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Miami Personal Injury Law Blog

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.

Linking seat belt usage and liability claims

The need for both drivers and passengers in Miami to wear safety belts while traveling in a car is well-documented. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that wearing a seat belt reduces one’s risk of dying or sustaining serious injuries in a car accident by half. However, many may still choose to avoid seat belt usage. This gives rise to the question of whether or not a driver is liable for injuries to passengers who were not wearing safety belts at the time of an accident.

Florida’s Safety Belt Law makes it unlawful to:

  •          Drive a vehicle without being restrained by a seat belt.
  •          Drive a vehicle in which front seat passengers are not wearing a seat belt.
  •          Drive a vehicle in which any occupants under the age of 18 are not secured by some form of safety restraint.

Porsche cleared in lawsuit stemming from Paul Walker’s death

It is not uncommon to see multiple wrongful death lawsuits filed from a single incident in Miami, especially if the incident in question involved multiple victims. In some cases, the families of those victims may choose to collaborate in their efforts. However, if a consensus cannot be reached on the conditions that may have contributed to an accident, then the parties with differing opinions may choose to go forward with their lawsuits alone. However, a ruling in one case could potentially set the tone for what may be the outcome in others.

A recent ruling in one of the three wrongful death lawsuits filed against the automaker Porsche may have such an affect. Each of the three cases is related to the death of actor Paul Walker. The star and another man were killed in 2013 when the Porsche vehicle they were in crashed and caught fire in California. Walker’s teenage daughter and his father have each filed their own lawsuits, as has the widow of the man he was traveling with. The Walkers contend, among other things, that a seat belt malfunction may have contributed to the men’s deaths. The driver’s widow, however, says that flaws in the vehicle’s suspension and its fuel cell, along with a lack of crash protection were contributing factors to the accident. That claim was recently dismissed, while the Walkers’ lawsuits are still ongoing.

Are rollerbladers bicyclists or pedestrians?

Inline skating or rollerblading has become increasingly popular amongst adults in Miami in recent years. Not only does it serve as a cheap form of transportation, but people are finding it to be a fun and effective form of exercise. If you are considering taking up this activity, you may wonder whether you are considered to be a bicyclist or a pedestrian while rollerblading. The answer is that at times, the law considers you to be both. This can present some confusion, particularly if you happen to be involved in a collision with a car.  

According to the Inline Skating Resource Center, Florida law grants the same rights to rollerbladers as it does to others operating self-propelled vehicles (including bicycles), which is that of the operator of any other form of vehicle. However, the law also places a special restriction on you while rollerblading. It states that roller skaters (and by extension, rollerbladers) shall not go onto roadways except when crossing at a sidewalk. When so doing, you are considered to be a pedestrian.

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Law Offices of Ivan A. Schertzer
16211 NE 18th Avenue
Suite #100
North Miami Beach, FL 33162

Phone: 305-940-0007
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Fax: 305-354-8895
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