Articles Tagged with “Thomas Scolaro”

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Leesfield Scolaro, P.A., a leading Miami-based personal injury law firm recently announced Justin B. Shapiro is being named partner. He joined the firm in 2011 and will help lead the firm’s Recreational and Resort Litigation Section.

“As we enter our 40th year in practice this October, Justin’s promotion is a clear indicator of our continued growth,” said Managing Partner Ira Leesfield.

justin shapiro.jpgJustin received his juris doctor degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law, graduating at the top of his class, and was inducted to the Order of the Coif. He holds a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from the University of Central Florida. Since graduation, Justin has actively litigated hundreds of cases for the firm’s statewide practice, obtaining outstanding results in complex personal injury matters.

His verdicts and settlements for severely injured clients have been recognized by leading Florida journals and organizations. He will continue to focus his practice in the areas of personal injury/wrongful death, premises liability, auto and motor vehicle accidents, and complex personal injury cases.

He is actively involved in numerous professional organizations, including the Florida Justice Association, an organization dedicated to protect the rights of Florida citizens, the Dade County Bar Association and the Coral Gables Bar Association.

Justin is married to Karina Smuclovisky, who is also a practicing attorney. They reside in Coral Gables, Florida.
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It almost invariably happens the same way for many people who travel the roads of Monroe County, and Key West in particular. You are driving on Flagler Avenue, or Truman Avenue, or North Roosevelt Boulevard, when, out of nowhere, a distracted driver crashes into your car.

Invariably, the at-fault driver who caused the accident will exit his vehicle and offer an apology while asking if you and everyone in your car is ok. An officer from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office will respond to the scene, listen to all parties involved and will issue a citation to the negligent driver. If you are hurt in the incident, the severity of your injuries will dictate how your personal injury claim will be handled. The magnitude of your injuries is the only variable in this scenario.

A victim of a traffic accident caused by a third-party in Florida has one out of four chances the negligent driver does not have insurance (nearly 24 percent of all drivers in Florida don’t have insurance, according to the nonprofit Insurance Research Council.)

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Yesterday, the annual Fantasy Fest was drawing to a close, but countless visitors and locals will not forget several terrible accidents which caused Overseas Highway to be shutdown for several hours by police.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy Becky Herrin told the Sun-Sentinel that they “expect heavy traffic, possibly with a bottleneck in Islamorada that sometimes stretches to the Long Key Bridge. Our roads can only hold so many cars. And Fantasy Fest pretty much maxes out our traffic.”

accident_marathon.jpgDuring the last weekend of the festivities in Key West, Florida Highway Patrol and numerous Sheriff’s Deputies responded to more than 21 motor vehicle accidents. One of them involved the collision of a motorcycle with another car at mile marker 29.5 in Big Pine Key. One of the two people on the motorcycle was severely injured and rushed to Fishermen’s Hospital in Marathon where he was pronounced dead. The second occupant was flown to Miami by helicopter for further medical treatment.

Several hours earlier, two vehicles collided at mile marker 41 on the seven-mile bridge, which required the emergency rescue and transport to three people to Fishermen’s Hospital.

Over the years, the road to and from Key West has seen thousands of car accidents, with many resulting in fatalities. The causes for these crashes are often times attributed to speeding, alcohol, or texting. A study has revealed that between 2006 and 2010, Monroe County averaged 1,329 car accidents every year. Also, in the last 34 years, ending in 2009, the number of fatal car accidents throughout the county of Monroe was drastically higher than the average for the rest of the state of Florida. In the past ten years, there have been more than 220 fatal accidents in Monroe County.

Leesfield Scolaro have established their offices in Key West over three decades ago and have been a staple in the personal injury landscape in Key West and throughout the Florida Keys.
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In Florida, a property owner who hires a person to work on the property owes a positive duty to said person to provide them with reasonably safe instrumentalities and a safe place to work. An employer has a duty to use ordinary care and diligence to keep the workplace safe, taking into consideration the exigency of the circumstances and the character of the work to be done.

DSC_6502_resize.jpgIn 2010, our client, John Doe (“JD”), was employed and working as a handyman on a private property in Key West, Florida. Part of JD’s job was to climb up a ladder and trim trees on the private property. In ordering so, under Florida law, the property owner had the duty to provide JD with everything necessary to do the job safely, but he failed to do so.

When JD was sent up the ladder to cut the branches of a large tree, the property owner failed to secure the ladder, either by hiring someone to help steady the ladder or providing a ladder stabilizer to assure the safety of JD. Instead, the ladder slipped while our client was cutting the tree and JD fell on his neck from 15 feet. Our client is now a paraplegic. At age 52, he cannot move his legs, and will never be able to walk or work again for the rest of his life. He has no control over his bowel and bladder. He has no sensation below his chest.

After litigating this matter for over a year, Thomas Scolaro and our team of Florida Personal Injury Lawyers reached a multi-million dollar recovery on behalf of our client. Today, JD lives at home in Key West where he is financially able to afford medical care and assistance on a daily basis, which he will need for the rest of his life.

In JD’s case, the property owner was the responsible party and ultimately settled out of court, but most ladder-related accidents are not attributable to the negligence of a third-party. A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine has shown that between 1990 and 2005, more than 2.1 million individuals were treated in U.S. emergency departments for ladder-related injuries. This is the first U.S. study to use national data to comprehensively examine non-fatal ladder-related injuries.
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