Why You Need an Experienced Miami Slip and Fall Attorney

June 1, 2014

When someone is injured in a slip or trip and fall in a grocery store in Miami or the surrounding areas of Florida, they can suffer painful debilitating injuries, such as fractures, head injuries or back injuries. While those who fall because of a damp floor or a "transitory foreign substance" might be legally entitled to money as compensation, these cases require a careful investigation and analysis of the facts. The Florida Supreme Court defined the phrase "transitory foreign substance" in Owens v. Publix Supermarkets, Inc., 802 So.2d 315, 317 (Fla. 2001) as "any liquid or solid substance, object or item located where it does not belong." The Owen decision essentially created a rebuttable presumption that a premises owner had failed to maintain his or her property in a reasonably safe condition if a transitory foreign substance was present on the floor. However, the law has shifted since this decision, so a skilled and experienced Miami slip and fall attorney is essential to gather the evidence to prevail in these fact intensive cases. Think of it this way. No store owner is responsible for following every customer to insure that they do not spill something which might cause another to fall. That burden is too high. But, what store owner's must do is have a program in effect to periodically check for potentially dangerous conditions, block them off, warn about them and clean them as soon as possible.

The Florida Legislature enacted Florida Statute § 768.0755 along with other legislation shifted the evidentiary burden in slip and fall cases back to injury victims. Under Section 768.0755, slip and fall victims in cases involving transitory foreign substances must prove that the owner of the premises or party in possession had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazard. Constructive knowledge by the business may be established by the duration of time the hazard was present or the frequency of the hazardous condition, which made if foreseeable. Trained lawyers who practice in the area of fall injuries know the right questions to ask to determine if this element is present.

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The Fatality Risk Posed by Vans and Trucks making Left Hand Turns in front of Motorcycles Resulting in Crashes in Florida

May 27, 2014

With the summer weather rapidly approaching, left turn motorcycle accident season has nearly arrived. While the warm weather makes riding a motorcycle appealing, many motorists are not yet accustomed to looking out for bikes in the first few weeks of the summer. Motorcyclists must be extra vigilant when riding in the early stages of the summer while drivers of passenger cars become more accustomed to sharing the road with two-wheeled vehicles. One of the most common and dangerous types of motorcycle accident during this period is where a car or truck makes a left hand turn cutting off the path of a motorcycle.causing a crash.

A left turn accident involving a car or truck striking a motorcycle often occurs when the driver of a car, truck or SUV exits a parking lot or driveway by make left hand turns without checking adequately for approaching motorcycles. The motorcyclist often has no viable evasive maneuver to avoid a collision with the larger passenger vehicle. Predictably, the motorcyclist typically bears the brunt of the impact when cars and motorcycles collide. It is important to remember that any driver must first see a potential danger and then send a message to their brain and have the brain react. The time it takes to react is called "Reaction time." It is critical to remember that during the period of reaction time (often 1.5-2.5 seconds,) the car, truck or SUV is moving forward without slowing or taking evasive action.

Our Miami personal injury law firm has often used "Time Sequence Analysis" to show where a vehicle was when it should have perceived a danger, how far it traveled during the "Reaction Time" (which is dependant upon speed - the faster a vehicle is going te more feet it covers in a second) and then what action was taken to avoid the collision. With this approach we have bee very successful in showing how our client's could not have avoided impact and injury.

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Slip and Falls in Florida Grocery Stores and Supermarkets

May 16, 2014

Everyday people throughout Miami-Dade County and the rest of Florida make trips to supermarkets and grocery stores of all varieties and sizes. Whether you are visiting a large chain grocery store like Publix or Whole Foods or a small gas station convenience store, wet, sticky or uneven floors are a common hazard because of spilled drinks, jars that fall from shelves and water tracked in during a rainstorm.

Slip and fall lawsuits can be challenging because subtle distinctions in the evidence can have a major impact on the case in terms of proving actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition or establishing that the hazard was not one that should have been obvious to a shopper. Since Miami grocery store slip and fall accident lawsuits require extensive investigation and persuasive presentation of the facts, your selection of a Florida personal injury lawyer with experience handling supermarket slip and falls can significantly impact your settlement or verdict.

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Examining Fatal Car Accidents in Florida

April 21, 2014

On January 20, 2014, a violent crash in southwest Miami-Dade killed three people and sent three others to the hospital. The wreck occurred at about 1:45 a.m. in the area of Southwest 144th Street and Krome Avenue. Erik Betancourt, a 19 year old, was driving southbound on Krome Avenue when he collided head on with another vehicle.

