Articles Posted in personal injury

There is no law that says you must hire – or be provided with the services of – a personal injury lawyer. However, if you have suffered serious injuries, it’s important to understand that the legal rules implicated in many Florida personal injury cases can be complex. In some instances, insurance companies refuse to settle in good faith. In trying to handle the matter on your own without the assistance of a Fort Lauderdale injury lawyer, you may soon find that you’re in over your head. Worse, it can cost you more than the attorney’s fees you’d pay.Fort Lauderdale injury lawyer

The civil justice system makes personal injury representation more accessible by stipulating that Florida injury cases must be accepted on a contingency fee basis. What that means is plaintiff’s don’t pay attorney’s fees up front – or at all if they don’t win. Attorneys have incentive to be honest with you about the merits of your case, the extent of your damages and your chances at winning a favorable settlement or verdict.

That said, you might not need an attorney, particularly if your injuries are very minor. An injury lawyer will tell you will tell you upfront in a free initial consultation whether you can benefit from their services – or not. Continue reading

More than 4,100 people died in large truck crashes in a single recent year – 30 percent more than a decade ago. These collisions largely result in deaths to passenger vehicle occupants, primarily because trucks weigh 20-30 times as much, take up to 40 percent longer to stop and are frequently operated by fatigued drivers.truck accident lawyer

One bright spot is that technology is increasingly on the side of those hoping to hold drivers, carriers and truck owners responsible for negligent driving and truck maintenance.

Historically, Florida truck accident investigations were limited to photographs of crash scene, snapshots of vehicles and witness testimony. Expert witnesses helped to reconstruct the crash and fill in the details of what happened.

Pertinent information in a truck accident lawsuit includes:

  • The area of impact in the road.
  • The angles of the impact.
  • Speed of the vehicles involved both prior to and at the point of impact.
  • Determining motorist reactions to whatever occurred prior to the crash.

Continue reading

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.”

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