Cruises in the News – Accidents and Injuries at Sea and Ports of Call

South Florida is the cruise capital of the world with Port Miami and Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale handling almost 8 million passengers last year. Everyone in south Florida benefits from the boost these ships give our local economy from hotels passengers stay in before they leave to companies that sell the food and liquor that stock the ships. It is estimated that Port Miami handles 52,000 passengers in one day on December 9, 2018.

A cruise truly is an escape from reality and they are great stress relievers. Out on the ocean your mind is free to forget about all the pressures back on land, and in foreign ports of call people relax and party without worrying about the daily grind back home.

Cruises are often in the news, but usually the news is not good. A search on Google news found these recent calamities:

250 fall ill on Royal Caribbean
Injured cruise ship passengers flown to Florida after bus crash in Bahamas
Massive Cruise Ship Crashes Into Port In Venice, Injuring At Least 5

The thing that makes cruises different from many other types of vacations is that while on the ship and at stops along the way, passengers are not covered by state and federal statutes related to negligence, liability, and malpractice. In other words, if you are hurt because of someone else’s carelessness it may be difficult to receive help for your injuries.Cruise Ship Accidents

Some common cruise ship accidents include slip and falls, falling overboard, fallen objects, dock accidents, swimming pool or water slide injuries, injuries on excursions taken on shore, medical malpractice, and sexual or physical assault. When an injury or death occurs on navigable waters rather than in a United States port, maritime law usually applies.

Can a Victim of Cruise Ship Negligence Get Help?

The answer is yes, but it’s complicated. For example, until a legal decision in 2014 cruise ships were almost immune from medical malpractice claims. Every jurisdiction is different, just as every accident is different. Remember that the right to sue someone in court is guaranteed in the United States because of our Constitution. Our Constitution does not extend to foreign countries and so a thorough investigation will be necessary. This is a very unique and complex are of law that many firms do not get involved in because it takes such special expertise.

Important: If you are ever involved in an accident or serious incident on a cruise ship or while off the boat on an excursion, it’s important to document everything possible. Take pictures, get the names and contact information of witnesses. This will likely be very important to

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus made a commitment when our firm was first founded that we would help people who are victims of cruise ship negligence and we continue to give them superior representation and service today. Our expertise and experience allows us to get results and we fight hard for every client. Call us at (954) 356-0006 for a consultation.

 

Will Technology Eliminate Auto, Truck, and Motorcycle Accident Injuries and Deaths?

Did you know that at one time there were human pin-setters who worked at bowling alleys setting up the pins? The automatic pinsetter forced them all to find new careers.Auto Accident Attorneys

There were also people who delivered ice to homes which was placed in the “icebox” to keep food from soiling. It was a booming business until the electric refrigerator/freezer came along.

Now, automobile manufacturers like Ford and Volvo have set goals of having a world with zero human fatalities and serious injuries in crashes and they plan to do it with new advanced driver assistance technology that actually does seem to be working. Should this come to pass, they may put personal injury attorneys out of business, but if their good work puts and end to the pain and suffering we see every day it would be welcome.

Of course people do find ways to hurt themselves and other people by other means such as dangerous workplaces, unsafe products, medical malpractice, and food-borne illnesses, among many others. There will always be a need for victims to have access to help getting medical care and compensation for illness and injuries, but a world with safe roads would be truly wonderful and we hope we see it become reality someday soon.

What Are These New Technologies?

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)

These three systems are already installed in many newer cars:

  • Blind Spot Alert
  • Back-up Cameras
  • Collision Alert – Automatic Braking Systems

It’s difficult to know exactly how these systems may be helping because we would need to count accidents that don’t happen, rather than accidents that do happen, but across the country there has been a reduction in serious accidents. Many other new systems are coming, the manufacturers promise.

It is interesting to note that motorcycle accidents continue to be on the rise in many states and they take away far too many lives. Pedestrian accidents are also very high and the numbers are not coming down. It is hoped that some of the planned technologies still on the drawing board will help reduce these tragedies.

