Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries

Rollover Accidents Often Fatal Says Boca Car Accident Lawyer Joe Osborne

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Rollover accidents are relatively rare but cause more than a third of all fatalities in passenger vehicle accidents says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne.

Rollover accidents are dangerous incidents that have a higher fatality rate than other types of crashes. These truck and car accidents can happen with any type of vehicle but became widely known in the 1980’s when SUV’s often equipped with defective tires were involved in a number of accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a rollover in South Florida Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne may be able to help.

An example of this type of accident occurred in West Palm Beach last month. It seriously injured a Fort Lauderdale firefighter, Sauvens “Vince” Castelly, who was seriously injured last month when his vehicle was struck by another, sending his car into a tree and the car rolled over onto its side, according to NBC6. His union started a GoFundMe page to help support Castelly and his family. It states that because of his injuries he needed a pacemaker, suffered multiple broken bones and will need two spinal surgeries.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that of the nearly 9.1 million passenger car, SUV, pickup and van accidents in 2010, only 2.1% involved a rollover but those accidents caused nearly 35% of all deaths in passenger vehicle crashes. In 2010 more than 7,600 people were killed in rollovers and most of them (69%) weren’t wearing seatbelts.

Rollover accidents are “complex crash incidents” according to NHTSA and they can be particularly violent. The agency states the type of vehicle plays a significant role in causing the crash and other factors include the driver’s behavior, road and environmental conditions.

  • Vehicle type: Those with higher centers of gravity such as those that are taller and more narrow like SUV’s, pickups and vans are more likely to rollover if they’re involved in a single vehicle accident.
  • Speed: Fatal rollover crashes are more likely to involve fast moving vehicles. About 40% of fatal rollovers involved excess speed. Nearly three-quarters of rollovers causing fatalities happened where the speed limit was at least 55 miles per hour.
  • Alcohol: Nearly half of all fatal rollover crashes involve alcohol use by the driver.
  • Location: Rural roads, which are often undivided and lacking barriers are more likely to be the location of a deadly rollover. About three-quarters of fatal rollovers take place in rural areas where the speed limit is normally at least 55 miles per hour.
  • Routine driving: More than 90% of vehicles involved in fatal, single vehicle rollover accidents were engaged in routine driving maneuvers (going straight or negotiating a curve) at the time of the crash. NHTSA states this suggests that driver behavior (distraction, inattentiveness, speeding and impaired driving) can be a significant cause of rollover crashes.
  • Single vehicle crashes: Nearly 85% of rollover-related deaths are caused in single-vehicle crashes. Since most of these crashes and fatalities don’t involve other vehicles it appears driver behavior plays a significant role in rollover crashes.

NHTSA states that 95% of single vehicle rollovers accidents are “tripped” which happens when the vehicle leaves the roadway, slides sideways, digs its tires into soft soil or strikes an object like a curb or guardrail causing it to trip over. The rest of the rollovers mostly happen with top-heavy vehicles, often travelling at high speed and the driver tries to steer clear of a hazard of accident, causing the vehicle to roll over.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury caused in a rollover accident, contact Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne at (561) 800-4011 or fill out this online contact form. You can discuss your case, how the law may apply and your best legal options to protect your rights and obtain compensation for your injuries.

Head On Crash on I95 Kills Florida Man Says Boca Car Accident Lawyer Joe Osborne

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Wrong way collisions often happen when it’s dark, on the weekends and involve drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne.

A head on collision with a truck on a highway would be a nightmare come true. Unfortunately it was the reality for a Fernandina Beach man who was driving on I-95 in southern Georgia last month. A vehicle going the wrong way on a highway could have a number of causes, but negligence would almost certainly be a factor says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne.

