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Miami Personal Injury Law Blog

Snapchat target of personal injury lawsuit

Will the Snapchat speed filter bringing on the next wave of personal injury lawsuits? If you are unfamiliar with Snapchat, it is a popular social networking app which allows users to send messages to one another quickly; and the messages disappear about 10 seconds after they are opened.

The app has a number of filters, including one that superimposes the speed at which the sender is travelling when the video or photo is taken. So, if you take and send a picture to your friend while in a car that's travelling at 45 mph, your friend will receive the photo with the caption '45 mph' superimposed over it. The app actually gives users virtual trophies when they send videos and pictures using these filters, creating an incentive for people to use more of their features.

Understanding Florida’s wrongful death damages cap

When many in Miami hear the term “wrongful death lawsuit,” their heads many fill with assumptions about multi-million dollar settlements. Yet when they hear that Florida, like many states, puts a cap on the amount of damages one can recover in such a lawsuit, the initial numbers they envisioned may dwindle significantly. An explanation of exactly where this cap applies may help dispel any confusion.

There are typically three types of damages one can recover as part of a wrongful death lawsuit. These include:

  •          Economic
  •          Non-economic
  •          Punitive

Avoiding the risks Pokémon Go presents to pedestrians

You may have recently noticed a growing number of people in Miami walking around in odd locations while staring at their cell phones. This rise in outdoor activity may be due to the groundswell of popularity in the new mobile app known as Pokémon Go. While there may be nothing wrong with encouraging outdoor activity, the past experiences of some of our clients has taught us at The Law Offices of Ivan A. Schertzer that distracted walking can be just as dangerous as distracted driving. If you are considering joining the millions who are already playing this game, you may first want to familiarize yourself with the very real risks that it may present.

Pokémon Go is advertised as an augmented reality game that uses you phone’s GPS to plot a map of your local area. As you travel, “PokeStops” appear in certain areas. When you walk to these areas, Pokémon monsters appear on your phone’s screen, which you then catch and collect on your phone.

Who is liable if you slip and fall at the office?

If you are like most in Miami who work outside of the home, then you likely consider your office to be as safe and familiar to you as your own residence. Yet hazards at work may lead to slip-and-fall accidents just as easily as they would at other place. Such accidents may not only serve to destroy the sense of security you feel at your office, but they also may leave you questioning who is liable: your employer or the building owner (provided they are not the same party)?

In certain cases, the answer may be neither. If your own negligence caused your fall, then your employer as well as the building owner may not be deemed responsible. Fortunately, you still may file a worker’s compensation claim to help cover any injury expenses you may accrue.

Assigning liability for bike race accidents

Cycling has become a popular outdoor pursuit in recent years. The Outdoor Industry Foundation reports that as recently as 2012, over a quarter of Americans listed it as their preferred recreational activity. Many cyclists in Miami may also participate in bike races. However, as many of those that we at The Law Offices of Ivan A. Schertzer work with can attest to, with participation in such races may come an increased risk of bike accidents.

If you participate in a recreational bicycle race, the potential accident hazards you may face can include:

  •          Crashing into another racer.
  •          Encountering hazardous road or course conditions.
  •          Colliding with a spectator.
  •          Being struck by a race support vehicle.

Pompano Beach woman killed in collision with train

When people in Miami hear of a car being struck by a train, their first assumption may be that the driver was at fault for having stopped on the train tracks. That, or the driver’s car must have stalled and could not be moved before being hit by the train. However, many may not take into account the idea that a driver may simply have been stopped on the tracks while awaiting a traffic signal or due to heavy congestion. Given the ever-increasing number of cars on the road, it may not require such a stretch of the imagination to envision such a thing happening.

That appears to be exactly what happened in a recent collision between a car and a train in Pompano Beach. A family driving in their car was stopped on the railway while awaiting a red light. As they waited, they say that the warning indictors that a train was coming turned on. Fortunately, three of the occupants of the vehicle managed to exit and get to safety. Sadly, a fourth occupant, the mother and grandmother of the other three, was still in the car when the train collided with it. Reports say that she was killed instantly.

Reviewing Florida’s employee death benefits

Most in Miami likely maintain the opinion that one of the safest places for them to be is their jobs. Even those who hold what others may consider to be dangerous occupations may feel as though their experience and expertise mitigate any risks their jobs may pose. Unfortunately, statistics may show that line of thinking to be incorrect, as every year hundreds of people are killed at work. Information shared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 228 Floridians died while on the job in 2014 alone.

When one dies at work, he or she may leave behind a family or other dependents that rely largely on the financial support that his or her job provides. Therefore, Florida law has enacted measures to provide death benefits to qualifying family members of those killed at work. First and foremost, employers of people killed in workplace accidents are required to pay funeral expenses up to $7,500. After that, every person who qualifies as a dependent of the deceased’s is entitled to the following percentages of his or her average weekly wage:

  •          Spouse: 50 percent
  •          Spouse (with children) 50 percent plus 16.667
  •          Children (if no surviving spouse): 33.33 percent each
  •          Parents: 25 percent each
  •          Siblings and grandchildren: 15 percent each

Could pedestrian injuries from car collisions soon be obsolete?

Victims of automobile accidents can have their day in court, but would likely agree that it would be better not to have been in an accident in the first place.

Now that seat belts, airbags, and other auto-safety features have become ubiquitous, automobile makers are starting to think more about safety features for autonomous vehicles.

Cars that drive themselves use mechanisms such as intuitive speed reduction, object sensitivity, and automatic braking to reduce or prevent accidents involving other vehicles.

But what about accidents involving pedestrians? Google thinks it has the answer to preventing unnecessary injuries.

What common injuries are seen in auto-pedestrian accidents?

It may go without saying to most in Miami that auto-pedestrian accidents tend to end very badly for the pedestrians involved. Yet have you ever considered what are the most common injuries sustained by pedestrians when they are hit by cars? Furthermore, how might understanding these injury trends influence your thoughts concerning the filing of a civil action following such a collision?

According to study information shared by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, the most common areas of the body to sustain injuries in auto-pedestrian accidents are ranked as follows:

  1.        The lower extremities
  2.        The head, face and neck
  3.        The upper extremities
  4.        The thorax
  5.        The spine
  6.        The abdomen

Making the case for dogs being considered dangerous property

While many Miami residents rely upon dogs to provide love and companionship, we at The Law Offices of Ivan A. Schertzer understand that these pets may pose a risk to visitors on a person’s property. If you or a family has been attacked and bitten by a dog at a friend or relation’s home, the resulting injury expenses may leave you needing to pursue a liability claim. The question becomes what freedoms does Florida law allow for when initiating such action.

The state’s “Dog Bite Law” can be found in Section 767.07 of the Florida State statutes. In it, liability for any injuries or damages that you sustain in a dog attack is placed squarely on the animal’s owner, no matter if the incident occurred in a public place or the owner’s home. This includes cases where you may be on a person’s property executing any assigned duties of the state or postal service. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

Office Location

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

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