Articles Tagged with Miami personal injury attorney

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

A recent deadly scaffold collapse in Miami reminds construction companies to use caution when erecting and utilizing scaffolding on construction sites.  Construction companies use scaffolding frequently. The apparatus is more stable than a ladder and allows workers to move about more freely without worrying too much about losing their balance. However, scaffolding can create a false sense of security on behalf of those employees using it. Considerable attention must be paid to the safety requirements of scaffolds. Failure to do so can result in serious injury and death from collapsing equipment. A construction company may be held liable for the injuries suffered by workers from scaffolding failures. Miami construction accident attorneys with decades of experience will fight to hold construction companies responsible for your injuries or your loved one’s death caused by scaffold collapses.

The recent deadly collapse occurred in Miami in mid-October of 2016. Construction workers set up scaffolding on the outside of a high-rise building. Without warning, the scaffolding failed. The collapsing scaffold cast debris in all directions injuring workers and passers-by alike. The person killed as a result of the collapse died from a heart attack as a result of fleeing from the falling structure. The debris crashed down on a worker’s head who, despite wearing a helmet, suffered a severe laceration to his head.  The cause of the accident remains under investigation by the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA’s primary function is to protect workers from unsafe or unhealthy working conditions.  Accordingly, OSHA issued safety standards for scaffolding use. The safety standards impose an obligation on employer and employee alike to make sure that they are using scaffolding appropriately and safely while on the job. The security requirements may seem so obvious that they need not be stated. Notwithstanding, scrupulous adherence to the rules can save lives and prevent injuries.

According to CNBC, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) uncovered a $1 Billion scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid. As a consequence of this investigation the owner of more than 30 Miami-area nursing homes, Philip Esformes, was indicted by a federal grand jury in July of 2016. The DOJ also accused a physician’s assistant and hospital administrator for their role in stealing and laundering money from the federal government since 2009.  The depth and breadth of the fraudulent scheme shows how elders and the infirm are at the mercy of unscrupulous health care providers. Miami personal injury attorneys who have experience recovering damages for injuries and abuse in nursing homes will fight to protect your loved one in a nursing home or long-term care facility.

The DOJ alleges that Esformes, with assistance from the other individuals involved, bilked the faltering health care system to fund a ridiculously lavish lifestyle. All at the expense of some of our most vulnerable people in our community: the elderly and the poor. Prosecutors alleged that Esformes subjected his residents to unnecessary medical treatments so that he could bill Medicare for the treatment. Additionally, and perhaps most egregiously, Esformes allegedly drugged some of his patients with prescription narcotics. The over prescription of narcotics renders the patient incapable of weaning themselves off of the drug. As a result, the patient remained bound to the facility because they were addicted to the painkilling drugs. Prosecutors referred to this abuse as a “cycle of fraud.”

Local law enforcement authorities are aware of the problem. The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, which represents the Miami-area, indicated that the South Florida area is replete with Medicare and Medicaid fraud. Consequently, law enforcement is paying close attention to facilities in the hopes of preventing this type of wide-spread fraud in the future.

Traffic accidents involving commercial motor vehicles can cause substantial injuries. Unfortunately, these accidents occur all too often. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that in 2014 there were 3,424 injuries in large truck crashes that resulted in at least one fatality while 82,000 of the accidents resulted in at least one nonfatal injury.

Commercial motor vehicles are subject to a variety of regulations both state and federal. Some of these include the number of hours a driver can operate and other physical conditions and limitations that passenger vehicles are not required to follow including acceleration, braking, and visibility-related issues which are all more likely to result in substantial injuries than accidents only involving passenger cars. There are several important factors to consider when analyzing why commercial motor vehicle accidents are more likely to cause injury than automobile accidents involving passenger cars. Our Miami injury and accident attorneys have years of experience representing clients injured in auto, truck, and commercial vehicle accident cases. Some other factors our lawyers will analyze in a truck or commercial vehicle accident case include:

  • Size and Weight: Commercial motor vehicles weigh between 16,000 to 20,000 pounds. For example, any commercial motor vehicle that weighs beneath 80,000 pounds in gross is permitted to operate without a special permit. Commercial motor vehicle collisions involve objects of much greater size and force coming to a stop, which greatly increases the likelihood of injuries occurring.

Does the term collateral sources seem interesting? Probably not, and it probably sounds like a term that has absolutely nothing to do with getting recovery from a negligent party for your injuries. But in fact, collateral sources can directly affect the amount that you receive from a jury verdict in a lawsuit brought for personal injuries.

What is a Collateral Source?

Collateral sources are sources of money that you receive that compensate you for damages or injury, which aren’t part of your injury lawsuit.

We often hear about punitive damages in movies or on TV. It seems easy to get them, if you believe Hollywood’s interpretation of punitive damages. But in Florida, punitive damages are not easy to get, and there is even a special statute that dictates when and how punitive damages can be sought.

What Are Punitive Damages

As the name implies, punitive damages are intended to punish, or at least, deter others from acting in a similar manner in the future. This is different from traditional damages, which seek to compensate the injured victim for loss.

It seems that more cars including additional GM products are facing recalls based on design and manufacturing defects. Some of the problems are those that could potentially cause serious or catastrophic injury, reminding us that often our vehicles may not be as safe as we believe they are, and that it’s important to pay attention to the recall notices in the news. The Miami personal injury lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. are keeping a close eye in the wake of the latest  General Motors recall fiasco.

Airbags a Big Recall Target

The rumor is true, that often an airbag can cause as much injury as a crash itself. Still, airbags often save lives, and are an important protective tool for drivers.

We often think that in lawsuits of any kind, including injury cases, that attorneys’ fees are automatically awarded to the prevailing party. But in our system, attorneys’ fees are only awarded where there is a contract or statute providing for them.

In ordinary negligence cases, there is no provision for attorneys’ fees. A jury cannot award attorneys’ fees and a defendant is not obligated to pay them, even where the defendant was found liable by a jury.

But Florida has a unique fee-shifting statute that can be used to obtain attorneys’ fees. The problem is that it can also be turned around, and used to make injured victims pay the fees of negligent defendants.

When a personal injury case goes to trial, many attorneys are prepared for the trial itself. They may line up witnesses, prepare evidence, and have a good working knowledge of trial rules. But many attorneys don’t realize how important it is to not only understand the rules of evidence at trial, but to also understand the rules of appeals.

Preserving Matters for Appeal

Contrary to popular belief, an appellate court cannot review just anything that may go wrong or be improper at trial. An appellate court can only consider arguments that are made at trial. This is often called “preserving” an issue for appellate review. And it means that a trial lawyer must understand what has to be done at trial to preserve problems for appellate review.