Head on collisions, especially when they involve a passenger vehicle and a much larger commercial truck, have a high rate of serious injuries and fatalities. This accident took the life of the driver of an SUV, which was struck by a Federal Express semi-truck hauling tandem trailers that crossed a divider barrier and went into the opposite lanes, reports the Florida Times-Union. The driver and a passenger in the truck were not injured.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) issued a report of a study of wrong way crashes occurring on interstate freeways and expressways throughout the state from 2009 to 2013. During that time 280 crashes occurred causing more than 400 injuries and 75 deaths. Study results include,

  • The majority of wrong way travel starts from entering the freeway/expressway from an exit ramp.
  • Weekends and early morning hours were more common times for wrong way crashes.
  • Alcohol and/or drugs were involved in 45% of wrong way crashes. That’s more than 16 times the proportion for freeway/expressway crashes in general for Florida.
  • The majority of wrong way crashes (71%) happened when in dark conditions, while overall only 29% of accidents happened when it was dark.
  • Drivers younger than 30 years old accounted for 42% of the wrong way crashes, which is 8% less than the number of all crashes attributable to that age group.
  • Drivers 75 years old and older accounted for 4.6% of all the wrong way crashes in the study. This is more than three times the proportion from statewide trends on overall freeway/expressway crashes (1.4%). FDOT concluded these older drivers are more at higher risk of being in, if not causing, a wrong way-related crash.
  • About 75% of wrong way crashes happened in urban areas and 25% in rural areas.
  • The areas where wrong way crashes were most common were District 2 (49, Northeastern Florida), Turnpike System (49), District 6 (37, South Florida) and District 5 (35, Central Florida).

If you’re driving down the highway or street and see another vehicle headed towards you, you literally might not believe your eyes, especially if you’re driving at night or when visibility is poor. But these accidents happen and we represent those who suffer injuries, and the families of people killed, due to negligent drivers traveling the wrong way.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury caused in a vehicle accident involving a head on collision, contact Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne at (561) 800-4011 or fill out this online contact form. You can discuss your case, how the law may apply and your best legal options to protect your rights and obtain compensation for your injuries.

Incapacitated Drivers Threaten Others Says Boca Car Accident Lawyer Joe Osborne

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Drivers who suddenly suffer medical emergencies may cause about 9000 accidents a year in Florida says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne.

A driver facing a health crisis behind the wheel may only have partial control of the vehicle or none at all. Hopefully he or she will be able to safely pull over and get medical help. All too often it’s not the driver stopping the car, it stops because it hits an object or another vehicle. If such an accident occurs multiple people could be facing health crises due to injuries says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne.

This type of car accident is not uncommon.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) studied a sample of 5,471 accidents that occurred nationwide from July 2005 through December 2007. It found that 2.4% of the accidents were caused by drivers having heart attacks or other physical impairments while driving.

Though the dangers of people falling asleep behind the wheel are better known, NHTSA found they were only a slightly greater risk, causing 3.2% of the accidents. Other conditions and factors similarly related to accidents as an incapacitated driver include driving when it’s snowing or sleeting (2.7%), at dusk (2.6%), while changing lanes (2.1%), swerving to avoid another vehicle (3%) and poor road conditions (2%).

During that time frame there were 2,041,943 accidents across the country. NHTSA estimates 48,822 of them were caused by incapacitated drivers. In Florida in 2015 there were 374,342 traffic accidents. If NHTSA’s estimate of the share of accidents caused by incapacitated drivers is accurate, almost 9,000 of those accidents were related to drivers suddenly too ill to drive. That would mean about 25 accidents a day were caused by incapacitated drivers in Florida in 2015.

There are real people behind these numbers. Last month two men were killed in an accident in Palm Beach County that involved a driver possibly suddenly incapacitated by a health issue. It happened on the Florida Turnpike, according to the Miami Herald.

One driver pulled his pickup truck, with a trailer attached, onto the right shoulder of the northbound lanes. He got out of the vehicle and was next to the trailer when he was hit by a tractor trailer.

The Florida Highway Patrol believe the truck driver may have suffered a medical problem while driving, causing it to hit the victim and his pickup, then the truck continued and struck a chain link fence. The first driver was killed at the scene. The truck driver later died at St. Mary’s Hospital in West Palm Beach.

