Articles Posted in Negligence

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bikeRiding a bicycle is a great way to stay active and healthy. It is also an environmentally friendly form of transportation. Unfortunately, even when there are designated bike lanes, a number of people are injured in bicycle accidents in Florida and throughout the United States each year. If you or someone close to you has been injured while riding a bike in a bike lane, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our skilled Miami bicycle accident attorneys are committed to holding negligent parties accountable for the harm that they cause.

Sadly, Florida leads the country in bicycle deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida ranks first in the top 10 states for bicycle fatalities with 0.57 deaths per 100,000 people. In 2015, there were 120 people killed on bicycles in Florida, accounting for 16.5 percent of all bike deaths in the nation.

A bike lane is a lane on the road that is specifically marked for bicycle use. Under Florida Statute 316.2065, when there is a designated bike lane, cyclists must ride in that lane except for certain reasons. If there is no bike lane, a bike rider does not necessarily have to use the sidewalk even if there is one present. In Florida, a bicyclist has every right to use the street in Florida. If a bicyclist does decide to use the road, however, he or she must ride as close to the right hand curb or edge of the roadway as possible.

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sidewalk

We tend to think of sidewalk accidents involving slip and falls or falling objects. However, people in Florida and throughout the United States have been injured when vehicles have come crashing onto the sidewalk. If you or someone close to you has been hit by a car while on a sidewalk, you could have grounds to pursue a claim against the at-fault party. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our Miami pedestrian accident attorneys can take care of the legal process so that you and your family can focus on recovering.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 5,376 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States in 2015. This averages to one crash-related pedestrian death every 1.6 hours. In addition, the CDC found that about 129,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency departments for non-fatal crash-related injuries in that same year. Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash on each trip. This makes sense because there is no steel cage protecting pedestrians in the same way there is for passenger vehicle occupants.

Negligent drivers not only affect those driving on the road, but also they can affect pedestrians on the nearby sidewalks as well. This is because, in the case of multiple car crashes, each car can have a different impact point and collide with nearby property and pedestrians.

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faceSerious car accidents put drivers and passengers at risk of severe, even disfiguring facial injuries. The impact of a car crash can cause broken glass or torn metal to fly into a person’s face. Facial injuries are not only physically painful; they can be emotionally traumatic and adversely affect a person’s self-esteem. If you or your loved one has suffered a serious facial injury in a motor vehicle accident that was not your fault, you need to reach out to a skilled Miami injury attorney.

A facial injury, also known as a “maxillofacial trauma,” is any type of physical trauma that affects the facial area. Common causes of facial injuries include airbags, broken glass, steering wheels, dashboards, windshields, debris, and more. Examples of facial injuries that can result from car accidents include fractures, lacerations, eye injuries, burn injuries, and soft tissue injuries.

If someone else’s negligence caused your car accident and resulting facial injury, you can file a personal injury claim against the responsible party. In the context of a car accident, negligence takes place when a person causes an injury or death to another person by failing to exercise reasonable care while driving. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent or sensible driver would act in the same or a similar situation. In order to win on a Florida negligence claim, the plaintiff must establish the following elements:  i) the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to use reasonable care; ii) the defendant failed to use reasonable care; iii) the defendant’s failure to use reasonable care was a direct and proximate cause of the accident and the plaintiff’s resulting facial injury; and iv) there were actual damages that can be compensated.

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angerWhile everyone should obey traffic laws, the reality is that each year, a number of people in Florida and throughout the United States get into accidents due to road rage. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a crash involving road rage, it is important to speak to a skilled Miami attorney as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we are committed to pursuing the compensation you deserve. We understand that any incident involving road rage can be very stressful and even traumatic, which is why we will handle your case with the utmost compassion.

In Florida, aggressive driving consists of engaging in at least two of the following behaviors:  excessive speeding, changing lanes or passing improperly, tailgating, failing to yield, and failing to obey traffic signs. Road rage differs from aggressive driving in that road rage may escalate into a criminal offense, such as an assault or an incident involving a weapon. While a driver can face both criminal and civil claims, our firm focuses on helping clients recover damages through civil claims.

According to the Trace, a non-profit news organization that covers gun issues, road rage incidents involving firearms have more than doubled from 247 in 2014 to 620 in 2016. The report found that there were 1,319 road rage incidents from January 2014 to December 2016. Nationwide, at least 354 people were injured and 136 people killed in such incidents. Florida contributed the most to this tally with 146 incidents, making it the worst state for road rage involving guns.

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poolPool owners and operators in Florida have an obligation to maintain their pools to make sure that individuals who use the pool are not injured. Part of this obligation includes ensuring that pool chemicals are in check and the pool is sanitary at all times. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a pool chemical accident, it is important to reach out to a skilled Miami injury attorney who can assess the merits of your case.

The CDC has warned homeowners with swimming pools about the potential dangers caused by the improper use of pool chemicals. These dangers include poisoning as well as severe chemical burns from improperly used or mixed chemicals. The CDC found that injuries from pool chemicals led to nearly 5,000 preventable emergency room visits in 2012. Nearly half of these preventable injuries affected children and teenagers, and more than a third took place at home. Pool chemical injuries were the most common during the summer swim season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and almost half of these occurred on weekends.

