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When Dogs Attack, the Law Bites Back

Posted on Monday, July 23rd, 2018 at 5:06 pm    

A six-year-old Jacksonville girl died a few days ago after being attacked by a dog in her family’s care.

Since the dog’s bite resulted in a death, the animal will be euthanized after the 10-day quarantine unless the owner files an appeal. If an appeal is filed, the dog will be held while the appeal is pending.

Dog bites are serious incidents, far beyond the cartoon of a postal worker being chased from a yard. Like many accidents and injuries, the issue isn’t always cut and dry.

If you’re bitten by a dog or your dog bites someone, the court will likely want to determine a few key points;

  • Was the dog provoked?
  • Was the action of the dog considered “dangerous activity” from which the law seeks to protect the general public?
  • Does the dog have a history of attacking people?
  • Did the person attacked know about the dog’s history?
  • Did the dog’s action cause actual harm?

In many states, dog owners are held liable for their pet’s behavior. Some states actually allow one free bite.

“This means if the dog hasn’t displayed dangerous or violent tendencies in the past, the owner may not be held liable unless he or she had that specific, prior knowledge the dog may bite or attack someone,” according to InjuryFindLaw.com.

In Florida, the dog owner is responsible unless the following occurs,

“Strict liability unless person is trespassing or committing a crime or tort on private property of owner or there is a visible “Bad Dog” sign on display.”

Some cities and counties go a step further and have enacted leash laws, which require dog owners to have man’s best friend on a leash when not on their personal property. Some states carry leash laws, but mostly, it’s cities and counties that enact these regulations.

Broward County has a leash law for dogs but not cats. (Take a look) In Palm Beach County, leashes are required when walking a dog. Miami-Dade County has a similar law.

“It’s a public-safety issue for dogs to be off a leash,” said Dianne Sauve, the county’s director of animal care and control in a report by the Palm Beach Post. “There is a trigger point for every animal.”


Florida Law: Dogs and other pets

Animal Legal and History Center


Ensuring Summertime Swim Safety

Posted on Wednesday, June 20th, 2018 at 11:28 am    

Studies show that most drowning incidents occur in swimming pools. However, young children have been known to drown in less than two inches of water.


The problem is worse in Florida, which has lost more children to drownings than any other state. The statistics are startling: 

  • In 2017, there were 51 fatal child drownings in Florida pools or spas, a 20 percent spike compared to 2016 when there were 40 fatal child drownings.
  • Most of the drownings in 2017 involved kids 15 or younger, with 80 percent involving children under 5.
  • Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1-4 nationwide.

Florida families have been urged to enroll their kids in swimming programs. Adults are encouraged to learn CPR. Many local organizations offer free and low-cost lessons to ensure that families in need have access to lifesaving lessons.

Knowing the strokes isn’t enough.

Safety in pools, at home and the beach, involves being alert and taking precautions. Here are some tips that will help ensure children are safe.

  • Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa. Always watch over kids around any body of water.
  • Designate a watcher, who knows how to swim, to supervise children. Watchers have to be alert and shouldn’t be distracted by a phone, conversation or even a book. All eyes, all the time.
  • Never allow a young child to be responsible for a younger sibling or playmate.
  • Teach your kids to swim and take lessons yourself if you aren’t a strong swimmer.
  • Learn CPR
  • Flotation devices and swimming lessons are not a substitute for adult supervision.
  • Empty buckets immediately after use and store them upside down and out of a child’s reach.
  • If you have a pool at home, make sure to install approved barriers to keep small children from falling in and drowning. Barriers include child-proof locks on all doors, a pool fence with self-latching and self-closing gates, as pool alarms. Keep children away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings to avoid entrapment.
  • Empty buckets immediately after use and store them upside down and out of a child’s reach.
  • Keep toilet seats down and consider using a lock or toilet clip to prevent toddlers from opening the toilet.

Drowning accidents are caused by a wide range of accidents and conditions such as the following:

  • Drain defects
  • Defective pool toys
  • Dangerous designInsufficient fencing
  • Insufficient fencing
  • Lack of proper pool barriers
  • Improperly mixed pool chemicals
  • Negligent lifeguards
  • Improper supervision
  • Insufficiently trained lifeguards
  • Lack of adequate signage

Our Team
The legal team at Winston Law is here to help you recover financial damages for medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering in the event of an injury due to a drowning incident. The team at Winston Law can help you pursue a personal injury lawsuit.

Contact us:

Tips for Motorcycle Safety in Florida

Posted on Monday, May 14th, 2018 at 2:20 pm    

May is Motorcycle Safety Month, and it has never been more relevant than now for Floridians.

Florida Highway Patrol reported 9,500 motorcycle crashes in 2017. About 611 people died in those accidents.

Safety is at the heart of reducing accidents and deaths. The fact is, motorcyclists are 27 more times likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash and more likely to be injured.

“Don’t text and drive. Don’t talk on the phone and drive. Ensure that you are paying attention to the road and that your mind is on the road, your eyes are on the road, and your hands are on the wheel,” said Capt. Tim Pikul, with Florida Highway Patrol, a report published by WWSB, ABC-7 in Sarasota.

Here’s a look at some of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents (not ranked):

• Inexperienced Motorcyclists: We recommend that motorcyclists take a course before hitting the road.
• Speeding: Who hasn’t been surprised by a motorcyclist zipping through traffic. The higher the speed, the greater the chance of impact and the severity of the injuries.
• Lane Changing: Passenger car drivers often don’t check for motorcyclists when switching lanes. Blindspots can be an added hazard when drivers fail to double check before changing lanes.
• Car Doors Opening: Motorcyclists have been known to have severe accidents when they hit a car door that suddenly opens, knocking them off their bikes.
• Drinking and Driving: Alcohol is believed to be the main reason for motorcycle accidents.
• Lane Splitting: When a motorcycle operator drives between two lanes of stopped or slower moving cars. In Florida, lane splitting is illegal.
• Road Conditions: Wet and slick roads, road construction, and poorly maintained roads can all cause motorcyclists to lose control and crash.

Is insurance necessary?
Florida is one of the few states that does not require much motorcycle insurance. Motorcyclists in Florida, for example, do not need to carry personal injury protection (PIP). Floridians, however, are required to meet a financial threshold in case of injuries.

What should you do if you’re planning on riding a motorcycle regularly on Florida roads? Follow these tips to stay on the road:

• Get insurance; Whether you’re injured, or someone else is, you need protection.
• Equip yourself with protective gear.
• Take a motorcycle safety class.
• Don’t drink and drive.
• Abide by the rules of the road.

If you do get into a motorcycle accident, you might be entitled to compensation. Winston Law is a leading motorcycle firm in South Florida. We understand the complexities of motorcycle accidents and can fight for your rights. Contact us for a free consultation.

Winston Law Firm
2924 Davie Rd., Suite 201
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314
954-475-9666 or 800-475-4206

The Winston Law Firm is Accepting “Mass Torts” Cases

Posted on Friday, April 15th, 2016 at 3:02 pm    

Many reading this have heard about (or seen advertisements on TV) regarding “Mass Tort” claims.  Generally, these cases involve defective or dangerous consumer products, medications or medical devices.  Some of the more well-known have involved asbestos products, TVM (trans-vaginal mesh) and various medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.

In order to effectively and efficiently handle these cases, the lawyers must be skilled, knowledgeable and experienced. The Winston Law Firm is proud to announce we have forged a relationship with one of the nation’s leading Mass Tort law firms, and are accepting cases and claims for clients who have (or may) suffered adverse consequences from the following:

Proton Pump Inhibitor cases (Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, Zegarid) – Brand and OTC are both going to be great cases.  Manufacturers have known for 20 years these drugs cause kidney disease and injury.  Finally, in December of 2014, manufacturers changed their package inserts and labels to warn of an association with PPIs and interstitial nephritis, diagnosed by kidney biopsy. However, no general warning regarding chronic kidney disease was ever added.  Also the OTC versions never contained any warnings.

Our acceptance criteria is very broad on these right now.  We are accepting cases with PPI ingestion and diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury, renal or kidney failure, acute interstitial nephritis, dialysis treatment, kidney removal/transplant or related death.

Onglyza, Kombiglyze XR (diabetes medications) – The FDA just issued risk warning letter for heart failure and stroke.  The manufacturer’s own huge study, from which they were wanting to show the drug also helped prevent heart problems, showed a 27% increase in hospitalizations vs placebo.

Fluoroquinolones (Levaquin, Avelox, Cipro, Noroxin, Floxin, Factive) – These drugs can cause aortic aneurysms/aortic dissections.   JAMA and the British Medical Journal have found these drugs more than double the risk of suffering an aortic aneurysm or aortic dissection.

Fluoroquinolones (Levaquin, Avelox, Cipro, Noroxin, Floxin, Factive) – These drugs can also cause peripheral neuropathy (pain, burning, numbness or loss of use of hands or feet).

Xarelto – blood thinner –  This drug can cause strokes, blood clots and internal bleeding.   Xarelto received FDA approval in 2011 to reduce the risk of strokes, blood clots, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) in patients who have undergone hip or knee replacement surgery.  Xarelto, like other blood thinners, carries a risk of internal bleeding. However, there is evidence showing that Xarelto is not as safe or effective as other blood thinners and that the internal bleeding caused by Xarelto cannot be controlled or reversed by physicians, unlike the traditional class of blood thinners, which includes Coumadin® (warfarin). The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) advises that Xarelto has been associated with “serious, disabling or fatal injury,” including blood clots or thromboembolic events.

Talc  (Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products) – Can cause ovarian cancer.  We tend to think of Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products manufactured by Johnson & Johnson as a common and safe household item used to prevent dryness and rashes in a variety of applications. However, these common household products contain a dangerous substance known as “Talc” or “Talcum Powder” which have been shown to be associated with the development of ovarian cancer when used regularly near a women’s pelvic region.

What You Need to Know About Construction Site Accidents

Posted on Saturday, May 16th, 2015 at 1:23 pm    

Some of the most common personal injury accidents that happen each year are those that occur in the workplace. These can vary from minor accidents to more severe ones that can leave parties injured and property damaged. If you’ve been involved in a construction site accident, there are several things to consider.

Reasons Why Accidents Occur

Construction site accidents occur for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, the necessary precautions are not taken, resulting in serious accidents. Workers might not follow safety instructions as they should, or they might not wear the appropriate safety uniforms which are in place to prevent these types of accidents.

Often, the danger of working in a particular area is not known until the accident occurs, but sometimes people ignore warnings and continue to work. This danger can be due to weather issues, or other factors.

The Most Common Types of Construction Site Accidents

There are a number of different kinds of construction site accidents that occur each year. One of the most common types of these accidents are falls. Whether the victim is falling from a building, from scaffolding, or from a piece of equipment, falls can be very dangerous for everyone involved.

Another frequent kind of accident is related to malfunctioning machinery. At construction sites, there are many pieces of equipment that can stop working correctly, putting everyone who uses them in danger. These malfunctions can result in severe injuries.

Poor training can also be a factor in construction site accidents. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that everyone working at the site has received the appropriate level of training at all times.

Your Options

If you’ve been involved in a construction site accident, you could be entitled to compensation. It is important to act quickly after the accident in order to be able to document all the injuries and file a personal injury claim as swiftly as possible.

Your best option in these cases is to hire a personal injury lawyer who can file the claim for you and help you through the process. Negotiating with insurance companies is not a simple thing to do, so allowing experts to handle this part of the process can make the difference between winning and losing your claim. If there are any disputes at all about what actually occurred during the accident, you need to have an attorney on your side to present your claim as clearly and concisely as possible.

If you are one of the many people who have suffered injuries at a construction site accident, you have the right to hire an attorney and file a personal injury claim. To get the kind of compensation that you need to pay for medical bills, it is vital that you choose an experienced lawyer to protect your rights and deal with the insurance companies for you.

Fatal pedestrian accidents high in Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area

Posted on Tuesday, November 6th, 2012 at 2:32 pm    

The organization, Transportation for America, researched preventable pedestrian accidents for over one decade to determine where the majority of these accidents unfolded. The results of the study indicated that four different metro areas in the state of Florida were considered to be the most dangerous in the country in regards to these accidents.

These four metro areas include: Tampa-St. Petersburg, Jacksonville, Orlando-Kissimmee, and Miami-Fort Lauderdale. People have been moving to Florida at a fast pace over the last 50 years. This influx in residents has significantly contributed to the number of fatal pedestrian accidents that occur on Florida roadways.

Between 2000 and 2009, there were 5,100 pedestrian deaths in Florida. The roads throughout the metro areas of Florida have gained a great deal of attention due their defects that can cause an increased risk of fatal pedestrian accidents.

Binge drinking common for teens who drink and drive, CDC says

Posted on Thursday, October 4th, 2012 at 9:00 pm    

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teenagers who are prone to drinking and driving are also more likely to binge drink.

Teens across the country were surveyed in regards to their tendencies to drink alcohol and then operate a motor vehicle. Out of the teenagers who claimed they had gotten behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming alcohol, 85 percent of them also admitted to binge drinking. This type of drinking refers to consuming five or more alcoholic beverages in a short amount of time on one occasion.

Other statistics that were learned through the study results included the fact that in 2011, one million teenagers drank alcohol and then drove a vehicle in the United States. Car accidents are still viewed as the number one cause of death for teenagers between the ages of 16-19.



Fort Lauderdale parking garage collapses, injures 2

Posted on Friday, September 7th, 2012 at 5:44 pm    

A parking garage at the Broward County Courthouse that was scheduled to be demolished collapsed without notice on Wednesday, and two people sustained injuries as a result.

The 4-story garage is being demolished in order to make room for a new courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, but it was not meant to be torn down when it came crumbling to the ground on Wednesday. There were no construction workers inside the garage at the time of the collapse, but two people did suffer injuries from the debris that covered the street.

The collapse caused SE 6th street to be shut down while the debris was cleaned up and removed from the streets. A possible investigation into the incident may be conducted by OSHA, but it is unclear at this time if that will take place.

If you have been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering. Please contact the personal injury lawyers of the Winston Law Firm, P.A. by calling 954-475-9666 today.

Medical malpractice damage cap removed in Missouri

Posted on Monday, August 6th, 2012 at 1:31 pm    

Last week, members of the Missouri Supreme Court voted to overturn a ruling that placed a cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits.

The case prompting this ruling involved a birth injury lawsuit in which a third-year medical student was deemed to be responsible for a child’s birth injuries. The medical student did not properly monitor the vitals of a woman who was experiencing pregnancy complications, significantly injury her child as a result. A jury awarded the woman $1.45 million in noneconomic damages, but due to the damage cap that was in place at the time, that amount was drastically declined to $350,000.

The Supreme Court in the state of Missouri determined that these types of damage caps were unconstitutional and violated an individual’s right to a fair trial by jury. The $350,000 damage cap will be lifted in Missouri, and juries will be solely responsible for awarding these damages in malpractice cases in the future.


Motorcycle-car accident kills 1

Posted on Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 at 8:51 pm    

On Tuesday night, a motorcycle and a motor vehicle collided on Old Mission Peninsula, resulting in one fatality.

According to the Grand Traverse sheriff’s office, the 30-year-old motorcyclist was traveling south on Center Road when he was struck by a northbound driver who was attempting to make a left-hand turn.

The impact of the crash ejected the motorcyclist from his bike. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the collision but was pronounced dead at the scene. Three individuals were inside the motor vehicle, and none of them sustained any critical injuries in the accident. An investigation into the cause of the motorcycle-vehicle collision is under way.

Our thoughts go out to the motorcyclist’s family and friends during this tragic time.