Articles Posted in Accident

car wreck accident south florida miami personal injury
I was hurt on a motorcycle am I entitled to PIP coverage? Considering that injuries to motorcycle riders in accidents are more likely to be of greater severity, this puts the rider at great risk of both financial and physical trauma in the event of a crash.  PIP is not available to motorcycle riders or passengers.

The driver of a car who is injured in a crash can sue for damages over and above the maximum on his PIP if medical bills exceed that amount. He may also sue for pain and suffering but only if the injury was considered permanent. This permanency threshold rule does not apply to motorcycle riders. The bike rider may seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance company without being required to pass any threshold.  PIP is not available in Florida even if the driver (or passenger) of the motorcycle has PIP coverage on another 4-wheel vehicle.

I was hurt while a passenger on a County/City Bus am I entitled to PIP coverage?  The term “motor vehicle” under which would be required to carry PIP (No-Fault Coverage) excludes from its definition buses and taxis used in mass transit.  Under this scenario no PIP would be available.  Medical bills incurred would be payable only through an individual or group health insurance policy or out-of-pocket by the injured party. Of course the threshold requirement in accident cases where PIP benefits are available is no longer an issue in these cases. What that means is there is no requirement that the Plaintiff sustain a permanent injury as defined in §627.737(2)(a-d) as described hereinbelow:

What can be more exhilarating than the wind through your hair and the adrenaline rush of a chopper hugging a country or deserted road?  Very little beats that thrill.  Unfortunately, the hazards of motorcycling might outweigh the fun riding one can be.  As a Miami Motorcycle Accident Attorneys, our firm has seen the aftermath of one of the less fortunate riders.  As a long-time resident of Florida, I am constantly amazed at how unaware of the surroundings many of our senior citizens are.  An 18-wheel tractor trailer “came out of nowhere.”  Translation – did not see a huge truck; what chance does the biker have to be seen by that very same driver.

What types of hazards are there?

Busy intersections are intersections are inherently dangerous places for all motorists, particularly when those intersections are busy. At an intersection, vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists are traveling across one another’s paths, often perpendicularly. In addition, while a two-way intersection is dangerous enough, many urban areas have five-way or even six-way intersections, often resulting in extremely complex traffic patterns that are difficult to anticipate.

Hemos realizado recientemente un análisis sobre la disminución de valor de su automóvil en caso de accidente.

En ésta  ocasión queremos continuar con éste tema reafirmando algunos puntos del blog anterior y explicando porqué usted debería iniciar el reclamo.

Primero verifique las siguientes circunstancias fácticas:

workers compensation personal injury lawyer miami south florida

Worker’s Compensation and Negligence Claims

An employee performing his assigned job duties can be injured by a third party who has little or no link to the employee’s business. These injury cases have special legal concerns.

In most cases, employees injured by independent third parties can file workers’ compensation claims through their employers’ insurance companies AND separate third-party negligence claims against those who inflicted the injuries.

slip and fall personal injury in south florida and miamiSlip and Falls – Ways to not make a bad situation worse in the Miami Area and Florida!

You should read this blog because a slip and fall can happen to anyone, anyplace and at any time.   For example, a bathroom at a movie theater, a department store, a service station or almost anywhere the injured party has a right to be.  The accident can be caused by a foreign substance, defect or negligently maintained premises.  Although outside the scope of this blog there are “static” and “transitory” conditions that may give rise to liability on the part of the property owner or entity in control of the premises.

A static condition or defect can be defined as something which is not inherently dangerous in and of itself.  Static conditions or defects are typically found in places where such conditions or defects are expected. Examples are cracks in sidewalks, depressed areas in pavement, manholes, curbs, drainage culverts, etc.

It is not our nature to comment on political matters in out notes. We would like to focus this analysis from a purely pragmatic stance. The word pragmatism is thrown around constantly of late by many politicians and commentators. However, the use of the pragmatism as a form of analysis is perverted in the mainstream.

Pragmatism, is an essential American philosophy. The idea behind pragmatism is to analyze things from a data driven or scientific point of view. In other words, to analyze circumstances based on factual analysis, rather than focus on ideological or partisan points of view. This ideology has percolated below the surface and influenced American endeavors since the 1870’s. Indeed, it has been a blessing to this great nation due to its nature in finding solutions without being hinged to ideals, and ultimately infused with a forward looking stance.

We would like to remain pragmatic when it pertains to the issue of undocumented drivers in the state of Florida and in the Miami area in particular. As Miami Car accident attorneys we understand profoundly issues pertaining to undocumented drivers. It would appear that about 23% of drivers in Florida are  uninsured or underinsured. This would mean that if you are injured in an accident in Florida, then there is a 1 in 4 probability that the person who caused the injury has no coverage. This statistic may be higher as Florida law does not require bodily injury coverage, which covers injuries caused by a driver to other parties. In other words, even if a driver has insurance, it may be possible that the coverage they acquired was inadequate to cover bodily injury damages.

Slip and fall, trip and fall cases are usually more difficult than automobile related personal injury claims.  Historically, and before the advent of surveillance technology, premises liability claims were often fertile areas of dispute.   Without video a defendant was often less likely to be found liable.

