Pedestrians Beware During High Season Traffic – South Florida Pedestrian Accident Attorneys

You don’t hear the term used as often as days gone by, but “high season” for many decades in south Florida was that time of year when it seemed that half the license plates you would see on cars were from northern states and Canada. Traffic on our roads was almost impossible to get through, especially near the beach. Our roads are so crowded year-round that most people don’t even recognize when the tourists come and when they leave because they’re always here, but generally speaking November thru April are the busy months.

When you add more tourist drivers to the mix who are trying to find places they’ve never been and are driving on unfamiliar roads, you can figure out what’s going to happen: more accidents.

USA Today says:

U.S. pedestrian deaths totaled nearly 6,000 in 2017 for the second straight year amid mounting signs that walkers and drivers are dangerously distracted, according to a new study.

Although reasons for the recent rise have not been scientifically determined, experts suspect that smartphones and marijuana use are key factors in the deadly trend.

We urge people to never text and drive but apparently it is getting more and more dangerous to text and walk.

Also, follow these important safety rules for pedestrians:

  • Only cross at the crosswalks.
  • Watch for the white “walk” sign or symbol.
  • Never assume that traffic sees you and that it is automatically safe because the sign says “walk” – LOOK IN ALL DIRECTIONS to make sure.
  • At night, wear bright colors and reflective material if possible.
  • Don’t walk in the roadway, stay up on the sidewalk.

Drivers: Look out for pedestrians. One of the most common accidents involving cars and pedestrians is when a car or truck is making a right turn and the pedestrian steps off into the driver’s blind spot. It’s best to hesitate, make eye contact between the driver and pedestrian, and make sure both understand who is going to wait and who is going to go. Remember, there is no reason to hurry. Slow down, look all directions, and proceed cautiously through all pedestrian crosswalks.

We have handles some truly tragic accidents where pedestrians were hit by vehicles, and we hope we never see another one. But if you are involved in a pedestrian-related accident as a driver or as the pedestrian, you do have rights under the law. Call us at 954-356-0006 and we’ll make sure the accident is thoroughly investigated and your rights are protected.

Fact: VISIT FLORIDA estimates that a record 116.5 million visitors traveled to Florida in 2017, an increase of 3.6 percent over last year. This number breaks down to 102.3 million domestic visitors, 10.7 million overseas visitors and 3.5 million Canadian visitors coming to the Sunshine State.

Medication Errors Happen in Hospitals as Well as Pharmacies

Have you ever tried to pronounce the names of some prescription medications? They’re not only hard to say, many of them are spelled similarly and yet their applications and effects can be completely different. Errors in medications happen thousands of times all across country, usually because of a mix-up at a pharmacy, but they also happen in hospitals and clinics.

Take the case of a patient in Tennessee who was treated at Vanderbilt University Medical Center being treated for a subdural hematoma in December 2017. The patient was improving with treatment and was supposed to receive an injection of a sedative called Versed, a standard anti-anxiety medication. The precise events that unfolded are not completely clear yet, but it seems that the nurse who administered the injection used an electronic prescribing cabinet and actually gave the patient a syringe containing vecuronium. Vecuronium is one drug that is often used to cause death in prisoners sentenced to be executed by lethal injection.

Hospital Medication ErrorsThe patient at Vanderbilt hospital died, and the investigation centers not only on the mix-up with the medication but also on a possible cover-up after the fact.

It’s obvious to anyone who has ever visited a hospital that they are very hectic places. Hundreds of patients, dozens of doctors, thousands of drugs, tests, and treatments, and yet somehow all the elements seem to come together in a controlled chaos to heal most people and send them back to their normal lives. Hospitals have procedures in place to check and double-check medications, but a mistake can have dangerous or fatal consequences, as described above.

Studies have shown that of all the situations where errors in pharmaceutical medications may occur, it is at the time of patient discharge that most mistakes are made.

