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Boca Raton Woman Hit a Cyclist While on a “Cocktail” of Drugs : Bicycle Accident Attorneys

An early morning disaster could have been avoided, it seems. A fatal truck on bike accident was caused by complete disregard for responsibility and the safety of others.

A 65-year-old man was taking his daily ride to McDonald’s when he was struck by a Ford F-150 and killed by a young driver impaired by prescription medications. The event was violent to watch, according to witnesses, who reported that the cyclist was tossed over the hood of the truck on impact.

The accident left the bike itself destroyed with a twisted frame and parts strewn about everywhere. The forces involved were enough to damage the front of the truck, break a headlamp, and dent the hood and front grill.

Criminal Charges Filed for Accident

Cyclist Hit By A Woman in Boca RatonAccording to the Sun Sentinel, the woman, 24-year-old Boca Raton resident Bianca Fichtel, has been arrested and is facing serious charges including manslaughter while driving under the influence.

Witnesses say the truck swerved into the bike lane killing George Morreale. Bystanders came to his aid until paramedics arrived on the scene, but efforts were in vain. According to those who knew Morreale, he made that routine ride on his blue Schwinn bike to have breakfast almost every morning.

Another woman said she was almost struck when the Ford quickly swerved back out of the bike lane and sped away from the accident scene. She then followed the truck as it eventually circled back.

Fichtel originally claimed that Morreale had steered his bike in front of the truck. However, several witnesses to the incident refuted these claims as lies. A passenger in the truck was not able to corroborate Fichtel’s version of events as he says he was texting at the time and just assumed the vehicle hit a curb.

The “Cocktail” of Drugs

Investigators quickly noticed numerous pill bottles littering the cab of the Ford. Being caught red handed, Fichtel rattled off a laundry list of prescription medications she had taken before the crash. Her confession came only minutes after being confronted by police. Soon after, Fichtel demanded the assistance of a lawyer before answering any more questions.

Reports filed by investigators described her as both unsteady on her feet, and according to police, impaired. A toxicology report concluded that at least nine different medications were present in Fichtel’s system at the time. Some of the pills were very strong according to experts including Clonazepam and Oxycodone.

When asked why they returned to the scene, Fichtel’s passenger answered that she was “pretty sure she didn’t hit a curb.” At present, Fichtel has been arrested and arranged and is being held on $25,000 bail.

Personal Injury and Bicycle Accident  Attorneys In Florida

Our firm offers unparalleled expertise to Florida residents when it comes to dealing with car crashes and personal injury and their aftermath, please contact Fetterman and Associates and our team of experienced personal injury attorneys immediately at 561-880-4610 for a free legal consultation.

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West Palm Beach Attorney for Public Transportation Accident Victims

Accidents Involving Bus, Taxi, Train, Limo and Public Transportation

If you were to guess what the most dangerous mode of transportation is, which results in the most casualties and fatalities each year, what would it be? Most would guess air travel. While it is absolutely devastating anytime we hear about a plane crash, it still doesn’t rank as one of the most dangerous forms of transportation. Accidents involving cars, trucks, and even public transportation, such as buses, are the most dangerous forms of transportation and result in the most casualties.

While we hear about or witness car and truck accidents every day, accidents involving public transportation are taken a little more seriously. This is because public transportation accidents typically involve a number of passengers that are involved in an accident on behalf of a negligent public transportation operator. In these situations, passengers that are involved in a public transportation accident should seek out a professional attorney as they could be entitled to compensation and benefits if injuries were sustained.

West Palm Beach Attorney for Accident Victims

The law offices of Fetterman & Associates offers professional legal services and advice to those who have been severely injured in accidents while traveling via public transportation, such as in a taxi, bus, train or even a limo. It’s no secret that accidents can happen anywhere and at any time. However, if an accident occurs due to the negligent behavior or mechanical failure of the vehicle or equipment, then those victims who have suffered serious injuries may be entitled to a settlement.

For those public transportation accidents that were due to negligent behavior or mechanical equipment failure, these often result in big cases, which often involve the legal expertise of a professional and experienced personal injury attorney Boca Raton. This is because private carriers and public transportation companies and large providers of local travel services often have a strong legal team to fight lawsuits. This is why injured victims should contact a Florida personal injury attorney that has enough experience and success in such cases.

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A legal team that is experienced in and knowledgeable of private carrier and public transportation accident cases will have a system in place that they can put into effect immediately to give accident victims the best chance to receive the settlement they deserve. This often involves documenting an accident, performing investigative services, conducting research, and devoting time to exploring and analyzing all legal avenues of a case. that may be pursued, and a lead lawyer who will make sure that the team covers all possible aspects of the case.

