Articles Tagged with Miami

courtroom-300x225-300x225Let’s start with the assumption that you are well-educated and charming. You are board certified and have all the specialist certifications anyone in your field could hope to have in a lifetime. You love your family and your country. You know your field. People call you an expert and seek your opinion. So, does that mean you are ready to be an expert witness? Not necessarily.

The Miami personal injury lawyers at the Wolfson Law Firm have worked with experts in Florida for more than 60 years. Here are the top 8 things our attorneys say you should know about testifying as an expert witness:

  1. You are what your records say you are. If there are any public records that might prove embarrassing, you can rely on a decent trial lawyer to find them. Understand that part of trial work is investigating the witnesses. That includes civil and criminal records; any state or federal records that are available; and even the property appraiser. If you are going to be an expert in court, then you should make sure your online presence in social media is pristine.

In the last days of December, five people were killed in a wrong-way wreck on I-95, drawing attention to the danger of wrong-way collisions on Miami roads. NBC Miami notes that, according to one FDOT study, between the years of 2009 and 2013, 280 wrong-way crashes have killed 75 people on Florida highways.

photodune-1220998-wrong-way-xs

Yet, why do wrong-way crashes take place and what can drivers do to prevent them? It is unclear why the woman responsible for the accident in late December was driving on the wrong way in the northbound express lanes of I-95.

The National Transportation Safety Board recently released a special investigative report on wrong-way driving. According to the report, alcohol and drug use are main contributing factors to wrong-way driving accidents. According to the report, more than half, and as many as one-third of wrong-way accidents involved drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol. Older drivers were also found to be more likely to be involved in wrong-way driving collisions. Drivers over 70 years of age were more likely to be in these accidents than right-way fatal driving collisions.

Florida’s seat belt laws are designed to reduce the impact that personal injury accidents have on individuals and families. Those who are not wearing a seat belt in the event of an accident are more likely to get injured and killed than those who buckle up. Under Florida Law, all front seat passengers are required to wear a safety belt and all passengers under 18 years of age are required to buckle up regardless of where they are seated in the car. The law is subject to primary enforcement, meaning that an officer can pull you over if he or she has reason to suspect that you aren’t wearing your seat belt.

Rollover Vehicle Accident at Busy Intersection With Emergency Pe

Primary enforcement of seat belt laws has been credited with increased seat belt use and compliance, as primary enforcement laws give officers the ability to protect children who are not properly restrained.

Yet, the law isn’t perfect. According to an article published in the New York Times, the ACLU recently reported that black drivers are more likely to face primary enforcement of seat belt laws in Florida than white drivers. In some counties the disparity in the number of stops was significant. For instance, in Orlando, black drivers were three times as likely to be stopped for not wearing a seat belt than white drivers.

The short answer is “If you say it, then you prove it”. That seems fair, right? But do all cases have to be proved “beyond a reasonable doubt”? The answer is no and the reason why makes sense.

The United States Declaration of Independence declares “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” as inalienable rights. The 5th Amendment offers protections to our “life, liberty, or property” noting that these rights cannot be taken from us without due process of law.

If your life, liberty or pursuit of happiness is at risk then you are most likely a criminal defendant and it is the government that is trying to take these rights from you. As such, the burden on the government should be as high as possible to protect your rights. As everyone has heard in nearly every movie or TV show, that burden is generally stated as “beyond a reasonable doubt”. That makes sense too.

Most people believe that if you go to an emergency room, they cannot refuse to treat you. That is not entirely true. Consider the case of the late Barbara Dawson. She died after being forced to leave an emergency room in handcuffs.

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Barbara Dawson went to Calhoun Liberty Hospital in Blountstown, Florida. She sought treatment for breathing problems. Dawson was examined and discharged by the physicians. She refused to leave because she was still in pain even though the hospital staff said she was medically stable to leave. Police were called to the emergency room and she was charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing. Dawson was escorted out of the hospital in handcuffs. She collapsed as she arrived at the officer’s car. Dawson was readmitted to the emergency room. She was pronounced dead about an hour later. The Florida state medical examiner ruled that she died from natural causes due to a blood clot in her lung. Dawson’s family has retained counsel to file suit against the hospital and others who may be responsible for Dawson’s death.

In a case such as this, the attorney will investigate whether negligence or medical malpractice took place and whether it caused Ms. Dawson’s death. The investigation will include a review of her medical history as well as her care and treatment. The policies and procedures of the hospital will also be examined. One question will be whether this was an isolated incident or is it a systemic failure. If the policies and procedures place patients at risk then the danger zone extends well past Ms. Dawson.

You have to take the stairs. You have no option. The stairs are damaged and you try your best. You fall and you are seriously injured. You aren’t sure what happened or even why. You just know that you are really hurt and don’t know what to do. Is the building owner responsible? Even if you cannot testify to exactly what made you fall? The answer is yes.

