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Inflatable bounce houses, bounce pillows, space walkers, moon bouncers and slides – all are increasingly popular at community events and private parties in South Florida, a fun attraction for children to release some of that pent-up energy. However, there is a growing body of evidence that inflatable bounce houses and related amusements are anything but safe. Children have been seriously injured and even died. Product liability and premises liability claims may be appropriate.injury attorney

Recently, The Lincoln Journal Star in Nebraska reported a 2-year-old boy died on a recent afternoon when a strong gust of wind blew over the unenclosed inflatable bounce pillow on which he was playing at a pumpkin patch. The boy and his older sister, 5, were at a private event, playing on the pillow with their parents, who both slid off seconds before the gust of wind swept the pillow up, despite being tethered to the ground. The wind gust reportedly clocked in at around 60 mph. The pillow was ripped of its moorings and flew some 30 to 40 feet. The girl was thrown, but the boy reportedly became “wrapped like a taco” inside the inflatable.

The newspaper reported the pumpkin patch owner does carry the requisite liability insurance required of such operations. Such a claim would fall under the umbrella of premises liability, which holds property owners or controllers responsible for dangerous conditions on their property. Our Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers explain that while the number of defendants will be case specific, it’s plausible the child’s parents may have grounds to pursue claims also against the inflatable pillow manufacturer, as well as the event organizer, if a different entity than the pumpkin patch. Continue reading

Personal injury law is frequently characterized as something of a circus, full of malingering, greedy “victims,” ambulance-chasing, shamelessly self-promoting injury lawyers and feckless jurors who award outrageous sums for no good reason. These stereotypes are often furthered by those in favor tort reform, which does little to prevent frivolous claims or lower insurance costs. Instead, it makes it more difficult for those serious injured by another’s negligence to obtain full and fair compensation.personal injury lawyer

It’s important to revisit some of these myths and misunderstandings every once in a while, because we hear from injury clients who wait months or even years before exploring their legal rights, assuming to do so is somehow selfish or it was partly their fault anyway and they should have known better.

Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers understand these concerns, so we wanted to take a moment to discuss some of the most common.
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Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment. Failure to do so may result in a fine by government regulators. Workers’ compensation – the exclusive remedy for employees against their employers for job-related injuries – is paid on a no-fault basis. That means workers who are injured in Florida don’t need to prove their employer acted in a manner that was negligent in order to collect compensation.work injury lawyer

Third parties, meanwhile, can be liable and compelled to pay damages to the person injured on top of what he/ she receives for workers’ compensation – but only if the plaintiff can prove the third party negligent.

Many serious Florida work injuries involve some type of fault from a third party, whether that’s:

  • A general contractor or property owner who fails to make sure the work site is free from an unreasonable risk of hazards (known or foreseeable);
  • A negligent driver who strikes a work crew on the road;
  • A product manufacturer that designed/ made/ sold a heavy machine that is unreasonably dangerous, even when operated as intended.

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Florida probate law pretty clearly establishes the right of children to inherit a portion (or all) of a parent’s estate when he or she dies without a will (intestate estate). Further, Chapter 732 of Florida Statutes doesn’t make any distinction indicating a child born out-of-wedlock is any less entitled to an inheritance than one born to parents who are married. However, in a case where it is the father who has passed and the child was born out-of-wedlock, paternity must be established in order for that child to receive that inheritance.probate litigation

Generally, there are two ways this happens:

  • A court order, typically following some type of biological testing.
  • A signed acknowledgment by the father while he was alive.

A recent Florida case raised an interesting question that could be applicable to future probate litigation cases involving intestate estate where paternity is disputed. The Florida Supreme Court recently weighed in on the question of whether one can establish paternity when someone else is already presumed so by law. Continue reading

Families of four tourists who died in a South Florida truck accident are seeking damages in a negligence lawsuit filed in a federal court against the company that employed the truck driver who struck the tourists’ vehicle in a rear-end collision. The impact launched the women’s car into oncoming traffic, where they were again struck, killing them all instantly.Fort Lauderdale truck accident attorney

The Miami Herald reports the women were attempting to make a left turn on Tea Table Bridge in the Florida Keys in March. As they waited to make their turn, the large truck hauling portable toilets hit them from behind, propelling their small car into the opposing lane, where it was then struck by the driver of a mobile home. The women were all wearing their seat belts, but according to state highway patrol investigators, it didn’t matter because the impact to the passenger side was so severe and so deep. It was so horrific that it was only once the troopers had cleared the scene they discovered the body of the fourth victim inside the vehicle. They had been visiting from Spain. The driver of the truck that rear-ended them was given a citation for careless driving. Continue reading

Florida venue owners and operators and event organizers have certain legal responsibilities when it comes to keeping properties free of hazards that could harm those lawfully on site – especially if they are paying customers. All known and foreseeable dangers need to be eliminated or else warned of so people can (hopefully) avoid injury. This includes third-party violence, which increasingly across the U.S. includes gun violence – whether they involve individual targets or mass shootings.injury attorney

There is extensive legislative and judicial precedent allowing these kind of third-party violence cases against property owners, but prevailing can be challenging. Unlike, say, a slip-and-fall case where a restaurant patient is injured slipping on rainwater tracked in from an entrance at which employees failed to place a mat to absorb the water from wet shoes, shootings aren’t everyday or even yearly occurrences at most venues. That makes establishing the risk of danger as a reasonably foreseeable one to the property owner/ operator a bit trickier. Instead, establishing reasonable foreseeability of violence by showing some combination of:

  • Regular calls to police at the site/ prior events for other types of violent crimes. These may never have escalated to the point of gunfire, but given the concentration of firearms in the U.S., this pattern serves to alert property owners to the possibility of more problems if they don’t act.
  • High rates of violent crime in the nearby proximity. Prior crimes used to prove the risk should have been known need not necessarily have occurred exactly on site.
  • A pattern of similar crimes at the same type of businesses, even if they weren’t in close proximity to that location. If a business owner knows certain types of violence are more common in his or her industry, they have a responsibility to take measures to address it.

