Anesthesiologist Case May Lower Bar For Fla. Med Mal Suits

Law360 (February 13, 2018, 3:20 PM EST) — If the Florida Supreme Court revives claims against an anesthesiologist whose quick clearance for surgery of a woman allegedly contributed to her death, experts say it could make it easier for medical malpractice plaintiffs in the state to allege causation, or that a health care provider proximately caused a person’s injuries.
The state’s highest court agreed in January to rule on whether Dr. Arturo Lorenzo was properly cut loose from a suit accusing health care providers including Hialeah Hospital of negligent treatment that caused the death of patient Maria Elena Espinosa just prior to brain surgery. Lorenzo, an
anesthesiologist, is accused of improperly clearing the patient for surgery despite certain red flags, including an abnormal electrocardiogram and lab results.
The Third District Court of Appeal ruled 2-1 in August that the patient’s family failed to present evidence proving Lorenzo — who spent just three to five minutes conducting the initial portion of an anesthesia evaluation while the assigned anesthesiologist was running late to the surgery — played a causal role in Espinosa’s death, and issued a directed verdict in Lorenzo’s favor.
A well-respected judge, District Judge Kevin Emas, however, issued a lengthy dissent, arguing that the red flags were sufficient evidence to preclude a directed verdict.
At stake is Florida malpractice plaintiffs’ ability to assert claims against doctors who may have tangentially contributed to a patient’s injuries, so long as plaintiffs can prove they played some part, according to Andrew S. Bolin of Beytin McLaughlin McLaughlin O’Hara Bocchino & Bolin PA.
Bolin, a medical malpractice defense attorney, told Law360 that the current suit is a follow-on to Saunders v. Dickens, a 2014 Florida Supreme Court case that determined a subsequent treating physician’s negligence can’t insulate a prior physician’s alleged negligence.
Even though the subsequent treating physicians said they would have acted no differently despite a previous doctor’s alleged negligence, the Supreme Court concluded in Saunders that such evidence is inadmissible and irrelevant and shouldn’t be presented to a jury when determining causation.
The high court said the only issue was that, more likely than not, the defendant physician proximately caused the injury.
“When the Saunders case was handed down in 2014, it got a lot of attention from both the plaintiffs and defense bar — it was a case that certainly looked at causation in medical malpractice differently than anything we had seen in the past,” he said. “In the Ruiz case, the Florida Supreme Court is looking to revisit the Saunders decision to give further clarity on what they were communicating.”
The appeals court’s ruling in the instant case, Bolin said, determined that because Lorenzo only treated the patient for a brief period of time and early on, there was no competent evidence that subsequent physicians would have acted differently based upon the actions of Lorenzo.
“This is really a focus on causation and the way that causation is going to play a part in what the plaintiff has to prove,” he said.
Lani Dornfeld, a health law attorney with Brach Eichler LLC, said the case is difficult because there were multiple physicians responsible for Espinosa’s care and surgical procedures, and Lorenzo only served as a fill-in anesthesiologist for three to five minutes before handing off care to the other anesthesiologist.
“It would seem to be a logical conclusion that [he] is the anesthesiologist responsible, and not Dr. Lorenzo,” she said.
But the Florida Supreme Court is looking to make a distinction between simple cause-and-effect and causation, the latter which implies proximate cause and liability, according to medical malpractice defense attorney James J. Nosich of Nosich & Ganz Attorneys at Law.
“The plaintiffs are arguing ‘but for’ the anesthesiologist’s involvement or negligence, the patient would’ve never gotten into the operating room, so therefore anything that happened in the operating room is on the anesthesiologist,” he said, “While the defense is arguing more about proximate cause, or that there was nothing linked to [Lorenzo’s] alleged negligence.”
Nosich said he wouldn’t be surprised if the directed verdict is overturned, saying Judge Emas laid out a lengthy and logical dissenting opinion.
“You can certainly say that Emas took the time to really hash out his position. I thought it was lengthy and well-thought out; he went through testimony piece-by-piece,” said Nosich. “He’s a really smart judge, and he obviously feels strongly about it — it’s a well-written dissent.”
Personal injury plaintiffs attorney Jeffrey R. Davis said he, too, would not be surprised if the Florida Supreme Court revives the case and sends it back for a retrial on the issue of Lorenzo’s liability.
Davis said Judge Emas correctly states that the majority is looking at the evidence too narrowly and should have viewed the evidence in a light most favorable to the plaintiff.
“If you do that, there was enough evidence, [Emas] says. And by the way, the test is not what the judges think the outcome of the case should be — the judges are gatekeepers who have to decide whether there is a requisite offering of proof, not the weight of it — that’s the jury’s job,” he said.
“The [Court of Appeal] had this decision as a fait accompli and agreed with the trial court and crafted their opinion to support it.”
Given the current makeup of the Florida Supreme Court and its decisions in medical malpractice cases in recent years, Bolin said he believes there is a 60-40 chance that it revives the claims against Lorenzo.
“I think it is likely that we will see this decision overturned on the authority of the Saunders decision and perhaps even a greater highlighting of causation in that regard,” he said. “In my opinion, it would lower the bar significantly for causation and erode what has been the standard in Florida for a very long time. It would erode the basis for causation and the importance causation plays as an essential element in a medical malpractice case.”
Espinosa’s family is represented by Jorge P. Gutierrez Jr. of The Gutierrez Firm and Philip D. Parrish PA.
Lorenzo is represented by Jonathon P. Lynn of Chimpoulis Hunter & Lynn PA and Dinah Stein of Hicks Porter Ebenfeld & Stein PA.
The case is Ruiz v. Tenet Hialeah Healthsystem Inc. et al., case number SC17-1562, in the Supreme Court of Florida.
–Additional reporting by Carolina Bolado. Editing by Philip Shea and Kelly Duncan

https://www.law360.com/personal-injury-medical-malpractice/articles/1011378/anesthesiologist-case-may-lower-bar-for-fla-med-mal-suits

Practice Considerations – Personal Injury Lawyer – Miami, FL

For the injury lawyer handling a knee case, a working knowledge of the anatomy, terminology and basic pathology is essential.

The AAOS reports in 2010 there were about 10.4 million patient visits to doctor’s offices because of common knee injuries such as fractures, dislocations, sprains and ligament tears. “Knee injury is one of the most common reasons people see their doctors”.

It’s the largest joint in the body – if you are going to represent a client with a knee injury, learn the anatomy – what the component parts are and how they work.

The simple and most cost effective way to learn about your client’s knee injury is to start with the first responder’s records. Pay careful attention to the history, complaints and physical examination findings. Was swelling or effusion documented? Was there a description of redness, bruising or contusion? Look for the term “hematoma”. Was decreased range of motion or “ROM” documented? Did your client require assistance ambulating or were they placed on a stretcher.

The next source of information is the emergency room records. Patient complaints, history and physical findings must be carefully reviewed. X-rays reports, doctor’s notes and discharge instructions are also important points of information.

The initial treatment records with the PCP, family doctor or internist should be carefully examined for knee complaints and findings. Your knowledge of all of these materials in a thorough, comprehensive and chronological order will truly benefit your case presentation to the treating orthopaedic surgeon, claims adjuster and defense counsel.

All doctors, especially orthopaedic surgeons are busy people. When you meet with your client’s treating orthopaedic surgeon, physiatrist or neurologist, knowledge of the minute details contained in the medical records is essential. They will not know as much about these facts as you do! This is how you get their attention and how you get the most out of the brief conference they will give you. Use this time wisely – go in with a goal oriented plan.

I like to have my client’s doctors, especially in knee cases, give me answers to these topics:

1.      What is the injury?

2.      Is it traumatic, and if so, how can we prove that?

3.      What was pre-existing and what was new?

4.      What is the treatment plan: cost, length of time, rate of success?

5.      What effects or limitations will be permanent and can that be proven? (we live in a Daubert world- remember to get your doctor to think in terms of that level of proof).

Remember, timing of the conference with the treating doctor is important.  Too soon and many of the inquiries will go unanswered: too late and all the documentation will have already been created.

If the case warrants it, hire a medical illustrator or visual presentation company. It pays to have your AV person meet with the treating doctor to prepare and later review your exhibits, especially if they are to be used in trial.

Have your client take the time to explain how their knee injury has affected their lives. These details are important to your jury. While the average juror may not appreciate the significance of anterior cruciate ligament instability, they will understand the difficulty associated with knee pain that prevents your client from getting out of their car.

To do the best possible job for your client in a knee injury case, know more about your clients’ knee injury than everyone else involved in the case. Know all the complaints, the documented findings, the dates of treatment, complaints on those dates, doctor’s opinions, treatment and results. Know the knee inside and out. You will be surprised how this body of knowledge will enhance the valve of the case and improve the result for your client.

Good Luck!

Medical Records Rip Off

Until 1997, a monster of a “medical transcription” industry was developing right under the United States’ nose. A medical copy would cost one dollar per page to third parties that represented a patient- we’re talking lawyers, insurance companies, etc. These companies turned the copies for an incredible amount of profit until HIPAA regulations required doctors and medical establishments to transfer all paper records to a digital format.

Now, 21 years later, these companies are still charging an insane amount of money for a copy of a medical record. However, all it takes is a few clicks and a couple seconds to download these documents onto a USB. No paper, no ink.

Lawyers and insurance companies must pay thousands of dollars to a medical transcription company to have your records released to whomever you choose… in the age of technology! Companies like CIOX, that took over the medical transcription industry, are claiming that if third parties do not pay them for patient medical records, they acquire a “tremendous financial burden.”

This creates a large financial toll on the third party that needs access to those files. This means the cost of your representation can be directly affected. There has been a lawsuit filed in relation to this matter- let’s hope that we don’t continue to get ripped off by medical transcription companies.

IV Infiltration and Medical Malpractice

Often, patients are prescribed intravenous- or IV- therapy to have fluids administered into their veins through a small catheter needle. The needle is typically inserted in the arm or hand to deliver medications. Although it is normal procedure, it is not 100% safe or reliable.

Grave complications can result due to improper placement of the catheter. A condition known as IV infiltration is described as, “when medication or fluid is intravenously infused into the surrounding tissue,” can be one of the leading development of improper handling or monitoring of the IV by the medical staff.

Occasionally, the medication inserted intravenously becomes toxic as it leaks into the tissues surrounding the bloodstream. This may have adverse and irreversible effects to skin, fats, and muscles in the areas affected. Other examples of such effects are:

  • Harsh scarring where medication touched the skin
  • Irreversible nerve damage
  • Paralyzation of affected extremity
  • Skin ulcers
  • Burns

Everyone wants the medical professionals and organizations we trust our lives to, to be knowledgeable and skilled. Unfortunately, subpar services are an epidemic throughout our nation and the people that perform these actions can be held legally accountable for them.

Distracted While Driving

Next time you are stuck in traffic – take a look around you. Most of the drivers in nearby cars are starring at their phones. At night, you can see the white light of a handheld device in nearly every car. Hardly anyone is paying attention to the road ahead. Most drivers are distracted. The latest statistics show that American’s traffic deaths are rising. The combination of automobiles and smartphones are contributing to the danger. Despite a media campaign of awareness, many drivers still text and drive or use their phone in other distracting ways.

Traffic fatalities on United States roads in 2016 increased to 37,461, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That is a 5.6% increase over 2015 and 8.4% from 2014. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s records, fatal distracted-driving crashes specifically involving cellphone use, increased to 14% in 2015 from 12% in 2011.

The Capital news service in Tallahassee Florida reported that more than 39,000 people were injured in Florida last year after being involved in a distracted driver crash. The month of April has been designated Distracted Driver Awareness month. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles keeps records on traffic crashes and vehicular legal infractions. Despite a ban on texting while driving, police have issued very few citations in part because texting is a secondary offence. This means that motorists must first have been stopped for some other violation.

While distracted driving is “anything that takes your hands off the wheel, your eyes of the road or mind off driving”, smart phones appear to be the greatest culprit. Think about: texting while driving requires all three categories of distraction. The driver takes their eyes off the road to look at the screen, their hands off the wheel to type the text and respond; this forces them to think about something other than driving. Texting while driving reduces the driver’s ability to react in order to stop or avoid a hazard.

Accident reconstructionist, road designers and vehicle engineers all consider perception distance, reaction distance and breaking distance when evaluating automobile safety. A vehicle traveling 60 miles per hour requires approximately 66 feet of perception distance, another 66 feet of reaction distance and over 227 feet of braking distance. This means it takes almost 360 feet to stop a car traveling at 60 miles per hour assuming a focused driver on a dry roadway. A driver that is texting, reading emails, or looking things up on their cellphone greatly increases the perception distance and reaction distance before hitting the brakes on their vehicle. This results in all manner of crashes from the simple, slow speed bumper tap in traffic to the disastrous highspeed highway fatalities.

In Florida, unlike many other states, there is no handheld cellular phone ban, there is no cellphone ban for school bus drivers, there is no cellphone ban for novice drivers and, text messaging while driving is only charged as a secondary infraction. While it will be easy to recommend that all of us contact our legislators and voice concern over these lax driving laws, in reality, often times the better way to enact change is in the Courts.

In Las Vegas, Nevada prosecutors charged a motorist who killed two people while speeding, and talking on her cellphone with a felony. With the advent of improved accessibility to cellphone records and the increased technology allowing access to smart phone usage history, civil personal injury actions against distracted drivers are becoming more and more common. Recent efforts in Florida have been made by victims of distracted drivers to sue for punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish a wrong doer for intentionally harmful or criminal behavior. Florida Courts are beginning to recognize that when a defendant engages in conduct that is “fraudulent, malicious, deliberately violent or oppressive, or committed with such gross negligence as to indicate a wanton disregard to the rights of others” the award of punitive damages maybe appropriate. This standard comes from a 1994 Florida Supreme Court case. In 2011, a trial Court in Collier County, Florida allowed a punitive damage claim against a driver who was texting while driving that caused a death.

Florida Statute §316.305 “forbids the operator of a motor vehicle from manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols or other characters into a wireless communications device or while sending or reading data in such device for the purpose of non-voice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods known as texting, emailing, and instant messaging”. The violation of this law is a traffic infraction not a criminal offence. It will be difficult for the distracted driver that was texting while driving to argue, after causing an accident, that that conduct was not intentional. It is this very illegal and unsafe intentional conduct which we, at Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. believe will give rise to a claim for punitive damages, in the event of an accident causing serious injury or death.

Our goal is to promote safe driving and see that laws on the books regarding distracted drivers are strengthened.

Certain businesses, like AT&T have installed applications on their employee’s cellphones that make it impossible to operate their phone while the vehicle’s engine is activated. This means no texting and driving, no receiving phone calls, no surfing the web or other distracted driving conduct. This very same technology should exist to prevent all motor vehicles from allowing the operator or driver to text, receive or send emails or other manual phone operations while driving. It will save lives, avoid injuries and reduce crashes.

At Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., we are a law firm that seeks to pursue safety as a business model. We believe that enforcement of laws relating to safe driving through appropriate civil claims and litigation is often a place where change for the better begins. If you or family member or friend have been injured by a distracted driver, please call Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. to discuss this matter and receive a free consultation. Our firm specializes in the representation of injury victims throughout the state of Florida. Our bilingual staff will be available to assist you on a 24/7 basis.

Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. Recently reported another case in which justice was served

Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. recently reported another case in which justice was served. The firm represented a 90 year-old pedestrian that was bumped by a car in a store parking lot and caused to fall and twist an ankle.

In this case, the client sustained a non-displaced lateral malleolus fracture – which translates to a fracture in the bone on the outside of the ankle joint. The treatment required 9 weeks in a CAM walker, followed by physical therapy. The defendant driver was insured by GEICO and the defense denied liability and disputed the existence of a fracture and that the Plaintiff sustained a permanent injury.

After a three-day trial before Hon. Jeffrey Levenson in Broward County, Florida, the jury returned a verdict in the Plaintiff’s favor with a finding of permanency. The net verdict exceeded the Proposal for Settlement which will entitle the Plaintiff to an award of Attorney’s fees as well as compensatory damages.

This is another example of how Jeffrey Davis, P.A. is willing to go beyond the call of duty for their clients. They are determined to get their clients what is rightfully owed.

Texting While Driving In Florida…

Texting While Driving in Florida: Dangerous and Against the Law!

The Florida ban on texting while driving law is found at Florida Statute §316.305.  Incredibly, although everyone knows it’s a careless and dangerous practice, it is still only a secondary offense (F.S. 316.305(1)(d)).  This means to be cited (receive a ticket) for texting while driving (TWD), a motor-vehicle operator must be detained (pulled over or stopped) for another type of violation (i.e., speeding, running a red light, taillight out, etc.)  (F.S. 316.305(5)).