One dangerous situation that also continues to cause more accidents is distracted driving, or texting behind the wheel. The technology exists to shut down cell phones while they are present in a moving vehicle, but consumers and lawmakers have resisted it so far. We think that if people could see first-hand some of the terrible injuries and loss-of-life caused by distracted driving they would think twice. Drunk driving is also a nemesis to safety on the road, and it must be resisted and ended once and for all by everyone working together.

If you have a car with some of these new technologies, you are lucky. Make sure you understand how they work, and take advantage of them along with driving carefully, obeying the rules of the road, and never driving under the influence or while distracted. If you do this there is a good chance we will never have to meet because of an accident on the road.

Fort Lauderdale Auto, Truck, and Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

If you have experienced an accident and you have questions, we’re here to help. Calling (954) 356-0006 will put you in touch directly with one of our attorneys who will clearly explain your possible options, and our consultations are always free and confidential.

Driverless Trucks are Coming to Florida – Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Cars with no drivers. If you mentioned that just a few years ago people would think you had lost your sanity, and yet today they are a reality.

Using a combination of cameras, sensors, GPS, and other technologies, driverless motor vehicles, also known as autonomous cars and trucks, are changing the way our legal system views who – or what –  is responsible for damages, injuries, and deaths that happen as a result of accidents on our roads and highways.

Fort Lauderdale Accident AttorneysWhile you have probably heard about some accidents in Florida and across the country involving driverless cars, you probably don’t know that driverless big-rig trucks may soon be operating on our roads, and without testing, certification, or inspections as early as next year. It seems the plan for auto-pilot trucks is to have a “driver” actually control a truck via remote control for the first part of its journey, guiding the rig from the origin out to a highway. Once on the highway the truck would operate by autonomous technology for most of the trip. When the destination is near, a remote driver would once again take control, guiding the truck to the final destination.

If this seems rather disconcerting to you, it probably should. The heavier a vehicle is, the more damage it can do, and big-rig trucks are very, very heavy. The average weight of a Toyota Camry is approximately 3200 to 3500 pounds. The weight limits for a loaded tractor-trailer varies by state but 80,000 pounds is not uncommon. That’s 22 Toyotas.

If a computer, sensor, or other component malfunctions and a big-rig truck goes out of control the damage could be catastrophic.

A new Florida law signed by Governor Ron DeSantis takes effect July 1st and paves the way for trucks and cars to operate in Florida as long as they follow federal laws and rules and have the proper insurance. Ride-sharing companies like Uber can also operate driverless vehicles. Click here for the Channel 5 story about the new law.

Only time will tell if these new “robo-trucks” will be safe but it will be very important to watch them carefully.

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

A whole new area of law has opened as the focus of many accident investigations may be on technology and possibly less on human beings. Legislators must enact laws in order to maintain a system whereby victims can be adequately compensated for lost wages, damaged property, medical expenses, pain, and suffering.

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has been on the front lines helping victims of automobile, motorcycle, and truck accidents in south Florida for over 25 years.  Maintaining our high standards and our reputation requires constant monitoring of changes in the law, and research into the latest technologies. We will continue to provide every client with diligent representation and fight for their right to obtain the highest possible monetary settlements and judgments. Questions? We’re here to help. Call (954) 356-0006 and speak directly with one of our attorneys.

South Florida Personal Injury Law

Florida Personal Injury Cases: Myths vs. Facts

Personal Injury Law is an area people hope to never have a need to know about, but it’s good to know just a little now so if you ever do need to connect with an attorney you will have a basic understanding of what to do.

Many people have misconceptions about personal injury attorneys and we would like to address that first. When people are injured because of the carelessness, negligence, or malpractice of someone else, we commit to defend their rights under the law. People in this country have a right to pursue compensation for their injuries and suffering, and we commit to help them do that very professionally, according to the laws and rules, and we do it diligently. We rarely charge any fees up front and we are committed to getting you the best possible settlement or if necessary going to a full trial to get what you deserve. We give our clients personal service and if we ever work together you will find that we truly care about our clients and their cases.

Now, some of the myths that are out there, followed by the facts:

  1. Myth: If you have insurance, you don’t need an attorney. Fact: Insurance companies are very large corporations that promise to deliver profits to their investors, and they love to collect your premium payments every month. But when you file a claim they are not so anxious to pay up, at least not as much as the case calls for. A qualified personal injury attorney will work to get you the maximum amount possible.
  2. Myth: You can’t file a claim for a minor injury. Fact: Yes you can. There are really no minor injuries, and often what is considered minor turns out later to be something very serious. People are sometimes injured in an accident, and the next day they feel fine. Later, they feel a “pinched nerve” in their neck and they discover there is nerve or cervical spine damage. Always seek the advice of an experienced attorney and see a specialist physician before agreeing to sign away your rights.
  3. Myth: Personal injury cases take forever to settle. Fact: Many cases settle very quickly. We will never promise a fast settlement, but we will promise to resolve your case to your satisfaction as quickly as possible.
  4. Myth: You can always file a case later if you don’t do it now. Fact: Florida law has limitations on how long you can wait to file a case. It is always best to speak with an attorney as soon as possible because time is actually critical for many reasons when there is an accident and injury involved. The case may require evidence, which deteriorates quickly, and you may need testimony from witnesses, and memories also deteriorate quickly.

    South Florida Personal Injury Attorney

    A phone call to the Law Office of Lazarus and Lazarus is free, and so is a confidential consultation. When you call you will speak directly with Mr. Gary Lazarus and he will listen to your complete story before advising you what the best course of action is for your situation. Our firm has earned a reputation for being compassionate, yet tenacious about getting justice for our clients. Call (954) 356-0006 – we’re here to help.

Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorneys

Coming Soon: The Most Dangerous Holidays on South Florida Roads – Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorneys

Summer! It’s the best time of year for many people. School is out, people are taking vacations, and it’s when many people change their routines and drive off to unfamiliar places on unfamiliar roads. Celebrations that include drinking are going on everywhere and it’s the perfect recipe for accidents.

This is why, indeed, more accidents happen on the three major summer holidays than any other holiday during the year. Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day are always the most dangerous. A recent CBS News article says, “Drivers and passengers, beware: You are four times as likely to die in a traffic accident over the Memorial Day weekend as over a regular weekend.” Kind of makes you want to stay home and hide under the bed.

Nationwide, Memorial Day Holiday weekend has averaged 312 fatal accidents per year over the past several years, with 4th of July averaging 312 and Labor Day averaging 307. Florida, one of the top tourist destinations in the nation will no doubt have a substantial portion of the serious accidents again this year.

Personal Florida Lazarus Injury Lazarus Blog • Attorney &There is no need to be afraid, but there is a need to take common sense precautions so you don’t end up being a statistic. A lot of accidents over holiday involve alcohol, so just make up your mind now that you will not drink and drive nor will you tolerate anyone who does. Don’t get in the car with someone who has had even a little alcohol, and don’t let a friend or family member do it. You may be unpopular, or called a party pooper, but you also may save someone’s life.

As Fort Lauderdale injury attorneys since 1992, we see many victims of drunk driving accidents every year, and it is heartbreaking.

Also, many accidents happen late at night. If you’re traveling long distance please arrange your rest stops to begin when it gets dark. Book a hotel room and don’t push yourself past the point where you’re exhausted. Tired drivers tend to have slower reflexes and tired eyes don’t focus as quickly as fresh ones. Pull over and sleep!

Before you embark on a long drive have your car checked for the trip, paying special attention to headlights, seat belts, and tire pressure. Improperly inflated or worn tires are very dangerous and can cause a serious accident. Florida’s new texting and driving law goes into effect July 1st but we hope no one waits for that day to use good judgement and just never text and drive. Distracted driving is killing people all across the country and it simply cannot be condoned.

Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorneys

We hope everyone has a happy and safe summer, but if you are involved in an accident in Florida, we’re here to help. If you have questions please call us at (954) 356-0006 and you will speak directly with Mr. Gary Lazarus, a diligent and caring personal injury accident attorney for over 27 years in south Florida. All our consultations are completely confidential.