Experienced Personal Injury Attorney West Palm Beach Will Help You

If you or someone you know has recently been involved in a public transportation accident, contact Fetterman & Associates at 561-449-2372 today to see how our professional and experienced legal team can help you. Our West Palm Beach public transportation and personal injury legal team will meet with you, listen to your claim, and offer you our legal advice and insights on how to best proceed legally and how to best pursue a public transportation accident lawsuit.

All in all, it is important to have an experienced legal professional with a proven successful track record on your side, representing you in a public transportation accident case. It’s vital to any case to have an experienced West Palm Beach personal injury attorney representing an individual and fighting for your best interests. The law offices of Fetterman & Associates will be aggressive in winning you an equitable and just settlement for any injuries or damages that you have suffered.

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Safety and Legal Tips for Palm Beach Bicyclists

Vehicle accidents involving an automobile and bicyclist can most certainly be deadly. These accidents can result in serious injuries and even death. In fact, Florida is the leading state in bicycle and motor vehicle-related accidents in the country. The Law Team of Fetterman & Associates fights on behalf of a victim and his or her rights to get the maximum compensation available for accident victims and their families.

Biking trails range for many miles between Boca Raton to Port St Lucie, Florida. This is a very scenic route that bikers often enjoy. However, in the state of Florida, bicyclists are also permitted to ride along streets as a mode of transportation to work, shopping, or recreation. As a result, unfortunately, accidents involving both bicyclists and motor vehicles are highly common, and are often fatal, even if the accident occurred in a low impact situation.

Safety and Legal Tips for Palm Beach Bicyclists

In order to avoid more accidents, Florida bicyclists should take caution whenever traveling, whether for work or recreation, on bike paths or in the streets.

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Here are some quick safety tips for bicyclists to keep in mind while biking:

  • Wear a helmet and other brightly-colored or neon protective gear (such as a reflective jacket, a light on top of your helmet, and other protective materials), and be sure that all bicycle reflectors are visible and functional. All protective and safety gear should meet federal safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  • If riding at night, take extra caution. Bicyclists traveling in the dark, as well as at dawn or dusk, should equip their bicycles with headlights and taillights, and use reflectors or reflective tape on both your bicycle and your clothing.No reflectors should be cracked, broken, or missing, as this increases your chances of a passing vehicle not seeing you.
  • Have a working bell or horn to make others traveling near you aware of your presence, as well as motorists.
  • Always inspect your bike for damage and ensure that all mechanical parts are fully functional. Brakes should be inspected regularly, and ensure that tires are properly inflated. Faulty mechanics will increase a biker’s chances of an accident.

Count on a Florida Attorney if you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident.

If you or someone you know has recently been involved or passed away from an accident involving a motor vehicle and bicyclist, contact the professional and experienced law team of Fetterman& Associates. Our firm has over forty years of professional legal experience in expertise, including bicycle accidents that occur in the Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Port St. Lucie areas.

Florida Bicycle Accident Attorneys

Don’t hesitate. Contact one of our professional, qualified, and experienced legal Florida bicycle accident attorneys at Fetterman & Associates for a free, no-obligation interview and case evaluation. You can call us at 561-288-8027 to ask us questions or schedule a case evaluation, or you can visit us online and submit a request via our online contact form. A member of our legal administrative team will respond to your request within twenty-four hours. We will review the details in depth, perform research as necessary, ask questions, and build a solid case around the accident and what occurred. Let the Fetterman& Associates Law Team worry about the details. This is just one commitment we make by standing by you.

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Vehicle Accident Victims: Know Your Rights

Were you recently involved in a car accident? Vehicle accidents happen every day. In fact, traveling by car or truck is still one of the most dangerous forms of travel and results in the most casualties and fatalities. However, if you or someone you know has been recently involved in a vehicle accident, you may be entitled to a settlement for your pain, suffering, and potential financial burden. The Law Team of Fetterman & Associates has over forty years of experience fighting for the rights of vehicle accident victims in the state of Florida.

vehicle accident victims

No one ever plans on being in a vehicle accident. Most accidents happen in a flash and are unexpected. However, it is unfortunate that every day Florida residents and guests are involved in accidents that result in pain and suffering, injuries, and even death. Anyone who has been involved in an accident before knows the extreme cost and inconvenience that can come along with it. Whether it is sustaining minor injuries, medical bills, lost wages, or even the inconvenience of being without a vehicle are all reasons why victims should contact the Law Team of Fetterman & Associates today to learn your rights and for legal representation and defense.

