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car accident attorney near Boca Raton Archives | Osborne & Francis

Drivers Backing Up Need to Use Caution Says Boca Car Accident Lawyer Joe Osborne

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A driver going in reverse can be responsible for injuries or deaths caused by an accident if negligence can be shown says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne.

A vehicle going in reverse is potentially very dangerous because it may cause an accident with another vehicle or strike a pedestrian. Vehicles are built to go forward and visibility out the back may not be good and passengers or cargo may block the view. We also go into reverse in potentially dangerous situations: crowded parking lots and out of driveways (possibly crossing sidewalks) into streets. No matter which direction a vehicle is moving the driver has a responsibility to drive safely says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne.

A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that between 2002 and 2006 there were 48,000 injuries nationwide due to accidents involving all types of vehicles backing up on public roads and private property such as driveways and parking lots. These accidents also caused an estimated 463 deaths.

There are all too many instances of serious injuries and deaths involving vehicles going in reverse.

  • A two year old boy was killed in July after he was struck by an SUV driven by his grandmother who was backing out of a driveway in Fontana, California, reports the Los Angeles Times. A police officer at the scene told the Times, “It’s one of the worst calls you can go to.” Police report the child went behind the vehicle without anyone seeing him. A neighbor who works as a nurse tried to use CPR to revive the child but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
  • Another two year old boy was killed in June in Jacksonville after being struck by a vehicle backing up, driven by his mother, according to WJXT, in an apartment complex parking lot. He survived the collision but died hours later at a hospital. The boy’s mother was visiting his grandmother and asked her to watch her two small children while she went to the store. The two year old left the apartment without his grandmother realizing it and was behind the vehicle when his mother backed out of a parking spot.
  • A Virginia volunteer firefighter was killed when he was struck by a firetruck going in reverse at the scene of a vehicle accident in May, reports WSLS.
  • The Florida Highway Patrol stated that a 59 year old Panama City resident and Bay County Road and Bridges worker was killed in a worksite accident in Fountain in February. He was part of a work crew doing street maintenance when he was struck and killed by a dump truck that was backing up, according to WJHG. The worker was taken to a local hospital where he died.

Under Florida statute, “The driver of a vehicle shall not back the same unless such movement can be made with safety and without interfering with other traffic.” Violation of the law is considered a moving violation and you may be ticketed if law enforcement finds you were going in reverse in a dangerous manner. In a personal injury case if the driver is cited for violating this law it can be used as evidence of negligence and can greatly help the case.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident or as a pedestrian by a vehicle going in reverse, 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.

Every Case Needs to be Investigated Says Boca Car Accident Lawyer Joe Osborne

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Investigations are the foundation of accident cases and you shouldn’t trust just anyone with that investigation says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne.

The facts of every car accident case are unique and it’s those facts that normally make the difference between a successful legal claim and one that gets dismissed. In order to get all the relevant facts about an accident there needs to be an investigation, which is a critical part of what we do when we represent injured victims of vehicle accidents, says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne.

Watch a short video of an Osborne attorney discussing the importance of investigation in a Florida car accident case

A case in point is the recent accident involving tennis star Venus Williams near her home in Palm Beach Gardens. After a quick investigation local police released a report claiming Williams was at fault for the June 9 collision that caused fatal injuries to Jerome Barson, 78, according to the Sun Sentinel. Williams wasn’t injured in the crash. Linda Barson, Jerome’s wife, was driving their vehicle.

Williams’ SUV was in an intersection when it was struck by a vehicle in which Barson was a passenger. Later video footage of the accident was released and the police switched direction, stating that given what the video shows Williams “lawfully entered” the intersection and was not at fault.

  • Police stated the collision wasn’t as simple as previously announced. The video showed a third car was involved.
  • A Nissan Altima cut off Williams, making a left turn in front of her, causing her to stop in the busy intersection to avoid hitting it.
  • Police determined she had the green light when she came into the intersection, stopped then proceeded forward when the accident took place.
  • Williams’ SUV was T-boned in the intersection of Northlake Boulevard and Ballen Isles Drive by Barson’s vehicle. He died two weeks later due to his injuries.

