October 2011 Archives

SARASOTA BOATING ACCIDENT ATTORNEY

October 31, 2011

Boating Under the Influence, "BUI's" Still Hard to Prevent

We have all heard numerous messages regarding drinking and driving, but boating under the influence is still a major concern in Florida. Florida has more boat crashes and water accidents than any other state and it has been estimated that one in four fatal boating accidents are caused by intoxication or drug use. Some of the reasons why BUI's (Boating Under the Influence) are so hard to prevent are listed below:

Lack of Awareness: Many organizations have worked to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving and young drivers are urged not to drink and drive. There is much less social pressure to avoid BUI's and less awareness of the problem.

Sense of Imbalance: According to the U.S. Coast Guard, an ear imbalance brought about by intoxication can make it difficult for a person to tell the difference between up and down. This imbalance can make someone feel more intoxicated than they really are and disorientation creates a serious drowning hazard.

Inexperience: Even experienced boaters are more familiar with cars than they are with boats and they spend much more time on the road than they do on the water.

Conditions on the Water: Sun, wind and the boat's vibration can intensify the effects of alcohol. These distractions can make it harder for the boater to notice intoxication.

Dehydration: Dehydration can make the effects of alcohol more pronounced. Drinking and boating on hot, sunny days is a recipe for dehydration.

There were 323 BUI citations written in Florida in 2010 as a result of stricter patrol of our waterways by local, state and federal authorities. There has been an increased effort by authorities and the media to inform boaters of the dangers of drinking while boating. The goal is to prevent Florida boating accidents from occurring this year and in the future.

If you have been injured in a Florida boating accident, contact the Florida boating accident attorneys at Morgan Dramis, P.A. Call us at (941) 953-4555 to schedule an appointment for a free consultation to discuss your case.

BOATING ACCIDENT ATTORNEY'S IN SARASOTA, BRADENTON AND OTHER FLORIDA COUNTIES

October 30, 2011

Columbus Day Weekend Claims Lives of Careless Boaters

imbnE0N.jpg Over Columbus Day weekend, 45 year-old Miami resident Juan Carlos Morales, died after falling off a yacht in Deering Bay during their annual Regatta. The victim fell from the diving platform on the back of the boat and was then dragged underneath the boat where he was fatally injured by the propellers. Many power boaters come to this particular bay over the long weekend and heavy drinking tends to be a large part of the celebrations. Occasionally, these festivities result in serious boating injuries and death.

untitlasrged.png Also, over the same weekend, a woman in her 80's drowned and seven other people had to be rescued after their boat sank in the Florida Keys. All the people on the boat were thrown overboard during rough weather and they had to keep themselves afloat for almost 20 hours before help arrived. One 4 year-old girl suffered a mild case of hypothermia.


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PROPER SAFETY CAN PREVENT SERIOUS BOATING ACCIDENTS AND SERIOUS INJURY

October 28, 2011

Sarasota & Bradenton Boat Crash and Boat Injury Lawyers

Every winter in Florida, our roads become more congested and so do our waterways. Visitors and part-time residents descend on Southwest Florida during the annual tourist season. Many of these people enjoy Florida's waterfront lifestyle.
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According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC), Florida has over 1 million registered boats, more than any other state in the country. A large majority of accidents on the water involve collisions with other boats and many of these are due to lack of attention by the operator of the boat. Alcohol use plays a major role in boating accidents, just as it does with highway accidents. Law enforcement agencies, along with the U.S. Coast Guard enforce strict laws and impose severe penalties for those found guilty of Boating Under the Influence (BUI).

imagesCAIS.jpg In July 2003, the dollar amount required for a boating accident to be considered "reportable" was raised from $500.00 to $2,000.00. This may help to explain why there has been a decline in the number of "reportable" boating accidents. Under federal law, if you are involved in a boating accident, you are responsible for reporting it to the correct state agency.

