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Far too often, people are dissatisfied with their attorneys.  Complaints are often that the lawyer does not return phone calls, does not pursue the claim aggressively, or settles to easily.  At The Ben Law Firm, we have fought for and recovered millions of dollars in financial compensation for our clients.

The Ben Law Firm Puts the Ball In Your Court!

Insurance companies thrive on inexperienced lawyers!  Hire The Ben Law Firm, and we will put the ball back in your court.  We have decades of experience negotiating with Insurance Companies and recovering maximum financial compensation for our clients!

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Our website is located at TheBenLawFirm.com.  We can be reached by telephone at (954) 961-2055 or by email at [email protected]

 

Mixing bicycling and beer?

bike_beer-thumb-333x214-84312This past March an event was organized by The Beer Snob Bicycle Pub Crawl where participants bike from one bar to another and try different beer at each stop. A review of thewebsite for the event reveals a map with a bike ride of approximately 10 miles with 5 stops at local bars extending from Miami Beach to Downtown. Each bar was renowned for its wide selection of beers. The event was scheduled for evening hours. Participants were reminded to drink “responsibly.”

According to one participant, this event has been hosted several times and does not encourage too much drinking — “The point of the ride isn’t to get drunk but to be social and be athletic. . . You don’t drink three beers at the first stop. You have a beer, ride, have a beer, ride. So it’s more about having a good beer, having good conversation and riding your bike.”

Certainly riding your bike and having a few beers with some friends can make for an enjoyable evening. The obvious question arises — do these two activities mix? Four stops along the cycle route with just one beer at each location can be enough to get some people intoxicated beyond the legal limit for driving a car. While Cycling Under the Influence (“CUI”) is not a crime in the State of Florida, the questionable safety rationale for this event appears to be that a cyclist under the influence is less dangerous to others than a driver of a car under the influence. Well maybe . . . . but the level of coordination to ride a bike is greater than operating a car and riders could well be a danger to themselves, bicycle helmet notwithstanding.

Who knows what accidents, if any, have occurred at prior events. An accident involving a single bicyclist generally is not reported to authorities. Nevertheless, the organizers of this event need to think about the effects of CUI and consider drinking the beer after the bike ride with designated drivers available.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Hollywood, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Miami drunk driver guilty in killing man on bicycle

imagesCA9M7WRJ-thumb-333x460-59374Carlos Bertonatti, 32, from Miami, Florida man pled guilty to a drunk driving hit-and-run crash that killed a man on his bicycle in January 2010. He will be sentenced May 2 and is facing between 11 and 35 years.

Bertonatti’s blood-alcohol level was 0.122, well over the legal limit. He pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter, fleeing and eluding and resisting arrest without violence.

Bertonatti struck cyclist from behind on the Bear Cut Bridge after swerving into the eastbound bicycle lane about 8 a.m. He then fled with the victim’s bicycle still wedged under his car, until he reached Key Biscayne, where he was arrested.

This case illustrates the tremendous vulnerability of cyclists in traffic. Even though the cyclist did everything right, the driver who was intoxicated swerved into him. From the cyclists perspective, some times serious accidents are unavoidable.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Hollywood, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Dania Beach Motorcyclist Killed in Accident

Motorcycle_Wreck[1]-thumb-333x250-31482A motorcyclist was recently killed in Dania Beach at SW Sixth Street and Federal Highway when a car collided with his motorcycle.

The senior driver and his wife were returning home from dinner in their Cadillac automobile around 6:30 in the evening. The Cadillac was proceeding southbound on Federal Highway and made a left turn onto Southeast Sixth Street in front of motorcyclist which was heading northbound on federal highway. The driver of the car said the motorcycle was speeding.

Currently BSO is still investigating.

This type of intersectional collision is very common in motorcycle death cases. Typically the driver of the car is heading in the opposite direction of the motorcycle. The driver doesn’t see the motorcycle as it approaches and the driver makes a left turn directly in front of the bike. Occasionally, there may be a car driving in front of the motorcycle which obscures the view for motorists driving in the opposite direction.

With this type of impact the biker could be seriously injured or killed.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Dania Beach, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Girl, 4 years old, sued in bicycle crash

184819502_ca8346f636A New York judge has ruled that a four year old girl might have been too young for grade school, but the girl was old enough to be sued over a bicycle accident that injured a bystander.

The judge refused to dismiss negligence claims against the girl and her mother and who are being sued by the estate of a woman who alleges she was seriously injured when hit by the girl’s bicycle while she was racing down a sidewalk. The woman later died.

The court ruled that although the girl was three months shy of five years of age, there was no evidence a child of her age couldn’t appreciate “the danger of riding a bicycle into an elderly woman.”

Of course, a young girl would probably not have sufficient assets to pay off any judgment which might ultimately be rendered against her, but her parents might. Her parents may also have insurance which provides liability coverage to the victim’s estate for the parents’ negligence. This raises the legal issue of when can a parent be held legally responsible for the negligence of their young child.

In Florida, the long-standing rule is that “a parent is not liable for the tort of his minor child because of the mere fact of paternity.” Seabrook v. Taylor, 199 So.2d 315 (Fla. 4th DCA 1967) One of the recognized exceptions to this rule is where the parent entrusts the “child with an instrumentality which, because of the lack of age, judgment, or experience of the child, may become a source of danger to others.” Gissen v. Goodwill, 80 So.2d 701 (Fla.1955).

Here, the judgment of the girl’s parents in allowing her to race her bicycle on a city street can certainly be called into question. Even if the girl, without her parents’ permission, took it upon herself to race her bicycle down the sidewalk, her parents had the duty to supervise her behavior to make sure that it was not a danger to others.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Bicycling in South Florida — How Not to be Hit.

8623576_d31e5c1354South Florida has always been a sketchy place to drive, not to mention ride a bicycle. The link at BicyclesSafeprovides an excellent review of riding strategies to avoid being hit by an inattentive motorist.

One of the ways that a cyclist can provide insurance coverage for himself in the event that he gets in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured automobile is to purchase UnInsured Motorist Coverage (“UM”) with their automobile policy. UM is an optional coverage which the insured must select (and pay an additional premium for) at the time he purchases the insurance policy on the car. Although UM will slightly raise the cost of your policy, this amount will seem very small when compared to the coverage it provides.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Flat Bicycle Tire resulted in Boy’s Death

2933616692_7c15bb1bd6-thumb-333x289A 9-year-old boy was killed while riding his bicycle at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Lodge in April. The boy was killed after the bicycle he was riding struck the left side of a passing Disney bus near the campground. Although wearing a helmet, he died instantly when he was run over by the rear tire of the bus.

The bicycle, a Mongoose “Outer Limit” dirt bike, was in an “unsafe condition,” according a report by the Florida Highway Patrol which investigated the accident. According to the report, the bike’s front tire was under-inflated and the rear tire had “no measurable air pressure,” the report states.

The Disney bus driver, who was not charged with any traffic citations, claimed he saw the boy operating his bicycle normally just before the impact.

This tragic case highlights the importance of total bike safety. Not only should young children wear helmets, but parents also need to vigilant as to other factors such as the operating condition of the bicycle and driver visibility. Tires should be checked (preferably with a tire gauge) before riding and if they are low, they need to be inflated. Brakes as well as other bicycle components should be examined periodically. Lastly, the bicycle’s reflectors and lights should be operational so that they are visible in low light. Every little bit helps — the child’s clothing should be bright enough not to blend in with the roadside.

While we will probably never know what the precise cause was for this horrible accident, a young child riding a bicycle on the road is always exposed to traffic. We must always try to stay one step ahead.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Bike death results in new traffic light in Boca Raton, Florida

CHRIS GRANGER/THE TIMES-PICAYUNE Thursday March 27, 2008 For a split second the traffic light at Canal and Carrollton is both yellow and red as a car runs through it in New Orleans.

Sometimes it takes a tragedy such as a bicycle death before recognized safety concerns are acted upon. This was the case with the recent bicycle death of a Boca Raton man who died when an SUV collided with his bicycle. At the time of his fatal accident he was riding his bicycle to his home from a friend’s nearby house. The collision occured near the intersection of Camino Del Mar and Camino Real in West Boca Raton, Florida. The intersection was very busy and did not have a traffic light to control cars and pedestrians crossing the roadway.

A traffic light is now being installed at the intersection of Camino Real and Camino Del Mar. In addition, the wheelchair ramps and tie-ins to cross the street, and stripping on the crosswalks are also being installed according to the Palm Beach County Traffic Division.

Several people who were upset about the fatal accident contacted the County to request that a new traffic study be performed at the dangerous intersection. A friend of the cyclist who was with him just before his fatal ride drove out and looked at the site. “You have to dash for your life if you’re walking or on a bike.” He checked out a website detailing the traffic flow there. The friend was shocked to discover that a traffic study hadn’t been done for five years.

The County was able to justify the installation of the light because of the traffic studies and also because of new laws concerning the limitations of seniors as they make right-hand turns in their cars.

Under Florida law it is difficult, but not impossible, to sue a municipality, a county, or a governmental agency, for not installing a traffic light at a particular location. While issues of this type have been extensively litigated in the courts, the general rule is that the initial decision by the government of whether to install a light or other traffic control device such as a sign is discretionary and hence there is no liability for an accident even if the intersection is known to have an unusual amount of accidents. There have exceptions carved out to this rule, but these are beyond the scope of this entry.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Student killed in bicycle accident in Miami, Florida

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In the early morning of October 30, 2009, a high-school student and his two friends rode their bicycles from one boy’s Miami Shores house to another’s home in North Miami. The cyclists believed they were safe at night because their bikes had front and rear lights.

Their safety lights did not help them. As the student rode his bike along Biscayne Boulevard he was struck and killed by a car his friends say was speeding. “The bicycle was pinned down under the front tire of the car,” according to a witness who arrived at the scene shortly after the accident.

On November 27, 2009, the monthly Critical Mass ride — organized by cyclists demonstrating for their safety — was dedicated to this boy. From the usual starting location at Miami-Dade County Hall in downtown Miami, the ride proceeded north on Biscayne Boulevard to 113th Street, where the student was killed. There his friends and family gathered to place a memorial in his memory.

This case represents another cycling fatality in the state of Florida which has the most in the country. Florida law classifies bicycles as vehicles, giving cyclists the right to use the roadway. After dark, cyclists are required to have bike lights front and rear.

Like other cities, Miami has seen an increase in the popularity of cycling despite streets widely regarded as dangerous to bicyclists, in part because many roads are designed for fast motorized traffic and lack marked bike lanes.

Cycling activists have, without success, requested the Florida Department of Transportation, which manages Biscayne Boulevard, to add bike lanes on that road which is a major north-south cycling route in eastern Miami-Dade County.

This tragic case reminds us that cyclists should always wear helmets, although I am not sure that it would have made a difference here. Even with flashing lights and reflectors on bicycles, a lot of motorists still do not see cyclists on the road. Unfortunately, when a collision occurs between a car and a bicycle, the end result is usually very serious to the cyclist. One of the ways that a cyclist can financially protect himself from the adverse consequences of a collision with a car is to make sure that if he owns an automobile, that he has purchased uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage may extend from the automobile to your bicycle in the event that the at-fault motorist does not have any, or does not have enough, liability coverage for the damages incurred.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the law partners at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.