Photo of Richard Ansara - Attorney at Law
No Fee Unless SuccessfulCall Us 24/7 at (888) 267-2728
Richard Ansara Attorney at Law

Two Florida families are taking legal action against a daycare their children attended in April 2014, when a vehicle crashed into the side of the daycare structure, killing one girl and injuring several other children.injury lawyer

Although undoubtedly one could find fault on the part of the motor vehicle driver who left the roadway and smashed into the building, Broward injury lawyers know it’s imperative to explore every angle and identify all possible defendants. This is for two reasons:

  • Ultimately maximizing the pool of insurance money available to plaintiffs, for a better chance of recovering full compensation;
  • Eliminating the chances a court may find a non-party was partially liable (as you can’t recover from defendants whom you haven’t named in the claim).

In this case, plaintiffs allege the daycare should be held liable for the children’s injuries because they failed to put in place proper barriers around the school to prevent such incidents. The parking lot was angled heading into the building, making such a collision more likely. Additionally, plaintiffs cited several other accidents at out-of-state facilities (in Washington state and New Jersey) owned by this same chain wherein the same kind of accidents occurred. This fact, plaintiffs allege, make these accidents foreseeable. Continue reading

There are copious amounts of information available online about do-it-yourself estate planning. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should, the same way it’s always a bad idea to represent yourself in court – even if you’re an attorney. This is not a leaky shower repair you may be able to amble your way through – this is your financial future, and the best means you have of keeping yourself and your loved ones out of probate litigation. probate litigation attorney

Although reason it’s better to have something than nothing at all (64 percent of Americans don’t have a will – 55 percent of those being parents), the fact is if you are not experienced in handling these types of complex legal matters and anticipating certain contingencies, you may end up creating even more of a mess. Far too many people underestimate the complexity of their estate. It goes beyond simply divvying up the contents of a bank account. Everything – from identifying an executor or trustee to updating your beneficiary lists to gifting money to minors – all of these things require careful consideration.

Drafting your estate plan should come only after a well-thought-out estate and financial plan. If all you do is “fill-in-the-blanks,” that is not reflective of such a process. Further, one size does not fit all, and you also need to be sure that the document you have completed meets all the requirements for what is valid in your state. For instance, F.S. 732.502 requires two witnesses to properly execute a will in Florida, while Pennsylvania requires three. Further, these witnesses must sign in the presence of the testator and each other, which generally requires a self-proving affidavit. Usually, it’s the drafting attorney who signs these affidavits in your presence, but if you do-it-yourself on the internet, you won’t have this option. Continue reading

The majority of car accidents in Fort Lauderdale are the result of driver error, often distraction, impairment or speeding. However, poor road conditions can be a causal or contributing factor. It’s imperative for injury attorneys examining your claim for damages to carefully analyze whether this may be grounds to file claims against additional parties, such as the local municipality, the state or construction company. car accident

In most of these cases, we must show the defendant had a duty of care to maintain the roadway, breached that duty with negligent maintenance, and/ or failed to adequately warn drivers of a potential danger.

Crashes in construction zones are a unique – and serious – problem. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that in 2015, there were nearly 97,000 crashes in work zones nationally – representing an almost 8 percent increase since 2015 and a 42 percent increase since 2013. Of course, crashes overall have gone up as well, but the increase in these crashes is over-represented. More than a quarter of them involved injury to at least one person and 642 of them resulted in at least one death. More than 40 percent of those deadly crashes were rear-end collisions. Continue reading

One out of every three young adults has recently ridden in a vehicle with a driver who was impaired by drugs. That’s according to a recent analysis by researchers at Colorado State University, with findings published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Furthermore, the study shows that for the first time, youth are more likely to be in a vehicle with a driver who is under the influence of marijuana as opposed to being drunk.injury lawyer

As our drunk driving injury attorneys in Fort Lauderdale know, there could be a lot of different reasons for this. One is that this is one of the first studies to ask teens and young adults about the kind of substance used by an impaired driver, rather than just asking whether they were impaired at all. That said, there is good reason to speculate crashes involving cannabis-impaired drivers and those impaired by other drugs has risen, relative to the number of drunk driving accidents.

