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. 

The Power of Persuasion – Choosing a Personal Injury Accident Attorney

Did you ever go to a restaurant, look at the menu, but after several minutes you still don’t know what you want to eat? Sometimes a really talented server will recommend an entree with such descriptive and persuasive articulation that your mouth waters, so you order it and sure enough it’s delicious! Servers that good should consider going to law school because an important skill for successful attorneys is the power of persuasion.

Successful lawyers have many skills and abilities, but one of the most important is the ability to communicate, inform, explain, and persuade people. The ability to persuade goes beyond the courtroom theatrics we see on television, when an impassioned plea is made to a jury to spare the life of a defendant or something along those lines. In real life attorneys make phone calls, write emails, write motions to the court, and meet personally with other lawyers to obtain the best possible outcome for their client, often relying on their power of persuasion.

If you’re an iPhone or other Apple product user you probably look forward to the release of the next new computerFort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorney or phone with great anticipation, and founder Steve Jobs introduced his latest and greatest gizmos with great fanfare. Many people believe Jobs was the greatest persuader of our time, and today the company continues the tradition he started with spectacular launch events. Enough people are persuaded to make Apple one of the top 10 richest companies in the world.

In the legal profession, we don’t have big publicity events to make our case. The courts have a very strict set of rules and guidelines to follow so our system retains the integrity that inspired the phrase engraved on the front of our United States Supreme Court building, “Equal Justice Under Law.” We’re not selling cell phones or cars, we are working to see that justice is done and that our clients receive the best possible outcomes while protecting their rights. In addition to being persuasive, attorneys must have the education, license, skills, and character to execute their duties according to the law and, in Florida, the rules and ethics established by the Florida Bar.

In addition to the ability to persuade, attorneys must have many other attributes and qualities, including compassion. We’ll write about more in the near future.

If you have questions about anything related to an accident or personal injury situation, we’re here to help. Call us 7 days a week at 954-356-0006.


The materials contained on this website have been prepared by Lazarus and Lazarus and are intended for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

Past results obtained by Lazarus and Lazarus attorneys are no guarantee of future results. Each case or matter is different and is judged on its own merits. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free, written information about our qualifications and experience.

Soft Tissue Injuries are Painful and Slow to Heal – Fort Lauderdale Accident Lawyers

If you were asked to name common injuries from automobile accidents, you would probably say cuts and broken bones. Those are common injuries and they are usually the first to be diagnosed when the victim of an accident is treated on the scene by paramedics or later at the hospital. But soft tissue injuries to muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments are really the most common, the most difficult to diagnose, and often the most painful and hard to treat.

A synonym for the word “soft” is “delicate.” These are areas of the body that are very sensitive to trauma. 

Soft tissue injuries include sprains, strains, bruises, and tendinitis. Under the category of sprains there are three levels:

Grade 1: Only some of the fibers in the ligament are torn, and the injured site is moderately painful and swollen. Function in the joint will be unaffected for the most part.
Grade 2: Many of the ligament fibers are torn, and pain and swelling is moderate. The functionality of the joint is compromised.
Grade 3: The soft tissue is completely torn, and functionality and strength on the joint is completely compromised. In most cases, surgery is needed to repair the damage.

Often soft tissue injuries do not become obvious until some time after the actual injury occurs, sometimes a few days or even a few weeks. Probably the most common and the most painful soft tissue injuries people experience after an auto accident are whiplash (neck) and other spinal injuries. If a car is jolted suddenly into movement, for example from being rear ended, the cervical (neck) spine can be seriously damaged.

How can a soft tissue injury be diagnosed and treated?

The science of medicine has become so specialized that going to a physician who doesn’t handle your specific issue may waste precious time and money. For example, years ago when you had an eye issue you went to an ophthalmologist. Today there are over 10 sub-specialties of ophthalmology including specialists for the retina, cornea, optic nerve, glaucoma, and cataracts. If you choose the wrong doctor, you will just be referred to another.

If you are involved in an auto accident and you feel fine at first, but later realize that “something just is not right” there is a good possibility you have some type of soft tissue injury. The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has been working with victims of car, truck, and motorcycle accidents for over 20 years and we have been fortunate to work with some of the finest doctors in the nation who happen to practice here in south Florida. We stand by our clients until they are connected to the medical specials who will truly improve their condition, heal their injuries, and lessen their pain.

Call us at 954-356-0006 if you have any questions, and thank you.

Are Uber Cars Safe? Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Uber was founded in 2009 and has grown to be the world’s largest ride-share company with over 5 billion trips completed, and the addition of UberEats, a food delivery service. While Uber’s growth has been amazing, it hasn’t been without controversy. Taxi companies in particular have challenged their business model, which competes with their share of the transportation market. Many taxing authorities have also resisted Uber because they were not subject to the same permit requirements as cabs and limousines. It seems a lot of that has now settled down, and Uber is apparently here to stay at least for a while.

