Articles Posted in Personal Injury

Hilda Garcia was crossing Northwest 37th Avenue and Northwest 9th Street around 10:15 p.m. on Sunday, June 10, when she was struck by a vehicle. She was walking home from the grocery store and using a walker at the time of the crash. Garcia was 77 years old, and just shy of her 78th birthday. When emergency responders arrived, she was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The police have confirmed the vehicle must have been moving at a high rate of speed, Garcia was dragged a significant distance, and at least one of Garcia’s limbs was severed. The driver of the vehicle did not stop and wait for authorities. City of Miami Police are investigating the crash and searching for the hit-and-run driver. The family is asking the driver to come forward.

When the driver is identified, they will face criminal charges. The surviving family members, including Garcia’s son, may choose to file a civil wrongful death claim. This claim is separate and distinct from any criminal charges the hit-and-run driver may face. If you lost a loved one in a hit-and-run crash, contact a Miami car accident lawyer at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. right away.

Hit-and-Run Crashes Becoming More Common

Jarrod M. Branscum, 22, was killed on Seven Mile Bridge after being struck head on in his vehicle. Branscum was driving north in a 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer around 1:45 a.m. Emily Andrefsky, 33, was driving south in her 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe when she crossed into on-coming traffic. The head-on crash caused Branscum to die at the scene. Andrefsky was flown to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami. The accident is under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol and charges are pending against Andrefsky.

Unfortunately, head-on collisions such as this are all too common, and they often cause serious injuries and fatalities. If you lost a loved one in a front collision, contact a Miami car accident lawyer at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. at (877) 475-2905.

Head-On Crashes

In early May, a two-vehicle accident in South Miami caused four individuals injuries and one person’s tragic death. The collision took place on U.S. 1 near 62nd and 57th avenues. The initial reports following the crash stated two pedestrians had been struck, one person had been seriously injured, and four others had been taken to nearby hospitals with unknown injuries. Later reports stated one person was killed in the crash, which took place at an intersection locals know to be dangerous.

The cause of the crash is under investigation by the Miami-Dade Police Department. Their findings will influence potential criminal and civil proceedings. One or both vehicle drivers may be found to have violated traffic laws, which could lead to tickets or traffic offense charges. Also, the at-fault driver may face civil personal injury or wrongful death claims for compensation from the injured parties and their families.If you were injured or lost a loved one in a car accident, you should speak with a Miami car accident lawyer at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. as soon as possible. Call us at 305-371-6000 or toll free at (877) 475-2905 to schedule a free consultation.

Liability for Car Accidents

On Sunday April 1, a boater near Miami went missing from the Miami Vice, a 91-foot combination yacht and speed boat that can be rented by the hour or day. At the time, there were seven guests aboard the yacht, which was operated by two crew members. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) received a call regarding the missing boat passenger that afternoon. By Monday, officials confirmed that the passenger had been killed. Preliminary information determined the passenger was in the water when the yacht captain put the vessel in reverse and was struck by the propellers. No charges have been filed yet and FWC is investigating the incident. Did you recently lose someone in a boating accident? If your spouse, parent, or child was killed in an incident with a yacht, ferry, commercial ship, or another type of vessel, do not hesitate to contact a Miami accident lawyer at Gerson & Schwartz P.A.

 Florida Boating Accident Statistics

In Florida, a state surrounded by beaches and open water, personal and commercial boating accidents are not uncommon. According to FWC statistics, there were 714 reportable boating accidents in 2016. These led to 421 individual injuries. Additionally, 56 accidents were fatal, leading to 67 deaths. The main cause of fatal accidents was falling overboard. Sixteen individuals were killed after falling overboard, which was 29 percent of all fatal accidents. Whether or not the Miami Vice passenger fell overboard or intentionally jumped has yet to be determined. The most common reason for death after falling overboard is drowning (60 percent). However, other issues, such as being struck by propellers, can also be at fault.

A pedestrian bridge located at Florida International University suddenly collapsed on vehicles below injuring dozens and causing several fatalities. The bridge was recently constructed and was just opened to the public this past Saturday on FIU’s campus. Little information is known about the root cause at this time. Witnesses reported that dozens of vehicles may still be alive or trapped beneath the rubble.  Miami-Dade Fire Rescue along with first responders were still trying to get beneath the 950 plus tons of concrete wreckage. A witness to the accident contacted our law firm and sent us this photograph seconds after the bridge crumbled. FIU bridge Collapse

Construction sites, accidents, rules and regulations are governed by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). OSHA is the primary federal agency assigned with promulgating rules and safety enforcement regulations in the workplace. In this case, when a bridge and construction accident occurs, OSHA conducts a comprehensive investigation. This usually takes many months to complete but eventually will reveal how this tragic event occurred, how it could have been prevented, and what specific violations of OSHA’s regulations may have been violated. OSHA’s duties, include protecting workers as well as enforcing safety laws for the benefit of the general public. Companies who violate OSHA safety regulations may expose themselves to legal liability, which can include civil and criminal penalties. Miami, Florida has been subject to many construction site accidents but this one is by far the most serious and tragic construction accident event in recent memory.