Evidence of texting will be admissible in criminal and civil proceedings where the driver that was texting while driving cased a crash involving death or personal injury.  In those cases, cell phone bills or other written evidence of TWD will be admissible in Court.  (F.S. 316.305(7)(c)).

TWD is distracted driving.  The U.S. Department of Transportation has recognized that such a major problem exists with distracted driving that they have funded an education campaign known as www.Distraction.gov.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has instituted an extensive education effort aimed at young drivers using powerful YouTube videos that graphically depict the danger of texting behind the wheel.  The statistics are overwhelming.  The National Safety Counsel reports that 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by TWD.  The list goes on and on.  More incredible is the fact that TWD makes you 23 times more likely to crash – the same as driving after 4 beers!  Despite this indisputable evidence, 800,000 drivers are doing it at any given time across the country.

Certainly, no one can argue that TWD is negligent.  Florida courts are starting to hold that it may even rise to the level of recklessness (an intentional act like driving while intoxicated).  This clear and obvious danger of TWD has led to Plaintiffs (people bringing lawsuits) to seek punitive damages under Florida Statutes §768.72 (1) and (2).  To make a claim for punitive damages against a driver that has caused personal injury or death due to a crash while texting, an injured party needs to prove gross negligence that indicates a wanton disregard for the rights of others.  (As early as 2011, Florida courts began allowing punitive damage claims against a Defendant whose conduct (TWD) caused a car crash resulting in death (Margaret S. Caskey, et. al. v. Astellas Pharma US, Inc., et. al., Collier County Case No. 112010 CA 0005820001XX (Fla. Collier Cir. Ct. 2011).  It should be noted that regular insurance policies do not provide coverage for these damages.  Since 2011, discovery of electronic records and data has become increasingly more sophisticated in criminal and civil cases and text message histories are readily obtainable.  This evidentiary proof will continue to become more accessible and verifiable in injury and death cases.  Phone records, billing records, and screen shots are the proverbial “smoking gun” in modern distracted driving cases.

Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. is a Florida injury law firm that has more than 30 years’ experience in representing victims of personal injury and wrongful death.  We handle cases throughout Florida involving texting while driving and distracted driving claims.  Please contact us for a free case evaluation.

What is Mediation and Why is Mediation Required in Florida

Mediation is required in every civil action in Florida. Mediation is a structured settlement conference that the parties to a civil lawsuit must attend. In every personal injury case that is in litigation, the Court will require the parties to meet at a mediation in order to try and settle their case. Mediation works – cases settle at mediation very often. A mediator must be certified in order to preside over a mediation conference. A mediation conference is scheduled, usually well in advance, in order to give both sides an opportunity to prepare. The Plaintiff, that is the person bringing the lawsuit, attends the mediation with their lawyer. They are responsible for presenting the case to the other side, the Defendant.

A mediation can be as simple as a short discussion about the facts of the case or as elaborate as a mini-trial with evidence, presentations of exhibits, visual aids, PowerPoints and other demonstrative tools. Our firm prepares for mediation on significant cases by gathering all of the client’s special damages, medical bills, liens, and other accident related expenses in order to specifically show the economic loss suffered by our clients.

Frequently, we will meet with visual aid companies to create mediation exhibits such as animations of the accident, PowerPoint demonstrations showing our clients’ case related photographs, videotape, damage charts, summaries of depositions, medical bills and insurance spreadsheets, accident and security films, relevant case law excerpts, jury instructions and verdict forms in order to present to the defense what we believe the jury in the trial of the case will ultimately see. The defense usually appears with the defense lawyer and a representative of the insurance company, however the Defendant individually can be required to attend as well. In the case of a business, a corporate representative can be in attendance. The mediator is typically a retired Judge or senior trial lawyer with vast experience over many years of handling similar cases.

The mediator listens to the initial case presentations from both sides that detail their case. Afterwards, the parties are usually separated so that the mediator can travel back and forth between the parties sharing relevant points and details about each side’s strength and weaknesses. Ultimately, the Plaintiff makes a settlement demand and hopefully, after some work and negotiation, the parties may reach a settlement agreement. If a settlement agreement is reached, a written mediation settlement agreement is signed by both sides and their representatives and the mediator notifies the Court of the result.

Mediation is a significant tool in trying to resolve a case since it forces both sides to attend a conference, hear from the other side and focus on the case.

Uninsured Motorist Insurance – Why you need it!

In Florida, like many states in our country, only a minimal amount of bodily injury insurance is required to register your automobile. Car insurance is usually divided into different categories; bodily injury coverage, property damage coverage, medical insurance coverage, collision and comprehensive coverage. There are other kinds of insurance as well which supplement these such as medical payment coverage, towing & storage insurance, rental car coverage and excess or supplemental insurance. The truth is most people do not carry enough bodily injury liability insurance to cover the harm they do. This means that the average driver, especially in Florida, has only $10,000 available if they cause an accident and injure or kill someone. $10,000 will not even pay for one day of a hospital stay for a person with severe injuries.

That’s why uninsured motorist coverage was created. Uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage means that your own insurance company will pay you when the person who causes an accident does not have enough insurance to pay for the damage you have sustained. For instance, if a crash takes place and the person at-fault causes you to suffer a fractured leg or other debilitating injury, their insurance company is responsible for payment of your damages under the bodily injury portion of the policy. What happens if the bodily injury coverage is only $10,000? Your damages are certainly worth well in excess of this amount. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, the injured person looks to their own insurance company to make up the difference in the value of the claim. Uninsured motorist insurance is a way to protect yourself from the limited insurance most people drive with. Uninsured motorist coverage also pays when the other person has no insurance.

Many people allow their insurance to lapse. Unfortunately, folks will pay for insurance in order to get their car registered and then allow their monthly premium to go unpaid rendering them uninsured. If that uninsured motorist causes an accident, who is going to pay for the damage? Certainly, the uninsured motorist is personally responsible but good luck collecting. Suing an individual who is financially unable to even pay their insurance premiums will likely be a waste of time and money. That is where uninsured motorist insurance comes in to cover your losses following an accident.

A separate premium is charged for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. In Florida, it is automatically included in your policy of insurance unless a specific rejection is made. In fact, the state of Florida recognizes that uninsured motorist coverage is so important that they mandate a specific form of rejection which must be signed and acknowledged by the insured before a rejection may be deemed valid. I advise all of my clients: purchase as much uninsured motorist coverage as you can financially handle. Remember, the vast majority of motorists carry the minimal insurance coverage at best. Most accident lawyers have horror stories representing clients with serious injuries or tragic losses caused by uninsured and underinsured motorists. Protect yourself and your family by purchasing uninsured motorist coverage on your automobile policy.

Miami Car Accident Lawyer Secretary of the American Board of Trial Advocates

Jeffrey R. Davis is a Miami car accident lawyer who has served his community defending victims rights for three decades. Recently, after years of being a member, Mr. Davis became Secretary of the Miami Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).

What is ABOTA?

ABOTA’s mission is to preserve the institution and integrity of the civil jury trial. At times in the history of the American justice system, it has come under vicious attack. Its members believe in the critical importance of the civil jury trial as a way for American citizens to receive justice. ABOTA members believe in the sanctity of the right to trial by a jury of your fellow peers, which is the Seventh Amendment of the United States Constitution.

As a Miami Car Accident Lawyer, Mr. Davis has seen many instances when victims of personal injuries are well served by a trial by jury. It is through the jury system that they may find justice after someone has injured them. This can happen when they receive compensation and when the guilty person is subject to punitive damages that a jury determines.

Who are the members of ABOTA?

ABOTA strives to encourage attorneys to join our organization who fit the following criteria:

  • Have integrity, civility, and great skills as attorneys
  • Have a desire to mentor younger attorneys in a quest to better their trial advocacy skills
  • Have an interest in educating the American public about the importance of the Seventh Amendment.

How does ABOTA achieve its mission?

The Trustees of the Foundation are committed to achieving the following:

  1. Stress the value of the right to a trial by a jury and its history by offering civics education classes and materials.
  2. Encourage integrity, courtesy, and honor among all legal professionals.
  3. Support the Foundation’s work however possible by example.

As a Miami Car Accident Lawyer Jeffrey R. Davis is committed to preserving and protecting the American peoples’ right to a trial by jury.

Decreasing the Chances of an Accident at Night

Personal injury attorney Barry P. Goldberg has handled thousands of car accidents and has noticed that many night-time accidents can be avoided with a little planning.  After age 30, a driver’s eyes become less acute and more sensitive a night especially to on-coming headlights.  There are some simple tips that will decrease your chances of a night time auto accident.

1. Shift Your Gaze

When facing on-coming headlights, never look at those lights directly. It may take several seconds for your vision to adjust and an accident could occur.  Always “shift your gaze” down and to the right.  Try to use the edge of the road line, lane line or lane markers as a guide.

2. Be Seen and Predictable

You are not the only one having difficulty seeing at night! So, be predictable.  Always check you mirrors often and know where the other traffic is located.  Try using your turn signals much earlier than you normally would during daylight. When you are preparing to stop, tap your brakes lightly at least 3 times as an additional warning that you will be stopping.

3. Prepare Your Vehicle for Optimum Night Driving

Most cars today have a manual or automatic rear view dimmer which should be used.  I have noticed that many drivers either do not switch on the rear view dimmer or refuse to turn the auto-dimmer to the on position. The rear view is very important during night driving and a high beam can blind you for several seconds.  Switch the rear view dimmer on tonight!

Many drivers complain about brightness across the entire windshield at night.  This can be aggravated by a dirty windshield which refracts light. Always drive with a clean windshield inside and out. Finally, most vehicles today have dimmers for the interior gauges as well.  Again, no one seems to bother using them.  The bright gauges in the cabin interior can make it difficult to focus on dark objects in front of your car.  Tonight, try dimming the interior gauges slightly.  You may be surprised how safe you feel!

As an experienced personal injury attorney, Barry P. Goldberg can assure you that the most valuable car accident is the one you avoid.  Try uses the simple techniques listed above and enjoy your drive more this evening.

Why You’ll Need a Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Car Accident Case

Personal Injury Lawyers serving Miami, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Sunny Isles, and More

Jeffrey R. Davis is a personal injury lawyer in Miami, FL that is ready and able to help you with your personal injuries due to car accidents. Unfortunately, car accidents happen, and sometimes they are serious. If you or someone you care about has been involved in a serious car accident, you’ll need a personal injury lawyer.

Our Miami Car Accident Lawyers Are Reputable

The number one reason why you’ll need a car accident lawyer in Miami, FL is if you or someone you care about has been hurt, especially if the injury is permanent. Your lawyer will help you recover the cost of your medical bills, general damages, and take into consideration the time lost in school, work, or household duties.

Involved in a Pedestrian Accident? Call Our Miami Car Accident Lawyers

Is there fault in this case? If fault is an issue, you need to contact your personal injury lawyer in Miami, FL. It’s also important to contact your lawyer if there was a pedestrian involved, your pedestrian accident lawyer in Miami, FL will be a big help for your justice.

Is the police report inaccurate? Contact your car accident lawyer in Miami, FL if you feel as though the report is not accurate or fair to you. It’s important that the right details are recorded.

Another reason to contact your car accident lawyer in Miami, Fl is if you have no car insurance or your insurance company says you didn’t pay your premium. Insurance companies can be tricky to work with and an experienced lawyer is what you need to help you. Also, if your insurance company involves their lawyer, then you definitely need to hire your own lawyer.

Mr. Davis is also a motorcycle accident lawyer in Miami, FL and is glad to help those involved in motorcycle accidents who are seeking justice for their personal injuries.

If you are in a car accident, follow these steps: seek medical treatment, take pictures, get information from others involved in the accident, get names and numbers of witnesses, and contact your personal injury lawyer.

Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers in Miami, FL Today

Being in a car accident is rough. It causes emotional problems, stress, injuries, damages, and dealing with claims. Contact your personal injury lawyer in Miami, FL today to help you with every step of the way in winning your case.

Automobile Accident: Claim vs Lawsuit

Car Accident Lawyer in North Miami

Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.

Automobile Accident Lawyers North Miami

One of the most frequent questions I am asked during initial meetings with new clients is; “how long is my case going to take?” Fair question to which I never have the exact answer. A lot depends on what stage of the case a resolution is reached. Usually at this point in my new client discussion, I explain the difference between making a claim and filing a lawsuit.

Absent a stragic purpose or unusual set of circumstances, my firm usually sends a notice letter to the at-fault party, financially responsible (or vicariously liable) person or entity and their insurance company if known, upon assuming representation. This “notice of representation” letter requests the disclosure of insurance information. Florida has a specific law, Florida Statue 627.4137 that requires insurance companies to disclose information about the existence of insurance coverage.

The “claim” is the presentation of a case to an insurance company or defendant. Following receipt of a representation letter and request for coverage disclosure, an insurance adjuster or third party administrator is usually assigned to the case.

Many times, especially in cases involving automobile accidents, the amount of insurance coverage is not enough to cover the damage or injuries sustained. In these situations, frequently the insurance company will promptly surrender or pay the insurance limits in order to settle or resolve the claim.

Once a relationship is established with a particular insurance adjuster, all correspondence, medical documentation, bills or “specials” are forwarded to this adjuster. In my office, we believe that it is better to send the claims adjuster case materials as they are received rather than waiting until the conclusion of medical care treatment in order to present a demand and provide these materials for the first time. Our thinking is that by continuing to update the claims handler on the progression of our client’s case, they can set higher reserves for future settlement negotiations. Insurance companies try to project what a claim’s value will be at its inception in order to budget or manage their risk. By continually forwarding new case materials such as bills and office notes to an adjuster during the pendency of the claim, the adjuster knows about the nature of the claimant’s injuries and is able to forecast a more realistic case value when the time for negotiations come. It also lets the adjuster know that the law firm is on top of the case and actively handling it.

Automobile Accident Lawyers in North Miami

As North Miami Beach automobile accident lawyers, we are aware that Florida law requires proof of some measure of permanent injury in order to obtain full compensation for our clients. In fact, Florida Statute 627.737 (2) spells out the type of injury or damage that a person involved in an automobile accident needs to sustain in order to recover money damages for pain, suffering, mental anguish and inconvenience. They are as follows: (a) significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function; (b) permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement; (c) Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement; [or] (d) death.

This “threshold” of injury or damage is needed to obtain non-economic damages as a result of a car crash. Frequently, it takes some six or more months of medical care, treatment and observation for an injured crash victim to reach maximum medical improvement. This means that before a physician can make a decision on whether or not a patient has sustained a permanent injury, it takes six or more months of care. Insurance companies understand this and typically keep claims files on a 60-90 day diary to update them for status. When the client is finally released from the doctor’s care, we request a final report asking the physician to specify the degree of permanent injury, if any. Upon receipt of the medical records, billing statements, PIP payout sheets, health insurance liens or payment documents, loss wage documentation and any other relevant expenses, we package the same, together with any other evidence in the case such as photographs, 911 recordings, property damage records or any other case materials and submit it to the insurance company adjuster with a settlement demand. Insurance companies like to try and settle claims for the lowest amount they can reasonably get away with.  While each case is unique and no two cases are exactly the same, there is often a generalized range of values that lawyers can agree on. It is important that your car accident attorney has an understanding of what your claim’s value range is. This information can be obtained from a variety of sources starting with case handling experience, jury verdict and settlement reports, discussions with other attorneys, list servs, seminars and reported decisions. The client should be made aware of all settlement offers promptly so that discussions can be had on how to proceed. If negotiations fail to reach a reasonable settlement offer and/or the insurance company denies the claim, a lawsuit is frequently the next step.

A lawsuit begins with a document known as a complaint. A complaint is filed against the at fault persons, firms or entities and is accompanied by the payment of a filing fee with the clerk of courts. Once a lawsuit is filed, it is served upon the defendants by a process server.  Once served, the defendant has 20 days in which to file a response or answer. Now the case is in “litigation”. Discovery is exchanged between the parties in order to gather information. Discovery consists of interrogatories (written questions answered under oath), requests for production (written requests for documents and other materials relating to the case or claim), requests for admissions, requests for inspections or entry upon land, request for examination and depositions to name a few types of discovery. The discovery process can take months or years. Although a case can be “noticed for trial” twenty days after the filing of an answer or last pleading, most cases take longer to get ready. Even when a case is placed on the court’s trial docket, it is frequently not reached or called for trial on the first time up. Court dockets are busy and usually judges schedule trial dockets on 2 or 3 week calendars. Courts try to give older cases priority over newer cases however there are exceptions. Litigation is much more time consuming and expensive than the claims process. Once a case is placed in litigation a judge often dictates the pace at which the case gets resolved. In federal court, judges are far more strict with their time constraints than in state court.

