Articles Posted in Accidents

In many Florida personal injury cases, more than one party is to blame. Even a plaintiff may share the blame in causing an accident. In these cases, Florida law applies the doctrine of comparative negligence. Under the doctrine of comparative negligence, liability is apportioned depending on the percentage that each party is at fault, as determined by the fact finder (a judge or a jury). That means that if a jury finds that a party is 60 percent at fault and another is 40 percent at fault, each party will be liable for the plaintiff’s damages according to their respective percentage of fault.

This is true also for the plaintiff. Under the doctrine of pure comparative of negligence, and under Florida Statute 768.81(2), even if a plaintiff is found to be mostly at fault, the plaintiff can still recover compensation from other at-fault parties. That is, if a plaintiff is found partially at fault, a plaintiff’s recovery will not be barred entirely, but the compensation owed to the plaintiff will be reduced according to the plaintiff’s percentage of fault.

A defendant may also try to blame an accident on a non-party—a person or an entity that is not a party to the lawsuit. In that case, to allocate fault to a non-party, a defendant may plead the fault of the non-party, and must identify the non-party or describe the non-party as precisely as possible. A defendant must generally identify a non-party at fault by motion or in the initial responsive pleading in the lawsuit when the defendant asserts its defenses. At trial, the defendant must then prove that the non-party was at fault in causing the plaintiff’s injuries by a preponderance of the evidence. A fact finder must then apportion the negligence of the defendant and the negligence of the plaintiff and any other non-parties, ultimately calculating the defendant’s liability. Importantly, when a defendant can shift fault to a non-party, a plaintiff will not typically be able to file another complaint against that party. Thus, it is critical to investigate all potentially liable parties and name them from the outset.

Car accidents can lead to catastrophic, life-changing injuries. Dealing with these injuries is hard enough, but also having to think about the legal steps you should be taking can add a whole new level of stress. If you have suffered a catastrophic injury in an accident caused by someone else’s carelessness or mistake, we can assist you. Our dedicated Miami catastrophic injury attorneys will focus on the legalities of your case so you can focus on healing and moving forward. You can take comfort in knowing that we provide experienced representation to each and every one of our South Florida clients.

Former Miami Dolphins defensive tackle, Kendrick Norton, lost an arm due to a car crash earlier this month. According to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), Norton suffered severe injuries to his left arm, which led to an amputation. At the time of the accident, Norton was not wearing a seat belt and was driving his pick-up truck in the early morning hours of July 4 on a road known as the Dolphin Expressway, a 15-mile stretch of highway that cuts across Miami. Norton was cited for an improper lane change after he pulled in front of another vehicle and grazed it before he crashed into a concrete barrier. The truck flipped and, when it stopped, was upside down. According to a family friend of Norton, however, the football player was cut off before his vehicle flipped. Alcohol and drugs were not suspected to have been a factor in the accident for either driver. The driver of the other vehicle was not injured.

The term “catastrophic injury” is not something that injury attorneys take lightly. A catastrophic injury refers to an injury that results in serious and permanent injury to the victim. This can include disability and/or disfigurement. These injuries may include traumatic brain injury, quadriplegia, paraplegia, amputations, organ damage, severe burns or any injury that has a life-altering impact on a person.

Whether you were a pedestrian who was injured in a car crash or you have lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, we can help. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our highly skilled Miami pedestrian accident attorneys will thoroughly examine the circumstances of the accident and help you determine your legal rights and options. We understand that a pedestrian accident can turn your life upside down in the blink of an eye, which is why we will handle your case with the utmost compassion.

