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What Is a Dangerous Product?

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Miami defective product lawyer addresses legal ramifications

broken glassAt Steinger, Iscoe & Greene we work tirelessly to aid consumers who were injured by defective and dangerous products. When a manufacturer puts out a product that they know – or should know – is dangerous to use, they are legally responsible for the results.

Of course, some products are dangerous by their very nature, and the user is expected to use them sensibly. For instance, if you cut yourself with a kitchen knife, it’s not the manufacturer’s fault. On the other hand, if the handle was cheaply made and breaks, causing you to cut your hand, it’s a different story and you would likely have a successful lawsuit.

So what is the difference between a defective product and a good one? When is a product legally considered unacceptably dangerous? Here are the three main types of defective products the law recognizes:

Bad manufacturing: Some companies try to reduce costs as much as possible, and sometimes that means they will use cheap or substandard materials to do the job. If these materials fail during normal, reasonable use of a product then it’s considered a manufacturing defect. Likewise, flaws from improper assembly or construction are considered defects as well.

Bad design: Sometimes it doesn’t matter how high-quality the materials and craftsmanship are. If a product is bad by design, then it’s defective. For example, if a company designed a power tool without a safety stop or an oven with a leaky gas valve, the design itself is faulty and dangerous.

Duplicitous marketing: Some companies are over-ambitious in what their product can do or what results it can deliver. If the marketing or instructions led you to believe you could use it a certain way, and it turns out to be unsafe, then you were deceived. Likewise, products without safety warnings may be considered to have defective marketing as well. Companies should apprise you of the risks of using a product.

If you are injured by a product with any of these flaws, you are owed compensation for your injury. Legal compensation can include the cost of your medical bills, including projected future medical costs. It can also include payment for your lost wages, and additional compensation depending on the nature of your injury.

Have you been injured by a product you were using? A Miami defective product lawyer at Steinger, Iscoe & Greene will help you get a fair resolution. We are happy to evaluate your case for free so you know exactly what your chances are. Contact us today and see how we can help you.

How Do Social Security Claims Work?

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Florida Social Security Disability Lawyer Can Make a Difference

IMG_23052013_161502If you have a disability, filing for benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) may be crucial to making ends meet. However, getting your benefits approved can be challenging. Here is what you need to know about how Social Security claims work.

1. What kinds of benefits can you get?

A disability does not have to leave you completely laid up in order to count for the purposes of a Social Security claim. Any worker who suffers from a disability that prevents them from doing their job may be eligible for some form of Social Security benefit.

The benefits will be in the form of an ongoing stipend that can help offset your lost income or pay for medical costs.

2. How do you apply for benefits?

The application process can be confusing. The SSA has a number of restrictions and requirements. These rules are designed to limit abuse of the Social Security system, but in practice they can often lead to workers with legitimate disabilities missing out on benefits.

The most important thing you will need to apply is proof of your disability. This is in the form of medical records or the written opinion of a doctor, but how you are diagnosed and the language used can make a difference in your case. At Steinger, Iscoe & Greene we can recommend doctors who understand Social Security requirements.

There are also requirements for how long you worked prior to your disability, and how recently you worked. The SSA prefers to give benefits to people who have worked long enough to pay into the Social Security system and who stopped working because of their disability. We can help you navigate these complex requirements.

3. How do you appeal a denied Social Security claim?

If you filed a claim that was denied, there is a multi-step appeals process. During this process you have a right to be represented by an attorney, and it is not prudent to proceed without exercising that right. Legal counsel can make the crucial difference in your case. If you proceed without a lawyer and your appeal is denied, the decision is final and cannot be reversed.

4. Can your family get your Social Security benefits?

In some cases, you yourself may not be disabled but a family member is. If the family member is not eligible for benefits because they did not work enough or pay into Social Security, but you have, you we may be able to get them qualified for benefits through you.

Don’t leave your benefits to chance. A Florida Social Security disability lawyer at Steinger, Iscoe & Greene knows the system inside and out, and we can maximize your chances for getting approved for benefits. Contact us for a free evaluation of your case today.

With DWIs, prevention works better than prosecution

In 2011, Florida’s intoxicated drivers caused more than 20,000 accidents resulting in nearly 1,000 fatalities. About 30,000 people a year are convicted in the state for DUI, with 2,274 cases in Miami alone, reports the Huffington Post.

The root cause of drunken driving accidents is the driver, not the alcohol. Since driving while intoxicated is often a symptom of alcoholism, diagnosing and treating alcohol abuse will directly lower the number of DWI drivers on our roads.