The 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed nearly 21 million people 16 or older drove under the influence of alcohol in the past year, while nearly 12 million drove under the influence of illicit drugs. Marijuana is the most found drug in the blood of drivers found in crashes – just after alcohol. Recent research seems to indicate marijuana may not be even more prevalent than alcohol in drivers involved in fatal crashes; However, we must be careful with that data because while the drug is present in the system’s of an increasing number of drivers, that doesn’t automatically mean it was a causal factor.  Continue reading

The Pew Research Center reported last year that a record 61 million Americans live in multi-generational households. That’s nearly one-fifth of the population. This means finances of aging parents, grandparents and adult children and grandchildren are sometimes intertwined. This does not necessarily mean that upon a loved one’s passing that debts will automatically be transferred to relatives, even those you live with. However, probate litigation attorneys in Fort Lauderdale recognize many people don’t fully understand the debts for which they may be responsible, and which they are not.probate litigation

In general, no person is responsible for the debts of another while the debtor is alive – or dead. There are exceptions to this, though. For instance, spouses are often held accountable for each other’s medical debts in life. Relatives who co-sign or are also listed on loans may be responsible – that goes for student loans, car payments, mortgages, credit cards, etc. In death, a debtor’s outstanding obligations typically become the responsibility of “the estate.” The estate consists of all property, savings and debts. The process is much easier if there is a living trust in place, but if not, probate is the process of sorting through how those debts will be paid off and how property will be transferred to living beneficiaries.

To protect their inheritance, family members may need to start dealing with debts before probate has officially opened. That means keeping current on those administrative bills (i.e., mortgage, HOA fees, property taxes, utility bills, storage fees, etc.) until the probate estate is opened, and sometimes until the estate closes. Then there are the “final bills,” which can include income taxes, cell phones bills, credit card bills and retirement accounts. Beneficiaries of an estate probably should not pay out these final bills until the personal estate representative/ executor has settled the estate. A probate litigation attorney can help you sort through the details and determine the best way to protect your inheritance while still ensuring the estate meets its obligations. Continue reading

Altering a will to disinherit a family member is within anyone’s right, though it can lead to conflict. Probate litigation attorneys in South Florida at The Ansara Law Firm know there are ways to minimize the potential for warring family interests or a contested will after your death. contesting a will

Because contesting a will in Florida can be successful under a number of circumstances, ensuring your wishes will be followed as you have outlined requires working closely with a probate lawyer in drafting these changes.

Recently, the passing of a popular South Florida sports broadcaster sparked a fierce – and sadly public – feud between his adult children and his wife/ mother of his two youngest children, both minors. According to The News-Press in Fort Myers, the broadcaster wrote his oldest son and daughters from his first marriage out of his will in June 2015 – the day after receiving a stem cell transplant from his oldest son. He died about 1.5 years later, though his oldest didn’t learn of the change in his will until this past December, when his stepmother asked them to sign formal documents promising not to contest the will.  Continue reading

A collision center in Texas has been ordered to pay $31.5 million to a couple in Dallas who suffered serious injuries as a result of a crash exacerbated by negligent auto repairs. injury attorney

Plaintiffs – husband and wife – suffered horrible injuries as a result of the fiery wreck. These include the husband’s fourth-degree burns, which continues to inflict constant agonizing pain. Although the crash was caused by a negligent driver in a sport utility vehicle, experts would later testify that plaintiffs should have walked away from that collision relatively unscathed. Instead, because of an improper auto repair following a hailstorm several months earlier, vehicle occupants are left with severe and permanent injuries.

