PRACTICE AREAS OF PERSONAL INJURY

We handle almost everything related to personal injury law.
 

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Attorney Shannon J. Sagan handles all types of injury and accident matters. Over the years Mr. Sagan has obtained millions of dollars in settlements for the clients he has represented.

Mr. Sagan has had the privilege of representing hundreds of clients who were in need of legal assistance, and Mr. Sagan has built his reputation on zealously fighting for each and every client. A majority of his clients have been recommended by previous satisfied clients. This says a lot about the quality of service provided throughout the years.

I was permanently injured in an auto accident when I was younger, so I understand what my clients are going through.

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CAR ACCIDENTS

 

As a result of a car accident a person can suffer severe injuries, physical damage to their car, medical and rehabilitative expenses, physical and mental pain and suffering, loss of income, and rental car expenses. Shannon J. Sagan will fight for your case and for you receiving compensation.

Click Here to download the Auto Accident Checklist, which will help you gather facts at the scene.

MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS

 
According to recent statistics reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) http://www.nhtsa.gov :

  • Over 2,220 people are killed in motorcycle accidents every year.
  • Over 55,000 bikers and riders are injured in motorcycle crashes each year across the U.S.
  • Almost 80 percent of motorcycle accidents lead to death.
  • Motorcycle fatalities rose 10 percent between 2003 and 2007.

Florida is a popular location of choice for bikers and riders because of the beautiful weather, scenery, and roadways. Florida motorcycle accident statistics show that motorcycle accidents typically account for a high number of severe traffic accidents resulting in brain injury, broken bones, paralysis, and death. Tragically, many Florida motorcycle accidents were unavoidable by the motorcyclist who was injured or killed but could have been more easily avoided by the other vehicle driver who caused it. It is our mission at Shannon J. Sagan, P.A. to research and understand the complex aspects of Florida motorcycle accident cases, including:

  • Florida vehicle laws pertaining to motorcyclists
  • Motorcycle accident analysis and piecing together of circumstances surrounding the incident
  • Roadway design and architecture as it relates to motorcyclists
  • Motorcycle design and manufacturing issues

Florida law does not require all motorcycle drivers to wear protective helmets. Below is the statute:

316.211 Equipment for motorcycle and moped riders. —
“a person over 21 years of age may operate or ride upon a motorcycle without wearing protective headgear securely fastened upon his or her head if such person is covered by an insurance policy providing for at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of a crash while operating or riding on a motorcycle.”

DOG BITES

 
Attorney Shannon J. Sagan handles dog bite and mauling cases and handles dog bite incidents of all breeds of dogs. A dog owner is responsible for keeping their animal confined and to ensure that guests and passers-by are safe from injury. Below you will find the actual Florida Dog Bite Statutes. If you are bitten or attacked it is very important that you contact an attorney immediately, so that they may guide you through the necessary steps to ensure a proper investigation with your local police department and animal control unit.

Florida Statute 767.01: Dog owner’s liability for damages to persons, domestic animals, or livestock. –Owners of dogs shall be liable for any damage done by their dogs to a person or to any animal included in the definitions of “domestic animal” and “livestock” as provided by s. 585.01.

Florida Statute 767.04  Dog owner’s liability for damages to persons bitten. –The owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners’ knowledge of such viciousness.

If you or a loved one are bitten or attacked by a dog, it is very important that you contact an attorney immediately. Attorney Shannon J. Sagan can help guide you through the necessary steps to ensure a proper investigation with your local police department and animal control unit, and assist you in getting appropriate medical care.

SLIP & FALL

 

“Slip and Fall” is the common term for an injury which occurs when someone slips, trips or falls as a result of a dangerous or hazardous condition on someone else’s property.

A slip and fall accident can occur nearly anywhere, on public or private property, indoors or outdoors. A slip and fall injury can occur because of hazards such as:

  • Adverse weather conditions (examples include ice, snow, or rain)
  • Uneven sidewalks
  • Potholes
  • Poorly lit or unmarked pathways or stairs
  • Slippery tile or other flooring
  • Uneven flooring
  • Ripped carpeting
  • Objects blocking a floor or walkway

In 2010 the following law went into effect, making it much more difficult for the injured person to pursue a claim:

768.0755 Premises liability for transitory foreign substances in a business establishment.—
(1)If a person slips and falls on a transitory foreign substance in a business establishment, the injured person must prove that the business establishment had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken action to remedy it. Constructive knowledge may be proven by circumstantial evidence showing that:
(a)The dangerous condition existed for such a length of time that, in the exercise of ordinary care, the business establishment should have known of the condition; or
(b)The condition occurred with regularity and was therefore foreseeable.
(2)This section does not affect any common-law duty of care owed by a person or entity in possession or control of a business premises.

