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Keeping Safe While Driving In South Florida Rain

Living in South Florida, it’s inevitable to deal with rain. According to statistics by US Climate Data, the West Palm Beach alone area receives 62 inches of precipitation annually. When researchers ranked the top 10 wettest cities to live in, two of which are in South Florida (Miami and West Palm Beach).


Driving  in South Florida is a dangerous and even deadly situation to be in under wet conditions. More than 7 thousand people lose their life in weather-related auto accidents.
According to statistics by US Climate Data, the West Palm Beach area receives 62 inches of precipitation annually.
When researchers ranked the top 10 wettest cities to live in, two of which are in South Florida (Miami and West Palm Beach).


The AMA (American Meteorological Society) published a study that highlights the increase of dangerous road conditions and the elevated risk involved.


“[Scott] Stevens, a data analyst and meteorologist at the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies, and colleagues looked at 125,012 fatal car crashes in the Lower 48 states from 2006 to 2011, factoring in how many cars are on the road, to calculate the risk of a fatal accident. While other studies have used police reports and the nearest weather station to calculate rain and snow conditions, Stevens said his is the first study to use more precise weather radar data. It was able to distinguish how hard the rain or snow was falling to come up with results showing an increase in fatal crashes even in rain of less than one-tenth of an inch per hour.”


All the evidence points to the same: when the road is wet, your chance of being involved in an accident can drastically increase. As the visibility level lowers due to rain and how the road becomes slippery when water has accumulated on it.

Hydroplaning becomes an issue when rain is especially heavy – a common occurrence in Florida. Hydroplaning refers to a situation when a car starts to slide uncontrollably because of the tires encountering more water that it can scatter. As the water carries the car, the brakes and other controls become useless. Quick turns and movements on wet roads can also cause the vehicle to hydroplane as well.



The Hazard of Hazard Lights

You may see other drivers with hazard lights flashing to indicate they are moving slower than surrounding traffic during stormy conditions. But in Florida, it’s actually illegal to use hazard lights while driving unless you are part of a funeral procession. Flashing lights were designed with the express purpose of indicating a hazard to other drivers, and they should only be activated when your vehicle is a hazard on the side of the road. Using them under any other circumstance is not only unnecessary, but it also causes confusion. If it’s raining, the only lights you should turn on are your headlights.

Rainy weather may make driving more difficult, but it does not relieve drivers of their responsibilities behind the wheel. With proper vehicle maintenance, knowledge of local laws and a bit of common sense, you can travel safer during a downpour along with a helpful tips to keep in mind.



Keeping Safe While Driving In South Florida Rain 1 Medical Malpractice South Florida Injury Law Firm

5 Tips to avoid an auto accident
in slippery road conditions

Check Tire Pressure Regularly
Tires with weak tread may not grip a wet road as well as newer tires with thicker tread. Make sure your tires are safe for the roads.
Before setting out when rain is present or forecasted, it is even more important than normal to make sure your tires are in good shape and have adequate tread depth since bald tires can increase the risk of hydroplaning.

Gust Awareness
Drive at a speed that compensates for high speed gusts that can otherwise impact your vehicle.
Watch out for larger vehicles.
Larger vehicles are much harder to control when it is windy and can have difficulty staying in their lane.

Maintain Distance
Maintain a large distance with the car in front of you. Cars may have difficulty stopping due to wet conditions. Brake earlier than usual, and apply less force to increase the stopping distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you while also alerting the driver behind you that you are reducing your speed.

Know Anything Can Happen
Often times during storms, other drivers fail to drive safely. Make sure to watch around you and drive defensively.

Get There Safe, Not Fast
Getting to your destination without an accident is more important than keeping a schedule. Maintain a safe speed limit and be sure to obey all traffic rules and signals. Drive more slowly, take turns slowly, and be sure to give your fellow motorists ample following distance.

In other words, when it rains, whether heavy or light, slow it down. The most important thing you can do to protect yourself and others when driving in the rain is adjusting how you drive according to the current weather conditions.



Keeping Safe While Driving In South Florida Rain 2 Medical Malpractice South Florida Injury Law Firm

Have you been involved in an
auto accident under rainy conditions?

Sadly, even riders who follow the above tips can still end up hurt by a reckless or distracted driver.
Determining which driver is at fault for an accident requires an investigation of the collision. The investigation involves the review of all pieces of evidence that are available, such as photographs or video surveillance of the accident, testimony from any witnesses to the accident, and a digital reconstruction of the accident that incorporates all relevant factors, such as the rainy weather.

