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Miami Personal Injury Law Blog

Florida’s bicycle positioning laws

With its great weather, beautiful beach fronts, and heavy pedestrian traffic, Miami is a great city for bicyclists. Yet simply because the city lends itself well to bicycle traffic does not mean that bike riders do not still face risks on the road. In fact, according to the Florida Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic Safety Plan released by the state’s Department of Transportation in 2013, Miami-Dade County saw nearly 2500 bicycle injuries and fatalities between 2007 and 2011. Bicyclists are already at an inherent disadvantage when on the road with motorists, and thus both should be mindful of each in the hopes of avoiding a collision.

While the job of accident avoidance doesn’t fall primarily to bicyclists, they should still be aware of how to best position themselves on the road in relation to vehicles as well as other bicyclists. According to the Florida State Statutes, the state’s bicycle regulations cover the requirements for ideal positioning while on the road. For example, when riding on a one-way roadway, a bicyclist is required to ride as close to the left-hand curb as possible.

Linking dram shop laws and wrongful death lawsuits

Anytime that anyone in Miami loses a loved one unexpectedly is a tragedy. That tragedy may be compounded if the death was due to something completely preventable, such as drunk driving. The families and friends of those lost to drunk driving accidents often face much more than an emotional loss; they're also left to supplement any support that the deceased provided, be it parental, emotional, or financial. According to information shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 10,300 families were forced to deal with the pain and suffering of such a loss in 2012 alone.

For many, the only hope of surviving the financial strain of this loss is through the potential for compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit. In these cases, the obvious target of such action would be the responsible driver. Yet can liability also be extended to any other parties who may have contributed to his or her intoxicated state?

Considering pedestrian accident victim demographics

Cities like Miami, Florida, strive to be pedestrian-friendly, as residents and tourists alike can benefit tremendously from walking to their destinations. Beyond that, many people do not have the option of using a car or public transportation to get where they are going. The very reasons that prompt many people to rely on walking as a primary source of transportation are also linked to the fact that pedestrian accident rates are especially high among some of the most vulnerable members of our community. It is for that reason that we here at the Law Offices of Ivan A. Schertzer are committed to spreading awareness about child and elderly adult pedestrian accident incidents.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrian accident fatalities were actually on the rise in recent years. In 2011, almost 4,500 people lost their lives in pedestrian collisions. That figure reflects an increase in pedestrian deaths from the year before, and is notably higher than fatal incident rates from 2009. The NHTSA explains that everyone is vulnerable to being involved in a painful pedestrian accident, but notes that children and elderly adults are at the highest risk of being hit by a vehicle while standing.

Is there a cap on medical malpractice damages in Florida?

As a surviving family member of someone who lost his or her life as the result of some form of medical malpractice, you understand all too well the pain and suffering that can follow such a tragedy. Incidents of medical negligence and/or maltreatment can have very real and traumatic effects on patients and their families, often resulting in fatal injuries and serious financial difficulties. As a result, it is important for you and your family to understand your rights as wrongful death claimants, as well as be aware of the damages that may be available to you in such cases.

Modern Healthcare discusses the current state of wrongful death damages in medical malpractice lawsuits in the state of Florida. In the spring of last year, major changes were made to medical malpractice wrongful death tort law, as the state’s highest court eliminated caps placed on noneconomic damages. For over 10 years, medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuits resulting in financial awards for pain and suffering were subject to a cap of $1 million in damages. That Stipulation applied to all cases, no matter the number of claimants who were identified as being eligible for pain and suffering damages.

Stats reveal Floridians’ vulnerability to pedestrian accidents

No matter if they are walking, running or simply strolling along, an increasing number of Florida residents are taking to the sidewalk to get where they are going. Florida’s warm weather and seemingly endless array of recreational activities encourage people to step outside whenever possible and enjoy their surroundings. Unfortunately, though, the large number of pedestrians on Florida sidewalks and pedestrian zones also translates into a higher number of painful injury incidents.

Pedestrian accident incidents are a major issue across the country, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Close to 76,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic collisions in 2012, and more than 4,700 accident victims were fatally wounded. Those troubling figures reflect a six-percent increase in fatality incidents from the year before, and account for 30 percent of all traffic-related injuries. While pedestrian accident injuries are a major problem on the national level, there is evidence to suggest that incident rates are especially high in the sunshine state.

Recognizing the hazardous conditions that trees can create

You don’t have to live in Florida very long to appreciate the natural diversity of the state. Centuries-old trees line streets and sidewalks everywhere and add value to both personal and commercial properties. Unfortunately, though, the abundance of fully grown and long-standing trees can present a number of premises liability risks to you and other passersby. We here at the Law Offices of Ivan A. Schertzer have a great deal of experience handling cases where clients sustained serious and even fatal injuries as a result of improper tree maintenance.

The American Society of Consulting Arborists discusses the importance of regular tree maintenance and assessment, explaining that large and old trees can pose significant dangers. Trees are exposed to a huge number of environmental factors and interference, which can not only compromise the integrity of their surroundings and root systems but also cause damage that is not obviously visible. For instance, disease and insects can kill trees from the inside out and years of high wind conditions can leave even the strongest looking tree irreparably damaged.

Efforts made to improve police bicycle accident reports

Promoting exercise and cutting down on fuel costs, bicycle riding is becoming an increasingly popular form of transportation across Miami and other metropolitan areas. Unfortunately, however, higher numbers of bicycle riders on Florida roadways is also translating into considerable increases and bicycle accident rates everywhere. It is for that reason that one group of researchers is making recommendations for police reporting when it comes to bike crash incidents.

In 2012, it is estimated that 49,000 bicycle riders sustained injuries in accident incidents with other vehicles, and almost 730 others were fatally wounded. Despite the fact that it has been policy for law enforcement agencies to write accident reports for bicycle collisions for a well over 100 years, reporting details and methods have not improved much over the years.

The leading causes of fatal boating accidents

Roughly two times a day, there is a boating accident in Florida. According to the Florida Wildlife Commission, in 2013 there were 736 incidents and 62 deaths related to a fatal boating accident. The commission reports that many of the incidents involved victims falling overboard or drowning. The right education could prevent many of these and other factors that lead to serious accidents on water.

The U.S. Coast Guard states that alcohol is a leading factor in many a fatal accident related to boating. In fact, more than half the incidents involve alcohol use. The Coast Guard reports that people driving a boat has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10 or higher, they are 10 times more likely to be killed in an accident. This is because several items will increase the effects of alcohol, such as the following: 

  •        Waves
  •        Sun
  •        Wind
  •        Noise
  •        Boat motion

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.

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

Phone: 305-940-0007
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