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Miami Personal Injury Law Blog

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.

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.

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
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