Rights of Accident Victims

The Law Team of Fetterman & Associates wants to help vehicle accident victims learn their rights, and work alongside them to help reach a fair settlement with the offender that to help victims get their lives back on track and seek the support and assistance needed to do so. Our law team is proud to be able to help so many Florida residents on a daily basis seek proper settlements and compensation for emotional and financial damage, pain, and suffering that they have endured. We specialize in providing legal representation and defense for residents hurt or impacted in any way in any number of incidents, including:

  • Car Accidents
  • Truck Accidents
  • Burn Injuries
  • Wrongful Death
  • And More

If you have been involved in a severe vehicle accident, and due to intense or severe injuries, can no longer work, the Law Team of Fetterman & Associates will also assist clients with receiving fair social security benefits. However, dealing with Social Security benefits for these types of accidents can be challenging and stressful, particularly if a victim is already under stress due to a recent accident. Our law team can help apply for and acquire Social Security benefits on behalf of our clients so they don’t have to. This is just one way our law team goes above and beyond to help clients who are suffering from a recent accident.

Working with our firm isn’t like working with another law firm. Our professional legal team takes the time and puts in the effort for each one of our clients, because we realize that no two situations are the same. Each individual has his or her own case and situation, and each individual is impacted by an accident uniquely.

Contact Accident Attorney Today

If you have recently been in an accident, and would like to know your rights and how you might be entitled to a settlement involving compensation, contact our law office today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We will review your situation and case, go over the outcome and details of the accident, and discuss legal options and potential settlement compensation with you. We believe in working with clients in these tough situations so they make informed decisions, particularly those whose lives have been impacted severely from a recent accident.

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Florida Car Accidents and Teen Drivers Offer Safety Concerns

Teen drivers are at a high risk to have car accidents. An car accident that occurred on Monday, June 16 at about 7 p.m. on Selma Church Road in Holmes County is a grim reminder of this fact. In that single car accident, Austin Martin, a seventeen year-old driver, was killed, while his fourteen year-old passenger sustained minor injuries. The overall difference was that Martin was not wearing his seat belt and was ejected from the car. His passenger remained safely strapped into his seat.

Teen Accident Stats

Teen drivers are certainly a major risk when it comes to car accidents. There are many reasons for this, such as inexperience, the tendency for teens to make bad decisions while driving due to immaturity, and teen feelings of being immortal and immune to injury. There’s a reason as to why teen car insurance rates are extremely high.

Florida Car Accidents and Teen Drivers Offer Safety Concerns
Florida Car Accidents and Teen Drivers

H0ere are some statistics concerning teen drivers.

  • Over 74,000 young people die or are injured each year when not wearing their seatbelts.
  • In their initial year behind the wheel, 1 in 5 16-year-old drivers has an accident.
  • Finally, a 16-year-old is 20 times more likely to be killed in a car crash than an adult.

Also, recent studies have shown that a majority of teens admit to engaging in dangerous behaviors while driving, even though they know that these behaviors are dangerous. The behaviors include as texting, driving after drinking or using drugs, and talking on the phone. All of these activities increase the likelihood that a teen driver will get into a car accident.

Injuries Can Have Dire Consequences

Accidents such as the one noted above can certainly have terrible consequences. In this case, according to Florida Highway Patrol, Martin, who apparently lost control of his car and began rotating counter clockwise before entering a ditch and hitting an embankment, was ejected from his car and killed. Teens need to be reminded about how serious and dangerous an activity driving is.

Despite the fact that teens take driver education classes, that they must have a certain number of hours behind the wheel with a licensed driver sitting beside them, and that they are tested prior to receiving their license, it’s always important to remember that they are very young and prone to making mistakes.

Monitoring Your Child

The Law Team of Fetterman & Associates believes that parents should monitor the driving habits of their teens, remembering that they are still children. Discussing safety, making sure they know where their kids are going when driving or riding in a car, and ensuring that they have a purpose to their driving or riding, such as going to work, out some place specific, or picking up a family member, will help to keep a teen focused on practicing solid driving habits.

If you have been in a car accident and require information regarding a possible personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, contact the Law Team of Fetterman & Associates at 561-449-2372 in West Palm Beach, Florida. We will be glad to meet with you, discuss your case, and help determine its viability.

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Car Accidents and Black Box Data Evidence

In Florida, if you are in a car accident and the other person is at fault, there are various forms of evidence that may be used in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. One type, which is also allowed in Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, is data from the vehicle’s black box. Black boxes may be found on many late model cars, as well as on commercial vehicles.

Black Box Evidence in Car CrashesThis data can help prove that the person who is at fault was speeding and driving in a hazardous manner.

