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Our Miami Personal Injury Attorneys Invite You To Take Our Distracted Driving Quiz!

Distracted driving is a serious problem in Florida and across the nation. The personal injury attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano are alarmed by the high rates of distracted drivers in our area.  Our attorneys recognize that some people simply do not understand what behaviors constitute distracted driving or how dangerous driving distracted can be.  We offer a quiz below to test your distracted driving knowledge:

Q. True or False: If you are stopped at a traffic light it is okay to read or return a text.

A. False: It is extremely dangerous to text while you are stopped at a traffic light. You may not see when the light changes and could start to drive too late, or too early. Texting while driving is against the law while the vehicle is in operation, which includes while it is stopped at a traffic light.

 

Q. True or False: Using a hands-free device is a safe alternative to using your cell phone while driving.

A. False: Several studies have shown that hands-free devices can cause significant distraction to drivers.  Even though your hands are on the wheel, your mind will be torn off the road if you are talking, texting, or engaging in other activities with your hands-free device.

Q. Approximately how many people are killed due to distracted driving each day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)? Continue reading →

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Miami Personal Injury Attorneys Explore How Technology Could End Car Accidents

The United States Department of Transportation issued a proposed rule recently that would mandate the development and widespread adoption of connected vehicle technologies throughout the nation. Under the proposed rule, all new “light duty” vehicles, which includes any vehicle weighing 10,000 pounds or less, would enable vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology.  Accordingly, all new vehicles would have the potential to avoid a multitude of crash scenarios by “talking” to one another.  Soon, the DOT also plans to issue a rule requiring the adoption of vehicle to infrastructure technology, which allows cars to communicate with their surroundings, such as traffic lights and stop signs.  Our South Florida personal injury lawyers anticipate that these technologies combined will save thousands of lives.

Vehicle Communication Technologies

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Miami Personal Injury Lawyers Explore the Ongoing Litigation Against the NFL

Former-NFL player Tony Gaiter, along with hundreds of other retired players, recently filed a federal lawsuit against the National Football League seeking workers’ compensation benefits for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Gaiter, like many other former players, reports that he was hit on the head numerous times during his career and now suffers from serious brain injuries.  Specifically, Gaiter suffers from constant head pain and cannot hold a job because he is unable to focus or remember basic things.  He and the other NFL players joining in the Fort Lauderdale lawsuit claim that CTE is an occupational hazard and players should be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.  Our brain injury attorneys are closely following the lawsuit as it could have serious implications for recently retired NFL players, along with current and future football players.

This litigation comes a year after a final decision was rendered in the monumental class action lawsuit of Turner et al v. National Football League et al. In that case, several former-NFL players filed suit through their personal injury attorneys against the NFL for the development of CTE.  In sum, over 5,000 players were represented in the lawsuit.  Judge Anita Brody reached a settlement that will apply to all players who retired on or before July 7, 2014.  The settlement provides up to five million per retired player for serious medical conditions related to head damage.  Total funds available to injured players amount to one billion.  Players have the option to opt out and pursue their own lawsuit.

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Miami Personal Injury Attorneys Celebrate the Use of Seatbelts

The United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released a promising new finding—seatbelt use in the United States has reached its highest level since the government began conducting surveys. Our personal injury attorneys are pleased to announce that today, approximately 90 percent of all drivers and passengers wear their seatbelts while their vehicle is in operation, which is up from 88.5 percent in 2015. The data was gathered through a mass observational study known as the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS).

Seatbelts Save Thousands of Lives Annually

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Miami Personal Injury Attorneys Discuss the Legal Rights of Injured Illegal Aliens

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimates that about 11.4 million unauthorized immigrants currently live across the United States. Many believe this figure is far higher.  There are a number of reasons people enter or remain in the country illegally, including our difficult and lengthy legalization process.  Illegal aliens are not afforded all the same protections as legal citizens, but they are entitled to some legal rights.  When an illegal alien is injured due to the negligence of another in Florida, they can file a personal injury claim with the assistance of a personal injury lawyer, but their legal rights are not the same as legal citizens.

The Rights of Injured Illegal Aliens

Illegal aliens face all of the same potential dangers as anyone else, and when they are hurt due to negligence, they have the right to seek compensation in the state of Florida.  A Miami personal injury attorney can assist an injured illegal alien in making claims for damages.  In Florida, a jury will not hear about the illegal alien’s status so long as they are only making a claim for:

  • Past and future medical expenses;
  • Property losses;
  • Funeral expenses;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Disability;
  • Mental anguish;
  • Loss of enjoyment of life;
  • Punitive damages.

Continue reading →

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Florida businesses have a duty to protect the public against injury. Our experienced slip and fall attorneys know that the most common injury people suffer in businesses are slip and fall injuries.  In Florida slip and fall accidents, the injured party must demonstrate that the company was negligent, causing the person to fall and suffer injuries. Slip and falls can cause severe injuries. People injured in slip and fall accidents generally suffer injuries ranging from broken bones, especially broken hips, wrists, and collarbones. Also, injured people experience spinal injuries such as disc herniation, while others who fall and strike their heads can suffer from traumatic brain injury and concussions.

The duty of Florida businesses is clear. Companies must warn of dangers that are either known to the business owner yet unknown to the public, that the public cannot know about even if the people are careful. Also, business owners have a duty to warn their invitees about hazards of which the business owner should be aware. Florida law imposes a duty on business owners to make regular inspections of their premises so that they can learn of any dangers to the public and then take reasonable measures to fix the hazard or warn the public about the danger. However, the business owner has no duty to warn the public about dangers that are open and obvious. If the hazard is open and obvious, then the business owner can rely on people’s common sense to avoid getting hurt.  Continue reading →

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People from all over the world flock to Florida for family vacations throughout the year. Many of these family vacations are centered on our state’s amusement and theme parks. Unfortunately, as experienced injury attorneys many people suffer from the onset of sudden illness, receive injuries, and some die riding the theme parks’ attractions. Our personal injury attorneys report that despite the theme parks and attractions bringing significant revenue to Florida each year, the state do not regulate the safety of its theme parks. Furthermore, a federal agency, and not a state-run organization, regulates carnivals and fairs.  Florida’s theme parks must report injuries, illnesses, and deaths quarterly to the Florida Department of Agriculture.

A recent tragic story illustrates the issues with the lack of oversight. According to the Orlando Sentinel, a 67-year-old man died after getting off a ride at an Orlando theme park. The unfortunate man fell ill after riding one of the park’s main attractions.  The theme park operators reported that the man died of a heart attack and suffered from a pre-existing condition of cardiovascular disease and obesity.

Theme park enthusiasts suffered other injuries and illnesses as well. Seizures, dizziness, stomach pain, chest pain, back pain, and neck pain were some of the injuries people suffered from Florida’s rides.  Some people fainted after getting off of a ride. Naturally, some injuries, especially at water parks, are caused by slips and falls. The slip and fall accidents occur when people are getting on and off the rides. Interestingly, in the recent report from the first half of 2016 published by the Orlando Sentinel, the explanation provided by the theme park for the injury or illness of the guest was a pre-existing injury or illness. The parks seem eager to point the finger at the guest rather than the ride for their wounds or sickness. Continue reading →

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The Jones Act (“the Act”) is a federal law passed by Congress in 1920 designed to protect sailors who suffered injuries or fell ill during a voyage. The Act gives seamen an opportunity to sue their employers for damages if they are injured due to their employer’s negligence. The common law rules of maritime law obligate a vessel’s owner to care for and provide for the safe passage and medical attention for a sick or injured seaman. Furthermore, maritime law provides for the care of seaman from harm caused by ships that were not seaworthy. The injured seaman has an option, therefore, to bring a suit in admiralty or under the Jones Act. In certain circumstances, the sailor has the opportunity to seek punitive damages.

As Miami Jones Act attorneys we have seen cases like the case of Atlantic Sounding v. Townsend. This case originated in Miami and made its way to the United States Supreme Court. The question in Atlantic Sounding was whether a sailor who suffered injuries during a voyage could sue his employer for punitive damages for a willful failure of his employer for refusing to pay for the seaman’s maintenance and cure. In this case, the seaman fell on a steel deck while working as a deckhand on a tugboat. The seaman injured his arm and shoulder in the fall. The employer refused to pay maintenance and cure as provided for by maritime law and terminated the seaman’s employment. The seaman filed sued the tugboat company in United States District Court in Miami. The case then went to the United States Supreme Court for a final decision. Continue reading →

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In Florida, our personal injury lawyers have surprised people when we explain that law enforcement agencies could be liable for personal injuries and law enforcement agencies are not completely immune from liability. Law enforcement officers have a duty to the public generally. The duty owed to the public, however, is not actionable under Florida tort law unless the police take additional steps to place someone in harm’s way and create a special duty of care. Law enforcement officers are liable for damages when they are obligated to care for another person and fail to do so properly. Florida courts call this the “undertaker doctrine.” In short, the undertaker doctrine compels the police to perform reasonably after the begin to care for another person.  The undertaker theory of negligence avoids the sometimes harsh consequences of sovereign immunity.

As personal injury attorneys we have seen facts similar to those that gave rise to the case of Wallace v. Dean. In that case, a woman died after falling into a diabetic coma. The woman’s daughter, who lived out of state, could not reach her mother by telephone. Consequently, she called a neighbor for assistance. The neighbor went to check on the woman. The neighbor called 911 when she could not wake the woman. Two sheriff’s deputies arrived and examined the woman. They vigorously tried to wake her but could not. They determined she was still breathing and was probably just sleeping because she was snoring despite shaking her violently in an effort to wake her up. When questioned about the decision not to call an ambulance, one of the deputies responded by saying that people in a diabetic coma do not snore. The deputies left after determining that medical personnel need not be summoned. Later that morning, the woman could not be roused. An ambulance took her to a local hospital where she died a few days later after never regaining consciousness.  Continue reading →

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In Florida personal injury cases, an injured person can recover damages if two separate forces caused harm. The legal theory is known as the concurring cause theory. The concurring cause theory surfaces in many types of cases. For example, the concurring cause theory appears in medical malpractice cases, products liability cases, and sometimes in car accident cases. However, our personal injury attorneys report that a Florida Court of Appeals recently analyzed the rule when used in trial accusing tobacco companies of causing the wrongful death of a Florida resident.

As experienced Miami personal injury lawyers, we have seen cases which we used the concurring cause theory to maximize our client’s recovery like the plaintiff did in Phillip Morris U.S.A., Inc. v. Tullo. The plaintiff was the wife of a man who died from lung cancer. He was a life-long smoker of various brands of cigarettes. The jury found the tobacco companies liable for the lung cancer. The plaintiff argued that the tobacco companies were responsible because the decedent was a smoker and the tobacco companies knew cigarettes were highly addictive from the high amounts of nicotine contained in them. The tobacco companies countered by arguing that the plaintiff’s husband was responsible for his lung cancer for failing to quit smoking.  Continue reading →

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