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A cruise line has a responsibility to know that passengers are at risk of sexual assault, and have a duty to do more when it comes to the protection of minors especially. That was the conclusion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Miami, overturning the lower court’s grant of summary judgment for the defense.Fort Lauderdale injury lawyer

Cruise ship injury lawsuits have compiled in recent years, following a string of victories by plaintiffs alleging cruise ship owners and staff did not protect them from criminal assault resulting in serious physical and psychological injury – despite knowing this was a common risk.

In this case, according to court records, plaintiff was plied with alcohol by a group of adult men who then guided her, in full view of security cameras, stumbling, back to a private cabin and took turns sexually assaulting her. She was 15-years-old. The girl was on a seven-day cruise with her grandparents and two sisters. Continue reading

Florida Statute 768.19 holds that when a person’s death is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default or breach of contract by someone else/another entity, the estate of decedent can pursue a civil lawsuit against that person in Florida’s courts for legal remedy for death/losses. wrongful death lawyer

But does this right of action still exist if the person who died took their own life?

Florida wrongful death attorneys will tell you that in some cases, the answer is yes. Some wrongful death/suicide cases are predicated on the assertion a defendant owed a duty of care to prevent the suicide, as they were placed on notice of the risk and had a special relationship with decedent (i.e., a schoolteacher, guidance counselor, medical professional, etc.). Other times, the assertion is that but-for the defendant’s actions, decedent would not have tried to harm themselves. Continue reading

If you’ve ever lived up north, you know potholes are something of a way of life. They’re less ubiquitous here in South Florida, as we don’t have the constant freezing-and-thawing cycles of our northern neighbors. What we do have that erodes our roads significantly is rain.Florida injury crashes

For example on the Gulf Coast, the community of Cape Coral’s record rainfall in 2016 resulted in nearly 3,000 potholes in the span of two months.

Although many cities have procedures you can follow to claim compensation for pothole damage, actually getting reimbursed can be tough. NBC Miami reported that of more than 300 claims made in Miami-Dade over a recent two-year span, only 63 – less than one-third – were reimbursed. The county reportedly repaired more than 26,000 potholes over that time frame. In Broward, there were 17 claims made for pothole vehicle damage, yet only 1 was paid. Continue reading

Hollywood theatrics have most people convinced there is some type of formal “reading of the will” in which all concerned parties gather around the desk of a wills and trust attorney’s desk to hear what each has been bequeathed.Fort Lauderdale wills and trusts lawyer

In reality, there isn’t any legal mandate requiring said records to be read aloud. Rather, what happens is a Florida wills and trusts attorney will review these records to ascertain who is entitled by law to receive a copy of the trust – and who probably should be sent a copy even if state law doesn’t require it.

Trusts aren’t considered public record, and thus trustees may deny a contesting party’s request to review certain records. However, that decision could be challenged in court, particularly when those documents are central to the basis of the will contest.

In plain English: If the named trustee refuses to produce copies of the will and documents pertaining to the trust, you can take it to a judge. Continue reading

Florida’s new texting-and-driving law holds the promise of potentially safer roads throughout the Sunshine State. After years of pushing by public safety advocates – first for the original state texting-and-driving law and then to amend that law to make it a primary offense – Florida has a brand new distracted driving statute.distracted driving accident lawyer

The new measure, which went into effect July 1st, allows police to initiate traffic stops on the sole basis of observing a driver who is texting. Previously, law enforcement could only issue citations for texting-and-driving if the driver was stopped on the basis of another suspected offense.

Although this move is to be commended, Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers recognize Florida is among the last states to take this action. Continue reading

After several attempts to upload electronic wills in Florida, a measure approving them has passed and will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020.electronic will lawyer

HB 409 amended numerous sections of the state probate code pertaining to wills.  Florida’s e-will law:

  • Redefines the term “will” to conform to the changes made in the act;
  • Exempts e-wills from provisions that govern revocation of wills and codicils;
  • Lays out the manner by which e-wills and codicils can be revoked;
  • Defining e-wills and establishing how it has to be executed;
  • Outlining the requirements and duties necessary to serving as a qualified custodian of an electronic will.

Undoubtedly, there will be concerns about vulnerable adults, and it will be imperative for Floridians to contact an experienced probate litigation attorney regarding their rights and responsibilities where electronic wills are concerned. Continue reading

Plaintiffs in trucking crash accidents should be allowed access to the data in onboard electronic monitoring devices.truck accident lawyer

A federal judge has ordered the defendant in a Florida trucking accident lawsuit to turn over the electronic control module (ECM) data on the freight company vehicle involved in a crash that resulted in serious injury to the other driver.

The trucking company admitted fault/liability for the crash, but the question is how much defendant should pay to compensate the victim. As our Fort Lauderdale truck accident attorneys can explain, the question of victim compensation – formally referred to as “damages,” is often an issue of sharp contention in injury litigation and often the only reason some cases go to trial.

This Florida trucking crash lawsuit is noteworthy for the fact that federal safety regulations now require electronic data monitoring devices in large trucks to ensure compliance of hours-of-service regulations from the U.S. Department of Transportation, designed to prevent truckers from driving fatigued. Continue reading

A woman is suing Disney World in Orlando, alleging she suffered a traumatic brain injury when a wild, migratory bird suddenly attacked her – a danger about which she says the theme park failed to warn. injury lawyer

What duty – if any – do Florida theme parks and other property owners have to guests? The answer is under state premises liability law and precedent, it falls on a spectrum, with relevant factors including:

  • The injured person’s purpose for being on the site;

The Florida Supreme Court just raised the bar on allowable scientific evidence with its nixing of the longstanding Frye test in favor of the more rigid Daubert, the latter followed by federal courts as well as those in most other states. This will mean additional hurdles, expense and time delays for plaintiffs in Florida injury lawsuits – particularly in cases of medical malpractice and product liability, which either require and/or rely heavily on expert witness testimony.Fort Lauderdale injury lawyer

Last month’s divided ruling of In re: Amendments to the Florida Evidence Codecame as something of a shock to courts and South Florida injury attorneys, given that the state high court had ruled on this very matter in October – and came down firmly on the other side. Justices in the majority cited serious constitutional concerns and procedural issues.

Now, the majority has ruled those “grave concerns” for constitutional rights and procedure were “unfounded.”

Teenagers are some of the highest-risk drivers on Florida roads. Large trucks are among the most lethal vehicles. Yet the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is floating the idea of a potential pilot program that would give 18-to-20-years-old the keys to big rigs. Fort Lauderdale truck accident attorney

As it stands, federal regulation limits allowances on interstate commercial vehicle operation to those over 21. But last month, the FMCSA announced it was seeking public comment on an initiative to address the commercial truck driver shortage by on-boarding teenage truckers.

Truck accident attorneys understand this was expand an existing pilot program that allows some 200 youths 18-to-20 to operate interstate commercial trucks – but only if they have military training. This expanded version would extend to teens without any formal military training could soon be commandeering 80,000-pound machines, for the purpose of revving up the trucking industry that is experiencing a driver shortage.

Federal regulators are asking for all public input from all stakeholders. They’re bracing for a flood, with big business trucking industry advocates on one side and independent owner-operators, safety groups, railroads and unions on the other. Some have already taken their message to the media, arguing the discussion should be about moving the minimum driving age for truckers up – not down. Even with military training, there is concern it would not be enough to combat inherent youthful immaturity, particularly among males, who are most likely to apply. Continue reading

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