What this law means is that the injured person has to prove that the business establishment that they slipped and fell in did something wrong and prove how they did it.  Does that sound fair? I don’t think so, especially when there have been instances in the past with corporations not producing or tampering with the videos of the incident, not filling out or providing a copy of the incident report to the injured party, and cleaning up the substance that caused the slip right away to get rid of the substance that caused the fall.

A few things you can do if you or someone you know has fallen on someone else’s property or a business establishment:

  • Get the name and contact information of any and all witnesses, whether they are employees or not
  • Immediately take photographs of the scene, the substance of the fall, and any people around you
  • Fill out an incident report and try and bring a copy home with you (many stores do not allow a copy to be taken off premises)
  • Note any video cameras in the area and ask the manager or owner to make sure they save them
  • Get checked out by your own doctor
  • Do not speak with the insurance company of the premises
  • Speak with an attorney as soon as you can

We have represented clients in slip and fall cases against:

  • Supermarkets
  • Municipalities
  • Convenience stores
  • Gas stations
  • Schools
  • Malls
  • Department stores
  • Apartment complexes
  • Restaurants
  • Rental homes

PREMISES LIABILITY

 
The legal theory of “premises liability” encompasses many different types of cases which hold owners and occupants of property legally responsible for accidents and injuries that occur on that property. The types of incidents that give rise to premises liability claims may range from a slip and fall in a public walkway to an injury suffered in a grocery store or school playground.

General points to be analyzed and considered in Premises Liability cases include:

  • Legal Status of Property Visitor: Invitee, Licensee, or Trespasser
  • Condition of the Property
  • Nature of Activities
  • Landlord Responsibility
  • Comparative Fault (analyzing whether the injured person is at fault for not exercising reasonable care for his or her own safety)

Due to the complexity of these types of cases, it is important to hire an attorney who is familiar with the laws and procedures on Premises liability. Attorney Shannon J. Sagan, is dedicated to properly guiding you through this process.

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BRAIN & SPINAL CORD INJURIES

 
According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control:

  • 1.5 million Americans each year sustain a brain injury
  • Of those, 50,000 die and over 2.5 million are treated in hospitals
  • Many of these victims are children, who are at higher risk
  • Approximately 500,000 children suffer serious brain injuries as a result of accidents each year

Traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries are often permanent, always life altering, and undoubtedly have major affects on the lives of the victims as well as their families. These types of injuries can occur through the fault of another and can occur through surgical error, an automobile or motorcycle accident, construction site accidents, defective products or a machinery malfunction.

Brain and spinal cord injury victims, as well as their families, need a lawyer who understands the medical, physical, economic and psychological impacts of these traumatic injuries. Attorney Shannon J. Sagan has the skills and experience necessary to fight for full and fair compensation for those who have sustained such injuries to cover medical expenses, rehabilitation cost, lost wages, supplies and equipment, and compensation for pain and suffering.

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

 
Medical Malpractice is the failure of medical professionals to provide proper treatment to patients resulting in a personal injury.

Estimates of the number of Americans who die due to medical errors are between 400,000 and 425,000 annually, according to the Journal of Patient Safety. This has become the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind deaths from heart disease and cancer.

Instances of wrongful activities which can be referred to as medical malpractice:

  • Misdiagnosis of Disease such as Cancer
  • Birth Injury
  • Nursing Home Abuse
  • Dental Malpractice
  • Anesthesia Errors
  • Medication Errors
  • Unnecessary Surgery
  • Surgical Error
  • Adverse Effects of Medication
  • Infections in Hospitals

Attorney Shannon J. Sagan, will help you or a loved one find out what your rights and legal options are and help you to recover full and fair compensation as a result of the negligence of a medical professional.

WORK INJURIES

 

Injuries while working on the job are quite common.  They are often caused by the fault of another employee or by a third party.  The employment status of that person may determine the type of claim an injured person can pursue.  Claims include Workers’ Compensation claim or a third party negligence claim and in some instances, a claim for both. Attorney Shannon J. Sagan will meet with you to discuss what type of claim you may have and against who, in the event you are injured while on the job.