Florida is a No-Fault State

In Florida, with most car accidents, the injuries and damages that are the result of such mishaps are usually covered by each person’s personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL) insurance policies. In the state, each driver must be insured for a minimum of $10,000 in PIP and $10,000 in PDL.

If it is a strict no-fault accident, in other words one in which each person’s injuries and damages are considered to be minimal and non-permanent, then the expenses associate with the car accident are paid by each person’s insurer. However, there are times when one can file a personal injury lawsuit claiming negligence. If this is the case, then the plaintiff may sue the defendant for damages that far exceed the minimum allowed by the state under no-fault.

When You May Sue

If you have been the victim of another driver’s negligence in the State of Florida, then you may file suit in civil court if there is:

  • Permanent injury.
  • Permanent or significant scaring.
  • Disfigurement.

Such lawsuits must be filed within four years of the occurrence of the accident. If you have had a loved one who has been killed in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence, then you may sue the driver for wrong death. Reach out to a skilled West Palm Beach car accident lawyer for legal advice.

Black Box Evidence in Car Crashes

The black box in a motor vehicle records various forms of data, including that related to speed. When crash recreation investigators are in need of such information, they can get an accurate measurement from the black box that can be very useful. When combined with other information that they can garner from the accident scene, the data recovered from a black box can be compelling.

As an example, it’s one thing for a witness to say that the accused was driving at 100 MPH, but when the data from a car’s black box confirms that the speed topped specifically at 108 MPH, then you’ve got a very strong case if you’re alleging that speed was a factor.

Find Out: What You Need To Know If You Are got into a Car Accident

Contact to an experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been in a car accident and believe that you may have grounds for a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit or if you have questions concerning such suits, contact the Law Team of Fetterman & Associates at 561-845-2510 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Because the laws in Florida are fairly vague, determining whether or not you have grounds for a case can be tricky.

For this reason, it’s best to consult with a personal injury attorney who has experience and success in settling car accident cases out of court and in winning such cases when they do go to trial.


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A Florida personal injury lawyers that will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.


The Dangers of Small Group Personal Training

What is Small Group Personal Training?

Small Group Personal training has become a more common trend in the fitness community during the last years. As these types of training programs spread, it is important that the groups are conducted in a way that allows the participants to perform the activity while minimizing their risks for injury.

Due to the fact that it can deliver an effective workout, it has grown in popularity. Because trainers can lead these programs without having to raise the same amount of capital that would be necessary to start a gym, it appears that these Small Group Personal training sessions will continue to expand.

However, if an accident occurs during one of these activities, it is important that you contact a lawyer to know what rights and options are available to assist you in a litigious situation.

The Dangers of Small Group Personal Training

A recent article speaks to the possible dangers of Small Group Personal Training programs such as CrossFit. CrossFit is an intense workout that consists of weightlifting, gymnastics, and sprinting.

The Dangers of Small Group Personal Training

Kevin Ogar was a CrossFit coach and athlete. He wanted to advance to the the national competition for CrossFit athletes. During a Crossfit competition in Southern California, Mr. Ogar injured himself while attempting to execute an Olympic lift. When he lifted the barbell above his head, he stopped trying to perform the maneuver and dropped the weight.

Unfortunately, the weight struck another set of weights, bounced up, and landed on Mr. Ogar’s back. The weights hit him in the back and he severely injured his spine. While Mr. Ogar lay on the ground, he was unable to move his legs, as he had been paralysed.

The injuries meant that the trainer would need multiple surgeries and a long period of rehabilitation to recover from the accident. The story is an even greater tragedy because he did not have any health insurance. He is now relying upon the kindness of donations to help pay for his medical treatments.

The Necessity of Extreme Care with Dangerous Activities

The article concerning the unfortunate accident bolsters the point that these programs place people in dangerous positions. Mr. Ogar competed in these events, but he was also a coach of others and that still did not prevent him from avoiding injury.

If a person trained in these activities who helps people do the exercises can injure himself, it causes one to question to what degree it is necessary to provide adequate and thorough training and guidance when people are commencing these activities. While these types of activities will continue, it is important that they are conducted in a responsible manner that ensures the safety of its participants.

Contact an Attorney

If an accident arises during any type of Small Group Personal Training like CrossFit programs, Boot Camps, and studios, you should attempt to figure out the legal ramifications that are involved.

The law team at Fetterman & Associates are quite experienced in a wide range of cases and have a strong reputation in personal injury law, especially in the field of spinal cord injuries. Our team will do everything possible to help you get the results that you desire. Feel free to reach us today at 561-845-2510.