 

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month – Fort Lauderdale Motorcycle Injury Attorneys

The 3 states with the most fatalities involving motorcycles are Florida, California, and Texas (in that order) but Florida is smaller in population than the other two states and the reasons are not entirely clear why we have such a bad record. Florida has possibly the best climate year-round for riding motorcycles, and so there are more on the road, but we also have a lot of rain which causes slippery roads. Florida has more tourists who are naturally unfamiliar with the roads and that doesn’t help.

We are convinced that if Florida drivers are educated about the need to slow down and drive with caution we can lower the serious motorcycle injuries and deaths that occur every year.

Statistics show that the number one cause for a motorcycle vs. other motor vehicle crash is that the other vehicle just “didn’t see” the motorcycle. Drivers of cars and trucks are either distracted by something else (texting, for example) or they just don’t take the time to look carefully.

The top two causes of crashes are (1) a driver pulls out into traffic without making sure the way is clear and safe, and (2) a driver turns in front of an oncoming motorcyclist and causes a collision.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched a campaign many years ago called “Look Twice, Save a Life” and we believe that is something every driver in Florida Motorcycle Injury Attorneysshould make a habit of doing every time we are behind the wheel. When you pull out into traffic look to see it’s clear and then look again. It may save a life.

When you approach an intersection that is not the time to look at your phone, in fact your phone should be turned off and out of sight. Watch carefully for vehicles entering the intersection. If you are turning, you may turn in front of a motorcyclist.

515 motorcyclists died on Florida roads and highways in 2017 and each one of those deaths could have and should have been prevented. 7,725 motorcyclists were injured, and many are now permanently disabled.

Fort Lauderdale Motorcycle Injury Attorneys

Injuries resulting from motorcycle crashes are particularly serious, and victims often require extensive surgeries, long-term hospitalization, and sometimes a lifetime of follow-up care. It’s important in the time immediately following a motorcycle crash for victims to seek the help of an experienced attorney, one who has experience with motorcycle crashes and injuries. The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus is a small firm dedicated to handling serious cases with personal attention to clients. We understand the trauma and pain victims experience because we have handled so many cases in the past, and today.

Our most important goal is to protect your rights to receive compensation for your injuries and the treatment you need to return to a normal life. When you call our firm at (954) 356-0006 you will speak directly with Mr. Gary Lazarus, an attorney with a reputation for fighting hard and getting results. You can click here to see the online reviews for Mr. Lazarus.

Gary Lazarus Personal Injury Attorney

Timeline for a Personal Injury Case in South Florida – Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorneys

People are injured all over south Florida every day, and the causes range from automobile, truck, and motorcycle accidents to workplace accidents to medical malpractice. It’s traumatic physically and emotionally to be harmed in any way but when it is due to the carelessness or negligence of someone else, the law provides a way to seek compensation for damages.

Laws can be difficult to understand and navigating the court system may seem like walking through a maze, but it can be done and most of the time, justice prevails.

Personal Injury Case Time FrameWhat is Time Frame for a Typical Personal Injury Case?

First of all, there is no such thing as a typical personal injury case. Since 1992 we have helped victims of every conceivable injury, and none have been typical. Even after all our cases, we understand we must be prepared for something completely unique every day. This is why we are constantly studying the latest court cases and rulings.

Because there are so many different types of injuries and because their causes and circumstances vary, it is difficult to estimate the time it may take to settle. Insurance companies are often involved in mediation and litigation, and we certainly have learned that many companies are not very agreeable when it comes to seeing the reasonable side of our client’s case. This is when we have to be strong and fight for what is right.

An insurance company may try to rush a victim into accepting a quick offer that is not enough to cover a victim’s injuries as well as possible future expenses. There are cases where relevant evidence needs to be collected or witnesses need to be located and that may delay the expeditious conclusion to a case.

We do make this promise to each and every client: We will work tirelessly to get you the maximum compensation allowed by law for your injuries, pain, suffering, time lost from work, property damages, and emotional stress. We will never waste your time and we will always move as quickly as possible to resolve your case.

We also promise to tell you what to expect during the process and we never set unreasonable expectations.