Betancourt had three passengers in the car, and the other vehicle had one passenger. Gisele Betancourt, just 15, and the driver and passenger of the other vehicle were killed in the accident. Erik Betancourt and his two other passengers, Julissa Ochoa and Samuel Domifilo, were transported to the hospital with serious injuries.

One month later, Daniela Perez, 14, was killed when Arnaldo Campo Romaguera, 43, lost control of his Chevy Trailblazer. Romaguera was heading west on Julia Tuttle Causeway when he lost control of the SUV carrying seven people. The SUV struck a guardrail, overturned, and landed on its roof in a grassy embankment. Perez was ejected from the vehicle, killing her instantly. She was the only fatality, though the driver and all passengers sustained injuries.

Meanwhile, in close by Tampa, a fiery head on collision left five people dead. In this crash, an SUV was traveling the wrong way on Interstate 275 when it hit a Hyundai Sonata, carrying four fraternity members from the University of South Florida in Tampa. All four Sigma Beta Rho passengers were killed, as was the driver of the SUV.

Approximately 3,000 individuals are killed on Florida roadways each year, and 30,000 perish nationally. In fact, someone is killed every 13 seconds in the U.S. With this in mind, our Miami car accident lawyers have prepared the following list of the top causes of fatal car accidents in Florida. This list is intended to help you understand the potential hazards on the roadways so that you can stay safe while driving.

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Injured While Food Shopping: A Look at Supermarket Falls in Florida

April 19, 2014

Grocery shopping is something most of us do on a weekly basis. In fact, studies show the average American will travel to the supermarket 1.7 times per week. The grocery store is a bustling place, with an average of 42,000 items on store shelves, often 50 plus employees, and many consumers rushing to fill their carts. In the midst of all this activity, falls sometimes happen. Supermarket falls have garnered national attention due to a few high profile slips.

There are two central causes of a supermarket fall: slipping or tripping. Shoppers often slip on slippery surfaces in the store, such as spilled liquid or fallen fruits that then become slippery. Trips can occur from uneven surfaces or misplaced items in the grocery store, such as mats not rolled out correctly or ill placed magazine racks.

In Florida, our Miami personal injury lawyers know that those who slip and fall in a supermarket may be able to seek compensation from the store owner for their damages stemming from the accident under premises liability law. In 2010, Florida reformed its premises liability laws, now requiring that slip and fall plaintiffs prove the store owner, or an employee, had actual or constructive knowledge of a dangerous condition and failed to remedy it. For instance, in a case involving a customer slipping on a discarded grape, the court will look to how long the grape was present (as evidenced by its coloring and cleanliness), whether employees passed through the area, and if any complaints were made as to spilled fruit, among many other factors.

Publix is the most popular grocery chain in Florida, and has been home to a number of slip and fall injuries. The following is a look at some actual cases resulting in favorable outcomes for slip and fall plaintiffs against Publix:

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Deadly Weekend for South Florida Pedestrians

April 15, 2014

The weekend of March 21, 2014 proved deadly for South Florida walkers after two adults and a child died and three other individuals were injured by car crashes. Our Miami personal injury lawyers know how these deaths have sadly become a part of South Florida's lethal history for walkers:

• On a Friday night, in Coral Springs, two men were crossing North University Drive around 9 p.m. They were midway across when they were hit by a vehicle. Jose Gutierrez, a 22 year old young man, died instantly as a result of his injuries, while 20 year old Tyler Sanders-Nielson was airlifted to Broward Health North in Deerfield Beach with life-threatening injuries.

• Twenty-four hours later, four year old Abdallah Staih, his mother Natalie Munzer Alja'Ouni, and eight month old brother Ahmad Staih, were walking along the sidewalk on Pine Island Road in Sunrise. The two young boys were riding in a dual stroller. A driver, who was attempting to avoid collision with another vehicle, lost control and hit the family. The stroller was impacted heavily, and four year old Abdallah was killed. Abdallah's mother and brother were sent to the hospital, were both are said to be in stable condition.

• On Sunday afternoon, 19 year old Jacqueline Elizabeth Postrel-Jambor was skateboarding in North Miami Beach along Northeast 23rd Avenue. A Ford sedan traveling on Northeast 137th Street fatally struck the young woman.

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Slips, Trips, and Falls on Florida Sidewalks

April 11, 2014

We walk on sidewalks on a daily basis, often many times a day. Rarely do we stop and consider our personal safety while walking upon a sidewalk. However, our Miami personal injury lawyers know how a single poorly placed uneven flag of concrete, crack in the pavement, or protruding root can send you pummeling to the ground, shattering that illusion of safety. Sidewalk injuries occur at alarming rates across the state of Florida, with walkers slipping, tripping, and falling on any number of obstacles and dangerous conditions annually.

