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Archive for October, 2011

Florida Child Safety Lawyer’s 5 Halloween Safety Tips for 2011

Written by Spencer Aronfeld on . Posted in Child Injuries, Defective Products, Personal Injury News and Safety Resources, Slip and Fall/Premises Liability

A a Florida child safety lawyer dedicated to the prevention of childhood injuries I recommend that parents consider the following 5 Halloween Safety Tips and discuss them with your kids before allowing them to go trick or treating.

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1. Treats: Warn your kids that they are not permitted to eat any candy until a parent has examined the wrappers to make sure that they have not been tampered with.

2. Costumes: Make sure that your children’s costumes are flame retardant and visible at night. Strategically placed reflective tape on costumes and bags will make the difference in visibility.

3. Masks: Make sure that your child can see and breath without restriction.

4. Choosing safe houses. If you are unfamiliar with your neighborhood or unsure of its safety, take your child to a shopping mall or community center. Under no circumstances should they be permitted to enter a stranger’s home for any reason.

5. Make sure that knives, swords, and weapons are soft and unable to cause an injury if your child trips or decides to use it to fence with another Zorro.

I do not think that children should be permitted to trick or treat without adult supervision. My daughter is now 12 years old and I am sure she would rather that I stay home and pass out candy to the “kids” that come to our house. Unfortunately, Miami is just not a safe place for an unsupervised 12 year old girl.

If you are expecting trick or treaters coming to your home, our Key West trip and fall law firm suggests that you clear your lawn and driveway of any tripping hazards. In addition, we recommend that you provide ample lighting so that first time visitors do not trip or fall on your property.

Florida Statute 768.075 states that property owners have an obligation to maintain their property in such a manner so that so that vistors are not injured. This applies to “trespasser” who reasonably believe they have an invitation to be on the property. Therefore, as a Florida premise liability lawyer, I recommend that you make your home as safe as possible and leave the haunted houses to the professionals. Setting traps that will cause sudden or unexpected things to jump out to scare visitors might create a hidden danger under Florida law.

As a Miami dangerous product lawyer, I suggest that you do not use an open flame in any of your Halloween displays, that might ignite a costume or cause other injury. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has more information about Halloween Safety.

If you simply do not want Halloween visitors, I suggest that you post “no trespassing signs” and remove any Halloween props from your home that would provide someone with the belief that they have been invited on to your property.

Florida Supermarket Injuries

Written by Spencer Aronfeld on . Posted in Personal Injury News and Safety Resources, Slip and Fall/Premises Liability

Our Florida Publix injury lawyers have represented a number of customers that have been hurt as a result of slipping, tripping or falling merchandise at a number of South Florida supermarkets including, Publix, Winn-Dixie, Wall-Mart and Whole Foods.

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The most important legal issue for customers hurt at a Miami grocery store is to understand is that simply falling and getting hurt at a Publix does not legally entitle you to make a claim. People slip, trip and fall every day in these stores, but not necessarily due to the fault of the store owner. Many potential clients contact our Broward Publix accident law firm thinking that simply because the fell in the store they are entitled to compensation. This is wrong.

Florida law requires that for the owner or operator of a store to be held legally responsible for the injuries of a customer who falls due to a slippery or dangerous condition the store customer has to prove that the owner or operator actually knew of the problem or should have known of the problem with enough time that an ordinary business own should have known. In the alternate, the claimant has to show that the dangerous or slippery condition happened so often that their particular situation was both regular and foreseeable. In other words, if you get hurt at Publix by falling on a grape, you have to prove that the Publix knew that the grape was there or it had been on the floor long enough that they should have known.

The is a significant change in Florida law by shifting the burden of proof back into the hands of the injured plaintiff. Florida Statutes §768.0755 is a major victory for business owners, like Publix, and for insurance companies because the previous statute and law were more claimant friendly, making it easier to prevail at trial.

It should be noted that the new Florida Statute does not affect Publix’s common law duty to use reasonable care in the maintenance of its stores and to warn customers of any hidden dangers. But there is no mistaking that this new law will have a significant impact in the ability of injured customers to prove and win Florida fall down cases.

Read the lawsuit of a current case our Florida personal injury lawyers have against Publix: Complaint-8100.pdf

How Not to Die From Gall Bladder Surgery

Written by Spencer Aronfeld on . Posted in Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death

As a Florida hospital injury attorney I am surprised by the number of gall bladder removal procedures that are performed in our country on a daily basis. The procedure to remove a gall bladder is a called a cholecystectomy and according to the Mayo Clinic carries “a small risk of complications.”

Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy, or “Lap Choly,” is a procedure performed to treat patients who may have a gallstone in the gallbladder, bile duct or inflammation in the gallbladder or pancreas. It is usually performed by general surgeons using a camera. The procedure is done under general anesthesia.

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In 1985, the first laparoscopic cholecystecomy was performed. In 1992, the National Institute of Health concluded that laparoscopic cholesystecomies are “safe and effective” in the treatment for most patients. Laparoscopic surgery is very popular with both patients and their insurance companies. Since the procedure is performed without a large incision, patients are usually able to return home from the hospital and go back to work.

Nearly 750,000 laparoscopic cholecystectomies are performed annually in the United States, making it one of the most common elective surgeries. Unfortunately, there is a serious risk of injury or death associated with a laparoscopic cholecystectomy that many patients are unaware of until after the surgery. This is the possibility that there could be an intra-operative injury to the bile duct. This happens with greater frequency in laparoscopic procedures compared to open procedures when the surgeon is unable to fully visualize the anatomy and cuts the wrong duct.

If the wrong duct is cut in a laparoascopic cholecystecomy it must be recognized and repaired immediately. Failure to recognize an injury to a duct can lead to infection, excessive scarring and even death.

Our South Florida hospital injury law firm recommends that before undergoing a procedure to remove a gallbladder to ask your surgeon several important questions:

1. How many procedures have you performed?

2. How many times have you injured or cut the wrong duct?

3. Will the procedure be videotaped? Surprisingly many doctors and hospitals refuse to videotape the procedure for fear that it will be used to prosecute a Florida medical malpractice case. The videotape is essential information that can be provided to a reconstructive surgeon in case of a mishap.

4. Determine who will be assisting the surgeon in the surgery. The role of the surgical assistant is crucial in identifying the correct anatomy.

5. Determine if the hospital is a tertiary facility. This indicates the level of care that the hospital is qualified to provide.

6. Request a surgeon familiar with duct repairs to handle the case in the event of a duct injury. Often general surgeons are unfamiliar with the distinctly different technique required to repair a bile duct injury.

7. What is the average length of stay at the particular hospital.

8. What is the number of hospitalizations for the procedure.

9. Is the surgeon Board Certified in general surgery?

10. Is the surgeon insured for malpractice?

As a Miami lawyer who sues surgeons, I especially recommend that following the procedure you advise your surgeon, nurse and attending physician in the event that your pain gets worse, you have a fever, vomit, experience diarrhea, drainage from the incision or no bowel movement. These might be symptoms of a bile duct injury that can be life threatening if not treated immediately and properly.

View more videos at: http://nbcmiami.com.

Our Miami law firm currently represents a Miami family for the wrongful death of a Miami husaband and father following a botched cholecystectomy at a North Shore Medical Center, a local hospital. According to the Agency for Health Care (AHCA) website, North Shore Medical Center had 71 hospitalizations for laparoscopic gall bladder removal for patients age 18-64 in 2010 with the highest cost of hospitalization of $89,778 and 5.2 days of stay.