The first step is to call us. We answer the phone every day, and you will speak directly with attorney Gary Lazarus. Our number is (954) 356-0006

 

Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Motorcycle Injuries – Don’t “Walk it Off” – Fort Lauderdale Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

If you ride, you know that automobile drivers and truck drivers just don’t take the time to scan the roadway and make it possible for them to see you or your motorcycle. The number one cause of motorcycle vs other vehicle collisions is the failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic. Car and truck drivers pull out into traffic without looking both ways, they don’t look twice, and they often misjudge the speed of oncoming traffic, especially motorcycles.

Eighty percent of all motorcycle collisions result in injury or death, but many of the more “minor” accidents are not reported and often the motorcyclist with a sore knee or neck will just walk it off and go home with a scratch on the helmet or gas tank and chalk it up to experience. That’s not a prudent move.

Often injuries sustained in traffic collisions don’t become apparent until hours or even days later. That “stiff neck” may actually be a serious injury that will torment you for years to come. A sore South Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorneysknee could actually be a torn ligament that will require expensive surgery to repair.

Some motorcyclists will refer to hitting their head on the pavement as “having their bell rung” but traumatic brain injuries are very serious and often have life-long detrimental effects including headaches, dizziness, and even internal bleeding.

If you’re in a motorcycle accident that was caused by someone else’s carelessness, do not treat it like a minor incident. Take the time to report the accident to the authorities and document everything that happened. If there are witnesses to the event, speak with them and ask for their contact information. Take photographs if you can of the accident scene, the other vehicle(s), damage to your motorcycle, and any external injuries. Get yourself checked out by a doctor right away and be very thorough about describing your aches and injuries.

Finally, but very important: Contact a personal injury attorney. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident you have rights, but it’s important to understand what to do to make sure they are protected. Waiting can cause a lapse in evidence that may be available only for a short time. Documenting injuries and damage should be done promptly. Witnesses can leave the area or lose their recollections of events. There are statutes of limitations.

South Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

The main job of a personal injury attorney is to protect your rights and to see that you receive all appropriate care and compensation for physical injuries, mental and psychological harm, and financial damages that were the fault of someone else. Doing so requires extreme effort because insurance companies don’t like paying out money and we often have to fight them to live up to their duties and responsibilities. We’re on your side from the first consultation, which you can arrange by calling (954) 356-0006.

What to Expect During Your Initial Personal Injury Attorney Consultation – Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

You’ve been involved in an accident and you aren’t really sure what to do. There are an average of 1100 crashes per day in Florida, so you’re not alone. Perhaps you’re injured and can’t work, your car is damaged, you have bills to pay and your family and friends are all telling you what to do. It’s a very frustrating situation and you feel like you’re powerless. You’re not.

The first thing you’ll want to do is reach out to an experienced accident and personal injury attorney. Someone who will take your side and is committed to helping you. This situation is new to you but we have been helping people through these difficult times for 27 years and we understand. Personal injury attorneys in almost all cases do not charge for an initial consultation, and that is where you will begin to understand what steps to take to protect yourself, and why.

So take a deep breath, believe that everything is going to work out, and read on…

Initial Consultation

The initial consultation is where we sit down with you and we get to know each other. Chances are we’re going to be working together for some time until everything is resolved so it’s important we meet. If you are unable to visit our office we can meet someplace that’s convenient for you. Here are some things to be prepared for:

Be Ready to Talk. Before we meet you should try to write down some notes about the accident. When and where did  it happen? Who was involved? It’s important to be straightforward and honest. Remember that everything you say to your attorney is completely confidential and we are prohibited from ever disclosing anything you tell us. We ask that our clients be honest from the start because we need to make sure all the facts are out in the open so we can do our job.

Bring Evidence. If you took any pictures or have witnesses, bring what you can so we understand the situation as completely as possible. Don’t try to investigate the accident yourself, that’s aBlog Attorney Lazarus Personal & Florida Injury Lazarus • job for the police if they’re involved and it’s also our responsibility. We handle any follow up as far as gathering evidence you may not be aware of.