Contact an Automobile Accident Attorney in North Miami

The difference between a claim versus a lawsuit is vast. It is important that a lawyer and  client discuss exactly what the client can expect to happen once the case goes into litigation. For any questions or additional information on claims or lawsuits following car accidents involving personal injury, please contact Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. for a free consultation. We are car accident lawyers in North Miami and car accident lawyers in North Miami Beach, however we handle all types of claims throughout Florida.

Davis Personal Injury Law Firm Gets Physical!

On December 2, 2015, following a long weekend of Thanksgiving eating, the Davis’ Law Firm decided to burn some calories and visited the Ninja Lounge (http://ninjalounge.com/). During our law firm’s action-packed afternoon, we did plexiglass wall climbing, pedestal climbing, rock wall climbing, tight rope walking and played trampoline dodgeball, among other extreme physical challenges. As a group, we exercised, played and had a healthy day of fun outside of the office. It was great team building that makes us physically and mentally stronger to better represent our clients!

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A Miami Personal Injury Lawyer’s Take On The Film "Bridge Of Spies"

Bridge of Spies is a lawyer’s movie. James B. Donovan*, played by Tom Hanks, is seemingly plucked by chance to represent a Soviet spy, Rudolf Abel in Brooklyn, New York at the height of extreme patriotism in the late 1950s. The film, which is directed by Steven Spielberg, seems to focus on the valve of negotiation over brinkmanship.

In an early scene, Donovan (Hanks) a defense lawyer, is discussing an insurance claim with Plaintiff’s counsel. The issue is an accident case with 5 victims and one accident. The victim’s lawyer is trying to convince Donovan the $100,000 insurance policy should be paid to each of the 5 victims since each was affected by the insured car colliding with their motorcycles individually. With a simple analogy, Donovan explains that a bowling ball hitting 10 pins for a strike is not ten separate occurrences but just one event (meaning, he only has to pay $100,000 total).

This folksy approach gives Donovan a unique ability to diffuse international brinkmanship between the United States, the USSR and East Germany. As a lawyer, Donovan brings the concept of American fairness and the rule of law both to his defense of an accused criminal spy and in choreographing a two for one prisoner exchange. The role of the lawyer as a common sense and honorable figure able to resolve a complex situation triumphs in Bridge of Spies.

*(James B. Donovan was not quite the simple neighborhood lawyer he was portrayed as in the movie. He attended Harvard Law School, was general counsel at the office of Strategic Services during World War II and then served as assistant to Justice Robert H. Jackson at the Nuremberg Trials. He later served as the President of the New York Board of Education, was a published author, ran for the United States Senate and was a recipient of the Distinguished Intelligence Medal.)

Practice Considerations

Personal Injury Lawyer – Miami, FL

Personal Injury Lawyer Miami FLFor the personal injury lawyer handling a knee case, a working knowledge of the anatomy, terminology and basic pathology is essential.

The AAOS reports in 2010 there were about 10.4 million patient visits to doctor’s offices because of common knee injuries such as fractures, dislocations, sprains and ligament tears. “Knee injury is one of the most common reasons people see their doctors”.

It’s the largest joint in the body – if you are going to represent a client with a knee injury, learn the anatomy – what the component parts are and how they work.

The simple and most cost effective way to learn about your client’s knee injury is to start with the first responder’s records. Pay careful attention to the history, complaints and physical examination findings. Was swelling or effusion documented? Was there a description of redness, bruising or contusion? Look for the term “hematoma”. Was decreased range of motion or “ROM” documented? Did your client require assistance ambulating or were they placed on a stretcher.

The next source of information is the emergency room records. Patient complaints, history and physical findings must be carefully reviewed. X-rays reports, doctor’s notes and discharge instructions are also important points of information.

The initial treatment records with the PCP, family doctor or internist should be carefully examined for knee complaints and findings. Your knowledge of all of these materials in a thorough, comprehensive and chronological order will truly benefit your case presentation to the treating orthopaedic surgeon, claims adjuster and defense counsel.

All doctors, especially orthopaedic surgeons are busy people. When you meet with your client’s treating orthopaedic surgeon, physiatrist or neurologist, knowledge of the minute details contained in the medical records is essential. They will not know as much about these facts as you do! This is how you get their attention and how you get the most out of the brief conference they will give you. Use this time wisely – go in with a goal oriented plan.

I like to have my client’s doctors, especially in knee cases, give me answers to these topics:

1.      What is the injury?

2.      Is it traumatic, and if so, how can we prove that?

3.      What was pre-existing and what was new?

4.      What is the treatment plan: cost, length of time, rate of success?

5.      What effects or limitations will be permanent and can that be proven? (we live in a Daubert world- remember to get your doctor to think in terms of that level of proof).

Remember, timing of the conference with the treating doctor is important.  Too soon and many of the inquiries will go unanswered: too late and all the documentation will have already been created.

If the case warrants it, hire a medical illustrator or visual presentation company. It pays to have your AV person meet with the treating doctor to prepare and later review your exhibits, especially if they are to be used in trial.

Have your client take the time to explain how their knee injury has affected their lives. These details are important to your jury. While the average juror may not appreciate the significance of anterior cruciate ligament instability, they will understand the difficulty associated with knee pain that prevents your client from getting out of their car.

To do the best possible job for your client in a knee injury case, know more about your clients’ knee injury than everyone else involved in the case. Know all the complaints, the documented findings, the dates of treatment, complaints on those dates, doctor’s opinions, treatment and results. Know the knee inside and out. You will be surprised how this body of knowledge will enhance the valve of the case and improve the result for your client.

Good Luck!

Appointed to Membership Chairman of Miami Chapter of ABOTA

I was recently appointed Membership Chairman of the Miami Chapter of the American Board Of Trial Advocates.

Here is the current list of the board.

Board List

Appointee: Mr. Stuart Z. Grossman 
Executive Director: Ms. Jacqueline Hart 
President: Mr. Kenneth J. Bush 
Treasurer: Mr. James J. Nosich 
Secretary: Mr. Manuel A. Reboso 
Membership Chair: Mr. Jeffrey R. Davis 
National Board Representative: Mr. Joseph J. Kalbac , Jr. 
National Board Representative: Mr. Peter K. Spillis 
National Board Representative: Mr. Michael A. Mullen 

Wheelchair Accident

WORKER/WORKPLACE NEGLIGENCE

Negligent Assembly or Installation

Plaintiff: Bolts on wheelchair armrest weren’t tightened

Verdict (P)        $807,600

Case Eduardo Trujillo, III and Lizeth Trujillo, his wife, v. T.D. Medical, Inc., and Miguel Nunez, No. 13-23500-CA

Court   Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, 11th

Judge    Jose Rodriguez

Date     8/12/2014

Plaintiff Attorney(s)

Jeffrey S. Altman, Jeffrey S. Altman, P.A., Miami, FL (Eduardo Trujillo, Lizeth Trujillo)

Jeffrey R. Davis, Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., Miami, FL (Eduardo Trujillo, Lizeth Trujillo)

Defense Attorney(s)

Gerry A. Giurato, Murphy & Anderson, P.A., Jacksonville, FL (Miguel Nunez, T.D. Medical Inc.)

Christen E. Luikart, Murphy & Anderson, P.A., Jacksonville, FL (Miguel Nunez, T.D. Medical Inc.)

Facts & Allegations

On Aug. 13, 2012, plaintiff Eduardo Trujillo III, 40, a musician who has spinal muscular atrophy, received a new wheelchair from T.D. Medical Inc. that was delivered to him at his Miami home by its employee Miguel Nunez. Trujillo claimed that after Nunez delivered the wheelchair, adjusted the armrests, and left his home, the left side wheelchair armrest collapsed, causing him to fall to the ground. Trujillo fractured his right femur.

Trujillo sued T.D. Medical, which supplied the wheelchair, and Nunez for alleged negligent assembly and delivery of the wheelchair.

Trujillo had ordered the wheelchair custom-made. His counsel claimed that T.D. Medical failed to fit it properly for him. They claimed that Nunez, a technician employed by T.D. Medical to provide adjustments to Trujillo’s chair upon delivery, failed to tighten the bolts that controlled the pivoting of the armrest. They also claimed that had Nunez tightened the bolts, the armrest would not have fallen and caused Trujillo to lose his balance and fall.

Defense counsel denied that the armrest was negligently adjusted. They also claimed that if the armrest fell, the wheelchair manufacturer was responsible. Nunez claimed he tightened everything perfectly.

Injuries/Damages

fracture, femur; decreased range of motion; loss of consortium

Trujillo sustained a fracture to his right femur and underwent immobilization of the leg. He did not have surgery and the fracture healed on its own. He claimed he suffered a decreased range of motion of his leg.

Trujillo sought to recover damages for past medical costs, past lost earnings, and past and future pain and suffering. His wife, Lizeth, who initially joined the action on a consortium claim, dropped the claim prior to trial.

The defense’s orthopedic expert testified that Trujillo did not suffer a permanent injury. He also noted that Trujillo was already 100 percent disabled and confined to a wheelchair before the accident due to his underlying spinal muscular atrophy. He also pointed out that Trujillo was unable to walk before the accident due to his spinal condition.

Result

The jury found the defendants 100 percent negligent. It determined that Trujillo’s damages totaled $807,600.

Plaintiff(s)

Eduardo Trujillo

$7,100 past medical cost

$500 past lost earnings

$360,000 past pain and suffering

$440,000 future pain and suffering

$807,600 plaintiff’s total award

Insurer(s)

Benchmark Insurance for T.D. Medical Inc. and Miguel Nunez

Trial Detail(s)

Trial Length: 3 Days

Jury Composition: 3 male, 3 female

Plaintiff Expert(s)

David A. Peterson, M.D., orthopedics, Winter Park, FL (Jeffrey S. Altman, Jeffrey R. Davis) (treating)

Defense Expert(s)

Michael Ziede, M.D., orthopedic surgery, West Palm Beach, FL (Gerry A. Giurato)

Editor’s Note

This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiffs’ and defense counsel.

Written By –Gary Raynaldo

Edited By -Miguel Fernandez

Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) can have a wide-ranging physical and psychological effects. Several signs and symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries may appear immediately after the traumatic event, while others may appear days, weeks, or even months later. Brain injuries can range in scope from mild to severe.

Symptoms of Mild TBI

A person with a mild TBI may experience

  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Trouble with memory, concentration, attention
  • Loss of consciousness lasting a few seconds to minutes
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Nausea or vomiting

Symptoms of Moderate or Severe TBI

A person with moderate or severe TBI may have some of the symptoms listed above. In addition, the person may experience any of the following:

  • Constant Headache
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Slurred speech
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Enlargement of the pupil (dark center) of one or both eyes
  • Numbness or tingling of arms or legs
  • Loss of coordination
  • Increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation
  • Loss of consciousness lasting a few minutes to hours

A person who suffers a blow to the head or another trauma that may have caused a TBI should seek medical attention.

For more information on TBIs click here.

The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Davis have over 25 years of experience in dealing with Traumatic Brain Injury cases and personal injury litigation.

If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI or any other injury, contact us for a free consultation or call us at 305-577-3777.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

TBIs (Traumatic Brain Injuries) are defined as a blows/jolts to the head or as penetrating head injuries that disrupt the function of the brain. TBIs claim more than 50,000 lives and leave more than 80,000 individuals with lifelong disabilities each year. In addition to the immediate impact a brain injury can have, its long-term effects increase the risk of acquiring crippling neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and post-traumatic dementia. TBIs occur most often in motor vehicle-traffic accidents, slips and falls, and assaults.

Here are some helpful tips to prevent TBIs:

TBI Prevention Methods:

–       Always wear a seat belt in a motor vehicle

–       Use an appropriate child safety seat or a booster

–       Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs

–       Always wear a helmet when on a bicycle or motor vehicle

Fall Prevention Methods:

–       Use the rails on stairways

–       Provide adequate lighting, especially on stairs

–       Sit on safe stools

–       Do not place obstacles in walking pathways

For more information on TBIs here.

The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Davis have over 25 years of experience in dealing with Traumatic Brain Injury cases and personal injury litigation.

If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI or any other injury, contact us for a free consultation or call us at 305-577-3777.

Shedding Light on Fatal Food Poisoning

Nearly one in every six Americans (48 million people) becomes ill from food poisoning every year. Food poisoning usually results in vomiting, diarrhea and/or abdominal pain and passes within two to five days. Yet some types of food poisoning can cause long-term illnesses and even death. Vibrio Vulnificus, a type of bacterial food poisoning results from consuming raw or undercooked seafood, particularly raw oysters. Vibrio thrives in the warm South Florida waters and is responsible for more than 50 deaths per year.

Here are some helpful tips for preventing Vibrio vulnificus infections:

–       Do not eat raw oysters, clams, mussels or other raw shellfish
–       Cook all shellfish (oysters, clams, mussels) thoroughly
–       Avoid cross-contamination of cooked foods with raw foods and juices from raw foods
–       Don’t prepare them in the same place
–       Don’t use the same cutting board when preparing them
–       Eat shellfish immediately after cooking, and refrigerate leftovers
–       Avoid exposing open wounds or broken skin to warm saltwater or to raw shellfish waters

For more information on Vibrio vulnificus click here.

The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Davis have over 25 years of experience in dealing with food poisoning and personal injury litigation.

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of the negligence of another, contact us for a free consultation or call us at 305-577-3777.

Miami Shooting Leaves One Dead

One dead and two wounded after a shooting in front of a Miami market. At approximately 7:15 p.m. at the Kings Brothers Market on 1304 NW 62 Street, Miami, Florida a young man with two handguns walked up to a group of people and started to shoot. The market is located near the Liberty Square Housing Project commonly referred to as the Pork & Beans by residents. The store does have surveillance video which is currently being reviewed by the Police Department in order to identify and arrest the assailant.

If you are involved in a shooting incident (negligent security), do not trust your case to an inexperience personal injury attorney. Your choice in a Miami personal injury lawyer can make a big difference in the amount of compensation you receive for your injuries, how your case is managed, and how your case is finally resolved. It is important that you obtain an experienced personal injury attorney who understands Florida law, understands the insurance companies and their strategies, and who has resources to fight for your rights successfully.

When choosing an attorney to represent your interests, you must search for an attorney that is the “right fit” for you and your case. Many personal injury cases takes months to several years to resolve. You will be working with your attorney, so it is important that you trust your lawyer and get along with your lawyer. Just alone in Florida, the Florida Bar reports that there are approximately 93,895 barred attorneys as of January 2013. There are many of attorneys to choose from – Do not sell yourself short.

If you are involved in a shooting incident (negligent security) that It is important that you remember the following things:

  1. try to check and identify what your injuries are;
  2. call the police and file a police report;
  3. make sure that you see a doctor or seek medical attention even if you have just a few symptoms or complaints;
  4. take pictures of your your injuries, any other person’s injuries, and the scene of the accident (including any surveillance cameras);
  5. gather any documents proving your inability to work, medical expenses, etc.

The attorneys at Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., a Miami Personal Injury law firm, specialize in personal injury cases such as workplace violence, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, and negligent security. We pride ourselves in communicating with our clients and putting our clients first. Jeffrey R. Davis has been practicing personal injury law for over 25 years. Olga Porven, a former insurance defense attorney, has the insight into what the insurance companies strategies are in defending personal injury cases.

If you or a loved on have been injured as a result of the negligence of another, contact us for a free consultation or call us at 305-577-3777.

Florida Supreme Court Rules: Car Owners are Liable

On April 10, 2014 the Florida Supreme Court ruled in Christensen v. Bowen that an individual who has his/her name on the title of a vehicle as co-owner is vicariously liable under the dangerous instrumentality doctrine even though he/she never intended to be the car owner and claimed to giving up control of the car to another co-owner. Simply, if your name is on the title and even though you :1) do not have access to the car where it is parked; 2) you do not have keys to the car; 3) you simply intended the car as a gift; and 4) you did not drive the car, you will be found (liable) for any negligence committed by the driver of said car. In the Christensen case, Mr. Christensen the Defendant and Petitioner (the co-owner named on the title) was in divorce proceedings at the time of the accident.  Note to the wise:  Make sure if you are getting divorced that you transfer the interest to the person that will be driving the car.  If you keep the interest in the car, i.e., your name on the title, you could be held liable for any car accidents that the driver causes.

If you or a loved one is injured or is a victim of a  car accident, it is important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. A personal injury attorney will be able to document and preserve evidence that will support your potential claim. A car accident lawyer will also be able to request documents such as a your medical records, police records, and court records which will all potential help your future case.  Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., has a vast experience representing injured victims in personal injury and car accident matters. Jeffrey Davis has represented hundred of individuals as a result of the careless driving of others. Jeffrey Davis, car accident attorney, may be able to help you obtain the justice you deserve.