When sent home from the hospital it is common to leave with several new prescriptions from more than one physician, or physician’s assistant. When this happens you may wonder about the directions for these new medications, and you’ll possibly not be clear about your current ones. This is the time to stop and ask for help!

Fact: After discharge, medication errors are the leading cause of patient adverse events.

Everyone should keep a current list of all medications, including non-prescription, along with dosages, and then set aside time to ask their doctor and pharmacist if everything lines up properly with what is best for their situation. Make sure there aren’t any potential adverse reactions or side effects which may cause harm.

If you have possibly been harmed because of a mistake with medications, you have rights. Medical negligence and malpractice are serious issues and need to be handled by skilled and experienced professionals who know what steps to take. Call us at (954) 356-0006 for a free and confidential consultation.

Choosing the Right Attorney for Cruise Ship Accidents and Injuries – Lazarus Law Firm

We live in a very specialized world. Most professional services have been broken down into many sub-specialties and engaging with the right one is the key to getting satisfactory results. You may not know that in the medical profession, ophthalmology now has at least ten sub-specialists ranging from retinal surgeons to doctors caring for cataract patients only.

The legal profession has also become very specialized because of new and more complex laws being enacted every day. The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus, since our inception in 1992 has chosen to help people injured due to the negligence, carelessness, or malpractice of others. This is personal injury law and we believe it is an essential part of our community because it allows people to recover from devastating situations and hopefully return to a normal life. It is very rewarding for us and we are proud of the reputation we have earned over the past 26 years.

Our firm handles all types of personal injury cases but we have devoted special focus to these three areas:

• Automobile, Truck, and Motorcycle Accidents and Injuries
• Cruise Ship Accidents and Injuries
• Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Errors and Injuries

There are very specific and unique guidelines for each of these areas, and someone without experience will likely be challenged to deliver a successful outcome if they pursue a case.

Cruise Ship Accidents and Injuries – If people are injured on a vessel at sea or on land at a port-of-call from the vessel, they are not subject to the same laws and may not have similar rights as U.S. citizens here within our borders. While away from the United States you may be dealing with International Maritime Law or the laws of a foreign country. A well-publicized case in 2013 is an example of why it’s important to have the right attorneys when there is cruise ship accident or incident:

In February of 2013 a cruise ship became disabled after an engine fire. Air-conditioning, toilets, and refrigeration were disabled and passengers experienced extreme distress, and many of them became sick. Their case to pursue compensation failed due to procedural errors and omissions by their legal team, and this is completely unacceptable. These victims should be able to recover from their experience with reasonable compensation for injuries, pain, and suffering.

Cruise Ship Accidents and Injuries

Because of our proximity to the three largest cruise ports in the world we have been able to help many victims of cruise ship accidents, damages, and even crimes. We understand the laws, policies, and procedures necessary to be successful.

If you or someone you know has been victimized on a cruise ship or on land while at a port-of-call we can likely help. Please call us at (954) 356-0006 for a confidential and complimentary consultation.

Top Ten Busiest Cruise Ports by Number of Passengers

1 Port of Miami 4,980,490
2 Port Canaveral 4,248,296
3 Port Everglades 3,826,415
4 Port of Cozumel 3,636,649
5 Port of Nassau 3,521,178
6 Port of Shanghai 2,847,000
7 Port of Barcelona 2,712,247
8 Ports of Out Islands 2,549,803
9 Port of Civitavecchia 2,204,336
10 Port of The Balearic Islands 2,110,663

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.

Move Over, Slow Down! Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

A very dramatic video in the news this week (below) reveals two very important facts that every driver should be aware of: (1) Our dedicated Florida Highway Troopers and other first responders are so dedicated to our safety that they put themselves in harms way every day for us, and (2) all drivers need to slow down when approaching emergency personnel doing their jobs on the road.