In these types of situations the driver suddenly too ill to drive is not necessarily at fault when it comes to a legal action seeking compensation for injuries to victims. Under Florida law the driver may have a valid defense if,

  • The defendant suffered a loss of consciousness or capacity.
  • That loss occurred before the defendant’s allegedly negligent conduct (such as striking another vehicle).
  • The loss was sudden.
  • The loss was not foreseen by the driver nor could the driver have foreseen it.

This defense wouldn’t apply if the driver was aware of facts sufficient to cause a reasonably prudent person to anticipate that he or she might lose consciousness or become incapacitated while driving and that driving or operating a vehicle under the circumstances would likely result in an accident.

In such a case the driver’s medical history would be key to the case, including what the person may have been diagnosed with, his or her medications or treatments, and whether the person was warned he or she may suddenly lose control or consciousness or that it was unsafe to drive.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury caused by a driver who suddenly became incapacitated, contact Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne at (561) 800-4011 or fill out this online contact form. You can discuss your case, how the law may apply and your best legal options to protect your rights and obtain compensation for your injuries.

Florida Home to Nation’s Worst Drivers Says Boca Car Accident Lawyer Joe Osborne

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Florida is the home to the most dangerous drivers in the country says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne, killing thousands each year.

You probably know this already but a study that was published earlier this year made it official, Florida has the most dangerous drivers in the country. Personal finance tech company SmartAsset looked at driver-related information and determined that the state is plagued by the most road perils. They came to the conclusion that Florida is filled with terrible drivers, reports the South Florida Business Journal. Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne is not surprised.

According to SmartAsset to come up with this finding they looked at number of drivers, DUI arrests, traffic related deaths per thousand drivers and Google trends in speeding ticket searches and the percentage of people who have auto insurance. Those in Florida,

  • Do web searches on “speeding tickets” and “traffic tickets” most often.
  • Have low rates of insurance (23.8% of drivers).,
  • Have more traffic-related deaths than nine of the top 25 states.

Based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Florida has 4.45 “driving under the influence” arrests per 1,000 drivers (compared to Vermont at 50.86 DUI arrests per 1,000 drivers while Delaware has 0.29 arrests per 1,000 drivers).

Four out of the top (or bottom, depending on how you look at it) ten states in the study are in the southeast.

  1. Florida
  2. Mississippi
  3. Oklahoma
  4. New Jersey
  5. Delaware
  6. Alabama
  7. Vermont
  8. Tennessee
  9. Texas
  10. Nevada

Of the 25 states ranked, Iowa was the state with the safest drivers.

NHTSA has these frightening Florida traffic facts for 2015, reports car accident attorney Osborne:

  • There were 2,939 traffic fatalities, the most since 2008, which comes to about eight traffic deaths per day.
  • 797 of those fatalities were alcohol related.
  • There were 616 motorcyclist fatalities, 628 pedestrians and 150 cyclists killed that year.
  • Florida’s vehicle fatality rate (number of fatalities per 100 million miles traveled) was 14.5, much higher than the national average (10.92) and far greater than the state with the lowest rate (3.42).
  • Palm Beach County is ranked as the fourth highest in traffic fatalities with 187 (Miami-Dade County was the highest with 340) which is a 44% increase from 2014.

Traffic accidents have many causes. According to NHTSA, based on information from 2005 to 2007, mistakes by drivers cause of 94% of crashes, problems with the vehicle 2% of the time and the environment another 2%. Those driver mistakes include:

  • Recognition error (driver’s inattention, distractions and inadequate surveillance) was the most common (41%).
  • Decision error (driving too fast for conditions or for a curve, false assumption of others’ actions, illegal maneuvers and misjudgment of the gap with another vehicle or others’ speed) caused about 33% percent of accidents.
  • About 11% of vehicle crashes were caused by performance errors (overcompensation or poor directional control).
  • Sleep was the most common reason for non-performance errors causing 7% of accidents.