You can click here to see Broward County’s regulations website page pertaining to for-hire vehicles, which includes “All for-hire vehicles that are permitted to operate in Broward County must be inspected by an ASE certified master mechanic or AATI master automobile technician from a licensed auto repair shop.”

But if Uber is not under the same guidelines as taxi cabs and limousines how do we know their cars are safe and their drivers are competent? A Florida Statute (627.748) covers insurance requirements for transportation network companies (like Uber) and Uber’s website tells drivers:

  • Depending on your city, your vehicle may need to undergo a 19-point inspection.
  • Vehicle inspections are required annually. You must have your vehicle inspected at least once every 12 months.
  • Please check that your vehicle meets your city’s Uber vehicle requirements before having your vehicle inspected.
  • It is your responsibility to make any repairs needed to pass the vehicle inspection. Please note that passing the vehicle inspection does not guarantee access to the Uber platform.

So the next time you tap your Uber app to request a ride, how will you know if the car has been inspected and is safe? Unless you want to request the driver provide you with all his maintenance records, you’ll have to take it on faith. Personally, I use a reversed version of the old adage “you can’t judge a book by the cover” and figure if the car is clean on the inside and out, appears well maintained, if the driver seems to have a professional demeanor, then chances are the brakes and tires are ok.

We have devoted a portion of our law practice to helping people who have been involved in accidents involving taxis, limousines, and ride-sharing vehicles. These incidents involve a special knowledge of how the law and insurance coverage works, so if you have questions about an incident that concerns you, please give us a call at 954-356-0006. We’re here to help.

 

Choosing a South Florida Auto Accident Lawyer

A hypothetical situation: You’re driving to Publix on a sunny Saturday morning and you’re stopped at a red light. Suddenly you’re hit from South Florida Accident Attorneybehind and your car is pushed forward! “What the heck was that?” you say as you look in your rear view mirror. There’s someone back there waving at you and they motion to pull over into a parking lot. So you move your car off the road and get out to look at your rear bumper as the other driver apologizes profusely. There’s only minor damage, but you’re a little shook up and confused about what to do. Most people have a tendency to want to be nice and so if the other driver urges you to write down his insurance company information and says “it’s minor, let’s not make a big issue about it,” you may be tempted to let it go. That might be a bad decision and here is why:

A couple days later you wake up in the morning and feel like your neck was judo chopped and you can barely get out of bed. What happened? It is quite possibly a delayed onset of whiplash, caused by an abrupt backward and/or forward jerking motion of the head, often as a result of a car accident. It is not unusual at all to feel fine for 24-48 hours after the actual trauma and then feel severe pain.

Some symptoms of whiplash:

  • Neck pain and stiffness.
  • Headaches.
  • Pain in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades.
  • Low back pain.
  • Pain or numbness in the arm and/or hand.
  • Dizziness.
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering.
  • Irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue.

Continuing with our hypothetical situation, you call the insurance company provided by the driver who hit you and they never heard of him. Strange, you think, he seemed like such a nice guy!

We’re going to go back to some issues we write about often because they’re important. When you are involved in an accident here are some dos and don’ts:

  • Do try to have a police report filled on scene, especially if you are certain the other driver is at fault.
  • Do not admit any guilt or even speak to others involved in the accident except to render aid.
  • Do take pictures of damage, insurance papers, license plates, the surroundings, traffic signs or anything that might be relevant to proving your point of view about what happened.
  • Do try to get the names and contact information for any witnesses who might help prove your side of the story about the accident.
  • Do not post anything on social media about the accident.
  • Do call a personal injury lawyer who specializes in accidents. Even if you think you are fine, you may have hidden injuries and the time to be screened for them is right away.

How do you choose an attorney?

  • Experience: Hiring one with experience in handling similar cases like yours.
  • Focus: Find one who is focused on your case and not juggling multiple cases at once.
  • Reputation: Reputation of the attorney in negotiating with insurance companies can play a major key in the amount of damages you receive.
  • Personality: Choose an attorney that you can get along with and also trust through the process.

There is never any obligation when you reach out to us at Lazarus and Lazarus to ask questions. Making the right decision about who will look out for your rights when you are injured in an accident is extremely important and we want you to take your time and make the choice that’s right for you. Call us at 954-356-0006 any time for a completely confidential consultation.

 

 

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Carrying a Firearm in Your Car – Fort Lauderdale Auto Accident Attorneys

This article contains information about where to find details about Florida’s firearms laws and is not intended to be legal advice.