Trooper Mithel Patel spotted an out-of-control car approaching and pushed a citizen out of the way before he was struck and flung up into the air. Fortunately he was not seriously injured and the man he pushed to safety credits the trooper with saving his life. This video may be disturbing to some:

This is a perfect example of why Florida Statute 316.126 is so important and every Florida driver should be aware of what the statute says and should obey it at all times. Known as the “Move Over” statute, it pertains to slowing down and moving over when drivers approach emergency vehicles like police cars and fire-rescue vehicles stopped along the side of the road. The statute says if the speed limit is 25 mph or over you must slow to 20 mph and if the limit is 25 or under, you must slow to 5 mph.

Also, many people are not aware that the law also covers tow truck drivers and sanitation trucks and personnel. According to CNN Business the death rate for sanitation workers is higher than the rate for firemen and police officers.

The most common excuse police officers hear when a driver gets into a serious accident is “I was running late.” There is nothing more important than your personal safety and that of our brave public servants who go to work every day to protect our lives. The least we can do is show respect for their lives and slow down. Wherever you’re going will be there if you’re a few minutes late.

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has been working with people involved in serious accidents for over 20 years and we urge everyone to slow down and drive carefully. If you are in an accident and have questions, we’re here to help. Call us at (954) 356-0006. 

Auto Accident Injuries

Common Traffic Collision Injuries – South Florida Accident Lawyers

Many Injuries Are Hidden and Don’t Cause Pain Until Later

If you’re in an automobile, motorcycle, or truck accident there are many factors that will determine if you are injured, and how serious the injuries may be. Speed is obviously an important consideration but many serious injuries happen when the speed is relatively low. Safety devices like seat belts and airbags greatly reduce the chances of being injured, but they are not guaranteed to prevent all injuries.

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries sustained in traffic crashes. If you’re in an accident and you feel like your neck or spine is “sore” please don’t just ignore it and figure it will go away later, because you might have whiplash, a very serious condition. The Mayo Clinic says:

“Whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip. Whiplash most often occurs during a rear-end auto accident, but the injury can also result from a sports accident, physical abuse or other trauma. Common signs and symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, stiffness and headaches. Most people with whiplash get better within a few weeks by following a treatment plan that includes pain medication and exercise. However, some people have chronic neck pain and other long-lasting complications.”

We have seen whiplash victims experience serious pain for months and even years after the occurrence, and this is one of the reasons why an injury case should never be settled immediately without a thorough physical examination. Many people have medical expenses that are not covered when an insurance company attempts to settle for an inadequate lump sum. It’s best to get professional advice from an experienced personal injury attorney.

Concussions are also very common in automobile, truck, and motorcycle accidents. The long-lasting effects from traumatic brain injuriesTraffic Collision Injuries can be persistent serious headaches, dizziness, vision deficiencies, and even personality changes including the manifestation of violent tendencies, depression, and more. Concussions don’t always “get better with time” as some people believe. Always take the time to fully diagnose the severity of head injuries and be prepared for long-term medical care and medications.

Bone Fractures are usually diagnosed by x-rays or other medical imaging methods and are usually healed over time. Sometimes however, especially in older victims, the healing is very slow and there can be complications. Once again, rushing into a settlement without all the facts can be very costly in the future.

Tendon and Ligament Injuries are often hard to identify and diagnose and may not manifest as serious problems until well after an accident. Consulting with an attorney who understands these injuries is prudent because you will be guided to the best medical specialists to find or rule out these often debilitating injuries.

South Florida Accident Attorneys Lazarus and Lazarus

Protecting your rights is one of the primary jobs for a qualified personal injury attorney who thinks of things a victim may not. The Law Office of Lazarus and Lazarus is committed to checking for any and all injuries, including those that may be hidden. Our priority is to protect your rights and see that you heal physically, mentally, and financially. Please call us if you have questions at (954) 356-0006, we are here to help.

 

 

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

What State has the Highest Auto Insurance Rates? Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

We love living in south Florida and so it doesn’t surprise us that Florida often ranks very high in many polls, studies, and surveys. For example, here are some areas where we are proud to be recognized according to U.S. News and World Report:

#7 Quality Education

#5 Economy

#3 Fiscal Stability

We also rank #3 in a dubious category, and that is highest auto insurance premiums.

