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We all know that distracted drivers pose a risk to other drivers and pedestrians on the road, but there is another category of people we often do not consider – emergency first responders. These professionals are trained to arrive and provide assistance at the scene of an emergency, such as a motor vehicle accident. Every year, a number of first responders including law enforcement, tow truck drivers and others end up being hit by other cars while tending to an accident scene.  If you were hurt in an accident involving a distracted driver, you need to consult an experienced Miami injury attorney. At our firm, we are dedicated to scrutinizing the facts of your case and helping you secure the damages you deserve.

Distracted drivers are a rising threat to first responders, according to a new report released by the National Safety Council. The data shows that 71 percent of drivers conceded to snapping pictures and sending texts while driving past emergency workers – nearly three times the 24 percent who admitted to doing so under ordinary driving conditions. In addition, sixty percent admitted to being active on social media; and 66 percent have sent emails about what they are passing on the road.

The consequences of this behavior are fatal. Sixteen percent of those driving motor vehicles state that they have hit or almost hit an emergency automobile or first responder on the side of the street. In fact, forty first responders died as a result of being hit on the side of the street last year, a 60 percent spike from 2017. This year, twenty-one first responders lost their lives, including ten police officers, and fourteen officers were struck and killed in 2018.

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An appellate court recently issued an opinion regarding punitive damages in a Florida nursing home abuse case. The appeal arose from a negligence and wrongful death lawsuit filed by a nursing home resident’s family. The family amended their lawsuit to include a claim of punitive damages against the facility. The nursing home claimed that it was not liable for punitive damages under Florida law.

There are two main types of damages that Florida personal injury victims can obtain, compensatory and punitive. As the name suggests, compensatory damages are awarded to a plaintiff to compensate them for losses that they suffered because of their injuries. Typically, this includes compensation amounts for medical bills, losses related to changed plans, lost wages, losses of support, and pain and suffering. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are awarded solely to punish the defendant’s reprehensible behavior.

Plaintiffs often seek punitive damages after they suffered injuries because of a defendant’s egregious behavior. In response to the growing number of nursing home abuse cases, Florida enacted a specific provision for punitive damages in nursing home negligence lawsuits. Under Florida law, plaintiffs must establish that the defendant’s actions were grossly negligent. Gross negligence occurs when a defendant’s conduct was so reckless or lacking in care that it amounted to a conscious disregard or indifference to the life, safety, or rights of individuals that are exposed to their conduct.

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A Florida appellate court recently issued a ruling in favor of a plaintiff in her premises liability lawsuit against the Orange County Public Library System (the “Library”). The plaintiff filed strict liability and negligence claims against the Library after she suffered injuries when a bottom drawer of a copier unexpectedly popped out and caused her to trip. The plaintiff claimed that the Library was strictly liable based on their ownership of the defective copier. She also claimed the Library was negligent under premises liability. She filed an appeal after the trial court dismissed her claims based on her failure to state a cause of action. The appellate court addressed Florida’s pleading requirements in negligence lawsuits and concluded that the plaintiff met the state’s requirements, allowing her case to proceed towards trial.

When a Florida slip and fall victim files a premises liability lawsuit against a business owner, the plaintiff must provide the factual basis of their claim in their complaint. There are two pleading systems in the United States, fact and notice. While federal claims follow the notice pleading system, Florida state claims require fact pleadings. A plaintiff’s complaint must comply with the state’s fact-pleading requirement and include a “short and plain” statement of the facts that show that the plaintiff is entitled to relief.

In Florida negligence lawsuits, the complaint must allege:

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Recently, a state appellate court issued an opinion certifying a question to the state’s high court after a plaintiff appealed a lower’s court decision to grant the defendant’s motion for summary judgment in a Florida car accident. According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff died after rear-ending the defendant’s Freightliner truck. Evidently, both motorists were driving on a six-lane Florida highway towards an intersection. The plaintiff rear-ended the back of the Freightliner, pushing the truck forward into another vehicle. The plaintiff died because of the injuries he suffered in the accident.