The issue of firearms owned and carried by private citizens is being debated in Florida from the panhandle to the Keys, and we hope something is done to make living in Florida safer for everyone. Because we deal with safety on Florida’s roadways we are sometimes asked about the legality of carrying weapons in a vehicle, and we find there is a lot of uncertainty about what is and is not permitted.

Florida is one state that permits people to carry a concealed weapon and it is Florida Statute 790.06  “License to carry concealed weapon or firearm” that covers that permitting. The Chapter that covers everything you could ever want to know about firearms in Florida is Chapter 790: Weapons and Firearms – and it’s a very, very long and complicated set of definitions, descriptions, laws, and penalties. If you’re going to be a firearm owner in Florida and you want to remain on the right side of the law we suggest you become very familiar with this chapter. A nationwide survey of firearms instructors found that many of them do not understand the firearm laws in their own state. As of 2017 there have been 16.3 million concealed weapon permits issued in the United States.

Click here to read Chapter 790, Florida Statutes.

Most people don’t know that in Florida, carrying pepper spray in more than a specified volume (2 oz.) of chemical requires a CCW (carrying a concealed weapon) permit, whereas anyone may legally carry a smaller, “self-defense chemical spray” device hidden on their person without a CCW permit.

Regarding carrying a weapon in your vehicle, this is a question commonly asked, but rarely able to be answered. You may keep, with or without a license, a firearm in your “private conveyance”, otherwise known as a vehicle if the firearm or other weapon is securely encased or is otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use,” and as you can imagine the terms “securely encased” and “readily accessible” are subject to interpretation.

We do know that carrying a weapon in a vehicle sometimes leads to road rage incidents escalating to very dangerous levels, as in these two recent Florida situations:

Police: Florida man pointed 2 guns during road rage incident.

Gun-wielding, drunk 76-year-old driver arrested after road rage incident, deputies say.

We don’t give legal advice on our website, we just want Florida drivers to exercise good judgement and common sense when it comes to carrying weapons. Read and understand the law, because ignorance of the law is not an acceptable defense. Never mix weapons or driving with alcohol or drugs.

We work with victims of serious car crashes every day and our goal is to see that every client receives the maximum compensation for their injuries and damages as permitted by law. If you have been involved in an accident, please feel free to call us at 954-356-0006 if you have any questions about how to proceed. We will be happy to set up a confidential consultation and discuss your options.

 

 

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Never Multitask While Driving – Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Fort Lauderdale Accident AttorneysWhere did the term multitask originate? Humans have been doing many things at the same time for centuries, but it was just called “doing many things at the same time.” Like many words, terms, and phrases we use today, multitasking originated when computers became a normal part of life. Many believe it was the invention of Windows by Microsoft that enabled us to do many things at the same time on a single computer. After Windows we could talk on the phone, watch TV, eat a Hot Pocket, and do 5 things on the computer at the same time. Multitask.

Today we have no choice but to multitask. In order to keep a job with most companies multitasking is skill requirement number one, and at home we cook, text, read email and talk to Alexa while we load the dishwasher.

It all seems quite normal until you hear this, from Psychology Today Magazine: “Multitasking compromises our visual awareness, divides our attention, distracts us, reduces our job satisfaction, stunts our memory, impairs cognitive function, and sabotages our performance. With that being said, do you really want to multitask in the car? While you’re driving?

Several studies show that if you talk on the phone while driving, even hands-free, you are 4 times more likely to be involved in an accident. If you text while driving you are twenty times more likely to be in an accident.

Fort Lauderdale Accident AttorneysFlorida has not yet enacted strict laws about texting and driving like many other states, so while you may not be heavily fined like you would in New York (up to $450.00) you do have the potential of injuring yourself or your fiends and family by multitasking in the car. We urge everyone to turn off the ringer and put their phones away while driving. There is nothing that is so important to risk an accident, please deal with calls and messages later, after you arrive at your destination.

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

As Fort Lauderdale accident attorneys, we have seen victims of very serious accidents try to deal with serious injuries caused because of someone multitasking while they drive. If you have been involved in an accident please feel free to give us a call at 954-356-0006 and we’ll answer your questions about how to deal with your situation.

 

 

Can Self-Driving Cars See You on Your Motorcycle? Florida Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Who is Liable for Damages When There is no Human Driver?

Self driving cars are being developed, tested, and put on the road right now and many wonder if they are safe. Can they adequately “see” other cars? And what about bicycles, motorcycles, and pedestrians? A near-miss between a self-driving Tesla and a Phoenix motorcycle police officer last year raised eyebrows in the motorcycle community even Florida Motorcycle Accident Lawyersthough there were no serious injuries.