What causes premiums to be high or low? According to Insure.com several affect auto insurance rates including population density (rural areas are low) and weather. Also, the number of uninsured drivers will impact premiums because drivers who follow the rules wind up paying for those who don’t. The Insurance Research Council estimates that 23% of Florida drivers do not have insurance which is the 5th highest rate in the nation.

Competition is also a factor in the cost of automobile insurance. States with a high number of insurance companies fight hard to get Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneyscustomers and they tend to lower prices. For example, Ohio and Virginia are both high-density states but they have large numbers of insurance carriers, so their rates are reasonable.

Here are the top ten states and their average annual auto insurance premiums:

1. Michigan: $2,239 average annual premium
2. Louisiana: $2,126
3. Florida: $2,050
4. Rhode Island: $1,852
5. Connecticut: $1,831
6. Washington, D.C.: $1,827
7. California: $1,731
8. Georgia: $1,668
9. Delaware: $1,646
10. Texas: $1,589

South Florida Automobile, Motorcycle, and Truck Accident Attorney

We recommend that drivers carry the best quality insurance they can afford. Do your homework and compare, but if you’re ever involved in a serious accident you’ll be grateful if you are fully covered.

Should you be involved in an accident and you don’t think your insurance company is performing as it should to help you, let us know. We deal with insurance companies on a daily basis and it’s a good idea to have an experienced attorney on your side. Call us at (954) 356-0006, we’re here to help.

 

 

 

South Florida Accident Attorneys

Be Aware of the 5 Most Common Auto Accident Causes and Avoid Them – Florida Accident Attorneys

Albert Einstein said “Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses avoid them.”

What did he mean by that? We know that if there is such thing as a good problem, it’s the one that never happens. And isn’t it true that you can’t avoid something bad if you don’t see it or know that it’s coming? That’s why we have headlights on our automobiles, and we focus on the road ahead.

Some people say “Oh well, accidents happen” and think there is nothing you can do about them. We believe accidents can often be avoided if you are aware of their potential. Let’s discuss how to be a genius:

What are the most common accidents?

  1. Read-end Collisions. How can these be avoided? You can avoid rear-ending someone if you focus on the road, do not allow yourself to  be distracted by your cell phone or other occupants, make sure your brakes are working properly, and leave a safe stopping distance between you and the car ahead. You can actually help to avoid someone crashing into you by making sure your brake lights work and by trying to leave an emergency exit route in case you see someone coming up fast behind you. When you stop at a light, don’t be 6 inches from the car ahead, so hopefully you can get out of the way.
  2. T-Bone or Cross-Traffic Accidents. These usually happen when someone runs a red light or stop sign. Just because you have a green light does not mean you should blindly enter an intersection. Move into an intersection with your peripheral vision engaged, checking for other vehicles left and right. Driving defensively means you never assume other drivers will obey traffic laws and that they can see you. They might be texting and driving, a big no-no.
  3. Clipping other cars while merging. Ease your way into moving traffic and try to do it at the same speed. Use your mirrors and your eyes by looking over your shoulder if you can. Never assume the other car will speed up or slow down. If you’re the one merging, the other drivers likely have the right-of-way.
  4. Low-speed Collisions. Parking lots are the scene of more accidents than any other place, and they can be dangerous, especially when a pedestrian is involved. Move slowly, don’t let your guard down, and don’t be distracted.
  5. Single Vehicle Collisions. These crashes are all-too-common, and often happen because the driver is distracted, texting, or intoxicated. Florida Accident AttorneysJust don’t do those things. There is time later to reply to a text or make a call. Never, ever, drink and drive.

Now that you are aware of over 80% of all accident causes, don’t you think you can give some serious thought to avoiding them? It is far better to avoid an accident than to deal with one after the fact. If you can’t avoid an accident, one of the most important decisions you will have to make is who to call for help in solving the resulting problems.