Every case will be different, but in many cases, it can be argued a venue owner/ operator had negligent security and failed to provide a safe and secure environment. An experienced Fort Lauderdale injury or wrongful death lawyer can offer more specifics once learning more of the circumstances in your case. Continue reading

No one would dare question the late Aretha Franklin’s claim to the Queen of Soul title. However, claims to the estate she left behind may be a bit more difficult to establish. That’s because the “Rolling in the Deep” singer died without leaving a will. probate litigation lawyer

Legally, this is referred to as intestate property. In Florida, we has a statutorily established intestate succession procedure, as outlined in Chapter 732 of Florida Statutes. It’s basically a default guideline for how ones property can lawfully be distributed when someone either dies without a will or whose will has been deemed improperly devised. An individual’s right to the estate and in what proportion is specified based on his or her relationship to the decedent, as well as those of other claimant. It’s important to point out that Florida intestacy could be either partial or whole, depending on whether a person’s will is non-existent/ invalid OR whether only some portions were generated/ validated.

There are a lot of scenarios outlined in an effort to make the process as streamlined as possible. However, if you are a claimant in an intestate property case, it’s wise to have a Fort Lauderdale probate attorney who can help you navigate it with more ease and ensure you receive your fair share. Florida probate litigation laws are lengthy and complex and/ or subjective in several areas, so it’s best to have someone advocating for you in proving your claim is best aligned with your loved one’s wishes.  Continue reading

Electric scooters are gaining traction in urban hubs throughout Florida and the country. Many of these cities have already invested in bicycle share programs – several of them “dockless.” Successes on this front have prompted them to explore other alternative modes of transportation, particularly those that are cheaper and better for the environment and traffic infrastructure systems than motor vehicles.scooter injury lawyer

Here in South Florida, the trendy Miami suburb of Wynwood became one of the most recent communities to host an electric scooter share program. Problems that have arisen in recent months in other cities have include safety hazards from the dockless scooters being left in random places, obstructing sidewalks and public rights of way. The company that launched scooter share in Wynwood, LimeBike, has promised the city it will collect scooters that obstruct sidewalks and public ways during business hours. Other complaints involve rounding up enough of the scooters at any given time to accommodate a large group (or even just two riders) and the fact that one of the models maxes out on speed at walking pace (though some do go up to 15 miles per hour).

For us as Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, the bigger issue is the interaction electric scooter riders may have with cars and trucks, particularly on crowded streets and considering many motorists aren’t used to seeing this type of transportation mode (so they aren’t watching for it). Already in a number of other locations, electric scooter crashes have resulted in serious personal injury and even death. Continue reading

Family inheritance is slated to be a major legal battlefield in the coming years, as it is estimated approximately $30 trillion will be inherited over the course of the next 30 years. Inevitably, that’s going to mean descendants – children and grandchildren – will be squabbling over their fair share by contesting Florida wills.Florida will contest

What Drives a Florida Will Contest?

While there are those who may feel unjustly entitled, another catalyst setting the stage for significant fights over inheritance is the fact that many adult children and grandchildren have not been able to save sufficiently for their own retirement. Some may have been living under the assumption that an inheritance will fund their retirement, while others, thanks to stagnant wages and student loan debt, have simply not been able to scrounge enough together to live beyond paycheck-to-paycheck. Also contributing is the fact that those who were raised between the 1960s and 1990s are increasingly having to take on caretaking responsibilities of dependent parents, which can also sap their financial resources.

Elder adults may wish to help ward off some of these conflicts by having frank discussions with their children and grandchildren about what is available and the plans for distribution. Exact dollar amounts and an itemized breakdown aren’t necessary, but it’s important to make your wishes clear. Continue reading

A South Florida woman has filed a car accident lawsuit in Broward Circuit Court, alleging negligence resulting in serious injury, pain, disability, disfigurement and something known as “loss of life enjoyment.” car accident attorney Fort Lauderdale

Such damages are typical to seek in Florida crash injury claims, but this last one is what we want to focus on here. While serious injury, disability and medical costs can be established with documentation such as medical records, bills, bank statements, pay stubs and tax returns (among other types of evidence), loss of life enjoyment is a little trickier because it is highly subjective. It’s also sometimes referred to as “hedonic damages,” “loss of life’s pleasures” or “lost value of life.” It is a type of non-economic damages, which means there is no clear-cut value for the loss, as opposed to economic damages, which are the result of monetary losses suffered as a result of an injury or wrongful death.

In this case, as reported by the Florida Record, the motorist alleges defendant struck her vehicle in December 2016, causing her to sustain severe injuries that required hospitalization and ongoing nursing care. It also had the effect of exacerbating an existing medical condition. Details of the injuries and crash circumstances weren’t given in the initial complaint, except that it occurred at an intersection of the southbound I-95 ramp in Fort Lauderdale and plaintiff alleges defendant failed to maintain control of her vehicle or exercise proper lookout for other vehicles.  Continue reading

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