West Palm Beach Legal Blog

The deadliest day for drivers is in August

Even though August has no major holidays in which West Palm Beach residents and other South Floridians might make a special trip to the beach and have a few drinks, the month can claim the dubious honor of having within it the deadliest day for motorists.

According to a recent report, on average, August 2 is the worst day for fatal motor vehicle accidents across the country. Analyzing crash statistics from 2012 through 2016, there were on average 101 traffic-related deaths annually on August 2. In what might come as less of a surprise, July 4, a major holiday in which parties are common, came in second place, with an average of 99 deaths. Rounding out the top 5 were October 25, May 3 and November 1.

What are the 3 most common motorcycle injuries?

One of the nicest things about living in Florida if you are a motorcycle enthusiast is that “motorcycle season” lasts 12 months out of the year. Since you rarely, if ever, must deal with snow and ice, you can enjoy the call of the open road whenever you wish. Whether you are a recent convert to the cycle lifestyle or have years of riding experience under your belt, safety should always be your first consideration. The simple truth is that motorcycle riders face an 80 percent chance of sustaining a serious injury or dying in a crash

The three most common motorcycle injuries are the following:

Florida is a comparative fault state

A previous post on this blog warned motorcyclists in this state not to engage in certain behavior, called lane splitting, that is considered illegal in Florida.

While it is certainly the case that motorcyclists and other drivers should follow this state's traffic laws, it is also important for victims of car accidents, motorcycle accidents and other motor vehicle accidents to remember that Florida is somewhat unique among the states since it is what is called a pure comparative fault jurisdiction.

Legality of lane splitting in Florida

The act of lane splitting, which occurs when a motorcyclist drives between two lanes of traffic to bypass cars on the road, is illegal in most states. Motorcycle enthusiasts in Florida have pointed to various benefits of the act, such as how it clears up traffic congestion by allowing riders to escape traffic jams, freeing up space for more cars. 

As of this writing, lane splitting is still illegal in Florida. This may come as a shock to certain riders who travel to the state from California, where lane splitting is not illegal. It is paramount for motorcyclists to abide by state laws because in the event of a collision, the motorcyclist may hold more of the liability. 

Who are people talking to when they drive distracted?

With all the attention of late on the problem of distracted driving and the importance of paying attention to the road, a West Palm Beach, Florida, resident or, for that matter, anyone in South Florida might be wondering what, or who, is so important as to merit a driver's taking his or her eyes and mind off the road.

The answer might be a bit surprising it doesn't have anything to do with one's professional life, even though many people claimed they were willing to text and drive or take a phone call in order to be available to their bosses.

When a car wreck results in catastrophic burns

Among the most frightening injuries suffered in Florida car wrecks are catastrophic burns. Unfortunately, an average of 3,275 Americans die from crash-related burns every year.

It should come as no surprise to you that your car contains many things that can catch fire. Likewise, many of its surfaces can become hot enough during a fire to burn you if and when you come into contact with them. Between these two factors, you can suffer four different types of burns as follows:

  1. Thermal burns from your body contacting either the fire’s flames or your car’s hot interior surfaces
  2. Scald burns from your body contacting hot gasoline or other hot liquids
  3. Chemical burns from your body contacting caustic fluids such as antifreeze or steering or transmission fluid
  4. Electrical burns from your body contacting an electrical wire or electrified surface in your car or potentially a downed power line should your car crash into a power pole

State lawmaker encourages Floridians to put phones down

A state legislator who serves Palm Beach County recently wrote an opinion piece in which she encouraged her fellow Floridians to pay better attention to the road and to put their phones down while driving. She has also pledged to fight for stronger measures to combat distracted driving.

Florida already has laws in place that police can use to punish texting and driving and even a driver's decision to use a cell phone without a hands-free device. However, according to the lawmaker, these measures don't seem to be helping as much as one would hope.

What to do following an accident that damages your car

Getting into a car accident is a highly stressful situation, regardless of how severe the collision. Even a fender bender can have long-lasting repercussions, and more serious accidents can wreak physical and emotional havoc on a person. Some collisions can even cause post-traumatic stress disorder. While most people are clear about the need to do something after a massive accident, what happens when the accident is so minor it only damages your car?

You might think that an accident this minor leaves you with no legal recourse, but this is not the case. Even the most minor accident may require you to take action and seek compensation. If the other driver was at fault, you should receive reimbursement for the property damage he or she caused. Here are three steps to follow after an accident that damages your car. 

More on workers' compensation for PTSD victims

A previous post on this blog from several months ago talked about a pending Florida measure that affected workers' compensation for those who put their lives and health on the line to respond to fires, serious accidents and the like.

For any of its shortcomings, this measure, which became law, did make it possible for these first responders to receive workers' compensation benefits for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

One Disney worker hurt, one killed, in separate accidents

Recent reports stated that, in two separate incidents, two workers at Disney World, one of Florida's most famous employers, suffered injuries. The incidents took place on the same day.

Sadly, one of the workers died because of the workplace accident, although reports do not specify exactly what happened.

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