Florida Accident Attorneys

Choosing an attorney to help you deal with damages, injuries, legal issues, and more is crucial. You’ll want to select someone with years of experience and a proven track record helping victims get the help they need. We invite you to look at reviews from our clients over many years, who have kindly reported their experiences with our firm. We work very hard to see that you are compensated fairly for your pain and suffering as well as lost time from work and other damages. Call us at 954-356-0006 for a free consultation.

How to Determine if You Have a Well-Founded Personal Injury Case – South Florida Accident Attorneys

Many people who are not familiar with the way our legal system works think they can sue anyone for anything. In a broad sense, that is theoretically true because the 7th Amendment to the Constitution says you can, but in the real world it doesn’t make sense for an individual to pursue a case that has no chance of winning.

There are stories of frivolous lawsuits in the news from time to time and certainly no reasonable person wants to be involved in a court case that is not justified. But a real injury sustained in any type of accident should be evaluated medically and then the circumstances should be reviewed by an expert. Time is of the essence in these cases because critical evidence, people’s recollections, and other factors change over time.

The right to free speech, to a fast and fair trial when charged with a crime, the right to freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, and the right to freedom from cruel and unusual punishment are contained in the 1st, 6th, 4th, and 8th amendments and most people are familiar with them. The 7th amendment says “In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the rightSouth Florida Personal Injury Lawyer of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law” and this very important amendment allows individuals to sue when they believe they have been injured or harmed physically or financially.

Imagine sitting in your car at a red light, and a careless driver crashes into you from behind causing you to be injured. The driver gets a ticket, but then says, “too bad for you” and goes home. Without the 7th Amendment you might have some help from your insurance company but would have no recourse to pursue real justice including compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and time lost from work, or the ability to earn future wages.

The bottom line is, if you’re in an accident, you suffered damages to your vehicle or your property, you may have been injured, and you are experiencing a negative impact on your ability to carry out your normal routine, stop tossing everything around in your head and call a qualified attorney. We have seen too many situations where someone hesitates because they don’t understand the system and they fail to act.

South Florida Accident Attorneys – Personal Injury Cases

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has successfully represented hundreds of victims over the past 25 years, working hard to see that all their rights are preserved and defended. We will not stop until every effort is made to get our clients the maximum compensation for their injuries as permitted by law. We can be reached 7 days a week at 954-356-0006.

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Do you know how many constitutional amendments there are? It’s a good idea to be familiar with all your rights! Click here to read the Constitution, Articles and Amendments.

Prescription Errors

Pharmacy and Drug Company Errors – Confusion with Directions and Dosages Can Lead to Disaster

Prescription ErrorsImagine this scenario: Your child is sick and has a fever. You go to the store and purchase medicine recommended by the pharmacist, go home, and read the directions. The directions say to give 5 milliliters but the measuring cup is marked with lines that correspond to teaspoons. Could you possibly pour out 5 teaspoons and give that to your child? It’s possible, and mistakes like that are made every day which is why so many are hurt by both prescription and over-the-counter medications every day.

5 ml = 1.014 teaspoons so 5 teaspoons would be approximately 25 milliliters or 5 times what the proper dosage is.

This was in the news recently: One lot of Children’s Advil® Suspension, Bubble Gum Flavored Liquid bottles (4 fluid ounces) is being voluntarily recalled by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, a division of Pfizer Inc. The recall was issued due to customer complaints that the dosage cup provided is marked in teaspoons, and the instructions on the label are described in milliliters, according to the FDA.

A pharmacy filling 250 prescriptions a day averages four mistakes according to National Observational Study of Prescription Dispensing Accuracy and Safety in 50 Pharmacies – Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association. 48.3% of errors involved dispensing the wrong medication and 31.5% involved the wrong dosage.

