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Miami Personal Injury Law Blog

Damages available after a car accident in Florida

There are more than 800 motor vehicle accidents every day in Florida. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports that between 2012 and 2013, there was a 12.65 percent increase in the car crash rate, with more than 316,000 such accidents in 2013.

Of those incidents, more than 210,000 resulted in injury and more than 2,400 caused fatalities. When a person suffers or dies due to someone else’s negligence, the victim or survivors are entitled to file a lawsuit seeking compensation. There are several damages available, including the most common, compensatory damages. These take into account anything the victim lost as a result of the injury, such as the following: 

  •        A loss of income
  •        The cost of medical treatment
  •        When necessary, the cost of a funeral
  •        Property damage to a vehicle, clothing or other items

Driver runs stop sign, injures six including child

Florida residents must be continually aware of the dangers on the roads every day. Distracted drivers, drunk drivers and more can cause serious injury to innocent persons. In a flash, lives can be changed and even lost. Victims and family members are left to deal with their pain and suffering, pay for medical expenses and more.

Recent news reports indicate that the actions of one man have left six people including his own self facing these types of challenges. According to one source, the man was speeding after a traffic stop and was witnessed running a stop sign. It was at this point that his passenger car ran into a Broward Sheriff paramedic truck with three firefighters inside. Police officers used a wrench to break the windshield of the truck to free the firefighters who were otherwise stuck inside their vehicle.

Understanding what an attractive nuisance is

A child has a curious mind, one that can lead him or her into trouble without proper supervision or security measures. At the Law Offices of Ivan A. Schertzer, we know that property owners in Florida should take the necessary precautions to prevent children and anyone else from entering dangerous territory. Unfortunately, there are people with attractive nuisances onsite who do not properly secure the area.

Florida law supports an attractive nuisance doctrine, which means a negligent property owner could be held liable for any injury a child sustains. A nuisance is loosely defined as anything that would pique children’s interest and entice them to enter the property. One of the most common examples of this in Florida is a swimming pool. Some other attractive nuisances include the following:

  • Wells or tunnels
  • Animals
  • Machinery such as lawnmowers or tractors
  • Fountains

What constitutes a premises liability lawsuit?

If you have recently suffered an injury on someone else’s property, you may be wondering if you should file a lawsuit. Florida property owners typically carry liability insurance to cover the cost of such incidents. Those claims are only valid in certain circumstances, yet they can be quite costly when substantiated.

Under Florida law, people who suffer slip-and-fall accidents must be able to prove that the property owner or establishment knew of the dangerous condition. Further, the owner of the establishment or residence may only be held responsible if one or more of the following has occurred:

  •        The owner did not do anything to remedy the hazard.
  •        The condition existed for a long enough period of time that the establishment should have known about it.
  •        The condition was foreseeable.

The dangers alcohol poses to elderly drivers

The state of Florida has strict laws when it comes to punishing people who are convicted of a DUI. Measures such as mandatory ignition interlock devices for certain offenders are intended to discourage drinking and driving. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 676 people in Florida were killed in a fatal car accident last year when the driver had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher.

A recent study points out that impairment can begin much sooner than that legal threshold, especially in older Americans. Researchers at the University of Florida evaluated the effect that just one alcoholic beverage can have on two age groups: those who are 25 to 35 years old and those who are 55 to 70 years old.

Express lanes alleged to increase danger on Miami freeway

Miami residents may not have extreme winter weather conditions to face on the roads but they must still navigate many other dangers when driving or riding as a passenger in motor vehicles. Road hazards, a distracted driver, a fatigued driver, a drunk driver and more can cause a serious injury or even fatal car accident in the blink of an eye.

Such situations can occur on any type of road, at any type of day or night but one stretch of I-95 is getting a lot of attention lately. Many, including the Florida Highway Patrol, consider the express lanes to be highly dangerous. When these lanes were developed six years ago, the Florida Department of Transportation reduced the width of the shoulder from the standard 15 feet to just below eight feet and also reduced the width of the driving lanes. Poles were put in between the express lanes and the regular lanes in an effort to keep people from switching lanes in undesignated locations.

What are Florida's bicycle laws?

Every year, bicyclists are injured or killed on Florida roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the state had 122 biker deaths in 2012, making it the second most fatal state for riders. In order to prevent an accident from occurring, both cyclists and motorists have a responsibility to share the road.

According to Florida law, a bicyclist is expected to follow traffic signs and patterns. Additionally, the law states that cyclists must do the following:

  •        Yield to pedestrians when on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk
  •        Have a bicycle equipped with properly working brakes
  •        Have a white light attached to the front of the bike and red reflector and lamp on the rear when riding between sunset and sunrise
  •        Use the bike lane or ride as close as possible to the curb

Wrongful death claims and legal considerations

Every year, countless people across the state of Florida and the entire country lose friends and family members to serious illness and medical complications. And while many medical-related deaths are unexpected and unavoidable, others are the result of negligence and/or wrongdoing on the part of medical professionals. Pursuing wrongful death claims against liable parties can go a long way to hold them accountable for their actions, but potential claimants must first meet a number of legal standards regarding Florida medical malpractice claims.

According to the Florida Legislature website, those who pursue wrongful death claims against medical professionals or healthcare providers are responsible for illustrating that the actions that allegedly resulted in the victim’s fatal injuries were negligent. An important aspect of demonstrating negligence is showing how the actions in question failed to comply with customary professional standards of care. For instance, the claimant is obligated to prove that the healthcare provider or providers identified as defendants in the wrongful death lawsuit failed to offer a level of care or precaution in compliance with current standards. Injuries that are possible and reasonably foreseeable within the context of the particular case and course of medical intervention taken may not be considered grounds for pursuing medical malpractice claims, therefore.

Is my landlord responsible for my injuries?

As an apartment tenant in the state of Florida, you may appreciate the fact that you are not responsible for maintaining the grounds of your apartment complex. It is largely the responsibility of managers and/or owners to maintain apartment properties and address any and all hazardous conditions that can arise. In the event that you or a loved one sustains an injury on the grounds of an apartment complex, it is important to understand if and how the property owner may be held liable for the incident.

 While legal liability once fell largely on the tenant to fix and prevent dangerous conditions, the National Paralegal College explains that the landlord and property owner are now primarily responsible for ensuring that apartment complexes are safe for tenants. Therefore, there are several circumstances under which you may be able to hold your landlord liable for injuries sustained on the apartment property.

Pedestrian accident concerns and statistics

As long as you and your loved ones are standing clear of traffic on the sidewalk and/or another pedestrian zone, you may feel fairly confident that you are safe. Unfortunately, however, we here at the Law Offices of Ivan A. Schertzer deal with many cases where pedestrians are seriously and even fatally wounded in car accidents. That is why Florida personal injury experts and public safety agencies alike are taking efforts to spread awareness of pedestrian accidents, and promote safety measures across the state.

According to the Florida Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic Safety Plan, prepared for the Florida Department of Transportation, people in the state are especially vulnerable to pedestrian accident injuries and fatalities. In 2011, it was estimated that 11 percent of all pedestrian accident fatalities in the country occurred in Florida, even though the state only accounted for around 6 percent of the entire population of the US. And while the state’s pedestrian fatality rate was believed to decline slightly from the year before, it was still estimated to be two times higher than the national average.

Office Location

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
North Miami Beach Law Office Map