Archive for February, 2011

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Fort Lauderdale Beach Accident Highlights Likelihood for Car and Pedestrian Accidents

February 23, 2011

On Monday morning, two tourists walking on A1A were hit by the Fort Lauderdale Sun Trolley. One of the tourists, Alan George Acheson, suffered leg, chest and neck injuries and was immediately transported to Broward General Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale. The driver of the Sun Trolley was cited for failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians that were in the crosswalk. The Sun Trolley is privately owned by a limousine company and is under contract to transport tourists up and down A1A in Fort Lauderdale.

State Road A1A in Fort Lauderdale has a dangerous mixture of hundreds of pedestrians, crosswalks that are not well marked, and a lot of drivers who are more interested in taking in the sights and sounds of the beach rather than driving carefully. Although some of the crosswalks have small signs which says traffic is to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, most drivers ignore the signs and the pedestrians.

Pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 316.130, the driver of a vehicle at an intersection that has a traffic control signal in place shall stop before entering the crosswalk and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian, with a permitted signal, to cross a roadway when the pedestrian is in the crosswalk or steps into the crosswalk. It appears the driver of the Trolley failed to obey this statute.
This section also provides that the driver of a vehicle at any crosswalk where signage so indicates shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross a roadway when the pedestrian is in the crosswalk or steps into the crosswalk..

Fort Lauderdale accident injury lawyer Joseph M. Maus is a native of Fort Lauderdale and has represented many pedestrians injured in crosswalk accidents. “The problem is that drivers are just too concerned with getting to where they are going, and driving too fast, to safely watch for pedestrians trying to cross the road. Add in all the scenery there is to watch at the beach on A1A, and the number of tourists walking in the area, and it is only a matter of time before you have a serious car/pedestrian accident.”

Maus previously represented a Canadian woman that was walking through a crosswalk in Fort Lauderdale on A1A. The woman walked out past a tractor trailer that had stopped to allow her to cross the street. As the woman walked into the second lane, a car swerved out from behind the stopped tractor trailer, and drove right over the Canadian tourist.

“The City of Fort Lauderdale had to do a better job of marking the crosswalk areas, and enforcing the traffic laws” Attorney Maus says. Otherwise, it is only a matter of time before the next pedestrian on A1A gets hit.

For more information about Fort Lauderdale accident injury claims, contact Fort Lauderdale accident injury lawyer Joseph M. Maus at (954) 784 6310 or log on to http://www.mauslawfirm.com.

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14-year-old’s leg caught in boat propeller

February 7, 2011

The Sun-Sentinel reports that a 14-year-old girl was critically injured Saturday afternoon in Juno Beach Pier in Palm Beach County, Florida. According to reports, the girl and her friends were enjoying a day at the beach when a 22-foot white Cobia boat approached them. Despite lifeguards warnings to get out of the swimming area, the boat continued to make its way towards the shore.

The girls were attempting to get into the boat when a wave carried it towards the beach. When they approached it again, an even bigger wave hit the boat, so the driver in an attempt to avoid the boat from getting beached, gassed the engine causing the boat to strike three girls. Unfortunately, the propeller struck the leg of one of the girls, before the boat sped away. The girl whose identity is unknown was airlifted to St. Mary’s Medical Center and is in critical but stable condition. The boat was later found at the Crab House in Jupiter, and two of the people onboard are being questioned.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, in 2008 there were 4,789 reported boat accidents in the country, which resulted in 709 deaths and 3,331 injuries. The U.S. Coast Guard in the Recreational Boating Statistics 2008 publication found the following:
• Recreational boating accidents caused $54 million of property damage
• More than two-thirds of all fatal boating accident victims drowned
• Among the drowning victims, 90 percent were not wearing a life jacket
• Only 10 percent of the fatalities occurred on boats where the operator had received boating safety instruction
• Seven out of 10 drowning victims were on boats less than 21 feet in length
• Alcohol was a leading factor in deadly boating accidents
• Eleven children under thirteen years of age died in boating accidents
• Open motorboats were the most common type of vessel involved in boat accidents

Attorney Joseph M. Maus states it is critical in a boating accident to determine which laws apply. Depending on where your boating accident occurred, either Florida law, Federal Maritime law, or a combination of both could apply. If you or someone you know has been involved in a serious Florida boating accident, contact attorney Joseph M. Maus.

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Red-light cameras reduce fatal crashes

February 4, 2011

Anyone driving in Broward County recently has probably noticed the surge of “red-light cameras” at every traffic light. Although many might feel as if they are not going to be effective, with 2,558 fatal car accidents in Florida in 2009, something needs to be done to prevent car accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2009, 676 people were killed and about 113,000 were injured in red light crashes. According to the Sun-Sentinel, a study conducted by The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that fatal car accidents dropped 14 percent in 14 cities where red-light cameras are in effect.

Alternatively, The Associated Press reports that a study conducted by the National Motorists Association found that although there is a decrease in deadly accidents, the cameras caused the number of rear-end collisions to rise. Due to the fact that many drivers are distracted, when people see the cameras they slam on their brakes leaving the driver behind them with no time to swerve out of the way.

Florida car accidents often prove debilitating or fatal. Although it too soon to tell whether red-light cameras will truly help reduce the number of accidents in South Florida, drivers need to follow traffic laws and be attentive when driving at all times.

If you have been injured in a car accident, contact attorney Joseph M. Maus to discuss your rights.

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South Florida man killed after falling from bike due to rough ground

February 1, 2011

The Sun-Sentinel reports that 67-year-old Pablo Ocana was riding his bike on the grass along State Road 7 in Hollywood when the ground became rough causing him to fall onto the road. Before he had a chance to get up, he was struck by a station wagon and killed instantly.

The accident occurred just south of Stirling Road near the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Police are investigating exactly what caused Ocana to fall onto the road. It is the responsibility of the land owner to maintain the property in a safe condition and to ensure the land is free of pot holes and other potentially dangerous conditions.

The City of Hollywood Code of Ordinances §157.51 (A), states: The exterior and interior of buildings and structures shall be kept free of all nuisances, and any hazards to the safety of occupants, customers, pedestrians and other persons utilizing the premises, and free of unsanitary conditions, and any of the foregoing shall be promptly removed and abated by the owner or operator. It shall be the duty of the owner or operator to keep the premises free of hazards which include but are not limited to the following:

• Holes, excavations, breaks, projections, obstructions, and excretions of pets and other animals on paths, walks, driveways, parking lots and parking areas, and other parts of the premises which are accessible to or used by persons on the premises.

Apart from an auto accident claim, Ocana’s family might be able to file a claim against the landowner for failure to maintain the land. If you or your family have been injured, contact personal injury attorney Joseph M. Maus to discuss your rights.

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