February 2011 Archives

Questions Remain in Florida Car Accident That Killed FGCU Student

A 20-year-old student from Florida Gulf Coast University lost her life in a car accident recently. Police reports of the accident allege that the young woman was using her cell phone when she lost control of the SUV, according to The Naples Daily News.

However, the woman's boyfriend disputes the official report. Rather, he claims that the driver was not on her cell phone when the crash occurred, and was looking at him, who was in the passenger seat. According to her boyfriend, the woman looked at him for only "a split second," but long enough not to realize the car in front of them had stopped.

The driver's boyfriend, who suffered a head injury in the accident, blames the driver in front of them for stopping too quickly and causing the fatal Florida car accident. Upon seeing the stopped car, the young woman jerked the SUV into the right lane, and then attempted to correct the rapid movement. The SUV slid into the shoulder of the road and overturned.

The man also blames paramedics for not realizing that the young woman, who was still conscious after the car crash, was seriously hurt. She was still speaking when she was placed in the ambulance, but her heart stopped en route to the hospital, and emergency personnel were unable to revive her.

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Injured worker severs penis in industrial accident

A Florida man. 44 years old, is accusing a company of negligence arising out of an incident when a peeler machine cut off his penis in an industrial accident last year.

The injury occured on January 13, 2010 at Future Foam Carpet Cushion. The law suit alleges that the injured worker removed a "foam core" from a machine with a steel blade and that he had not been trained to use the machines but was doing so at the request of supervisors. The injured worker was the direct employee of a staffing agency. This law suit also contains a claim against the manufacturer of the peeler machine.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued 10 citations for violations related to this incident, all of which are being contested by the company and which add up to over $40,000.00 in fines.

The injured worker is also pursuing his workers compensation benefits from the Staffing Company.

On the job injuries and Negligence

In Florida, the workers compensation Statute covers all persons injured during the course and scope of employment. This statute immunizes an employer from tort liability in most instances. In this instance, this would be the staffing company who employed the injured worker.

The Statute, however, does not immunize other parties whose negligence caused injury and from which the worker has suffered damages. In addition to a workers compensation claim against an employer, therefore, an injured worker may also seek damages against a third party tortfeasor; in this case the Foam company and the manufacture if the machine.

These issues can become very complex and it is advisable to discuss any claim with an injury attorney in order to protect your rights against any and all parties.

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Florida Ranks First in the U.S. in Fatal Bicycle Accidents

Coming in first in a bicycle race is usually a cause for celebration. However, it's not a win for Florida, which ranks first in the nation in fatal bicycle crashes, according to local news station NBC.

Florida has finished in the top three states in the U.S. with the most bicycle collisions for several years in a row. Between 2008 and 2010, 644 bicycle accidents occurred in southwest Florida alone. According to the article, the crashes average about one accident every 34 hours. In 17 of those accidents, the bicyclist loses their life.

In response to these distressing statistics, cities and counties throughout Florida began creating and implementing design plans to provide bike lanes and other amenities to make the streets safer for bicyclists. For example, in 2006, Fort Myers made a plan to add bike lanes and sidewalks to several of its city streets. However, five years later, the Fort Myers plan is only 13 percent complete. According to Fort Myers' chief engineer, the city has not been able to find the money to revamp its streets in the face of the recent economic downturn.

Many bicyclists suffer injuries in Florida bicycle accidents when motorists fail to safely share the road with them. Drivers can help protect bicyclists by carefully watching for bicycles and slowing down or moving over in their lane to give bicyclists more room to maneuver. Meanwhile, bicyclists can make themselves more visible by placing lights on their bikes and wearing reflective clothing, including a reflective helmet.


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Miami Dade Solid Waste Worker is a hero in Pedestrian Accident

On February 15, 2011, the Miami Dade County commissioners and law enforcement officials honored Mark Brown, a Miami Dade County solid waste employee, for his unselfish act in stopping a motorist who was involved in a fatal hit-and-run pedestrian accident.
This accident involved two pedestrians who were hit by Rolando Aliaga who was driving a pick up. Brown, who was driving in the area, hit Aliaga's vehicle, forcing him to stop. One of the victims was pronounced dead shortly after being taken to the hospital while the other was admitted in serious condition.

My heart goes out to the victims of this Miami hit and run pedesrtian accident. I also commend the brave act of our local resident in apprehending the suspect responsible.

Florida Pedestrian Accident Statistics

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Traffic Crash Statistics Report for 2009 states that 7878 persons were injured that year as a result of pedestrian accidents. During 2009, there were 502 fatalities reported due to Florida pedestrian accidents.

What was the cause of this injury accident?

Based on the news account of this accident it is unclear what series of events may have led to this driver losing control of his vehicle and hitting the pedestrians. Several issues need to be addressed: How fast was the driver going?? Did he lose control of the vehicle and why? Was there mechanical malfunction in the pick up that caused him to lose control?

Legal Issues

If it is ultimately determined that this runaway driver is at fault, he could be responsible for the victims' injuries. The injured victim and the families of the injured and deceases may be able to pursue compensation for medical bills, loss wages and other damages related to the accident. Such victims are advised to contact an experienced Miami personal injury lawyer, who will investigate the accident thoroughly and fight for the rights of the victims and their families.


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Understanding the Basics of Florida Workers' Compensation Laws

Florida law requires most employers to carry workers' compensation insurance coverage in case a worker gets injured or becomes ill while on the job. Workers' compensation benefits help injured workers and their families by providing payments for medical bills, money to replace lost wages, and other related expenses.

A worker that is injured or becomes ill while at work in Florida should report the incident to their employer as soon as possible, but always within thirty days of the accident. The employer is then required to pass on the information to the workers' compensation insurance company. If the employer refuses, the injured worker may notify the insurer themselves.

Florida workers' compensation benefits typically total two-thirds of the injured worker's average weekly wage. However, since the calculation may depend on the worker's schedule or other factors, it helps to have an experienced Miami workers' compensation attorney review the case and make the calculation to ensure correct compensation is obtained.

Workers' compensation benefits are paid bi-weekly. They do not usually cover the first seven days a worker is disabled, unless the worker ends up being disabled for more than 21 days. In these cases, the insurer may pay for the first seven days as well. Payments for total or partial disability may last up to 104 weeks.

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CPSC Crib Recalls: Is Your Baby's Crib on the List?

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recently issued tough new standards for safety in infant cribs. The CPSC also recalled more than 7 million drop-side cribs after it was discovered the cribs are particularly unsafe for children. By mid-2010, the CPSC had received 99 reports of children involved in drop-crib accidents. Two of the children lost their lives and six more suffered head injuries when they fell through the gap between the side of the crib and the bed.

The CPSC website offers detailed information about crib safety and infant sleep safety. Among the CPSC's information is a list of recalled crib brands and types. The complete list includes every CPSC crib recall issued since 1978. A few of the major brands that have been recalled include:

• Delta drop-side cribs
• Dorel Asia drop-side and fixed-side cribs
• Generation 2 cribs
• Graco "Lajobi" drop-side cribs
• Jardine cribs
• Simplicity cribs and bassinets

Some crib manufacturers offer immobilizing devices to keep the drop side of the crib in place, which reduces the risk of child injury. To find out if your crib can be immobilized, contact the crib's manufacturer.


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