Articles Posted in Personal Injury

basil-samuel-lade-1132874-unsplash-copy-300x200For anyone who enjoys getting around the city, Miami’s WalkScore of 79 out of 100 points should come as no surprise. The year-round warm climate, spectacular water views, and luxurious beaches offer plenty of reasons to walk and enjoy the outdoors. Plus, the mayor closes major roadways to motor vehicle traffic once a month, allowing pedestrians and bicyclists to take to the streets. 

Of course, there can be a downside to foot-based transportation. Pedestrians are at risk of serious injuries when motorists are careless behind the wheel. Fortunately, state law provides you with rights as a victim, and a Florida pedestrian accident lawyer can help protect them. In addition, you may find it useful to review some general information about these cases.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

andras-vas-559764-unsplash-copy-300x200There is no question that getting around town by Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare is convenient, but that does not make it safer. Any vehicle on the roadway is at risk of an accident, including those that are part of a “transportation network company” (TNC), as these services are defined by Florida law. The same statute also regulates the operations of TNCs and provides certain requirements for insurance purposes in the event of the accident. It is good to know that you are covered in an Uber/Lyft crash that was not your fault, but the legislative landscape does make these matters more complex than a typical collision. You should discuss your circumstances with a Florida car accident attorney. 

TNCs and Insurance Requirements in Florida 

As of January 2017, Florida made certain insurance coverages required for TNCs and the drivers who use their digital services to provide ridesharing services. The insurance must cover the TNC driver as follows:

igor-ovsyannykov-371075-copy-200x300As a construction worker, you know how dangerous and constantly changing your work environment can be. This industry is one of the most hazardous in the US, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics consistently ranks it in the top three for most nonfatal injuries and in days away from work. Fortunately, Florida’s workers’ compensation system protects construction workers who are hurt in on-the-job accidents. 

However, there is one aspect of state workers’ comp laws that is unfamiliar to many employees, termed “exclusiveness of liability” under the Florida statute. In short, it means your workers’ comp benefits are your sold remedy and you are limited in terms of what you can recover – unless you qualify for one of the exceptions. A Florida construction accidents lawyer can explain in more detail about scenarios where you may be able to file a lawsuit for your losses.

Overview of Workers’ Compensation Laws in Florida

oliwier-gesla-635232-unsplash-copy-300x200You may not expect to be hurt due to dangerous conditions on property, but a report from the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention reveals shocking statistics: Accidental slips, trips, and falls are among the top two causes of non-fatal injuries in the US. It is true that clumsiness may be to blame in some situations, but many other injuries occur because of preventable errors. You should discuss your circumstances with a Florida slip and fall attorney right away, but some answers to common questions about property-related accidents may be helpful. 

How do Slip and Fall Claims Work?

The familiar term “slip and fall” actually refers to a legal concept called premises liability in Florida. The foundation of these claims is negligence, a type of case that imposes a legal duty on property owners. If they fail to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition, they could be liable for a victim’s injuries. 

marlon-lara-595368-unsplash-copy-300x199Florida recently joined many other US states in cracking down on certain forms of cell phone use while driving, with a new law that went into effect July 1, 2019. An article in the Sun-Sentinel outlined the details of the Wireless Communications While Driving Law, which bans holding or handling a phone to: 

  • Text or make calls;
  • Navigate via GPS;

daniel-thurler-511435-unsplash-copy-300x191A tragic motorcycle accident in Marion County, FL claimed the lives of two men and shut down traffic on northbound Interstate 75 for approximately five hours on Thursday, June 13, 2019. Orlando’s Spectrum News Channel 13 reported on the incident, which was still under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP). According to police, the two men were riding side-by-side on separate Harley Davidson motorcycles in front of a semi truck. The pair attempted to slow down due to traffic conditions, but one rider lost control of his vehicle. As the motorcycle slid across the pavement, the other man also lost control. Upon landing in the center lane, both men were struck by the 18 wheeler that had been traveling behind them. 

Under the circumstances, surviving family members may have options to recover compensation through a cause of action that is categorized as a wrongful death case. A Florida wrongful death attorney can explain in more detail, but an overview may be helpful.

How Wrongful Death Cases Work in Florida

nathan-dumlao-1064615-unsplash-copy-200x300Miami city commissioners recently announced a six-month trial program to implement 300 electric scooters across District 2, a region that incorporates the downtown area, Coconut Grove, Morningside and Edgewater. An article appearing in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel outlined the plan involving Bird, Lime, and other companies that operate the dockless rental vehicles, familiarly called “e-scooters.” The announcement comes as good news for people looking for a convenient, affordable, and sustainable option for getting around town. A user simply downloads the app, pays low fee to unlock the e-scooter, and then drops it off when finished.

