Wrongful Death suit filed in Collapse of Tent

A wrongful death law suit has been filed when a tent collapsed on a man at an event in Chicago, Illinois, after inclement weather moved in.

The storm approached the event with high winds and the organizers of the Wood Dale Priar Festival directed the attendees to take shelter under a tent which was improperly secured. The victim was 35 years old and was killed when the main pole of the tent fell on him.  In addition, 22 others were hurt.

In addition to the company organizing the event, the companies that managed the vent and rented the tent to the festival have also been sued.

In Fort Lauderdale, young party goers were injured when a bounce house on the beach lost its moorings and blew away in gale force winds.

Tents and other temporary structures used for events such as birthday parties have the potential to become unsafe in the event that a storm with high winds and rain moves in.  This type of weather change is not uncommon in South Florida. A lot of times, bounce houses and tents are assembled by companies who lease out this equipment and these temporary structures are not properly secured to withstand this.  Should this occur, the consequences can be devastating.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Our website is located at TheBenLawFirm.com.  We can be reached by telephone at (954) 961-2055 or by email at [email protected]

 

 

 

 

Employee of Carnival Cruises questioned in rape

It has recently been reported that an employee of Carnival Cruises has been detained in San Juan, Puerto Rico for the rape of another employee on board the ship.  According to authorities the alleged rape happened in a cabin when the ship was docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The unidentified man has not been charged.

File Luxury cruise liners―Island Sky and Seaborne Sojourn― make maiden calls at Island as part of international itinerary Credit : Abu Dhabi Ports

 

Carnival spokeswoman Jennifer De La Cruz said the woman is a cruise ship employee from Australia. Puerto Rico police had identified her as a tourist.

In 2000, two crew members of Carnival Cruise Lines were charged in federal court with rape involving two women while the ship Elation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Cruise Lines love to promote their industry as all fun and games.  The reality, however, can be a lot harsher.  Violent incidents can occur with a degree of regularity.  The employees are often from foreign countries and the massive cruise ships can present opportunities for criminal conduct.  Victims of this type of misconduct may have legal rights against the cruise line.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Our website is located at TheBenLawFirm.com.  We can be reached by telephone at (954) 961-2055 or by email at [email protected]

 

 

Roofing contractor in Vikings Stadium Death had prior safety issues

According to public records, Berwald Roofing Co., the roofing subcontractor involved in a fatal accident at the Minnesota Vikings stadium construction site has received 9 citations for worksite safety violations in the past 5 years.

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A roofer working for the Berwald Roofing Company died after he fell of the Minnesota Vikings Stadium which was undergoing roofing work. Previously, Berwald,  had received a number of citations for its safety practices, such as failing to to use safety harnesses for workers roofs according to records.

Eugene Berwald of Berwald Roofing, asserted that his company encouraged safe work practices, but that “People do foolish things. They don’t hook up their lanyards,” Berwald. Mr. Berwald was not aware of whether the employee who fell to his death was wearing a safety lanyard.

 

Roofing Accidents can be Catastrophic

 

Roofing accidents frequently involve serious injuries when workers fall.  It is imperative for roofing contractors to provide their workers with the best safety equipment available.  Unfortunately, this may not always be the case and falls from roof tops can be catastrophic.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Our website is located at TheBenLawFirm.com.  We can be reached by telephone at (954) 961-2055 or by email at [email protected]

Our students should be as safe as possible — time for seat belts and harnesses on all school buses.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)  has pushed for rules requiring all school buses to be equipped with a seat belt and shoulder harnesses similar to what is required to be in our cars.

 

The big objection to this has come from local school boards who cite the additional costs involved in retrofitting current buses with this equiptment.  The projected costs range from $7,000 – $10,000 for each school bus.

These is no objection, however, to the fact that seat belts and harnesses on buses would save lives.  NHTSA estimates that seat belts would save a number of student lives and injuries, but only six states require these.  One of these states is Florida.

This seems to be an easy decision for school boards nationwide. Notwithstanding the costs, every priority should be given to our students to ensure that their transportation to and from school is as safe as possible. From an economic standpoint, the less injuries and deaths, the less our school boards are responsible for damages.  In the final analysis our childrens’ safety comes first — seats belts and harnesses on school buses make sense and should be installed as soon as possible.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Our website is located at TheBenLawFirm.com.  We can be reached by telephone at (954) 961-2055 or by email at [email protected]

 

 

 

 

2 People die in a motorcyle accident in the Florida Keys

Two people died while riding on a motorcycle on U.S. 1 and the Sadowski Causeway in the Florida keys.