Accident report

In the premises liability case of Christakis v. Tivioli Terrace LLC, the Fourth District Court of Appeal held that it was an error for the trial court to enter a directed verdict in favor of the defendant where there was conflicting evidence as to causation. In this case, the plaintiff could not testify to what made her fall. However she did produce evidence in the form of photographs and expert testimony that the stairs were damaged. The Court ruled that the plaintiff was not building inference upon inference because the damaged stairs were proven fact through the photos and testimony. As such there was a conflict in the evidence which should be left to a jury to decide.

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If you are injured on public or governmental property or private property, you should contact a qualified personal injury lawyer. It will be vitally important to secure critical evidence to support your claim including but not limited to:

In the last days of December, five people were killed in a wrong-way wreck on I-95, drawing attention to the danger of wrong-way collisions on Miami roads. NBC Miami notes that, according to one FDOT study, between the years of 2009 and 2013, 280 wrong-way crashes have killed 75 people on Florida highways.

photodune-1220998-wrong-way-xs

Yet, why do wrong-way crashes take place and what can drivers do to prevent them? It is unclear why the woman responsible for the accident in late December was driving on the wrong way in the northbound express lanes of I-95.

The National Transportation Safety Board recently released a special investigative report on wrong-way driving. According to the report, alcohol and drug use are main contributing factors to wrong-way driving accidents. According to the report, more than half, and as many as one-third of wrong-way accidents involved drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol. Older drivers were also found to be more likely to be involved in wrong-way driving collisions. Drivers over 70 years of age were more likely to be in these accidents than right-way fatal driving collisions.

‘Tis the season for eggnog, fruitcake, and driving around Miami to view the incredible holiday light displays. Yet, if you plan to drive to explore the festive displays this Christmas season, before you leave home, take some steps to keep yourself safe while driving. The displays can be distracting for the person behind the wheel and no one wants to get into an accident during the holidays. The Miami Herald recently published a list of the most stunning holiday light displays in the city. With the kids off school and many people taking time off, there’s no better time than to head out and get into the spirit by looking at these painstakingly constructed displays.

Rollover Vehicle Accident at Busy Intersection With Emergency Pe

Here are some driving tips to consider before you enjoy the holiday cheer:

  1. Don’t drink and drive. It goes without saying, but drinking and driving is dangerous and leads to many preventable deaths and injuries each year. According to MADD, over 600 people are killed by drunk drivers every year. The cost of drunk driving fatalities is about $3.5 billion annually. These numbers don’t factor in the emotional and psychological toll that these accidents exact on victims. Lives and families are shattered by drunk drivers. Prevent a tragedy.

A mistrial was declared in Broward Circuit Court when several jurors voiced concerns about their personal safety from a criminal defendant and his supporters. The jurors were also worried about identity theft because of their personal information being in the public record. The jurors’ fears and concerns, while rare, were indeed valid.

 

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The mistrial was declared on the second day of trial because the defendant could not be assured of a fair and impartial jury. The defendant had been charged with second-degree murder for shooting someone outside a Davie, Florida pool hall. Jury selection lasted two day and 180 potential jurors were interviewed before selecting eight jurors for the trial. On day two of the trial, one female juror asked a question that ultimately caused a mistrial. She asked Broward Circuit Judge Jeffery Levenson if her personal information, such as her name and address, was part of the public record that could be viewed by anyone. Later other jurors told the judge that they were also concerned with whether their personal information was secure from not only identity thieves but from the defendant and his supporters. The mistrial was declared and the trial was reset for early 2016.

This incident involves two issues – juror safety and identity theft. As for juror safety, jurors’ identities are generally known to everyone. Usually, a juror will not be asked about their race, religion or sexual preference. They will be asked about what neighborhood or city they live and work in. They can be asked about marital status, family members and even what magazines or websites they like. Jurors can be asked to sit for a criminal or civil case. In general, jurors are not anonymous except in rare high profile criminal cases. In most criminal cases, potential jurors are concerned about their safety from the defendant and his/her supporters but that issue is usually handled in jury selection. Juror safety concerns are almost exclusively reserved to criminal trials because of the nature of the proceedings. The defendant is charged with a crime, often a violent one, and as a result is in danger of losing their life or liberty. Juror safety concerns in criminal trials is of paramount importance to the judge, the lawyers and to the system itself.

Insurance companies classify injury claims for evaluation and efficiency. One of the main categories are MIST (Minor Impact Soft Injury) or LIST (Low Impact Soft Tissue) claims. Once a claim is designated as a MIST claim, the insurance company will set a value based on other MIST claims and rarely increase the offer unless there is a significant and serious change in the facts of the claim.

M.I.S.T – MINOR INJURY SOFT TISSUE CLAIMS Jonah Wolfson Miami

One of the goals of an insurance company is efficiency. It is how they maximize their profits. Think about how insurance companies encourage or reward you for going online to self-service your policy and premiums. Every time you handle your insurance issues online, you are not costing the company any employee time – and time is money.

By classifying cases insurance companies, reduce your claim to simple numbers. There is no consideration of the shock, pain or emotional toll caused by the accident as it is irrelevant to the insurance company. They can give a young claim representative hundreds of MIST claims with talking points and marching orders to handle all of the claims the same way.

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