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Approximately 4.5 million dog bites are reported each year, with 1 in 5 of those bites becoming infected (according to the CDC), 28,000 requiring reconstructive surgery (according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons) and accounting for one-third – or $700 million – of all homeowner insurance liability payouts (per the Insurance Information Institute). dog bite lawyer

Defendants in these cases can sometimes include not just the owner of the dog, but the property owner controlling the site where the bite occurred.

In Litke v. Munkoff, the Idaho Supreme Court recently upheld a $201,000 verdict in favor of a dog bite victim against his neighbors and their adult son after the son’s dog bit him, causing serious injuries. The defendants sought a new trial or in the alternative, a remittitur to lower the damages. The state supreme court found no reversible error.

According to court records, it started when an animal control officer responded to the scene of an allegedly vicious dog and found a pit bull aggressively charging any person who got near him. The officer had to call in a second officer to help capture the dog, an the pair eventually tasered the canine to subdue and capture him. The next day, the dog’s owner (defendants’ son) called animal control officers to report the dog missing. The officer informed him the dog was in animal control custody, had been declared aggressive and that he would need to sign paperwork indicating he understood his requirements under local ordinance before he could claim the dog. The owner told the officer his dog would be better controlled at his parents’ home rather than his apartment. The officer met the dog’s owner at his parents’ home and determined the fence was appropriate in height to meet the ordinance requirements, but that he must also post a Beware of Dog sign and if the dog left the premises, he’d need to be muzzled. The father arrived home while the officer was there and agreed verbally to follow the ordinance requirements. Continue reading

Some people consider estate taxes enemy No. 1 when it comes to their inheritance. However, what’s much more likely to become problematic is family conflict. These aren’t necessarily new issues, but they are becoming more prevalent as increasingly more American families are blended, life expectancy has stretched and baby boomers are aging into their golden years.probate litigation attorney

A recent poll by TD Wealth revealed 44 percent of attorneys, accountants and trust officers in Florida indicated family conflicts were the biggest snag when it comes to estate planning. Part of the problem is people have unrealistic expectations. While most expect to inherit more than $100,000, Ameriprise Financial reports most people receive less than that. Almost 7 in 10 of those expecting an inheritence were never told how much they should expect, which led to substantial confusion and conflict.

Another issue is people increasingly have multiple ex-spouses, one or both my have children from prior unions and one spouse may be much younger than the other. These are fact patterns we know have the potential to lead to trouble. Such is the case in probate litigation conflict in Indiana that the state supreme court in Indiana has just agreed to consider. In Gittings v. Deal, an adult woman claims she was removed from her father’s estate by her stepmother, and subsequently her stepbrother raked in more than $3 million in profits on property she claims they should have shared.  Continue reading

In any Florida wrongful death lawsuit, we’ll need to decide which claims are viable – and who the claimants should be, as only certain individuals and entities have a legal right to pursue damages after someone’s death. With some exceptions, these include the decedent’s:

  • Surviving spouse;
  • Children in being at death (with the law considering them minors until age 25 and no recovery allowed for adult children if action is based in medical malpractice);
  • Parents of a minor child under 25 (may recovery mental pain and suffering);
  • Decedent’s estate. wrongful death attorney

That last one can be tricky because it may ultimately benefit some of the same survivors who collected under other claims. While survivors may claim lost wages and loss of consortium, the estate in some cases may have a separate claim that might consist of lost earnings, lost net accumulations and medical or funeral expenses. An estate’s lost earnings of decedent would span from the date of injury to the date of death – less any amount of monetary support – that a survivor lost during that period. Continue reading

Social media has become such an integrated part of our everyday lives, it’s hard to believe it Facebook first launched in 2004, becoming open to the general public in 2006. Today it has 1.3 billion users. Twitter, which also launched in 2006, has more than 100 million users who post 350 million tweets daily. Instagram, used by 500 million people, didn’t get its start until late 2010. personal injury attorney

For many, it’s second nature to share random thoughts, photos, songs and more. We get into heated online debates and there are hundreds of thousands of “groups” to connect with those who share our interests. All of this can seem pretty benign. However, it has come to matter a great deal in our justice system. Specifically with regard to Florida personal injury lawsuits, you should know that anything you post – even if self-destructing or deleted – may come up in your case. Forensic investigators can usually recover transient data and use it in later court proceedings, sometimes becoming critical pieces of evidence in proving or disproving some material issue.

Although it might seem harmless to engage on these platforms, you must be careful not to post anything you wouldn’t want displayed and analyzed in a courtroom. Defendants in personal injury cases can use it not only to challenge the actual facts of the incident (if you post or share anything that runs counter to your previous testimony), they may argue your damages aren’t as significant as you allege. For example, if you’re seeking substantial damages for pain and suffering, but your social media pages are peppered with happy, smiling, action-shot photos, this could be used to show you aren’t actually suffering as much as you say. This is regardless of the fact that, of course, we all present our best selves on these platforms. Continue reading

An alleged failure to misdiagnose a child’s chronic kidney disease led to a medical malpractice lawsuit, one that just landed before the Florida Supreme Court. injury attorney Fort Lauderdale

A girl who underwent a kidney transplant in 2007 took legal action against her pediatrician of seven years, alleging he should have diagnosed her with C1q nephropathy before it caused such serious health problems requiring the transplant. Her doctor countered she actually has a different disease, one that is acute and could not have been identified any sooner. After a mistrial the first time around, the family was awarded $4.1 million in damages at the second trial.

On appeal, defendant doctor argued the trial judge was wrong to allow multiple expert witnesses in the same discipline to testify on plaintiff’s behalf, considering a pre-trial order by the court to limit testimony to a single expert ion each area of medical specialty. However, a divided Florida Supreme Court ruled the doctors who testified were not doing so as “experts,” but rather as “treating physicians,” a distinction that could have an impact in future Florida personal injury lawsuits. Continue reading

If you are estranged from a parent and he or she does, can you expect an inheritance? The answer is: Not automatically. probate litigation attorney

Just because one is the biological child of a decedent does not necessarily in and of itself entitle that child rights to stake a claim on their mother or father’s estate.

No one is under any legal option to leave adult children – or anyone else – anything from their estate. Minor children are handled differently under the law, as the state recognizes they are entitled to a certain degree of support that might otherwise have been given had the decedent lived. But there is no guarantee of the same kind of expectation for children over the age of 18.

This is where an experienced probate litigation attorney should be called in, to examine whether there was a will or trust and if so, what the language of that document indicates. If these documents exist but there is no specific mention of a child – estranged or otherwise – or indication the parent intended to leave that person out of the will, that child may have the basis to pursue probate litigation to plausibly assert the conceivable allegation that the parent simply “forgot” about them.  Continue reading

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

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