Injuries Caused by Negligence - Personal Injury Law

Serving Miami, Florida and Nationwide

FIGHTING FOR THE SAFETY OF YOU AND YOUR FAMILY

Car accidents, medical malpractice, premises liability, cruise ship accidents, railroad accidents, and admiralty and maritime accidents can all cause serious personal injury that can affect the victim’s way of life. Miami personal injury attorney John H. (Jack) Hickey has experience representing victims in Miami and throughout the state of Florida who have suffered various forms of personal injury, including:

If you or a loved one has been injured by someone's negligence in Miami or anywhere in Florida, please call the Hickey Law Firm, P.A. at (855) 375-3727 today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

 

Your serious injuries deserve nothing less; Experience. Leadership. Results.

 

Types of Personal Injury Our Attorneys Represent


Arm, Hand, Wrist, Elbow and Shoulder

Arm, hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder injuries can be the result of fractures, ligament damage, carpal tunnel syndrome, sprains, nerve damage and muscle problems.

Causes of these injuries include repeated job duties (carpel tunnel syndrome); car accidents; sports accidents; work-related accidents  and falls.

The wrist is one of the most complicated joints in the body. The hand is at the top of this joint. In the hand, the bones in the finger meet at the carpal bones. This is a series of eight bones arranged in two rows that articulate — that is, move in relation to — the lower arm bones. The lower arm bones, the radius and ulna, move in relation to each other. If the distal end of one of these bones, that is, the end farthest away from the shoulder, is fractured, it may alter the way the two bones move about each other, and thus, may alter the range of motion and general ability to move.

The legal team at Hickey Law Firm, P.A. is experienced with handling many severe hand, wrist and arm injuries. One case involving this type of injury was that of a chiropractor who tripped and fell onto his hand, resulting in mid-carpal instability, which was caused by ligament damage to the mid-carpal ligaments in his right hand (resulting in a settlement of $650,000). In that case, the plaintiff received only one surgery, a pinning of two of the bones in the hand. However, the surgery did not work. There is no type of surgery that can repair the ligament damage that results in mid-carpal instability. This particular injury involves instability between the two rows of bones that sit at the top of the forearm bones — the radius and ulna — and below the finger bones. In the chiropractor’s case, the instability resulted in popping of the arm bones whenever he moved his right hand and an inability to put weight or pressure on his hand. This injury is permanent and caused the chiropractor to lose substantial income in his practice.

We also have been involved with a case in which a restaurant allowed a booth to remain in disrepair. The booth had a hole in the seat. When the plaintiff put her hand on the seat to slide over, her hand thrust into the hole and onto the edge of a slat underneath the seat. That slat, without breaking the skin, tore or severed the scapho-lumate ligament, which is the ligament that holds together the two bones that are the cornerstone of the bones in the hand, the scaphoid and the lunate bones. Various surgical repairs were attempted on this very serious injury, mostly without results. Our client also suffered Reflex Sympathy Disorder (RSD), which caused her hand to swell, become reddened and mottled, and to be sensitive to both heat and cold. The RSD was treated with 11 nerve block injections. Our client underwent five separate surgeries, three of which were fairly minor. The last surgery was a fusion of her right wrist. Our client was an accountant, but after her injury, she became a part-time bookkeeper, which meant a loss of income. This case resulted in a jury verdict of $1.733 million.

We have also represented a woman who suffered a fracture of the lunate bone in the hand and the end of the ulna, one of the two bones in the lower arm. This injury is called a Collies fracture. Her injury resulted in two surgeries, including a resection (i.e., cutting off the end of the ulna). This case resulted in a settlement of $350,000.

We have been involved in numerous cases involving torn rotator cuffs and surrounding tissues. The rotator cuff is a tendon formed by three distinct muscles that stabilize the head of the humerous (upper arm bone) within the shoulder joint. Typically, these injuries, including tears of the rotator cuff, require arthroscopic surgery, that is, surgery performed with scopes and tubes, as well as open surgery, where the area is actually cut open.

We have also been involved with cases involving nerve damage to the arm. Nerves come from the spinal cord down to other areas of the body. Nerves to the upper arm originate from the spinal cord and go through a relay station for nerves called the brachial plexus. From there, three main nerves run down into the arm: the ulnar, median and radial nerves. If the nerves are damaged at the brachial plexus or below, and if they are not severed, sometimes nerve transplantation surgery can be performed. If some or all of these nerves are damaged permanently, the hand can claw or curl up at the fingers, and the muscles in the hand can atrophy (waste away).

