Articles Posted in Personal Injury

Florida personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky wants to make sure all seriously injured victims of all types of accidents, including car accidents and slip and falls accidents, understand the importance of telling their attorneys and treating doctors about any prior injuries and accidents they’ve had. With the technological advances in “cloud” based computing and analytics, personal injury victims need to understand the ease at which all insurance companies can access their past accident and injury information. Failure to disclose prior accidents and injuries often times may result in a judge dismissing a personal injury case for what they believe is “fraud upon the court.”

One of the first things insurance companies and their attorneys do when an accident victim files a claim for personal injuries is investigate that person’s past for any other accidents and/or injuries. Thereafter, when an injured accident victim fails to disclose any such prior injuries and accidents, especially in a deposition or in answers to interrogatories, the insurance company’s attorney will seek to present evidence to the presiding judge about those prior accident and injuries, for purposes of having the judge will dismiss the case.

Recently the Third District Court of Appeals, which presides over Miami-Dade and Monroe County, took such action when it dismissed a personal injury case against Home Depot. In that case, the injured plaintiff did not disclose a prior accident in which she received medical care.  The plaintiff also failed to disclose a prior hospital visit in which she complained of pain in her back, which was one of the injuries she was suing Home Depot for causing.  Once Home Depot presented evidence to the trial judge that the accident victim provided false and misleading deposition testimony, in not revealing the prior accident and medical care, the judge dismissed the personal injury case.

As we rapidly approach the end of the school year, and the impending 4th of July Holiday, Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorney Joseph Lipsky reminds his fellow Floridians, particularly parents, of the dramatic rise in the number of children who have suffered personal injuries, including burns and amputations, due to fireworks being misused.  Last year alone there were over 11,000 people who suffered fireworks related injuries, and sadly, 10 wrongful deaths.

A recent study by the Pediatric Academic Society found that the number of children who have received care at hospital emergency rooms due to fireworks related injuries increased by almost fifty percent of the past three years. Almost half of fireworks related emergency room visits were by children under the age of 15, with nearly a third of those youngsters being bystanders, who thought they were safe.

The researchers believe that the lack of regulations over the sale of fireworks, particularly those which most people believe are illegal in Florida, is a direct cause of the increase in firework related personal injuries. Until such time as cities, counties and the State enact appropriate regulations to protect unknowing consumers, personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky reminds parents to take the following precautions:

As the holidays are quickly approaching and many parents are looking for fun gifts for their children, Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorney Joseph Lipsky reminds his fellow gift givers of the dangers associated with some of the most popular toys. According to the Journal of Clinical Pediatrics, one toy in particular, a kick scooter, is directly responsible for an astounding forty percent rise in child related personal injuries over the past ten years.

While injuries from other gifts, including pretend guns, are also on the rise, injuries caused by falls from these scooters are the most often cited cause of injury. In fact, the number of emergency room visits due to such child toy injuries is almost 200,000 annually. The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s annual report demonstrated that there were over fifty two thousand personal injuries, and sadly one wrongful death, due to scooter related accidents last year.

Due to the steady rise in toy related accidents, especially fractured wrists, there is a renewed push to remind parents and children that wearing a helmet and using wrist guards while riding on a scooter or skateboard should be a requirement. Considering there were more than a quarter million bicycle accident related injuries, helmet use while riding should also be mandatory for children. Also, parents should resist the urge to buy age inappropriate gifts for their children. While we want to see our kids have fun, it is important to make sure that they are both physically and mentally ready for the types of dangerous situations which may arise while using kick scooters.

As we South Floridians know too well, with increased summer rains come many slip and fall accidents. Often these falls result in serious injuries, including fractures, sprains, abrasions, torn ligaments and even death. In fact, statistics prove that premises liability accidents such as slip and falls are a leading cause of these personal injuries.

The act of slipping generally happens when your shoe’s heel slides on a walking surface causing you to lose your balance. Slips usually occur as your heel hits the floor, and your weight is on that foot. Most often, slips happen because there is insufficient traction between your shoe and the floor. The most frequent cause of slips result from hazardous weather, foreign substances such as water or oil on the floor, poorly maintained or inappropriate flooring and improper footwear.

It is not unusual particularly in Miami, to find buildings which use indoor tile on outdoor surfaces. Given our humid weather and frequent rains, the use of such indoor flooring materials frequently result in unsafe friction, meaning unreasonably slippery walking areas. Despite the availability of slip prevention additives which are easily applied to such walking surfaces, businesses often fail to apply these friction adders and cause their customers to slip and fall. As businesses have an obligation to provide safe means for customers to enter and exit their property, the use of such inappropriate flooring is negligent, and may result in liability.

Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky has had to help families overcome the serious injuries their young children suffered because a business, such as a restaurant or hotel, failed to properly securing a tabletop television to prevent it from falling. Recent studies have shown a significant increase in the number of children being injured by the failure to take a basic safety measure.

The Journal of Pediatrics recently determined that over 12,000 children were treated at emergency rooms over the past year for injuries caused by falling televisions. This represented an increase of more than 125% for such injuries over the past decade. Incredibly, studies show that a child is killed in the United States from an improperly secured television at least every month.

With the increasing prevalence of flat screened televisions, more families are placing older model large televisions onto furniture not intended to hold such televisions, such as a desk or dresser. As any parent knows, young children can easily open drawers and climb them to reach a newly placed television, causing it to tumble upon them.

This week Florida finally joined the majority of states in passing a law making texting, emailing or IMing while driving a secondary traffic offense. The law’s purpose is to reduce deaths and injuries caused by distracted drivers which have become an epidemic in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and throughout Florida. Over 3,000 people were killed across the United States in 2011 in distracted driving car accidents. Studies show that distracted driving is roughly the equivalent to a drunk driver as it pertains to reaction times. According to the NHTSA, texting while driving increases the likelihood of car accidents by more than 2300 percent;, yet many of us don't give a second thought to letting ourselves be distracted while driving.

The new law imposes a $30 fine for first time offenders, rising to $60 for a second offense, and assessing points against a license for multiple offenses within a five-year period.

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“Personal injury law” is a broad term encompassing a wide range of cases and claims. Our skilled Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers have more than two decades of experience handling personal injury cases of all types, including those resulting in physical or psychological injuries.

Our personal injury lawyers have more than 20 years of experience helping seriously injured victims of accidents caused by someone else’s negligence or carelessness involving:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Construction accidents
  • Premises liability
  • Product liability
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Wrongful death

Many people don’t even know they have a personal injury claim. Their case doesn’t sound like something they’ve heard of before, so they don’t speak to a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer. But this is a mistake. Be assured, the insurance company for the person who caused an accident begins gathering evidence immediately after an accident, so should you.

Our Miami personal injury lawyers often make a point of urging prospective clients to move quickly with their claims. This is because you have a limited time to file a personal injury claim. Under Florida law, there is a statute of limitations for personal injury cases, just as there are for most other types of claims.The statute of limitations is the period of time a person has to file a lawsuit after an incident occurs.

The relevant time limits for personal injury claims in Flordia are:

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As personal injury attorneys representing seriously injured victims of car accidents and fall downs throughout Florida, including, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and the Palm Beaches, we know that most of our clients are surprised when we inform them that they must repay their health insurance companies, Medicare or Medicaid for any payments they made towards medical bills for treatment of injuries suffered in an accident.

This repayment requirement is based upon the legal principle of subrogation. Essentially, this means that the health insurance company stands in the shoes of the accident victim. Most states have specific laws which protect the rights of the health insurance companies and Medicaid; Medicare is protected under Federal Law. When we are able to settle an accident victim’s case, we attempt to reduce the amount being sought as repayment by these payers. And, while Florida Law requires private health insurance companies to take various factors into consideration in reducing their subrogation interest, including the attorney’s fees and the injured person’s comparative negligence, state laws protect Medicaid from such equitable reductions.

Now, thanks to a recent ruling from the United States Supreme Court, Medicaid will have to take these factors into consideration in reducing their subrogation claims. In Wos vs. Ema, the Supreme Court held that Federal anti-lien laws prohibit states from enacting their own laws which fail to take determine what portion of an accident victim’s recovery was for the medical bills, versus their lost wages or pain and suffering.

According to a recent study by the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research, if states, including Florida, monitored and forced compliance with safety laws, they could prevent millions of unnecessary personal injuries annually.

As personal injury attorneys representing victims of accidents in the Palm Beaches, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, we know too well that the leading cause of wrongful deaths of people age one to 40 years are accidental injuries. Yet amazingly many states, including Florida, refuse to pass common sense laws which would prevent injuries, save lives and lower overall health care costs.

While Florida does have mandatory seat-belt laws, which are proven to prevent about 12,000 annual car accident wrongful deaths; our legislature passed a law allowing motorcycle riders not to wear a helmet. Considering that helmets prevent approximately 1,5000 lives annually, and given the state’s obligation to pay the enormous medical bills incurred by those who sustain brain injuries from head trauma, such lack of legislative action is certainly reckless .

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