Police state their investigation is continuing. Barson’s family has sued Williams in a wrongful death lawsuit. Whether the Barson lawsuit will ultimately be successful or not is known. But this incident has several lessons for those of us looking in from the outside,

  • It’s important to contact an attorney as early as possible after an accident. One reason is so an investigation can take place.
  • Normally a police report is the starting point for an investigation. After we get a copy we at least try to speak to any witnesses to the accident to get a better idea as to what happened and why.
  • We send our staff or a private investigator to take pictures of the scene of the accident as quickly as possible. This way we can document skid marks and any marks or damage to nearby telephone or light poles, guardrails or jersey barriers. Any photos taken from the scene just after the accident can also be very helpful.
  • As in this case, videos of accidents may be critical to a legal claim’s outcome. That video may be shot by security cameras trained on a roadway or intersection or cameras from nearby buildings and businesses where the roadway is in the background. Increasingly drivers are mounting forward facing cameras in their cars which may help document an accident.
  • We may hire an accident reconstruction specialist to put all the evidence together to come to a conclusion as to how and why the accident happened and who may be at fault.

This can be a complex process. As this accident shows, the situation may not be as simple as it originally appeared. To do a thorough investigation you need to know about the law and how to obtain evidence from multiple parties. You don’t want to trust just any law firm with this kind of work. We perform investigations for our clients day in and day out and we’ve been doing them for many years. It’s not the kind of situation where you should retain a law firm that will learn by doing the investigation into the accident that seriously injured you or resulted in the death of a loved one.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle 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.

Pedestrian Struck Off the Road Says Boca Car Accident Lawyer Joe Osborne

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About 10% of all pedestrian accidents occur off roadways and highways, leaving hundreds dead and thousands injured says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne.

Pedestrian accidents often involve people walking across streets and into the path of negligent drivers, but not always. Many pedestrians walking along the side of the road are struck by vehicles driven by those who are distracted, intoxicated, fatigued or simply not paying attention. Unfortunately, Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne says, just because you’re not in the road doesn’t mean you’re out of danger from a negligent driver.

One example is what happened in Englewood last month, according to WWSB. Maria Blanco-Taha was walking her dog in the grass along the side of Headley Road, facing oncoming traffic, when she was struck by a car driven by Kyle Dilley. He was reaching into the back seat of his car when he lost control of it, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Blanco-Taha was taken to a hospital where she later died of her injuries. Dilley’s been charged with careless driving.

About 10% of all accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians happen off streets and highways, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). The agency estimates that in 2013 4,735 pedestrians were killed in accidents involving vehicles on or near a public roadway (not counting in parking lots and driveways) and another estimated 66,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes across the country.

On average that year a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in vehicle accidents. If NHTSA estimates are correct that means about 470 pedestrians were killed and 6,600 injured in accidents that didn’t occur on a roadway.

Florida is an especially bad state when it comes to pedestrian accidents. In 2013 NHTSA states that,

  • In Florida there were a total of 2,407 fatal accidents, 501 of them involving pedestrians. Florida was second only to California in number of pedestrian accidents. It was also second behind Delaware in the pedestrian fatality rate per 100,000 residents.
  • State percentages of pedestrian fatalities compared to total traffic fatalities ranged from a low of 0.7% (North Dakota) to a high of 45% (District of Columbia) while the national average was 14.5%. Florida was 20.8%.

Nearly three-quarters of all pedestrian accident fatalities occurred in urban areas in 2013. In NHTSA’s list of cities with a population greater than 500,000 people Jacksonville ranked as the biggest Florida city at number 13 with a population of 835,508. It had a total of 33 pedestrian fatalities.

  • Slightly smaller San Francisco had 18 and slightly larger Indianapolis had 20.
  • Philadelphia is nearly twice the size of Jacksonville but had only three more pedestrian fatalities.
  • Chicago, more than three times the size of Jacksonville, had less pedestrian fatalities with 27.

If you’re walking you need to be vigilant of the traffic that’s near you. Face oncoming traffic so if it appears a vehicle may leave the roadway and towards you, you may have a chance to try to avoid it. Be especially careful when walking across driveways, entrances and exits to parking lots. Drivers may be more focused on reaching their destination than noticing pedestrians in their way.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury as a pedestrian in an accident caused by a vehicle, 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.

Drugged Drivers Common in Florida Warns Boca Car Accident Lawyer Joe Osborne

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Tiger Woods is just one of many Floridians too impaired by prescription drugs to safely drive says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne.

A driver can become dangerous for many reasons, including being impaired by prescription drugs. One of Florida’s more famous residents, Tiger Woods, was recently arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs near his home on Jupiter Island, reports CNBC. Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne says accidents in Florida are caused every day by drugged drivers.