If you or a loved one suffered an arm, hand, wrist, elbow or shoulder injury due to someone else’s negligence, learn about your rights from an experienced Miami and Fort Lauderdale injury attorney at Hickey Law Firm, P.A.

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Back and Neck

Back and neck injuries can lead to spinal cord injury and permanent disability. Back and neck injuries can be caused by sports or recreational activities; work-related tasks; bullet or stab wounds; direct trauma to the face, neck, head or back and car accidents.

Back and neck injuries include sprains or strains, fractures or dislocations of the spine, torn or ruptured discs and compression of nerves in the lower back.

More information about back and neck injuries can be found at the National Spinal Cord Injury Association website: www.spinalcord.org.

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Brain Injury, Brain Damage — Open and Closed Head Trauma

Brain damage can occur in a variety of ways, and depending on the severity and location of the injury, it can range from harmless to fatal. Several things can cause brain damage, including a traumatic brain injury and lack of oxygen.

When an outside force causes the skull to fracture or become out of place, the injury is referred to as an open head injury. The term “open head injury” actually describes the condition of the skull, not the brain. Because the skull is fractured, the brain has room to swell, which results in less intracranial pressure, or pressure within the skull.

Closed head injury describes an impact to the head that does not cause the skull to fracture or displace. Because the brain has no room to expand when it swells, it may expand through any available opening in the skull, including the eye sockets, which can result in further injury.

We have been involved in several cases of severe and mild brain damage. Closed head injury often results in brain damage, the symptoms of which can include problems concentrating, problems with memory, irritability, lack of patience and lack of ability to concentrate.

For more information about brain injuries, you can visit the Brain Injury Association of America website: www.biausa.org.

If an accident left you or a loved one suffering from the effects of a traumatic brain injury, let a Miami accident attorney at our firm fight for you.

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Burn Injuries

Burn injuries can be minor (first-degree), moderate (second-degree) or severe (third-degree). First-degree burns affect only the outer layer of skin. Second-degree burns damage both the first and second layers of skin. Third-degree burns are the most serious and involve damage to all layers of the skin and damage to underlying tissues. Burns can have several causes, including:

  • Scalds from hot liquid
  • Building fires
  • Chemicals
  • Electricity
  • Flammable liquids and gases

We have represented people with severe burn injuries. In one such case, a seaman was on a boat that was at the dock at a shipyard under repair. An employee of the shipyard had been performing welding, or “hot work,” on some scaffolding, on which an open five-gallon bucket of paint was located. The paint caught on fire. When the seaman returned to the scaffolding, the welder handed the bucket to the seaman. The bucket spilled and the flaming paint burned the seaman on his right hand, arm and shoulder. After multiple skin grafts, the seaman was left with a permanently clawed hand with cold, grafted skin. After five days of trial in Tampa, Fla., this case resulted in a settlement of $2.5 million.

More information about burn injuries can be found at the following websites:

If you or a loved one suffered burn injuries because of someone else’s negligent or dangerous actions, the skilled legal team at Hickey Law Firm, P.A. can help.

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Facial Injuries

Injuries to the face cause emotional, as well as physical, trauma to patients. Facial injuries include facial cuts and lacerations, broken teeth and fractured facial bones.

Victims who sustain facial injuries usually require extensive work to correct their injuries, including surgery, metal braces and dental work.

Many facial injury victims also suffer from other medical problems as a result of their facial injuries. Common causes of facial injury include car accidents, assault, penetrating injuries, sports or recreational activities, work-related injuries and falls.

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Heart Attack

A heart attack occurs when a blockage in the heart’s arteries reduces or stops the blood supply to a portion of the heart muscle itself, called the myocardium. This blockage can cause a blood clot to form that stops blood flow from the coronary artery, resulting in a heart attack. If the blood supply is stopped for more than a few minutes, the victim can suffer permanent injury or death.