The plaintiff’s estate filed a personal injury lawsuit against the Freightliner driver, alleging that he negligently switched lanes before the accident, ultimately causing the rear-end. The defendant testified that he was traveling in the center of the three lanes, and he felt the pickup truck rear-end him while he was approaching the intersection. The defendant presented video evidence from his dashcam to substantiate his claims. However, the plaintiff’s eyewitness and an expert witness both testified that the defendant quickly changed lanes before the collision.

The defendant argued that under Florida law, motorists who rear-end another car are presumed negligent. Moreover, he claimed that the defendant’s video footage flatly contradicted the plaintiff’s expert and eyewitness testimonies. Ultimately, the trial court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. On appeal, the plaintiff argued that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment because their eyewitness and expert witness created a genuine issue of material fact.

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A Florida man who was injured in a motor vehicle accident successfully appealed a final summary judgment motion entered by a lower court in favor of the City of Coral Gables. The case stemmed from injuries that the plaintiff sustained when his motorcycle collided with an SUV at an intersection. The plaintiff testified that he was traveling northbound when he noticed the SUV approaching in the southbound lane. The SUV driver was making a left turn when the plaintiff collided with the other driver’s SUV. The plaintiff explained that he could not stop in time to avoid the collision. The driver of the SUV claimed that recently planted palm trees with wooden supports at the end of the median obstructed his view of the motorcyclist.

The motorcyclist sued the City alleging, among other issues, that the City created a dangerous condition by negligently designing the intersection and planting the palm trees. The plaintiff argued that the City was liable because the trees and their wooden supports obstructed a driver’s view of oncoming traffic. The City countered that it should not be liable because the placement and wooden supports were a planning decision and not an operational decision; therefore, protected by governmental immunity.

Governmental entities cannot face liability for many of the day-to-day activities carried out by government employees. However, certain exceptions allow individuals to file a tort action against a Florida government agency. For governmental tort liability, the injury victim must be able to establish that the government entity owed them a statutory duty of care. The government agency will be liable only to the same extent that a private person would be under similar circumstances. Finally, certain discretionary functions are immune to lawsuits.

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Motorcycle mishaps can result in severe injuries. If you sustained an injury in a motorcycle crash, you should not delay in calling a trusted Miami motorcycle accident attorney who understands this area of law. Our highly capable Miami motorcycle collision lawyers are committed to protecting your rights at each and every stage of the case.

A couple from Weston was recently killed in a motorcycle accident after a tire blew out on US 27. According to a friend who had been to dinner with them on the night of the tragic accident, the couple “just completed each other.” The man, 55, and woman, 57, had been together for over 10 years. Information from the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) reveals that the motorcycle’s tire blew out around 9:45 p.m. last week. When this happened, the rider lost control of the motorcycle and both he and the passenger were thrown from the vehicle and stuck by at least three other automobiles. FHP is still investigating the crash.

Sadly, motorcycle accidents in Florida are not a rare occurrence. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s published data, 586 people died in motorcycle accidents and related injuries in Florida in 2016. About 555 were rider fatalities and approximately 78 percent of accidents involved a blood alcohol concentration of 0.01 percent or higher.

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Dump truck accidents, like any other type of accident, can change your life in an instant. With cargo inside, dump trucks can weigh over 50 tons and can be incredibly dangerous especially when moving at high speeds. If you have been injured in a truck accident, you must contact our seasoned Miami truck accident lawyers right away. We understand the unique challenges these cases bring up, which can be the difference between winning and losing in your case.

Two people died in an Osceola County accident earlier this week after a dump truck jumped a median on US Highway 192 and entered the lane with oncoming traffic. The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) recently released the identities of the two killed in the crash. One of the victims was a 19 year-old woman while the other was a 48-year-old man. Tragically, both were found dead at the scene.