If you were hurt in an auto accident because of a drunk, distracted, or otherwise reckless driver, you can call The South Florida Injury Law Firm anytime at (954) 488-JEFF – we’re available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Complete our online form to get a free case evaluation and our team will assist with the legal aspects of your claim so you can focus on your health . Remember, the consultation is completely free! That means you don’t owe us anything until we recover for you.

U.S. Supreme Court Won't Hear Medical Records Appeal – What It Means

U.S. Supreme Court Won’t Hear Medical Records Appeal – What It Means

U.S. Supreme Court Won't Hear Medical Records Appeal – What It Means


When it comes to your private and personal information, such as your social security number or your health and medical records, you want it to be safe from anyone who might use that information for wrongdoing.


What if, however, you or your family suspected a health professional of committing medical malpractice? Should your records be disclosed?


The family of Marie Charles filed a lawsuit against the Jacksonville area Baptist Health System because they believed, according to court documents, that “negligence in her care caused a severe neurological injury.”


Since Marie Charles’ family was disputing her care, the question of whether the Baptist system should disclose her medical records was up for debate.


Let’s look at what happened in this particular case and what it means for the current and future state of medical malpractice cases.


Florida Supreme Court Decision Stands: Disputed Florida Medical Records Should Be Disclosed


When the Charles family filed a lawsuit against the Baptist system, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that Marie Charles’ records should be disclosed and were not protected by the federal 2005 Patient Safety Act.


However, the Baptist system claimed that not all of the medical records needed to be disclosed, and that certain records protected by the federal 2005 Patient Safety Act should be kept confidential. The act allows hospitals to give patient safety organizations voluntary information about medical errors in order to assess and analyze these errors. That way, they can prevent medical errors in the future.


The Florida Supreme Court said their decision was based on “a 2004 state constitutional amendment intended to provide access to what are known in the healthcare industry as ‘adverse medical incident’ reports.” So if someone files a medical malpractice lawsuit, these so-called adverse medical incident reports should be turned over.


The Baptist system decided to appeal the Florida Supreme Court’s decision, and back in May asked the United States Supreme Court to hear the case.


However, on Monday, October 2, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case. As is typical, they did not provide a reason as to why.


So the original decision by the Florida Supreme Court – that the medical records should be disclosed – stands.


Based on this decision, if you decide to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, all of the medical records in question can be disclosed.


How Medical Malpractice Works in Florida


Medical malpractice happens when a healthcare professional is negligent and you are injured as a result of that negligence.


How Medical Malpractice Works in Florida


Examples of medical errors that lead to malpractice claims include but are not limited to:


  • Misdiagnosis: failing to correctly diagnose a patient, which can lead to injury or death due to a lack of treatment.
  • Childbirth injury or death: an ob-gyn waits too long for a C-section and the baby is injured or dies as a result.
  • Surgery error: a surgeon performs the wrong surgery, leaves a medical tool in the body, or causes permanent scarring or damage.
  • Medication error: a doctor or nurse gives a patient too much or too little medication or the wrong medication, causing death or injury.
  • Anesthesia error: an anesthesiologist gives a patient the wrong amount of anesthesia, causing death or injury.


In order to win a medical malpractice case, you will need to understand the malpractice laws in Florida and prove four main elements of your case:


  • The medical professional had a duty of care to provide reasonable care for treating your illness.
  • The medical professional breached that duty of care.
  • The breach in that duty of care directly caused your injury.
  • The injury caused you to suffer damages, regardless of whether those damages were economic or non-economic.


If you believe you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice, you will need to make sure you file your lawsuit in a timely manner. In our state, the statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases is two years from when you knew an injury occurred or when you should have known that an injury occurred and that it was due to medical malpractice.


Boca Raton Medical Malpractice Lawyer


Additionally, there is a statute of repose in Florida that states a medical professional can’t be sued if more than four years have passed since the malpractice incident.


This means that if you want to file a malpractice claim, you need to make sure you do it within that time frame.


Suffering from medical malpractice can be devastating for you and your loved ones. For that reason, make sure you get the justice you deserve and the compensation you’re entitled to by contacting an experienced South Florida medical malpractice lawyer to get started on your case today.


About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.

Medical Errors in Florida That Lead to Malpractice Claims

Medical Errors in Florida That Lead to Malpractice Claims

Medical Errors in Florida That Lead to Malpractice Claims

Medical malpractice is when patient injury occurs due to a medical provider’s violation of the generally accepted standard of care. Sadly, this is something that happens all the time in our country.


