Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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

For over a decade, Florida patients who were injured by a doctor’s negligence or malpractice have been limited in the amount they could recover in compensation. In medical malpractice lawsuits, injured patients could only recover $500,000 in damages for their pain and suffering, or up to $1 million in cases of catastrophic injuries. Recently, the state’s highest court found that these limits are unconstitutional, opening the door for injured people to recover full compensation for their injuries. Our medical malpractice attorneys  in Miami are happy to see that the highest court in the land has ruled against these caps. Not surprisingly, the caps have made it more difficult to access courts and for medical malpratice victims recover for negligent healthcare services.

Broward Case Challenges Law

In 2003, then-Governor Jeb Bush signed into law a piece of legislation meant to protect doctors from the rising costs of practicing medicine. The law aimed to correct what the legislature called a “medical malpractice insurance crisis.” According to the governor and the supporting legislators, the high cost of physicians’ medical malpractice insurance premiums was forcing doctors to either leave Florida to practice in another state or retire from practicing medicine early.

Miami Boating Accidents Often Result in Serious Injuries

At Gerson & Schwartz, P.A., our maritime accident lawyers represent the victims of serious boating accidents and injuries.  We understand the complexities of maritime law and know how to hold negligent boat operators, manufacturers, cruise lines, marinas, and others who operate in the recreational boating industry responsible for their actions.


The recent death of Jose Fernandez gained significant attention locally and nationally. Hernandez, who was under the influence of illegal drugs and alcohol crashed his boat into a large group of rocks located on South East side of Government Cut. Accidents like these are preventable and avoidable. Hernandez’s death has resulted in a high profile wrongful death lawsuit. The allegations in that lawsuit filed in Miami Dade County Circuit Court, highlight the many dangers and types of reckless conduct that can result in boat accident fatalities.  Our injury lawyers urge all boat operators and passengers to exercise extreme caution this boating season.

For many people, the day doesn’t really start until they have had their morning coffee. Usually, the worst thing that happens while trying to get a caffeine fix is that the line at the coffee shop is too long. For one South Florida woman, her morning coffee stop ended in a trip to the hospital after she was accidentally shot by another patron’s firearm.

When a gun owner fails to follow proper gun safety protocols, he or she can be liable for any injuries that occur. If you have been injured by an act of negligence, a Miami personal injury attorney can help you get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.

Gun Owner Negligence Can Lead to Civil Lawsuits

In the vast majority of car accident cases,  liability is not contested. This generally means that is perfectly clear who caused the accident and the only issue that needs to be addressed is the amount of money the at-fault party (or his or her insurer) will pay the victim. Unless there is a significant disagreement as to the amount of damages, the case may settle without either party needing to set foot in a court room. But what about auto, car and motor vehicle  accident cases in which liability is not obvious or is disputed? How does a car accident victim prove another person was legally at fault for their accident? In these cases,  obtaining financial recovery becomes significantly more complicated. Below is some information about how liability can be established in a contested car accident case. Of course, in under these circumstances, its always a good idea to hire a car accident lawyer in Miami . Below are some of the evidence your personal injury lawyer will need to help prove your legal claim.

Showing Fault Can Require Significant Investigation

Generally speaking, proving that the other party was at fault for an accident requires gathering evidence of his or her negligence. Under  Florida law, negligence occurs when a person fails to use the degree of care that would ordinarily be exercised by a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances. In the context of a auto, car or motor vehicle accident case, negligence can take many forms, including speeding, distracted driving, failure to signal a turn or lane change, or drunk driving.

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