A man was recently hit and killed while walking along Interstate 95 in Fort Lauderdale. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the accident took place before 6:00 a.m., delaying morning commuters for several hours. The tragic accident occurred as the 29-year-old victim walked in the right lane near a temporary construction barrier in the northbound lanes south of Sunrise Boulevard, and was struck by a 2018 gray Toyota 4Runner. The Toyota driver stopped and remained at the scene of the wreck until law enforcement arrived. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

All Florida drivers have a legal obligation to drive in a reasonably safe manner. This includes the duty to take others on the road, including pedestrians, into account.  If a car hit you while you were walking, you have rights. A pedestrian can sue the person(s) responsible for the pedestrian accident through a negligence claim. In the context of an accident involving an automobile striking a person on foot, negligence takes place when a driver causes injury by failing to exercise reasonable care behind the wheel. Reasonable care refers to the degree of care that a prudent or sensible driver would have used under the same or similar situation.
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Since Florida is sunny and warm for most of the year, it is an ideal place to ride a motorcycle. While riding a motorcycle can be exhilarating, it can also be extremely dangerous. If you or a loved one has suffered a substantial injury after being involved in a motorcycle crash, our Miami motorcycle accident attorneys can investigate your case. These cases can be complicated, and you will undoubtedly want an experienced legal advocate on your side.

Earlier this month, a motorcycle rider died after a crash on U.S. 1 in Cocoa, according to law enforcement. The two-vehicle accident, which involved a vehicle and a motorcycle, was reported around noon and took place close to an intersection. Sadly, the motorcycle rider was pronounced dead at the scene of the wreck. It is unclear if other injuries were reported at the time of the crash. The accident caused some delays on the road as emergency workers cleared the scene.

Unfortunately, deaths caused by motorcycle crashes are more common than you probably think. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published data on motorcycle deaths by state in 2016 and found that 586 people died in motorcycle wrecks and related injuries in Florida that year. About 555 of these deaths were rider fatalities. In addition, 78 percent involved a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .01 or higher, whereas 16 percent involved a BAC of .15 percent or higher.

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Motorcycle accidents can be extremely dangerous, especially for the motorcycle rider who is particularly susceptible to bodily injury. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you may be able to recover compensation to cover your losses. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our skilled Miami motorcycle accident attorneys can help you value your claim and seek the maximum amount of damages in your case.

In Kempton v. McComb, following a jury trial for a collision in which the plaintiff was riding a motorcycle and was struck by a car, the plaintiff appealed based on the jury’s ruling that he was 55 percent negligent and the defendant was 45 percent negligent. The trial court then applied section 768.36 (the drug and alcohol defense) of the Florida Statutes (the “statute”) and barred the plaintiff from recovering any damages. The plaintiff appealed.

The plaintiff argued that the trial court made a mistake in applying the drug and alcohol defense since the jury’s decision did not indicate, as necessitated by the statute, that the plaintiff was more than 50 percent at fault “as a result of the influence of an alcoholic beverage.”

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Given Florida’s weather and proximity to the water, it’s no surprise that boating is a popular activity in the state. While it is undoubtedly fun, there are also many risks and dangers associated with watercraft. If you have been injured in a boating accident, you need to contact a seasoned Miami boat accident lawyer who can help. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we know how to navigate this complex area of law.

A 52-year-old woman was fatally injured in a boating accident on Fort Myers beach earlier this month. At the time of the incident, the boat got caught on a sandbar near a resort. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission’s (FWC) information, the pilot put all three of the craft’s motors in gear and tilted them up in an attempt to free the boat and the victim fell into the propellers suffering a deadly injury. Witnesses said that they saw the victim get sucked under the boat before seeing the woman’s body floating in the water. The FWC said earlier that an alcohol-related arrest would take place in the case but it has not happened yet. The accident remains under investigation.

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If you have been injured or you have recently lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident caused by someone else’s carelessness or wrongdoing, you can potentially sue the at-fault party. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our highly skilled Miami pedestrian accident attorneys understand the specifics of Florida personal injury law and can use our experience to your advantage. The law firm you choose can make all the difference in your case.

The Report

Sadly, Florida has long been ranked one of the worst states for pedestrians and the situation does not seem to be improving. A recent Dangerous by Design report created by Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition revealed that Florida ranked number one on a list of the most dangerous states for walking in the country for 2019. Between 2008 and 2017, there were 5,433 pedestrian deaths with an average of 2.73 annual pedestrian fatalities per 100,000. In addition, the report revealed that 8 out of the 10 most fatal metro areas for pedestrians were located in Florida.

