Photo of Richard Ansara - Attorney at Law
No Fee Unless SuccessfulCall Us 24/7 at (888) 267-2728
Richard Ansara Attorney at Law

Teenagers are some of the highest-risk drivers on Florida roads. Large trucks are among the most lethal vehicles. Yet the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is floating the idea of a potential pilot program that would give 18-to-20-years-old the keys to big rigs. Fort Lauderdale truck accident attorney

As it stands, federal regulation limits allowances on interstate commercial vehicle operation to those over 21. But last month, the FMCSA announced it was seeking public comment on an initiative to address the commercial truck driver shortage by on-boarding teenage truckers.

Truck accident attorneys understand this was expand an existing pilot program that allows some 200 youths 18-to-20 to operate interstate commercial trucks – but only if they have military training. This expanded version would extend to teens without any formal military training could soon be commandeering 80,000-pound machines, for the purpose of revving up the trucking industry that is experiencing a driver shortage.

Federal regulators are asking for all public input from all stakeholders. They’re bracing for a flood, with big business trucking industry advocates on one side and independent owner-operators, safety groups, railroads and unions on the other. Some have already taken their message to the media, arguing the discussion should be about moving the minimum driving age for truckers up – not down. Even with military training, there is concern it would not be enough to combat inherent youthful immaturity, particularly among males, who are most likely to apply. Continue reading

A dispute between aunt-nephew over the validity of their father-grandfather’s half-signed will has resulted in a Florida appellate court ruling affirming state law mandating wills strictly adhere to all statutory requirements – or else they’ll likely be deemed invalid. The case underscores a point of critical importance when planning your estate: Have an estate planning lawyer help you. Otherwise, you may leave loved ones with little choice but to pursue probate litigation.probate litigation lawyer

There are a lot of areas of state law that allow a fair amount of judicial discretion. Florida will execution is one area where judges don’t have a lot of wiggle room.

Wills that do not strictly comply with Fla. Stat. § 732.502(1) or other provisions of that statute will likely be deemed void. There has been ample case law on this issue because disputes have arisen on almost every detail:

  • “Can a will be signed with a mark rather than a signature?” (Yes.)
  • “Does the testator’s signature need to be on every single page of the will?” (No.)
  • “Does it matter in which order the witnesses sign the will?” (No.)

Continue reading

This weekend, an estimated 43 million people in America are on the move for the three-day holiday weekend – 1.5 million more than were tallied last year.car accident attorney Miami

Memorial Day is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, and the Southeastern Florida shores of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach – are prime destinations for visitors flocking from every corner of the globe. Of those tens of millions of travelers, 88 percent are expected to drive, rather than fly or take a train.

To put it mildly, the roads are going to be more congested. Miami car accident lawyers at Ansara Law Personal Injury Attorneys know obviously anytime the number of vehicles on the roads increase, so too do the number of crashes. Continue reading

Florida’s new texting-and-driving law, in effect July 1st, broadens the circumstances under which police can initiate a traffic stop for texting drivers and increases the penalty for a violation.Broward bicycle accident attorney

If it’s well-enforced, it may also help in the goal of reducing Florida bicycle accident and pedestrian accident fatalities, which our Broward wrongful death attorneys have long known to be a serious problem.

Why Is Distracted Driving Such a Big Problem These Days?

The driving factor in the uptick of distracted motorist deaths is undeniably: Cellphones. The lure of constant connectivity has proven quite powerful, and many are still under the mistaken assumption people have the ability to multi-task (they don’t, not with high-level functions like reading, writing and driving).

Technically though, distraction can be anything that takes a driver’s full attention from the road. Examples include:

  • Turning to scold a child in the backseat
  • Personal grooming
  • Eating/drinking
  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Having an unsecured pet in the car
  • Adjusting music or other in-stereo dials

Still, Florida lawmakers shied away from expressly naming any of these in the new statute. As our Broward injury lawyers can explain, individuals who engage in these behaviors may or may not be cited for a traffic infraction if they cause a crash. From a civil case standpoint though, any of these could represent a breach of a driver’s duty of care, the foundation for establishing negligence compelling compensation.

The biggest change that will come from Florida’s new distracted driving law will be to bump it from a secondary to a primary offense. That means an officer’s observation or reasonable suspicion that a driver is texting behind the wheel will be cause  enough in its own right to prompt a traffic stop. Previously, police had to have another reason to initiate a traffic stop before they could also issue a citation for texting/driving.

Fines under the new law will still be $30 for a first-time offense, $60 for a second offense, etc. Additional fines are added when offenses take place in certain areas, like school zones.

Cyclists Face Out-Sized Injury Risk From Distracted Drivers

Continue reading

The recreational use statute in Florida is one echoed in many other states. With few exception, §375.251 holds that a property owner who provides the public with park area or other land for outdoor recreational purposes doesn’t owe a duty of care to keep that land safe for entry or use or to give warning of potentially unsafe conditions. That means generally, even private property owners aren’t liable for personal injuries when they extend use of their land free for recreational purposes.Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer

There is often one big exception: If a charge is made or usually made for entering the park or a certain area or if there is any commercial or other activity that profits from patronage of the general public on the park land, then liability may become an issue.

