Tag: car accidents

Florida Automobile Accident Trends

Automobile accidents are an unfortunate fact of life. There is some risk involved every time an individual gets behind the wheel of their car or truck. No matter how good a driver someone is, and inattentive moment or miscalculation by another driver can lead to disaster. While crashes have become much more survivable with the addition of safety measures like air bags, antilock brakes, three-point rear seat belts and reinforced crumple zones, manufacturers have not yet devised a way to prevent accidents from happening altogether. Until they do the safest course of action is to drive defensively and with a clear head.

According to the statistics in the state of Florida in 2007, there were 256,206 crashes. That translates to about 702 traffic accidents every single day. Law enforcement officers are required by the state to submit a report any time they are called upon to investigate an accident that involves personal injury or death as well as what types of contributing factors were involved. This makes it possible for regulators to come up with a reliable report as to how many accidents involve someone leaving the scene and whether or not alcohol or narcotics were involved.

During 2007 there were 366,917 drivers involved in traffic accidents. These accidents resulted in 3’221 deaths. Those deaths occurred in 2’947 different fatal accidents. While deaths are fairly rare, injuries are not. 212,149 injuries resulted from 135,601 accidents. Of the over a quarter of a million accidents that happened in 2007, 117,658 resulted in property damage only. Alcohol was at least partially to blame for 22,823 of those accidents and drugs were involved in 1,252. It is not just cars that get in accidents, as motorcycle crashes accounted for 9,205 of all accidents that occurred in 2007. Pedestrians and bicycles were also involved in these traffic collisions accounting for 8,129 and 4,847 respectively.

The same state agency that came up with those sobering figures also reported that drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 were involved in more accidents than any other age group and also suffered more fatal crashes. Not surprisingly, drivers between the ages of 20 and 24 were involved in the highest amount of alcohol related accidents of any age group. Most accidents within the state of Florida during that year occurred on Friday and Saturday evenings. Being aware of surroundings and never driving impaired are two of the most important things that any driver can do to prevent themselves from being involved in an auto mobile accident.

How to Drive Safely in the Florida Rain

When the road is wet everything changes. You can’t see. You need more response time. The rules you drive by have to change. If you try to drive the same way you do when it is dry and sunny, you put yourself at risk for accidents. There are thousands of serious car accidents every year that are the result of unsafe driving in the rain. When it’s raining it isn’t necessary to stay home. With a few changes to the way you drive when it’s raining will ensure your safety so you don’t have to worry.

First, slow down. There are many benefits to slowing down in the rain. Slowing down gives you more time to react to a perilous situation and decreases the seriousness should you have an accident. It is hard to see when it is raining. Water on your windshield combined with the lights of other vehicles may be confusing. A little extra time to access what you are seeing can be the difference between a serious accident and safety. Keeping a safe distance between your car and the cars around you is another way to give yourself more time to react. Slow down so that you are not following the car in front of you too closely. And pay attention to the cars behind you as well.

Second, stay away from extra water. Driving through puddles or around large trucks and busses puts even more water on your windshield. The more water blocking your view, the more danger you are in. Try not to get too close to trucks or busses that are kicking up the water off the road. If you must pass them try to do it quickly and watch the lines on the road rather than the water being sprayed up. Splashing through puddles does not only decrease your visibility but can also cause mechanical problems. The worst that could happen is that water is taken in through the engine’s air intake and destroys the engine.

Make sure your vehicle is in the proper shape to handle the rain. Regularly replace wiper blades so you have maximum visibility. Headlights should be in working order so that you can see, and others can see you. Understand what your vehicle can handle. Don’t drive through a deep puddle unless you know that it will not affect the mechanical aspects of your vehicle. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that the water stays beneath the doors of your vehicles.

Finally, if you are injured in a car accident, contact Florida auto accident lawyer Dianna Castrillon at the Injury Law Clinic to make sure your rights are protected.

How to Help Someone Who Has Sustained a Head Injury

If you are on the scene of a car accident, a sports game, or any other scenario where a head injury may have happened, it is really handy and potentially life-saving to know what to do in advance.

1. Wave Off the Crowd

If you are there before first responders, appoint 2-3 people from the crowd to form a rough circle around the patient, keeping anyone from moving them. At a car accident, particularly, you may be faced with a belligerent other party who is trying to claim no fault for the accident. Try to avoid legal entanglements by physically harming the person, but do not allow them to touch or harass the injured party.
 
2. Ensure that First Responders Have Been Contacted and DO NOT MOVE the patient

In the heat of the moment, 5-10 people may have called on their cell phones. Or nobody has because everyone assumes that someone else has called. Deputize one of your helpers to contact emergency while you test for a head injury. Do not, at any point, move the patient from the position that they are in unless they are in immediate danger if you do not move them; for example, if they are lying in the middle of a highway.
 
3. Test for Head Injury

Ask the subject easy questions, such as what year it is and who the president is. Try to get them to follow your finger with their eyes. If they have problems answering the questions or following your finger beyond the normal confusion one would have in such a situation, you are potentially dealing with a head injury.

If the subject answers questions lucidly and can follow your finger, watch for other signs such as abnormal behavior and loss of consciousness. Both may also point to head injury.

4. Take Action

If you know CPR and rescue breathing and there is airway obstruction, begin the procedure. If everything is normal but the person is unconscious, treat it as a potential spine injury and place your hands on both sides of the person’s head, keeping the head in line with the spine and preventing movement. Wait for medical help in this position.
 
5. Inform First Responders

As soon as the first responders arrive, tell them that the subject is having a hard time answering questions and following your finger, and you suspect a head injury. This will save them valuable time.

6. Back Off When First Responders Arrive

Remain at the scene as a witness as long as needed, but keep your distance while the first responders are working on the patient. You can do your part by trying to hold off a crowd of curious onlookers at this point.

If you are in a position where you may run into head injuries, such as coaching sports, truck driving, or any other profession that involves driving, see about getting first aid lessons so that you have all of the tools that you need in case you ever do need them.

The Injury Law Clinic Celebrates Hispanic Heritage at This Year's Fiesta's Patronales Event

Diana CastrillonThe Injury Law Clinic was excited to participate in this year’s Puerto Rican Fiesta’s Patronales event, which was held November 12-15, 2009 in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Co-sponsored and organized by The Puerto Rican Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Broward County, Fiestas Patronales and Business Expo is the largest Hispanic event in Broward County.  With Spanish-Speaking and Bi-Lingual Attorneys serving Broward County, The Injury Law Clinic felt this was a perfect event to introduce our law firm to the customers we serve in the Hispanic community in South Florida.  With more than 20,000 attendees per year, it brings the Hispanic tradition to life. 

Diana CastrillonFiestas Patronales is a class-act Hispanic event that brings together the culture, arts and crafts, business exposure of many industries and it’s sponsors, and the music to one venue in South Florida, making it the most popular event among the Hispanic community in South Florida.  During this four day event, our attorneys were able to meet with many members of our Hispanic community and answer many questions about your legal rights when it comes to all types of Personal Injury Cases, including Slip & Fall Accidents, Car Accidents, Workman’s Compensation and more. 

The Injury Law Clinic was very happy to participate in this event, and we look forward to seeing you at next year’s Fiesta Patronales.