Recently in Personal Injury Category

May 25, 2011

Pembroke Pines Woman Dead After Car Accident at Intersection, Car Seat Saves Baby

A Broward County woman is dead following a car crash in Pembroke Pines on May 23, 2011. According to witnesses, Jay Lapidus, who has not been charged, ran a red light and collided with Neyda Hernandez as she tried to make a left turn. Hernandez's granddaughter was in the backseat in a car seat and, thankfully, survived the accident without any serious injuries. Police are currently investigating this Pembroke Pines car accident.

Injury and accident statistics help put into perspective just how valuable correctly installed car seats and booster seats are in avoiding injuries and fatalities from car accidents. Car crashes are the number one cause of death for children between the ages of 3 to 14. In fact, an average of four children age 14 and under died and 490 sustained injuries in vehicle crashes in the U.S. every day in 2009. Thankfully, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 8,959 children have been saved because of properly utilized child safety seats from 1975 to 2008.

In March 2011, the NHTSA announced its updated car seat guidelines, which help parents and caretakers understand which safety restraint device (car seat, booster seat, or seatbelt) a child should be placed in based on age. The NHTSA suggests that parents use the correct type of car seat for their children until the children reach manufacturers' specifications on height or weight limits.

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May 24, 2011

Motorcycle Helmets and Seat Belts Again Recommended to Reduce Deaths in Florida from Car and Motorcycle Accidents or Crashes

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Florida is ranked third in the United States regarding costs from deadly car accidents. The total of costs of car accidents nationally in 2005 (the latest figures available) was $41 billion, with Florida total costs coming in around $3.6 billion.

The CDC has made four recommendations that states could implement to cut back on these costs. One of the suggestions is having a seat belt law. Florida implemented a safety belt law effective June 30, 2009 which allows police to pull over drivers for not wearing seatbelts as a primary offense (before this law, a driver without a seatbelt would have had to commit another violation, such as speeding, before being pulled over). This is the only one of the four recommendations by the CDC that Florida has put into action.

Another recommendation by the CDC is the use of motorcycle helmets for all ages. Since 2000, it has not been mandatory for adults to wear helmets in Florida when driving or riding on a motorcycle. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 402 motorcycle accident deaths in 2009. Motorcyclists who don't wear helmets are at higher risk of sustaining more serious personal injuries than those who wear helmets. A new study by the Yale School of Medicine shows that the death rate in motorcycle accidents was almost twice as high for people who did not wear helmets (65.6 percent) than people who wore helmets (34.4 percent) during an accident.

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May 23, 2011

Coral Springs Personal Injury Lawyer Looks at Products Liability and Strict Liability for Pressure Cooker Possibly Causing Leg Amputation

A Miami woman suffered serious personal injuries when a defective product she was cooking with exploded on May 19, 2011. The 79-year-old woman, whose identity has not been released, was using a pressure cooker, when it exploded after falling on the floor. A piece of the pressure cooker ended up cutting off her left leg. The woman survived the accident, and doctors are now working in an attempt to save her leg.

Another news story regarding a products liability case based on defective pressure cookers happened in 2007, when HSN paid an $875,000 penalty to settle allegations from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that HSN did not immediately report consumer burn injury complaints. According to CPSC allegations, HSN got a minimum of 25 safety complaints about the pressure cookers they retailed from September 2001 until around October 2004, but only reported them in February 2005.

It is mandatory that companies such as HSN report consumer complaints regarding defective and dangerous products to the CPSC. According to Federal law, these reports must be filed immediately in order to alert the public about any safety issues pertaining to personal injuries.

As Coral Springs products liability lawyers, we handle cases dealing with dangerous products and defects in design and manufacture under a negligence cause of action, as well as cases of strict liability. Under strict liability, the Plaintiff (person injured) is not required to prove that the manufacturer or seller of a product was negligent in producing or selling the product as the manufacturer or seller have a duty by law to produce and sell safe products. Lawsuits alleging strict liability or negligence each have their pros and cons and it is important to discuss your case with an injury lawyer who can recommend the best strategies for you case.

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May 20, 2011

Coral Springs Motorcycle Accident Lawyer on Crash that Killed Coral Springs Man

In our 30 years in practice as Coral Springs motorcycle accident lawyers, we have helped many victims and the families of victims who have been involved in motorcycle crashes. These types of accidents result in injuries that are oftentimes more catastrophic than injuries suffered from car crashes because motorcycles don't provide as much protection as a car or a truck. Injuries that result from motorcycle accidents range from traumatic brain injury, paralysis, and in some cases death.

