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law booksIf you or someone close to you has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for your harm through a personal injury claim. Dealing with an injury can be difficult enough without having to think about the legal process. Clients often want to know how long the process will take, and the answer to that is simply that it depends on the situation. Perhaps understanding the stages of a personal injury claim can provide some clarity.

Personal injury is an area of law that covers situations in which a person suffers harm due to someone else’s negligence or misconduct.

The first stage of any claim involves investigating the facts of the case and determining whether or not there is a possible claim. The investigation portion may consist of visiting the scene of the accident, figuring out when the accident occurred, taking note of the weather conditions, speaking to witnesses, and obtaining medical records, bills, and other documents pertinent to the accident (such as a police report).

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Ifestivalt is not uncommon in Florida to go to an outdoor concert as well as other entertaining events. The sad reality is, however, that not all outdoor events turn out to be safe places. Many people in Florida and throughout the United States are injured each year at outdoor events. These injuries can range from minor to severe, and in some cases, they can be fatal. If you or someone close to you has been hurt in an outdoor event, it is important to speak to a Miami premises liability attorney who understands the nuances of personal injury law.

Outdoor concerts, art walks, street fairs, festivals, and sporting games are just a few examples of outdoor events that are frequent in Florida. If you were injured in an accident at an outdoor event caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a premises liability lawsuit against the at-fault party.

Injuries at outdoor events can happen in a variety of ways, such as slip and falls, objects falling from a height, gas explosions, uneven ground, faulty handrails, and other dangerous conditions that harm victims.

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fireworksThe Fourth of July is a festive time when families often gather to enjoy barbecues, drinks, and fireworks. Unfortunately, each year, a number of people throughout Florida and the United States are injured in fireworks-related accidents. If you or someone you know has been injured in this type of accident, it is important to seek the help of a Miami attorney who can assess the merits of your case.

While fireworks can be a great source of enjoyment, they also can cause serious injuries, including burns, eye injuries, loss of limbs, smoke inhalation, and even fatalities.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), slightly more than 12,000 Americans hurt themselves with fireworks last year. Roughly two-thirds of those injuries happened in the three-day period from July 4 to July 6, corresponding with the Fourth of July weekend. The data also show that most firework injury victims are male. In fact, males account for an overwhelming 74 percent of the injuries. In addition, children younger than 15 years of age account for over one third of all firework injuries.

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alligatorOver the last few months, we have read news headlines highlighting terrifying incidents involving children.

Just last month, a two-year-old boy was killed after he was pulled by an alligator into a lagoon near a Walt Disney World hotel in Florida. The boy’s body was later found intact about 10 to 15 yards from where he was attacked. It is believed the boy ultimately drowned in the water where the alligator left him.

In another case, a three-year-old child fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. The 450-pound gorilla inside dragged the boy across the space inside. About 10 minutes later, zoo officials made the difficult decision to shoot the gorilla to safely retrieve the child.

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constructionNegligence forms the basis of most personal injury claims. In Florida work accident cases, Florida workers’ compensation law typically bars an employee from litigating against the employer. This is because workers’ compensation is intended to be the exclusive remedy for an accidental injury or death suffered on the job. However, in certain cases, Florida law allows employees to pursue a general negligence claim against an employer. Negligence is the failure of a defendant to use reasonable care, resulting in harm to the injured party.

In Broward Executive Builders, Inc., v. Liliana Zota, as Guardian of Mercedes Zota, the Fourth District Court of Appeal of Florida recently reversed a jury verdict in favor of an injured worker and directed a verdict for the construction company.

A worker by the name of Mercedes Zota fell and sustained injuries while painting a ceiling above a second-floor catwalk in a home that was under construction. At the time of the accident, Mercedes was using a stepladder and two scaffolds positioned upon the catwalk to reach and paint the ceiling. The evidence at trial showed that the catwalk lacked the required guardrails in place to comply with the guidelines set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The jury ultimately ruled in favor of the injured worker and against the construction company.

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carIf you have been injured in an automobile accident in Florida, you will probably need to deal with your insurance company at some point. This can be a confusing and sometimes daunting process, which is why it is imperative to have a skilled Miami injury attorney on your side. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we can meticulously analyze the facts of your case, determine a legal strategy suited to your situation, and inform you of all your legal rights and options. With years of experience, we know how to handle personal injury claims, including advising our clients on all matters related to insurance companies.