It is important that if you or a loved one is injured in a car accident, you obtain as much information that you can regarding the other driver/party (insurance information, tag, name, address, etc.). You should also make sure that you tell police a simple and concise explanation of how the accident happened. Make sure that you do not accept money or sign any type of release at the scene of the accident. Also, do not get into a fight or an argument with the other driver. Make sure that you do not speak to anyone at the scene other than the police. Many times, an insurance company will send out an immediate response team.  They are not on your side. In addition, your insurance may come out to the scene to prove that the accident was your fault or that you were not injured. Olga Porven, Esq., an attorney with Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., is a former insurance defense attorney. She is well aware of what the insurance companies are capable of and has the experience in dealing with insurance companies to help you obtain potential compensation in your case.

Contact Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. for a free consultation. One of our attorneys will gladly speak to you regarding your personal injury matter.

Personal Injury Attorneys Find GM Flaw

On April 5, 2014 Michael Smerconish of CNN, during his television show Smerconish, clearly explained the importance and validity of the civil justice system during the segment “one last thing.” As many of us have been following, GM is currently in the hot seat with Congress for failing to warn its customers, for over ten (10) years about faulty ignition switches which disabled airbags in Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion vehicles. It has been discovered that the repair would have only cost GM approximately $.90 per vehicle to remedy the product defect.

Interestingly enough, personal injury attorneys started the investigation that led to the discovery of the faulty ignition switch. Smerconish interviewed the Meltons who lost their daughter, Brook, a 29 year old nurse, in 2010 when her Chevrolet Cobalt shut off while she was driving due to this ignition flaw and she lost power steering, lost control of her car, hit another car and ended up in a creek. As a result of the car accident, Brook’s parents pursued a wrongful death action against GM. Accordingly, their attorneys investigated and hired experts who found that the ignition was faulty – the key switched over from the on position to the accessory position just before the car accident – essentially turning the car off.

Because the Meltons filed their suit, looking for the truth and seeking justice for their daughter, many more lives were saved. Because of their suit GM is now being held accountable by Congress.

This is a great example of how the Civil Justice System continues to work.  It remains a check on businesses and the free enterprise system to continue to produce products that are safe for consumers. Obviously, in this case, the Civil Justice System was more effective that NHTSA (the government agency that regulates car manufacturers) which failed to do much about GM cars’ failures and flaws.

The attorneys at Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., a Miami Personal Injury law firm, specialize in personal injury cases. We pride ourselves in communicating with our clients and putting our clients first. Jeffrey R. Davis has been practicing personal injury law for over 25 years. We have the insight into what the insurance companies strategies are in defending personal injury cases.

If you or a loved on have been injured as a result of the negligence of another, contact us for a free consultation or call us at 305-577-3777. We will be more than happy to discuss with you the merits of your potential claim.

The Civil Justice System Works

Unlike the opinions of Lisa A. Rickard, president, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, Washington, D.C. and Mark Wilson, president and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida in their Miami Herald opinion letter, the attorneys at Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. believe that our civil justice system works. In fact the response to this article from Armando F. Paz, Jr. hit the nail on the head. The current civil justice system has many mechanisms in place, not only to stop frivolous lawsuits from going forward, but also to stop frivolous defenses raised by defendants in an effort to avoid responsibility for their wrongs.

Such current mechanisms in place include: 1) dismissing a case; 2) sanctioning the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s attorney for bringing a meritless claim; and 3) reporting misconduct of an attorney to the Florida Bar. Remember like any other field, i.e. medicine, there are regulations in place to ensure that “improper, meritless or frivolous” issues are dealt with accordingly.

In addition, the Chamber of Commerce opinion does not address the months to years of efforts of Plaintiffs trying to resolve claims in the pre-suit stage. It is only after the insurance and/or defendant refuses to resolve these issues, that a Plaintiff will file a lawsuit in Court.  The lawsuit is the last remedy – when all other attempts to resolve the claims without litigation fails. The vast majority of cases that are alluded to in the editorials involve contingency fee arrangements between the plaintiff and the attorney. This means the attorney only gets paid if a recovery is achieved. It also means that the lawyer will usually fund the litigation expenses through out the pendency of the case. It is highly unlikely that a competent attorney would knowingly take a frivolous or unreasonable case, agree to bankroll the same and understand they will not be paid a fee unless they win. The expression “throwing good money after bad” comes to mind. Like anything, there are exceptions and cases that should not be filed.

Our civil justice system has evolved over hundreds of years. It may not be perfect, but it is central to the three branches of government that exist in our country. It is the only mechanism that allows a citizen to seek redress for perceived harm. It is the vehicle in which to enforce the law, contracts, agreements, and to right wrongs. It is an essential mechanism to the rule of law and a key to the integrity of our nation’s financial system.

The attorneys at Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., a Miami Personal Injury law firm, specialize in personal injury cases. We pride ourselves in communicating with our clients and putting our clients first. Jeffrey R. Davis has been practicing personal injury law for over 25 years. We have the insight into what the insurance companies strategies are in defending personal injury cases.

If you or a loved on have been injured as a result of the negligence of another, contact us for a free consultation or call us at 305-577-3777. We will be more than happy to discuss with you the merits of your potential claim.

Florida Court Protects Facebook Posts

Great new for all Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, etc.) – Florida Court protects posts ruling them irrelevant. Throughout the past few years, Courts throughout the United States have ruled that social media posts are fair game and “discoverable” during litigation. On February 5, 2014 the 2nd DCA held in Root v. Balfour Beatty Construction, LLC that although social media posts are discoverable, the party requesting the information still has to prove that the information requested is relevant and not just simply a “fishing expedition.”

Now, it is clear that the Court is stating that a party that is requesting these Social posts has to prove that the information that they are requesting needs to be relevant to the case.  Do not mistake this ruling for any blanket protection of social media posts if you are a party in a lawsuit. In personal injury cases, arguing that social media posts are relevant and reasonably calculated to lead the discovery of admissible evidence can be rather easy with good lawyering.

All Social Media users should always beware ( yes we know you have heard this warning before)… be careful what you post.  It may pop up later.  Although, many people know that it may hurt your prospects of getting a job or getting into the right college, if you are involved in a lawsuit, it can damage your case …  A picture is worth a thousand words.

Personal Injury lawsuits frequently have discovery requests for Social Media posts from Facebook and Instagram. The attorneys at Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., a Miami Personal Injury law firm, specialize in personal injury cases. We pride ourselves in communicating with our clients and putting our clients first. Jeffrey R. Davis has been practicing personal injury law for over 25 years. Olga Porven, a former insurance defense attorney, has the insight into what the insurance companies strategies are in defending personal injury cases, including seeking Social mediation information.

If you or a loved on have been injured as a result of the negligence of another, contact us for a free consultation or call us at 305-577-3777.

Women Deserve Equal Pay, even in The White House – Florida

President Obama reiterated in last weeks State of the Union Address  that women deserve equal pay for equal work. He gave mention to some statistical figures that do sound quit shocking, stating “women make up about half of the workforce, but still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns.” At the sound of these stats, it seems shocking, but if you dig further, the margin is actually quite smaller. This statistic is generated from a broad brush that compares overall male and female pay.

The 77-cent figure – which Obama used on the campaign trail in 2012 – stems from a 2011 report by the U.S. Census Bureau that found that in 2010, females overall made 77 percent of what males made. That means all workers regardless of what jobs they hold – not one worker in one particular job compared with another worker in the same job.

Anne York, who studies gender equality in the workplace as an associate professor at Meredith College School of Business in Raleigh, N.C., said the 77 cent pay disparity figure masks a variety of factors as to why women – on average – don’t make as much as men. “We have no definitive answers, but a lot of reasons,” York said. Whether by tradition or personal choice, women often seek lower-paying occupations than men – say, home health aide vs. neurosurgeon – and often trade earnings for flexibility at work, York said. 

A recent McClatchy review of White House salaries showed what the salary per dollar comparison is for those working in the White House using the same analysis that reaches the “77 cents per dollar.” The results may shock you – women working in the White House make 91 cents for every dollar a man makes in the White House.

The White House goes on to defend their payroll by stating that the analysis does not measure pay between men and women doing the same work in the same job position. White House aides go on to defend the President, overwhelmingly stating that “the President’s employees with the same position make the same money.” A House Spokesman, Eric Schultz, said the White House pays mean and women in equivalent roles, equivalent salaries.

President Obama has supported multiple bills that encourage and help regulate equal pay in the workforce. The President celebrated the fifth anniversary of the first bill he signed into law, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which he has stated helps protect a woman’s right to fair pay. The President has also supported the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would require businesses to show that wage discrepancies between men and women are not based on gender, it also bands retaliation against workers who reveal their wages.

Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. Educates the Legal Community on Personal Injury Damages

Understanding what damages you can receive from a personal injury case is very important. That is why on December 13, 2013, Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. took part in a Damages in Personal Injury seminar at the Hyatt Regency Miami. Jeffrey R. Davis was one of many speakers and the seminar. The seminar focused on educating others in the legal community and the public on how to negotiate and quantify potential damages in a personal injury case. The seminar provided a comprehensive view and explanation of damages in personal injury which benefited other attorneys, corporate counsel’s, claims representatives, and paralegals. It is important to understand one’s personal injury case in order to effectively quantify and negotiate damages, and learn to analyze and quantify the effect of an injury on the plaintiff’s current and future life to maximize or contest the recovery.

Mr. Davis focused on the plaintiff’s tactics in negotiating and litigating the damages in a personal injury case. Such tactics are:

  • Direct negotiations with insurance claims representatives
  • Law witnesses
  • Using expert reports and testimony
  • Use of demonstrative evidence
  • Key pleadings and motions
  • Hearsay
  • Wrongful death actions

Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. evaluates every case individually. Because each case has different injuries, different damages, different circumstances, and different people, each case is given the attention that it deserves.  If you would like to meet with an a personal injury attorney and receive a free consultation regarding your Florida personal injury case, contact us at Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., North Miami based attorneys, Jeff Davis and Olga Porven will work hard to try and obtain a fair value for your case.

Deep Vein Thrombosis Following Orthopedic Surgery

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the legs. These clots, also known as a thrombus, can detach and travel to the lungs, causing severe injury or death (pulmonary embolism).

Virchow’s Triad

Briefly, it is important to understand the process by which clots can form. In the 1850’s, a German doctor, Rudolph Virchow, studied the factors leading to blood clots and developed a triad of factors. “Virchow’s Triad” consists of the 3 likely factors that lead to the development of a deep vein thrombosis. They are:

  1. Local trauma to the vessel wall
  2. Hypercoagulability
  3. Stasis

Simply put, venous stasis can be considered a decreased blow flow rate; hypercoagulability can be an increased tendency to clot and changes to the blood vessel wall from injury can actually change the biochemical pathways which activates the clotting cascade.

When considering orthopedic surgery, especially such procedures as total hip replacement, total knee replacement, lower extremity trauma surgery, and joint repair, among other procedures, it is easy to demonstrate how the principles of “Virchow’s Triad” can come into play.

In the case of a traumatic injury, frequently vessels are damaged or crushed. Most surgical patients will have periods of immobilization. Frequently, tourniquets are used during surgical procedures. Following surgery, patients will refrain from weight-bearing or other movements. Each one of these could lead to the development of a DVT and it’s potentially fatal counterpart, a pulmonary embolism.

The Deep Vein Thrombosis Prophylaxis Debate in Orthopedic Surgery

Much attention is given to the topic of deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis in orthopedic surgery. This means the prevention of DVT, either in preparation for surgery or following surgery. It is universally accepted that some form of anti-coagulation is indicated in procedures such as a total hip replacement and total knee replacement. There is extensive disagreement on the need for chemoprophylaxis or mechanical methods of preventing the formation of DVTs in orthopedic surgical patients.

Routine anticoagulation can be achieved through such agents as Heparin, Coumadin, Fondaparinux, or other chemoprophylatic agents. While certain medical societies have published guidelines regarding the need for prophylaxic antithromobolitics in total knee and hip replacements, there is a great degree of controversy among chest physicians, orthopedic surgeons, and cardiologists regarding the need for mandatory antithrombolitic prophylaxis in other orthopedic surgical procedures. Apparently, the potential risks of these therapies may outweigh the benefits they impart. Oftentimes, the patient will develop medical difficulties such as increased bleeding and other significant side effects from chemoprophylaxis agents. The most severe of these complications can actually include pulmonary embolus or heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, which can be limb or life threatening.

Patients Most at Risk of Developing a DVT

The orthopedic surgeon must evaluate the patient’s risk factors in order to determine whether or not chemoprophylaxis agents should be utilized in their surgical patients. The American College of Chest Physicians published an evidence-based clinical practice guideline regarding DVTs. This paper, entitled “Antithrombotic therapy and prevention of thrombosis”, 9th edition, American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines, Chest, 2002, discusses prediction probability methods for DVTs. One widely used criterion to measure DVT probability actually scores risk factors in order to create a probability range. Some of the criteria used to determine risk are whether or not the patient has or had the following:

  • Active cancer
  • Paralysis
  • Paresthesis or recent cast immobilization of lower extremities
  • Major surgery requiring regional or general anesthetic in the past 12 weeks or was recently bedridden for greater than 3 days
  • Recent long-distance travel
  • Localized pain along distribution of deep venous system
  • Swelling of entire leg and/or calf greater than 3 centimeters
  • Pitting edema
  • Collateral superficial veins
  • Previously documented DVT or PE

Most studies seem to correlate the increased incidence of deep vein thrombosis with non weight-bearing status and immobilization after surgery.

There are other methods of treatment and prevention of deep vein thrombosis besides medication. Weight-bearing, physical activity, mechanical devices including pneumatic compression devices, compression garments, and, in rare cases, internal filter placement.

It is essential for the orthopedic surgeon performing lower extremity surgery to consider the risk of DVT. The more that the physician and patient understand this complex problem, the better the exchange of information needed to assess the risks to that particular patient. Failure to consider the possibility of DVT and/or failure to recognize the existence of a DVT post-surgically can lead to disastrous consequences.

About Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A.

Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. represents victims of medical negligence throughout the state of Florida. The firm has a specific interest in working with cases involving medical mishaps due to the failure to avoid and/or timely recognize the development of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. If you or your loved one has experienced this type of medical difficulty or damage following orthopedic surgery, please consider consulting Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. to fully explore your options.

Wooden Deck at Shuckers Waterfront Grill Collapses, Plunging Heat Fans and Patrons into Biscayne Bay

At least two-dozen people were injured when a wooden deck collapsed into Biscayne Bay at Shuckers Waterfront Grill last night in North Bay Village, FL. Apparently, as the overflow crowd cheered their local Miami Heat team during the NBA Finals, the wooden patio deck abruptly collapsed, pitching as many as 100 patrons into Biscayne Bay and injuring dozens. As a result of the collapse, the lighting at the rear of the waterfront restaurant failed, resulting in darkness and chaos. The patrons that were suddenly plunged into the water struggled to safety amid the ruins of the wooden deck, tables, chairs, umbrellas, and other debris. Shortly after the incident it began to rain, creating even more difficult conditions for first responders and rescuers.

Premises Liability – The Landowner and Business Operator’s Duty to Patrons

A landowner or business operator owes a duty of care to its invitees to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. It is essential that property owners, especially commercial operators, maintain strict adherence to state and local building codes, fire safety codes, including occupancy limitations, and perform routine and regular maintenance and inspection of the property to insure it is safe and free from defects and hazards.

Questions remain about exact cause of premise deck failure and full extent of Shuckers Waterfront Grill’s liability

At this early stage, it is uncertain what caused the collapse of the patio deck at Shuckers. It will be necessary to conduct detailed inspections with engineers and other professionals in the fields of construction and building maintenance in order to determine the root cause of the deck failure. Also important will be an analysis of the occupancy of the restaurant at the time of the occurrence.

Have you sustained injuries as a result of a premise failure? Contact the law firm of Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A.

At Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., we handle cases involving premises liability that result in injuries to guests, patrons, and invitees. If you have been injured while at a business, such as a restaurant, please contact the law firm of Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. to determine what your rights are with regard to compensation for your injuries and damages. Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. is a plantiff’s injury law firm that has represented thousands of people in South Florida since 1997. Please contact us for a free case analysis.

Understanding Defined Contribution and Defined Benefit Pension Systems – Which One is Right for You?

The Basics of Common Pensions Plans – What you Should Know to Protect Yourself and Your Retirement

You may have heard about it on the news or had your employer speak to you about it when starting your job. Everyone who is covered under a pension system and, to some extent, even those who are not should have a solid understanding of the mechanics of a pension fund. Pension funds make for great investment vehicles and can help you protect your retirement investment. Knowing what they are, how they’re used, and what to avoid should help build confidence in your retirement wealth.

What is a Pension Fund?

A pension fund is a fund that is established and utilized by an employer (or a government in the case of state employees) to facilitate and organize the investment of employees’ retirement funds. A Pension fund is a collection of assets and securities such as stocks, bonds, real estate, options contracts, money market funds, etc. which earn a specific rate of return. These assets are typically “safe,” in the sense that pension managers invest in securities that have low risk and reduce risk further by investing in a wide variety of investments. The total, aggregate return of the pension fund pays for retired employee benefits.

Type of Pension Funds

There are two types of pension funds: the defined contribution fund and the defined benefit fund.

Defined Contribution

In a nutshell: in a defined contribution plan, you pick among selected investment types and you and your employer contribute to the investments you pick.

A defined contribution fund is a pension fund that is established by the firm for its employees. Both the employer and the employee make contributions to the fund but the employee bears responsibility for the fund’s performance. With a defined contribution plan, the firm’s major obligation is to make the promised contributions (which vary depending on the employer’s contribution system) to an employee’s retirement account. In return, the employee is responsible for the management and investment of those contributions, usually by selecting among various investment and securities categories the employers has agreed to contribute to.

Since the fund is meant for retirement, restrictions exist to limit withdrawal before retirement age. Earnings acquired in this type of retirement plan typically are not taxed until they are withdrawn. But pension funds do employ restrictions such as penalties in all but a few special circumstances in order to limit withdrawals before retirement.

Unfortunately, employees who are retiring experience difficulty when determining how much a pension fund will ultimately provide, since the employer must only make promised contributions outlined by the employer’s plan. Defined contribution plans come with no guarantee on the final amounts available for retirement. In other words, the contributions are known, but the benefit is unknown. Because of this, employees must take extra precautions to ensure that the pension receives sufficient contributions to meet retirement goals.

Defined Benefit

In a nutshell: the employer provides for retirement benefits based on employee factors such as employment and salary history. The employer is ultimately responsible for the benefits.

A defined benefit fund is an employer-sponsored retirement plan where employee benefits are calculated based on a formula that incorporates variables such as salary history and duration of employment. Unlike a defined contribution plan, the company is responsible for fund performance. In a defined benefit plan, the employer has an obligation to provide a specified annual retirement benefit.

Under a defined benefit system, employees typically face the same restrictions and penalties as defined contribution plans when it comes to withdrawing funds. If the fund’s total investment returns do not earn enough to make pension obligation payments, the remaining obligations become liabilities for the company offering the defined benefit plan.

The main benefit of the benefit plan (no pun intended) is that payouts made to retiring employees are guaranteed to provide you with retirement income for life.

Main Difference between Defined Contribution and Defined Benefit

As you can see the main difference between a defined benefit plan and a defined contribution plan is mainly on who has control and management of the pension fund. In a defined contribution plan, the employee manages the fund and the employee bears the risks of investment nonperformance and retirement benefit losses. In a defined benefit plan, the employer controls and manages the pension fund and assumes responsibility for employees’ retirement benefits. Because of this, the employer bears the risk that inappropriate, poor, or unfortunate investments will leave the fund with insufficient return to pay beneficiaries. If the investment returns prove insufficient, the employer is on the hook for the gap.

Example of a Defined Contribution Plan – Johnny Employee and Company DC

Let’s use an example to clarify the differences. In a defined contribution plan, Johnny Employee selects an independent fund (one not associated with the employer) such as Vanguard, Fidelity, or ING. After this selection is made, Company DC (defined contribution) is only responsible for contributing the portion of money that was promised to Johnny Employee pursuant to their employment contract. Contribution could be based, for example, on whether Company DC earned any profits in that year. Thus, if the Employer suffered a loss during the year, there would be no contribution made to the plan. Stock performance is another example of contribution conditions. If Company DC’s stock performs well, contributions could flow to employees’ independent funds. There is a flip side; if Company DC’s stock tanks, contributions could slow to a trickle or cease to come at all.

It’s clear that defined contribution plans come with considerably larger risks to the employee then defined benefit plans. But it’s not just risk you have to worry about – our friend Johnny Employee will have a difficult time calculating the total amount of benefits he will receive in the future since he cannot reliably determine the total contributions to the pension fund. Not good if you are like most people and have goals for retirement that you need to hit.

So Much Risk! What’s the Catch?!

Don’t let the higher risk fool you. There’s one crucial plus unique to these plans. Defined contribution plans are classic examples of the tradeoffs of risk vs. return. How so? Defined contribution plans enable employees to retire richer than they planned for – much richer in the case of savvy (and lucky) investors who can deploy their pension assets to generate serious return.

Example of a Defined Benefit Plan – Johnny Employee and Company DB

Now let’s look at a defined benefit plan. Company DB sets up a pension fund and chooses the investments that the fund will invest in. The company will use an actuary to make an assumption about the rate of return that will be earned on the plan’s assets. Company A will then use the assumed rate of return to compute the amount that the firm must contribute regularly. Assuming the rate of return is accurate and assuming the company makes those regular contributions, employees retire with set benefits. Simple, right?

For instance, an employer may promise to pay a retired employee a yearly amount equal to 3% of the employee’s final annual salary for each year of service. A 20-year employee would then receive an annual benefit of 60% (3% X 20 years = 60%) of their final salary. Thus, if an employee was making $100,000 as their final salary, the benefit that was promised would be $60,000 as demonstrated below:

( Final Salary [$100,000] X Annual Benefit Percentage [60%] = Annual Benefit [$60,000])

Company DB’s Obligation

The payments that companies need to make to retired employees are considered to be the pension liabilities. An employer is obligated to make this payment to the employee. Of course, the company should have no problem making benefit payments assuming the fund’s investments generate the estimated rate of return. So, in order to pay Johnny Employee his $60,000 benefit, a pension fund with $1,000,000 in invested securities must earn a 6% rate of return. If the fund only attains 5% (which would be $50,000) the employer would have to make up the difference of $10,000 by paying it directly from company assets, earnings, or profits. Not good for the company, no sweat for our old and retired friend Johnny.

Key Points

Primarily, defined contribution and defined benefit plans make up the two types of pension funds that employees and employers may use to plan for employee retirement. Risk tolerance, investing experience, and retirement goals can help you determine which type of pension fund is the most appropriate for you. Specifically, the defined benefit plans provide the best alternative to employees interested in predictable and dependable retirement benefits since it shifts risk to the company and promises stable retirement income. Those with greater risk tolerance and savvy investment knowledge may forego dependability in the name of a dream retirement fund. To each his own.

Next week we’ll go into more detail about defined benefit plans and what to avoid. Stay tuned. Be sure to comment below to let us know what you thought about this week’s topic.

Knowing Too Much Can Be Bad For Your Health – Patient Knowledge in Medical Malpractice Cases

“You have terminal cancer”

Words that would make any patient develop instant and profound perspective into how important they consider their lives to be. When a patient is faced with a diagnosis such as this, they often go through what is considered the Five Stages of Death – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. As a coping mechanism, many patients in the Bargaining stage attempt to look for an answer to their problems. Some turn to religious support while others turn to uncovering everything humanly possible about their disease and “bargaining” ways in which they can defeat it.

For some, it might seem unimaginable that trying to understand and attempting to learn everything about your disease could end up hurting you. Yet, the dark truth is that what you know CAN be used against you. In fact, it’s occurring right now inside Florida courtrooms. Courts have started to hold patients more accountable for their medical care. Some people feel that educated patients have been penalized for their knowledge, with medical malpractice cases arguing that these patients failed to adequately care for themselves throughout the treatment process. The rationale behind this is that technology and the advancement of education has made the public more savvy to medical issues, thus the public bears a share of the responsibility for their treatments. Countless medical malpractice suits have resulted in reduced liability for practitioners and increased expectations for educated patients.

In a medical malpractice suit, patients sue medical practitioners, such as doctors, for any medical malpractice that the doctor committed – malpractice such as failing to take adequate care of the patient or failing to prescribe the patient the necessary medications. However, courts have recently held that since patients are now more knowledge about their condition or diagnosis, they should be charged with more responsibility and less should be placed on the medical professional. Therefore, in a medical malpractice action where a doctor did something wrong in the medical procedure, the patient may not have sufficient remedy if the doctor can prove that the patient did or did not do something he knew he should or should not have done, but something the doctor might have neglected to explain thoroughly.

So is Florida medical malpractice law sufficiently protecting patients now? Has precedent tipped the scales in favor of doctors too much now and neglected unaware patients?

The “Traditional” Relationship of Trust

Traditionally, courts assumed that in doctor-patient relationships, the physician had superior knowledge while the patient had little experience and information in regards to any health issues. As such, patients placed great trust in a physician’s decision-making ability and authority. Because of this, physicians were held to a higher standard of care. The traditional physician-patient relationship was based on the patient’s “blind faith” and the physician’s expert and superior guidance.

The New Relationship in the Age of the Internet

The traditional physician patient relationship was based on faith and trust. Unfortunately, the increasing number of medical malpractice cases coupled with the dawning societal realization that doctors can be wrong has led patients to find, explore, and educate themselves with all of the relevant and expert information available via the internet. Patients have started to arm themselves with knowledge about their illness and the steps they must take to better themselves. With the growth of easily accessible scientific knowledge and higher levels of education among the public, many physicians have difficulty maintaining credible claims of special status and judgment. Patients have removed the blindfolds of trust they placed on themselves for their doctors and have instead started to complement doctor information with information they acquire from medical journals, condition-specific books, and the vast, knowledge-rich world of the Internet.

The Ugly Result of Patient Education

In the past, courts were less likely to hold patients responsible for their own care in a medical malpractice action because practitioners had vastly superior knowledge. Physicians had a difficult burden in demonstrating that a patient was negligent with his own care. Now, with the evolution of the doctor-patient relationships, courts have begun to hold that patients are no longer presumed oblivious and unaware of health care needs. Thus, patient negligence that occurs after physician negligence can, in some cases, be used against the patient.

The Medical Malpractice Action

For a patient to effectively assert a medical malpractice action, the patient must show that the physician had a duty, the physician breached that duty, the physician was the cause of the harm, and that an actual harm occurred. The burden to prove this falls on the patient as the party seeking relief.  The duty must be based on a physician-patient relationship, and sometimes a recognized standard of care in the medical community is used to determine whether the doctor had a duty or not. To prove that the doctor breached the duty, the doctor must have failed to comply with that standard in the care of the patient. Lastly, the cause of the harm must result from a casual connection between the breach of duty and the injury sustained by the patient. To succeed the patient must prove all of these elements.

However, in Miami, Broward, West Palm, and other Florida courts, physicians are more often asserting the affirmative defense of comparative negligence – a defense that allows physicians to show that the patient’s negligence, rather than or in addition to the physician’s negligence, was the cause of the patient’s injury. Traditionally, a defense of comparative negligence in a medical malpractice action was often unsuccessful due to the unique characteristics of the physician-patient relationship – the physician’s superior knowledge, the patient’s inexperience, and the high standard of care demanded of the physician. All that has changed.

Comparative Negligence – Did the Patient Breach His Own Duty of Care?

When a physician is sued for medical malpractice, a physician can assert comparative negligence – a defense that reduces the patient’s recovery in the medical malpractice action. The defense ascribes negligence of the patient as a contributing cause to the damages that are being claimed.

To establish the defense of comparative negligence in a medical malpractice action, a physician must prove each of the following elements of negligence:

  1. The patient owes himself or herself a duty of care
  2. The patient breaches that duty; and
  3. The breach of the duty is proximately connected to the damages the patient sustains.

A doctor would have to prove that the patient was well-informed regarding the severity of their condition and the significance of the treatment of the condition. In addition, to establish that the patient had a duty of care for themselves, there is a requirement that a patient exercise the degree of care expected of a reasonable person under similar circumstances. This standard of care can be modified depending on the pain, disability, medication, the effects a disease has on the patient, and the difference in levels of knowledge between the doctor and patient.

Proximate cause in comparative negligence in a malpractice law suit occurs where the patient’s action was the natural, direct, and continuous sequence between the negligent act of the patient and the injury that it caused. Common instance of where courts have held that comparative negligence occurs is where a patient fails, disobeys, or delays to follow a physician’s advice. The result is that since patients have become more knowledgeable about medical issues, a patient’s refusal or inability to exercise due care to protect his own health needs is more likely found to be the proximate cause of the harm to the patient. Therefore, no longer is it just the doctor who is the target for the negligence in a medical malpractice action – the patient is now partially at risk.

What is the Modern Patient Left To Do?

No one expects patients to stop informing themselves about their diseases, diagnosis, or general health issues, especially when so much information is so readily available. Therefore, as an informed modern patient, it is necessary to understand that a patient’s role in understanding the nature of their care has increased. Consequently, patients have much greater responsibility in the eyes of the courts than in the past.

To have a viable claim for medical malpractice and to make sure that doctors do not transfer responsibility to patients, it is important that patients:

  • Follow the directions and prescription instructions provided by their doctors. Patients must follow doctor directives as best as possible in order to minimize the likelihood of a comparative negligence defense undermining the ability of the patient to seek full damages
  • Ask their doctors additional questions if they feel that the directions or prescriptions are not accurate due to their prior information on a health issue. If a patient is still uneasy, get in writing the reasons why a specific instruction or prescription has been given.

Are the courts fairly holding patients more accountable for their own standard of care? Are patients partially negligent in instances they fail or disobey instructions by a medical practitioner? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

GOING POSTAL – What if the most dangerous place on earth is where you work?

Pleasant were the days where the most an employee worried about was dealing with pesky bosses, overbearing co-workers, grueling morning traffic, and totally unreasonable deadlines. But news stories covering people like the disgruntled New York City employee who fatally shot his co-worker and entered into a Hollywood-style gunfight with police are changing that. As a national debate rages over proposed gun control legislation, employees have been given entirely new and considerably more serious worries for their personal safety and the safety of their workplace.

November 2009 – Tragedy Strikes a Workplace

On November 5, 2009, this country witnessed one of the greatest and most jarring tragedies to occur at a workplace. You would think that one of the safest places on the planet would be a United States military base WITHIN the United States. Yet on that dark day in November, a United States Army Medical Corp officer opened fire at Fort Hood, killing 13 people and injuring more than 30 others. Many Americans began to wonder just how safe their workplace was.

“Going Postal”

Workplace violence has always been a common but hidden reality of the work environment. Yet, throughout the years, the definition of workplace violence has changed and expanded. Originally, violence in the workplace referred only to getting hurt on the job – such as when health care workers were assaulted by patients, late night convenience store employees were robbed, or taxi cab drivers were mugged by riders.It was not until 1986 when United States Postal Service worker Patrick Sherrill massacred 14 people in Edmonds, Oklahoma, shooting and killing managers, fellow workers, and members of the police, that the general public adopted a term for these killings. In ominous memory of those killed in Oklahoma, the term became “going postal.”

Occupational Hazard – Shootings at the Office

Workplace violence can range from harassment and intimidation to violence and homicide. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2007 to 2012, there were more than 10,000 occupational homicides nationwide. Specifically in 2008, shootings accounted for 80 percent of all homicides in 2008.

From a legal perspective, some may argue that simply banning guns on any work premise would go a long way towards reducing workplace violence. However, Florida employers are limited in their abilities to do so by the law – employers cannot implement a ban on having weapons on “company premises” within their workplace policies. The Preservation and Protection of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Motor Vehicles Act of 2008 prohibits both public and private employers from restricting customers or employees from possessing any legally owned firearm when such firearm is lawfully possessed and locked inside a motor vehicle in a parking lot. Employers are also prohibited from asking employees and customers whether they have firearms in their cars and from searching their vehicles for weapons. However, an employer can require that guns remain locked in a vehicle and ban them from anywhere other than the parking lot.

Employer Safeguards – How Companies Minimize the Likelihood of Workplace Violence

Thus, knowing whether an employer has the proper safeguards in place is essential to understanding the safety of a work environment. No work environment will ever be guaranteed freedom from workplace violence but there are ways in which an employer can substantially reduce incidences.

An employer can effective reduce workplace violence by:

  1. Performing reference and background checks during the hiring process.
  2. Executing the best practice of establishing a zero-tolerance policy towards workplace violence against or by their employees
  3. Creating a written policy that defines workplace violence and includes specific examples of prohibited conduct. Furthermore it should also have explanations or repercussions for violations and specific reporting procedures
  4. Ensuring that all employees are educated on the policy and understand that any complaints about potential violence will be investigated and remedied promptly.
  5. Establishing a workplace violence prevent program, and incorporating it into the existing employee handbook or manual of standard operating procedures.
  6. Providing training to supervisors that helps them spot and deal with potentially violent employees.
  7. Creating a crisis plan so employees are prepared if the company experiences a threat of violence
  8. Hiring security personnel, using video surveillance and alarm systems, and limiting workplace access by the public and unauthorized individuals.

The Zero Tolerance Policy – Protecting the Employer and Employees

One of the most prominent workplace policies that have become instrumental in employment litigation with regards to workplace violence has been the implementation of the “zero-tolerance” policy. Under such a policy, individuals that engage in any type of workplace violence can be automatically terminated from the company. Under such dismissal, an employee may not be able to sue their employer for the fact that there were fired for engaging in workplace violence.

However, this policy assumes that the employees who are engaging in workplace violence are two individuals that have issues with one another. The policy does not adequately cover single employees that act aggressively to passive co-workers. Nevertheless, in situations where a single individual acts aggressively towards one or many co-workers, arbitrators have awarded leeway to the “innocent” employee or employees in cases where the act of aggression was met by an act of self defense by the victim or victims.

Case in Point – How Policies Protect Companies AND Victims

In a specific case, an employer discharged two employees that engaged in a fistfight over which employee had been assigned to perform a particular job. In doing so, the employer relied upon a zero-tolerance workplace violence policy and discharged both employees. Within the case, the union that represented Employee A argued that the employer’s decision to discharge Employee A should not stand because Employee A’s participation in the fight was merely in self-defense. They claimed that Employee B had provoked Employee A and then escalated the physical confrontation. Although Employee A had played a role in escalating the conflict and should be held culpable for his role in the violent episode, the arbitrator in that case determined that the employer did not have just cause to discharge Employee A. The arbitrator held that Employee A’s violent behavior should be excused at least to the point of allowing him to return to his job because Employee B had been the instigator of the fight.

Legal Protections for Victims – Is It Enough?

The current legal framework does not provide employees many opportunities to bring up claims in court against their employers for not stopping or preventing workplace violence. There are some type of harassments that are outlawed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but Title VII’s reach is narrow and only prohibits employment discrimination based on an individual’s race, sex, color, religion, or national origin. Since the legal options that allow for an action to be brought against the employer are limited, it is important for employees to understand the importance of the workplace safety policies that are enacted in their work environment. If history is any indication, it could save your life.

Do you think that the current legal framework goes far enough to protect employees from workplace violence? What legislation would you create to reduce the amount of workplace violence in the US? Comment below and share your perspective.

Does the Medical Malpractice Reform Act Strike a Balance of Protection or Leave Victims High and Dry?

The Medical Malpractice Reform Act’s Impact on Medical Malpractice in Florida

According to the National Practitioner Data Bank in 2011 there were a total of 692 Malpractice Payment Reports. This has been a decrease of forty-five percent when in 2001 there were a total number of 1,281 Malpractice Payment Reports. This begs the question of whether Florida’s doctors have become better at their profession or whether statutory reform has diminished the amount of actions that can be brought against physicians. Evidence indicates that statutory reform has restricted the amount of actions brought against physicians.

 The Medical Malpractice Reform Act

The Medical Malpractice Reform Act (“Act”) may be the reason why there has been a decrease in malpractice suits. The Act was enacted in recognition of the dramatic increase in medical malpractice insurance premiums, the consequent increase in medical care costs, and the functional unavailability of malpractice insurance for some physicians. It was the statutory intent of the Florida Legislature in enacting the Act to provide a plan for prompt resolution of medical negligence and, to that end, provide for investigation and arbitration of such claims. Therefore, the main intent of the Legislature seems to be to stop frivolous claims, promote settlements, and reduce the high cost of medical malpractice insurance. The act primarily seemed to create protections for physicians.

The Act, among other things, establishes the individuals who shall be held civilly or criminally liable for malpractice; the proper elements that an injured patient must prove to be able to bring a claim for medical malpractice; and the applicable statute of limitations or time frame in which an injured patient can bring such claim.

The Act specifically states that:

“In any action for recovery of damages based on the death or personal injury of any person in which it is alleged that such death or injury resulted from the negligence of a health care providers, the claimant shall have the burden of proving by the greater weight of evidence that the alleged actions of the health care provider represented a breach of the professional standard of care for that health care provider. The prevailing professional standard of care for a given health care provider shall be that level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably similar health care providers …. [and] if the injury is claimed to have resulted from the negligent affirmative medical intervention of the health care provider, the claimant must, in order to prove a breach of the prevailing professional standard of care, show that the injury was not within the necessary or reasonably foreseeable results of the surgical, medicinal, or diagnostic procedure constituting the medical intervention, if the intervention from which the injury is alleged to have resulted was carried out in accordance with the prevailing professional standard of care by a reasonably prudent similar health care provider.”

 The Criteria for an injured patient to have a claim of medical negligence in Florida

An injured patient must meet certain criteria under the act to pursue a claim of “medical negligence” in Florida:

  1. The injured patient must prove that the health care provider did not fulfill his duty of providing a professional standard of care.
    1. a. It must be first established that the individual providing the care is deemed to be a “health care provider.”
    2. b. This is demonstrated by the use of expert witness testifying that the injury that resulted from the professional standard of care was not within the necessary or reasonably foreseeable results.
  2. Furthermore, after proving that the health care provider breached that duty, the injured patient must prove that the breach of that duty was the cause of the injuries.
  3. Lastly, the injured patient must provide an adequate amount of damages for the purpose of compensation.

 A Big Obstacle for Victims of Medical Negligence

This is quite an extensive list of items that an injured patient needs to prove during a time that they are stressed, in pain, and suffering from other psychological and physical pains that were caused by the “medical negligence.” With such a high hurdle for injured patients, this ultimately begs the question of whether the Legislature’s goal of diminishing frivolous claims was accomplished, or whether there are injured patients who had a valid claim, but due to the fact that they did not fulfill the “elements” of the statute were not able to bring a claim.

Viable Medical Malpractice Claims in Florida As Declared by Florida Courts

The following situations have been declared by Florida courts to be viable medical malpractice claims:

  • Misdiagnosed infection resulting in brain damaged baby
  • Delayed delivering resulting in brain damaged baby
  • Death of pregnant women, also injuring newborn
  • Death of pregnant women
  • Death due to hypertension during pregnancy
  • Improper abortion
  • Death due to Untreated Infection
  • Surgical sponge left in abdomen
  • Fall in hospital
  • Fall from hospital bed

Gaps in the Medical Malpractice Reform Act?

Nevertheless, there was a specific case where under the Medical Malpractice Reform Act, a pharmacy is not deemed to be a health care provider, so when a customer who sued a pharmacy for injuries the customer’s son received when the pharmacy allegedly “misfiled” a prescription was not a valid claim because the element of a “health care provider” was not met. It begs the question of what remedy should be offered to the customer’s son for the pharmacy’s mistake? Who should be held liable if the pharmacy cannot be deemed a health care provider?

Even though it is vital to protect health care providers who give quality medical services and important to shield them from liability due to frivolous claims, it is equally important to note that the individuals who are establishing the legal standards are health care providers and not the actual injured patients. As stated above, the legislature passed the Medical Malpractice Reform Act to stop frivolous claims, promote settlements, and reduce the high cost of medical malpractice insurance. Have medical malpractice victims that don’t meet the criteria to pursue legal action been neglected by the act? Was it the right move?

 Does the Medical Malpractice Reform Act Strike the Right Balance in Protecting Health Care Providers AND Victims?

The Medical Malpractice Reform Act was passed by legislators for the purpose of reducing the high costs of litigation to health care providers. A medical malpractice act should encompass as its legislative intent the protection of the injured patient, and not just merely the monetary protection of the health care provider. In this instance, even though the Medical Malpractice Reform Act may promote settlements and stop frivolous claims, it seems to do so for the benefit of health care providers and to the detriment of the injured patient. Thus it seems injured patients that may have had a viable claim are now being prevented from bringing their claim to court and asking for compensation for their injuries.

Share your Thoughts

Should the Medical Malpractice Reform Act be changed? What’s the best method of changing the act so that less medical malpractice victims are disqualified from pursuing legal action?

Dog Attacks 10 Year Old Boy

On Wednesday, January 09, 2013, a 10 year-old Miami boy was attacked by a dog causing permanent injuries. Dog bite injuries are not uncommon to Miami-Dade County and throughout Florida. The 10 year-old boy is now recovering at Jackson Memorial Hospital from a deep dog bite wound to his right leg. The attack happened in the area around NW 10 Avenue and NW 108 Street. Fortunately, Police arrived at the scene of the dog attack. The dog then attempted to attack the police and officers opened fire on the dog killing it.

The dog who attacked the boy was not without an owner. Chris Fuentes, the dog’s owner, told the press that at the time of the attack the dog was not on a leash.  However, he claims that his property was secure and the dog was kept within the property behind a chained fence.  He was unsure of how the dog got off his property. Mr. Fuentes also alleged that his dog had never been aggressive with another individual.

Unfortunately, a small child was permanently injured and possibly scarred for life as a result of this dog attack. His family may have a cause of action against Mr. Fuentes the dog owner. In addition, if the property where the dog was residing was owned by another individual, the victim maybe able to bring a lawsuit against the land owner. The family should retain a local personal injury attorney in order to determine if their is a case.

Florida has clear laws regarding dog bites and the liability of dog owners/property owners. Florida is not a one free bite state, meaning that although a dog has never exhibited aggressive behavior, owners are still liable for a dog’s first attack. In addition, it is reported that the dog was able to exit off its owner’s property. Therefore, a personal injury attorney would want to investigate who constructed the fence and the maintenance of such fence. In addition, a personal injury attorney would need to investigate whether the dog was provoked by the child, obtain the animal control file on the dog, obtain the 911 tape, and obtain the police report. Finally, since the owner has been so forthcoming, it would also be important to preserve all of Mr.Fuente’s statements.

Unfortunately, even if there is no question regarding the liability of the dog owner/property owner, the victim may not be able to recover due to a frequent insurance clause exemption regarding dog bites placed in insurance policies.

The attorneys at Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., a Miami Personal Injury law firm, specialize in personal injury cases such as dog bite cases. We pride ourselves in communicating with our clients and putting our clients first. Jeffrey R. Davis has been practicing personal injury law for over 25 years. Olga Porven, a former insurance defense attorney, has the insight into what the insurance companies strategies are in defending personal injury cases.

If you or a loved on have been injured as a result of the negligence of another, contact us for a free consultation or call us at 305-704-7415.

Catheter Injuries – Medical Malpractice

Jeffrey R. Davis P.A., a Miami Medical Malpractice law firm, handles cases involving injuries from peripheral intravenous devices, mid-lines, central catheters, ports and other catheters. Jeffrey R. Davis has handled medical malpractice cases in Miami-Dade County, Broward County, West Palm Beach County, Monroe County and throughout Florida.

There are many different types of procedures for health-care providers to obtain vascular access to administer drugs, medications and other solutions. Intravenous devices are also utilized to draw blood and other fluids. Although routine in clinical practice, these procedures and devices require use by a skilled health-care provider in order to avoid injury, infection and other serious complications.

Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. has handled many cases involving injuries and illness caused by errors in the use and management of these devices. Our firm has assisted clients who have developed infections, suffered nerve injuries, developed hematomas, blood clots and other significant injuries from mismanagement, medical errors and untrained personnel utilizing intravenous devices and catheters.

A brief summary of these various devices and their purposes may be of assistance:

Peripheral Intravenous Device (PIV)

A peripheral intravenous device is typically used for short-term intravenous therapy lasting less than 5 days. Mostly, PIVs are utilized for receiving isotonic solutions and medications with non-irritant properties. The healthcare provider utilizing a PIV must be aware of contra-indications for use such as:

• Localized area of skin excoriation
• Localized edema
• Phlebitis
• Infiltration
• Extravasations
• Previous vein puncture site.

There are vein selection considerations the health-care professional must recognize. Additionally, different vessels have different flow rates. Typically, a small vessel such as those found in the hands may flow at 10ml per minute. A large vessel like the superior vena cava may flow as fast as 2,000 ml per minute. These are just some of the various issues that your health-care provider must identify before utilizing a peripheral intravenous device.

There are specific techniques for a PIV insertion. Improper insertions can cause a multitude of complications including infiltration, phlebitis, infection, extravasations and others. It is essential that the health-care provider utilizing a PIV be familiar with these complications and identify them as soon as is practicable.

PIV Complications:

• Thrombosis (mural thrombus, intraluminal thrombus, peri-catheter thrombus, total venous thrombus)
• Phlebitis (mechanical, chemical)
• Local infection
• Venous spasm
• Infiltration
• Air embolism
• Catheter embolism
• Septicemia
• Extravasations

Mid-lines

Mid-lines are usually indicated for short-term IV therapy lasting less than 4 weeks. Oftentimes, mid-lines are needed where a patient has poor venous access or has had frequent lab draws. The solutions and medications used in mid-lines are similar to that of peripheral intravenous devices.

A mid-line is a narrow, short flexible tube that is typically inserted into the cephalic vein below the axillary vein or the basilic vein. The catheter is either made of silicone or polyurethane. It can be either dual lumen or single lumen. In use, the catheter tip should be distal to the shoulder and deltoid muscle.

Some of the uses of mid-lines include lab draws, pain control, anti-microbial agents, multiple medication administration, obese patients, diabetic patients and patients with low platelet counts.

The advantages of a mid-line are that it can be inserted at bedside, it comes with low insertion risks, it is a low-cost device and can be used for home infusions. The disadvantages of mid-lines are it cannot be used for TPN, medications and solutions with an extreme PH and/or osmolality or for continuous vesicant therapy. Mid-lines require the same maintenance and management as PIVs and come with the same complications.

Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters (PICC)

A PICC line is a long, flexible, narrow tube that is inserted into an appropriate vessel. As long as it is properly cared for, it can remain in place indefinitely. The tip is threaded through an appropriate vein to either the superior or inferior vena cava. It can be used for the administration of hyperosmolar, irritants or vesicant medications.

The advantages of a PICC line is that it does not require surgery to place, it is a reliable venous access for the duration of the therapy, the patient does not need more veni-puncture for IV starts, most lab work can be drawn from the PICC line and it does not have the risk that placement of other types of CVC devices have such as the collapse or puncture of the lung or major blood vessels or the nerves in the chest.

PICC lines do have significant risks; these include, but are not limited to,

1. Risk of clotting the access vein (thrombosis)
2. The catheter itself can clot off or it can move into an unintended vein with vigorous movement or coughing
3. Catheter leakage or breakage
4. Risk of infection, usually due to the underlying treatment or disease
5. Risk of unintended injury in nerve or surrounding structures during placement

PICC lines must be placed by a nurse or other healthcare provider that is specifically trained in the use of this device. There are significant PICC considerations that begin with selecting a vein for catheter placement. Things that are commonly used are both superficial veins and deep veins such as the cephalic, basilic, external jugular, axillary, femoral and popliteal.

Like PIVs, there are contra-indications for use of a vein that must be addressed. A skilled PICC line inserter must be extremely familiar with the viscosity of fluid to be used in the PICC line. It is essential that manufacturers’ recommendations be addressed during the use and placement of a PICC line. PICCs range in catheter size as well. Catheters are designated by French or gauge and range in size from 1.1 or 28 gauge to 6 French dual or triple lumen or 18 gauge. There are various catheter materials as well. They include durathane, polyurethane and silicone. There are also different types of PICCs including open vs. closed tip, Groshong catheters.

PICC lines are typically introduced utilizing ultrasound.

This brief article is not designed to address or cover the comprehensive and voluminous considerations that accompany use of a PICC line. PICC lines have a significant array of complications relating to insertion, catheter mal-position, difficulty with removing the stylette, bleeding, hematoma, arterial puncture, cardiac dysrhythmias, nerve injury and damage, nerve irritation, catheter embolism, air embolism and others. Typically PICC lines require radiographic confirmation and placement. There is also a whole host of maintenance and management issues associated with PICC lines including flushing, lab draws, removal, repair, exchange, PICC line dressing change and others. Lastly, there are post-insertion complications associated with PICC lines such as drainage, phlebitis, cellulitis, thrombosis and others. Unlike other peripherally inserted devices, PICC lines have significant potential fatal complications which are rare, but include, pericardial perforation, tamponade, plural effusion, hydrothorax, hemothorax.

Ports

An implanted port is thin device that consists of two parts; the catheter and the port. Ports are popular for use in oncology patients. They can remain in a patient for years. Ports can be used for the administration of various types of medications and for lab draws. The components of an implanted port are a soft flexible tube that is inserted into a vein in the chest or arm and has an opening/access just under the skin.