Sarasota County Boat Accident Attorney


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CRUISE SHIP INJURIES ARE UNIQUE AND COMPLICATED

October 26, 2011

Avoiding Cruise Ship Accidents

According to the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association's Industry Overview, many vacationers will be experiencing their first cruise to a tropical paradise close to Florida. The Bahamas and the Caribbean are two of the most popular destinations and the cruising industry is expected to grow. Do you know what to do if you or a loved one becomes injured while on a cruise ship? Do you know what to prepare for and how to prevent an accident while on board a ship?

imagesCAJ41TRM.jpgCruise Ship Accident Lawyer in Sarasota County

As Personal Injury Attorney's in Sarasota County, we help those who have been injured while on board a Cruise Ship. There are some differences in how these cases are developed due to the terms and conditions of your ticket. Each of the Major Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney and others all have terms that you must accept before boarding their cruise ship. The reality is that many accidents occur while on a cruise and a cruise ship accident is quite common. The major cruise companies are aware of this and make the terms and conditions tough against cruise ship injury victims. There are many people who get injured while on a cruise and need an attorney to assist them in recovering for their cruise ship injury.
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Naturally, the best way to address the problem of Cruise Ship injuries is to avoid them altogether. Below is a list of ways to prevent an injury while on a cruise ship and what to do if you have been injured.


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Texting While Driving Distracted Driver Kills Teen

October 25, 2011

imagesCA72OKIK.jpg A Naples, Florida woman recently lost her pregnant daughter as a result of a distracted-driving car accident. Kristin Murphy, the mother of the victim, told WINK News that an"18 year-old boy on his cell phone didn't see them crossing the street and hit both girls. Chelsey was hit first. She took the brunt of the injury. She flew up on the hood, hit the windshield and was thrown 30 feet. Her friend was dragged a 105-feet by the car. Both girls were trauma-1 alerts, and were air lifted by helicopter to Lee Memorial Hospital." Kristin's daughter was passing through the intersections of U.S. 41 and Airport Pulling Road in Naples and never made it. She died in the hospital a few days after the accident.

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The Importance of Understanding Health Insurance

October 24, 2011

Lack of insurance coverage prevents many people from seeking preventative treatment and when you need it the most, insurance companies will often deny you the care that you need. The Affordable Care Act hopes to change that and put you back in charge of your health care. The Affordable Care Act will require millions of uninsured Americans to purchase health insurance.

healthinsurance.jpg The personal injury attorneys at Morgan Dramis, P.A. know that lack of insurance puts a tremendous strain on a family after an accident. Even if you have insurance, it may not be sufficient enough to pay for medical and rehabilitative care. Many times, the only way to ensure the financial well-being of you and your family is to seek damages from the at-fault party.

What to Look for When Choosing a Health Insurance Policy

The marketing material is just hype and does not explain benefits. Insurers are targeting young and healthy people and if you are not young and healthy, you might pay more and get less in the form of benefits. Ask to see the actual policy and pay close attention to what is not included, like maternity benefits, experimental procedures, and transplant coverage. Find out what you are obligated to pay for, like premiums, co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles.

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WHATS THE DEAL WITH FLORIDA NO FAULT LAW?

October 22, 2011

The Faults with Florida's No-Fault Law

In October 1976, the Florida legislature passed the "Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law." The purpose of the law was to ensure that everyone who owned a vehicle had a minimum of benefits for treatment for accident related injuries, but the law was also designed to limit the exposure of insurance companies.

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Are accident victims really receiving death benefits and medical disability provided in the law? The Florida law states that, "80% of all reasonable expenses for necessary medical, surgical, x-ray, dental, rehabilitative services, including prosthetic devices, and necessary ambulance, hospital and nursing services," are to be paid under "PIP" or Personal Injury Protection coverage of the automobile insurance policy.

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MOTORCYCLE SAFETY IS KEY TO REDUCING INJURIES AND ACCIDENTS

October 21, 2011

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

motokid.png Spring is one of the most dangerous times of year for motorcycle riders in Florida. Governor Rick Scott declared May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in an attempt to keep motorcycle riders safe and decrease the risks of accidents. More than a million Florida drivers currently have a motorcycle endorsement on their license. Why Spring? Because it is supposed to be the nicest time of the year to ride and most of us take to the streets to enjoy our bikes in the Spring. More bikes on the road equals more motorcycle accidents.