Across the country, pedestrian deaths rose by almost 36 percent between 2008 and 2017, according to the report. In fact, almost 50,000 people died in pedestrian accidents over the course of the decade. This translates to over 13 pedestrian deaths a day and, unfortunately, the problem is getting worse. The report says that part of the problem is that our streets are designed for the movement of motor vehicles, not pedestrians, and legal policies and standards still construct roads that prioritize high-speed vehicles as opposed to safety for everyone on the road.

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Sadly, pedestrian accidents are far too common. If you have sustained an injury in a pedestrian accident, it is vital to contact a reputable Miami injury attorney who can help. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we know how a pedestrian accident can turn your life upside down in an instant. You can rest assured that we will examine the details surrounding your injury and create a custom legal strategy for your case.

Earlier this month, two people died in a fatal motorcycle accident that took place in Lee County. A 49-year-old man was operating the motorcycle when he hit a 70-year-old pedestrian who was trying to cross the street at the time. According to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), both the motorcyclist and pedestrian were pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger on the motorcycle was transported to a local hospital to be treated for serious injuries. The FHP is currently investigating the accident.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 5,987 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in 2016. Data from Governors Highway Safety Association found that, in 2016, Florida ranked 2nd highest in terms of pedestrian fatalities at 3.22 per 100k population, right behind New Mexico, which had 3.45 deaths per 100k population. That same year, Miami-Dade had 83 pedestrian fatalities, putting it in the top ten counties with the largest number of pedestrian deaths in the country for 2016. Broward County also made the list with 67 pedestrian fatalities that year.

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A bicycle accident can change your life in an instant. Bicyclists suffer a staggering number of injuries and deaths in accidents involving motor vehicles. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident triggered by someone else’s negligence, you need the help of an experienced and dedicated Miami bicycle accident attorney. At the Law of Robert Dixon, we are committed to providing aggressive yet compassionate representation to each and every one of our clients.

A 56-year-old Orlando cardiologist who was riding his bike was hit and killed earlier this week. The bicyclist was hit by an SUV on busy US 17-92 during morning traffic hour around 7:00 a.m. and the physician sustained fatal injuries. In fact, he was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The hospital at which the cardiologist worked released a statement honoring the doctor and expressing their deepest condolences to his wife and children. No details regarding the driver or the vehicle have yet been released.

Establishing Liability for Bike Accidents in Florida

Bicycle accident injuries can be more serious than other types of auto accident due to the significantly lighter weight of the bicycle and the bike’s lack of structural protection. If you were injured in a bicycle accident that was not your fault, you may be able to bring a claim for economic and non-economic damages, including medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, property loss and more. This is typically showing that the motorist who caused the accident was negligent. Negligence takes place when a motorist is the direct and proximate cause of an accident and resulting injury or death because that motorist failed to use reasonable care behind the wheel. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent or sensible person would drive under the same or similar circumstances.

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Winter holidays are a festive time of year when people get to take a few days off from work and reunite with family and friends. However, this time of the year often sees a spike in certain types of accidents, including fire-related mishaps. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a fire-related accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our seasoned Miami personal injury attorneys will thoroughly examine the facts of your case and devise a legal strategy accordingly.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, statistics show that 30 percent of all home fires and 38 percent of fire deaths take place during the months of December, January and February. The fires result from a number of sources, including cooking and heating sources, dry Christmas trees, holiday decorations, portable heaters, cooking appliances and the increase of open flames during the holiday season. During 2004-2008, an average of 260 home fires every year began with a Christmas trees. Another 150 home fires were caused by decorative and holiday lights on an annual basis.

Establishing Fault for Holiday Injuries

How and when the burn injury occurred is extremely important in terms of determining your legal options. For instance, if the fire took place because of a faulty holiday decoration, you may be able to sue to manufacturer through a products liability claim. However, if you were injured as a result of a fire caused by the negligence of an individual or company, you may be able to sue that individual or company for compensation. For example, if a landlord failed to follow safety regulations regarding Christmas trees or holiday decorations resulting in a fire in an apartment building, that landlord may be liable for any harm you may have suffered as a tenant of the apartment building.

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