Given that our firm represents clients from multiple cities including Parkland, Coral Springs, Tamarac, Margate, and Pompano Beach, we make our best effort to keep up with the latest news in those cities. Unfortunately, we oftentimes see stories involving car accidents, truck accidents and motorcycle accidents. One of these stories involves a Coral Springs man who passed away after he lost control of his motorcycle and hit a curb last weekend.

Motorcycle crashes are caused by a number of factors including speeding, drunk driving, or negligence of another driver. According to the latest Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles report, motorcycle accidents led to 402 deaths in 2009, compared to 532 in 2008. Thankfully, the number of deaths resulting from motorcycle accidents decreased by 24% in 2009. The report also points out that there was a 14% reduction in the amount of deadly car accidents in 2009.

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May 19, 2011

Coral Springs Bicycle Accident Lawyer on Accident that Killed Local Man

Last weekend, a Coral Springs man became the victim of a fatal bicycle accident that took place on Sample Road. Coral Springs police are still investigating the accident, which involved bicyclist Michael Fish, and the driver of a 2008 Infiniti, Anthony Pennachio, who has not been charged.

As Coral Springs bicycle injury lawyers, we are very familiar with the dangers that bicyclists face on our Florida roads. Bicyclists face risks of serious personal injuries and, in some cases, death, when riding for leisure or to their workplaces. While there are a number of reasons bicycle accidents occur, they are, in some cases, caused by negligent car drivers or defective bicycle manufacturing.

Unfortunately, bicycle accidents occur way too often in Florida. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, Florida has been one of the top 3 states for bicycle accident fatalities since 2001, and had the highest number of bicycle accident deaths in the nation in 2007 and 2008. In 2008 alone, there were 4,380 accident injuries involving bicyclists and 118 deaths.

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May 18, 2011

Coral Springs Personal Injury Lawyer Comments on Truck Accident that Injured Baby

A baby boy in Palm Beach County suffered personal injuries and was taken to the hospital after he was run over by his grandfather's pickup truck last Thursday. The 20-month-old toddler suffered a broken pelvis and is in stable condition.

It is a difficult state of affairs when a family member has to face such a tragedy. Thankfully the child survived. Unfortunately, there are far too many instances where children are inadvertently backed over by family members who, for whatever reason, are not aware that young children are in their vicinity. Sometimes the rear view cameras available on more expensive vehicles can prevent these incidents, but there have been cases where the child was even too small to be seen by the rearview camera.

Some similar stories have made headlines this year in Florida, but with more tragic consequences. Earlier in May, another 20-month-old boy was run over in the driveway of the family's home. The baby's father accidentally ran over him, causing injuries that led to the baby's death. In January, a 4-year-old girl died after being run over by her mother.

If the child does not live in the same household as the person who backed over them, even if that person is a relative, the family can collect for the injuries that that child has sustained as a result. These are very sensitive cases, of course, as pursuing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against a family member is not an easy decision.

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May 17, 2011

Coral Springs Injury and Accident Lawyer Discusses Rollover Crash in Broward County

Tire blowouts are linked to thousands of car accidents and hundreds of deaths each year. Last week in Broward County, on May 13, 2011, a Margate man and his passenger were critically injured in a tire blowout that resulted in a rollover car accident on I-75.

While a tire blowout cannot always be prevented, one should make it a habit to check their tires periodically to make sure they have enough tread. According to Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) recommendations, drivers should check the pressure on their tires every time before driving. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has compiled safety tips to avoid a tire blowout.

Our Coral Springs personal injury lawyers are curently handling a case where a tire blew out on a vehicle on the highway, resulting in a collision with another vehicle. The individual we represent was then unable to avoid one of the vehicles that was stopped on the highway due to the blowout.

We are investigating two aspects of that case. First: whether the vehicle on the highway could and should have moved out of the way, as required by Florida statute, if the vehicle was able to do so, and second: whether the vehicle, whose tire blewout, failed to maintain proper equipment, also a violation of the Florida statutes.

Unfortunately for our client, he sustained very serious injuries in his car accident.