In Government Employees Insurance Company v. Macedo, the plaintiff made a $50,000 settlement proposal in accordance with Florida Statute §768.79. The Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO) rejected the proposal on behalf of its insured client. The jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff, awarding more than four times the amount requested in the original proposal. GEICO appealed the final judgment, which required it to pay the plaintiff’s attorney’s fees and costs.

In Florida, many lawyers use the “Proposal for Settlement” (PFS), a document submitted by one party to the opposing party that outlines the amount of money the serving party wants in order to finalize a settlement. Rule 1.442 lists a number of requirements that must be met for the PFS. Florida Statute §768.79 should be read in conjunction with Rule 1.442. Under §768.79, if a judgment obtained by a plaintiff is at least 25 percent more than the amount of the PFS served to the defendant, the plaintiff may move the court for attorney’s fees and costs. In the case at hand, the court had to decide whether GEICO could be liable for the attorney’s fees and costs, since it was not the defendant or a party to the lawsuit. Instead, GEICO was only involved because it was defending its insured.

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carUnfortunately, negligence causes many accidents in Florida and throughout the United States each year. In the context of driving, negligence refers to the failure of a person to use reasonable care behind the wheel that causes harm to someone else or their property. All drivers on the road owe others a duty to follow traffic laws and drive sensibly in order not to injure others on the road. Negligence laws are designed to hold careless parties accountable for the harm that they cause.

According to The Florida Integrated Report Exchange System (FIRES), there have been 26,939 crashes in Miami-Dade County so far in the first six months of 2016. Of this total, 14,286 of these resulted in injuries, 132 resulted in fatalities, and 17,577 resulted in property damage. In June alone, there have been 524 crash reports. In 2015, there were 30,380 accidents in the first six months of the year, so 2016 has seen a decrease in the number of accidents.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the United States, over 30,000 people are killed in crashes each year. In fact, motor vehicle crashes are a top-10 cause of death among people from 1-54 years of age. The CDC reports that when it comes to Florida accidents, motor vehicle occupants cost $527 million in 2013. That same year, motorcyclists cost $616 million and pedestrians $577 million.

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popcornUnfortunately, dangerous and defective products injure many Florida consumers each year. In the most serious cases, faulty products can even cause death. If a product caused your injuries, you may be able to hold the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer accountable for your harm through a product liability claim.

In Stults v. International Flavors, a federal appellate court dismissed the plaintiff’s lawsuit because they failed to object at trial in a timely manner, thus giving up the right to address the claimed errors on appeal.

In the case at hand, the plaintiff typically consumed one to three packets of microwave popcorn each day for three decades. At some point, the plaintiff developed bronchiolitis obliterans – a condition that resulted in an inflammation of the lungs. The plaintiff filed a claim against the manufacturer of the popcorn, asserting that the buttery flavor caused the harm to his lungs.

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dropper bottleIn Sorenson v. Professional Compounding Pharmacists of Western Pennsylvania, a man was being treated by his doctor in Ohio for pain after an automobile wreck. The treatment involved administering hydromorphone through a pump that was inserted into the spinal canal.

In 2012, while the man was on vacation in Florida, his doctor recommended that he go to Charlotte Pain Management Center for a prescription. It is alleged that at that point, the doctor prescribed a significantly higher concentration of the drug. The pharmacist compounded the drug and dispensed it to the doctor, who then administered it to the patient. The man died the same day.

The executor of the decedent’s estate filed a wrongful death lawsuit that included a claim of medical negligence against the health care facility. Medical malpractice takes place when a medical professional fails to provide medical care in accordance with accepted medical practices and procedures. The plaintiffs claimed that the pharmacist was negligent in filling the prescription, since it called for three times the amount of hydromorphone. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that this was unreasonable on its face, given the strength and dose of the drug.

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If you or your loved one has been hurt by someone else’s negligence, we can help. When you are injured in an automobile accident in Florida, there may be a wide range of evidence that may be put before the jury. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our Miami injury attorneys understand the nuances of personal injury trials and can put this knowledge to use in your case.

Negligence is a core concept in personal injury law. It forms the basis for most personal injury claims. Negligence requires showing that the defendant failed to use reasonable care and thereby caused the resulting harm or damage. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent person would act in the same or similar circumstances. In order to prevail on a negligence claim, the plaintiff must be able to establish the following four elements:

  1. The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
  2. The defendant breached the duty of care to the plaintiff;
  3. The defendant’s breach was the direct cause of the accident and the resulting injuries; and
  4. The injuries or property damage can be reasonably quantified.

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