Suffering a Slip and Fall Injury Due to Heavy Drinking

Hopefully, by now, everyone understands the dangers and consequences of drinking and driving. But what are the legal ramifications if one happens to be drunk when they slip, trip and fall on a spill, dangerous staircase or improperly maintained driveway or parking lot at a shopping mall or restaurant? Can they still make a claim? With holiday parties around the corner- the eggnog will be flowing people are at a greater risk for suffering serious injuries to knees, ankles, legs, backs, arms, necks and even traumatic brain injuries- especially if intoxicated. But can the injured person make a claim for personal injuries if they are drunk in Florida? Like most things in law–it depends. According to Florida Statute 768.36 which is often referred to as the Florida Alcohol Defense Law in a civil personal injury case, a plaintiff may not recover any money for an injury to his or her if at the time the plaintiff was injured or was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Under the law, “under the influence” is defined by having a blood or breath alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher and the plaintiff was more than 50 percent at fault for his or her own harm. In a  slip and fall injury case, insurance defense lawyers will almost certainly argue that the accident only occurred because the claimant was drunk or on drugs when they got hurt and was more than 50 percent at fault for the accident. This happens frequently when incidents occur at nightclubs and parties. This is why one of the first things our premise liability attorneys do when...

How Social Media Will Destroy Your Personal Injury Case

Just about everyone I know and most of our clients that we represent are on social media. People feel compelled to post, tweet and snap their daily activities to friends and strangers. In fact, a recent report in the New York Times found that — an estimated 81 percent of Americans have a social media account. But did you know that when you make a claim for a slip and fall, trip and fall, medical malpractice or an injury on a cruise– the defendants, their insurance companies and their lawyers are checking you out too? In fact, it is very common for our personal injury lawyers in Miami to receive formal requests for our client’s social media accounts. And I know for a fact that many of the cruise lines I sue monitor my personal feeds closely. And while social media is a powerful tool for those looking to expand their network, build a business, enhance a brand or find a new gig they can be devastating to ones personal injury case. Here is why: Social media platforms constantly change and update their privacy settings. It is not uncommon for people to unknowingly believe their accounts are private- but are in fact open to the public. Further, if one were to post a picture or video of let’s say- rollerblading in the park on a Sunday while smoking a cigar- a “friend” or other can repost that content on other platforms- thereby taking private content public and perhaps viral. Let me be clear, there is nothing wrong with being able to rollerblade and smoke a cigar- it only becomes...

Who is to Blame in a Rear-End Car Accident in Florida?

Dear Miami Car Accident Lawyer: Last night when I got a call that my grandfather was sick with pneumonia in the hospital and I needed to come right away. I was in a hurry to get there, and I forgot to put on my seatbelt. While waiting at the light, some old lady in a convertible Mini Cooper was putting on her lipstick. I could see this in my rear view mirror. The light turned green and all the cars started to move but someone ran the red light causing me to stop suddenly. Of course, that lady hit me. The cops came and the guy who ran the red light got a ticket- but so did I for not wearing my seatbelt. As far as I can tell the old lady did not get a ticket for hitting me- but I am not sure. The cops asked me if I was hurt- and I told them I was going to the hospital anyway to see my grandfather and I would have it checked out there. Which of course, I didn’t. Today when I woke up and was getting ready to go to work- I felt very stiff and sore. And now I want to see a doctor. My roommate says since I got the ticket and didn’t go right away to the hospital I missed my chance. What do you recommend I do? Hurt in Hialeah     Dear Hurt in Hialeah: Thank you for your email and I am sorry to hear you were involved in this accident. Most importantly, we recommend that our clients seek medical...

Slip and Fall Accidents: The Leading Cause of Emergency Hospital Visits

Slip and fall accidents occur every day in our country and are the leading cause of emergency hospital visits. Our Miami personal injury law firm we investigate several hundred incidents a year. Not all slip and fall accidents are viable personal injury cases. That is because in order for someone to have a legal claim for compensation against the property owner in a slip and fall case they must prove each of several elements. In other words, simply slipping and falling or tripping and falling at a Florida business does not mean that the property owner is legally responsible to compensate the victim- regardless of how serious the injury is. FATAL FALL DOWN ACCIDENTS Statistically, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more women will experience a slip and fall or trip and fall accident than men. And the most common injury from a fall is a fracture or broken bone. The most serious fractures resulting from a slip and fall usually involve the hip or pelvis. And while fall fatalities accidents are nearly equally divided between men and women, in nonworkplace accidents men are nearly twice as likely to die to fall at work than women. COMMON CAUSE OF SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENTS The most common cause of a slip and fall accident is the flooring. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), floors and flooring materials contribute directly to more than 2 million fall injuries each year. That is in large part due to the lack of rules compelling manufacturers to provide consumers with information on the how slippery particular surfaces can be. The slipperiness or...

Cruise Ship Injury: Royal Caribbean Passenger Suffers Appendicitis 600 Miles From Shore

Cruise Ship Injury: Royal Caribbean Passenger Suffers Appendicitis 600 Miles From Shore One of the most dangerous situations that an injured or sick cruise ship passenger can encounter while on a cruise- is being too far away from the port when a medical emergency arises. Luckily, for a Royal Caribbean passenger who was suffering from appendicitis 600 miles off the Coast of Cape Canaveral- while aboard the 2,000 passenger Grandeur of the Seas the 920th Rescue Wing of the Air Force Reserve was able to perform an at sea emergency rescue. An HC-130N King fixed-wing combat rescue aircraft was used rather than a Coast Guard helicopter due to the distance. According to USA Today, Eight citizen-airmen piloted two HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters with four elite Guardian Angel active-duty para-rescuers onboard. An hour later, seven more airmen flew an HC-130N King fixed-wing combat rescue aircraft with six more Guardian Angels in tow. After refueling twice in mid-air two the crew arrived at the RCCL cruise ship; where they successfully rescued the passenger. Thanks to these brave people, the ailing man is recovering now at a hospital in Florida. This scenario could have been far worse. For example, we have represented individuals who had medical needs that the ship’s medical center could not or would not attend to- and as a result in a delay in obtaining appropriate medical care have sustained permanent injuries. Depending on the nature of the medical emergency, cruise ships can always divert their ships to closer ports and increase speed to arrive sooner. Although, this is rarely done as it can cost a cruise line a...
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