Sidewalk falls can be caused by a number of factors. In Florida, some of the most common causes include:

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Frequently Asked Questions about Motorcycle Accidents in Florida: Part II

April 11, 2014

There are over 600,000 registered motorcycles in the state of Florida, and many more visitors on motorcycles travel our roadways every day. While Florida's temperate weather and numerous freeways make it ideal for motorcycle riding, the state is also home to a considerable number of serious motorcycle accidents a year. In fact, Florida is currently ranked the third most dangerous state for motorcycle riders, and the number of fatalities in Florida has actually been on the rise since 2010.

In Part I of this two part series, we examined a few of the questions most often asked by our Miami motorcycle accident clients. In Part II, we continue this list of questions, diving further into the realm of motorcycle accident law and recovery.

What actions can the family members of a deceased motorcycle accident victim pursue?

The Florida Wrongful Death Act allows the survivors (as defined by Florida law) of deceased riders or passengers to seek compensation for lost support or services following the death of their loved one. Survivors may include a spouse, child, or parent.
What types of compensation are available to motorcycle riders hurt or killed in an accident?

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Frequently Asked Questions about Motorcycle Accidents in Florida: Part I

April 7, 2014

Florida is home to a large number of motorcyclists. Our balmy climate and many highways that stretch the span of the state make Florida an ideal place to ride. Tourists flock to Florida on their motorcycles annually, and our state is host to a number of motorcycle enthusiast events. Sadly, with the popularity of motorcycles comes a high rate of accidents. Each year, approximately 7,300 individuals are injured in crashes across the state.

Over three hundred riders are killed on motorcycles annually. Miami-Dade, with its miles of highways and more than its share of distracted drivers, is considered the most dangerous Florida county for motorcyclists, home to nearly 40 deaths each year. Given the high rate of serious injury or death, victims of motorcycle accidents and their families require the assistance of a Miami motorcycle accident attorney who will pursue their interests to the fullest extent in either a personal injury or wrongful death action.

The following is a compilation of questions frequently asked by motorcycle accident victims and their families. These questions can provide you with some initial information and understanding, which your licensed Florida motorcycle accident attorney can further expound upon.

What are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Florida?

1. Left hand turns into motorcyclists--by some accounts, motor vehicles making a left hand turn in front of motorcyclists who have the right of way is the leading cause of motorcycle accidents. The drivers of cars and trucks frequently fail to check their mirrors, observe stop signs or stop lights, or yield the right of way. This can leave the motorcyclist with no time to react before he or she pummels into the side of the vehicle. Motorcyclists injured in this manner will have a strong personal injury claim based on the motor vehicle driver's negligence.

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Rollover Accidents Still Lead to Fatalities throughout Florida

March 30, 2014

Late on Halloween night, four teenagers were returning home from a "haunted walk" in Collier County, Florida when the Mustang in which they were riding veered off the road, impacted a concrete culvert, and rolled over. Three of the teenagers were killed and a fourth was able to crawl from the car with serious injuries, according to an NBC news story. Rollover accidents continue to be among the most deadly of all auto accidents.

When a person has been injured in a severe crash, there are many struggles that he may endure, but he does not have to do this alone. The skilled Miami auto accident attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. have more than 100 years of combined experience in getting the damages awards that our clients need to pay for medical treatment, cover accident-related expenses, and compensate them for pain and suffering.

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The Risk of Following a Motorcycle Too Closely is Tremendous

March 28, 2014

As part of the warm South Florida driving culture, cars and motorcyclists share the road throughout the year. Although there are accidents that are caused by the biker, many times, it is the driver of the passenger car or light truck that causes the accident because of the decreased visibility of the biker, coupled with the more vulnerable position of the rider with no real safety protections on the bike. Following behind the bike without sufficient stopping distance is a common cause of serious accidents.

Bikers are very aware of the dangers of taking to the road with other drivers; however, the thrill of riding outweighs the perils. When there has been a collision and you have been injured in a bike accident, you need the hard-working Miami motorcycle accident attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. to fight for your rights and get you the damages award that you need to move forward.

The dangers of following too closely became tragically apparent on January 4, 2014, when a 64-year-old driver of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle was struck by a 23-year-old driver of a vehicle traveling behind him. According to the article in the Palm Beach Post, the driver of the car did not realize that the biker had slowed because of backed-up traffic. The impact ejected the biker, Joseph Comparetto, from the bike into the emergency lane, where he was struck by the driver of another vehicle, a Ford Edge. Mr. Comparetto died at the scene. This type of accident happens often between motorcycles and other motor vehicles.