We all have an obligation to intervene when we see a friend, coworker, or family member abusing alcohol or drugs, but it is Florida’s doctors and nurses who can best identify patients who are at risk for alcohol abuse.

The American Medical Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine support the routine screening for alcohol misuse by primary care doctors and brief counseling interventions for those who screen positive.

Men who drink in excess of 14 drinks a week and women who consume in excess of 7 drinks a week are at high risk for alcohol abuse, according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

With more focus on screening potential alcohol abusers, we can prevent and eliminate alcohol related traffic accidents and fatalities in Florida.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, the Miami personal injury lawyers at Steinger, Iscoe & Greene may be able to help.

Workers sue parent company for compensation

According to a Miami lawsuit, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Red Lobster, and other restaurants operated by Darden Restaurants violated federal labor laws by underpaying thousands of servers, reports the Miami Herald.

The lawsuit seeks potentially tens of millions of dollars in back pay and other compensation for past and current employees who worked from August 2009 to the present.

“Darden has a companywide pattern and practice of paying its employees below minimum wage and less than what the law requires,” the lead lawyer said. “We’re seeking not only to correct the wrongs that have occurred at Darden, but hopefully this will stimulate change across the country.”

There are similar lawsuits around the country, but the one filed in Florida is the first seeking to represent all Darden workers at its four major brands: Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Long Horn Steakhouse, and The Capital Grille.

Filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the lawsuit claims against Darden include:

• Servers showed up for shifts as scheduled but were not allowed to clock in until customers began arriving.

• Employees who worked beyond 40 hours a week were not paid 1.5 times their regular pay as required.

The Orlando-based company’s website said it has more than 2,000 restaurants in North America that employ about 180,000 people.

If you or someone you know needs work-related representation or workers’ compensation benefits, the Miami personal injury lawyers at Steinger, Iscoe & Greene may be able to help.

Bikes recalled after causing falls, injuries

About 12,000 bicycles have been recalled, according to Local 10 News. After receiving reports that the bikes’ faulty front forks caused riders to fall, Specialized Bicycle Components, which equipped the forks on several bike models, said that riders should immediately stop riding the bikes.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commissioner, there have been four reports of riders suffering facial fractures, head and shoulder injuries, and cuts and bruises. These injuries have led to a nationwide recall.

Manufactured in China by Kinesis, the forks are primarily found on Specialized’s Globe bike model, but riders should double-check their forks just to make sure. The brand name “Specialized” is on the lower frame tube, and the model name is on various locations on the bicycle frame.

Sold in various colors, including gun, silver, black, khaki, navy, bone, blue, charcoal, burgundy and gold, the recalled models include the following: Globe Elite, Globe Sport, Globe Sport Disc, Globe Centrum Comp, Globe Centrum Elite, Globe City 6, Globe Vienna 3, Globe Vienna 3 Disc, Globe Vienna 4, Globe Vienna Deluxe 3, Globe Vienna Deluxe 4, Globe Vienna Deluxe 5 and Globe Vienna Deluxe 6 bicycles.

Riders can take the defective bicycles to any authorized Specialized retailer for a no-cost installation of a free replacement fork.

If you or someone you know has been injured by a defective product, the Miami personal injury lawyers at Steinger, Iscoe & Greene may be able to help.

 

Florida drivers keep crashing into post offices

So far this year, eight motorists have crashed into post office buildings in Florida, according to NBC News.

The top causes for the accidents are that drivers step on the gas pedal instead of the brakes or that they accelerate when they believe that the vehicle is in reverse.

In June 2011, an 89-year-old woman drove her 2002 Subaru Outback all the way through a post office building in Oldsmar, the Tampa Bay Times reported. She told police that she had no memory of the accident. Damage to the building was $250,000.

So far in 2012, in Indian Rocks Beach, Wimauma, Goldenrod, Lakeland, and Punta Gorda, five out of the eight accidents that have happened involved drivers mistakenly stepping on the gas instead of the brakes.

To avoid further such accidents, postal officials have released a set of precautions.

Avoid distracted driving, check to see whether your foot is on the gas pedal or the brake pedal, and check to see if the vehicle is in park, reverse, or drive are some of the other precautions that the post office officials offer to drivers.

These precautions are good advice for all of us to follow as we drive on busier streets with more distracted drivers.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, the Miami personal injury lawyers at Steinger, Iscoe & Greene may be able to help.

Steinger, Iscoe & Greene Getting Bigger and Better

Top 100
With 30 lawyers in our firm, Steinger, Iscoe & Greene was ranked as one of the top 100 law firms in Florida by the Daily Business Review.

The ranking was based both on voluntary disclosures from the law firms themselves and on extrapolated data from the firms’ websites. Rankings are also based on total number of attorneys in the firm.

The firms that the Daily Business Review surveyed have a major presence in Florida. Some are national firms that generate substantial revenue in Florida. Gross revenue represents legal fees billed and collected in the firm’s latest fiscal year.

“Of counsel lawyers” are counted with associates as salaried employees whose compensation is an element of the overhead costs of a law firm when revenue per lawyer is calculated. Profit per equity partner is an average.

The Daily Business Review is the official court newspaper for Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach County. Its superb service, court newspaper designation, as well as over 80 years of service have earned the Daily Business Review the reputation as South Florida’s most reliable source.

This year Steinger, Iscoe & Greene was ranked 76 in the top 100 law firms. Last year in the same survey, we were unranked.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident, the personal injury lawyers at Steinger, Iscoe & Greene may be able to help.

Most dangerous times to drive

The summer months are known as the “100 deadliest days” for drivers, but the roads are no less dangerous as autumn approaches, reports a 24-7 Press Release.

The roads may even become more dangerous during certain times of the day and on particular days of the week in the fall.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that most accidents occur between 3 and 6 p.m., during “rush hour” traffic. Many more cars are on the road at this time of the day.

Also, afternoon drivers are usually mentally distracted. They may be thinking about picking up their kids from day care or school and taking them to extracurricular activities. Or they may have had a bad day at the office.

Workplace stress also contributes to aggressive driving, or even to “road rage,” which increases the likelihood of an afternoon accident.

Out of all of the days of the week, Saturday is the most dangerous, according to NHTSA. Just like with rush hour traffic, there are more cars on the road. And the greatest number of young drivers is on the road on that day. Drivers between 16 and 24 are more likely to use cell phones while driving, to drive at higher speeds, and less likely to use seat belts.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, the Miami personal injury lawyers at Steinger, Iscoe & Greene may be able to help.

Teen’s hair ripped out in Florida school accident

A 17 year old senior’s hair was ripped out in wood shop class by a drill press machine on Wednesday afternoon at Deltona High School in Orlando, Florida, reports the New York Daily News.

The Florida shop teacher is under investigation for not enforcing safety rules in class and for lack of supervision. The girl’s mother, who is also a teacher in the district, said that her daughter’s teacher should not have let her daughter operate the machine when her hair was down.

The teen admits that she should have tied her long brown hair back in a ponytail. Her hair remained tangled in the machine until a classmate tugged it free.

Discussions continue about implementing new safety procedures in the classroom. The mother said that she met with both the teacher and the school’s principal on Thursday.

The girl was taken to Florida Hospital Fish Memorial and given pain medication.

If you or someone you know has suffered a personal injury, the Miami personal injury lawyers at Steinger, Iscoe & Greene may be able to help.

Florida drunk driver causes accident

Following a crash that injured two people, a 39-year-old man was arrested Wednesday for DUI, reports Ocala.com. He also has two prior DUI convictions.

A witness told the police that a red truck was slowing down to turn right when a truck struck it from behind. The Florida Highway Patrol trooper noted in his report that he thought that the driver of the white truck was impaired.

The driver claimed that he had been distracted by answering his cell phone when he hit the back of the red truck. But he failed a field sobriety exercise, was arrested, and taken to the Marion County Jail. Blood tests registered .142 and .132. Florida’s legal limit is .08.

Injured in the crash were a woman and a 3-year-old boy. The child was flown to Shands at the University of Florida in Gainesville and is listed in stable condition as of Thursday afternoon.

The man now faces “DUI serious bodily injuries and DUI personal injury” charges. He had DUI convictions in 1999 and again in 2000. Other driving infractions and convictions that he had from 1991 through 2011 include the following: “fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, reckless driving, careless driving, and driving while license is suspended or revoked.”

If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, the Miami personal injury lawyers at Steinger, Iscoe & Greene may be able to help.

Contact a Florida Car Accident Lawyer Today

At Steinger, Iscoe & Greene, our experienced car accident lawyers have the strong legal backgrounds and extensive legal knowledge that you need to have the best chance of a successful auto accident claim. Whether you are negotiating a settlement outside of court or proving your claim to a jury, you can trust us to use our legal skills to help you get the best outcome possible.