Articles Tagged with Miami

Many South Floridians rely on buses and public transportation on a daily basis. But how safe is it for you and your family? What happens if you get injured because of the negligence of a bus driver?

Miami Injury lawyer Jonah Wolfson

Broward County paid over $6.5 million dollars to settle claims caused by bus drivers from 2008 to 2013. There have been a number of news articles on the safety records of bus drivers in Miami and Broward County. The Sun Sentinel published an expose called “Bad bus drivers stay behind wheel despite many accidents – LENIENT POLICIES AND SLOPPY ENFORCEMENT AT BROWARD COUNTY TRANSIT TO BLAME”. With more than 4,500 bus stops and 125,000 daily passengers, Broward County Transit drivers deal with everything from crime to accidents. There is even a database with the incident and accident reports filed with Broward County Transit. The Miami Herald regularly reports on bus accidents causing injuries and sometimes fatalities.

If you or a loved one are injured on a bus it is important to seek the advice of a personal injury attorney. The attorney can first investigate whether the bus was privately or publically owned. This will make a big difference on how your claim moves forward. If it is a public bus, like Broward Transit or Miami-Dade Transit, then your personal injury attorney will send a formal notice as required by law. This notice will begin a six month waiting period while the public agency investigates your claim. If your claim is not resolved in those six months, then you can file a lawsuit. If you do not send the notice, your case can be dismissed until you comply with the statutory notice requirement.

If you settle your personal injury claim, you will need to sign a release to get the money. A release basically means that you are releasing, or letting go, your claims against the responsible party. In a car accident, that usually means the owner and operator of the other vehicle as well as their insurance company. In a slip and fall injury, it would be the property owner. In a medical malpractice case, the doctor and possibly the hospital would want a release in exchange for a settlement.

Miami Accident lawyer Jonah Wolfson

Releases are covered by basic contract law. There is an offer to settle and, if agreed, an acceptance of that offer. But there must be what is called a “meeting of the minds” which means that the terms of the offer and acceptance must be agreed to by both parties. If the acceptance does not match or “mirror” the offer, then there is no agreement.

In a recent Florida case, the importance of having a “meeting of the minds” was clearly demonstrated. After a car accident, the injured party offered to settle her claim against the other driver for his policy limits with USAA Insurance Company. In addition, she offered to release her claims against the other driver. However, her attorney specifically advised USAA that she would not sign a release containing a hold harmless agreement nor an indemnity agreement. The attorney also warned USAA that any attempt to release anyone other than the other driver would act as a rejection of her good faith offer to settle.

If you are injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to damages which can include future medical expenses and loss of earning capacity. However, Florida law requires that you must present sufficient evidence that a jury could, with reasonable certainty, determine the amounts of future damages.  Florida courts will not allow speculative future damages that are unsupported by the evidence – no matter how seriously a person is injured.

Consider the case of Erin Joynt who was severely injured when she was run over by a Volusia County Beach Patrol truck while sunbathing at the beach. She was vacationing with her husband and children from Kansas when a lifeguard ran over her head and body. Ms. Joynt suffered a fractured skull, memory loss, broken ribs, and a collapsed lung. She continued to have a lingering paralysis on the left side of her face. Her story received international attention.

Miami car accident lawyer

Joynt filed a negligence suit against the County, seeking damages for the injuries she suffered. After a four-day trial, the jury awarded $2.6 million in compensatory damages, broken down as follows: $2 million for past and future pain and suffering; $500,000 for diminished earning capacity, and $100,000 for future medical expenses.

According to the Miami New Times, Miami-Dade is the top county in Florida for fatal bike accidents. Every year we hear tragic stories of bikers who have died as a result of a driver’s careless distraction, neglect, speed, or recklessness. When bicyclists are hit, they face more serious injuries. Without the protective chassis of a car, bikers are more likely to suffer serious head injuries. Sadly, in car accidents involving bicyclists, drivers are more likely to walk away, while bikers are more likely to face life-altering injuries. Personal injury attorneys in Miami can assist bikers who have been hit or injured.

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Yet, the onus is often on bikers to keep themselves safe. Bikers are constantly reminded that they must follow the same laws as automobiles. Likewise, bicyclists are encouraged to wear helmets to help prevent head injuries. Yet, recent studies indicate that helmets may not keep bikers as safe as all the publicity for helmet use indicates.

According to Bicycling magazine, helmets were designed to prevent wearers from catastrophic skull-shattering or cracking injuries, but they are not designed to prevent bikers from concussions. The reality is that concussions can be far more dangerous injuries because they may not be immediately diagnosed on the scene of the accident. Furthermore, an untreated concussion can lead to brain damage or even death.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be facing a range of new concerns—from lifestyle changes related to your injuries to lost time at work and medical expenses. The last thing from your mind may be your social media posts or that golf accident you had two years ago. Yet, if you are seeking representation from an accident lawyer in Miami to receive a recovery for your injuries, your social media use, prior injuries, and even the kind of medical care you receive can have a huge impact on the outcome of your case. Here are five things to be aware of if you’re in the process of working with or finding a car accident attorney.