According to USA Today: The officer, who was in front of the Tesla, stopped for a traffic signal, police said. After also stopping briefly, the Tesla began creeping forward, prompting the officer to jump off his motorcycle and move away. The officer later estimated the car was moving at about three miles per hour, police said. There were no injuries or damage.

Recently The Mercury News reported: General Motors is in a race to be the first company to mass produce self-driving cars, but a recent crash with a San Francisco motorcyclist has illustrated the tricky challenge of assigning blame when an autonomous vehicle gets in an accident.

Self-driving cars operate using sensors and those sensors are calibrated to “see” cars, trucks, and trees. Obviously they should not tell the car to slam on the brakes if a pigeon crosses the road, but somewhere between a car or truck and a bird are motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians. Are these cars going to be able to detect a motorcycle when one is riding alongside on the highway? Will the sensors detect a child stepping into the street? These are very serious questions and people need to know the answers.

Floridians have a right to know what their rights are if they are involved in an accident with one of these self-driving vehicle.

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has been working with automobile drivers, truck drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians who are seriously injured on Florida roads for 25 years. We will do everything possible to make sure you are compensated for injuries and damages when we are on your side. Please call us at 954-356-0006 if you have any questions.

 

How to Properly Wear a Seat Belt When Pregnant

If you’re a woman and you have been pregnant, or if you have lived with someone who is pregnant, you know that pregnant people have a tough time being comfortable. It’s hard for them to sit, stand, sleep, walk, or go to the bathroom. It’s just a fact that when you have a giant protrusion in your belly it’s going to be a pain.

Driving is especially difficult for pregnant people because it’s important to be situate in the right spot so your legs reach the pedals, but you don’t want the steering wheel jammed into your belly. Then you have the issue of the seat belt!

You never want to go anywhere in a car without your seat belt, not even around the block.

There are certain modifications you can make while wearing a seat belt. Some of these modifications include:

  • Make sure you always wear both the shoulder strap and the lap belt. Also, ensure that they both fit you properly.
  • Ensure that the shoulder strap is placed between the breasts and to the side of the abdomen. Make sure never to place the shoulder strap under your arm.
  • Buckle your lap belt under the belly and over the hip.

In general, it’s probably not a good idea for pregnant people to go on very long car trips. Stay close to home or take an airplane.

Car accidents can seriously harm both mother and baby.

Car accidents can cause a variety of injuries, and when you are pregnant the crash can harm both you and your baby. Depending on how bad the crash and how serious your injuries are, a car accident can increase the risk of developing serious complications during pregnancy such as premature rupture of the membranes, preterm labor, placental abruption, miscarriage and even stillbirth. It is needless to mention that a car accident can cause more damage to a pregnant woman than it can to a normal person.

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has represented victims of car accidents for over 20 years. We have seen unborn babies injured in crashes and it is tragic. Please reach out to us if you have any questions about an accident or about the best way to protect yourself and baby while driving. We can be reached at 954-356-0006.

Premises Liability

Transitory Foreign Substances – Premises Liability

Have you ever had to deal with a transitory foreign substance? It sounds like something quite sinister, doesn’t it? Well, before you Google what that is we’ll tell you.

Transitory means (1) not lasting, enduring, permanent, or eternal. (2) lasting only a short time; brief; short-lived; temporary.

Foreign means (in premise liability cases) (1) not being from that area.

Substance for this discussion is, a substance. It can be anything. Grape jelly, broken glass, a golf ball.

Premises Liability refers to the responsibility of a property owner to maintain a safe environment for the public and employees.

It seems that lawyers have a language of their own, but there is good reason. Words are important in matters related to the law. When dealing with serious situations words must be specific. For example: If a person is shopping in a store and slips on a splotch of grape jelly, falls, and dislocates their back, this isn’t just another “slip and fall” case where the victim is looking to get a fast settlement. This is more likely, in the cases we handle, a serious situation involving a healthy person being permanently injured due to a lack of due care by a business or premises owner, because a transitory foreign substance caused a very serious accident.

We believe that when an injured person comes to us with a solid explanation and believable story explaining how they were injured, that person deserves to be listened to and believed. It is then our job to investigate the circumstances, extent of injury, and possible negligence and liability involved. It might be grape jelly or it might be a beam falling from the ceiling in a theater, we are here to listen and help.

The Florida statute involving “premises liability for transitory foreign substances in a business establishment” is 768.0755 and we know it well. Your rights are our primary concern, and if you are injured due to someone else’s carelessness you can trust us to listen to you and to believe you. Reach out to us at 954-356-0006 and we will arrange a complimentary consultation at your convenience.