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jet-ski-race-silhouette-3-1428220-300x199One of the many perks of South Florida’s great weather and over abundance of beaches is the access to all of the many water sports and activities, including jet skiing, all year-round. Although most jet skiing experiences go without incident, a few unfortunate accidents do occur, and sadly, can result in serious injuries.

Earlier this year, in May, at least three people were rushed to the hospital after a jet ski with two passengers crashed into a boat near Picnic Island. A few days later, there was another jet ski accident in Miami Gardens, in which one of the injured parties was a minor.

According to the United States Coast Guard, there were a total of 675 injuries involving a personal watercraft last year. A personal watercraft (PWC) is distinguished from other water vessels for being operated by sitting, standing, or kneeling on it. PWC laws and safety precautions attempt to prevent potential injuries to operators and others that may be in the water, by imposing age limits and speed limits, and requiring the use of life jackets and kill cords. However, despite these regulations, some accidents are inevitable. The most common PWC injuries include concussions, burns, broken bones, and whip lash. These usually occur as a result of collisions with other boats, through reckless driving, speeding, underage operation, driving under the influence, and loss of control. Other less common causes of PWC injuries are drowning, explosions, and defects.

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palm-tree-1406738-225x300This past weekend, Hurricane Irma devastated the Caribbean Islands and Cuba before landing in the Florida Keys and making her way upwards into the state of Florida. Hurricane Irma broke several world records by reaching up to 185 mph winds for 37 hours, the longest any cyclone has lasted at such intensity.

In the Caribbeans, the category 5 hurricane destroyed most homes and establishments in its path, flooding the streets and leaving many without food and power. Florida also sustained incredible damages from the hurricane and the storm surges that followed. Approximately 6.2 million homes lost power and the death toll currently stands at 12 people. Even after being reduced to a tropical storm, Irma continued to wreak havoc in Georgia and South Carolina.

Although Hurricane Irma has now passed, her damages are ongoing. Restoration efforts are currently underway in all of the affected areas, and it is uncertain when, or if, conditions will ever be 100%.

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road-signs-1520829-300x225Back to school season is here, and while it is an exciting time for students and parents, it is also a time of major chaos on the roads.  Parents battle rush hour traffic to drop off and pickup their kids at school, yellow school buses make their rounds, kids walk and bike to and from school, and new teen drivers are out on the road.  Unfortunately this makes school zones, which are designed to be safe areas, a high risk for pedestrian and motor vehicle accidents.

Statistics show that approximately 25,000 children are injured each year in school zone accidents.  These accidents are a combination of pedestrians being struck while walking or cycling to and from school, and vehicle on vehicle collisions.  100 children are killed every year walking to and from school. While the rate of pedestrian deaths in teens 12-19 has decreased overall over the past two decades, the number has increased in the past two years.  These statistics are alarming considering the fact that school zones are designed to make commuting to and from school safer for students.

Many school zones attempt to enforce safety by creating cross walks with signs and flashing lights, designating drop off and pickup areas for parents and school buses, and by imposing speed limits. Violating any laws accompanying these precautions often carry heavy fines. So, why are more and more accidents occurring in school zones

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skycrane-1558013-300x225If you are a South Florida resident, particularly of Miami, you are well aware of the city’s on-going, and seemingly never-ending, construction.  In fact, construction all over the United States has been booming for the past several years, and 2017 is no exception. While cities like New York and Chicago have maintained their long-standing reputation as construction capitals, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle, are just recently joining the ranks.  Although the increase in construction across the U.S. means more jobs and well-developed cityscapes, unfortunately it also means a higher chance of construction-related accidents and injuries.

Common construction-related accidents involve falls, being struck by an object, electrocutions, and being caught in between equipment.  The construction industry experienced its biggest loss in 2015 as fatal construction injuries rose by 2 % since 2008.  The number continues to rise each year.

Earlier this year, in May, a construction worker was hospitalized after falling three to four floors down a building shaft in Downtown Miami.  Before that, one construction worker was killed and another injured after being hit by a Metromover car while on the job.  Then, on June 1, three construction workers in northwest Miami-Dade were seriously injured after two crane lifts fell.  The specific cause of injury in all three incidents was undetermined.

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When people decide to get on one of the many rides that amusement parks, carnivals, and local fairs have to offer, their first thoughts are generally those of excitement and anticipation.  Even with movies like Final Destination 3, most thrill seekers do not consider the possibility that one of the rides can malfunction or result in some kind of freak accident.