BICYCLE INJURIES

 
Over the past decade, there have been an average of 50,000 bicycle injuries per year in the U.S. The leading source of these injuries occurs when cyclists are hit by motor vehicles. Every day two people in the United States die in bicycle related automobile accidents, and last year Florida had the most cyclist fatalities in the nation. With the always warm weather, influx of tourists and snow birds, and ever growing population, it is no wonder Florida ranks so high. In Palm Beach County alone, a cyclist is struck by a motor vehicle on average every day. The cause of these accidents includes carelessness, distracted driving, alcohol, and poorly designed roads.

When a cyclist is seriously injured due to the negligence of an automobile operator, then the injured party can bring a claim against the driver. As in other personal injury cases, cyclists may recover for their economic or non-economic damages. Economic damages include medical bills, property damage, and lost income, while non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental anxiety.

Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Although there are many factors that can lead to a bicycle accident, the following are the leading causes in Florida:

  • Distracted driving: The number one cause of accidents in Florida is distracted driving. A driver’s attention can be diverted from the act of driving by a number of things, including texting or talking on the phone, looking at the radio, eating, or using mobile apps.
  • Alcohol and drug use: It is a crime in Florida to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents and motor vehicle fatalities in Florida. But it is not just drivers who create dangerous situations when inebriated – 24% of cyclists killed by motor vehicles had been drinking. Importantly, a bicycle is considered a motor vehicle in Florida, so the same laws apply to cyclists. A motor vehicle operator is considered intoxicated and may be arrested if either the person’s blood alcohol level exceeds. 08% or the person’s ability to operate the vehicle is impaired.
  • Drowsy driving: Studies have shown that even moderate levels of sleep deprivation affect driving performance, and even just two hours of sleep deficiency can double the likelihood of getting into an accident.
  • Carelessness: Both drivers and cyclists should always be aware of their surroundings and follow all traffic laws. Speeding and failure to follow traffic signals cause a significant number of injuries and deaths every year in Florida.

Florida Bicycle Fatalities

The rate of bicyclist deaths in Florida due to motor vehicle accidents is the highest in the nation, nearly double the average bike fatality rate of all of the other states. Beyond distracted driving, alcohol, and carelessness, the factors that contribute to Florida’s high cyclist death rate include:

  • The roads in Florida were not designed with cyclists in mind.
  • Florida weather allows for cycling year-round.
  • Florida’s wide, flat roads allow for higher speed limits.
  • The bike lanes in Florida are too narrow.

Bicycle Laws

Florida has several laws pertinent to cyclists, including Statute § 316.2065, which is Florida’s “Bike Law.”

  • Safe Passing Law: When passing cyclists, drivers must provide three or more feet of space between the car and the bike.
  • Helmets: Florida’s Bike Law requires that those under the age of 16 wear a helmet while riding a bike. Adults are not required to have a helmet on when cycling. Moreover, section 18 of the Bike Law states that the failure to wear a helmet may not be considered as evidence of contributory negligence. However, most injuries and deaths in bicycle accidents are caused by trauma to the head, and helmets have been found to decrease head injuries by up to 50%!
  • Headphones: It is illegal to wear headphones while riding a bike on public roadways in Florida, and it can be punished with a fine of over $150.00. The only exceptions to the law are for cyclists who need hearing aids, or for the use of a single earbud with a cell phone.
  • Florida’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic Safety Plan: in an effort to reduce the number of bicycle injuries and fatalities on its roadways, Florida has adopted a comprehensive safety plan that includes a Complete Streets Policy. This policy includes the redesigning of certain roads and intersections, enlarging bicycle lanes, educating the public regarding drivers sharing the roads with cyclists, reducing speed limits, and enforcing existing traffic laws.

What To Do If You Are Hit By A Vehicle While Riding Your Bike

1. If you injured, immediately seek medical assistance. Be sure to visit the ER and follow up shortly thereafter with your doctor. Doctors’ reports are a crucial piece of evidence should your case become contentious.

2. Contact the police. Bicycle accidents are one of the most underreported types of accidents, with some research estimating that only 10% of bicycle/motor vehicle accidents are reported by the police. A police report is important because it provides information for your insurance claim, and it can be a significant piece of evidence should the need arise for you to file a lawsuit.