Woods, who had been ranked as the world’s best golfer early in his career, blamed an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications for his arrest. He’s had four back surgeries, most recently earlier this month to relieve lingering back pain. Woods was arrested and later released according to the Palm Beach County Police.

A statement released by Woods’ spokesman stated that alcohol was not a factor but he apologized and added that he took full responsibility. He claimed he didn’t expect the mix of medications he was taking would have such a strong impact on him.

The police report states that Woods’ Mercedes appeared to have “fresh damage” when he was found asleep at the wheel the morning of his arrest by an officer from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Both tire rims on the driver’s side had minor damage, the front and rear tires on that side of the vehicle were flat, there was damage to the bumpers and a tail light was out, reports CNN.

Woods was found on the side of the road, the car running, its brake lights illuminated and right turn signal flashing, according to the arrest report. The officer woke him up, his speech was slurred and he stated he didn’t know where he was. Woods reportedly told the officer he was taking several prescriptions. A Breathalyzer test showed no signs of alcohol use and he also took a urine test.

Woods is not alone when taking to the streets too drugged to drive.

  • Results of a 2010 nationwide study of fatal vehicle accidents show that prescription drug use is a greater hazard than illegal drugs. It found that about 47% of drivers who tested positive for drugs had used a prescription drug, compared to 37% of drivers who tested positive for marijuana and about 10% of drivers who had used cocaine, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The most common prescription drugs found were pain relievers.
  • The National Highway Transportation Safety Board states that for fatal vehicle accidents in 2009 in Florida, 42% of drivers were not tested for drugs. About 16% of those who were tested showed drug use or 239 of 1,485 drivers.

Woods’ situation is all too common. Many drivers may take to the road despite the fact they know they can’t safely drive because of prescription medication or their effect may come as a surprise. Either way it’s a dangerous situation that could result in serious injuries or deaths. Though Woods’ professional and personal lives have taken well publicized turns for the worse both he and everyone else on the roads on Jupiter Island that night are lucky no one was injured or killed after Woods got behind the wheel. Others are not so lucky.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury caused in a car accident involving a drugged driver, 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.

Baseball and Beer Endanger Drivers Warns Boca Car Accident Lawyer Joe Osborne

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Drunken fans can be a menace at a ball game and when they drive home after it’s over says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne

Baseball is America’s pastime and there’s plenty to choose from in South Florida, from the Miami Marlins to the minor leagues and college teams. Thanks to smart marketing and teams eager to make more money at the concession stand beer and baseball are in a tight embrace. Sometimes fans enjoy too much beer with the game they’re watching and pose a hazard to others when they drive home says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne.

The number of drunken fans may startle even long time season ticket holders. A study by University of Minnesota researchers estimates that one in every 12 fans leaving major sporting events is intoxicated, reports U.S. News & World Report.

  • If 20,000 people attend a Marlins game, if this figure is accurate, nearly 1,700 people leave the stadium drunk. If only a third drive from Marlins Ballpark more than 500 intoxicated drivers will be hitting the road after a game.
  • When the NFL season starts if 65,000 attend a Dolphins game there could be about 5,400 drunk fans there and thousands of drunk drivers leaving the game.

Researchers measured the blood alcohol content (BAC) of 382 adults following 13 baseball games and three football games and found that 8% of fans surveyed had a BAC of 0.08 or higher, the legal intoxication limit. Those who pre-gamed at tailgate parties were 14 times more likely to leave the game drunk. A quarter of the tailgaters surveyed admitted to drinking five or more alcoholic beverages. Fans younger than 35 were nine times more likely to be drunk than other attendees.

Study results are from testing fans leaving sporting events between May and October 2006. They were asked to participate with an anonymous breathalyzer test and a five-minute verbal survey assessing their alcohol consumption levels before and during the game. There were an average of twenty volunteers after each game, 58% of them were men and about 55% were between the age of 21 and 35.

Study author Darin Erickson, an assistant professor of epidemiology and community health at University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health said it was challenging to get fans to cooperate not just because some may have wanted to hide their blood alcohol level but also because fans just want to beat the traffic and drive home.

Some experts say the 8% estimate is probably on the low side but the study shows how serious the problem is. “The study reminds us that heavy drinking at sporting events occurs and that this likely contributes to DWI accidents and injuries or even deaths,” said Dr. James C. Garbutt, medical director of the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury caused a drunk driver, 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.