Other avenues to investigate in these tire blowout cases are whether the tire itself was defective. There have been numerous successful tire blowout cases against tire manufacturers throughout the country. These types of cases fall under the product liability category. As product liability lawyers, we help people who are involved in product liability cases against vehicle manufacturers.

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May 12, 2011

Coral Springs Car Accident Lawyer on Red Light Cameras - Are They Effective in Reducing Car Accidents?

If you are a driver in Coral Springs, you may be familiar with the "Red light cameras coming soon" signs around town. In an effort to reduce the amount of car accidents, the city will install red light cameras in seven intersections, starting with Royal Palm Boulevard and Coral Ridge Drive.

Although the purpose of red light cameras is to improve driver safety, the efficiency of the cameras is being questioned in Fort Lauderdale, where six cameras have been installed since 2010. According to the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, the amount of car accidents increased during a period of four months at two of the intersections where red light cameras have been installed. The number of auto accidents decreased at three of the intersections and stayed the same at the sixth.

Cities including Sunrise, Hollywood and Boynton Beach have implemented red light cameras, while others, such as Delray Beach and Boca Raton are taking a "wait and see" approach due to the challenges that have come along with the installation of red light cameras. Some of these challenges include the sizeable expense to prosecute red light runners which have brought in less money in fines than originally anticipated.

The Florida Legislature is thinking about repealing the law, but supporters point out numbers that show red light cameras reduce the number of deadly car accidents.

Whether or not red light cameras are effective is "too soon to know," according to Hollywood city officials. The city recently installed cameras, back in December 2010.

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July 15, 2010

Dangerous Deck Collapses Blamed for Serious Injuries and Deaths

Over the last three months, several stories about deck collapses have made headlines nationwide. What often begins as a celebration quickly turns into terror when people are injured or killed due to a deck collapse. On the Fourth of July, a 25-year-old man from Alabama was killed and six people were injured when the deck they were celebrating on collapsed. That same day, a deck collapse in Georgia injured several adults, including one reported head injury. The list goes on and on. According to a deck injury study by the North American Deck and Railing Association, thousands of people have been injured and several have been killed due to deck collapses since 2003. The most tragic incident was in 2003 when a deck collapsed and killed 13 people and injured 57 others.

What causes a deck to collapse?

There are several reasons why a deck may collapse. Deterioration such as rotted wood, cracks, corroded hardware; missing or loose connections; and excessive weight are all contributing factors. The Home Safety Council offers information on deck inspection and safety. Regular inspection and maintenance are crucial in order to avoid injuries or even death from occurring. It may sound like common sense, but making sure a deck is securely attached to a home is crucial. A May 2010 deck collapse that injured nearly 30 students in Virginia happened because the deck was not properly attached to the home, according to investigators.

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July 8, 2010

Laser Hair Removal that Left Woman Burned Leads to Lawsuit

A Florida woman has filed a lawsuit against an unlicensed practitioner who burned her during a laser hair removal treatment. The incident occurred last August in Miami when Monica Jimenez had the procedure done by Larry DeJesus, who Jimenez thought had a license to practice. DeJesus caused second and third degree burns to Jimenez's underarms, and the injuries landed her in the emergency room, according to reports.

Prior to filing a medical negligence lawsuit, Jimenez took her case to the Department of Health, who determined that DeJesus was an unlicensed practitioner. The Miami-Dade Police Department became involved after that and arrested DeJesus in June 2010. Jimenez still experiences pain from her injuries and is suing DeJesus for over $1 million.

Unfortunately, as the popularity of laser hair removal treatments increases, so do the amount of injuries resulting from this and other types of nonsurgical procedures such as spider vein removal. In 2004, a woman in Tampa, Florida, had her leg amputated after a spider vein injection treatment at Ideal Image. She received over $2 million in confidential settlements for her medical malpractice and products liability case, which involved three sets of defendants. More recently, a New York woman filed a $5 million medical malpractice lawsuit against a laser clinic that left scars on her torso which she claims cannot be removed.

For consumers who are interested in having laser hair removal or any other non-surgical procedure, the safest precaution is to seek a physician with experience in laser treatments or have the treatment performed by a trained and licensed professional under the supervision of a physician. The Florida Department of Health website offers information as to who is allowed to perform these types of treatments.