The driver of the empty dump truck was a 50-year old who was driving on the highway around 7:00 a.m. when he approached a road. He failed to slow down while approaching and then cut across a raised median and then drove into traffic headed east. The 48-year-old victim was riding a motorcycle and struck the back of the truck. The truck then crashed into a Honda SUV being driven by the 19-year-old woman. The driver of the dump truck was not injured. The case is still being investigated and charges against the driver are pending.

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Road rage puts everyone on the road at risk of harm. All motorists have a responsibility to follow the rules of the road and make safe decisions behind the wheel. If you were hurt or lost a family member due to an accident involving road rage, our hard working Miami injury attorneys can assess your situation and offer you a range of available legal options.

Florida law defines road rage, or aggressive driving, as at least two of the following behaviors: excessive speeding, changing lanes or improper passing, tailgating, failing to yield, and failing to follow traffic signs. Road rage differs from aggressive driving in that road rage may escalate into a criminal offense, such as an assault or incidents involving weapons.

Road rage typically stems from a driver’s uncontrolled rage due to the actions of another driver. Unfortunately, the problem seems to be getting worse. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, deadly car accidents linked to aggressive driving spiked almost 500 percent in 10 years, from 80 in 2006 to 467 in 2015. In addition, Florida has had more road rage incidents involving guns than any other state in the nation. According to data from the Gun Violence Archive, between the years of 2014 and 2018, Florida had 277 incidents, the highest in the country, followed by Texas (220) and California (157).

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Florida nursing home facilities and medical professionals have a responsibility to provide competent care to all residents in the facility. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. A shocking number of nursing home residents are victims of neglect and abuse. If your loved one has been hurt while in the care of a nursing home, our skilled Miami nursing home negligence attorneys can help. For years, we have helped South Florida clients recover the compensation they need in their personal injury cases, and we can help you as well.

In April of 2012, a woman fell while in the care of a nursing home facility in Pensacola, causing a blood vessel to rupture and blood to start collecting in parts of her brain. Shortly thereafter, the woman lost her life. In 2013, the woman’s children sued the nursing home’s parent company and it’s management company. The lawsuit alleged that the nursing home had failed to follow its own care plan in an effort to prevent the woman from falling. Almost 6 years afterwards, a jury concluded that the fall killed the woman, In addition they jury also found that the nursing home was negligent in its care; specifically, in allowing the fall to happen in the first place. As such, the woman’s children were given an award of $200,000.

Between the time the lawsuit was filed and the jury’s decision, the parent company has been sold and is now operated by an entirely different company. One of the woman’s children has passed away. The management company exited the personal injury suit by direct verdict — an equivalent of a dismissal — due to a lack of evidence which directly connected its operations within the facility to the woman’s fall. As such, if there is no appeal, the nursing home’s parent company is the only party obligated to compensate the woman’s surviving children.

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All motorists have an obligation to obey the rules of the road, including passing only when it is legal and safe to do so. If your loved one was killed in an accident caused by someone improperly passing, you have legal options. We know that the untimely death of a loved one is a devastating experience, which is why we will advocate for you in a sensitive yet competent manner. Wrongful death cases are complicated so having the right attorney on your side can be the difference between winning and losing a case. As highly skilled Miami car accident attorneys, we are proficient in Florida wrongful death law and can help families determine who may be at fault and the degree of their liability.

A 26-year-old woman died following a car accident in September, 2019. The crash took place on State Road 80 in Hendry Country. Florida Highway Patrol Law (FHP) says a man and six-year-old boy were driving east on a curve in the road while the 26-year-old woman was traveling west. FHP explained that the man tried to pass slower traffic in a no passing zone. Both he and the victim tried to avoid a crash, swerving towards the shoulder but ended up hitting each other. Tragically, the woman died at the scene while the man suffered severe injuries and was rushed to the hospital.

If a person dies as a result of the negligence of another person, certain surviving family members of that deceased person may be able to sue for  wrongful death. Under Florida law, a wrongful death occurs when a victim loses his or her life as a result of someone else’s misconduct or gross negligence. To prove negligence took place, the plaintiff bears the burden of proving the following elements by a preponderance of the evidence: