Articles Tagged with Miami personal injury attorneys

The term “personal injury” usually brings to mind car accidents, but this broad legal term is associated with a number of different injuries resulting from any type of negligence. Medical devices that are defective, negligence on the road or in a long-term care facility, and even improper instructions on how to handle dangerous chemicals could come into play in personal injury cases.

If you or a loved one have experienced a personal injury or wrongful death related to any type of negligence, you may want to find an attorney that can help you obtain the compensation you and your family deserves. The Miami personal injury lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz, PA provide FREE initial consultations to discuss cases involving such accidents. Simply call (305) 371-6000 or toll free at (877)-475-2905. You can also contact us online at info@gslawusa.com.

The Role of the Plaintiff in Personal Injury Lawsuits

In many cases, someone who is injured as a result of another’s negligence may not have physical injuries, but rather, emotional injuries. There are many examples where mental anguish or trauma may be even more significant than any physical harm that could have been sustained.

Although we live in an age where mental health awareness is more prevalent than ever, the law has been slow to adapt to mental injuries that don’t stem from physical ones. There has long been concern that allowing people to recover for only mental distress, with no physical injury or impact, will lead to false claims, and is too difficult for a defendant to disprove.

The Impact Rule

When preparing for a personal injury trial, it’s easy (and important) to focus on the evidence and testimony that will be presented. But what many personal injury attorneys often forget is a process that is perhaps the most important part of the personal injury trial: picking a jury.

Jury Selection

Jury selection has its own very complex set of rules and laws. And while everyone is in theory guaranteed a jury of their peers, that right is balanced with the right of parties to strike jurors, and challenge jurors, with and without cause.

Florida’s liability system is based upon what is known as comparative fault, or comparative liability. What this means is that if you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, a jury at trial can reduce your award by any amount that you were negligent—that is, the extent that you were responsible for your own injury.

This often comes into play in a slip and fall, where a defendant may claim that you should have been looking where you were going, or in an auto accident, where a defendant may allege that you could have avoided the accident. But a negligent defendant in a recent case argued a novel theory, attempting to prove that the kind of shoes a woman wears allows a court to apportion liability to her.

Woman Slips in High Heels

When someone suffers a heart attack, we normally think of that as a natural occurrence, unpreventable by anything that anybody could have done. However, while it certainly is a natural occurrence, more and more, law is evolving to recognize that certain property owners have an obligation to have working, operational defibrillators, and to provide training to those who may need to use them.

A tragedy during an athletic contest has now lead the Florida Supreme Court to expand significantly the instances where a defibrillator may be required.

High School Athlete Dies on the Field

This tragic injury story happens all too often in South Florida: Someone is served alcohol, gets drunk, drives, and kills or injures someone on the road. We all know this kind of behavior is illegal. But often the question becomes what liability the bar has for serving the alcohol when the patron drives away and injures someone. (Note that the laws apply to any establishment serving alcoholic drinks, but for ease, we’ll just call them collectively, “bars.”)

When Bars Serve Intoxicated Patrons

A patron has consumed loads of alcohol, and maybe even displays signs of intoxication. Yet, the bar continues to serve alcohol, knowing that someone has had too much, and will likely be getting into a car shortly. Is the bar liable if that person injuries someone?

In all kinds of cases, witnesses can provide vital information that can lead a jury to enter a verdict for damages in favor of an injured person. Witness information is of particular importance where facts are disputed. A single witness, especially neutral witnesses with no stake in the outcome, can be the difference between recovering for an injury and being left with nothing.

In many cases, witnesses voluntarily come forward. For example, someone who witnesses a car accident may remain on the scene, and provide their contact information to an investigating police officer, or a treating doctor may be expected to be called as witnesses. 

But what about witnesses that may not have come forward voluntarily? Or aren’t even aware they have information to provide? How does someone who is injured get their information to call them to testify at an injury trial?

Florida law has a very complex and often expensive pre-suit process for anyone who seeks to sue for medical malpractice. The pre-suit requirements are mandatory, and must be strictly complied with. But in many cases, it may not be so clear whether an injury was caused by medical malpractice or not. If that question is answered incorrectly, the result can be devastating for a case.

The Pre-Suit Requirements

If someone believes they have been a victim of medical malpractice, notice to all prospective defendants must be sent, describing the nature of the claim and the injuries. The potential defendants can then reject the claim, offer to settle it, or request the claim go to arbitration.

In a bold decision, Miami Dade’s Judge Cueto struck down Florida’s Workers’ Compensation statute as unconstitutional. The ruling is considered a victory for injured workers.

The History of Workers’ Compensation

Before workers’ compensation, employees injured on the job sued their employers in the same manner other victims sued over their injuries. Legislatures eventually realized this was not fair for many workers, as personal injury suits frequently took a long time to settle. Worse, some on-the-job injuries did not result from negligence, but merely from working in an inherently dangerous job. Many injured workers had little or no monetary relief for their injuries.

As our Miami injury attorneys have discussed before, although swimming can be a great way to relax on a hot summer day, it is important for people appreciate the risks associated with this activity, especially for children. These hazards have been highlighted by a recent incident in which twin toddlers drowned in a swimming pool accident at a Deerfield Beach apartment complex.

Tragic Accident Involving Twins

Harmani and Harmony West, both just two years old, drowned in the pool of Tivoli Park, the apartment complex where they lived with their mother. According to authorities, the girls were found floating in the pool by a couple visiting from North Carolina. Efforts were made to resuscitate the children, who were immediately taken to Broward Health Medical Center, where they were pronounced dead. Preliminary investigation revealed that the pool area was gated, but the lock on the gate was broken, allowing the girls to access the pool area.