Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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Over the past several years, numerous studies have been conducted on the link between playing high-impact sports such as football and hockey and the presence of a degenerative brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Up until recently, professional sports leagues have denied that there is a link between CTE and participation in sports. However, earlier this month that changed.

According to a recent news report, the NFL’s senior vice president for health and safety admitted in a congressional committee’s roundtable discussion that there seems to be a link between CTE and football. The NFL spokesperson credited the research of a Boston University professor and researcher that dissected the brains of 90 former professional football players, finding the presence of CTE in many of the subjects.

The NFL’s new position on CTE still remains somewhat of a mystery, but the spokesperson did qualify his statements, saying that there are also a number of other questions that need to be looked into.

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Workplace accidents are common in Florida. In fact, there are, on average, between 200 and 250 work-related deaths each year across the state and many thousands more injuries. When someone is injured or killed on the job due to the negligence of another party, the injured person or their family may be entitled to monetary compensation, either through a workers’ compensation claim or through a traditional negligence lawsuit. If someone loses a loved one in a Florida work-related accident, they may be able to seek compensation through either of these means, depending on the circumstances of the accident.

Most of the time, a workers’ compensation claim, if available, is the sole remedy for the injured party. However, in some workplace accidents, workers’ compensation will not be deemed to be the sole remedy and the injured worker can file a personal injury claim against the allegedly negligent party. This is generally the case when the allegedly negligent party is not the injured or deceased worker’s employer. There is also a narrow exception carved out for when the employer’s willful or intentional conduct caused the worker’s injuries.

If a workplace accident case is brought, the plaintiff must prove three elements before they will be able to recover for their injuries. First, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed them some duty of care. Second, the injured worker must show that the defendant breached that duty by some action or inaction. Finally, the worker must show that their injuries were caused by the defendant’s actions. This final element is called causation.

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Earlier this month, a 16-year-old boy was struck and killed by a motorist driving a Hyundai Sonata while he was skateboarding. According to one local news report, the accident took place at around 9 p.m. in the area of NW 12th Avenue and NW 108th Street.

Evidently, the driver was heading northbound as he approached a slow-moving vehicle ahead of him. As he approached, the driver decided to attempt to pass the slow-moving vehicle in the southbound lane of traffic. However, when he changed lanes to pass the other vehicle, he ended up striking the teen.

Rather than stopping to see if the teen he just hit needed any assistance, the driver sped away, fleeing the scene of the accident. It wasn’t until a few hours later that the driver turned himself in to police, telling them where they could find the vehicle and confessing to hitting the teen. Investigators told reporters that the driver was visibly upset as he was discussing the accident.

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Earlier this month in Coral Springs, one man was killed and another injured in an accident between a motorcycle and a car. According to one local news source, the accident occurred just after two in the afternoon on the 6600 block of West Atlantic Boulevard.

Evidently, the force of the crash not only caused the motorcycle to lose control, but the car ended up flipping over and landing on top of the motorcycle. When emergency responders showed up, they needed to support the car as they rolled it over, freeing the driver.

The driver of the car was taken to Broward Health North in Deerfield Beach with minor injuries and is expected to recover from his injuries. Sadly, the driver of the motorcycle was not so lucky and was pronounced dead at the scene. Witnesses told reporters that the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet at the time of the fatal accident.

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Earlier this month, construction began on a new parking garage at Miami-Dade College’s West Campus in Doral, Florida. The new garage will replace the existing garage that tragically collapsed two years ago, killing four construction workers who were working at the time when the garage collapsed.

According to one local news report, the garage was under construction when a support column gave out, causing the garage to collapse on top of those working inside at the time. A total of four men lost their lives in the tragic collapse. An attorney for the college told reporters that “there was a column–a structural column–that needed to have grout or some kind of cement … They missed–they simply missed the fact that the column was not grouted safely.”

Since then, the college has been in negotiations to secure construction contracts for a new, safer garage. In the wake of the accident, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted an investigation, finding that there was a failure to provide a workplace that was “free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees.”

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Three Florida residents were killed in a devastating crash in Miami Lakes earlier this month. The accident occurred on April 8 on a busy stretch of Miami Lakes Drive near the intersection with North Miami Lakeway Road. According to a local news report, just after 1:00 a.m. the driver of a Nissan Altima lost control of the vehicle, hit a wall, and ended up wrapped around a light pole. When police arrived at the scene, they were unable to remove the victims from the wreckage of the badly damaged car, although it was clear that all three occupants had been killed by the initial impact.

The wrecked car was taken to the medical examiner’s office, along with the victims’ bodies inside it. According to the news report, none of the occupants was wearing seat belts when the accident occurred, and police believe that speed played a role in the cause of the crash.

The Increased Danger of Late-Night and Early-Morning Driving

Driving at night is often more dangerous than daytime driving, and a resident quoted in the news report told the reporter that the section of road where the fatal accident occurred is especially dangerous in the overnight hours. The low light and poor visibility make one reason that the danger is increased at night. Drivers are also more likely to be tired or fatigued during the overnight hours. Additionally, intoxicated driving is more common at night. All of these factors combine to demonstrate that drivers should use the utmost caution when traveling at night or in the early morning.

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Earlier last year, two seventeen-year-old girls were critically injured in a parasailing accident off the Florida coast. According to a local South Florida news source, the girls just recently reached an agreement with the defendants in the case for an undisclosed confidential amount.

According to news sources at the time of the accident, the two girls were injured when they went to a parasailing outfit owned by Aquatic Adventures Management Group. At the time the girls approached the outfit, the weather was questionable, with heavy clouds just off the coast. However, the operator of the boat determined that the conditions were acceptable and allowed the girls to get up in the air and go parasailing.

While they were up in the air, the rope connecting the girls to the boat snapped, sending them flying out of control and subject to the heavy winds at the time. For the next several minutes, the girls were tossed around. They crashed into a building, got tangled in power lines, and then slammed into the side of a vehicle. The girls were both hospitalized with critical injuries.

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Towards the end of last month, a construction accident in southeast Miami injured two workers who were on-site at the time. According to one local news report, the accident occurred at 200 SE 3rd Ave., right in downtown Miami.

The accident took place all the way up on the 26th floor of the building. Evidently, an interior wall that was used to frame a larger cement wall fell atop two workers. At the time of the accident, the elevator in the building didn’t go up that high, so the rescue was difficult. However, rescue crews were able to use some of the construction equipment to lower the men down to one of the floors that had elevator access, and from there they were taken down in the elevator.

One of the workers was seriously injured by the accident, and another worker suffered minor injuries. The current status of the workers has not been released. The federal government’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has taken over the investigation, and the results are still pending. At this point, it is unclear how the accident occurred and who may have been at fault.

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No one wants to be involved in a serious auto accident. However, according to a recent report, some states are better than others when it comes to the ability of accident victims to recover for their injuries from an at-fault driver and his or her insurance company. Unfortunately, Florida didn’t quite make the top of the list. In fact, Florida came in second-to-last.

The report looked mostly at the required amount of insurance that all drivers must have to legally drive and compared that number to the percentage of compliant drivers. For example, in Florida motorists need to carry the following insurance coverage:

  • $10,000 in bodily injury per person;
  • $20,000 in bodily injury per accident; and
  • $10,000 in property damage per accident.

In the insurance business, this kind of coverage is written as $10,000/$20,000/$10,000. Other states, such as Maine, require drivers to insure themselves with $50,000/$100,000/$25,000.

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In December a Buffalo, New York man accepted a settlement offer for $5 million to compensate him for injuries he sustained in an accident that took place back in 2008 while at work on a construction site. According to one local news report, the man’s injuries were quite severe, including a punctured lung, eight herniated disks, and a torn rotator cuff.

Evidently, the man’s case was almost dismissed after the defendants in the case—the general contractor and the property owner—made several arguments to the judge for early dismissal. First, the defendants argued that the man’s medical condition was not good at the time of the accident and that the injuries he claimed arose after the accident were preexisting. If the judge found this to be true, the damages sought by the man would be greatly reduced, potentially to zero.

Second, the defendants claimed that the man failed to pursue a safer alternative to his chosen path when he was injured. If the judge found that this was the case, the plaintiff’s own negligence may have mitigated the defendants’ responsibility.

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