This was reportedly the situation for an alleged personal injury at a park in Arizona. Here, the Arizona Supreme Court reversed an earlier summary judgment in a personal injury lawsuit favoring a defendant company with rights to an area of a public park where a patron fell and was injured. Continue reading

You may have already had concerns that someone you know was exploiting an elder relative financially while they were alive. Now that they are gone, it may now be confirmed or you are just now beginning to grasp the full scope of it. Fort Lauderdale probate litigation lawyers know this happens more often than you might think. Florida probate litigation lawyer

The AARP reports roughly 3.5 percent of all older adults suffer some form of financial exploitation (actual numbers likely higher as not all cases are reported) costing more than $2 billion annually. (The Elder Financial Protection Network puts it at closer to 10 percent.)

It’s worth consulting with a probate attorney, even if you don’t plan on hiring one. It’s essential because your time to legally act and contest a will is very brief, so it’s best to preserve your challenge to a will early on if there is any chance you might do so. In the case of elder financial exploitation prior to death, your attorney will most likely assert some form of undue influence as grounds for contesting a will. Continue reading

The parents of a toddler who drowned in a retention pond earlier this year have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the owner of the property, alleging negligence for failure to install a fence that would have protected their son and prevented his drowning.wrongful death Fort Lauderdale

A Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney can explain that these types of cases are what we refer to as premises liability claims. They posit that a property owner owed a duty of care to those who entered that site, failed in that duty and injury or wrongful death ensued.

Normally, this duty of care extends only to lawful guests, which means if someone trespasses on a property, they aren’t owed much of anything (except that the property owner not actively try to hurt them by setting traps, etc.). But this type of case involves a special kind of premises liability claim under what’s known as the attractive nuisance doctrine.

Essentially, F.S. 768.075 holds that landowners generally owe no duty to trespassers under most conditions. One exception is where it pertains to young children if there is a feature on the property likely to attract children, such as a swimming pool or pond. F.S. 823.08 also outlines a number of potential attractive nuisances, such as abandoned iceboxes, clothes dryers and other similar airtight objects in which children might want to play, but would be extremely dangerous. Continue reading

State lawmakers are weighing a bill that would reimpose caps on non-economic damages in all Florida injury lawsuit and damage claims, limiting plaintiffs to $1 million for damages like pain and suffering and loss of consortium. Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers know such caps were already struck down as unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court, but legislators are reportedly banking on the fact that more newly-appointed conservative justices will take a different view. personal injury lawyer Fort Lauderdale

Florida State House Bill 17 is slated for consideration by the House Judiciary Committee, after already moving through the Commerce Committee and the Civil Justice Committee. It prevailed, though votes were split along party lines.

The question is whether the new state supreme court will adhere to the constitutionality precedent set by the previous justices. In the 2014 Florida Supreme Court ruling of McCall v. U.S., the court rejected lawmaker-initiated non-economic damage caps in wrongful death lawsuits, finding them to be a constitutional violation on the equal protection clause. Continue reading

Numerous studies have established that bicyclists who wear a helmet are less likely to suffer serious head trauma. However, this is in comparison to those who wear no helmets. Truth is, you can sustain a traumatic brain injury if you’re involved in a crash while wearing one. bicycle accident lawyer

Recently, a group of four bicyclists traveling together in Port St. Richey were seriously injured when the wheelchair lift gate of a mobile PET scan vehicle somehow became dislodged and struck the riders one-by-one, FOX 13 News. Two of the bicyclists had to undergo emergency surgery.

Although the particular circumstances of this bicycle accident are somewhat unusual, trucks pose a serious threat to bicyclists, and so do cars, vans and sport utility vehicles. In many of these instances, especially if the vehicle is traveling fast, a helmet may help reduce the risk of serious injury, but it doesn’t eliminate it. Even the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute notes there is “no such thing as a concussion-proof helmet.” Roughly three-fourths of all fatal bicycle accidents involve a head injury. Although very few bicyclists who wear helmets die in crashes, nearly 15 percent of those who suffer serious injury were wearing one. Continue reading

Sometimes family relationships don’t always go the way we hoped. Although the emotional fallout of this can be messy enough, Fort Lauderdale estate lawyers know it can get even dicier when it comes to the question of inheritance – or disinheritance. Fort Lauderdale disinheritance lawyer

The fact of a biological tie is not necessarily a guarantee that one will be entitled to an inheritance in Florida. The first question will be whether the decedent had a will.

As noted in Part 1 of Chapter 732 of Florida Statutes on Wills and Succession, if a person dies intestate (with no will), biological children are among the first in line to collect an inheritance, aside from one’s surviving spouse.

Florida Inheritance Rights of a Biological/Adopted Child: Limited

Continue reading

Justia Lawyer Rating for Richard Ansara
Contact Information