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Miami Personal Injury Law Blog

How can I protect myself in a hotel fire?

Now that vacation season is here, you may be planning to spend some time at one of Florida’s many hotels. Even though you have researched reviews and prices so you can find a place that meets your needs, you should not forget about fire safety. According to the National Fire Protection Association, each year, one percent of all structure fires occur in motels and hotels. When you take into consideration that 120 people suffer injuries and nine people die from these events, you may find yourself wondering if you know what to do in case a fire occurs in your hotel. 

Here is a brief overview on how you can protect yourself during a fire hotel incident. 

Who may file a wrongful death case in Florida?

When a person dies in an accident caused by negligence, his or her loved ones can find their lives impacted on many levels. However, not everyone can file a wrongful death case.

Florida law allows two types of claimants to sue for wrongful death. The first type includes the decedent's spouse, children, parents and dependent blood or adoptive relatives. They are collectively referred to as "survivors." The second category is the "estate," which is the legal collective designation for the decedent's property that is left behind. The estate's beneficiaries include those who get a portion of the estate under the terms of a will or of Florida's intestacy statutes, in the absence of a will. The estate can sue through a personal representative, who files a claim on behalf of the beneficiaries.

What should I do if I slip and fall in a store?

Stores, restaurants and other public buildings are common places in Florida where slip-and-fall accidents tend to occur. Many property owners are aware of the dangers and liability concerns that arise when someone falls and is injured on their properties, but they do not always take proper precautions to prevent these incidents.

This type of accident is so common that the average person can expect to experience one at some point. Slip-and-fall victims are at risk of sustaining severe injuries. Here is a brief overview of what you should do after a slip-and-fall accident. 

Common causes of food poisoning

When people go to restaurants, hotels and places that serve food in Florida, many of them are not aware of the dangers they face when their food is not prepared properly. According to the Statistic Brain Institute, 325,000 victims are hospitalized each year because of foodborne illnesses. Thousands of other people suffer mild to no symptoms from eating contaminated food. Some people suffer severe reactions to foodborne pathogens, such as paralysis, respiratory distress and even death. 

It is important for people to learn about the common causes of food poisoning so they can avoid eating unsafe foods. 

What summertime injuries should I be concerned about?

Sunny days and hot weather in Florida create the perfect recipe for shopping and spending more time outside. They also create conditions that increase the risk of injury-causing accidents. Most malls, stores and other establishments in the area are relatively safe. But there are potential hazards that can affect your safety. 

Here are some things you should watch for to avoid accidents and injuries. 

Theme park safety and accidents

Each year, thousands of people flock to Florida to visit some of the world’s most popular theme parks. With attractions like roller coasters, carousels and other exciting rides, many amusement park guests do not take into consideration the potential hazards that could hurt them. Although theme park accidents statistics are scarce, Bustle.com reports that amusement park rides are the reason 4,400 children are injured each year. Information on the annual number of deaths that occur from theme park rides is currently not available.

Here is a brief overview of theme park rides and safety concerns.

Is cerebral palsy always due to a doctor's negligence?

According to the Mayo Clinic, cerebral palsy is "a disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture that is caused by damage that occurs to the immature, developing brain, most often before birth." In many cases, the cause of cerebral palsy is unknown. However, doctors do know that some of the reasons a baby's brain does not develop properly include gene mutations, infections, traumatic head injury or lack of oxygen to the brain. 

Cerebral palsy has many symptoms, generally movement and coordination problems, such as: 

  • Stiff muscles
  • Ataxia, a lack of muscle coordination
  • Tremors
  • Delays in motor skills milestones
  • Favoring one side of the body
  • Having a strange gait or difficulty walking
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Seizures 

Motorcycle safety tips

Summer is prime motorcycling season. Although cyclists can enjoy motorcycling year-round in Florida, summer is the ideal time to take advantage of long daylight hours and agreeable weather.

Most cyclists know that their sport doesn't come without risks. Motorcycle accidents are a real threat to anyone who rides. But that doesn't have to stop riders from enjoying their sport.

How restaurant owners can protect their guests from injuries

With Florida being one of the country’s biggest travel destinations, there are plenty of restaurants and fine dining establishments for tourists and locals to visit. Many of the owners and their staff work hard to keep their establishments free from hazards, but situations can arise at any time where accidents can happen. Anyone who becomes injured because of a restaurant owner’s negligence may be able to seek compensation for their ordeal by filing a premises liability lawsuit. 

Many restaurant accidents are preventable. Here is a brief overview of how restaurant owners can keep their patrons safe. 

Elements required for negligence case

A standard dictionary definition of negligence is neglecting to take the care that a person of average prudence would typically exercise in a comparable circumstance. The legal issue of negligence is much more complex.

Generally, it is up to the plaintiff, the one who is suing, to prove that the defendant was negligent. To demonstrate that a business is negligent in a serious injury case involves five different elements: 

  • Duty - The defendant must owe a responsibility to the plaintiff. This depends on the relationship between the two parties. A plaintiff who was trespassing on the defendant’s property would probably not be able to demonstrate a duty owed by the defendant regarding the maintenance of the property. 
  • Breach of duty - Next, the plaintiff has to show that the defendant did not exercise reasonable care in that duty. 
  • Cause in fact - If not for the actions of the defendant, the plaintiff would not have been injured. 
  • Proximate cause - Could the defendant have foreseen the damages to the plaintiff? For example, a defendant who tosses a rock off a balcony could reasonably foresee damages to a vehicle or the rock hitting a cyclist. This is proximate causation. 
  • Damages - It is not enough just to show that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care; the plaintiff must also demonstrate that the harm resulted in some kind of damages to the plaintiff. In the above example, if the rock did not hurt the cyclist, there is no negligence. 

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