3. Get the names and phone numbers of witnesses. You are the one at the scene, and this may be the only opportunity to collect witness information before it disappears forever.

4. Make your own “unofficial report.” Do not rely on your memory – write down crucial details of the accident while they are fresh in your mind immediately after the incident occurred.

5. Take photographs of the scene, vehicle, your bicycle, and all injuries.

6. Contact an attorney. Get some legal advice from an attorney before you speak with an insurance company. Attorney Shannon J. Sagan will give you a free initial consultation, and getting advice from an experienced attorney may prove to be invaluable before you file a claim.

PEDESTRIAN INJURIES

 
Nearly twelve pedestrians are struck and killed by cars every day in the United States, and Florida is one of the highest states in the nation for the most traffic-related pedestrian deaths. Florida’s temperate climate provides ideal year-round walking conditions for tourists, snow birds, and its ever increasing population. Combine this with the fact that Florida has the third largest population in the U.S., and it is not surprising that in 2016, there were over 8,000 accidents and 500 pedestrian fatalities in Florida.

A pedestrian is anyone who is traveling by foot, which includes a person on a skateboard, roller skates, or in a wheelchair. Although pedestrian injuries can be caused by various accidents, serious injuries and fatalities result when motor vehicles are involved. When a pedestrian is seriously injured due to the negligence of an automobile operator, then the injured party can bring a claim against the driver.

As in other personal injury cases, injured pedestrians may recover for their economic or non-economic damages. Economic damages include medical bills, property damage, and lost income, while non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental anxiety.

Facts About Pedestrian Deaths

  • Nearly one quarter of traffic fatalities in Florida involve pedestrians.
  • More than a quarter of pedestrian deaths due to automobile accidents occur between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.
  • Almost half of pedestrian deaths involve alcohol, and 34% of pedestrians who are killed had a blood alcohol level over .08%.
  • A hit and run is involved in 18% of pedestrian fatalities in Florida.
  • The majority of pedestrian deaths occur in urban areas.

Pedestrian Safety Laws

Florida law has several important provisions regarding pedestrian safety. These laws apply to both walkers and drivers. All operators of motor vehicles have a duty of care to pedestrians on the roadway. When a driver injures a pedestrian through the lack of due care, then the driver may be liable for damages.

  • Sidewalks: When a sidewalk is present, pedestrians must travel upon it and not walk on the roadway. However, if there are no sidewalks, then pedestrians should walk, with caution, on the left shoulder of the roadway.
  • Crosswalks: Motor vehicles must give the right of way to pedestrians when they are on a marked crosswalk. Moreover, pedestrians must use a crosswalk to cross the street if it is present. It is far less likely that a person will be struck by a car if using a crosswalk than if the person crosses the road at an unmarked point. Pedestrians must also follow all traffic indicators and only enter a crosswalk when the signal permits. Failure to follow these rules is a traffic infraction and is punishable by a fine.
  • No Crosswalk: When a pedestrian must cross at an area that does not have a crosswalk, Florida law requires that the pedestrian yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway. Drivers must still take proper precautions to avoid injuring pedestrians, and cannot ignore pedestrians crossing the road if they are not in a crosswalk.

Cause Of Pedestrian Injuries

The most frequent source of pedestrian injuries are slip and fall accidents. Other causes of injury include being hit by a car, dog bites, and falling in holes. Of these sources, being struck by a car is the deadliest. Careless, distracted, or impaired drivers, as well as poorly designed roads, contribute to foot traffic fatalities:

  • The number one cause of accidents in Florida is distracted driving.
  • In 14% of cases with a pedestrian death, the drivers were above the legal alcohol limit.
  • Studies have shown that just two hours of sleep deprivation doubles the likelihood of getting into an accident.
  • Florida roads were designed to move traffic quickly, not to protect pedestrians.

In an effort to reduce the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities, Florida has adopted a Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic Safety Plan which includes a Complete Streets Policy. This policy is loosely based on the Swedish ideal of having “zero tolerance” for pedestrian deaths caused by motor vehicles. Florida’s policy has three core components:

  • Reduce speed limits and increase the enforcement of traffic laws
  • Reconfigure existing roads and intersections to make them safer
  • Raise public awareness regarding the safety of pedestrians

This program is built around creating transportation options and roads that will be safer for pedestrians and vehicles alike.