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Hit and Run Driver Involved in Fatal Pick-up Crash

March 24, 2014

Early on the morning of February 16, 2014, a pick-up truck collided with another pick-up and the driver of one of the vehicles fled the scene. When the driver of the second pick-up exited the vehicle to look at the damage to the truck, a third vehicle struck and killed him. He had his wife and 18-year-old son in the pick-up when he was killed. The accident occurred in Tamarac, Florida, at the Commercial Boulevard entrance onto the Florida Turnpike, according to an article in the Sun Sentinel.

Victims of hit and run accidents often believe that there is nothing that can be done to identify the responsible party and hold him accountable, but this is not true. The experienced Miami auto accident lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. have the skills and network of professional investigators to help those injured in many types of hit and run accidents.

In the case of the Tamarac accident, deputies are examining video surveillance to identify the individual involved in the original collision. Fleeing the scene of an accident is illegal under Florida law. The reason many people flee is because getting convicted of a DUI carries more serious penalties, including longer prison times and higher fines than a collision.. Therefore, someone who has been drinking may want to leave the scene even if he/she intends to turn themselves in to the police for the accident at some point. By then, it is almost impossible to prove that they were under the influence at the time of the crash.

In Florida it is a crime ,to leave the scene of an accident and is compounded when one leaves the scene of a crash with injuries to another. When a person is involved in a crash with another vehicle, building, or structure and leaves the scene without notifying anybody about the driver's contact information, including name and address, vehicle registration, and driver's license details, pursuant to Florida Statute 316.061. a criminal charge may result.

If the accident involved injury or a fatality, Florida Statute 316.027 requires additional obligations including mandating that the driver:

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Turns in Front of Motorcycles Lead to Many Intersection and Roadway Accidents

March 21, 2014

On New Year's Eve, a Mini Cooper made a left hand turn in front of a motorcyclist and caused the bike to collide with the passenger side of the car, leading to the death of the biker at the scene. The driver of the car was turning into a Costco parking lot when the vehicle moved into the path of the biker, according to a WPTV article. The biker was thrown from the motorcycle. A passenger in the Mini Cooper suffered from minor injuries. This fatal crash occurred in Boca Raton, Florida and demonstrates the dangers that motorcycles face when traveling through Florida intersections.

Motorcycle accidents pose great risks to bikers because there is little that can be done to prevent harm once impact has occurred. With more than three decades of experience, the Miami personal injury lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. know how to put together a comprehensive strategy to get justice for bikers who were injured as a result of another driver's negligence.

Turning vehicles account for a large percentage of deadly bike crashes. In early February, 2014, a Naples motorcyclist was killed in Collier County when another motorist negligently turned right into the path of the biker, leading to a collision. The impact was head-on and the biker died at the scene, according to a News-Press article.

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Distracted Driving Kills Nearly Ten People Every Day

March 14, 2014

People hear about distracted driving accidents every day, but what many do not realize is that this truly has become an epidemic among drivers of all ages. However, teenagers have a much higher likelihood of driving while distracted. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to study this deadly phenomenon as part of its Motor Vehicle Safety efforts.

When a person is injured in an auto accident, whether caused by a distracted driver or other negligent actions, the compassionate and experienced Miami personal injury lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. will fight to get you the compensation that you deserve. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients who have been severely injured in car accidents and we will use those skills in pursuing distracted driving cases.

The CDC lists three types of distracted driving:
• Visual - where the driver takes his eyes off of the road;
• Manual - the driver removes his hands from the wheel; and
• Cognitive - the driver focuses his thoughts and attention on something other than driving.

The most common example of distracted driving is texting while driving, which combines all three types of distraction.

In 2011, an estimated 3,331 people died in motor vehicle accidents where there was a distracted driver. The number of people injured did decrease slightly from 2010, down to 387,000 from 416,000. Between the years of 2009 and 2011, there was almost a 50% increase in the number of text messages sent in the United States, which does not bode well with future incidents of distracted driving.

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Bicyclists are not Safe on South Florida Roads

March 7, 2014

Choosing to get on a bike and going for a ride, whether for recreational purposes or with the intent of getting somewhere specific, is supposed to be a healthy choice for the individual and the environment, but as bicycle accidents continue to increase on South Florida roads, it may be a hazardous decision. A recent article in the Sun Sentinel reported that bike accidents in Broward and Palm Beach Counties have increased in the time period between 2010 and 2012, with a 42% increase in Broward and a 21% jump in crashes in Palm Beach.

Any accident on a bike can lead to serious injuries, but when a bicyclist collides with a motor vehicle, the consequences can be tragic. The skilled and dedicated Miami personal injury attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. have more than 100 years of experience in getting our clients the compensation that they deserve for the harm they have suffered and we are prepared to fight for you. Our firm has favorably resolved many cases where our client was injured or killed because of the negligence of a motorist.

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