Implanted ports are used for patients that have active lifestyles. Patients that swim or participate in sports are an example. They require lower maintenance than other access systems and are used for longer term indications. Additionally, these lines are more discrete than other types of central lines and also cost less to maintain. They provide the lowest risk for infection of all central venous catheter types. The disadvantages of a port are they must be surgically inserted and removed and the patient still must endure needle sticks. The risks associated with implanted ports include infection (either in or around the port), risk of clotting (both in the vein in or around the catheter), risk of pneumothorax and risk of separation of the port and the catheter.

Ports do require some maintenance and management including flushing, de-clotting, accessing the port, de-accessing the port and eventually removing the port. Ports also have post-insertion complications that should be contemplated.

Another device used for surgical procedures is a tunneled catheter. A tunneled catheter is a flexible, soft, plastic tube that is inserted and tunneled under the skin (usually on the chest, groin, neck or abdominal area into the venous system). Tunneled catheters carry the risk of life threatening air embolism if they break or become damaged. In fact, patients with tunneled catheters should always carry with them a pair of hemostats.

The advantages of a tunneled catheter are no more vena punctures for PIV starts, most lab work can be drawn from the line, they are a reliable source of access for the duration of therapy and the device can usually be covered by clothing. The disadvantages of a tunneled catheter are that they are surgically inserted and removed, there is a risk of infection, there is a risk of the catheter moving from proper position if it is pulled on and there is a risk of hemothorax or puncture of a major blood vessel or nerve in the chest when inserting the line.

There are also non-tunneled catheters which are directly inserted into an appropriate vein and is used for short-term access (less than 2 weeks). Non-tunneled catheters do not require surgery. Unfortunately, this type of catheter has the highest infection rate of all central venous insertion devices.

Hopefully this short article has provided some basic information about catheters, the various types available and the advantages and disadvantages associated with each. If you suspect that you have become injured or have suffered damage following the insertion or use of any of these devices, you should immediately contact your physician for further advice. The law firm of Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. is available to discuss these types of cases and has worked with highly trained experts in the field of phlebotomy, nursing and vascular surgery to review and advise on catheter related cases.

If you or a loved one has suffered a permanent injury and or wrongful death as a result of a doctor’s negligence, contact Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. for a free consultation.

Beware of Facebook, Twitter and Other Social Media

When bringing a personal injury claim, it is important to consider that many private aspects of your life will not remain private. Many insurance defense firms, private investigators, and defendants search and comb through social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. During the discovery phase of any litigation, most courts will allow the Defense to go through your Instagram, Facebook, and other social network accounts. Just one photograph or video may be taken out of context and destroy or lower the amount of monies awarded.

Recently, a woman who brought a personal injury case in Gwinnett County, Georgia tweeted about her travels and partying during the course of her case. As a result the jury lowered their damages award. The woman, a victim of a car accident, claimed that the injuries she sustained to her arm as a result of the car accident and she was unable to perform her job duties as a hairstylist. However, the Defense attorney provided tweets and pictures of the Plaintiff having fun in New Orleans with her friends and enjoying spring break on the beach. The Plaintiff asked for $1.1 million for her injuries and received $142,000.

What is the insurance and defense attorney looking for in Social Networks?:

  • Pictures of you having fun, showing that you have not been injured, and that you have returned to your normal routine;
  • Videos of you performing acts that you now claim you have difficulty with or cannot do;
  • Statements regarding the incident or accident;
  • Potential friends to interview and depose;
  • To catch you in a lie to damage

If you are involved in any type of legal matter, including a personal injury case here are a list of tips when using social networks:

  • If you can live without Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. CLOSE DOWN YOUR ACCOUNT. This will be the safest way that you will ensure that you will not damage your case;
  • Set your settings as private as possible;
  • Ask your friends and family to not tag you in any posts or photographs;
  • Do not discuss any aspects of your case on these social networking site;
  • Do not “check-in” anywhere.

In fact, many insurers are not trying to challenge liability as must as causation and whether the victim has a permanent injury.

The Miami based attorneys at Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. are experienced personal injury attorneys who understand the techniques used by defense attorneys and insurances. The use of social media is just one of the ways that the other side will try to lower the damages awarded to a victim of another’s negligence. If you or a loved have been injured because of the negligence of another, contact us for a free consultation to discuss your potential case.

Nurse Alleges Medical Malpractice – Florida Hospital

As a Miami medical malpractice law firm, Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. has represented many victims who have undergone unnecessary procedures causing permanent injuries and even wrongful deaths.  Recently, HCA,the largest for profit hospital chain in the United States (163 facilities) after an investigation uncovered that as late as 2010 some of its cardiologists in many Florida hospitals were performing unnecessary cardiac procedures. These hospitals included Cedars Medical Center in Miami, Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, Lawnwood Hospital, Kendall Regional Medical Center, and Palms West Hospital. It was reported that at Bayonet Point a 44 year-old man who arrived at the emergency room complaining of chest pain suffered a punctured blood vessel and a near fatal episode after he underwent a procedure than an outside expert believed was unnecessary. In addition, a woman with no significant heart disease went into cardiac arrest after a vessel was cut by a cardiologist when the doctor inserted a stent.

Bringing a medical malpractice claim is extremely complex. Moreover, Florida laws are designed by the legislature to protect doctors and medical facilities. For example, these are a few of the restrictions placed by Florida law on medical malpractice claims:

  • Florida doctors may practice medicine in Florida without malpractice insurance;
  • A medical malpractice claim must be initiated within two years of the alleged incident;
  • Before suit can be filed against a medical provider, a pre-suit notice must be filed followed by a pre-suit period for investigation;
  • Florida law dictates under what circumstances a doctor may be liable for medical malpractice and when they have immunity;

In addition, many times a medical malpractice claim involves multiple parties including the doctor, nurse, their employers, the hospital, and other medical providers. If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of medical malpractice it is important that you speak with an attorney regarding your case as soon as possible.  An attorney will need to research your claim and determine whether a claim can be brought.  This all must be done within the two year statute of limitations.

The attorneys at Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. have 25 years of experience representing victims of medical negligence throughout Florida. We have the resources, knowledge, and experience to litigate claims against hospitals, doctors, and other medical providers. Contact us for a free consultation regarding  your potential medical practice case.

What to Look for in a Personal Injury Attorney – Miami

Your choice in a Miami personal injury lawyer can make a big difference in the amount of compensation you receive for your injuries, how your case is managed, and how your case is finally resolved. It is important that you obtain an experienced personal injury attorney who understands Florida law, understands the insurance companies and their strategies, and who has resources to fight for your rights successfully.

When choosing an attorney to represent your interests, you must search for an attorney that is the “right fit” for you and your case. Many personal injury cases takes months to several years to resolve. You will be working with your attorney, so it is important that you trust your lawyer and get along with your lawyer. Just alone in Florida, the Florida Bar reports that there are approximately 93,895 barred attorneys as of January 2013. There are many of attorneys to choose from – Do not sell yourself short.

What Do I Look for In a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Not every attorney is a personal injury lawyer. It is important that you ask the attorney that you are about to hire what type of law they specialize in.  I always like to compare it to medicine: You wouldn’t want a cardiologist checking out a problem with your bones. Similarly, you wouldn’t want a family lawyer handling your personal injury case.

These are the factors you should consider when picking your lawyer:

  • How many years has the lawyer been practicing?
  • Has the attorney ever been disciplined by the Floria Bar?
  • Does the attorney have a list of past results?
  • Does the attorney have a list of the past type of cases that he or she has handled successfully?
  • Will the lawyer take your case to trial?
  • What is your lawyer’s policy on communicating and speaking to clients?

The attorneys at Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., a Miami Personal Injury law firm, specialize in personal injury cases such as workplace violence, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, and negligent security. We pride ourselves in communicating with our clients and putting our clients first. Jeffrey R. Davis has been practicing personal injury law for over 25 years. Olga Porven, a former insurance defense attorney, has the insight into what the insurance companies strategies are in defending personal injury cases.

If you or a loved on have been injured as a result of the negligence of another, contact us for a free consultation or call us at 305-704-7415.

Motorcyclist Killed – Davie, Florida

Sunday evening a motorcyclist crashed with a truck, was ejected off his motorcycle and died in Davie, Florida. Although unconfirmed, it is alleged that the motorcyclist tried to pass the truck who was making a left when the truck and motorcycle crashed. The accident occurred in Davie, Florida between Southwest 48 Avenue and Griffin Road. The motorcyclist was airlifted to Memorial Regional Hospital but was pronounced dead. Ironically enough approximately six months ago another motorcycle on Davie Road slammed into the driver’s side of a pickup truck causing the motorcyclists to be propelled approximately 30 feet north of the truck.

By far, helmets remain the most effective way to prevent motorcycle accident related fatalities. In 2008, 43% of fatally injured motorcyclists were not wearing helmets. The U.S. Department of Transportation discusses a brief statistical summary of motorcycle accidents http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811642.pdf

Florida’s growing population and growing number of motorcyclists only increase the probability of motorcycle accidents, car accidents, and car vs. motorcycle crashes. Interestingly enough riders aged 45-54 were the age group who experienced the largest number of motorcycle related deaths in Florida. Most motorcycle accidents in Florida occur in Miami-Dade, Volusia, Hillsborough, Palm Beach, Broward, Duval, Orange, Pasco, and Brevard counties.

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important that you remember the following things:

  1. remain at the scene of the incident;
  2. try to check and identify what your injuries are;
  3. call the police and file a police report;
  4. get the other driver’s information, including insurance information;
  5. make sure that you see a doctor or seek medical attention even if you have just a few symptoms or complaints;
  6. take pictures of your vehicle, the other driver’s vehicle’s, your injuries, the other person’s injuries, and the scene of the accident;
  7. gather any documents proving your inability to work, medical expenses, etc.

It is very important to contact an attorney that is experienced in handling motorcycle accidents. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, contact a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as you can in order to make sure that the needed evidence to prove your case is preserved. Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. has vast experience dealing with motorcycle accidents. There are many factors in any case that can affect the amount of damage that you receive to compensate you for your injuries, hiring an attorney like Jeff Davis to handle your motorcycle accident case can help you obtain the justice that you deserve.

Bicyclist Killed – Hollywood, Florida

A car hit a 52 year-old Bicyclist in Hollywood, Broward County and the bicyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident occurred near Taft Street and Northwest 66 Avenue in Hollywood, Florida. The name of the cyclist and of the driver have not been released by the authorities. It is unclear at this point whether any of the parties were under the influence at the time of the accident.  Furthermore, details such as whether the driver was texting will likely be investigated by the responding police agency.

South Florida is no stranger to bicyclists being injured and sometimes killed by cars.  It would be difficult to discuss biking accidents without mentioning the death of, Aron Cohen, the 36 year old bicyclist, who was killed while riding his bicycle in Key Biscayne by a hit and run car crash. In addition, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Florida is one of the top states for accidents involving bicyclists; 83 bicyclist fatalities in 2010 as a result of a car accident. Florida is currently ranked by the League of American Bicyclists 21 in their Bicycle Friendly State Program, however, this ranking does not take into consideration the number of bicycle involved car accidents per year. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety documented that in 2010 many more cyclists were killed in urban areas than in rural areas (71% to 28%). Traffic, the large number of motor vehicles on the road, and the ever growing South Florida population, make cycling on the road almost an extreme sport – something it should not be. Many organizations have lobbied and worked diligently to push through legislation that increases bike safety and that provides for sharing the road.

If you or your loved one have been injured by a car while riding a bicycle, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. As a Florida cyclist you may be entitled to insurance benefits that you did not know were available to you, from your insurance and that of the driver of the car.  Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. may be able to help you if you have been injured by a car, preserve your legal rights and your right to recover the insurance benefits available to you, and the justice that you deserve. The attorneys as Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., Jeffrey Davis is available to discuss any case you may have concerns about.  Contact us for a free consultation regarding your case involving a bicycle accident.

What is My Legal Case Worth? – Florida

Potential clients commonly ask the attorneys of Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., Jeffrey Davis and Olga Porven, during their free consulation, “What is my case worth?” Many clients create their own case value expectations merely on a result obtained by their friend or family member with a case that they consider similar to theirs. Unfortunately, there is no secrete formula which allows any lawyer to determine the value of your case. There are too many factors to entertain when attempting to place a value on a case for personal injury, especially after the initial consultation. There are many questions that must be answered during the course of the case, questions that usually do not have clear answers.

For example a personal injury lawyer will need to determine:

  1. fault;
  2. the medical attention sought and compliance with medical attention;
  3. the severity of the injuries;
  4. the permanency of the injuries;
  5. the future medical treatment in the future;
  6. the future ability to work;
  7. how much were the medical bills;
  8. did this affect any members of your family;

When discussing your personal injury matter, wrongful death case, or any other case with an attorney, you should be cautious of any lawyer who promises you a certain value for your case. The value of your case has to be evaluated after looking at medical records and having a face to face meeting. Many times it is several months after the accident and treatment that a lawyer may be able to begin evaluating the value of a case. Beware many times insurance companies will approach you early in the case with settlement offers. Before accepting a settlement offer and signing a release, you should consult with a lawyer in order to determine whether the settlement is a fair offer for your injuries. Insurance companies have been known to send field representatives to accident scenes in order to release any potential claims against their insureds.

Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. evaluates every case individually. Because each case has different injuries, different damages, different circumstances, and different people, each case is given the attention that it deserves.  If you would like to meet with an a personal injury attorney and receive a free consultation regarding your Florida personal injury case, contact us at Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., North Miami based attorneys, Jeff Davis and Olga Porven will work hard to try and obtain a fair value for your case.

What is workplace violence? What can I do?

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has defined workplace violence as “the threat of violence against workers. It can occur at or outside the workplace and can range from threats/verbal abuse to physical assaults and killings.” The US government has indicated that there are about 2 million workers who are victims of workplace violence each year nationally. Workplace violence can be sexual assault, physical assault, verbal assault, harassment, threats, and murders.

Workplace violence is ever increasing in the United States. After auto accidents, workplace violence is the second leading cause of work-related injury.  More recently, workplace violence has been in the spotlight with the number of shootings in schools, at public officials such as Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford, and at the Empire State Building. Many times issues arise with disgruntled employees who for a lack of better words have gone “postal.” However, pursuant to federal law, your boss is required to provide a safe working environment to their employees. Such things to take into consideration when speaking of workplace violence is the security measures in place and/or the emergency plan (if any).

An employer providing inadequate precautions and safety measures, as required by Federal Law, can lead to personal injury and even death. Examples of injuries and damages include psychological trauma, loss of wages, loss of future earning capacity, any other permanent injury, and death.

Florida is not exempt from workplace violence. In fact, Florida law, Florida Statute 768.096, require that employers conduct a background investigation of each employee in order to be exempt from liability. Unfortunately Florida law creates immunity against negligent hiring is an employer conducts a background check.

If you have been threatened or injured as a result of workplace violence, you must report and document you injuries with you human resources department. It is important that you place your employer on notice of the workplace violence because the law requires that they resolve the issue. It also serves as documentation should the violence escalate and continue.

It is important that if you or a loved one is a victim of workplace violence, you contact an experienced attorney such as South Florida attorney Jeffrey R. Davis. Contact Jeffrey R. Davis for a free consultation or more information regarding handling a workplace violence case.

Bicyclists Struck by Car – Broward County – South Florida

Early Saturday morning a car hit a group of bicyclists in Weston, Broward County and critically injured them. One of the cyclists, George Mayer, after being struck by the vehicle, was airlifted to the hospital. The other three cyclists were also transported to the hospital by emergency personnel.  The Broward County Sheriff responded to the accident scene and continues to investigate the accident. It is unclear at this point whether any of the parties were under the influence at the time of the accident.  Furthermore, details such as whether the driver was texting will likely be investigated by the responding police agency.

South Florida is no stranger to bicyclists being injured and sometimes killed by cars.  It would be difficult to discuss biking accidents without mentioning the death of, Aron Cohen, the 36 year old bicyclist, who was killed while riding his bicycle in Key Biscayne by a hit and run car crash. In addition, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Florida is one of the top states for accidents involving bicyclists; 83 bicyclist fatalities in 2010 as a result of a car accident. Florida is currently ranked by the League of American Bicyclists 21 in their Bicycle Friendly State Program, however, this ranking does not take into consideration the number of bicycle involved car accidents per year. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety documented that in 2010 many more cyclists were killed in urban areas than in rural areas (71% to 28%). Traffic, the large number of motor vehicles on the road, and the ever growing South Florida population, make cycling on the road almost an extreme sport – something it should not be. Many organizations have lobbied and worked diligently to push through legislation that increases bike safety and that provides for sharing the road.