Many drivers will be on the road next spring and our Sarasota Motorcycle Accident Attorneys strongly urge motorcycle riders as well as all motorists to use extra caution when they get behind the wheel. Always be aware of a motorcycle, especially when you are changing lanes please turn your head to make sure there is no one in your blind spot.

As a rider, you also need to always be on your guard. I recommend that you never ride where a driver may not be able to see you. You already know that every vehicle has a blind spot, so DO NOT RIDE THERE! If you happened to just be alongside a car traveling at the same speed, then slow down or speed up, but do not stay in that dangerous blind spot!

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BUS ACCIDENT INJURIES ADDRESSED BY FEDS

October 19, 2011

Surprise Inspections for Bus Companies to Prevent Possible Injury Lawsuits

Recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted a series of surprise inspections on passenger buses. The FMCSA, along with state and local enforcement agencies, conducted nearly 3,000 surprise passenger bus inspections in a 90-day period. According to a U.S. Department of Transportation press release, close to 300 unsafe buses and drivers were removed from our roads. That means that 1 in 10 buses had problems so serious that they had to be taken off the roads.

busonfire.png Sarasota and Bradenton Bus Accidents can cause devastating Injuries. Based on the size and nature of a Bus Accident, passengers are typically at greater risk of injury than other passenger vehicles. Recently on Interstate-4, a Naples tour bus caught on fire while on its way to pick up passengers. The fire started in the rear of the bus and the driver attempted unsuccessfully to put out the flames with a fire extinguisher. He then had to watch as the $80,000 bus went up in flames.

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Florida Uninsured Motorist Laws & Accident Attorneys

October 18, 2011

Florida has passed some laws that penalize drivers for not having the minimum insurance coverage required by law. This has helped to reduce the number of uninsured drivers on the roads. The minimum required insurance, however, is still not enough.

car-accdfgjident.jpg Florida requires all automobile owners to purchase personal injury protection, or "PIP" coverage, which helps pay up to $10,000 regardless of fault. In the event of a car accident with damage to the other person's vehicle, Florida requires drivers to have property damage coverage of at least $10,000. You are defined as "insured" if you possess this coverage.

What Happens If You Are Hit By Another Driver Without Any Insurance

Florida does not require drivers to purchase bodily injury liability which would otherwise protect you if you get injured in an automobile crash by a negligent driver. Therefore, when an innocent person is injured by a negligent driver who is not covered by bodily injury liability, there is no compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of future income, or loss of enjoyment of life! This fact comes as a shock to those who have just been injured in a car accident and are looking to the at fault drivers insurance coverage to pay for their injury loss.

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New Report Shows Florida in Number One for Fatal Pedestrian Accidents

October 16, 2011

Sarasota County Not as Bad for Pedestrian Injury and Accidents as Other Florida Counties

The 2011 edition of Transportation for America's Pedestrian Safety Report has recently been released and the news is not good for Florida. This report looked at information regarding pedestrian accidents between 2000 and 2009 and found Florida to be number one in pedestrian injury and fatalities.

According to the study, Lee County Florida reported close to 200 pedestrian deaths imagesCA0IMZI0.jpgin the last 10 years. Collier County reported more than 50 pedestrian deaths in the last 10 years, which accounted for nearly 10% of all traffic deaths in the area. Pedestrian deaths in Florida are more than 40% higher than the national average.

The Florida Pedestrian Accident attorneys at Morgan Dramis, P.A. understand that accidents involving automobiles and pedestrians often result in fatalities. untitlesfgjdfgjd.pngBecause of Florida's number one rating in pedestrian fatalities, we strongly urge all motorists to be extra careful when driving on Florida roadways and please keep an eye out for pedestrians. Our balmy weather and seasonal residents make outdoor activities inviting. We enjoy a wonderful climate compared to other states and the outside activities are greater here in Florida then elsewhere. Unfortunately, this statistic brings a greater number of pedestrian injuries due to being hit by a car while walking or enjoying other outdoor activities.


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SUV'S ARE NOW AMONG AMERICA'S SAFEST VEHICLES

October 13, 2011

According to USA Today, SUV's are now among the safest vehicles on the roadway. These vehicles were once thought to be more prone to fatal rollover accidents that other types of vehicles. (We all remember the Ford Explorer recall) ford.pngA study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has found that newer SUVs are safer than smaller cars because of weight, size and the fact that they now have electronic stability control. This additional technology has dramatically reduced the danger of vehicle rollover and significantly reduces the chances of a resulting crash

The fatality rate for SUVs dropped nearly 70% from the 1999-2002 models to the 2005-2008 models. Their rate went from 82 deaths per million to 28 deaths per million, which makes them some of the safest vehicles on the road today. Despite increased fuel consumption, SUVs are a safe choice and can make a difference between life and death in the event of an accident. As local accident attorneys we see the damage and devastation a car crash can have on our client's lives and their families. We are always looking for ways to increase safety awareness in Sarasota and Bradenton in hopes of reducing the number of injuries relating to car accidents and other motor vehicle injuries.

New Technology is Useful in Reducing SUV Accidents and Truck Accidents

According to Anne McCartt, Senior Vice President for research for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, "The rollover risk in SUVs used to outweigh their size/weight advantage, but that's no longer the case."

imagesCAX73OXI.jpg The installation of electronic stability control features can be credited for the increased safety ratings according to many in the industry. With the new technology, the vehicle's engine power and brakes prevent the vehicles from skidding or flipping over. This technology is available on most types of cars, but is more commonly found in SUVs.


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SARASOTA LAWYERS TO HELP THOSE IN FATAL OCCUPATIONAL INJURIES

October 12, 2011

Occupational Injury Attorney for Sarasota and Bradenton

The 2010 Census has revealed the following information:
Less than 1,000 self-employed workers died in 2010, declining 10% from the previous year in work related accidents. There was close to a 75% increase in fatalities by those who worked in the private mining industry. There were nearly 175 work related fatalities in 2010, as opposed to 100 in 2009.
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Construction accident deaths declined about 10% from the previous year. These fatalities have declined about 40% since 2006. We attribute the decline in more recent amendments in the health and safety laws governing the construction industry. Fires however, have caused more than 100 work-related fatalities and this number is the highest it's been since 2003.

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WARNING: UNDER-INFLATED TIRES CAUSE CAR ACCIDENTS

October 10, 2011

Car Accident Caused by Blown Tire in Sarasota County

kiu8.jpg The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued a consumer advisory to drivers to inspect their tires regularly and maintain proper inflation. Hot summer weather and under-inflated tires can be a fatal combination. According to DOT Secretary Ray Lahood, "As the weather warms up, it's especially important for drivers to ensure their tires are properly inflated." National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Administrator David Strickland warns, "Under-inflated tires spinning on hot asphalt can be a recipe for disaster."
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Reasons to Hire a Florida Accident Attorney

October 7, 2011

When is the Right Time to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Serious accidents that result in injury or death can drastically change your life, and it untiuyfitled.pngcan be very helpful to have someone on your side to negotiate with the insurance companies. You deserve to be compensated for your pain and suffering and hiring an auto accident attorney may be the best decision you will ever make. An experienced auto injury attorney will work diligently to protect your rights and help you get your life back. The lawyers at Morgan Dramis are skilled at handling accident cases and will handle your claim with the insurance company.

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Do You Have A Valid Personal Injury Case?

October 6, 2011

If you were injured in an accident and another person was negligent, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. An auto accident attorney will be able to assist you in determining if you have a personal injury case. The car accident or reason for your injury must not be too old because there is a statute of limitations on bringing lawsuits for injury claims in Florida. The statutes of limitations vary from state to state and can be as little as 30 days or as long as several years. The sooner you file your case, the more credible your case will be in the eyes of the judge or jury. Also, the other party must be at fault in the case that you are filing, obviously you cannot sue someone for injuries sustained in an auto accident that was your own fault.