Like many fatal road accidents, this accident occurred when the driver of a car traveling in the opposite direction of the cyclist made a left turn into the path of the oncoming motorcycle. Frequently, there is absolutely nothing the motorcyclist could have done to prevent these type of accidents.  The driver of the car simply does not see the motorcycfort lauderdale motorcycle accident photole ahead.

From an insurance standpoint, motorcyclists can protect themselves by purchasing Uninsured Motorist Coverage (“UM”) on their bikes. If you are so unfortunate as to be in a motorcycle accident, at least there will be insurance coverage for your injuries.

Motorcycle injury lawyers with years of experience

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale motorcycle injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Our website is located at TheBenLawFirm.com.  We can be reached by telephone at (954) 961-3710 or by email at [email protected]

 

Miami Heat dancer’s death involved driver who had been drinking

19160888_7a1751dd08-thumb-333x249Miami television news station, Channel 4, reports that the driver of the car that struck a motorcyclist in east Fort Lauderdale which resulted in the death of a Miami Heat dancer stated to police that he had consumed two alcoholic drinks.

Channel 4 was able to access the search warrant filed in Broward County court which stated the driver, Mario Careaga of Fort Lauderdale, advised the police that he had the drinks at the Galeria Mall in Fort Lauderdale. The accident occurred near downtown Fort Lauderdale. So far no criminal charges have been filed against Careaga.

Police records state that Careaga was driving his 2009 Mercedes when he struck Miami Heat dancer, 22, of Plantation, who was riding a motorcycle near downtown Fort Lauderdale. The motorcylist had been heading west in the right lane on East Sunrise Boulevard, near North Federal Highway, in Fort Lauderdale, when Careaga’s car rear-ended the motorcycle, propelling Lopez-Ruiz off it.

This case raises a number of issues from the standpoint of filing criminal charges against the driver. One of the potential issues in any criminally prosecution which might be pursued against the driver of the automobile is whether he was under the influence of alcohol or a narcotic. Usually, two drinks do not contain enough alcohol to impair a driver’s faculties. However, drivers suspected of DUI frequently understate the amount of alcohol consumed in an attempt to minimize their potential criminal exposure.

In situations like this other evidence may come into play, such as a blood alcohol test or a breathalyzer test to determine whether the level of alcohol in the driver’s blood exceeded the legal limit. There may also be a video of the driver performing roadside tests administered by the police or even a video from the bar where he apparently admits to have been drinking. Likewise his tab at the bar may also reveal how many drinks were ordered.

On the other hand, this could simply be the case of a non-impaired driver who simply wasn’t paying attention and may have negligently rear-ended the victim. It will be the responsibility of the Broward County State Attorney’s office to sort all of this out.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage — Florida Supreme Court requires signed rejection from all named insureds

Insurance Policy, Life; Health, car, travel, for background

The Florida Supreme Court in Chase v. Horace Mann Ins. Co., 158 So.3d 514 (Fla. 2015), recently required automobile insurance companies to obtain a signed rejection from each person who is newly listed as a named insured under a policy of uninsured motorist coverage.

Uninsured/Undersinsured Motorist Coverage, frequently referred to as UM/UIM coverage applies in the event an insured is injured by a motorist who does not have liability coverage, or who who does not have a sufficient amount of liability coverage, to compensate the named insured for the damages sustained. UM/UIM coverage is particularly important in South Florida where a significant portion of the drivers on the road fail to purchase any liability coverage and therefore makes it difficult, if not impossible, to recover from them in the event they are responsible for an accident involving injuries.

Because UM/UIM is considered to be important coverage for Florida drivers, our legislature has mandated that when an insurance carrier initially sells a policy of automobile insurance coverage, it must notify the insured that he has the right to purchase, as an additional option, UM/UIM coverage from the carrier. If the insured elects not to purchase this coverage, a written rejection must be signed. In the event that the carrier fails to obtain this signed rejection, then the carrier will be responsible for UM/UIM coverage even if the insured fails to purchase this coverage.

In this case the insured was not originally named on the policy. Later, the policy was reissued with her as named insured, but a signed rejection was never signed from this person. Following a horrible accident, the insurance company, Horace Mann Ins. Co., denied UM/UIM coverage and a lawsuit ensured. The case was appealed up to the Florida Supreme Court which ruled that because the policy was reissued with an additional named insured, a signed rejection had to be obtained from that person. Since none was obtained, the court found that there was UM/UIM coverage for that person.