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June 21, 2010

Nurse Allegedly Drugs and Abuses Hospital Patient

A personal injury lawsuit has recently been filed on behalf of a hospital patient that claims she was sexually abused while seeking care and treatment at the hospital. The lawsuit stems from 2009 when the alleged victim was admitted to the hospital from the emergency room after complaints of persistent chest pain. The patient was placed under the care of a registered nurse that proceeded to inject the patient with morphine and transfer her to a secluded room, according to reports. The nurse waited until he was alone with the patient and then allegedly touched her breasts and placed her hand on his penis.

According to reports, the lawsuit alleges that the hospital negligently hired the nurse and failed to properly conduct a background check in accordance with state law. Had that background check been conducted, the lawsuit alleges the hospital would have known that the nurse allegedly engaged in abusive conduct at other jobs. The nurse was suspended by the hospital following his arrest on sexual abuse charges.

Unfortunately, sexual abuse by hospital personnel is not unprecedented. Law Offices Cytryn & Velazquez, P.A. handled a case involving a woman that was sexually abused by a hospital employee while she was interviewing for a medical assistant position. The employee falsely introduced himself as a doctor and toward the end of the interview told our client that he was required to conduct a physical to obtain insurance approval for employment. The employee then proceeded to inappropriately touch the unsuspecting woman.

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June 15, 2010

Unregulated Industry: Miami Parasailing Accident Raises Questions about Parasailing Safety

Millions of people visit Florida each year for its theme parks, beaches and water sports. Parasailing is one of the most popular water sports that families partake in when they visit Florida cities such as Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Although parasailing accidents are a rarity in the news, injuries and deaths resulting from parasailing accidents do happen. The website parasail.org offers consumer information and parasailing accident reports.

On June 7th, 2010, a Chicago father and his 6-year-old daughter were injured in a parasailing accident in Miami. The accident happened when the boat towing the parasail lost power. The boat captain decided to cut the rope so that the father and daughter would avoid a collision with port cranes. After landing in the water, the two were dragged and eventually hit a seawall in the Port of Miami when the wind re-opened the parasail. The father and daughter were taken to the hospital and released the next day.

Luckily, the father and daughter from Chicago survived their parasailing accident. However, fatal parasailing accidents have occurred in Florida. In 2007, a deadly parasailing accident in Pompano Beach claimed the life of a 15-year-old girl and injured her sister when the girls crashed onto the roof of a building. Strong winds caused the parasail to spin until the rope that was attached to the boat snapped, leaving the young women helplessly flying through the air. The National Weather Service had issued a thunderstorm warning shortly before the girls' parasailing trip, but the boat captain proceeded to conduct rides despite such warnings.

Unfortunately, parasailing is currently unregulated by state and federal governments. Parasailing operators are not regulated by either the Coast Guard or the Department of Labor. The National Foundation for Parasail Regulations (NFPR) was started in an effort to establish mandatory operating guidelines. Some of these guidelines include monitoring weather warnings and operating at safe wind speeds. NFPR's goal is to get state and federal authorities to enforce safety guidelines in order to reduce accidents and hopefully avoid deaths resulting from this activity. Furthermore, The Amber May Law, named after the aforementioned young woman who was killed in a Pompano Beach parasailing accident, aims to establish guidelines and standards for the parasailing industry. The proposed law has not yet gone into effect.

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June 9, 2010

Use of Tasers Has Led to Debate, Deaths, and Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Stories involving the use of stun guns and excessive force by police have become increasingly common over the past few years. Some police officers argue that Tasering is safer than restraining a person using batons and physical force. However, given the increasing number of deaths resulting from the use of Taser guns, many people are against employing Tasering as a subdual method. According to the Amnesty International website, over 351 people have died as a result of police Tasers since 2001.

There have been several Tasering incidents in Florida in the past few years. In 2006, a Clearwater man died after being shot multiple times with a Taser gun by police. The struggle involved three officers who managed to handcuff the man before he passed away. Another Florida Tasering incident involved Andrew Meyer, a student at the University of Florida, when he was Tasered by police during a campus conference featuring Senator John Kerry. Meyer was Tasered after refusing to leave the microphone following a heated political question addressed to the Senator. Meyer survived the Tasering, but the 2007 incident ignited a debate regarding excessive force by police.

Many people, including students at UF, did not think the police should have used a Taser gun on the conference attendee. The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida said police should not have resorted to using a Taser on Meyer if there were enough police officers to restrain Meyer without Tasering him. UF police were cleared, however, following an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement which found that the officers had followed procedure.