We have been involved in many cases involving myocardial infarctions (heart attacks). One such case involved medical malpractice in which a cardiologist failed to diagnose a heart attack. In that case, a 57-year-old man made an appointment with his cardiologist because of chest pain and indigestion, which the man had experienced over the previous two to three weeks. One of the disputes was whether pain was exertional or non-exertional. That is, the dispute was over whether the pain came only upon exertion (when exercising) or while at rest. If you experience chest pain (called angina) while at rest, this is called unstable angina. That calls for immediate attention by the cardiologist or hospital. In the case of our client, the cardiologist prescribed an antacid for the indigestion and scheduled our client for a stress test to take place weeks later. Unfortunately, the man died the next day on his way to the hospital from a severe heart attack. That case resulted in a settlement for the widow of $885,000.

To learn more about heart attacks, visit:

If a loved one died from a heart attack and you suspect medical malpractice may be to blame, an experienced Miami injury attorney at our firm can evaluate your case and determine liability.

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Leg, Foot, Ankle, Knee and Hip

Leg, foot, ankle, knee and hip injuries can be the result of breaks, fractures, dislocations, sprains and muscle problems.

Car accidents, sports accidents, work-related accidents, falls and other types of accidents can cause these injuries.

We have represented numerous people who have had knee, hip, leg and foot injuries. The knee is the largest joint in the body. It is the meeting place of the femur (the upper leg bone) and the two lower leg bones, the tibia and fibula. The knee is composed of the lateral ligaments, that is, the ligaments on each side of these bones, and the cruciate ligaments, which crisscross inside the joint. The kneecap, or “patella,” is positioned on top of the knee. All of these bones articulate or move about each other. If there is a fracture on the ends of the bones that meet at the knee, the articulation can be disturbed and the knee may not function the same at anytime in the future. The most serious fracture of any bone in the knee is a fracture of the tibial plateau, which is the upper flat portion of the tibia. This can result in the need for knee replacement in the future.

In many of our cases, our clients have had knee replacement or have a recommendation by a doctor to have a knee replacement within a certain period of time in the future. One such case involved the knee replacement of a 34-year-old woman after a slip and fall. In that case, the woman slipped and fell in Coca-Cola syrup in the Sunrise Musical Theater in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Her knee already had been scoped, that is, she had arthroscopy five times in the past. This injury caused her to have one more arthroscopy and eventually a knee replacement. The knee replacement surgery did not go well. This case resulted in a settlement of $650,000.

In another such case, our client suffered a crush injury to the left knee. The client, a 62-year-old Brazilian lawyer, was involved in a car accident in which a valet driver at a hotel slammed into the back of a car when our client was reaching into the trunk to retrieve something. The accident caused a fracture of the femur (upper leg bone), fracture of the tibial plateau (the top of one of the lower leg bones), and injuries to the lateral ligaments and one of the cruciate ligaments. Our client had only one surgery, but his doctor provided the opinion that he would need a knee replacement in about 10 to 15 years. Miami accident attorney John H. (Jack) Hickey obtained for this particular knee injury client a jury verdict of $2.59 million.

We have also handled cases for clients involving the knee as one of many orthopedic injuries. Two such cases were car accidents, one involving a 20-year-old college student (settlement of $900,000) and another involving a 62-year-old man (settlement of $1 million).

If you or a loved one sustained a leg, foot, ankle, knee or hip injury during an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness, speak to a Miami and Fort Lauderdale injury attorney at Hickey Law Firm, P.A. about whether you may be entitled to compensation.

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Lupus

A normal-functioning immune system protects the body against viruses, bacteria and other foreign substances that make their way into the body. In people who suffer from lupus, also called Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), the immune system cannot tell the difference between foreign substances and its own cells and tissue, causing the immune system to attack the body, including the kidneys, lungs, heart, brain, blood and skin.

There is no known cause of lupus, but it is known that environmental factors, such as certain drugs and hormones, can trigger the disease. There are several forms of lupus, including discoid, systemic, drug-induced, overlap syndrome or mixed connective tissue disease.