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Vehicle Rollovers in Palm Beach County Send Several to Area Hospitals

Vehicle Rollovers
Vehicle Rollovers

Two separate car accidents in Palm Beach County around the middle of the month both involved vehicle rollovers, and both were serious enough to send some of the vehicle occupants to the hospital.

In a single car accident southbound on the Florida Turnpike in Boynton Beach, a car struck a wall and rolled over, landing on its side in the road. The driver of the vehicle was taken to Bethesda Hospital West and treated for minor injuries.

In Lake Worth, two vehicles were involved in an automobile accident which left one vehicle up against a tree while the other car rolled over. Occupants in the rollover vehicle had to be cut out of their car with the Jaws of Life by Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Two of the accident victims were transported to JFK Medical Center in West Palm Beach.

Bigger Vehicle Design Increases Likelihood of Rollovers

In case you haven’t noticed, cars, vans, SUVs and pickup trucks have been getting bigger and bigger over the past several years. Despite increased attention to vehicle safety in design and manufacture, bigger cars tend also to be taller and more top-heavy, with a higher center of gravity. These factors make the vehicle more likely to roll over when struck in a collision with another car, or even in a single-vehicle accident. Although technology such as Electronic Stability Control and computerized traction control has been around for decades and could cut crashes and fatalities in half, these technologies have still not been universally adopted by automakers, even though the addition to a vehicle’s price tag may be only about $100.

Vans, trucks, SUVs and other vehicles with a higher likelihood of rollover should at least be built with sturdy, reinforced roofs, yet this is one of the areas of the automobile that is typically not considered for durability in a rollover accident, which happens relatively infrequently compared to other accidents. A rollover combined with a roof crush often results in a fatality or permanent injury such as traumatic brain injury or spinal cord paralysis.

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Traumatic Brain Injury Increases Risk of Alzheimer’s Later in Life

Traumatic Brain Injury Increases RiskIt is obvious that a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause significant cognitive impairments following a head injury in a slip and fall, auto accident, or another personal injury. But did you know that a TBI also greatly increases an individual’s likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia, even years after the accident? Research conducted over the past 30 years has turned up this link in study after study. One study found that young adults who experienced a moderate TBI were 2.3 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s later in life. For those who had suffered a severe TBI, the increased risk was 4.5 times as great. Treatment for Alzheimer’s can be costly, not to mention the emotional toll it takes on the victim and the victim’s family. Is the greater risk of Alzheimer’s a type of legal damage that can be compensated in a personal injury lawsuit? This is a difficult question, and the answer depends on a number of factors. It is certainly a question work exploring with your attorney. Fetterman & Associates works to get you every penny you are entitled to as a result of your injury. Identifying and valuing future costs and complications that are likely to arise from your injury is a critical part of estimating your damage award. If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury or any other serious personal injury, contact the Law Team at Fetterman & Associates to speak with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.

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A year after Florida passes Personal Injury Protection “reform” and the debate rages on

Personal Injury lawIn May 2012 we posted a blog about the passage into law of HB 119, the so-called Personal Injury Protection (PIP) reform bill that was going to lower your no-fault insurance rates by 25% (see Florida Passes Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Reform: A Boon for Consumers or a Curse for Injured Drivers and Passengers?).

Since then, parts of the law have been ruled unconstitutional, and some legislators are debating whether to continue with PIP at all. Recall that along with the supposed premium reduction, PIP benefits were largely reduced as well. Under the 2012 PIP Act, the $10,000 in benefits previously available is now only provided for medical emergencies, and other treatment is limited to $2,500.

Certain types of treatment, such as massage therapy and acupuncture, were excluded altogether (see New Florida Law Rubs Massage Therapists the Wrong Way, posted April 15, 2013). These provisions are currently being litigated in court, and a temporary injunction is currently in place prohibiting those provisions from taking effect for the time being.

Are we better off without no-fault?

In his decision granting the temporary injunction, the judge questioned whether Florida should have no-fault insurance at all, or whether a better alternative is to require liability insurance and allow access to the courts when a car accident is the fault of a negligent driver. Some legislators have taken up the cry and have brought the debate into the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, which recently voted unanimously in favor of submitting a bill that would require drivers to carry liability insurance rather than no-fault.

Whether Florida moves to liability or stays with no-fault insurance, getting compensation for your injuries after a car accident is still a complicated legal process, and help from an experienced auto accident attorney is still critical to getting all of the compensation you deserve. In Palm Beach, North Palm Beach, and Port St. Lucie, contact Fetterman & Associates for assistance.

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