Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that approximately 80 % of all accidents involve some sort of driver inattention. A great many of these accidents involve drivers who are fatigued and sleepy. The National Sleep Foundation, a non profit Washington based advocacy organization, estimates that over 50 % of adult drivers have driven while drowsy. As such, there have been millions of drivers out there who get behind the wheel drowsy and tired. This, of course, presents a risks to the drivers, passengers, other drivers, pedestrians, and bicylists.

It is difficult to determine the number of accidents that are caused on a daily, weekly, or annual basis due to sleep deprivation or drowsiness in Jacksonville, Florida since the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office does not maintain this kind of information or database. Nevertheless, sleep deprivation and drowsiness do cause inattention, which in turn, cause accidents and resulting personal injuries.

You can read more about sleep deprivation, drowsiness and driving at Drowsy Drivers – How Many Are Asleep at the Wheel?

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The Florida Supreme Court recently ruled on an important issue involving the validity of parental releases for children engaging in potentially dangerous activities that could cause serious personal injuries and death. In the case, a motorsports park had a parent sign a waiver on behalf of a 14 year old riding an all-terrain vehicle. The trial court dismissed the case due to the waiver / release. An appellate court ruled that the waiver / release was invalid and against public policy. The Supreme Court of Florida agreed and ruled 4 to 1 in favor of the family’s right to sue the Defendant for the wrongful death of the 14 year old boy. The appellate attorney representing the family was Bard Rockenbach. I know Mr. Rockenbach and have worked with him in the past on some legal and appellate issues. He is a very knowledgeable attorney who has dedicated many years to legal issues to protect and enforce the rights of children and their families. The Supreme Court of Florida has paved the way for other families to bring actions against commercial enterprises and their employees who negligently cause personal injuries and / or the wrongful death to children. A child personal injury attorney who is knowledgeable to the current case law, statutes, and procedures can assist families of injured children in their quest to obtain rightful compensation for medical bill, pain and suffering, and the loss of enjoyment of life. You can read more about the Supreme Court’s decision at Supreme Court of Florida Rules that Parents Cannot Waive Legal Rights of Children.

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The parent of a Florida child can pursue a claim for pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life on behalf of the child when a child is seriously injured. What about the parents injuries, losses, and damages? Can a parent collect for the loss of companionship of the child when the child is seriously injured but does not die as a result of the injuries. The answer in Florida is “Yes”. The loss of companionship in Florida to a parent of an injured child is called “Filial Consortium”. The logical follow up question is as follows: What period of time can a jury award the loss of Filial Consortium to a parent? The answer is “until the child reaches the age of majority” which is 18 in the State of Florida. This very issue was addressed in a Supreme Court of Florida case. In a case against the Broward County School Board, the Supreme Court determined that the damages to a parent for the loss of Filial Consortium (companionship to the parent from the child) can be awarded for a time period from the injury to the child’s 18th birthday. As such, if a 15 year old was seriously injured but did not die, parents can pursue a claim for themselves for the loss of Filial Consortium from the age of 15 to 18 or roughly 3 years. Florida Wrongful Death cases are subject to different standards and statutes.

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Children are exposed to the risks of parking lots everyday in cities from Jacksonville, Florida to Seattle Washington. The risks of parking lots to children involve inattentive drivers and children with poor safety judgment. The safety tips in this blog post and others in my blog can help avoid automobile accidents, bicycle accidents, and trucking accidents that often involve injuries to Florida children.

Children often times see parking lots as just another playgrounds while drivers see parking lots as just another speedway. I recently read about a great safety product called Parking Pal which is a simple but very smart safety product for parents and caregivers of young children. Parking Pal is a bright magnetic decal. You place Parking Pal on the side of your car in a place where the children can stand and touch the Parking Pal. Parking Pal is a device to remind young children about safety and where to stand. It is also a bright sign to others that children may be near and to slow down. Parking Pal was developed by a concerned and inventive parent from Virginia who thought of a way to teach her child about safety and make the lessons stick both figuratively and literally. Use Parking Pal and other safety tips and reminders to keep your children safe in parking lots. In addition, when driving in or through any parking lot, watch out for children and other pedestrians.

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Pedestrian and crossing safety are very important concepts to teach small children. We, as parents, do our best to tell our children to stay out of the street, look both ways when crossing, and to hold our hands when crossing the street. The web site, www.safety4kids.com, is a helpful site that has safety tips and programs for small children. Drivers frequently hit child pedestrians causing personal injuries in the form of head injuries and fractures because of excessive speed and the failure to drive carefully around neighborhoods, school zones and playgrounds.

As noted in the site, children between the ages of five and ten years old do not have good judgment at times and overestimate their abilities to cross the street and deal with traffic. Driver often do not see children because of their size and the visibility of a child crossing from a bush, parked cars and other obstructions.

I recommend that all parents, teachers, and child caretakers teach children basic safety measures. Read through Pedestrian and Crossing Safety at the www.safety4kids.com web site for additional tips.

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In St. Augustine, Florida, a 46 year old motorcyclist – Rick W. Roupp – sustained critical injuries when a vehicle driven by 20 year old Tabbatha Roux attempted a left hand turn into the right of way of the motorcyclist. The motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet. As a Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Florida Personal Injury Lawyer / Attorney, I have handled and investigated many motorcycle accidents of this nature. From a legal standpoint, the liability must be evaluated and insurance policies must be reviewed. The rights of the injured party from a personal injury standpoint should be pursued and enforced if necessary. The at fault driver may be facing a traffic citation or possibly criminal charges depending on the nature of the accident and the investigation of the Florida Highway Patrol, St. Johns County Sherriff’s Office, and / or the City of St. Augustine Police Department. The article was posted at the Florida Times Union – St. Augustine Motorcyclist Critical After Accident. There were several people who posted their thoughts and opinions of this accident. Some were motorcycle riders and some were not. People definitely have strong opinions as to the safety of riding a motorcycle and whether a helmet should be worn or not. There are financial responsibility laws in Florida that require a person to wear a helmet OR have a $10,000 in medical / health insurance in place if there is an accident. See Section 316.211, Florida Statutes. As such, the motorcycle rider who was recently critically injured was not legally required to wear a helmet if he had the correct insurance in place. Whatever the facts or opinions in this case, it is a tragic accident. See also St. Augustine Motorcycle Accident Kills Rick W. Roupp.

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website, traffic accidents are the leading cause of teen death in the country. Among the causes of these traffic accidents, driver error was the highest culprit, accounting for 87 percent of accidents. These accidents result in serious personal injuries and deaths in Jacksonville Florid and other cities throughout the United States.

Allstate Insurance Company sponsored an event titled Action Against Distraction Driver Challenge. The purpose of the event is to educate teens and adults alike about the dangers of distracted driving. You can read more about this program at Teens warned: Distracted driving deadly in Florida.

You and your teenage children can be the safest drivers in the world. Unfortunately, there are teen and adult drivers who are not very safe. Some are distracted by the mobile phone, texting, conversation, radio, and yes drugs and alcohol. If you or your child has been injured by the negligence of another driver in Florida, it is helpful to get the advice and representation from a Jacksonville Florida Personal Injury Lawyer / Attorney.

708841_digital_camera_2.jpgPhotographs are extremely important pieces of evidence when documenting an injury to a Florida child caused by the negligence of another person or business. Most mobile telephones have cameras built in. Some camera phones are better than others. I typically advise clients to take photographs with a regular or digital camera to make sure that the photographs clearly document the injuries or the site of an accident. In my law practice, photographs have been pivotal in documenting the following:

Vehicle damage;

Intersections;

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According to the Florida Department of Transportation, 450 to 600 children (ages 3 to 5 years old) are killed nationwide in pedestrian traffic accidents. The impact of the child's death is felt by the parents, siblings, grandparents, other relatives, friends, and the community. Young children do not have a full appreciation of the dangers of roadways or parking lots for that matter. They also lack good and accurate judgment of time, distance, speed, and danger. You can read some helpful safety tips at the Florida Department of Transportation Website – Safety Kids.

Review the web site and materials with your child. While schools do a good job of teaching safety to our children, parents and guardians should also sit down with their children to review these basic and vital safety rules and projects.

Who pays the medical bills when my Florida child is injured as a result of the fault or negligence of another person?

As a Florida child personal injury lawyer / attorney, I am frequently asked this question. Like many questions posed to me, I have one answer – “it depends”. There are a variety of legal and insurance issues involved with such a question. One answer or solution does not cover the issue. Payment sources could include any one or more of the following:

Automobile Insurance. If your child is injured in an automobile accident, your child should be covered under your PIP (Personal Injury Protection) under your insurance policy. Bills will typically be covered at 80 %. Any bills that are not covered under PIP can be recovered from the at fault driver’s insurance policy. In addition, the at fault driver is responsible for your child’s pain, suffering, mental anguish, and related damages.