Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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:

On November 29, a construction worker in Hillsboro Beach experienced a traumatic workplace accident and injury. The 44-year-old worker was injured at 1007 Hillsboro Mile around 10 a.m. He was working with an industrial auger, which is a tool used to bore holes into the ground. His right arm became trapped in the drill bit, and due to the force of the drill, the auger caused a complete amputation of his right arm below the shoulder, according to Broward Battalion Chief Michael Kane. The injured construction worker, whose name has not been released, was initially taken to Broward Health North. He was in stable condition. Due to the severity of the injury, he was quickly transferred to Broward Health in Fort Lauderdale. It is currently unknown whether physicians were able to reattach the worker’s arm.

If you or a loved one suffered an amputation at work, we recommend you speak with a Miami construction accident lawyer at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. If you or a loved one are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, then this may be your only avenue to medical coverage and wage benefits. However, if you are not covered with workers’ comp like you should be, or if a third-party from outside of your work is responsible for the incident, then you may have a third-party liability claim. We can help you pursue compensation outside of a workers’ comp claim. Contact us online or call (877) 475-2905.

The Risk of Workplace Amputation

Miami-Dade Police Officer John Young Song caused a deadly car accident on March 6 at Southwest 260th Street and 147th Avenue at approximately 1:30 a.m. Officer Song was placed under arrest for the crash this November and has been charged with vehicular homicide. Reports indicate the officer was speeding, did not have his vehicle’s headlights or siren on, and failed to stop at a stop sign. Miami-Dade Police Spokesperson Lee Cowart said the officer was not responding to a call and was on a routine patrol at the time. Officer Song drove through the stop sign and collided with a white Nissan carrying Emilio Jesus Vizcaino, 45. Due to the various factors involving with the crash, the officer is accused of driving the police vehicle in manner that displayed a willful and wanton disregard for other people and property’s safety. On other words, the officer is accused of driving recklessly. Song will be arraigned for the criminal charges on December 13. However, he may face more than a criminal case. The Vizcaino family have the right to pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim.

If your loved one was recently killed in a car crash that you believe was caused by someone else, we recommend you call our Miami wrongful death lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. at (877) 475-2905. We will thoroughly review your circumstances and advise you of your right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If you have a valid claim, we will work hard to obtain a fair settlement for you and your family.

A Wrongful Death Claim Is Separate From Criminal Charges

On Thursday, November 1, a crane overturned in Homestead. The incident took place at a construction site at 1586 NE Eight Street. The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to the incident and reported that one person was injured and taken to Jackson South Medical Center. Initial reports indicated the injured individual was a construction worker. Another crane incident took place the same day in West Miami. Near 8th Street and SW 63rd Avenue, a crane became out of control and rotating. Steel cables from the crane became wrapped around power lines, causing a short in the electrical system. While residents were left without power, luckily no one was injured.These two incidents were both extremely dangerous, and crews are lucky that more people were not injured. Unfortunately, injuries and fatalities involving cranes occur each year. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a crane accident, call our Miami construction accident lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. at (877) 475-2905.

Crane Accident Statistics

Between 2011 and 2015, there were 220 crane-related deaths, according to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over this 5-year period, this amounted to an average of 44 deaths per year. Texas saw the most crane-related deaths with 40 between 2011 and 2015. Florida had the third most crane-related fatalities at 11, just behind Illinois’ 12 crane-related deaths. California and Pennsylvania each had 10 crane-related deaths during this time period. A little more than half of the crane-related deaths occurred because a construction worker was struck by an object or piece of equipment. Many of these fatalities were because of a falling object or equipment, more specifically, an object falling from a crane. Additionally, transportation crane accidents and workers falling to a lower level were common.

Florida and much of the south has a distinct advantage when it comes to holiday driving—there is lower chance of bad weather. The temperatures in Miami and around the state fall a little, but not where near the temperatures needed for snow, sleet, and freezing rain, like what is experienced on the east coast and in the Midwest. This lack of severe weather makes it a bit safer to drive around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Unfortunately, these holidays are still known for a high rate of car crashes and fatalities.

As we approach Thanksgiving and the entire holiday season, Florida drivers need to prepare for getting about safely and avoiding crashes. If you are in a collision over the holidays this year, do not hesitate to contact a Miami car accident lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. at (877) 475-2905.

The Holidays, Drunk Driving, and Car Crashes