Articles Posted in personal injury

Florida personal injury lawsuits are among the most commonly weighed in our state courts. To avoid overwhelming the courts, most personal injury claims settle prior to trial. Additionally, F.S. 627.737 sets a seriousness threshold has been set for recovering damages from an at-fault driver. If injuries don’t meet that threshold, then claimants will have to rely on their own personal injury protection policy issued by their own auto insurer.Broward injury lawyer

A bruised arm or a scratched leg likely isn’t going to cut it. PIP provides up to $10,000 in damages for medical expenses and 60 percent of your lost wages for the time you were forced to take off work. It will also cover things like travel expenses to doctor appointments. It will not cover things like pain and suffering or loss of consortium that would be available in lawsuit.

If your injuries are more serious and $10,000 will not cover your losses, a Broward injury lawyer can review the facts and help you determine if the injuries you’ve suffered medically meet the statutory threshold. Continue reading

The estate of an elderly, incapacitated woman who was sexually assaulted by a nursing assistant in an alleged case of nursing home abuse will have to take its case back to trial after a state supreme court reversed a $1.7 million award for damages and ordered the case retried.injury lawyer

Central to the decision to retry the case was the fact the trial court removed the question of whether the nursing home aide who reportedly raped the woman was acting in the course and scope of employment.

As Broward nursing home injury attorneys can explain, skilled nursing facilities can be held vicariously liable for the negligence and even intentional misconduct/criminal acts of employees – but only if they were acting in the course and scope of employment. This is known as the doctrine of respondeat superior, Latin for “let the master answer.”

In many cases wherein a plaintiff seeks to hold a company accountable for damages inflicted by a worker, key issues will include:

  • Whether the worker was an employee or an independent contractor (respondeat superior doesn’t apply where the worker is an independent contractor);
  • Whether the worker’s actions occurred in the course and/or arose from the scope of his/her employment.

Employers can also be held directly liable under theories like negligent hiring, negligent retention and negligent supervision. Continue reading

Jurors weighing the civil penalty in a drunk driving lawsuit awarded nearly $31 million in damages to a young woman who suffered catastrophic brain injuries. Plaintiff was just 18 when she was struck by a pickup truck driven by one of two underage drivers who moments earlier left a bar near the Florida State University campus.drunk driving injury lawyer

The verdict followed the second of two trials in Faircloth v. Cantina Tallahassee, LLC, et al., after the first ended in mistrial in February. The woman’s parents – filing the claim on her behalf, sued the two bars that served alcohol to the underage driver, who did not stop at the street. The victim was on foot, reportedly crossing the street, at the time of the crash.

As our drunk driving injury lawyers can explain, plaintiffs in catastrophic injury claims need to explore every avenue for recovering damages. In impaired driving cases, that means looking at whether a dram shop claim is viable. Continue reading

Prevailing in a Florida slip-and-fall injury lawsuit is no simple task, which is why most injury attorneys will carefully review your claim before pursuing it – especially if they plan to take it to trial. A fair pre-trial settlement is typically the preferred outcome, as trials are expensive (and risky).slip and fall attorney

It’s important that you and your attorney consider any pre-trial settlement offers carefully, as declining a defense settlement offer in a case later favorably decided for the defense could result in an order for YOU to pay the defense’s attorney fees. (As injury lawyers, our fees are contingent on winning, meaning we’re only paid if you’re successful with your claim.)

This is not to say Florida slip-and-fall injury claims aren’t worth pursuing, but it is important to be aware of the potential pitfalls in these cases.

Recently in Georgia (which approaches slip-and-fall case from a similar angle as Florida), jurors considered the claim of a woman who fell at a jazz club and injured her back and hip, requiring extensive physical therapy. Continue reading

Tourism is one of the biggest industries in Florida, with more than 128 million visitors flocking to the Sunshine State last year. A sizable number of those opt to stay in one of the state’s 423,000 hotel rooms. Like any other property owner, hotels, motels and resorts owe a duty of care to their patrons that requires they keep the property in reasonably safe condition, check for hazards and warn guests of any non-obvious dangers that can’t be remedied right away. In the event this does not happen and someone is seriously hurt, those injured should explore the possibility of a hotel injury lawsuit.hotel injury lawyer

Fort Lauderdale injury attorneys will examine your premises liability claim to determine whether it’s viable and identify all potential defendants. Some of the most common hotel injury claims include:

  • Parking lot injuries;
  • Swimming pool accidents/drowning;
  • Slip-and-fall injuries;
  • Trip-and-fall injuries;
  • Falls from heights;
  • Food poisoning;
  • Burns from fires, hot water, food or drinks;
  • Elevator/escalator injuries;
  • Animal attack;
  • Injury caused by broken/defective furniture;
  • Bed bugs/unsanitary conditions;
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals;
  • Playground injuries;
  • Assault/battery.

Any one of these incidents can cause serious and lasting injuries and trauma. If there is evidence the hotel staff knew or should have known about the risk and failed to fix it or provide guests warning, there is a good chance a personal injury claim could be successfully made.

Defendant hotels will often argue comparative negligence (i.e., the person injured shared some or all of the blame, proportionately reducing damages) or that the claimant wasn’t as seriously injured as they said. Having an experienced personal injury attorney will be imperative. Continue reading

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

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.”

The recreational use statute in Florida is one echoed in many other states. With few exception, §375.251 holds that a property owner who provides the public with park area or other land for outdoor recreational purposes doesn’t owe a duty of care to keep that land safe for entry or use or to give warning of potentially unsafe conditions. That means generally, even private property owners aren’t liable for personal injuries when they extend use of their land free for recreational purposes.Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer

There is often one big exception: If a charge is made or usually made for entering the park or a certain area or if there is any commercial or other activity that profits from patronage of the general public on the park land, then liability may become an issue.

This was reportedly the situation for an alleged personal injury at a park in Arizona. Here, the Arizona Supreme Court reversed an earlier summary judgment in a personal injury lawsuit favoring a defendant company with rights to an area of a public park where a patron fell and was injured. Continue reading

State lawmakers are weighing a bill that would reimpose caps on non-economic damages in all Florida injury lawsuit and damage claims, limiting plaintiffs to $1 million for damages like pain and suffering and loss of consortium. Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers know such caps were already struck down as unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court, but legislators are reportedly banking on the fact that more newly-appointed conservative justices will take a different view. personal injury lawyer Fort Lauderdale

Florida State House Bill 17 is slated for consideration by the House Judiciary Committee, after already moving through the Commerce Committee and the Civil Justice Committee. It prevailed, though votes were split along party lines.

The question is whether the new state supreme court will adhere to the constitutionality precedent set by the previous justices. In the 2014 Florida Supreme Court ruling of McCall v. U.S., the court rejected lawmaker-initiated non-economic damage caps in wrongful death lawsuits, finding them to be a constitutional violation on the equal protection clause. Continue reading

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