Florida Swimming Pool Accidents

Florida has over 1 million private residential swimming pools, and thousands more at hotels and public parks. Pools provide cool relief for friends and family during our hot days, but they can also cause death or injury at a moments notice. Florida leads the nation in fatal swimming pool drownings. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 3 children die from drowning every day in a swimming pool accidents. It is also one the the leading causes of death for children ages 1-4 because it takes less than 5 minutes for an unsupervised child to drown. Attorney Mark Bidner and the Bidner Injury Law firm agree with the Association of Pediatrics and recommend that every parent have their child receive professional swimming lessons starting at age 1.

Near Drownings – For every child that loses their life in a swimming pool accident, multiple children and adults will suffer near drownings or accidents that can result in brain damage, spinal chord injuries, bone fractures, Recreational Water Illness (RWI) and lifelong disabilities requiring millions of dollars in care. The statute of limitations in Florida for filing a claim for a swimming pool accident is 4 years.

Some causes of swimming pool accidents:

  • Inadequate supervision of young children.
  • Improper or damaged entry gates or pool barriers.
  • Inadequate maintenance around pool and deck.
  • Lack of safety signs. (No Diving, No Running, etc.)
  • Broken or damaged drain or filter systems.
  • Electrocution.
  • Broken glass.
  • Broken pool lights.
  • Inaccurate chemical treatments of swimming pool water.
  • Inaccurate water levels.

Pool Owner’s Liability – Under Florida’s “Premises Liability”, a swimming pool owner may have different levels of liability depending on the type of entrant to the pool. The three types of entrants are Invitee, Licensee, or Trespasser. An owner must maintain the swimming pool in a reasonably safe condition. If there are places which are not reasonably safe, then the owner must protect an Invitee or Licensee by warning them of these dangers and correcting the dangers in a reasonably expedient manner.

  • Invitee – Public Invitee or Business Invitee. A person who is invited to enter the pool facilities as a member of the public.
  • Licensee – Someone who is a the swimming pool by invitation, most commonly a social guest of the homeowner.
  • Trespasser – A trespasser is someone who does not have permission to be at the swimming pool and yet enters anyway. The lowest duty of care is owed to trespassers. However, swimming pool owners must have special protections for child trespassers. This is called the “Attractive Nuisance Doctrine”.

Attractive Nuisance – Swimming pools can be attractive to young children who do not know the dangers posed by the pool. They can be drawn to it by curiosity and easily fall in and drown. This is called an “Attractive Nuisance”. Florida homeowners are required by state law to provide “reasonably safe conditions” and warn of any dangers. Failure to do so can result in injury and liability for damages. As a result of “Attractive Nuisance”, Florida as enacted the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act (RSPSA). The RSPSA provides a checklist of safety precautions from which pool owners must enact ONE. Bidner Injury Law recommend the installation of multiple safety features in the event that one of them becomes broken or inactive.

Florida swimming pool accident laws are complex, very tricky to navigate and require an attorney with the skill, experience and knowledge to establish the elements of a successful case. You deserve to be compensated fully for the injuries you have suffered because of the negligence of another. Bidner Injury Law has the experience and knowledge to fight for what you rightfully deserve.

To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with Swimming Pool Accident Attorney Mark Bidner or another Bidner Injury Law firm attorney, call 786-765-4120 or fill out and submit our online Contact Us form.

Florida Slip-and-Fall Injuries

Slip and Fall Injuries can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. They happen in restaurants, house parties, barbecues, malls, public sidewalks, parking lots, amusement parks, grocery and retail stores. These injuries can lead to broken bones, spinal injuries, concussions, and a lifetime of pain and suffering.

The term Slip-and-Fall covers a multitude of different accidents such as:

  • Slip-and-Fall – When a person slips on an object or liquid.
  • Trip-and-Fall – When a person trips over an object or uneven surface.
  • Step-and-Fall – When a person falls because of a hole or indentation in the ground.

When you enter into a business establishment, you are a guest on the commercial or business property. It is the duty of property owners and managers to provide their customers with a “reasonably safe” environment free of dangerous conditions. What constitutes a “reasonably safe” environment will typically vary from case to case. Since 2010, Florida law has put the burden on the victim to prove that the business establishment or premise owner had “actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken action to remedy it.”

What to do in a Slip-and-Fall:

  1. Inform management or property owner immediately to document the accident.
  2. Obtain medical treatment right away.
  3. Take photos or videos of accident area and the cause of the fall.
  4. Obtain any witnesses names and phone numbers. (Ask to photograph driver license or I.D.)
  5. Do NOT sign anything.

Florida Slip-and-Fall victims may recover damages for economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses may include ambulance, hospital, surgery, anesthesiology, doctors visits, physical therapy, medical equipment, loss of wages, and the ability to earn income in the future. Non-economic losses may include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, physical scarring and disability.

Damages may be reduced if it is shown that the person injured was not acting in a reasonable manner. This is called Contributory Negligence. For example, if a jury found you 30% responsible for a Slip-and-Fall because a video camera shows you reading your cell phone when you slipped on a napkin, then a $10,000 award would be reduced by 30% to $7,000.

Florida Slip-and-Fall laws are complex, very tricky to navigate and require an attorney with the skill, experience and knowledge to establish the elements of a successful case. You deserve to be compensated fully for the injuries you have suffered because of the negligence of another. Bidner Injury Law has the experience and knowledge to fight for what you rightfully deserve.

To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with Slip-and-Fall Attorney Mark Bidner or another Bidner Injury Law firm attorney, call 786-765-4120 or fill out and submit our online Contact Us form.

Florida Dog Bites

It is often said that dogs are man’s best friend, and this is most often the case when dogs are properly trained by their owners. Canines save countless of lives, give emotional support, and provide aid to the handicapped. However, dogs need to be trained properly. If not, they may feel scared, defensive, or threatened around other humans or animals, and bite them in fear or anger.

Some states have a “One Bite” rule which allow owner’s leniency the first time their dog bites someone else. Florida is NOT one of those states. A dog owner is liable the first time their dog bites someone else. If a dog has posed a threat in the past, it may be labeled a “Dangerous Dog”, which must be secured on private property. A “Dangerous Dog” owner will be held liable for more damages if their dog attacks someone.

What to do if bitten:

    1. Get medical treatment right away.
    2. Photograph bite area.
    3. Obtain dog bite report from medical facility.
    4. You have four years to file a claim in civil court.
    5. Hire an experienced dog bite attorney who will check public records to see if the dog has a history as a dangerous animal.

Responsibilities of dog owners:

    • Do not let your dog run loose.
    • Keep dogs inside fenced areas.
    • Post a “Bad Dog” or “Beware of Dog” sign on your property in a visible area.
    • Always have dog on a leash of in public areas.

Owners of dogs are responsible for the actions of their pets, and if their dog bites someone else, they are liable for damages. However damages may be reduced if it is shown person bitten had not acted responsibly. In dog bite cases, the courts will look at the negligence of the owner as well as the negligence of the person bitten. This is called comparative negligence.

For example, a friend comes over for dinner, and while looking for the bathroom accidentally trips over the family dog and gets bitten. The courts may rule the dinner guest’s negligence at 20% and the homeowner’s negligence at 80%. So a $10,000 reward will be reduced to $8,000.

Recovering from a dog bite injury and determining responsibility can be a very difficult task. You deserve to be compensated fully for the injuries you have suffered because of the negligence of another. Bidner Injury Law has the experience and knowledge to fight for what you rightfully deserve.

To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with Dog Bite Attorney Mark Bidner or another Bidner Injury Law firm attorney, call 786-765-4120 or fill out and submit our online Contact Us form.

Florida “No Fault” Personal Injury Protection Insurance(PIP)

PIP Insurance is also referred to as Florida No Fault Insurance. Florida is one of ten states that require drivers to purchase this insurance. Drivers of motor vehicles are required to purchase a minimum of $10,000 in PIP insurance. You have 14 days after sustaining an injury from a motor vehicle to file a medical claim.

About Florida No Fault Insurance – The purpose of PIP insurance is to reduce the amount of litigation in the court system by lowering the amount of personal injury claims. Requiring drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 in PIP Insurance covers the drivers medical bills and lost wages up to $10,000 no matter who is at fault.

For example, if you are stopped at a red light another driver rear ends you, causing you $8,000 in medical bills and $2,000 in lost wages. Since Florida is a “No Fault” State, your insurance will pay the medical bills and lost wages and their insurance will pay nothing. Anything over $10,000 in damages and you have the right to sue for the remainder, including any pain and emotional pain you have suffered because of someone else’s negligence.

What else does PIP cover?

  • Covers your children, family members, and passengers who lack PIP Insurance.
  • People who have PIP insurance will be covered when they are passengers in another vehicle.
  • Covers children receiving injuries while riding the school bus.
  • Protects you and family members while walking or riding a bike, skateboard, etc. and involved in a motor vehicle accident. (Read more HERE on Pedestrian Accidents)
  • Death benefit – If policy holder or passenger in vehicle is killed, an additional $5,000 is awarded.

Florida PIP Facts:

  • In Florida only 80% of your medical bills are covered by PIP “No Fault” insurance.
  • Health Insurance may cover the rest of the medical bills depending on the policy.
  • PIP will pay 60% of lost wages up to $10,000.
  • PIP will pay your fuel and travel expenses incurred while receiving medical treatment.
  • If your accident is not determined by a medical doctor to be an Emergency Medical Condition or “EMC”, you will only be entitled to $2,500 NOT $10,000.

Can I sue for more damages? If your medical bills or pain and emotional suffering costs (subject to interpretation) exceed the $10,000 or $2,500 allowed under Florida PIP law, you have a right to sue. Consult an experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney.

To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with Car Accident Attorney Mark Bidner or another Bidner Injury Law firm attorney, call 786-765-4120 or fill out and submit our online Contact Us form.

Florida Pedestrian Accidents

Did you know that Florida is the #1 state for pedestrian deaths? A study ending in 2014 put Florida pedestrian fatalities are at a 10-year high, with over 5,000 people killed while walking in Florida from 2004-2014. In South Florida, the total was 1,508 deaths. Accidents often occur crossing the street, jogging, skating, or waiting on the sidewalk. Mark Bidner and the Bidner Injury Law firm recommend that you never talk, text, or wear earphones while crossing the street. These distractions may prevent you from seeing or hearing an oncoming car, truck, bus, or bike.

While walking down the street, pedestrians are required to use the sidewalk. If no sidewalk is provided, than they are allowed to walk on on the opposite side of the road, to the far left as possible and facing oncoming traffic.

Some causes of pedestrian accidents:

  • Drunk driving: Drivers under the influence of alcohol have decreased reaction times, more likely to run a red light, or not see a person walking across the street.
  • Distracted driving: Texting or talking on the phone has quickly risen to be a major cause in the rise of pedestrian deaths.
  • Illegal speeding: When exceeding the speed limit, a motorist has decreased reaction times. This results in the inability to avoid people crossing the road.
  • Failure to yield: Drivers are required to yield right-of-way to pedestrians before entering an intersection. Failure to do so may result in driver liability.
  • Poor street design: Many roads have fast moving cars and poor pedestrian infrastructure. If crosswalks are poorly visible, loc

What to do when in a pedestrian accident in Florida:

  1. Exchange information with drivers and witnesses.
  2. Make a police report to document the accident.
  3. Take numerous photos of accident site and injuries.
  4. Go to hospital as soon as possible. Some injuries may present themselves days later.
  5. Consult an experienced Florida pedestrian accident attorney.

Recovering from an pedestrian accident and determining responsibility can be a very difficult task. You deserve to be compensated fully for the injuries you have suffered because of the negligence of another. Bidner Injury Law has the experience and knowledge to fight for what you rightfully deserve.

To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with Car Accident Attorney Mark Bidner or another Bidner Injury Law firm attorney, call 786-765-4120 or fill out and submit our online Contact Us form.