Articles Posted in Personal Injury

While many of us focus on drunk driving or distracted driving as prevalent causes of car accidents, in some cases, car accidents are results of pre-existing medical conditions. If you or your loved one has been injured in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our Miami car crash attorneys understand that proving fault in a personal injury case involving a crash caused by a driver’s medical condition is not easy, but we understand how to navigate this type of claim.

A 2011 study conduced by the National Institute of Health found that chronic medical conditions most likely to increase accident risks include alcoholism, cardiovascular disease, epilepsy, diabetes, and dementia. Of course, poor eyesight can make it unsafe for a person to drive as well. Florida has some of the most lenient laws in the country when it comes to prohibiting motorists with medical conditions from operating a motor vehicle. Essentially, the state relies on confidential reports from other motorists, after which it conducts an investigation, which includes requesting the driver’s medical records and reviewing the driver’s history.

In many car accident cases, the issue of fault is relatively straightforward because one driver was clearly negligent (i.e., did not stop at a stop sign, ran a red light, etc.). Negligence occurs when a person causes injuries or death by failing to use reasonable care behind the wheel. In the context of car accident cases, reasonable care is defined as how a sensible or prudent driver would have operated the motor vehicle in the same or similar circumstances. For example, if a driver’s excessive speeding caused an accident, he or she would be liable for the crash and any resulting harm.

Continue Reading ›

Over the years, cars have become more and more sophisticated. Nowadays, drivers can buy vehicles that have self-driving features. In fact, Tesla has a partial self-driving system that individuals can enjoy. While these features can offer great convenience, they can also cause injuries and death if any technical malfunction occurs. If you or someone close to you has been injured due to a car defect, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our Florida auto defect lawyers understand how stressful the aftermath of an accident can be, which is why we are committed to helping our clients navigate the legal process.

Last year, a man was killed in Florida when his partially self-driving Tesla changed lanes without properly detecting the truck next to it. Now, after a yearlong investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the Tesla system capable of automatically steering and controlling the car “played a major role” in the fatal accident. The agency noted that the Autopilot functioned as intended but lacked safety mechanisms to prohibit drivers from using it improperly. In other words, the driver over-relied on the vehicle automation feature when he used the automated feature on a road for which it was not designed. As a result, human error coupled with a lack of sufficient system controls caused the deadly crash.

Liability issues in cases involving automated cars can be tricky. One party that could potentially be liable is the manufacturer of the car if the car’s automated features (i.e., the Tesla’s autopilot function) failed to work properly and was a direct cause of the accident. For instance, if the man’s death was caused because the autopilot feature failed to detect a truck in the neighboring lane, and that is exactly the type of activity it was designed to detect on that type of road, a product liability claim may be appropriate.

Florida legislators are discussing a new law that would require scooter riders under the age of 21 to wear helmets on Florida roads, expanding a helmet mandate that already applies to young riders of traditional motorcycles. Given the dangers associated with operating a motorcycle or a scooter, this measure may help curb injuries across Florida. Scooters, which typically do not exceed 30 miles per hour, are becoming more and more popular on college campuses, since they are inexpensive and easy to operate. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you should reach out to a skilled Miami motorcycle crash attorney as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we are committed to protecting your rights at every step of the way.

Currently, the helmet requirement only applies to riders and operators who are under the age of 16. With Florida motorcycle deaths increasing by 30 percent since 2015, supporters of the new bill feel this is an important measure that could save lives across the state. In fact, an American Automobile Association study found that motorcycles accounted for 3 percent of registered vehicles, yet they are involved in 20 percent of vehicle fatalities across Florida. On the other hand, motorcyclist groups who oppose the law have launched a campaign to defeat the proposed law.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you could recover compensation for your harm through a negligence claim. Negligence takes place when a person causes an injury or death by failing to use reasonable care. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent person would act under the same or similar circumstances. It is important to note that Florida is a comparative fault state, which means that a jury or court can proportionally assign fault to multiple parties in an accident. Consequently, the plaintiff’s compensation will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault for the accident. For example, if a jury determines that you were 20 percent at fault for causing a crash, your compensation will be reduced by 20 percent.

Unfortunately, people in Florida are injured in accidents all the time. If you or someone close to you has been hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation for your harm. If you find yourself in a lawsuit, however, you could be faced with a motion for summary judgment, which is a request to end a case without a trial. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our skilled Miami injury attorneys understand how to navigate these types of cases, including how to use and respond to certain procedural devices in the case, like motions for summary judgment.

In law, a motion for summary judgment is filed by an opposing party and claims that you cannot win your case because there is no legal dispute or because your claim is without merit. Also sometimes known as ‘judgment as a matter of law,’ summary judgment is a method to decide an issue or an entire case without going to trial. Failing to respond to a motion for summary judgment can result in your case being dismissed or a judgment being entered against you.

Under the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, a party is entitled to summary judgment only when there is “no genuine issue as to any material fact, and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” The court will grant summary judgment if one side presents undisputed facts that entitle that side to win because of the existing law relating to that issue. Put another way, in order for summary judgment to be appropriate, the moving party must establish that the opposing party cannot win, even if all credibility conflicts are resolved in the opposing party’s favor. For example, if a jurisdiction requires the plaintiff in a medical malpractice claim to produce an expert witness to establish his or her case, summary judgment may be appropriate if that plaintiff cannot produce a qualified expert.

Crush injuries are some of the most painful and devastating injuries a person can suffer. If you have sustained a crush injury in an accident that was not your fault, you may be able to recover compensation for your harm. With years of experience, our diligent Miami personal injury lawyers are prepared to represent you in all aspects of your case. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we can provide the advocacy and legal counseling you need to deal with a crush injury. Filing a claim is time-sensitive, which means it is imperative to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after your injury.

A crush injury typically occurs when force or pressure is put on a body part, causing that body part to be crushed. This most often happens when part of the body is squeezed between two heavy objects. For example, a person’s arm could be crushed if elevator doors shut on it. Another example would be if a big rock or boulder fell on your foot, crushing it. The injuries resulting from these kinds of accidents can range from minor bruising to severe crushing that could result in amputation and even death. Other consequences of crush injuries can include lacerations, fractured bones, nerve damage, compartment syndrome, and paralysis.

If you have suffered a crush injury because of someone else’s actions, you should file a negligence claim against the at-fault party. To establish negligence, the victim must show that he or she was owed a duty of care, that the defendant breached the duty of care, and that the victim’s injuries were a direct result of the defendant’s breach. The duty of care refers to each person’s obligation to use the level of care and caution that a reasonably prudent person would use in the same or similar circumstances.

Continue Reading ›

Careless conduct causes injuries and even deaths in Florida and across the United States on a daily basis. If you or your loved one has been hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you need to reach out to a seasoned Miami accident attorney who can assess the merits of your case. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we have years of experience and know how to establish fault in personal injury cases. You can trust that we can uncover the facts of your case and determine the viability of your claim.

Most personal injury cases are rooted in the theory of negligence. Negligence occurs when a person is injured or killed due to another party’s failure to use reasonable care. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent person would act in the same or similar circumstances. In order to establish negligence, the injured party has to demonstrate the following elements:  i) the at-fault party owed a duty of care to the accident victim; ii) the at-fault party breached the duty of care owed to the accident victim; and iii) the at-fault party’s breach was a direct and proximate cause of the accident victim’s injuries. In some cases, negligence takes place when a person fails to act when there is a duty to do so.