While it is too early to know how or why this specific tragedy occurred, the mere fact that this bridge collapsed is a prime example of the legal doctrine known as as “Res Ipsa Loquitur”, which means “the negligence speaks for itself”.  Bridges simply do not collapse in the absence of some sort of negligence. The personal injury law offices of Gerson and Schwartz, PA specialize representing serious injury and wrongful death victims due to construction defects and industrial accident related tragedies. Our construction accident attorneys in Miami are familiar with OSHA rules and regulations and how to prove negligence in industrial and construction accident cases. If you or a loved one were the victim of the FIU bridge collapse or another type of construction accident case, then contact our Miami law offices today for a free consultation. Call us today at 1- 877- 475-2905 or email us at info@gslawusa.com for help. Walk in clients are also accepted. Our personal injury offices are located at 1980 Coral Way in Miami, Florida. You may also visit our website at www.injuryattorneyfla.com. Se Habla Espanol.

 

Multi-Vehicle Crash in Alligator Alley Leads to Fatality

In early March, an accident on I-75, locally known as Alligator Alley, led to one fatality and numerous injuries. A van carrying 15 people was travelling east in the left lane when it was rear-ended by a truck. The van was carrying individuals from Minnesota as young as 4 years old, visiting for a spring training game in Ft. Myers. When the van was struck by the pickup truck, the driver lost control. The van flipped, several passengers were ejected, and it landed on the other side of the highway. The truck also rolled over. Numerous reports state a third vehicle was involved in the crash, though specifics were not given. One van passenger was killed, Lauren Vanreese. Numerous passengers were airlifted to a hospital due to serious injuries while other van passengers and the driver of the truck were taken to area hospitals for treatment.

Liability for the Accident

scaffolding-1518087-300x225Last month provided several examples of the serious personal safety issues that can arise with construction site work.

Construction Worker Falls from Crane on Dolphin Expressway

First, a construction worker fell from a crane on the Dolphin Expressway one morning, near the Northwest 37th Avenue overpass. A Miami fire department official stated that the man fell a total of 30 feet from a crane that was attached to a flatbed truck. The worker was using the crane’s controls on the side of the truck when it suddenly fell over, throwing him off of the overpass. As he fell, thankfully he did not fall into the flow of traffic below. The man was transported to a local hospital for treatment of his critical condition.

The area where the accident occurred is currently under construction, as Miami-Dade Transit is working to add an additional lane in both directions on the Dolphin Expressway.

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A Florida district court of appeals recently rendered its decision on an appeal based on the trial court’s decision to chromed-out-1451031-300x225exclude various pieces of evidence from consideration by the jury.

In the case, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendant revved the engine of his Chevrolet Camaro, thus signaling his alleged desire to race the plaintiffs. Plaintiffs alleged that after riding next to their two motorcycles and swerving into their lane twice, he hit the first motorcycle (which had one passenger), which then crashed into the second motorcycle and then drove away. The plaintiffs survived the accident, but suffered serious personal injuries which required medical treatment. Prior to the accident, the plaintiffs had stopped at a restaurant and then a bar, and were headed home when the accident occurred.

At trial, the defendant claimed that the motorcycles caused the accident to occur by one driver accidentally turning onto the other one. He claimed comparative negligence as a defense. Witness testimony as to what happened was similarly inconsistent.

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Distracted driving has become a national public health crisis. While food, drinks, children, and pets have always provided drivers with ample distraction from the road, technology is increasing the problem to unprecedented proportions. In-vehicle entertainment systems, navigation systems, and the ubiquitous smartphone are diverting drivers’ attention from the road as never before.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you have legal rights which must be protected. Miami residents trust the team at Gerson & Schwartz to secure fair compensation for the auto accident injuries. Our Miami car accident lawyers will aggressively protect your legal rights after any car accident including distracted driving accident cases.

What is Being Done About this Public Health Crisis?

Attorneys, especially personal injury lawyers, often suffer from a bad reputation among the general public. One of the most ubiquitous stereotypes about the profession is that of the “ambulance chaser.” The term brings to mind an image of a sleazy attorney in a bad suit hoping to make a fee by following an ambulance to the hospital and harassing the family of an injured person while their loved one lays in a hospital bed.

The vast majority of attorneys work hard to combat these negative and outdated stereotypes of the legal profession. Unfortunately, there are still a few lawyers and legal professionals practicing today who continue to give attorneys a bad name. At Gerson & Schwartz, P.A., our Miami car accident lawyers work hard to give clients the best legal representation possible, without the high-pressure sales tactics that lead to unfair characteristics of the legal profession.

Ambulance Chasing Is Illegal

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