What To Do If You Are Hit By A Vehicle

Immediately seek medical assistance. Be sure to visit the ER and follow up shortly thereafter with your doctor. Doctors’ reports are a crucial piece of evidence should your case become contentious.

Contact the police. A police report is important because it provides information for your insurance claim, and it can be a significant piece of evidence should the need arise for you to file a lawsuit.

Get the names and phone numbers of witnesses. You are the one at the scene, and this may be the only opportunity to collect witness information before it disappears forever.

Make your own “unofficial report.” Do not rely on your memory – write down crucial details of the accident while they are fresh in your mind immediately after the incident occurred.

Photographs. Take photographs of the scene, vehicle(s) involved, and any injuries you have sustained.

Contact an attorney. Get some legal advice from an attorney before you speak with an insurance company. Attorney Shannon J. Sagan will give you a free initial consultation, and getting advice from an experienced attorney may prove to be invaluable before you file a claim.

WRONGFUL DEATH LAWS

 
Attorney Shannon J. Sagan handles wrongful death cases in Belle Glade, Florida.

Below is a copy of the Florida Wrongful Death Statute, which explains what rights the victim of a wrongful death claim may have and what they may be entitled to recover for the loss of their loved one.

768.19  Right of action. –When the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person, including those occurring on navigable waters, and the event would have entitled the person injured to maintain an action and recover damages if death had not ensued, the person or watercraft that would have been liable in damages if death had not ensued shall be liable for damages as specified in this act notwithstanding the death of the person injured, although death was caused under circumstances constituting a felony.

768.21  Damages. –All potential beneficiaries of a recovery for wrongful death, including the decedent’s estate, shall be identified in the complaint, and their relationships to the decedent shall be alleged. Damages may be awarded as follows:

(1)  Each survivor may recover the value of lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury to her or his death, with interest, and future loss of support and services from the date of death and reduced to present value. In evaluating loss of support and services, the survivor’s relationship to the decedent, the amount of the decedent’s probable net income available for distribution to the particular survivor, and the replacement value of the decedent’s services to the survivor may be considered. In computing the duration of future losses, the joint life expectancies of the survivor and the decedent and the period of minority, in the case of healthy minor children, may be considered.

(2)  The surviving spouse may also recover for loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.

(3)  Minor children of the decedent, and all children of the decedent if there is no surviving spouse, may also recover for lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. For the purposes of this subsection, if both spouses die within 30 days of one another as a result of the same wrongful act or series of acts arising out of the same incident, each spouse is considered to have been predeceased by the other.

(4)  Each parent of a deceased minor child may also recover for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. Each parent of an adult child may also recover for mental pain and suffering if there are no other survivors.

(5)  Medical or funeral expenses due to the decedent’s injury or death may be recovered by a survivor who has paid them.

(6)  The decedent’s personal representative may recover for the decedent’s estate the following:

(a)  Loss of earnings of the deceased from the date of injury to the date of death, less lost support of survivors excluding contributions in kind, with interest. Loss of the prospective net accumulations of an estate, which might reasonably have been expected but for the wrongful death, reduced to present money value, may also be recovered:

1.  If the decedent’s survivors include a surviving spouse or lineal descendants; or

2.  If the decedent is not a minor child as defined in s. 768.18 (2), there are no lost support and services recoverable under subsection (1), and there is a surviving parent.

(b)  Medical or funeral expenses due to the decedent’s injury or death that have become a charge against her or his estate or that were paid by or on behalf of decedent, excluding amounts recoverable under subsection (5).

(c)  Evidence of remarriage of the decedent’s spouse is admissible.

(7)  All awards for the decedent’s estate are subject to the claims of creditors who have complied with the requirements of probate law concerning claims.

(8)  The damages specified in subsection (3) shall not be recoverable by adult children and the damages specified in subsection (4) shall not be recoverable by parents of an adult child with respect to claims for medical negligence as defined by s. 766.106 (1).

Have YOU been injured? Contact us today!

 

Law Offices
of Shannon J. Sagan, P.A.

Belle Glade Office:
257 SE Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd., Suite C
Belle Glade, FL 33430
+1 (561) 996-1804

Lake Worth Office:
101 North J Street, Suite 2
Lake Worth, FL 33460
+1 (561) 533-7800

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