Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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:

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

Last September, an early morning boat crash claimed the life of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez and his two companions, Eduardo Rivero and Emilio Jesus Macias. The crash happened when the pitching ace’s boat ran aground into a stone jetty between PortMiami and the open ocean. Families of the two men killed with Fernandez recently filed personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against his estate, claiming that the baseball player’s negligence led to the men’s deaths.

When careless or reckless behavior causes an injury or a death, whoever caused the accident or injury can be held responsible for paying damages in civil court—even if that person did not survive the same accident. If your loved one was killed because of someone else’s negligence, our experienced Miami wrongful death attorneys can help.

Mystery Surrounds Crash

Self-driving cars are notably convenient and exciting, but the technology behind them has been increasingly associated with personal injury, one case having recently been fatal. According to reports, the family of a man who died while driving a car with its Autopilot function turned on is suing the manufacturer in an effort to not only receive damages but to also force the industry to make smarter decisions when designing and testing new automobile technology.

If you or a family member has suffered an injury while driving a car and are seeking damages, you will need an experienced attorney to assist you with your case. The Miami personal injury lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz, PA will work with you to help you achieve the reward you deserve. Call us at 1-877-474-2905.

Self-Driving Cars and Fatalities

Per Florida statute, a person shall be charged with driving under the influence if he or she has a “breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.”  In Florida, as in other states, DUIs are a daily threat to public safety. As a matter of fact, per Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (“MADD”), 27.5% of all traffic fatalities in Florida involve drunk drivers. In the 2014 alone, there were 40,677 DUI arrests.

A doctor, 61-year-old Eric Martin Spivack, living in South Florida, was arrested for the crash that killed a pedestrian in North Miami Beach. Spivack faces a DUI manslaughter charge.  Spivack, a cardiologist, was driving when he fatally struck Yakov Duboschinskiy, 77 years of age.  Duboshinskiy was crossing the street when he was hit. When police arrived at the scene, they noted that Spivack smelled of alcohol. A toxicology test would later reveal that Spivack had a blood-alcohol level of .087. This is above the legal limit of .08. Spivack also had traces of codeine in his system.  

If you or a loved one are a victim of a crime, it is imperative you hire an experienced attorney.  The Miami crime victim lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz, PA provide high quality legal representation. For more information call us toll free at 1-877-475-2905 or contact us online to set up a FREE initial consultation.

If you are a bartender, or if you own a bar, there is an important law that you should be aware of: Florida’s dram shop law. This law was recently argued in a Florida court following a fatal car accident. Terry Dinkins of Water Park, the owner of Acme Comic Superstore, caused said accident. The night of the accident he visited a bar for an event hosted by Acme. He then drove away from the bar with a blood-alcohol level of 0.20, and began driving in the wrong direction down State Road 436. Mr Dinkins then collided head-on with a gray Nissan. Sylvia Barajas and Brandi Cole, passengers of the Nissan, were killed on impact. Three civil lawsuits followed, one being against the bar. This lawsuit alleges that the bar was negligent under Florida’s dram shop law. This post will define Florida’s dram shop law and hopefully provide some clarity.         

How the Dram Shop Law Works in Florida

Upfront, various states have dram shop laws that allow injured people to seek compensation from a third party, such as a bar or a host at a social gathering, if that third party provided alcohol to someone who then caused an alcohol related accident. Florida’s dram shop law differs from other states’ dram shop laws. In Florida, per Florida Statute Section 768.125, if an individual willfully and unlawfully provides alcohol to a minor under 21 years of age or knowingly provides alcohol to a person habitually addicted to alcohol, that person, or bar, may be held liable for any injuries caused by the minor or the person who is habitually addicted.

The weather is drastically warming as we approach the summer. At the same time, more and more people are spending time enjoying outdoor activities. With this, it is important to take caution as accidents, sometimes fatal accidents, can occur when least expected. Recently, in Winter Park, Florida, a van slammed into a man who was walking down a sidewalk near the intersection of 436 and Aloma Avenue. The van knocked the man to the ground and kept rolling until it slammed into a sign and then a fire hydrant. The van then flipped over onto its roof. One witness reports that the victim saved his girlfriend from being hit by pushing her out of the way.  The victim suffered from a broken leg and a head injury.

If you or someone you love has suffered injury at the fault of another person, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. To increase your chances of compensation, it is imperative that you hire an attorney for your case. The Miami personal injury at Gerson & Schwartz PA lawyers are here to help. Our lawyers have provided high quality legal representation to injured people in Florida for over 40 years. We are dedicated to protecting our clients’ rights and helping them get back on their feet. For a FREE consultation, call (305) 371-6000 or contact us online.

Florida’s Relevant Law

In late December five people were killed in a car accident on 1-95 in northern Miami-Dade County when a woman traveled the wrong way down the opposite lane and crashed into a sedan carrying four people. The woman was driving southbound in the northbound lane when she struck the sedan, killing all four people in the car. Two of the passengers were not wearing seatbelts and were ejected from the vehicle. Both vehicles were moving at a high rate of speed and collided head on. Two more people were sent to the hospital in critical condition.

The four people inside the sedan were family members getting together for the holidays. Jose Martin Labrador, 52, and Gisela Gil-Egui, 48, were husband and wife and both worked at local colleges. Labrador was the director of education technology at Housatonic Community College and Gil-Egui was a professor of communications at Fairfield University.

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a car accident, contact an experienced Miami Car Accident Attorney.

Two people died in Madison County, Florida from a plane crash. WCTV reported that 32-year-old James Swiggart and 18-year-old Maitland Harvey, who were cousins, both died in the crash. They were flying from Ocala to Tallahassee in an experimental RV-4 plane and lost contact with air traffic controllers before the crash. If you lost a loved one in a plane accident, contact a Miami Wrongful Death Attorney.

The crash occurred in a heavily wooded area and it took authorities a long time to both locate and reach the crash site. There were no witnesses of the crash, although some area residents reported hearing a noise.

Swiggart was a navy pilot although the plane he was operating was a personal aircraft. The National Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation into the crash.

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