According to a widely-reported study from Johns Hopkins published last year, around 250,000 people die from medical errors every single year. That’s about 1 out of every 10 deaths. Other studies have come up with even higher numbers.


What kind of errors are we talking about? Here are several common ways medical professionals make mistakes.




If your doctor either makes an incorrect diagnosis, or delays giving a correct diagnosis, you may suffer from the result. The five most common cases of misdiagnosis include:


  • Infections
  • Heart attack
  • Heart disease
  • Blood clot in the lung
  • Tumors


Your attorney will need to prove that the doctor’s misdiagnosis was the direct cause of your injury.


Medication errors


About 1.5 million Americans suffer each year due to medication errors. The doctor may write a prescription for the wrong drug, or they may prescribe too little or too much of the correct drug.


In a hospital stay, the margin for error increases as many people may be involved in your care. Sometimes the pharmacy is at fault for the prescription. Other times, it may be the nurse or physician’s assistant. It’s wise to seek legal counsel to understand who can be held liable for damages.


Surgical errors


These errors occur when a foreign object is left inside the body, an incorrect surgery is performed, bleeding is not controlled, or a nerve is damaged. Infections may also develop if the doctor or nurse does not provide sufficient post-operative care.


Anesthesia errors


Errors with anesthesia can be even more serious than surgical errors. The improper use of anesthesia can cause blindness, paralysis, brain damage, or death. Anesthesia errors stem from the wrong dosage, improper tubing technique, defective equipment, or lack of patient monitoring.


Infection or injury while hospitalized


About 722,000 Americans develop infections or experience injuries during hospitalization every year, and over 10% of those cases end in death. Every day, about 1 person in every 25 hospital patients develops an infection, according to CDC reports. If you have suffered due to an infection you developed while hospitalized, you may be able to file for medical malpractice.


Other common problems that occur with hospitalization include falls, too many blood transfusions, too much bed rest, and improper use of antibiotics.


Childbirth-related errors


Many problems can occur before the baby is born, during the birth, or immediately after the birth. Here are several problems that may qualify for a medical malpractice suit:


  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Abnormalities with the placenta
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Preeclampsia
  • Hemorrhage
  • Prolonged labor that causes injury
  • Surgical error
  • Anesthetic error
  • Nerve damage
  • Negligence in premature baby care


If a medical malpractice suit is filed due to any circumstance surrounding childbirth, experts from the medical field will need to witness that the care was negligent compared to the generally accepted standard of care.


South Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyers

If you win a medical malpractice suit, you may be entitled to three types of damages. You may receive punitive damages if your attorney proves your medical provider was reckless. You may receive non-economic damages for your pain and suffering. If you lost wages and incurred health care costs due to the malpractice, the court may award compensatory damages. Your damages may be reduced if you are found partially responsible for your injuries.


Medical malpractice suits are complicated, and you need legal counsel as soon as possible. Contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney today to discuss the details of your case.



About the Author:


Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.


Understanding Florida's Medical Malpractice Laws

Understanding Florida’s Medical Malpractice Laws

Understanding Florida's Medical Malpractice Laws


People in all different types of professions make mistakes, but when it comes to your doctor or other health care professionals, mistakes can be especially serious.


That’s why we have medical malpractice laws. In the event that a medical professional is negligent, you have the ability to hold them accountable for their improper actions and receive compensation for any damages that you incur.


Until recently, our state had a $500,000 cap (which includes pain and suffering) on the amount of non-economic damages a plaintiff could receive from a medical malpractice suit. If the injuries were catastrophic, the cap increased to $1 million.


At the beginning of June, though, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the 2003 caps were unconstitutional, arbitrary, and unfair to those who were severely injured by a doctor’s mistake.


Now that we know there are no longer damage caps when it comes to medical malpractice lawsuits, let’s understand how medical malpractice suits work here in Florida.


What Is Medical Malpractice?


When you see a doctor or other healthcare professional, you expect them to give you the best possible care for your medical issue. This is called the standard of care.


According to our statutes, the standard of care is the “level of care, skill, and treatment, which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers. “


If a medical professional, however, is negligent and doesn’t provide you, as a patient, that standard of care, then they have committed medical malpractice.


When Can I File a Malpractice Lawsuit?


When it comes to personal injury lawsuits, you need to act in a timely manner due to our statute of limitations. This means that you only have a certain period of time to file a lawsuit. If you do not file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations, you will not be able to receive compensation.


Here in Florida, you have two years from when you knew or should have known that an injury occurred, and that the cause was most likely due to medical malpractice.


