Slip and fall is the #2 source of death and injury in the U.S, only behind auto accidents.

According to the National Safety Council, the related costs from slip and fall accidents, including medical care, lawsuits, settlements, lost productivity and wages, exceeds $100 Billion annually!

The state of Florida used to enjoyed the reputation as the best state to try slip and fall cases, due to one of the lowest requirements for burden. That has since changed. Bill 689 requires an injured person to prove that the defendant had prior knowledge about the condition that led to the accident and that the defendant could have done something about the condition. Alternatively, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant should have anticipated the incident due to a recurring condition, such as a bathroom with a constantly wet floor.

Accidents happen, and injuries are often the result, but when the accident was caused by something (or someone) outside of your control, you may wonder if you have any options for legal recourse. The key issue in a slip and fall accident claim is liability. Whether you are pursuing an insurance settlement or personal injury lawsuit, to win your case you will need to be able to prove that someone else, usually the property owner is liable for your injuries.

To win a slip and fall personal injury lawsuit, you need to show that the property owner or tenant was negligent, meaning some action they took or failed to take caused the fall. Time is usually an important component in proving negligence and liability. For example, how long was the hazard there and was it reasonable to believe that the property owner should have discovered the situation and remedied it before an accident occurred?

If you have been involved in a slip and fall accident, be careful about what you say and do after the accident. If you are speaking with the property owner, an insurance adjuster, or an attorney then anything you say can be used to downplay your injury or shift the blame to you. Even simple phrases like “I’m ok,” or “I didn’t see that there” could be used against you, so try and keep quiet as best you are able. If you need to describe the accident, stick to the facts and consult an attorney. Filing a slip and fall claim or lawsuit can be a difficult and frustrating process that is made easier by the assistance of an attorney. An experienced slip and fall attorney can be very important to recovering compensation you are owed. We’ve helped 100’s of clients with slip and fall settlements and we offer a free consultation to all clients. If you or a loved one was injured in a slip and fall accident, call us at 850.224.7758 in Tallahassee or 1.877.900.0808 in West Palm Beach for a FREE consultation.

South Florida can be a dangerous place to drive

Accidents happen and there’s no other way to say it, South Florida drivers can be terrible. Someone once said, Florida will give anyone a license and that’s why they’re so many bad drivers. Add in the fact, we have an older population, tourist who don’t know where they’re going and foreign drivers.

Florida leads the nation in the number of senior citizens killed in traffic accidents and we need to get ready for when the baby boomers hit the road as senior drivers. A new study found that the Sunshine State had the most drivers age 65 and older killed in traffic accidents. The South Florida news seems to report on a story every week, about a senior citizen driving through a store front. In Broward County, statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that traffic accidents remain a primary public safety issue. Car, truck, bicycle, pedestrian, and motorcycle accidents are all a common occurrence and people are hurt on a daily bases, due to to the neglectful driving of others.

Based on data compiled from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a recent CNBC report named Fort Lauderdale the most dangerous city for driving in America. Of the top 15 most dangerous U.S. cities for driving, Florida had four cities represented – Jacksonville, Orlando, St. Petersburg and Fort Lauderdale. The list was based on data showing total fatality rate per 100,000 people, and Fort Lauderdale took first place with 22.39.

We have senior citizens in Florida causing accidents, plus the influx of immigrants that are able attain a license. A common practice that puts bad drivers on South Florida roads are immigrants that are able to sometimes fool the system. While attaining a licenses at the DMV, one person will take and pass the drivers exam and after there name is called, a friend or relative stands up for the picture. It’s sometimes that easy.

Distracted driving is a major contribution to accidents in South Florida any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. Eating, drinking and texting requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver and texting is by far the most alarming distraction. Driving a vehicle while texting is six times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

If you have been involved in car accident and seek an experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney, contact the law office of Smith and Vanture.

Written by: A. Ressing

No One Has a Level Head Right After an Accident. Know What To Do Ahead of Time.

Personal injury can be any number of injuries sustained at the negligence of others. It can be an injury to body, mind or emotion. The damage and injury can be inflicted either intentionally or accidentally, but it all hinges on the fact that someone else is responsible for the injury.

Many personal accident injury claims come from automobile accidents. One of the most dangerous vehicles on the road today is the motorcycle. There are over four million motorcycles registered in the United States. As a driver of a car or truck, you must be completely aware and coherent of all of the vehicles around you at all times, including motorcycles, lest you be responsible for an accident.

Less than three percent of motorcycle accidents can be blamed upon vehicle failure. Guess what is responsible for the other 97 percent? While about 37 percent of motorcycle crashes are reduced from fatalities due to helmets, if a car did not look to see a motorcyclist nearby when they merged or changed lanes, they bear a hefty responsibility on their shoulders.

Even if an accident is between two cars, the repercussions can be severe. Just a standard accident requires a lot of time, medical bills, and insurance forms. If the accident was caused by alcohol, then it opens a whole new bag of problems. The accident is often worse, and the driver under the influence is in much more trouble. In the United States, almost all of fatal automobile accidents actually involve alcohol, despite how much we try to educate and encourage otherwise.