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seatbeltSeat belts are designed to protect people but sometimes they end up injuring the very people they are meant to protect. When seat belts are faulty, they can end up causing serious and long-term injuries. If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident due to a defective seat belt, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our seasoned Miami personal injury lawyers can protect your rights every step of the way. We are dedicated to being zealous advocates for our clients.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat car occupants by about 45 percent and the risk of moderate to critical injury by about 50 percent. In fact, the NHTSA found that seat belts prevented over 12,800 deaths in the United States in 2014.

While automobile manufacturers recognize that seat belts can save lives, they sometimes do not properly test these seat belts in high-speed situations. This is why, in some cases, seat belts can fail to serve their intended purpose at the time of the accident. Seat belts can malfunction in a variety of ways, including but not limited to:

  • Seat belts becoming unlatched during an accident;
  • Seat beats being too loose to prevent drivers or passengers from flying forward.

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parkingNot every state requires that a driver be able to parallel park before obtaining his or her license. In fact, Florida does not make new drivers prove they can parallel park, and it does not seem that this will change any time soon. While there may be fewer areas around the state as compared to other population-dense states in which people need to parallel park, the reality is that parallel parking accidents do happen. If you or someone close to you has been injured or sustained property damage as a result of a parallel parking accident, our firm can help.

Parallel parking refers to when a vehicle is parked parallel to the roadside. Parallel parking can be a daunting task even for experienced drivers. Drivers who are attempting to parallel park must take great care in making sure they are paying attention when pulling into the spot.

Typically, a driver will drive slightly past the spot and reverse into it slowly. The driver who is parking should signal and pull into the spot as quickly as possible in order not to hold up traffic behind him or her. This is sometimes tricky because as the car is backing into the empty car spot, traffic may be moving in the lane right beside it, and a car may even be pulling up behind the driver, waiting for the driver to pull into the spot. The motorists following the parking car should slow down and pass only when it is safe to do so.

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cribParents’ main concern is their child’s well-being. When you put your baby into a crib, you expect the baby to be safe. Unfortunately, defective cribs cause serious injuries or death to thousands of infants each year. If your child was injured due to a defective crib, it is important to reach out to a Miami product liability attorney. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we have the experience and dedication to handle your case. You can rest assured that we will work carefully to make sure that your family’s rights are protected at every step of the way.

In 2011, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimated that over 11 million cribs, bassinets, and play yards had been recalled since 2007. In that year alone, CPSC recalled 1,040,000 cribs and bassinets from just one manufacturer. Cribs pose dangers of which you may not even be aware. The following are several types of crib hazards that may cause injuries to your child:

  • Strangulation:  Blankets, sheets, or clothing may become wrapped around the baby’s face, neck, or head and lead to cutting off their air supply. Crib bumpers also pose the risk of strangulation.
  • Suffocation: Blankets, sheets, or clothing can also pose a risk if they are not fitted, and the baby can get underneath them and accidentally suffocate. The same applies to crib bumper pads.
  • Falling out: A baby may be at risk of falling out of the crib if the mattress is too high. In addition, defective drop sides that fall and allow the child to fall out of the crib may be a cause of an unexpected injury to your child.
  • Poorly spaced slats: Crib slats that are too far apart may enable your child to slip through and fall. While suffocation is most commonly associated with poor spacing, it can also result in a child’s limb becoming stuck between the slats, resulting in the entrapment of arms, legs, or other body parts.

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stethoscopeIf you or someone close to you has been hurt by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our seasoned Miami injury attorneys can help you navigate a personal injury lawsuit from start to finish. When you file a personal injury claim, the defense has a number of tools and strategies they can use to try to minimize the amount of money they will eventually have to pay. Having a deep understanding of Florida injury law, we can often anticipate what the defense will likely try to do and advise you accordingly.

In Florida personal injury litigation, specifically under Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.360, a defendant can require that the plaintiff attend a compulsory medical examination (CME) by a doctor of the defendant’s choosing. Put another way, a CME is when the defense hires a doctor to evaluate the plaintiff. This typically means that an insurance company is paying for the doctor. It is important to note that each insurance carrier usually has a handful of doctors that they routinely retain to conduct CMEs. In some cases, a particular doctor will work for a number of insurance companies in the area.

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swimming poolOne of the benefits of living in the Sunshine State is being able to enjoy the great weather for so much of the year. One of the activities that children and adults in Florida enjoy is swimming. Many times, people swim at public pools where a trained lifeguard is on duty. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a swimming accident due to lifeguard negligence, we can help. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our skilled Miami injury attorneys have the experience and determination to handle your case.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately six people drown in the United States each day. Many of these drowning accidents occur at public pool facilities with certified professional lifeguards. The CDC also found that drowning was the fourth-leading cause of accidental death in the country, and one-third of drowning victims are under the age of 14.

Lifeguards are supposed to receive their qualifications through the American Red Cross or another qualified entity. They must keep up to date with their training and certifications to be able to recognize and respond to signs of struggle immediately. When a lifeguard fails to meet a legal duty or obligation and ends up causing an injury or death to a swimmer, that lifeguard will likely be found negligent. Negligence takes place when a lifeguard causes harm by failing to use the level of care that a reasonably prudent lifeguard would have used under the same or similar circumstances.

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