Our state also has something called a statute of repose when it comes to malpractice suits. The statute of repose says that a medical professional can’t be sued for medical malpractice more than four years after the malpractice incident occurs.


So it’s important that as soon as you realize you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you consider filing a lawsuit.


What Kind of Damages Can I Receive?


The damages awarded to an injured person are intended to help them compensate for their lost income, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.


There are two types of damages: non-economic damages and punitive damages. Non-economic damages, as mentioned above, compensate for pain and suffering, and there is no longer a cap on how much a plaintiff can be awarded.


If the medical professional intended to purposefully cause serious harm, a jury might also award punitive damages – damages that are intended to punish the wrongdoing.


How Do I Know If I Have a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?


How Do I Know If I Have a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit


If you believe you are the victim of medical malpractice, it’s in your best interest to reach out to an experienced Florida medical malpractice attorney right away. A skilled attorney with proven results will be able to listen to the facts of your case and determine the best way to proceed to ensure you receive justice and the compensation you deserve for your injuries.




About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.


Two Florida Women Sue Plastic Surgeons over Punctured Organs

Two Florida Women Sue Plastic Surgeons over Punctured Organs

Two Florida Women Sue Plastic Surgeons over Punctured Organs

All doctors have a duty of care that they have to abide by, and their patients need to feel secure in the knowledge that they are being treated by competent professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to do the job. This is true whether the doctor in question is a general practitioner, a podiatrist, an anesthesiologist… or a plastic surgeon.


Even if you choose to undergo plastic surgery for purely cosmetic reasons, you are legally guaranteed a certain level of care. You don’t expect to spend months in the hospital or need additional, medically necessary surgeries later.


Unfortunately, that is precisely what happened to two women who went in to Dr. Osak Omulepo’s office in May 2015 for Brazilian Butt Lifts. The procedure is commonly done to give people a larger and firmer backside. Fat is removed from the stomach or back (similar to liposuction) and is injected into the butt. Brazilian Butt Lifts are typically an in-and-out procedure, but medical errors led to the two women in question spending time at the hospital for months afterward.


During one of her multiple trips to the hospital four months after her surgery, Nyosha Fowler learned that Omulepo had punctured her colon and fluid was leaking into her abdominal cavity. She ended up in a coma for 28 days.


While in the hospital, Fowler’s mother confronted Dr. Omulepo, who said his instrument “cuts through muscle and fat like butter” and could have contributed to Fowler’s injuries.


Then there was Donna McRae. She had her surgery with Omulepo on the same day as Nyosha Fowler. During one of her hospital stays after the surgery, doctors discovered she had several punctures in her liver, damages in her chest, and damages in her abdominal wall.


Dr. Omulepo wasn’t just having an off day on May 15, either. Four women eventually came forward with complaints about the plastic surgeon, and he ultimately faced nine counts of violating standard of care and not documenting medical records properly after allegations were made.


On January 6, 2017, Omulepo was found guilty of six counts of medical malpractice. The judge recommended that he face probation, reprimands from the Florida Board of Medicine, and $14,000 in fines.


12.7% of Plastic Surgeons Face Malpractice Suits Every Year


South Florida Medical Malpractice Attorney

Now, this story is unusual because it involves multiple women getting their organ punctured on the same day. However, a plastic surgeon getting sued for medical malpractice isn’t out of the ordinary. Quite the opposite. In fact, an astounding 12.7% of plastic surgeons face malpractice suits each year.


As mentioned above, medical malpractice can be committed by any medical professional, but certain specialty doctors face more complaints and suits than others. The doctors who get sued the most include:


  • Oncologists
  • Pulmonologists
  • Urologists
  • Obstetrician/gynecologists
  • Plastic surgeons
  • Orthopedic surgeons
  • General surgeons
  • Thoracic-cardiovascular surgeons
  • Neurosurgeons


That list is in ascending order, meaning that neurosurgeons face the most medical malpractice suits each year. Almost 1 in 5 neurosurgeons (19.09%, to be exact) face a medical malpractice claim every year.


What Does This Mean for You?


These statistics may scare you if you’re heading into surgery, but could possibly reassure you if you suffered an injury or medical condition after an appointment with a surgeon or other doctor.


If you suspect your doctor of committing malpractice or errors, you should report them. Medical malpractice isn’t common, but it does happen, and when it happens, you should come forward. A medical malpractice suit may prevent a shoddy doctor from injuring more patients.


For more information on how to determine whether or not your doctor committed malpractice, and how you can file a lawsuit to get justice for your illness or injury, contact a Florida personal injury lawyer.