Be Ready to Discuss Money. Our job is to make sure you get the money you are entitled to for your physical, mental, and emotional injuries and for damages to your property. You may have future damages related to your ability to work. We will speak with you about anything that involves money because we want you to have a very clear expectation about your case. We believe in a completely honest dialogue and will always give you the truth.

Our initial consultation is free, and in most cases we do not charge any attorney fees until your case has concluded. We talk about all money issues up front.

Be Ready to Discuss Time. Sometimes cases settle very quickly and others take longer. We will do everything in our power to expedite your case so you can move on with your life.

Finally, we ask you read our online reviews before we meet and see what other clients have said about our service and commitment to them. We are a small firm with a big heart and a powerful reputation for fighting very hard for all our clients. We know you need to be in touch with us throughout you case and so we do that. You can always reach us if you need to talk.

Click here to read our reviews.

Choosing an attorney for your accident case is a big one. You can begin the process by calling 954-356-0006, and thank you.

The Scooters are Here, and so are the Problems

It was just a matter of time. As south Florida becomes more and more urbanized the number of scooters, mopeds, and motorcycles increases. It’s just easier to get to where you need to be on a smaller conveyance than a big bulky car. And when you consider the warm weather factor, it’s even more appealing to leave the gas-guzzler home and “scoot” to work or the store.

The numbers have gone up dramatically in just the past few years for electric scooters from Lime, Bird and Bolt, the three major players in the booming scooter rental and sharing industry.

Hundreds and hundreds of electric scooters are buzzing all over the city and Broward county, and they are having an impact on traffic and safety. Many residents are complaining that scooter riders are not obeying traffic signs and laws, and they are a menace to other drivers. Some scooters are riding on sidewalks, which many people feel is very dangerous to pedestrians.

Lawsuits are being filed against the three companies including one naming Lime for a very serious accident that left a scooter rider in a coma.

The big question of course is about insurance and liability. And our advice is, of course, is that it’s better to be safe than sorry. Here is something from the National Association of Insurance Scooter SafetyCommissioners:

Before you decide to rent a scooter, you should understand the insurance implications and know whether you are covered.

Some cities, like San Francisco, require scooter rental companies to obtain a permit from the city and provide proof of insurance before they can operate legally. Unless the company policy indicates otherwise, assume you are not covered in case of an accident. You should rely on your health insurance for any medical injury you sustain. In case of an accident, you might not have any coverage if you are found liable for an accident or damage.

Check your insurance policies to determine whether you are covered. Automobile insurance generally omits liability coverage for motor vehicles with fewer than four wheels, and it’s unlikely to apply to scooter rentals. Although most homeowners policies provide some liability coverage even while you are away from your residence, it may be limited or excluded because the scooter is a rental.

Like any new trend, these issues may not be specifically addressed in your policy, and coverage will depend on the carrier and the specific language in your policy.

Understanding Your Scooter Insurance Options

Scooter Insurance: Regulations and requirements vary by state — often depending on the engine size. Most scooter rental companies offer rentals with engines smaller than 50 cc. While most states do not require insurance for engines that small, they do recommend it. Scooter insurance will often cover the following:

Collision: Covers damages resulting from a collision.
Liability: Protects against damage you do to others or their property while operating a scooter.
Medical: Covers your medical costs in an accident.

We suggest if you are going to rent a scooter that you check to make sure you have coverage. We also highly recommend you wear a quality helmet and that you become familiar with how to operate a scooter before you take it out into traffic. As the number of scooters increases, so will the accidents and injuries. Please be careful.


The transmission and receipt of information contained on this Web site, in whole or in part, or communication with Lazarus Law Firm via the Internet or e-mail through this website does not constitute or create a lawyer-client relationship between us and any recipient. You should not send us any confidential information in response to this web page. Such responses will not create a lawyer-client relationship, and whatever you disclose to us will not be privileged or confidential unless we have agreed to act as your legal counsel and you have executed a written engagement agreement with Lazarus Law Firm. The material on this website may not reflect the most current legal developments. The content and interpretation of the law addressed herein is subject to revision. We disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all the contents of this site to the fullest extent permitted by law. Do not act or refrain from acting upon this information without seeking professional legal counsel.