E-scooter programs in Coral Gables and Fort Lauderdale have been quite successful, especially among students. Opponents argue that e-scooters increase the likelihood of traffic-related accidents. Fortunately, injured victims may have rights under well-established legal rules regarding negligence, and a Florida personal injury lawyer can explain in more detail. Still, to reduce the risk of accidents, you should review some safety issues and tips regarding e-scooters.

Risk Factors with E-Scooters

jonathan-borba-1598686-unsplash-copy-300x200One minute, visitors to a Port Charlotte Harley-Davidson store were listening to a live concert; the next, they were running for their lives from a luxury sports car that an intoxicated woman plowed into the crowd. According to a June 12, 2019 article in the Miami Herald, none of the concertgoers were injured in the chaos that ensued. However, the local country music star who was headlining the event suffered injuries to his foot. Upon arriving at the scene, police detained the woman for questioning, and eventually arrested her for DUI, among other charges.

The penalties for DUI are harsh in Florida, including fines, jail time, and a driver’s license suspension. Unfortunately, these sanctions do nothing for victims who are injured as a result of a drunk driving collision. You do have rights if you are hurt in a DUI crash, and a Florida car accident attorney can assist with your claim. Some general information regarding these cases may also be helpful.

Comparing Criminal and Civil DUI Cases

Breanha Free-Baker, 17, her mother Michelle Free-Baker, 40, and her grandmother Robyn Underwood, 61, were driving to dinner on a Saturday night when they were struck by another vehicle head on. A vehicle speeding down Hillsboro Boulevard crossed over the median and into the Free-Baker’s vehicle and several other cars. Breanha and her grandmother died in the crash. Breanha was a senior at Coral Glades High School. Michelle Free-Baker and a driver of another vehicle, Melanie Perozin, were injured and hospitalized at Broward Health North after the crash. If you were recently hurt or lost a loved one in a crash, contact a car accident lawyer for Miami at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. You can reach out to us through our online form or you can call (877) 475-2905 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Who Caused the Crash?

According to local reports, the at-fault driver was Andrea Schneider, 21. Schneider has a history of driving offenses and criminal convictions. Schneider had been convicted of driving without a license and driving on a suspended license several times in the past. At the time of the crash, she was on probation for trespassing in an occupied structure. It is unclear whether she had a valid license.The crash remains under investigation. Police currently do not know whether drugs or alcohol were involved, though this has not been ruled out.

Around 7:40 p.m. on October 31, Halloween night, police received a report of a crash near Griffin Road and Davie Road. Carlos Alvarado Amaya, 45, was crossing the street with his two young children when he and one child were struck by a vehicle. His five-year-old daughter was struck by the vehicle and died at the scene. The other child, roughly 2 years old, was taken to a nearby hospital. She suffered a laceration to her head and was reunited with her mother. The father and two children were returning home from trick-or-treating. The driver, a 30-year-old woman, in a silver Cadillac remained on the scene. Police do not yet know if drugs, alcohol, or speed were factors in the accident, though initial appearances indicate they were not. Police do know that Amaya and his children were in a designated crosswalk, but the streetlights were not on and it was a busy street. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a vehicle-pedestrian crash, do not hesitate to contact our pedestrian accident lawyers from Gerson & Schwartz P.A. We are here to help you determine who is liable for the crash, and when appropriate, pursue compensation for your injuries or loss. Call us at (877) 475-2905 to schedule a free consultation.

Pedestrian Fatalities in Florida and the U.S. Are High

Unfortunately, situations like what happened this Halloween in Broward County are not uncommon. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian fatalities in 2017 hit a 25-year high. Nearly 6,000 individuals were killed. There also had been increases in fatalities for the two years before. Between 2007 and 2016, pedestrian fatalities increased 27 percent. Between 2016 and 2017, 23 states and Washington, D.C. experienced rises in their pedestrian deaths. Twenty other states remained steady or had fewer pedestrian fatalities compared to the year before. Florida is particularly known for its pedestrian dangers. Along with California, Texas, New York, and Arizona, these five states accounted for 43 percent of pedestrian deaths during the first half of 2017. Additionally, Florida has nine of the top 15 most dangerous areas for pedestrians in the U.S., according to a Smart Growth America study. The study, which was released in early 2017, found the 15 most dangerous metro areas for pedestrians were: