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Miami Personal Injury Law Blog

Can you sue for wrongful death following a boating accident?

With its beautiful weather and access to the ocean, Miami can truly be called a boater’s paradise. However, tragic boating accidents claim the lives of people off of Florida’s coasts every year. If you have lost a loved one to a boating accident, you may be wondering if the boat owner or pilot could be held liable. The emotional and economic impact of a family member’s death can be unbearable. Therefore, while seeking compensation following a fatal boating accident may not be something you are actively looking to do, circumstances may leave you with no choice.

Many believe that the legal doctrine of assumption of risk applies to boating. This philosophy states that your right to recover damages following an accident is forfeited if you or the one whom you represent understood the danger inherent with the action being undertaken. When applied to boating, it implies that passengers understand the risks associated with boating, and accept them when they step on the boat.

Miami-Dade site of most pedestrian deaths in Florida

Pedestrians in Florida enjoy virtual year-round sunshine, making it a much easier and more pleasant place to be outside on foot than some other parts of the country. Navigating icy parking lots, for example, is not something that Floridians need to do. However, Florida pedestrians do have to be continually on the lookout for careless drivers. Whether in a crosswalk, on a sidewalk, in a parking lot or somewhere else, pedestrians hit by vehicles can suffer severe consequences such as brain damage or even death.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Miami-Dade County was the deadliest place in Florida for pedestrians in 2013. The county led the state by a longshot in pedestrian deaths with 73 such fatalities that year. Broward County had the second highest number of pedestrian fatalities with 48. Close together in the next positions are Palm Beach County with 35 deaths in pedestrian accidents and Orange and Duval Counties with 34 such deaths each.

Miami-Dade ranks second in bicycle deaths

The virtual eternal sunshine in Florida makes it a great place to enjoy riding a bicycle. However, the need to share the road with all types of vehicles ranging from standard passenger cars to large tractor-trailers and more make bicycling a sometimes dangerous endeavor. Bike awareness is important yet many drivers do not give people on bikes as much notice as they should. A single negligent driver can render a bicyclist in need of long-term medical care, owing thousands of dollars in medical expenses.

Taking a look at statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration makes it easy to see that residents in and around Miami who ride bikes shos 124uld take safety seriously. In 2013, 11 people on bicycles were killed in Miami-Dade County. Only Broward County experienced more fatalities that year with 13 such deaths. In all of Florida, 133 bicyclists were killed in bike crashes. The year before, that number was 124 and in 2011 it was 126.

Two people killed, one injured after being hit from behind

Florida residents can be vulnerable to being victims of serious car accidents in many different situations. A car collision can happen when a person is driving or riding as a passenger in a vehicle. As motorcyclists or pedestrians, people are at potentially even greater risk for serious injury from a car accident. It is also important to note that there are many ways that a person can be deemed a pedestrian. Walking for exercise, crossing a parking lot or strolling along a sidewalk are among the most common things that come to mind when thinking of a pedestrian.

 

Is a store owner held liable if you’re attacked while working?

Convenience stores are often the site of violent crimes in Miami. If you work at such a business and are injured in an attack, you may wonder if the store’s owner is liable beyond what he or she is required to provide through workers’ compensation. While each of these cases is unique, the state of Florida does set limitations on premises liability regarding convenience stores.

According to state’s laws regarding tortious actions, if the owner or operator of commercial convenience location takes sufficient steps to bolster his or her store’s security, then he or she may be immune to liability from the actions of third parties. The steps required to gain such immunity are outlined in Florida State Statutes 812.173 and 812.174. They include:

  •          Equipping stores with safety cameras and a silent arm.
  •          Maintaining a well-lit parking lot.
  •          Offering an unobstructed view of the inside of the store. This extends to limiting the amount of tint allowed on store windows.
  •          Implementing cash management policies such as having an on-site safe, signs indicating that cashiers carry less than $50 and limiting the amount of cash on-hand after 11:00 p.m.

Bike lanes in Florida

As more and more people in Miami focus on living healthier lifestyles, more and more bicycles are appearing on the city’s streets. Biking can not only be an excellent way to get in shape, but also a terrific alternative to motorized vehicle transportation. Many bicyclists and motorists alike, however, fail to fully grasp the idea of a bicycle being an actual street-worthy vehicle as opposed to a sidewalk-bound method of diversion. This can lead to an uneasy tension between bicyclists and drivers on the road, which often results in catastrophic accidents.

In an effort to make biking a safer mode of transportation, bike lanes have been placed near highways and roadways across the state. In the past, the use of bike lines was according to one’s preference. However, Florida state law now requires that all bicyclists use a bike lane if one is available. Thus, it’s important that the state’s bicyclists understand which areas are legally considered to be bike lanes, and which are not.

What are the lifetime costs of an auto-pedestrian accident?

If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto-pedestrian accident in Miami, your first concerns should be on recovery. Yet during the recovery process, you may start to ask yourself what the cumulative cost of the accident will be. Any thoughts of pursuing legal action against the driver involved in the accident may be far from your mind at first. If you are like most, you simply want to forget about what happened and move on with your life.

However, in many cases, the expenses associated with the accident may not allow you to. Given the lack of protection you or your loved one had when struck, the resultant injuries are likely severe or even catastrophic. The cost for the care required to treat those injuries can be enormous. Yet they don’t end at the hospital doors.

Florida’s requirements for nighttime bicycle riders

Bicycle riding can be an excellent way to get around in Miami. Yet those who choose to make biking their primary mode of transportation should be aware of the potential risks that it poses. It goes without saying that a bicyclist is at a much greater risk of sustaining serious injuries during an accident than a motorist. Thus, bicycle riders should try to avoid those situations where the risk of being involved in an accident is increased. One of those is while riding at night.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that in 2009, 48 percent of all bicycle fatalities occurred between the hours of 4 p.m. and midnight. One may read this and conclude that it is best for bicycles to be off the roads at night. However, there are certain cases where a cyclist may not be able to avoid night riding.

Who is responsible for keeping your apartment safe?

If there’s one place in Miami that you should be able to feel safe, it is in your home. Yet who is required to keep your home safe if you do not own it? The question of liability often comes up when people die in accidents or attacks in apartment complexes. While you may have your own moral obligation to keep yourself and your family safe, the law does place requirements upon landlords to maintain the safety of their rental units. A failure to meet them may serve as the foundation for a wrongful death lawsuit.

Florida law states that for all rental properties other than single family homes or duplexes, the landlord must see to the safety off all common areas on the property grounds. Common areas can include:

  •          Swimming pools
  •          Play and picnic areas
  •          Parking lots and canopies
  •          Walkways and Stairwells

Bike lane collision in Sarasota leaves man dead

Miami and the entire state of Florida in general are known for being very hospitable to bicycle riders. There are a good number of very clearly marked bike lanes that offer cyclists their own space when sharing the road with motorists. Just because these spaces are marked, however, doesn’t mean that collisions between vehicles and cars don’t happen. In any area where bicyclists share the road with motorists, both sides must maintain an awareness of each other. A failure to do so will often produce a catastrophic result (particularly for the cyclist).

Such was the case in a recent accident in Sarasota. Authorities are investigating the cause of a collision between an elderly driver and bicyclist. The cyclist was reportedly rushed to a local hospital after having been thrown from his bike in the collision. While the details of his injuries were not released, they were sufficiently serious to cause his death.

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Law Offices of Ivan A. Schertzer
16211 NE 18th Avenue
North Miami Beach, FL 33162

Phone: 305-940-0007
Toll Free: 800-639-8084
Fax: 305-354-8895
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