What Can a Sarasota Auto Accident Lawyer Do for your Injury Case?

untitlshfded.png When a person wants to hold another person responsible for their actions, they can file a civil lawsuit. Civil lawsuits fall under the category of Tort Law. They refer to suits brought against a person by another person for "harm". A tort is a civil wrong and when you are wronged, you are sometimes entitled to financial compensation. In all civil suits, documents and paperwork need to be filed with the court. A qualified Sarasota County Personal Injury Lawyer can do this for you. Other processes vary by jurisdiction and case. This area of law can be very complex and you should look for an attorney that specializes in this field. If you have received serious injuries, you should speak to an experienced accident attorney even if an insurance company tried to offer a settlement. If you were injured by someone else's negligence, you may have a claim. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, you forfeit the right to prosecute when you accept the insurance company's settlement.

Gathering evidence is very crucial to your case. Obtain a police report and get medical documents and obtain any information that shows how you are losing income or suffering other types of losses. Contact any witnesses to the accident, or anyone else involved in the accident as they may be able to testify as to what happened. As soon as possible after the accident, contact a personal injury attorney because he or she can help you protect your rights throughout the legal process. Show your attorney all your documentation, disclose all facts and do not give any misleading information. Always be totally honest with your lawyer! Everything that you say when you are alone with your attorney is confidential and it is important to be totally honest so that your lawyer can properly prepare your case. (There are some narrow exceptions to the attorney client confidentiality such as statements concerning plans to commit a future crime, but generally anything you say about past events is entirely confidential) Create a personal file with all your medical bills and employment records and keep records of all lost wages and compensation. Also, include any comments or recommendations from your doctor regarding treatment and/or surgery.


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WHAT TYPE OF LAWYER SHOULD YOU CHOOSE FOR A WRONGFUL DEATH CASE

October 5, 2011

Sarasota Wrongful Death Attorney

In addition to being a very painful experience, a Wrongful death cases can involve many complex legal issues and you will want to hire an attorney who is highly experienced with these types of cases. Many attorneys work on a contingency basis which means you owe nothing if there is no recovery. If you win your case, your attorney will charge a percentage of the recovery as their fee. At Morgan Dramis, we never charge a fee unless we win you case.

imagesCABSMW5.jpg The attorney you hire should be able to pay all costs for your case up front without asking you to pay for them. If your attorney is unwilling to advance these costs, then choose a different attorney who is willing to help you. These costs can include expert witness fees. It is important to find an attorney who communicates well with you and who will promptly return your e-mails and telephone calls.


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SITUATIONS THAT RESULT IN MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS

October 3, 2011

SARASOTA MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYER

Motorcycle accidents are all too common in Florida and many of them result in serious injury or death. The most common cause of a motorcycle accident is collision with an automobile. Other accidents result from roadway hazards, wildlife or rider errors. All drivers should be aware with the following situations that can result in serious motorcycle accidents:

imagL0RI.jpgCollisions With Cars or Trucks:
Most of these accidents occur because car or truck drivers don't see the motorcycle. Sometimes, a driver is not aware of a motorcycle rider in the driver's blind spot. Always be sure to check your blind spot twice to look for bikers, especially when turning left at a busy intersection. Other times poor weather conditions can contribute to the fact that the driver didn't see the motorcycle.

Sudden Stops:
A rear-end collision can be deadly for a motorcycle rider because the force of momentum from sudden stops can throw the rider onto the road. In states without helmet laws, sudden-stop collisions can result in serious injury, including brain or spinal injury. When a motorcycle is hit from behind, the rider may be thrown into oncoming traffic or may be seriously injured from impact with the road. If car and truck drivers would use extra care and reduce their speed near intersections, many of these types of accidents could be avoided. Bikers should stay an adequate distance behind cars and trucks.

Single Motorcycle Accidents:
Inexperienced bikers are more likely to be involved in single bike accidents during poor weather conditions. Other reasons for single bike accidents include: loose gravel, oil leaks, or potholes. Be particularly careful during rain events as newly fallen rain on pavement will bring up the oils from the road and cause very slippery pavement.

Drivers Opening Doors:
Often, drivers don't look for motorcycles and open their doors in front of oncoming motorcycles. Motorcycle riders should not ride in lanes next to parked cars and stay within the speed limit to help reduce these accidents.

Sarasota Motorcycle Crash Attorneys

If you were injured in a serious motorcycle accident, contact a Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorney at Morgan ■ Dramis to schedule an appointment for a free consultation. As always, we never charge a fee unless we win your case.