If you find yourself as the victim of an accident, whether in a vehicle, in the grocery store, or on the construction site, seek out a personal injury attorney, or even a construction accident attorney. With the help of a professional like your construction accident attorney, you may be able to settle for the money that you deserve without taking it further.

In fact almost 96 percent of accident lawsuits are settled prior to reaching the court stage. Most often the person or entity at fault is aware of their guilt and does not want to prolong the process. Just remember, seek the help of a professional if you think you may have suffered a personal injury.

Top Three Ways to Reduce Teenage Car Accident Statistics

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were nearly 10.8 million car accidents in 2009. As a result of those accidents, almost 36,000 people lost their lives. As a matter of fact, according to the Associated Press, car accident statistics point to auto crashes as being a leading cause of teen death in the country. There are 5,000 teens who die every year as a result of accidents. Parents may already know this car accident information, and they are understandably scared. Here are three things to consider to improve your child’s safety on the road.

Peers as Passengers

According to the Huffington Post, car accident statistics by age point out that teens driving with their peers are far more likely to crash than those who are under the watchful eye of an adult. When adding just one teenage passenger to the vehicle the teenage car accident statistics point to a 21% increase in the driver’s risk of death. For two passengers, the risk doubles and it only increases from there. Parents looking to keep their children safe must limit who they drive with, and make an effort to supervise them until they are able to pay attention to the road and not their friends. They may not like you for it, but they will be alive.

The Cell Phone

Cell phone sales, according to BullFax, grew from 50 million units globally in 2006 to nearly 700 million in 2012. Their sale and use continue to grow. Current teenagers have grown up in an age when everyone uses their mobile device all the time. They watched their parents use cell phones before they realized how dangerous it was, and have picked up the awful habit of mobile usage in motor vehicles. Accidents caused by distractions like cell phones are on the rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out that almost 20% of accidents in 2010 were caused by distracted drivers. If your teens do not get it, take away their phones so they do not become part of teenage car accident statistics.

Inexperience Costs Lives

Both the Department of Motor Vehicles and Geico point out that the number one cause for teenage car accidents statistics remaining so high is their inexperience. They specifically point to the fact that teens are three times as likely to have an accident at night than during the day. Further, teenagers do not understand how to maintain speed and judge distances properly. Geico recommends limiting night driving until your children are comfortable in the daylight hours and riding along with them until you feel their perception skills are sharpened.

Teenage car accident statistics continue to be unacceptably high in the United States. However, by mitigating these three important risk factors you can make sure you keep your teen, as well as their friends, as safe as can be. By having a car accident lawyer and a reputable medical facility in mind, you can also be prepared for the worst while doing everything you can to avoid having to use those services.

Motorcycles. Start Seeing the Statistics.

Our cars are getting safer. Crash tests, air bags, crumple zones, side impact ratings, and a host of other safety features and tests are helping to protect automobile drivers in the event of a crash. And it seems to be working. Car accident statistics by state show that fewer people involved in automobile crashes are dying as a result.

However, motorcycle accidents are a different story. Lacking the protection of metal, safety glass, and air bags, a motorcyclist is at much greater risk if an accident occurs. Per each mile traveled, a motorcycle driver is 35 times more likely to end up in a fatal crash than the driver of an automobile. Motorcycles account for only two percent of all registered vehicles on the road, yet motorcycle accidents account for five percent of all highway fatalities.

And while highway accident statistics take the entire year into account, motorcycles are usually not on the road during the winter months. So the frequency of motorcycle accidents per time traveled is inherently greater than that of car accidents.

But perhaps the most damning statistic is that, among motorcycle accidents, ONLY three percent are due to vehicle failure. This puts the responsibility for motorcycle accidents overwhelmingly on the shoulders of the operators, which can make for an uphill battle for personal injury lawyers hired by injured motorcyclists or their grieving families.

If you want more information, reports of motorcycle and car accident statistics by state and federal organizations are available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.

Top Causes of Construction Site Accidents

Anyone who works on a construction site is aware that there is the possibility of being greatly injured. With unstable floors, heavy equipment and tools being used on a constant basis, a construction site is certainly a place where extreme caution should be exercised.

Despite being cautious, construction site accidents do still occur. If you are planning on working on a construction site in the future, or entering one, here is a look at the most common causes of construction site accidents:

Falls. Falls are, by far, a leading cause of construction site accidents. The uneven surfaces that are often present at construction sites, as well as constant climbing, mean that accidents can very easily happen – and they do. Falls can cause mild to severe injury, and even death.

Electrocution. Another leading cause of accidents on construction sites is electrocution. From installing electrical lines to powering tools, electricity is a major component in construction. Wires can spark and equipment can be used improperly, resulting in electrocution.

Falling Debris. Yet another common cause of accidents on construction sites is falling debris. Equipment can easily fall off of scaffolding that is being used on the site, or materials, such as sheetrock and wooden beams, can also be dropped. When such heavy equipment and materials fall, the result can be quite damaging to a person who may be walking below. The result of such an accident can be a mild to severe injury, and even death.

Since construction sites pose such high accident risks, it is important that individuals working on them exercise extreme caution. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have issued a set of safety guidelines and regulations for construction sites.

If you or someone you know has been injured due to an accident on a construction site in Florida, contact the expert personal injury lawyers at Smith and Vanture. They are ready and willing to assist you with your legal needs.