, which may initiate a loss of control.

There are, of course, many other hazards present in roadwork zones, so as the big orange signs say: SLOW DOWN.

It’s also important to remember this: While you might be going slow, and being very alert, other drivers probably aren’t and in a battle between a car and a motorcycle, it’s usually the bike that loses.

We have represented many victims involved in serious motorcycle accidents, and out primary goal is to protect our client’s rights to obtain compensation for their pain, suffering, and injuries. Call us at 954-356-0006 if you have questions, we are here to help.

Motorcycle Safety Tips from the National Safety Council