Symptoms of lupus include, but are not limited to:

  • Achy joints
  • Frequent fevers of more than 100 degrees
  • Fatigue
  • Skin rashes
  • Anemia
  • Chest pain
  • Hair loss
  • Sensitivity to the sun or light
  • Seizures
  • Ulcers in the mouth or nose

Miami injury attorney John H. (Jack) Hickey is very familiar with lupus, because he has represented individuals who have lupus. In one such case, a medical malpractice case, a 28-year-old woman presented to the emergency room at a local hospital with abdominal pains, nausea and vomiting. She also ran a fever and had an elevated white blood cell count. The hospital knew that she had SLE (lupus), yet failed to check medical records that she had previously presented at the emergency room at this same institution with the same or similar symptoms. Lupus tends to create in any one person repetitive patterns of symptoms, although symptoms are different in different people and can be different in the same person. The surgeons at the hospital where our client presented in fact did not even call the patient’s physician who had followed her and treated her for the lupus for 14 years, a rheumatologist specializing in lupus. Instead, they made her wait in the hospital for 18 hours. They then performed surgery, an exploratory laparotomy. In that surgery, they cut open our client and explored her bowels and other areas. As a result of the surgery, our client, a 28-year-old female, was left with a keloided scar from the top of her chest down to her pubic area and with severe adhesions, that is, scar tissue on the inside. This, in turn, required further surgery two and a half years later. The medical malpractice case against the hospital settled for $500,000.

More information about lupus can be found at the following websites:

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Nerve Damage

Nerves carry messages to and from the brain. There are various types of nerves, and each has its own specific function. Motor nerves make the body move by carrying messages from the brain to the muscles, while sensory nerves signal pain, pressure and temperature. When nerve damage occurs, the signals that are carried to and from the brain are stopped, causing the muscles to function incorrectly or causing a loss of feeling in the area. Causes of nerve damage include:

  • Open injuries, such as lacerations or large wounds
  • Closed injuries, such as fractures or dislocations

Hickey Law Firm, P.A. has handled many cases involving nerve damage to many parts of the body, including arms, legs and back. Call us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

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Reflex Sympathy Disorder

Reflex Sympathy Disorder (RSD), also referred to as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome, is a chronic neurological syndrome that occurs when the sympathetic nervous system functions abnormally after an injury. The severity of the injury has no relation to the development of RSD. In fact, something as minor as a sliver can cause the disease.

RSD, which can last anywhere from a few weeks to an indefinite amount of time, can affect any part of the body and can spread to all extremities if left undiagnosed and untreated. RSD is characterized by several conditions, including severe burning pain, excessive sweating, swelling, changes in bone and skin and extreme sensitivity to touch.

To learn more about RSD, visit:

If an injury accident left you or a loved one suffering from RSD, let a Miami accident attorney at our firm help you fight for the compensation you deserve.

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Scarring and Disfigurement

Scarring and disfigurement can be caused by various events, including car accidents, burns, dog bites and work-related accidents.

But no matter how the scarring or disfigurement occurs, it often changes a victim’s life forever. Victims often suffer from economic damages, such as loss of earnings or wages, and mental anguish.

Hickey Law Firm, P.A. has handled numerous cases involving scarring and disfigurement. These cases involve multiple plastic surgeries, including grafting and scar revision. We can help if someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing left you or a loved one with scarring or disfigurement. Call to schedule a free consultation.

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Vascular Injury

Vascular injuries involve trauma to major arteries, veins, vessels or nerves. Vascular injury can lead to serious conditions, such as blood loss, shock, distal ischemia, gangrene, amputation, and in severe cases, death. Vascular injury can result from blunt or penetrating trauma, fractures and lacerations.

Hickey Law Firm, P.A. has handled numerous cases involving vascular injuries. For example, in one such case, our client was injured by a walk-along ditch-digging machine. The machine, while digging a ditch, hit something that it could not dig through, jumped out of the trench, latched onto our client’s work boot, and crawled up his leg, causing not only severe damage to his skin, but also to the underlying tissue, including vascular injuries. This resulted in numerous plastic surgeries. Because of his vascular injuries, our client also suffered numbness in certain areas, tingling in other areas, loss of ability to stand, walk, or even sit for long periods, and loss of virility. This injury accident resulted in a lawsuit against the company, which rented out the ditch-digging machine in a defective condition, and settlement for $550,000.

If you or a loved one suffered a vascular injury because of someone else’s negligence, call us today to find out how a Miami and Fort Lauderdale injury attorney at our firm may be able to help.

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Contact an Experienced Miami Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you have suffered any of these injuries as the result of another person’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Hickey Law Firm online or by calling (855) 375-3727 today to discuss your case. We'll help you determine if you have a case and answer your frequently asked questions. Miami injury attorney John H. (Jack) Hickey has the skill, dedication and experience to get results for our clients. The legal team at Hickey Law Firm will work tirelessly to protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve.