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Miami Personal Injury Law Blog

Linking CTE to bicycle accidents

Many in Miami may believe that those unfortunate enough to suffer bicycle accidents, whether they be from collisions with cars or other cyclists, are likely out of the woods if they’re able to survive the immediate aftermath of such events. However, for those accidents that may have involved head trauma, the risk of mental deterioration and other physical ailments could remain with them throughout the rest of their lives. This is due to the fact that recent news may be starting to indicate that a condition commonly associated with athletes could result from more common, everyday activities.

According to the Brain Injury Research Institute, chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a degenerative brain condition associated with concussions and traumatic brain injuries. It results from an abnormal buildup of the normally stabilizing tau protein in the brain, leading to interference with certain neuron functions. Up until recently, CTE was linked primarily to football players. Yet cases have now been observed in players from other sports, as well as members of the military.

What is the dangerous instrumentality doctrine?

In theory, every driver on the road in Miami could pose a risk to you. However, evidence has shown that certain demographics tend to present a greater danger than others. Teen drivers may be amongst these. Given their relative inexperience behind the wheel, this may come as little surprise to many. Yet if and when you are struck by a teen driver, what sort of legal recourse do you have? If you sue the teen, the likelihood that he or she has sufficient assets to cover your accident expenses may be slim. What about his or her parents?

The legal philosophy of vicarious liability states that one can be held liable for the actions of another. In relation to car accidents, Florida has specific legal rule that assigns such liability. Known as the dangerous instrumentality doctrine, the Supreme Court of Florida attributes its origin to a 1920 case which produced a ruling that when a driver’s negligence causes an accident, the party that entrusted him or her with a vehicle may be made to answer for his or her recklessness. A subsequent ruling in 1990 reaffirmed this idea, further stating that one who gives a another driver access to his or her vehicle is in the best position to guarantee the resources needed to cover his or her potential negligence.

The personal representative’s role in a wrongful death case

The sudden death of loved one in Miami can throw your family into turmoil. Many of those that we here at The Law Offices of Ivan a. Schertzer have worked who have experienced such a tragedy may rely on those named as the personal representative of the deceased’s estate to guide them in their actions. If you have named as the executor of a will for a family member or friend who has died suddenly, you may feel a duty to him or her to try and secure some financial stability for the family in his or her absence. This leads to the question of what sort of action are you, as a personal representative, allowed to take in a case involving wrongful death?

In truth, you as the personal representative are the only one who can actually initiate a complaint of wrongful death. As such action is typically done at the request of the family, the issue of their not being able to pursue it themselves may be moot. As executor, you can file to recover the costs of any medical or funeral expenses paid out of the estate’s assets. The only exception to this would be if another party has already paid them, in which case he or she would be reimbursed.

Parking lot accident leaves woman dead, several cars damaged

Most in Miami may consider themselves to be safe when walking through a parking lot. This may be due to a general assumption that once drivers pull into parking lots, they realize the need to reduce their speed given that they are in such close proximity to pedestrians. However, some find that certain drivers bring the same dangers found on the open road with them to parking areas. In some cases, they may simply be driving a little too fast for the given conditions. Yet in others, their negligent actions may simply be inexplicable.

Such appears to be the case for a parking lot collision in Ohio that took the life of an elderly woman. Authorities took a man into custody after he struck the woman while driving backwards through the parking lot. Along with the striking the woman, the man also reportedly ran into several parked vehicles. While it was not reported if drugs or alcohol may have played a factor in the accident, law enforcement officials did share that the man had been driving with a suspended license. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment, while the woman was reported to have already have died by the time officials first arrived at the scene.

Curious kids: legal recourse for injury on another's property

Typically, private property owners, or those under the control of property, have a duty to keep the premises in a safe condition to prevent injury to those who enter. They must either repair or warn invitees or licensees of any known dangers. If they don't, they could be liable for injuries that occur.

But owners generally do not have a duty to trespassers-except children.

Here's why.

Liability for those injured on premises. But who are they?

Under the theory of premises liability, private property owners have a duty to maintain their premises. Their property must be free from dangerous conditions and hazards that could cause injury to visitors.

But who's considered a visitor?

Under the law, there are different types-and different duties are owed to each.

Does it matter who was at fault in your bike accident?

If you have been involved in a bicycle accident in Miami, the most important question in your mind may be who should pay for your expenses. You have likely heard the term “no fault” insurance used in reference auto accidents in the state. This means that no matter who is at fault in a vehicle collision, the payment for your accident injury expenses will come from your policy. Given that auto insurance is the most common insurance relied upon to cover the cost of a bicycle accident, you would assume that the same “no fault” philosophy applied. This may lead you to ask if it even matters who was at fault in your accident.

From an insurance prospective, it may not. As was previously mentioned, the state’s no fault philosophy means that your insurance will be the primary payer of all your accident expenses. However, that does not mean that fault may not ultimately factor into your accident. Remember that your insurance policy places limits on the amount it will pay towards your injuries and the repair or replacement of your bike. If your accident expenses exceed these limits, then you are left with the decision of pursuing compensation from the driver. There may be a high likelihood of this happening. The National Safety Council information shared by the website PedBikeInfo.org shows that the average cost of a bicycle accident can range from $57,000 when dealing with non-incapacitating injures to as high as $4.538 million for those resulting in death.

Reviewing liability for injuries sustained at baseball games

For many of our clients here at The Law Offices of Ivan A. Schertzer, spring marks the time for them to get out and take in a game played by Miami’s local Major League Baseball team. However, many of them discover that major league stadiums present a number of unique risks to spectators. If you happen to be injured while watching a game, you may be wondering if any legal recourse is available to you.

The greatest risk that you may encounter at a major league ballgame is foul balls. While netting is in place to protect those sitting directly behind the batter’s box, it does not extend to the dugout areas or down the baselines. A foul ball can come off a bat at extreme speeds that give you little time to react. A 2014 Bloomberg study shared by the Boston Globe showed that on average, over 1,700 spectators are injured by foul balls at major league stadiums every year.

Statewide texting while driving bans; how does Florida stand up

Since the invention of the smartphone, auto accidents from distracted driving have increased all across the country.

Lawmakers everywhere have passed laws banning certain mobile device usage behind the wheel, like texting while driving, to mitigate the rise in these seemingly preventable collisions.

These laws, however, vary among the states-some much more than others.

New York may have the answer to combating texting while driving

As distracted driving accidents have increased, states all across the nation have taken action and passed laws banning texting while driving for various drivers.

But critics have questioned the effectiveness of these laws. After all, how can police officers actually prove that someone is texting behind the wheel? The state of New York seems to have the answer.

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