The burden of proof in negligence cases falls on the plaintiff, who must show negligence by a ‘preponderance of the evidence.’ Under this standard, also known as the ‘greater weight of the evidence’ standard, the party who has the more persuasive and convincing force and effect of the evidence in the case will prevail. Another way to think about this standard is to think about the scales of justice – if the plaintiff’s evidence outweighs the defendant’s evidence, even by a marginal amount, the plaintiff will win the case. Essentially, the plaintiff must prove that their assertions are more likely true than not. If they have proven the case to a 50.1 percent degree of certainty, they will succeed. However, if the plaintiff cannot reach this threshold, the defendant will win.

If you have been injured in Florida due to someone else’s negligence, you have rights. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our skilled Miami injury attorneys are committed to getting clients the compensation they deserve for their harm. With years of experience, we understand the nuances of this area of the law and can apply this knowledge to your case.

Moving for a directed verdict is not uncommon in Florida trials. It works in the following way. After the plaintiff puts on their case, the defendant moves for a directed verdict, stating that even assuming all of the evidence is true, and all of the inferences relating to the case favor the plaintiff, the plaintiff failed to prove their case as a matter of law. Essentially, a directed verdict is a verdict that the judge has either ordered the jury to find, or, alternatively, the judge has taken the case from the jury and rendered the verdict without the jury’s deliberation.

A directed verdict is only used when the evidence for either the plaintiff or the defendant in a case is so weak that the law cannot possibly support a finding in favor of that party. As a result, the directed verdict is entered in favor of the other party. The Florida Supreme Court has held that in order for a court to remove a case from the judge or jury and grant a directed verdict, there must only be one reasonable inference from the plaintiff’s evidence. Thus, if the jury is forced to stack inferences to find that the plaintiff presented a prima facie case of the defendant’s negligence, a directed verdict will be justified.

Continue Reading ›

If 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).

Continue Reading ›

Florida is a state full of sunshine and golf courses. With the numerous pristine golf courses throughout the state, Florida residents and visitors have experienced an increase in golf cart use. Unfortunately, the increased use of golf carts also means more golf cart accidents. There are a number of types of golf cart crashes in which unprotected occupants may suffer serious harm. If you’ve been in a golf cart accident, we can help. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our Miami injury lawyers can assess the merits of your case and help seek the compensation you deserve.

Many people don’t realize how dangerous a golf cart can be. Golf carts do not always have seat belts, and yet they can reach speeds of up to 40 mph. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), approximately 15,000 golf cart-related injuries take place every year in the United States. There are a number of reasons that golf cart accidents may occur, including reckless driving, joyriding, inattentiveness, drinking and driving, distracted driving, and more.

In most instances, a person involved in a golf cart accident will be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party under the theory of negligence. In order to succeed on a negligence claim, an injured person must show that the at-fault party owed the plaintiff a duty of reasonable care that was breached and that the breach was the direct cause of the plaintiff’s injury and the resulting damages. The duty of reasonable care refers to the obligation to act as a prudent person would act in the same or similar circumstances. In Florida, a golf cart is considered a dangerous instrumentality, and the owner of a golf cart can be liable for a negligent driver.

Continue Reading ›

Every year, a number of people in Florida and throughout the United States are injured in a variety of accidents. Injured parties often file personal injury lawsuits against the at-fault party. Personal injury litigation is governed by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. Most personal injury cases never make it to trial. In fact, more than 90 percent are settled before a jury verdict.

Proposals for settlements (PFS) are creations of the Florida legislature.  Rule 1.442 creates the guidelines and parameters for the service of a PFS. A PFS must be made in writing and include:

  1. The party or parties making the proposal as well as the party or parties to whom the proposal is being made;
  2. A clause that states that the proposal decides all damages that would otherwise be awarded in a final judgment in the action in which the proposal is served;
  3. Any conditions;
  4. The entire amount of the proposal, as well as all non-monetary terms of the proposal;
  5. The amount proposed to settle a claim for punitive damages (if any);
  6. Whether the proposal includes attorneys’ fees and whether these fees are part of a legal claim; and
  7. A certificate of service in the form, as mandated by rule 1.080.

Continue Reading ›

Contact Information