No matter the circumstances of the accident if you or a family member has been injured or killed in a vehicle accident due to the negligence of another in Miami-Dade, Broward or Palm Beach Counties you may be able to seek compensation. To learn more contact Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne at (561) 800-4011 or fill out this online contact form. You can discuss your case, how the law may apply and your best legal options to protect your rights and obtain compensation for your losses.

All About Motorcycle Accidents by Boca Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Joe Osborne

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Motorcyclists face greater risks than drivers of other vehicles and are often severely injured in accidents says Boca motorcycle accident lawyer Joe Osborne.

Osborne & Associates provides a pathway to the courthouse for their clients who are seriously injured because of the negligence of others. They pride themselves in providing personal, professional service. Boca motorcycle accident lawyer Joe Osborne moves their cases forward and treats each case like it’s a priority. “We make sure that at the end of the day the value of their claim is maximized by our efforts preparing the case, negotiating with insurance companies and representing clients in the courthouse.”

The accident attorneys at Osborne & Associates don’t just file legal papers and make arguments in court. They value the relationships they have with their clients. They want to succeed because that means their clients succeed. “We work hand-in-hand with them to ensure that their rights are protected and they achieve the maximum recovery possible under the circumstances. We understand the stress and strain a client and his or her family endures after a serious accident and we do what we can to make their lives easier.”

They want to help their clients, but they need their help too. If you’re involved in an accident, assuming you’re not too injured to do so, obtaining some important information will be a big help. What that information is depends on the type of case.

If you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident it is very important to acquire,

  • A copy of the police report,
  • Medical records concerning your injuries, diagnosis and treatment,
  • Photographs or videos created due to the accident including the vehicles and the scene of the accident,
  • A list of treating physicians you have seen since the accident, and
  • A list of any witnesses or potential witnesses who could testify about the accident.

This will help the accident attorneys at Osborne and Associates jump-start their investigation. If you are unable to get the information, they can obtain this information and records for you.

One of the types of cases Osborne and Associates help their clients with is motorcycle accidents. They often result in more severe injuries for some very basic reasons. The person on the motorcycle doesn’t have the same protection afforded by a car. Not having all that steel, plastic and glass around you is what attracts people to motorcycling. The downside is if there’s an accident there is nothing between you, the other vehicles and the road except a helmet and any protective clothing you’re wearing.

If there is an intersectional collision it is common to see someone struck from the side and have a significant injury to their lower extremity or leg. If the collision is from behind the rider will usually be ejected from the motorcycle.

Hopefully a helmet will lessen any head injuries but without the protection of a vehicle and a seat belt the injuries will probably be significant. The rider is coming into contact with a vehicle that probably weighs between three and five thousand pounds (a commercial truck would be far heavier) or they’re going to strike the roadway, side of the road, tree or telephone pole.

If you or a family member have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Miami-Dade, Broward or Palm Beach Counties and have any questions about accident law, contact Boca motorcycle accident lawyer Joe Osborne at (561) 800-4011 or fill out this online contact form. You can discuss your case, how the law may apply and your best legal options to protect your rights and obtain compensation for your injuries.


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National Statistics Show Florida Ranks First in Fatal Vehicle Crashes in 2015

Cell phone use continues to be a cause of at least 25% of accidents nationwide

Between January and August 2015 there were 1441 vehicle fatalities in Florida, the highest number in the entire nation, and a 29% increase over the same time period in 2014.  This data underscores the very real need for drivers to take steps to prevent unnecessary accidents and to drive defensively at all times.  The Boca Raton accident attorneys at Osborne & Associates, P.A. urge anyone who is victim of a vehicle accident to contact our firm for a thorough investigation and full evaluation of potential liability.

Despite a new law and ad campaign on the Florida highways that warn of the dangers of cell phone use, there is an ongoing hazard presented by drivers who cannot resist the temptation of a call or text.  While this is just one cause of accidents, National Safety Council statistics show that 25% of accidents nationwide are caused by cell phone use.  This dangerous practice is common enough in Florida to warrant electronic roadway warnings on the highways, but there is little incentive for drivers to cease talking on the phone.

There are other causes of accidents in Florida due to a variety of factors, some of which include:

  • The widespread practice of violating speed limits on the long flat highways
  • Distracted driving due to eating, drinking, passengers, and in-vehicle entertainment
  • Aggressive driving and passing by commercial vehicles or 18 wheelers

Despite these factors, motorists can take the initiative to prevent injuries and avoid causing an accident on the Florida highways by taking a few simple precautions:

  • Use of seat belts and child restraints for every passenger
  • If you are out drinking, always have a designated driver
  • Familiarize yourself with car safety features such as back up cameras and cruise control
  • Never talk or text on a cell phone when driving
  • Avoid driving when tired or sleepy, and take frequent rest stops

These steps can help lower the probability of causing an accident, but it is impossible to control the actions of other drivers.  Defensive driving habits can help minimize this type of tragic event, by constantly watching the movement of other vehicles, checking mirrors and anticipating traffic patterns.  However, at times other drivers will behave carelessly and could cause an accident that leaves you or your passengers injured.

Anyone who has been injured in a vehicle accident should contact the Boca Raton accident attorneys at Osborne & Associates, P.A. so that we can assess any claim for compensation.  A personal injury lawsuit may be the only way to have your costs of medical care and lost income recovered.  We have a long history of obtaining successful results in all types of vehicle accident cases, and take an aggressive approach when dealing with insurers or other parties who attempt to deny you the compensation you deserve. Contact us at 561-293-2600, or via email to schedule a free initial consultation.


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Texting While Driving a National Epidemic

Motorists continue to engage in this hazardous practice despite a Florida law banning texting and driving

When you take your eyes off the road to send a single text message, your vehicle can travel over 300 yards in less than 5 seconds.  Imagine the danger of multiple drivers on a single highway who are texting and driving without paying attention to the road or other vehicles, and it becomes clear how dangerous this apparently innocent practice can be.  Some estimate that over 800,000 drivers are texting on the roadway each day across the country, not watching traffic or other vehicles that may be present, as they casually send messages and surf Facebook on their phones.

Given these facts, it is no wonder that nationwide, texting and driving causes 1.6 million accidents per year, many of which involve injuries to passengers or even deaths.  Statistically, texting is now more dangerous than drunk driving, a key culprit in highway accidents for decades.  The Boca Raton texting accident attorneys at Osborne & Associates, P.A. are deeply concerned about the hazards of texting and driving, and the potential for causing serious accidents and grave injuries.  Our firm is dedicated to recovering damages for victims of this deadly form of distracted driving.

In 2013 the Florida legislature addressed this growing problem by passing a law prohibiting texting and driving on the state’s highways.  However, that law is a ‘secondary offense’ meaning that the police cannot pull over a driver simply for texting, and there must be another traffic violation involved.  Perhaps for this reason, texting remains a common practice in Florida, and causes many serious accidents each year.  There are calls to strengthen the law and increase the level of deterrence, but for now texting just brings a citation like any traffic offense.

The important point to understand for anyone injured by a texting driver is that the Florida statute makes texting a clear breach of the duty of careful driving owed to others on the highway.  What this means is that if you are injured in an accident that is caused by a driver distracted by texting, then you have a good chance of recovering compensation for any damages.  In other words, texting and driving is clearly negligent and there is no way to avoid responsibility for this careless behavior.  In the event of an accident with injuries, cell phone records can be examined to prove that texting occurred at the time of the accident, making it easier to confirm the fault of the driver.

At premier Boca Raton personal injury law firm, Osborne & Associates, P.A., we have a team of highly-skilled accident attorneys prepared to pursue compensation on behalf of anyone injured at the hands of a distracted or texting driver. We are aggressive in our approach to holding negligent parties responsible for damages resulting from poor decisions and careless actions.  Contact us at 561-293-2600 via email to schedule a free initial consultation in our Boca Raton office..