Miami Personal Injury  Lawyer

  1. Disclose all prior injuries. You must let your attorney know about any injuries you may have suffered before your accident—even if they are minor. If these injuries come up in court and aren’t previously disclosed, they can hurt your case. An extreme example of this was recently reported in the Miami Herald. A man won a $184,429 personal injury recovery, but had this verdict thrown out when it came to light that he had sustained injuries when he was tackled by police officers after taking a drunken golf cart joyride through the city.
  2. Avoid posting to social media. Anything you say in social media may be used against you—whether or not it pertains to your case. Even an innocent vacation photo can impact how a judge or jury perceives your claim. You can significantly damage even a straightforward case if you post the wrong picture or say the wrong thing. Your best bet is to avoid social media until your case is over. Or, if you must post something, pass it by your lawyer first.

If you slip and fall at Publix, Target, Walmart or most large retailers, chances are your fall was videotaped by a store surveillance system. You probably think this is a good thing because then everyone can see what happened. Not so fast.

Miami Injury lawyer

 

Most major retailers have closed circuit video surveillance systems for two main reasons. First is theft prevention. The second, and equally important to the retailer, is to defend against premises liability claims. Under the current law, these stores typically object to producing the video until AFTER the claimant has testified under oath and that decision rests with the trial judge.

 

 

The decisions on the issue have evolved over the years. Originally the Florida Supreme Court said that defendants could withhold video surveillance tapes until after the plaintiff testified. The video in question was taken after the accident occurred and while the claim was pending. This is the type of video taken by the private investigator hiding in the bushes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, every year, slip and fall injuries cost Americans close to $34 billion for medical and hospital expenses. Older adults are more prone to the most serious injuries resulting from slip and falls, though individuals at any age can suffer broken bones, head trauma, or other injuries as a result of a slip and fall. When falls occur, there is a 20% chance that the fall will result in a serious injury. The CDC reports that falls can cause brain injury, wrist fractures, ankle fractures, and hip fractures. These injuries can lead to lifestyle changes, result in missed time at work, and may make it difficult for some individuals to live independently.

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Traumatic brain injuries resulting from slip and falls can be particularly pernicious. In some cases, it can take a while before patients experience the full range of symptoms of a head injury. Insomnia, memory loss, vision problems, changes in mood, and dizziness can all be symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury. Slip and fall victims may not be immediately aware that these changes can be linked back to their accident. This is why it is important for slip and fall victims to follow up with physicians following release from the hospital and to make sure that they are tested properly for all symptoms.

Some slip and fall victims may experience post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their accident. They may avoid situations similar to the circumstances leading to their fall. This can lead to major disruptions in life activities. Older adults are most prone to suffer following a slip and fall because their injuries—psychological and physical—are more likely to result in a more sedentary lifestyle. A slip and fall accident can affect an elderly adult’s health years after it takes place and can even shave off years from a person’s life.

Imagine this: you’re involved in a serious car accident. Let’s further say that following the accident you were found to be largely at fault. Despite this, you face serious medical expenses, sustained injuries that will result in missed time at work, and are facing a lengthy recovery period.

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Can you seek damages for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages?

The answer is yes. Florida uses the Pure Comparative Fault rule when determining negligence and damages following a car accident.

In June alone, there have been several reports of cars crashing into homes. CBS Miami reported that a car crashed into a North Miami home. While no injuries were sustained as a result of the accident, the news reports failed to mention the extent of property damage the accident caused.

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In another accident, a driver drove into a supermarket, panicked, pushed on the accelerator, crashed into two cars on Northeast 6th avenue, then crashed the car into an apartment. CBS News reports that the driver thought she was hitting the brake when she was in fact pushing down on the accelerator. The Toyota Corolla drove through a glass window, striking a 29 year old employee who sustained injuries to her side and to her head. The woman who lived in the apartment told CBS News that she would be dead if she had been in her apartment at the time of the accident.

While car-building collisions are rare, the recent rash of these kinds of accidents is a sober reminder that when these accidents take place, innocent victims suffer injuries and property damage.

If you have been operated on, one of the biggest worries a person has is the fear that the doctor might leave something in you.  If that happens, usually if it is an inert object like metal, there will hopefully be less damage.  Nonetheless, leaving a needle or metal object inside a person can be very painful and is simply inexcusable.  As far as items like sponges, it is even worse.  These sort of items can kill in very little time.  If the doctor’s don’t recognize what is going on, a person can die in a matter of days from a sponge left in him or her. 

a blue stethoscope liegtn in a medical book

a blue stethoscope liegtn in a medical book

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