The negligent auto repair lawsuit alleged the body shop bowed to pressure from plaintiff’s auto insurer to use the cheapest fix possible – despite knowing that it wasn’t safe. That meant instead of welding the new steal roof to the vehicle, as indicated in the manufacturer’s body repair manual, the piece was glued with an adhesive. So when the vehicle was struck, the roof buckled, the car’s safety cage collapsed and the fuel tank below the driver’s seat ruptured. Plaintiff husband was trapped under the steering wheel while flames engulfed the vehicle. Wife was pulled through the passenger window by another motorist, but it took significantly longer to extract the husband.  Continue reading

Florida has one of the weakest protections against driver distraction in the nation. While a proposal to toughen our state’s anti-texting-and-driving law was passed by the state House and given Gov. Rick Scott’s blessing, the state Senate has reportedly pumped the brakes on the measure, with news outlets reporting Sent. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, allowing it to stall in his committee for well over a month. car accident attorney

For his part, Bradley has cited concerns about potential racial profiling and the scope of police authority to view drivers’ cell phones during a traffic stop.

As it now stands, F.S. 316.305 prohibits motorists from texting, typing or reading messages, emails and social media posts while engaged in active driving. However, there are a plethora of exceptions, including no restrictions on radio broadcasts, engaging GPS navigation services or wireless communication that doesn’t require reading or the manual entry of data. A fine for a violation is just $50, but even those are rare given that it’s only a secondary offense, as opposed to a primary one. That means police cannot legally stop a driver observed texting-and-driving if that is the sole violation noted. The officer must also observe some other violation, such as speeding, weaving or red light running.  Continue reading

A bill that would repeal Florida’s no-fault insurance law appears to have stalled out.car accident attorney

The state senate’s Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee overwhelmingly voted not to approve the measure, which would repeal Florida’s no-fault system requiring drivers to carry at least $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. The bill would resulted in a requirement to carry bodily injury coverage in its stead. Florida House members approved a similar version of the measures (HB9) in the first week of the legislative session. Although the bill is technically still alive, the legislative session ends in two days. A committee chairwoman (who voted against the bill) filed a motion to reconsider and temporarily postponed it, meaning it could potentially arise again. However, that committee isn’t expected to meet again prior to the close of the legislative session.

Florida’s no-fault system has long been the target for reform advocacy. PIP laws, codified in F.S. 627.736, require all drivers to carry at least $10,000 in medical and disability benefits and $5,000 in death benefits. (It should be noted the $10,000 rate was set in 1979, and is only worth today about one-eighth of what it was when the law was signed.) One can only access $2,000 of those injury benefits unless their injuries are severe and emergent. This no-fault coverage is extended regardless of who was at-fault for the crash. In order for a car accident victim to pursue damages from the at-fault driver and other third parties, they must meet the serious injury threshold, as outlined in F.S. 627.737, which requires proof that victim suffered:

  • Significant/ permanent loss of an important bodily function;
  • Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability;
  • Significant and permanent scarring/ disfigurement;
  • Death.

Continue reading

Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission, which convenes every 20 years to review proposed changes to the state’s constitution, is being asked to consider an introduction of a “Nursing Home Bill of Rights,” that would mandate the right of vulnerable residents to a safe, comfortable living environment. Proposal 88 also includes a provision that would guarantee residents’ access to courts and a jury system – a right that is often lost upon admission when residents are required to sign arbitration agreements. nursing home neglect attorney

This change could have a profound and lasting positive impact for the estimated 70,000 Florida nursing home residents, who are often frail, vulnerable and targets for abuse and exploitation. Arbitration agreements are generally disfavored by plaintiff attorneys because they strip patients of the right to have disputes resolved in a court of law by a jury. Arbitration takes away certain rights that are guaranteed through the court process, such as the right to discovery (the sharing of information about what allegedly occurred). Outcomes of arbitration in nursing home abuse cases also tend to be decided more favorably toward the nursing home, with fewer and lesser judgments for the plaintiffs. Finally, the process is secretive and confidential, meaning potential future patients don’t have the benefit of knowing what really took place and residents and families don’t have the right speak freely about problems with abuse and neglect at a given facility.

It’s worth noting there is a resident bill of rights codified in Florida Statutes, specifically F.S. 429.28. This provision affords residents a litany of protections, including the right to a safe living environment free from abuse and neglect, treatment that is respectful and cognizant of one’s personal dignity and access to appropriate and adequate health care consistent with established and recognized standards in the community. However, Proposal 88 would commit these rights to the state constitution (making them more difficult to amend) and also taking mandatory arbitration agreements off the table.  Continue reading

Contact Information