If you or your loved one have been injured by a car while riding a bicycle, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. As a Florida cyclist you may be entitled to insurance benefits that you did not know were available to you, from your insurance and that of the driver of the car.  Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. may be able to help you if you have been injured by a car, preserve your legal rights and your right to recover the insurance benefits available to you, and the justice that you deserve. The attorneys as Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., Jeffrey Davis and Olga Porven, are available to discuss any case you may have concerns about.  Contact us for a free consultation regarding your case involving a bicycle accident.

Elderly Woman Killed by Truck – Hialeah, Florida

An elderly woman was killed after she was hit by a car while she was on a Hialeah sidewalk Tuesday morning. The pedestrian vs. car accident occurred on 16th avenue and West 53 Street in Hialeah, Florida at about 8:00 a.m. The elderly woman was on the sidewalk of 16 avenue, either walking or waiting for a bus, when her life was taken. Hialeah Police report that the truck who ended up hitting the woman did not have a driver at the time of the accident. The driver of the truck was parked in a nearby parking lot, the truck was in the wrong gear, and then hit the woman. It is alleged that the driver was parking the truck and as he was getting out of the truck, the truck jumped onto the sidewalk, killed the woman and crashed into a school bus with 16 children, causing a motor vehicle accident.

It is unclear if the error in the truck’s movement was human error or a mechanical malfunction. It is clear that there may be many parties who may be liable to the elderly woman’s family and survivors. The same parties may liable to any other individuals who were injured on the bus at the time of the incident. One thing is certain, Hialeah Police, have determined that they have determined that this was not a criminal act. Therefore, victims of this tragic accident will only have civil remedies available to them.

According to early police reports this matter may either by an auto negligence or a products liability matter.

However, certain questions will have to be answered such as:

  1. when was the last time the car was services or repaired?
  2. had the gear box ever been maintained, changed, repaired?;
  3. Is the owner of the car the same individual who was driving the car at the time of the accident?

If you or a loved one is injured or is a victim of a pedestrian versus car accident, it is important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. A personal injury attorney will be able to document and preserve evidence that will support your potential claim. A car accident lawyer will also be able to request documents such as a your medical records, police records, and court records which will all potential help your future case.  Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., has a vast experience representing injured victims in personal injury and car accident matters. Jeffrey Davis has represented hundred of individuals as a result of the careless driving of others. Jeffrey Davis, car accident attorney, may be able to help you obtain the justice you deserve.

It is important that if you or a loved one is injured in a car accident, you obtain as much information that you can regarding the other driver/party (insurance information, tag, name, address, etc.). You should also make sure that you tell police a simple and concise explanation of how the accident happened. Make sure that you do not accept money or sign any type of release at the scene of the accident. Also, do not get into a fight or an argument with the other driver. Make sure that you do not speak to anyone at the scene other than the police. Many times, an insurance company will send out an immediate response team.  They are not on your side. In addition, your insurance may come out to the scene to prove that the accident was your fault or that you were not injured. Olga Porven, Esq., an attorney with Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., is a former insurance defense attorney. She is well aware of what the insurance companies are capable of and has the experience in dealing with insurance companies to help you obtain potential compensation in your case.

Contact Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. for a free consultation. One of our attorneys will gladly speak to you regarding your personal injury matter.

Beachgoer Struck by Truck – Hollywood, Florida

Tuesday afternoon, a Hollywood beach sunbather was struck by a vehicle, a Beach Fire Rescue Truck, and suffered injuries as a result of the collision. The driver, a Hollywood Fire Rescue beach safety supervisor, was flagged down after driving over a sunbather while completing his patrol on the beach. Witnesses claim that they saw the truck jump when it ran over the sunbather. People on the beach, the 6000 Block of North Ocean in Hollywood saw the whole incident.

It is reported that the victim was in his 50’s and was transported to Memorial Regional Hospital with cuts and burns from the truck’s exhaust. However, witnesses claim that they saw blood coming from the victim’s eyes, face, arm, and body. The extent of the victim’s injuries are undetermined at this time. Pedestrian vs. car accident however often result in catastrophic injuries, brain injuries, or wrongful death.

As you can recall, in 2011 a Miami Beach Police Officer while giving a tourist a ride on his ATV ran over two beach-goers. In 2006, a Daytona Beach Patrol ran over a tourist. Previously, a Miami Beach police officer was chasing a suspect and ran over two tourists from France and one of them died.

Hollywood supervisors claim that the 55 year old man was laying by a dune and when the supervisor went over the dune he ran over the victim. It is likely that further investigation will be taken by police and fire rescue. It is also likely that they sunbather will have a potential claim against the driver and the City of Hollywood for his injuries.

After being involved in any type of accident (even if you are not in a vehicle) it is important that you do the following:

  1. collect information, including contact information, for everyone involved in the accident, including witnesses;
  2. seek medical attention for your injuries in order to document your condition(s);
  3. talk to an  accident lawyer as soon as possible in order to provide you proper representation; and
  4. do not talk to anyone about the accident – especially insurance adjusters.

In this case, the 55 year old man unfortunately suffered this horrific accident, however, he was fortunate that there were many eye witnesses that will be able to support his claim.

Unfortunately, more often than not, catastrophic injuries are usually associated with motor vehicles that collide with pedestrians or individuals who are not within a car. If you or someone you know had been involved in an accident, Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. can help you go after the justice you deserve. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, loss wages, pain and suffering, and future medical bills. Contact us today in order to obtain a free consultation regarding your legal options.

Car Crashes into Child – South Florida

On Saturday, November 15, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. an 8 year-old was struck and killed as a result of a car accident in Lauderhill. The 8 year old-boy, a victim of a pedestrian accident,  after being hit by the car was transported to the hospital where he later died. It is reported that the child wandered onto the street and was hit by a car traveling east near the intersection of NW 27 Court and 56th Avenue, a residential neighborhood. Locals call the area “The U block.” Local police are still investigating how the little boy ended up in the path of the vehicles that evening and suffered a wrongful death. Police will surely investigate lighting, the speed of the vehicle, how the little boy ended up in the middle of the street, the location of the guardians/parents at the time of the incident.   Police did not charge the 20 year old female driver who struck the little boy with any charges or moving violations. Both the identity of the boy and of the driver have not been revealed by the local authorities.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHSTA)estimated that in 2010 approximately 4,280 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 70,000 pedestrians were injured in car accidents. In addition Safe Kids USA reported that an average of 355 pedestrian children (ages 14 and under) occur each year. Surprisingly, pedestrian deaths as a result of car accident have been on the rise. The NHSTA estimated that a pedestrian is killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic crashes. What is alarming for Floridians is that the most dangerous state for pedestrians is Florida.

If you or a loved one is injured or is a victim of a pedestrian versus car accident, it is important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. A personal injury attorney will be able to document and preserve evidence that will support your potential claim. A car accident lawyer will also be able to request documents such as a your medical records, police records, and court records which will all potential help your future case.  Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., has a vast experience representing injured victims in personal injury and car accident matters. Jeffrey Davis has represented hundred of individuals as a result of the careless driving of others. Jeffrey Davis, car accident attorney, may be able to help you obtain the justice you deserve.

It is important that at the scene if the car accident you obtain as much information that you can regarding the other driver/party (insurance information, tag, name, address, etc.). You should also make sure that you tell police a simple and concise explanation of how the accident happened. Make sure that you do not accept money or sign any type of release at the scene of the accident. Also, do not get into a fight or an argument with the other driver. Make sure that you do not speak to anyone at the scene other than the police. Many times, an insurance company will send out an immediate response team.  They are not on your side. In addition, your insurance may come out to the scene to prove that the accident was your fault or that you were not injured. Olga Porven, Esq., an attorney with Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., is a former insurance defense attorney. She is well aware of what the insurance companies are capable of and has the experience in dealing with insurance companies to help you obtain potential compensation in your case.

Contact Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. for a free consultation. One of our attorneys will gladly speak to you regarding your personal injury matter.

Train Crashes Into Car – Pompano Beach, Florida

A Broward driver was killed yesterday when an Amtrak train crashed into her vehicle. Early reports indicate that the driver got stuck between the train gates as an Amtrak train was approaching.  Witnesses allege that they saw the driver moving her car back and forth trying to see where she could go and move her vehicle through the gates. People who were walking down Sample Road were simply yelling to the driver to get out of the car. However, the driver never exited her vehicle and the train slammed into the car. Luckily, the car had no other passengers. The car burst into flames and fell in a ditch. The Miami bound train was not derailed. However, passengers reported feeling a jolt and a big thump as the train hit the car.

Florida has a total of 5,109 highway-rail crossings for vehicles and pedestrians. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, in 2009 there were 1,896 incidents at public highway-rail crossings that resulted in 247 deaths and 705 injuries.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased driver. Both Amtrak and the Department of Transportation will have questions such as: Were the railroad gates in working order? Did the driver try to beat the train and ignore the gates? Did the driver’s vehicle malfunction? Did the train operator see the vehicle with enough time to brake and avoid a collision? Were any of the passengers or employees on the train injured?It is important to remember that Railroad companies are “common carriers.” Therefore, they are held to a higher standard of care since they are transporting the public.

If you or your loved one are involved in a train accident, odds are that you will need an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney on your side. It is important that you hire an attorney as soon as possible in order to not miss any deadlines and preserve evidence that will be crucial in making your claim. Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. has successfully represented injured in individuals in the state of Florida. If you would like a free consultation regarding your case, please contact us.

ATV Accident – Miami Beach

A drunken police officer caused an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) to crash into beach-goers on July 3, 2011 causing catastrophic injuries. The Miami Beach Police Officer, Derick Kulian was assigned to ATV beach patrol. He, along with another Miami Beach Police Officer, mingled on the dance floor of the Clevelander with several women from out of town. It is reported that the officers were drinking while at the Clevlander. However, there is no confirmation regarding the drinks they were consuming.  Kulian allegedly took one of the women, the bachelorette, for a ride on the ATV on the sand with the headlights off.  Kulian crashed into two beach-goers who were on the beach with friends to watch the sunrise. The injured man suffered a broken leg and the injured woman suffered life threatening injuries which required numerous surgeries. After all her treatment, the female victim sustained a traumatic brain injury.

Paramedics measured Kulian’s alcohol level at 0.088 several hours after the accident. Florida law dictates that anything over 0.080 is presumed to be intoxicated. As a result of the crash, both officers were fired. Friends of the victims claimed that Kulian was driving the ATV at 60 mph before he lost control.

The two individuals injured in the ATV crash filed civil suits against the City of Miami Beach and the former Miami Beach Police Officer. Luckily these suits have not turned into wrongful death actions. Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. hopes that the victims of this horrific incident obtain justice for their injuries and pain and suffering.

ATV related injuries and/or deaths have been on the rise. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2009 there were 649 reported deaths, 781 estimated deaths, and 131,900 estimated number of emergency room treated injuries. Florida ATV related deaths from 2007-2010 currently total 104 but data continues to be gathered. In addition, Florida law simply requires that: 1) ATVs operated on public land be titled; 2) riders under 16 must wear a helmet and eye protection; and 3) ATV use is prohibited on paved roads.

After being involved in an ATV accident it is important that you do the following: 1) collect information, including contact information, for everyone involved in the ATV accident, including witnesses; 2) seek medical attention for your injuries in order to document your condition(s); 3) talk to an ATV accident lawyer as soon as possible in order to provide you proper representation; and 4) do not talk to anyone about the accident – especially insurance adjusters.

Unfortunately, more often than not, catastrophic injuries are usually associated with ATVs. If you or someone you know had been involved in an ATV accident, Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. can help you go after the justice you deserve. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, loss wages, pain and suffering, and future medical bills. Contact us today in order to obtain a free consultation regarding your legal options.

Motorcycle Accident in Florida Keys

Longtime Keys resident and biking enthusiast, Marlin Joyce Gunter, died on Saturday near mile marker 29 while driving her motorcycle.  At the time of the incident, Marlin Joyce Gunter was aboard a 2004 Harley driven by Thomas Bateman. They were allegedly rear ended by a 1993 Chevrolet car which pushed the motorcycle into a 1990 Jeep vehicle. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) reported that the impact caused the motorcycle riders to be thrown onto the highway. Marlin Joyce Gunter was confirmed dead at Fishermen’s Community Hospital as a result of the car vs. motorcycle accident. Bateman remains in critical condition in an induced coma at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Gunter’s death was reportedly the 17th traffic related death south of Florida City this year.

Ironically, for the past year, Joyce Gunter fought and won her battle against cancer. At the time of the car accident, Joyce Gunter was working hard to regain her strength and in fact, she had recently begun riding motorcycles again after her fight with cancer.

By far, helmets remain the most effective way to prevent motorcycle accident related fatalities. In 2008, 43% of fatally injured motorcyclists were not wearing helmets. The U.S. Department of Transportation discusses a brief statistical summary of motorcycle accidents http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811642.pdf.
Florida’s growing population and growing number of motorcyclists only increase the probability of motorcycle accidents, car accidents, and car vs. motorcycle crashes. Interestingly enough riders aged 45-54 were the age group who experienced the largest number of motorcycle related deaths in Florida. Most motorcycle accidents in Florida occur in Miami-Dade, Volusia, Hillsborough, Palm Beach, Broward, Duval, Orange, Pasco, and Brevard counties.
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important that you remember the following things: 1) remain at the scene of the incident; 2) try to check and identify what your injuries are; 3) call the police and file a police report; 4) get the other driver’s information, including insurance information; 5) make sure that you see a doctor or seek medical attention even if you have just a few symptoms or complaints; 6) take pictures of your vehicle, the other driver’s vehicle’s, your injuries, the other person’s injuries, and the scene of the accident; 7) gather any documents proving your inability to work, medical expenses, etc.
It is very important to contact an attorney that is experienced in handling motorcycle accidents. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, contact a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as you can in order to make sure that the needed evidence to prove your case is preserved. Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. has vast experience dealing with motorcyle accidents. There are many factors in any case that can affect the amount of damage that you receive to compensate you for your injuries, hiring an attorney like Jeff Davis to handle your motorcycle accident case can help you obtain the justice that you deserve.

South Florida Car Accident – Car Strikes Pedestrian

Early Friday, December 7, 2012, a pickup truck struck a 17 year old high school student, Allana Diniz. Diniz was crossing Congress Avenue at Meadows Boulevard at about 6:25 a.m. Diniz was seriously injured and transported to Delray Medical Center. The driver of the vehicle, 52 year-Ruben Solomon, was not injured. Traffic investigators reported that Diniz was crossing in the cross walk. However, it is unknown what exactly happened. It is hard to imagine that Diniz did not suffer a catastrophic injury or brain injury as a result of the accident.

Though traffic investigators said Diniz was crossing in the crosswalk, it is unknown at this time who had the right of way.

South Florida is no stranger to these car vs. pedestrian accidents. Unfortunately, too frequently, drivers fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians. However, the circumstances surrounding this accident are not clear. Could this be a result of speeding? Could this be a result of improper lighting? Could this be a result of taking or texting on the phone while driving? Could this be a result Diniz failing to look before crossing? These are all questions that the family of Diniz and the driver will want answered. As of now, the Boynton Police Department has yet to issue a statement regarding the cause of this unfortunate accident.

Miami Personal Injury Lawyers Jeffrey R. Davis and Olga Porven of Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., have handled many car accident cases – even car accidents where a car has either crashed into a pedestrian or a bicyclist. Our thoughts are with the family of Diniz and hope she survives her injuries.

Shots Fired at Workplace – Workplace Violence

Miami Gardens Police responded to a workplace shooting on Thursday, December 6, 2012. A 59 year-old woman, Guadalupe Hernandez, reportedly fired several bullets at her place of work. Ms. Guadalupe Hernandez’s alleged target, her boss. Security guard Eddie Hernandez claimed that he witnessed Ms. Hernandez run out to the parking area as soon as Ms. Hernandez’s supervisor parked. Shots then rang out and Ms. Hernandez’s boss ran into the building claiming that Guadalupe Hernandez was attempting to shoot her. There were several co-workers in the building at the time of the shooting. Another gentleman in the lobby of the building was able to  strip the gun away from Ms. Hernandez as she was trying to reload. It is still unclear why Ms. Hernandez unlashed this violence where she worked. However, Ms. Hernandez’s husband, Raul Fernandez, reported that the night before the shooting, he overheard his wife during a telephone conversation that she was afraid that they were going to fire her. In addition, he explained that Guadalupe and her boss had their differences in the past.

Jeffrey R. Davis of Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A is a Workplace Violence Attorney. Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. represents and seeks justice for victims of Workplace Violence throughout Florida. Our office located in Miami with convenient access from North Miami, North Miami Beach, Miami Shores, South Beach and Aventura. Contact Jeffrey R. Davis today to discuss your potential case.