Archive for the ‘Accident Attorney’ Category

West Palm Beach Drivers Shouldn’t Count on Technology to Stop Crashes

Many drivers in West Palm Beach, CityPlace, Flamingo Park and Wellington have cars that have advanced safety features. According to AOL Autos, around 75 percent of 2014 vehicles have blind-spot detection systems as optional equipment. Two percent include this as a standard feature. Around 50 percent of 2014 vehicles also have lane detection warnings or lane-keep technology. 

These safety features are intended to reduce the potential for dangerous human errors to cause car accidents. The more technology is able to assist the driver, the less the chance of crashes — or at least that is how things are supposed to work in theory. In reality, a personal injury lawyer knows that technologies can fail and that drivers are ultimately responsible for monitoring the roads and making smart and responsible choices to keep themselves and other motorists safe.

In-Vehicle Technologies Should Not be Relied on To Prevent Car Crashes

Drivers can become too complacent when they have in-vehicle technologies in place and they may come to rely too much on these technologies. This is a problem both because tech devices can stop working or malfunction. It is also an issue because the effectiveness of many of these technologies is variable.

Recently AAA and MIT AgeLab teamed up to conduct a test in order to determine how well crash-avoidance features in cars actually worked to keep people safe and prevent collisions from occurring. Different tech features from a variety of different car makers were tested in order to get an overall idea of how these systems performed across the board. The results were troubling.

The report showed that blind spot monitoring systems had a very hard time detecting when vehicles were moving quickly. One of the times when drivers tend to rely on this system most is when they are merging on to a busy highway. This is, unfortunately, also one of the times when the system was least effective because it had a difficult time seeing the fast-moving cars that were going by.

Blind spot monitoring systems had particular difficulty identifying when a motorcycle was in the path of the driver’s blind spots. The monitoring systems detected motorcycles an average of 26 percent later than they detected passenger cars. By the time the blind spot detecting system realized that the motorcycle was there, the distance between the car and the motorcycle had dropped by 14 percent. In tests where the car was going 50 mph below the motorcycle, the blind spot detecting technology did not identify the passing motorcycle at all.

Lane departure systems had problems as well. When the car was in a construction zone or at an intersection, the systems frequently did not work correctly. Imperfect conditions on the road resulted in the system losing track of where the driver was within the lane. Worn pavement markers and inclement weather also had an adverse impact in how well the lane departure systems worked.

Drivers need to be aware of the limitations of these systems and know that they cannot rely on them to stay safe.

Accident lawyers in West Palm Beach can help injury victims in CityPlace, Flamingo Park and Wellington and surrounding areas. Call Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. today at 800-608-2965 or visit www.gonzalezcartwright.com to schedule a free consultation. 

Archive for the ‘Accident Attorney’ Category

West Palm Beach Car Accidents: When Do You Need Legal Help?

April is both Distracted Driving Awareness Month and Alcohol Awareness Month.

At Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. we understand distracted driving, speeding and drunk driving are the top causes of traffic collisions in the United States. And, while we sometimes call them “accidents,” few are not caused by one or more negligent acts of those involved.

Can a car accident lawyer in West Palm Beach help?

We provide free consultations to injury victims in West Palm Beach and the surrounding areas, because we believe everyone deserves access to quality legal representation in the wake of a serious or fatal traffic collision. Still, others ask whether they should seek help after a more “minor” incident or in cases where there are no serious injuries.

The answer, of course, is that it depends upon the facts and circumstances of your particular case. However, here is a certainty: It’s still free to speak to an experienced injury attorney and determine the best course of action.

The statute of imitations for personal injury and wrongful death in Florida is two years. This means your claim will likely be forever barred if not filed within 24 months of the date of accident or injury. However, as a practical matter your case begins to degrade more quickly. In cases where obviously dangerous behaviors may be to blame – distracted driving, speeding, drunk driving – pursuing a claim in the immediate aftermath of an incident offers the best chance for gathering the evidence needed to prove your claim in court. The more time passes, the less available evidence will be salvaged. Witnesses forget, change phone numbers and move. Seasonal variations, including vegetation growth, may materially alter the scene.

Most commonly, the reason for not pursuing a claim is a lack of apparent serious injury. However, there are many cases in which neck and back injuries are not readily apparent. Whether soft-tissue injuries such as whiplash, or something as serious or life threatening as a traumatic brain injury, gauging the long-term consequences of an accident by symptoms in the immediate aftermath is a fool-hardy endeavor, particularly if you are relying upon self diagnosis.

Ultimately, your ability to secure compensation for lost wages, medical expenses and other losses will be directly impacted by your ability to connect your injuries and associated medical complications with the collision.

If you or a loved one is involved in a serious traffic accident, seek immediate medical attention as appropriate, and then begin to gather documentation. Pictures of the scene, before the cars are moved if possible, can be invaluable months later. Get the names and contact information of witnesses. Note whether traffic cameras or private security cameras might have captured the collision. And seek the advice of experienced legal counsel before talking to an insurance company.

Accident lawyers in West Palm Beach can help injury victims. Call Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. today at 800-608-2965 to schedule a free consultation.

Archive for the ‘Accident Attorney’ Category

Florida Vacation Accidents: Parasailing A Dangerous Choice

Visitors to West Palm Beach can enjoy a number of different activities while on their vacation, but unfortunately some of those activities are risky and can put your safety in jeopardy. Recently, two visitors to Florida found out firsthand about the serious dangers associated with one of the most popular tourist activities: parasailing. 

Our West Palm Beach accident lawyers know that parasailing is an inherently dangerous activity, especially if the boat operator who offers the parasailing experience fails to ensure that the lines are safe.  When a tourist is injured in a parasailing accident as a result of the negligence of the company offering the activity, the tourist can obtain monetary compensation. These operators are loosely regulated and notoriously dangerous – state lawmakers have failed repeatedly to hold them accountable through meaningful legislation and oversight.

Florida Tourists Injured in Parasailing Accident

According to ABC News, two teenage girls who were visiting Florida from Indiana were recently involved in a devastating accident. The girls went on a parasailing trip when the parasail broke loose. The girls were slammed first into a nearby condo building and then were carried by strong winds into nearby power lines before falling into cars in a local parking lot. They were described as being in critical condition after the incident.

ABC News reports that the girls are slowly recovering from the injuries they sustained, with one of the girls able to walk with the assistance of a walker. The other victim is still in critical condition and can only open one eye. While she can now communicate with nods and gestures, she still has a long way to go to recover.

The company that offered the parasailing activity released a statement about the events, expressing their heartfelt sympathies to the families of the injured girls and indicating that the company does its best to minimize the risks associated with water sports. The company also indicated that it had no comment on the incident because a full investigation is currently underway.

Parasailing Companies Unregulated In Florida

Parasailing is a fun activity for tourists, but this recent incident underscores just how dangerous it can be. Unfortunately, between 1998 and today, there have been more than 33 parasailing accidents just in Florida alone, including six fatal accidents.

Parasailing activities are made even more dangerous by the fact that the industry is largely unregulated. In fact, ABC News reports that the company that owned the boat involved in the recent accident helped to block Florida legislation this past May that would have imposed new safety standards.

While there may not be a lot of safety laws regulating parasailing companies, these companies can still be held legally responsible if they are negligent in a way that leads to injuries.  A personal injury claim can be filed to hold companies responsible for accidents they cause.

For tourists, of course, the injuries often happen far from home and claims for damages need to be pursued in a Florida court. Having an experienced local attorney can be invaluable in pursing a claim if you are hurt in an accident when visiting Florida.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A., at (800) 608-2965 for a  free and confidential consultation.