Personal Injury

Personal Injury

Deadly Overpass Is Common Site of Truck Accidents

- Keith Bregoff

The Interstate 95 overpass in Boca Raton has gained notoriety for being the same location of a number of semi-truck crashes. Just recently, a tractor-trailer struck a concrete center median along this road and overturned on its right side, dangerously dangling against the bridge wall. A tow truck worker who tried to secure the overturned truck unfortunately fell to his death from the overpass.

History of Truck Crashes

The overpass has seen at least 6 serious truck accidents over the past 5 years. Just months before this incident, a tractor-trailer crashed through the concrete barrier on the overpass and dangled dangerously above motorists along the I-95.

Driver factors such as speeding, driver fatigue, non-compliance with truck driving regulations and failing to negotiate a turn have been linked to most truck crashes in the area.

Factors in Truck Accidents

The Florida Department of Transportation also said that some drivers fail to observe road signs and pavement markings or slow down to negotiate turns in a safe manner. The FDOT said that it plans to post warning signs for drivers to be aware of the hard right turn approaching the overpass and for drivers to reduce speed as they approach a stoplight. It will also paint additional pavement markings showing turn arrows and “exit lane only” messages to reinforce the need to slow down.

Truck crashes pose risks of severe and even fatal injuries to other motorists, passengers and pedestrians due to the massive size and weight of these commercial vehicles. Many truck wreck victims suffer traumatic injuries that require expensive medical treatment and ongoing care and rehabilitation.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash involving a truck or semi-truck, you may be concerned about getting compensation from the party whose carelessness or negligence caused your injuries. Talk to an experienced personal injury attorney about your situation.

Consult an Attorney for Truck Injury

Pursuing compensation for truck crash injury can be a challenge as various factors may be linked to the crash. Your personal injury lawyer can examine all the details of the accident and determine the party or parties who may be legally responsible for your injuries. Depending on the circumstances, a claim may be filed against the truck driver, the trucking company, or the local government who may have failed to put warning signs and appropriate road markings at the site of the crash.

In Stuart, Florida, the law offices of Keith Bregoff, P.A. have over 23 years of litigation experience and can help you recover what you honestly deserve. We invite you to call us today at (772) 492-8967 for a free consultation.

Filmmaker’s Family Files Wrongful Death Suit for Diving Death in Florida

- Keith Bregoff

Florida has some of the best scuba spots in the U.S., attracting many local and foreign divers to its waters every year. While the depths of the sea offer amazing views, divers face serious physical and health risks such as drowning.

Florida Diving Incident

Just recently, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed in connection with a diving death while filming a documentary on sharks. The case stemmed from an incident off the island of Islamorada in Florida where the decedent was diving in order to film a documentary about shark hunting and its impact on the ocean’s ecosystem. The decedent, a Canadian filmmaker and conservationist, was accompanied to the site of the wreck of the Queen of Nassau by a dive organizer. The wreck was located about six miles from the coast of Islamorada and submerged in about 230 feet of water.

The wrongful death lawsuit alleged that the decedent and the dive organizer went down to the wreck three times in order to remove a grappling hook that was linked to a surface buoy used for marking the location of the wreck. Both divers surfaced together after the third dive but showed signs of breathing difficulties. The lawsuit alleged that while the other members of the dive organizing company treated the dive organizer, the decedent was allowed to slip away. The filmmaker didn’t make it back on board and his submerged body was found three days later after the coast guard and other agencies conducted a massive search of the area where he was last seen.

The decedent’s family maintains that the lawsuit is intended to deter similar incidents arising from the irresponsible operation of diving businesses. Defendants in the lawsuit include two companies involved in the dive and the dive organizer who accompanied the decedent as he went down to the dive site.

Claiming Wrongful Death Compensation

In Florida, the estate of the deceased person may file a civil lawsuit seeking damages for the death arising from the negligence or wrongdoing of another party. While the lawsuit is filed by the estate’s personal representative, the case is filed on behalf of the estate and any surviving family member of the decedent.

In this type of case, the qualified heirs may be able to recover monetary compensation for:

  • Lost support
  • Loss of companionship
  • Medical and funeral expenses

If you lost a loved one due to the fault or negligence of another person or entity, it’s important to discuss your legal options with a personal injury attorney.

In Stuart, Florida, the law offices of Keith Bregoff PA has over 23 years of litigation experience, helping clients manage the loss of a loved one by obtaining the compensation that they legally deserve.

For a complimentary initial consultation, we welcome your call today at (772) 492-8967 to learn more about how we can help you.

Four-Vehicle Accident Shuts Down SR A1A

- Keith Bregoff

A multiple-vehicle crash temporary closed State Road A1A in Vero Beach on Friday, February 3, 2017. A Police spokeswoman confirmed that the crash occurred at around noon at SR A1A and Pirate Cove Lane, and involved four vehicles.

Fortunately, only one person involved in this crash had injuries, and these were minor. However, the accident serves as a reminder to us all that multiple vehicle accidents can often have devastating consequences, simply because of the number of people at risk.

Why Multiple Vehicle Accidents Happen

There can be one or more factors at play when a multiple vehicle accident occurs:

  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Drunk driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Weather conditions
  • Running stop signs
  • Running stop lights
  • Young/inexperienced drivers

How to Handle a Multi-Car Accident

There are a lot of questions about who is responsible for the cost of an accident when more than two vehicles are involved. These cases are often more complex because it can be difficult to establish who was doing what.

The two questions law enforcement officials will try to satisfy are:

Whose Negligence Set Off the Chain of Events?

Were the other drivers being negligent at the time (i.e. speeding, distracted, driving too close, etc.)

In many of these situations the car which started the chain reaction will be deemed “at fault”. But it is possible for two or more cars to share some or all of the blame for a multi-car accident.

If you are ever involved in a multi-car accident, the first thing you need to do:

  1. Stay in your car with your seatbelt fastened. Make sure all other passengers have their seatbelt fastened until EMTs or law enforcement advise you that it is safe to exit the vehicle
  2. Put on your hazard lights. This will tell other vehicles to slow down and proceed with caution
  3. Record your observations of the incident if you are able
  4. Notify your insurance carrier/agent
  5. Seek legal help

Speak to the Law Offices of Keith Bregoff, PA about maximizing your compensation

Insurance companies routinely get away with “low balling” their claimants and offering smaller than acceptable settlements. The Law Offices of Keith Bregoff, PA will make sure that you receive the damages necessary so that you are made financially, emotionally and physically whole.

Arrange for your free initial consultation today by calling our friendly team of professionals at (772) 492-8967.

Five Shocking South Florida Personal Injury Statistics

- Keith Bregoff

The majority of us feel relatively safe as we go through our daily lives. But the statistics that were compiled by the National Safety Council (NSC) make it clear that personal injuries can and do happen, and they can happen to almost anyone in South Florida.

Five Truths about Personal Injury in Florida

1. There is a one-in-6,000 chance of being killed in a motor vehicle accident

The NSC has predicted that 2016 will be the deadliest driving year since 2007. A study released by the NSC revealed that there had been a 43% increase in traffic deaths in our state in the first half of 2016 when compared to 2014 (link: http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/transportation/florida-see-increase-fatal-crashes-traffic-surges/O1LYBYDRr6Kxu7cEfZv4yN/).

2. Flying over Southern Florida is 40 times safer than driving per mile traveled

Reports from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles showed that there were nearly 375,000 car crashes in Florida two years ago. There were over 1,500 deaths in our state last year, with there being 96 deaths in Palm Beach County alone in the first half of 2016.

3. Out of three motor vehicle crashes on Miami highways, one will result in injury

Many Vero Beach and Stuart residents travel to and from Miami on a regular basis. But while one out of three motor vehicle crashes result in injury, only one out of 100 will result in a fatality

4. There is a one-in-1,700 chance of dying from an unintentional injury

Unintentional injuries or accidents are the top case of death for Florida residents who are between the age of 1 and 44. It is also the fourth leading cause of death overall (link: http://www.floridahealth.gov/statistics-and-data/florida-injury-surveillance-system/_documents/data-fact-sheets/unintentional-injury-2011.pdf).

In the year 2011, almost 8,800 residents died because of unintentional injuries. There were 124,434 hospitalizations for non-fatal unintentional injuries.

5. Agricultural workers are in danger

A survey taken in 2001 revealed that our agricultural workers, such as citrus growers, are at a heightened risk of death. Their research found that one out of 50,000 agricultural workers die while at work every year.

Post-injury Help from the Law Offices of Keith Bregoff, PA

A personal injury can be physically, emotionally and financially draining. The Law Offices of Keith Bregoff, PA will work tirelessly to ensure that any losses you incur due to the negligence of another will be fully compensated for so that you can focus on your recovery.

We offer free initial consultations to anyone who has suffered a personal injury, and invite you to call us today at (772) 492-8967.

Vero Beach Residents Seriously Hurt in Auto Accident

- Keith Bregoff

An accident in Indian River County has left one resident of Vero Beach dead and two others injured.

In late January 2017 a 2000 Suzuki driven by 54-year-old Thomas Dickerson was heading down 27th Avenue Southwest with passenger, 48-year-old Milena Rios. The vehicle unexpectedly veered into oncoming traffic at 16th Street Southwest just after 10pm.

Driver Succumbs to Injuries, Others Seriously Hurt

The Suzuki driven by Dickerson hit another vehicle driven by 22-year-old Austin Hanon. Dickerson unfortunately succumbed to his injuries and died at the scene.

Rios and Hanon were both seriously injured in the crash. Hanon was transported to the Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute.

How an Attorney Can Help with a Car Accident

A personal injury attorney can be as involved as a client chooses them to be. Depending on the complexity of your case, a car accident attorney can help with the following:

  • Obtain evidence proving liability in a car accident claim (including visiting the scene, speaking with investigating police officers and witnesses, reviewing photographs of the accident, etc.)
  • Handle all communications with the other driver’s insurance company
  • Organize your medical bills and records
  • Communicate and work with health care providers to gather missing medical records and to make sure that the medical information necessary to prove damages in your claim are provided
  • Compile, organize and present evidence to prove liability and damages
  • Negotiate the best settlement with the insurance adjuster or the defense attorney

Should you can handle your own car accident claim?

Smaller cases usually do not require the expertise of a car accident lawyer. If your injuries are insignificant, will not result in long term disability and the case is straight forward, it may be possible for you to handle a car accident claim on your own.

As a general rule, if your medical bills are more than $2500 or if you have missed work for more than one week, you should hire a car accident lawyer to handle your claim.

The benefits of engaging attorneys from The Law Offices of Keith Bregoff, P.A. to be your car accident injury advisors are significant. Our accomplished attorneys will fight tirelessly to ensure that you receive the compensation you need to secure your emotional, physical and financial well-being.

We offer free consultations to anyone who has suffered any kind of personal injury. To discuss your case today, please call us in Vero Beach at (772) 492-8967.

Top Three Plaintiff Personal Injury Claim Mistakes

- Keith Bregoff

Dealing with a personal injury, regardless of how small it may seem, is a serious matter. Any injury you sustain can have a significant impact on your daily life and the effects can last you a lifetime.

If you have been injured recently and are weighing between representing yourself and hiring an attorney, it is important to understand what can happen if you handle the case yourself. Listed below are the top 3 mistakes injured claimants make when representing themselves without a lawyer.

1. The Facts of Your Claim Are Misrepresented

The three C’s of properly representing your claim:

  • Clarity
  • Correctness
  • Consistency

Injured individuals may accidentally provide the court with conflicting information about the accident or fail to disclose other injuries. This could result in you missing out on damages that otherwise would have been rewarded to you.

2. Not Seeking Immediate Medical Treatment

Regardless of how insignificant your injury may seem, seek medical treatment and follow your doctor’s orders. This will help get you on track to regaining your health and it will serve as proof for your injuries.

3. The Insurance Company Obtains a Recorded Statement

An insurance adjuster may sound caring and helpful, but these individuals are trained in getting information from you which can later be used to reduce or outright deny compensation. A recorded statement given to an insurance adjuster can easily be misrepresented and be used to make it seem that you are either:

  1. Not injured (or not as injured as you claim to be)
  2. Partially or fully to blame for the accident

Insurance companies will also try to provide you with as little compensation as possible for your injuries. Your injury may end up being worse than you originally thought and it can prevent you from doing your job. It can have a significant financial and emotional impact on yourself and your family.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Keith Bregoff, P.A. help claimants obtain the greatest award necessary to ensure that injured individuals have the opportunity to recover and provide for themselves as well as their loved ones. Our team of lawyers provide our clients with peace of mind in knowing that they have a personal injury attorney working aggressively on their behalf to ensure that you return to the best mental and physical health possible.

To arrange for a free consultation with a personal injury attorney at The Law Offices of Keith Bregoff, P.A., we invite you to call (772) 492-8967 in Vero and (772) 600-2645 in Stuart.

You May Not Realize You Are Injured after an Auto Accident

- Keith Bregoff

After an auto accident, many people do not believe that they are injured. They may be able to get out of their cars and walk around. They may have discussions with the other driver or the police and not feel any pain. But later, they may notice that something is wrong; they may feel pain in the days that follow.

This is common in auto accidents and an unfortunate consequence of adrenaline rushing through a person’s body after an accident that hides the pain from their brain.

Mental Injury Can Occur During Auto Accidents, Even When There Is No Physical Injury

In addition to physical injury, there is also the possibility of significant mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, following an accident. In one report that studied a husband and wife after a car accident that involved multiple vehicles, deaths, and serious injuries, the couple initially reported that they were not injured. But upon further analysis, both couple suffered from significant post-traumatic stress related to seeing individuals around them who had burned to death, and due to the fear that they might die.

In the report, one interesting result was that the husband and wife exhibited different responses to the accident and that they re-experienced their trauma in substantially different ways. For the woman, she had flashbacks and nightmares. She reported that she felt trapped and frozen. She could no longer work and had to sell her business after the accident. For the husband, he reported that he felt extremely aroused during the accident. The next day, he began experiencing nightmares and feelings of the accident reoccurring. He also became aroused when talking about the accident. His sleep was very poor and his concentration was impaired.

Both individuals, in the report, required significant medical treatment but did not show signs of their injuries while at the scene. Because of these types of issues and myriad other issues, it is important to seek medical attention if you have been involved in an accident.

Additionally, it is difficult, following an accident, to handle the stress of the accident along with the legal tactics that the insurance companies will attempt to use to settle your case for less than you should receive. As a result, you should always talk to an attorney after an auto accident so that your interests and your rights are preserved to the greatest extent possible.

If you have been involved in an auto accident, we welcome your call today to Law Offices of Keith Bregoff at (772) 492-8967 to discuss your case.

Avoiding Felony Gun Charges for the Sale of a Firearm

- Keith Bregoff

Over the last few years, the Federal government has made it more difficult for individuals to purchase guns in Florida. These laws have put a number of restrictions on the sale of guns in terms of how they are sold and who can purchase them. As a result, it is important that firearm purchases follow the law to avoid potential firearm and gun charges.

According to Florida law, it is a felony for a firearm to be sold or delivered to a person without conducting a check into the person’s criminal history. Additionally, licensed retailers who do not observe the 3-day period between a handgun purchase and the delivery of the handgun could also face felony charges.

Confusing Federal Gun Laws

The federal laws regarding gun sales have muddied the waters regarding gun sales. It is important to not that some of the laws do not apply to private sales while some apply to all types of sales.

For firearm’s dealers, it is important to ensure that:

  • You have obtained a completed form from the buyer, inspecting the photograph for proper identification
  • You call the FDLE to request a check of the information as reported in the crime information centers for both Florida and Nationally
  • That you receive an approval number that is recorded on the form along with the date that you received the approval

Additionally, the counties in Florida are allowed to have their own sets of rules in addition to the Florida Laws to regulate gun sales. These individual county rules are different from county to county and require an attorney who is familiar with the various policies throughout Florida to properly assist you in your defense.

If You’ve Been Charged with Gun Crimes

In order to avoid potential criminal charges and to protect yourself, either as the buyer or the seller of a weapon, it is important that you understand the gun laws in Florida and that you follow the law. If you have been charged with gun crimes, then we urge you to seek the help of an attorney well versed in defencing such charges.

Attorney Keith Bregoff has such experience. If you have been charged with a gun crime in Florida, we invite you to call the Law Offices of Keith Bregoff to receive a free initial consultation at (772) 492-8967.

Truck Accident Investigations

- Keith Bregoff

Truck accidents are complex cases that differ significantly from car accidents. If you sustained injuries due to a truck accident, your lawyer must apply a different strategy to pursue your legal claim. Thorough investigation and properly examining all of the evidence in a truck accident will affect the outcome of your case.

Investigating the Scene of a Truck Accident

The site of a truck accident holds raw but valuable information about the collision as well as the cause of property damage and injuries. By investigating the wreckage and debris, an investigator can determine many things such as how the accident happened and who is liable.

At the Law Offices of Keith Bregoff, our Vero Beach truck accident lawyers have years of experience and know how to examine the accident site for any evidence of negligence, recklessness, and responsibility for the accident. Our firm will also work with an accident reconstructionist who can review the evidence and provide expert opinion about the collision. Our attorneys will also tap any witness and review weather conditions prevailing at the time of the accident.

Preserving Vehicles in Truck Accident Investigation

In a truck accident, the vehicles such as the 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer and the other vehicle are important pieces of evidence that must be preserved immediately after the collision. Later model commercial trucks are equipped with an event data recorder similar to an airplane’s black box. The truck’s event data recorder holds important data such as the speed of the vehicle, hours logged on the road, any application of the truck’s brakes, and other important information. It is therefore important that you do not sell, repair, or scrap your vehicle after an accident.

An accident reconstructionist can examine your vehicle and the other vehicle in order to obtain significant insights into the cause of your accident. At the Law Offices of Keith Bregoff, we are prepared to use all available resources including an evidence warehouse for storing your vehicle after an accident.

Investigating Black Box in FLORIDA Truck Crashes

Trucking companies have the right to destroy the event data recorder after a certain period of time. In a situation where the other party is the trucking company, it is vital that your attorney is able to review the contents of the event data recorder and if necessary, to get a court order preventing the destruction of the event data recorder.

If you or a loved one have sustained an injury due to an 18-wheeler collision, call the Law Offices of Keith Bregoff today at (772) 492-8967 for your free initial consultation.

Damages in Wrongful Death Claims

- Keith Bregoff

The loss of a loved one is a devastating event in many people’s lives that no amount of money can ever replace. The loss can be especially traumatic for surviving family members when the death of their loved one occurs unexpectedly in an accident.

We understand that money will never replace the loved one that you lost and the love and companionship you shared. But financial compensation for the loss of a loved one can ease the financial burdens associated with the untimely death of a loved one, helping family members move on from their tragic loss.

Wrongful Death Compensation

In Florida, families are entitled to recover economic and noneconomic losses by filing a wrongful death claim against the persons responsible for their loved one’s death. Economic damages can cover:

  • Loss of past and future financial support
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Loss of the value of services
  • Funeral and burial expenses

You can also recover noneconomic damages for the:

  • Loss of love, affection, companionship, society, moral support, and loss of consortium for a spouse
  • The loss of a parent’s training and guidance in the case of minor children

In some situations, the family can also recover punitive damages which are intended to punish the defendant and deter others from engaging in similar reckless behavior.

Calculating Damages in Wrongful Death Claims

In a wrongful death claim, juries will be instructed to consider several factors such as:

  • The age of the deceased
  • The earning capacity of the deceased
  • The relationship of the deceased with the individuals bringing the lawsuit

At the Law Offices of Keith Bregoff, our Vero Beach wrongful death damages lawyers have represented families in all types of fatal accidents, including construction accidents, truck accidents, airplane crashes, car accidents, medical malpractice and other serious accidents. We are prepared to fight for your right to receive fair compensation before a jury.

Our experienced and skilled attorneys can work closely with your family to help recover all available damages under the law. To schedule your free initial consultation, please call our wrongful death attorneys at (772) 492-8967 or fill out the contact form on this page.