In a recent news story from Orange County, California, a settlement of $750,000 was paid to Matthew Fleuret, a former inmate, in a personal injury suit alleging excessive police force. Fleuret was shocked 11 times with a Taser gun after being tackled to the ground by police and kneed in the back of the head. Since the incident, which took place in 2006, a new sheriff has been appointed in Orange County and use-of-force training programs have been updated. It is unknown if the amount of use-of-force incidents have declined since then.

A number of wrongful death lawsuits have been filed against Taser International, the manufacturer of 50,000-volt Taser guns, as these guns have been linked to causing heart attacks and other cardiac problems. Back in 2005 in Las Vegas, Nevada, the father of a boy who died after being Tasered sued the Las Vegas Metro Police and Taser International for $20 million. An investigation by the coroner later revealed that Tasers were only partly responsible for the boy's death.

Taser International has issued a training bulleting warning officers to avoid shooting suspects in the chest, and stands by their product as safe. The company is known for winning in court until two years ago, when a San Jose federal jury awarded $6 million to the family of a man who died after being Tasered. The verdict marked the first time the manufacturer was held accountable for death or injury resulting from its products.

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April 2, 2010

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Led to Man's Death on Boat, According to Lawsuit

A family boating trip that resulted in carbon monoxide exposure and the death of an Arizona man has led to a lawsuit. The family of Glen Howeth, who died as a result of a heart attack after he and his family were exposed to carbon monoxide, is suing the companies they believe to be negligent in this tragic incident.

Glen Howeth and his family rented a boat on Lake Powell, Utah in June 2008. According to the wrongful death lawsuit, as the family slept, they were breathing in dangerous carbon monoxide fumes due to a generator located on the boat. Unfortunately, carbon monoxide detectors did not alert the passengers. While the family was sleeping, Howeth woke up because he heard his grandson throwing up in the room they shared. Howeth made an effort to wake up the rest of the family and call for help.

According to the lawsuit, Howeth died of a heart attack as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. Howell was helping his family and calling for help when he passed away. Howeth's relatives had symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning that included headaches and loss of consciousness, and they were taken to a hospital via helicopter.

One of the companies that Howeth's family is suing for negligence is Aramark Corp, the boat rental company. The companies being sued claim no responsibility in this case. For more information on this story, click here.

Earlier this year a man in Florida died as a result of carbon monoxide exposure on his boat. He was using a generator inside the boat's cabin, which gave off dangerous fumes. Experts warn against using gas-powered equipment, such as generators, indoors because it will lead to carbon monoxide exposure.

Carbon monoxide claims more than 400 lives each year in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Click here for tips on what you can do to help protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning.

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March 17, 2010

Florida Families Affected by Bed Bugs

The term "Don't let the bed bugs bite" is no laughing matter for the people who have sustained injuries and embarrassment resulting from bed bugs. Bed bug cases have been filed against furniture rental companies and hotels nationwide. People all over the country have experienced the consequences of just how devastating these tiny insects can be. Because they are so small, it's easy for them to live in furniture and hide indoors. And when they bite, it hurts.

Law Offices Cytryn & Velazquez has represented clients in Florida who have been affected by bed bugs. One of our clients sustained injuries including permanent scarring, headaches, nausea, aching and swollen joints after staying in a South Florida motel. Because her luggage had also been infested with bed bugs, she continued to suffer insect bites despite the change in rooms. In this case, the motel owners refused to acknowledge any problem or take any action to remedy the bed bug situation.

Another bed bug case our personal injury lawyers handled took place in a Jacksonville, Florida, hotel in May 2009. The bed bugs in the hotel left scarring and dark marks on our client's arms and legs. If the hotel had an inspection procedure in place, the dangerous condition would have been discovered upon inspection.

A bed bug case unrelated to our firm involves a family whose home became infested by bed bugs after renting furniture from Aaron's. The bed bugs spread uncontrollably, even after they disposed of several items, forcing the family to move homes.

Furniture rental companies should inspect items to make sure they are in a safe condition and free from insect infestations. This process should include cleaning and exterminating mattresses as well as supervising store or warehouse managers who control or maintain the furniture. Hotels should also inspect their mattresses and make sure their rooms are in safe condition for their customers.

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