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Social Media: Can it Ruin your Case?

Social Media is everywhere. According to Statista at the end of 2017, Facebook had 2.2 billion monthly active users, Snapchat had 187 million daily active users and Instagram had over 230 million accounts. Many top celebrities had well over 100 million followers alone. An incredible 81% of people in the United States have some social medical profile.

Recent news about data theft and unauthorized access to Facebook accounts is no longer surprising although the number of accounts that have been compromised is beyond comprehension. What does all of this mean to the average litigant proceeding with a personal injury claim? A lot!

In virtually every case my office litigates, efforts are made by the defense to access, discover or utilize social media information against the Plaintiff. The things that people post (oftentimes for all to see) defy reason. People post photographs, videos and written commentary that is frequently used by the defense in lawsuits against a person bringing a claim. Our office has found postings by our clients that show them engaged in activities that are either unlawful, in poor taste or that are contrary to their testimony or doctor’s recommendations.

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FIU Bridge Collapse: A Fatal Mistake

On March 15th, 2018, South Florida witnessed a terrible tragedy. The bridge connecting Florida International University’s campus to their off-campus housing spanning seven traffic lanes suddenly collapsed. 950 tons of solid concrete slammed down at an incredible speed injuring dozens and killing six. The bridge was fairly new, as the pedestrian portion had just been completed five days prior to the accident.

The bridge was designed and constructed by two of America’s top engineering companies, Munilla Construction Management and FIGG Bridge Group. They were to build this bridge through a modern approach, the Accelerated Bridge Construction method (also known as the “ABC method”). This plan would cut their time spent constructing this megastructure in half – only having to shut major roads down for a few hours, beneficing the University and several local politicians.

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In the Eye of a Turf War

Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. recently concluded a medical malpractice action against an Optometrist.  The case involved the failure of the Optometrist to properly and timely recognize that our client’s condition was not responding to the medicines being prescribed.

The Optometrist thought the patient had a bacterial infection (Bacterial Keratitis).  The patient actually had a fungal infection of the cornea (Fungal Keratitis).  The treatment for these conditions involves completely different medicine (antifungal v. antibiotics).  The delay in discovery caused the patient to suffer unnecessarily and sustain significant scarring of the cornea and decreased vision.

In handling this case, the law firm learned a good deal about “eye doctors”.  The term “eye doctor” is too general to be accurate.  An optician is a technical practitioner who designs, fits and dispenses corrective lenses for the correction of a person’s vision.  An Optometrist provides primary vision care, they are Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) but are not medical doctors (M.D.)  Optometrists attend four years of optometry school after completing college.  A licensed Optometrist performs eye exams, vision tests and prescribes and dispenses corrective lenses.  They detect certain eye abnormalities and prescribe medication for certain eye diseases.

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Do You Owe Outrageous Medical Bills?

Are you the victim of an outrageous hospital or other medical bill? Are you uninsured or under-insured? Or, are you an international insurer, self insured company, or similarly situated third party payer expected to pay unreasonably inflated, full billed charges for your members’ medical care? Don’t despair. Whether you’ve just received your bill, your bill is in collections, you’ve already been sued, or even if you’ve already paid, we can help.

Medical and Hospital billing practices and issues are complicated, often making negotiation of a reasonable bill difficult or impossible without the help of medical and legal professionals familiar with billing, coding, and the laws relevant to both. Providers often demand several hundred percent more than you are legally obligated to pay, but accept a reasonable amount as payment in full from more than 90% of their patients. Be among that majority. We are committed to ensuring that you don’t pay more than a reasonable amount, simply because you cannot interpret your bills or defend your well settled legal rights.

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Make the most of Online Reviews – Law360.com

Law360 (March 5, 2018, 3:55 PM EST) — Getting a one-star Yelp or Google review from a client can be devastating to a personal injury attorney who relies on such evaluations to drum up new cases, but having a minimal online presence out of fear of getting negative reviews is just bad business in the internet age. Here, experts share tips on how to get glowing online client reviews and how to handle the haters.

Treat Your Clients Well

While this may seem obvious, a client who does not receive good customer service from a personal injury attorney will be loath to write a favorable review, according to Los Angeles-based personal injury attorney Barry P. Goldberg.
Educating a client about how the lawsuit will play out, taking and returning client calls promptly and charging fees that are fair and reasonable are the foundation to generating positive reviews, he said.

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Drunk Driving Liability

Are you in danger of being arrested if your child throws a “getty”? Picture this:

Your 18 year-old son or daughter is throwing a get-together, or “getty,” at your house. One of the now-drunk friends leaves and causes a major accident on the road, killing a couple. Who is to blame here?

Florida Statute 768.125, otherwise known as the Dram Shop Law, states that if an establishment gives or sells alcohol to a minor or someone who is “habitually addicted” to it, that establishment is to blame. Florida is one of the few states that allows for the victims and intoxicated parties to charge the establishment.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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)).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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.

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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.

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Practice Considerations

For 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.

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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 

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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)

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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:

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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:

Local trauma to the vessel wall
Hypercoagulability
Stasis

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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.

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

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.

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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.

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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: fault; the medical attention sought and compliance with medical attention; the severity of the injuries; the permanency of the injuries; the future medical treatment in the future; the future ability to work; how much were the medical bills; did this […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]