Sometimes mistakes are made because of the thousands of different names assigned to different drugs, and many of them are similar. Sometimes mistakes happen because there are so many people involved in the chain that starts with a doctor or other healthcare worker writing a prescription, a pharmacy tech accepting the order and placing into a processing system, and a pharmacist dispensing the drugs. There is supposed to be a system of checks along the way, ending with a consultation when the medicine is picked up and paid for, but mistakes are made, like this one reported by www.pharmacytoday.org:

The technician made many errors transcribing the prescriptions. The most significant was confusing once-daily methotrexate for the metolazone that had been prescribed. The pharmacist approved the once-daily methotrexate, later explaining “for some reason I didn’t recognize the weekly versus daily. It didn’t click in my mind.” The pharmacy’s computer system did not flag the once-daily methotrexate dosing schedule.

The patient’s husband picked up the medication. He was asked if he had any questions, to which he replied no. No additional patient education was provided. The patient used the methotrexate daily as instructed on the label, and she died less than 1 month later from the effects of the drug.

A series of errors that could have and should have triggered a red flag and stopped the process and triggered a delay did not happen. As a patient, and we stress this constantly, you are ultimately the last defense against serious injuries from careless, negligent, or just over-worked healthcare professionals. It is crucial that you take the time to review each prescription you receive. Ask your doctor why you are being prescribed every medication. Ask for it’s intended outcome, how to pronounce the name of the drug, and ask about the dosage and directions. Ask for a consultation with the pharmacist when you pick up your medications and insist that everything is explained to you carefully.

Most pharmacies display a picture of what the medication should look like, so check to make sure you receive what you’re supposed to be getting.

Finally, if you think that you may have been the victim of an error by your doctor, your pharmacy or pharmacist, the drug company, or anyone else, we are here to help. We have been helping people hurt by pharmacy errors for over 25 years and we’re aware of how these problems usually happen. Call us at 954-356-0006 if you have questions.

 

Reducing Motorcycle Crash Risks with Better Technology – Fort Lauderdale Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Fort Lauderdale Motorcycle Accident AttorneysIf you’re over the age of fifty you probably recall when people routinely drove around without using seat belts, and children were often free to roam around the family station wagon with no car seats. Thankfully we have become better educated about seat belt use and advanced technology has created several systems that help protect us without even thinking about them.

Probably the most profound advancements have come in the form of airbags. You might be surprised that the first person to apply for a patent for automobile airbags did so in 1952, they were not standard equipment until 1990 when Ford put them in all their passenger vehicles.

The first recorded accident between two vehicles in which an airbag deploys to protect each driver occurred on March 12, 1990.

Today we enjoy the extra protection of many more airbags all over cars, and other safety features like anti-lock brakes and sensors that can automatically stop our cars if they are about to crash.

All this is great, but what about our friends who ride motorcycles? The National Transportation Safety Board is tackling the issue and a new report is out with recommendations. The report is focused on two targets: (1) adding high-tech safety features to motorcycles and (2) adding systems and features that will allow automobile drivers to better “see” motorcycles. We know that the number one cause of motorcycle accidents is when a driver turns left in front of an oncoming motorcycle.

Hopefully, making anti-lock brakes standard on motorcycles, adding better stabilizing systems, and implementing technology so auto drivers can anticipate the presence of a motorcycle when entering or crossing a road, making a turn or changing lanes, many high-risk traffic situations will reduce crashes and serious injuries.

Fort Lauderdale Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Photo Courtesy of High Contrast

Some motorcycles are being offered for sale with airbags, and while that may seem impractical, they are working.

Finally, the NTSB report recommended that the use of alcohol by motorcyclists be further examined because drinking and driving in motorcycle accidents is disturbingly high. We ask everyone to please refrain from drinking and driving or texting while driving. Uber makes it much easier and much safer for those who have a problem with this. Please use them.

Fort Lauderdale Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

We have been helping victims of motorcycle accidents for over 25 years and the numbers of serious injuries and deaths is way too high. Please ride safely and if you are hurt in an accident we can probably help. Call us at 954-356-0006 and we’ll listen.

Here is a link to the preliminary report by the NTSB: Select Risk Factors Associated with Causes of Motorcycle Crashes