One of the lessons to be learned from this case for persons purchasing automobile insurance is that they need to understand what types of insurance coverage they are purchasing from their agent and what they are signing. Florida law only requires that the owner of a car purchase only PIP coverage and property damage. This bare minimum is frequently referred by agents as “full coverage.” In reality this anything but.

Every purchaser of automobile insurance needs to carefully consider purchasing UM/UIM coverage because this may be their only insurance coverage for their injuries in the event that they are involved in an accident. They also should make sure they understand what forms they are signing when an insurance agent hands a paper to them and tells them to sign it — particularly when it is a UM rejection form.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Texting and Driving Revisited in this Legislative Session

texState Senator Maria Sachs of Delray Beach is attempting to get the Florida Senate to beef up the law regarding texting and driving. She believes (and correctly so) that the current law is ineffective to deter drivers from engaging in this activity.

Senator Sachs states the current Florida law is too difficult for officers to enforce because it is a secondary offense which means that drivers can only be stopped for another offense witnessed by the officer. For example, before an officer could stop and ticket a driver for texting he is required to observe the driver engage in a different moving violation such as speeding or running a stop sign.

Sachs’ proposal (S.B. 246) proposes to change this. Her proposal would allow police to pull people over drivers if they see them texting or surfing the web while driving. It would also double texting fines in school zones.

Most other states have much stronger laws prohibiting texting and driving. But just a handful treat it as a secondary offense like Florida.

The bottom line is that the telecommunications lobby, particularly in Tallahassee, has a lot of money and therefore usually gets its way. There are just too many legislators who are more concerned about pleasing lobbyists with the ultimate goal of making sure they are reelected. Although this is a significant safety issue for every Floridian, you can expert no significant legislation to strengthen what is obviously a very weak law.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Bike Helmets fail to prevent a lot of Head Injuries

helmet-thumb-333x233-91873A common misconception among parents is that wearing a bicycle helmet will protect their child from serious head injuries. We all see kids motoring along the sidewalk or street on bicycles, skateboards, scooters, etc., many of whom are dutifully wearing the helmets their mothers bought for them.

While these helmets can certainly protect against a penetrating impact to the skull which might result in a fracture (for example), they do not protect your kids from common head injuries that may cause long-term problems. According to a 2013 report on youth sports-related concussions by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, “there is limited evidence that current helmet designs reduce the risk of sports-related concussions” — minor traumatic head injuries that have been tied, at least in adults, to long-term neurological problems including depression, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (a neurodegenerative disease) and chronic cognitive impairment.

It really should not be surprising that children bicycle helmets don’t protect against concussions. Football helmets in the National Football league – the best engineered helmets available – fail to protect elite athletes from concussions and micro-concussions. A young child riding a bike or a motorized skateboard at 10 miles per hour is capable of striking his head on a sidewalk with as much or even more force as a professional football player tackling another.

The point is that parents need to re-evaluate their thinking, particularly when they allow their child to operate a motorized toy such as a scooter or a skateboard, capable of speeds upwards of 10 miles per hour. While requiring your child to wear a helmet may help in some instances, it does not adequately protect them against concussions which can be particularly damaging to children whose brains are still developing.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Another Boating Fatality in South Florida

boating_accident(1)-thumb-333x249-90717In yet another tragic boating accident, a Hialeah man and father of four young girls, died after his jet boat collided with a dock and seawall near Pelican Harbor in Miami, Florida.

It appears that the operator of the jet boat lost control near Pelican Harbor just off the 79th Street Causeway.

The decedent was ferrying friends from Pelican Harbor marina to a small island nearby when he hit a dock on the island, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. After impacting the dock, the jet boat slammed into the seawall near the marina near the 79th Street Causeway at a high rate of speed. The operator who was the only one on the vessel at the time, was thrown from the boat. He was later found by drivers on the bottom of Biscayne Bay.

In 2013, Miami-Dade had four fatalities according to the Fish and Wildlife Commission. There were 104 boating accidents and 50 injuries. The number of fatalities in 2014 is even higher.

Boating accidents in South Florida are a huge problem. Between the effects of alcohol and the inexperience of some boaters, the rate of the boating accidents seems to be increasing with the passing of each year. For some reason, many boaters seem to believe that it is acceptable to operate their boat in Biscayne Bay while consuming a six-pack. The marine patrol needs to consider stricter enforcement of Boating under the Influence (BUI) laws. In a similar vein, maybe the State of Florida should consider an advertising campaign to remind boaters to not engage in what should be an obviously dangerous activity — operating your boat while drunk. Also the Coast Guard Auxillary should be commended for their educational project concerning boating safety.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.