In slip and trip and fall claims there are two (2) main types, transitory foreign substances, (think banana peel) and static condition (think “worn” carpeting).  Florida has codified the elements necessary to establish a cause of action in foreign substance slip and falls by enacting §768.0755 Fla. Stat. (2010). The requirements are as follows.  In a slip and fall involving a transitory foreign substance the plaintiff must prove that the business establishment had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken action to remedy it.  Constructive knowledge may be proven by circumstantial evidence showing that the dangerous condition existed for such a length of time that in the exercise of ordinary care the business establishment should have known of the condition or the condition occurred with regularity and was therefore foreseeable.

Surveillance videos have gained popularity and many accident scenes are now routinely recorded.  It is important when involved in a slip or trip and fall that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.  It is critical to do this as soon as possible after the accident.  Most if not all experienced personal injury firms will immediately send a letter advising the defendant(s) to preserve any surveillance evidence and to avoid the destruction (spoliation) of any recordings, etc., it would have recorded contemporaneously at the time of the accident. Additionally, any experienced personal injury law firm will routinely send an investigator to gather evidence, photos, measurements, etc., to help bolster an injury claim.

As a practicing attorney dealing with car accidents in Miami since 1982 I have found that the most mischaracterized and misunderstood areas of the law is automobile insurance coverage.  Coverage.   often than not the client has been led into buying coverages that the agent suggests.  Just as often the agent will often advise against the purchase of UM coverage, commonly known as uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.  “Uninsured” is just that if you are involved with an uninsured driver or vehicle and you have purchased UM coverage you will be able to recover as if the ‘uninsured’ party was insured.  Underinsured is when the adverse party’s coverage is not adequate to compensate the injured party.   Again, the UM coverage will come into play as if the adverse party had the higher limit policy purchased by the injured party or insured.

The UM coverage is a problem due to the high number of uninsured or underinsured motorists in the south Florida area.  Many agents recommend against this coverage since it is not mandatory.  An agent recommending against this coverage (among others) in south Florida is ignoring the facts that approximately 25% of all vehicles in Florida are uninsured.

An equally egregious problem with agents is their zeal to sell a policy even if it does not meet the client’s needs.  Very often an agent will provide the absolute minimum coverage to make the sale.  Bodily injury liability coverage is not required to drive in Florida.  The real problem arises is when the driver who thought he had purchased full coverage purchased the minimum to legally operate a motor vehicle in Florida.  The agents rarely disclose all the negatives if a driver without bodily injury coverage is involved in an accident where there is bodily injury.  The main negative is liability of the offending driver.  The offending driver may lose their Florida Driver’s License without an agreement with the injured party.

So the entire family is packed excited and ready to go on their first sea cruise.  The excitement is more often than not well-placed.  Accidents happen in life.  Accidents happen in hotels, shopping centers, public places, private homes … the list is endless.  In most cases the cruise is a positive experience.   We need not discuss those here.  Injured cruise passengers are faced with many obstacles not usually encountered in other venues.  For the unlucky few here are some rather important guidelines.

The facts of any maritime accident will be strikingly similar to those in other venues.  But the differences between how maritime claims are processed and resolved might make the hair on potential cruisers stand up.   Most cruise lines are considered common carriers.  A common carrier is an individual or company that transports goods or passengers on regular routes at set rates, which includes cruise ships (and also airplanes, buses, ferries, and trains). A common carrier must use the highest degree of care to safely transport its passengers to their destination. But unlike the legal theory of strict liability, in which fault need not be established, passengers of common carriers must prove negligence or intent on behalf of the carrier (as governed by 47 U.S.C. § 206).

The first difference is “you are not in Kansas anymore”.  For the most parts cruise lines decide on a “reasonable” statute of limitations.  Of course to the cruise ship industry “reasonable” is a term of art.  In most cases the time to file is either 1 or 2 years from the date of accident.    South Florida, specifically the cruise ports of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa handle thousands of passengers daily.  More often than not cruise ship accident attorneys are locally accessible in each of these ports of departure.

Florida has approximately 14 million registered vehicles.  Traffic was tough enough to negotiate when the car was basically a fortress of solitude.  The only distractions (prior to the now ubiquitous mobile phone) that drivers had to navigate through were the errant pedestrian or perhaps the bikini-clad hot dog vendor.

As Miami accident lawyers, we know that distractions have geometrically proliferated since the advent of the Apple iPhone (among many other competitors).  Many of the smartphone features operate as lethal attention misdirection.  One only has to navigate through the already congested roadways of Florida to see the additional and extremely dangerous distractions that the smartphone has burdened Floridian commuters with.

Before the advent of the mobile phone and then its progeny, the smartphone, during the commute to work you would see women drivers putting on make-up, male drivers shaving at the same stop-lights… but at least their cars were stopped.  Smartphones changed the nature, frequency and severity of distraction with predictably lethal and obscene results.  Legislation has been passed or contemplated in almost every jurisdiction.  Studies reveal that a texting driving is as dangerous as an intoxicated motor vehicle operator.   In response to the rapid increase in smartphone distracted motor vehicle accidents Florida, in October, 2013 enacted a limited ban on text messaging while driving. The law poses no limitations on cell phone use, however.