The claim is that statistically, ride-related injuries and deaths are extremely rare, and that a person is more likely to get struck by lightning.  While statistics on ride-related accidents can often be hard to obtain, it seems as though this claim may have some merit.  The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) have noted that the chance of a serious injury occurring on a ride at a U.S. fixed-site amusement park is about 1 in 16 million. Why then are people becoming more and more hesitant about allowing themselves or their loved ones to get onto a ride?

Over the past decade or so, the number of ride-related incidents has risen tremendously.  According to Amusement Safety Organization, there were over 1,500 significant injuries at amusement parks nationwide in 2014.  Around one-half of those that are injured by amusement park rides are children between the ages of ten and fourteen years old.  These incidents are not only restricted to temporary rides that are assembled at local fairs and shopping centers for a limited amount of time.  Many reported incidents have occurred at the larger, more well-known, fixed-site amusement parks such as Six Flags, Disney World and Disney Land, and Universal Studios.

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Doctor performing procedureEveryone makes mistakes, even doctors. Unfortunately, however, when a doctor makes a mistake, the damage is often irrevocable. While no amount of money can completely erase any damages caused by these mistakes, money is usually the only available remedy.

For more than a decade, Florida law has had placed a cap on the amount of money that patients can recover from medical malpractice suits against a doctor. Patients or loved ones seeking non-economic damages for pain and suffering have been limited to recovering $500,000. Compensation for economic damages, however, has remained unlimited. In other words, if you or your loved one was injured severely due to a doctor’s mistake, and it resulted in pain and suffering (e.g., mental anguish, emotional trauma, etc.), the amount of compensation available has been restricted.

As of June 9th of this year, this is no longer the law. The Florida Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, found these caps to be unconstitutional. It reasoned that the caps on non-economic damages arbitrarily decreased the monetary amount that could be awarded to persons who have suffered the most drastic injuries without actually taking into consideration the severity of the injury. The Supreme Court ruled that this violated equal-protection rights.

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Traffic deaths are on the rise and for the first time in a decade, car accident fatalities in the United States have exceeded 40,000 in a year.  The most  obvious culprits are drivers who are text while behind the wheel, and according to the Federal Communications Commission at any given point during daylight hours around 660,000 drivers are using their cell phones. In 2014 alone, 3,179 people in the United States were killed in an crash that involved a distracted driver and nearly about 431,000 were injured, making up nearly 20% of all crashes that year.texting and driving

The increased use of cellphones has contributed to the increase in distracted driving collisions and lawmakers around the country have responded with various bans and restrictions. There are 14 states that currently ban handheld cellular devices, 37 states that ban cell phone use for teen and novice drivers, and 46 states ban text messaging for drivers. Continue reading

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Injured on the fieldAccording to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, sports are second only to motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of concussions for people between 15 and 24 years old, and the number of concussions is on the rise. Parents, schools,  day care centers, and sports coaches better understanding the serious long term risks that come with brain injuries and being more likely to seek medical attention after head injuries. To avoid injuries, adults can not just pa attention to what happens on a sports field, but also keep children from getting hurt in backyards, on playgrounds, in parks and at school.

Recognizing the dangers and the signs of serious brain injuries is important. While head injuries are common and usually minor, some children– including those that appear to be well immediately after the head trauma actually have more severe injuries. These children are at risk for their condition to deteriorate or also suffer significant chronic complications that stem from that injury. In fact, despite better initial recognition of brain injuries, many adults underestimate how much recovery time is necessary after a suspected concussion, or the children themselves say they feel fine and ask to return to normal activities.

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Announcing the Lifetime Achievement selection of Jonathan R. Friedland among America’s Top 100 Attorneys®. Lifetime Achievement selection to America’s Top 100 Attorneys® is by invitation only and is reserved to identify the nation’s most exceptional attorneys whose accomplishments and impact on the legal profession merit a Lifetime Achievement award.

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Many of us have great memories of amusement parks from our childhood. Family trips to amusement and water parks Water Slideare a favorite American summer past time. The rides and attractions provide thrilling experiences that we can share with friends and family. Most of us will never have the chance to live out the adventures amusement rides and attractions offer us like enter a cartoon universe, fly to the moon, drive a race car, explore a haunted mansion, experience zero-gravity or spin around in teacups.

Unfortunately, while we trust amusement park operators to create these experiences for us in a safe environment , sometimes they fail.

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