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Personal Injury Attorney in Miami

Personal injury law is an important legal practice because personal injuries are a common occurrence. Personal injury encompasses a wide range of problems including medical malpractice, slip and fall, and vehicular accidents. The consequences of a personal injury—no matter the type—can be quite dire because they can result in debilitating injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

That is why anyone who suffers a personal injury needs a zealous and diligent advocate to fight for their rights. The Miami personal injury firm of Berger & Hicks are just the advocates that anyone who has suffered a personal injury needs on their side. So, contact the personal injury attorneys at Berger & Hicks when you need to receive compensation due to someone else’s negligence.

What Constitutes a Personal Injury?

The connecting thread linking all personal injury cases is that they are caused by the negligence of another person or entity. That negligent person can be directly involved in the incident that causes the injury such as in a car accident. They can also be passively responsible like in the case of a slip and fall accident. Since negligence is the main factor, personal injury cases encompass a wide variety of different categories.

Vehicle Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents are the most common type of personal injury case because motor vehicle accidents happen every day. In 2018 alone, there were over 400,000 crashes with 254,484 of them resulting in injuries and 3,150 of them resulting in fatalities. A vehicle accident can involve any type of vehicle including cars, motorcycles, trucks, and SUVs and can involve pedestrians as well. Vehicle accidents are also one of the more serious types of personal injury case because of the potentially catastrophic damage to the occupants of the involved vehicles, the vehicles, and any property involved in the accident.

Even a minor collision can result in whiplash injuries, whereas more devastating accidents can cause broken bones, internal bleeding, and serious head injuries. Those injuries can result in expensive medical bills and lost wages due to the victim being unable to work. There are also the costs of vehicle repairs or replacement costs. All of those expenses are why it is important that anyone involved in a vehicle accident contact a Miami personal injury lawyer as soon as they can.

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Medical Malpractice

When anyone visits a healthcare professional, they expect an accurate diagnosis of their problem and a treatment plan to take care of that problem. They do not expect to face an all-new problem because of their healthcare professional’s negligence. Medical malpractice can take many different forms:

  • It can be a misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis that results in the person’s actual medical condition becoming much worse.
  • It can involve an incorrect prescription that results in an overdose.
  • It could involve a surgeon leaving a surgical tool or implement inside of a patient.
  • An anesthesiologist could use the wrong amount of anesthetic.
  • A surgeon could mistakenly perform the wrong procedure or perform a procedure on the wrong body part.
  • A patient could be discharged prematurely.

Disability, chronic pain, disfigurement, infertility, and brain damage are just some of the possible consequences of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice cases are particularly egregious because the victim put their life in the hands of someone who is supposed to help them, not hurt them. It should be noted that a medical error is not necessarily the same as malpractice since doctors and surgeons can make honest mistakes. A case only becomes medical malpractice when the professional is negligent in the performance of their job.

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Slip and Fall

This is one of the more self-explanatory kinds of personal injury, but despite its simple, straightforward nature, it can have serious consequences. Slip and fall injuries are a subcategory of what are called premises liability claims. What that means is that when a person slips, falls, and injures themselves on a property, the owner of that property can be held liable for the person’s injuries. A slip and fall can be caused by wet flooring, poor lighting, uneven ground, torn carpeting, or anything that causes perilous footing without any warning notice being prominently displayed.

Additionally, the slip and fall victim must have a legal reason to be on the property, so if someone is trespassing on a property, then the owner may not need to provide any warning. Aside from the presence, or lack thereof, of warning signs, one or more of the following conditions must be present on the property:

  • The property owner must have created the dangerous condition.
  • The property owner did not take corrective measures to fix the condition.
  • The dangerous condition was present long enough that the owner should have known about it and fixed it.

A slip and fall case is one where there will be a lot of arguments about common sense, namely that a reasonable person would have identified and fixed the problem causing the accident. Another aspect to consider is that a reasonable person could have noticed or anticipated the dangerous condition. Slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries like broken hips, concussions, broken bones, sprains, cuts, bruises, or muscle strains. All those injuries can result in high medical expenses and lost wages, which is why slip and fall victims deserve compensation.

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Product Liability

If a product causes an injury when it was used in the way it is supposed to be used, then the manufacturer of that product can be held liable. It must be proven that the product is defective and that the defect makes the product dangerous. There are three types of defects in product liability cases:

  • Design Defect – The design of the product makes it inherently unsafe to use in the way that it was intended.
  • Manufacturing Defect – A defect occurs during the manufacture or assembly of the product.
  • Marketing Defect – The instructions or marketing materials render the product unsafe; this can include things like poorly worded or translated instructions, labels, or safety warnings.

The responsibility of a defective product lies in the doctrine called res ipsa loquitur, which is Latin for “the product speaks for itself”. It means that the product would not have a defect unless someone was negligent. If that doctrine is invoked successfully, then it is up to the manufacturer to prove that they were not negligent.

There is also the rule of strict liability, which means that it is only necessary to prove that the product is defective, not that the manufacturer is negligent. Those two rules make it easier for plaintiffs to get compensation when they are injured by a defective product.

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Wrongful Death

When any of the preceding personal injury cases causes someone’s death, a wrongful death suit can be filed by the family of the decedent. That means that the burden of proof in a wrongful death claim is the same as it is in a personal injury case. So, if someone dies because of medical malpractice, it is necessary to prove that the doctor was negligent in their treatment of the patient.

A wrongful death claim can be filed on behalf of the decedent by someone representing the survivors who had a relationship with the deceased, in Florida, that includes the following people:

  • The spouse
  • The parents
  • The children
  • Dependent blood relatives
  • Dependent adoptive siblings
  • Children born out of wedlock to the mother or father, but it must be established that the father provided child support

The survivors of the decedent are called beneficiaries and are eligible to receive compensation for funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses incurred while the decedent was alive, loss of financial support, loss of companionship, and any other expenses or financial consequences related to the death of the victim.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a personal injury?

It is an injury caused by the negligence of another person.

What are the different types of personal injury?

Personal injury includes vehicular accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall injuries, product liability injuries, and wrongful death.

What is Wrongful Death?

It is when a person dies from what would otherwise be a personal injury.

Who is legally responsible in a personal injury case?

The negligent person or entity that caused the injury is liable.

What kind of compensation can the victim of a personal injury case receive?

The victim can receive compensation—aka damages—that will cover their medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and any other expenses caused by the accident.

Contact Berger & Hicks If You Need Help With Your Personal Injury Case

Regardless of the cause, a personal injury case is always serious, which is why you need someone who will take your personal injury case as seriously as you do. At Berger & Hicks, we specialize in personal injury law and treat every single personal injury case with the utmost care and respect. We always fight for our clients to receive the compensation that they need and deserve. So, if you have suffered a personal injury in Miami, then do not hesitate to call us as soon as possible.

Zachary A. Hicks

Mr. Hicks is a partner and trial attorney with Berger & Hicks, P.A. Mr. Hicks is the managing partner of the PIP department, focusing almost exclusively on the collection of insurance benefits for Floridians and small businesses against “Big Insurance.” Mr. Hicks prides himself on client attention and a results-oriented style of litigation while maintaining...

Martin I. Berger

Mr. Berger has been a trial lawyer in Miami for over twenty-five years, having tried personal injury, medical malpractice, P.I.P., and wrongful death cases in Courts throughout Florida.  With Berger Hicks, he heads the personal injury litigation department, protecting the rights of those injured from the adverse interests of the insurance industry.  He knows that...

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