Articles Posted in personal injury

Many of those who suffer a Fort Lauderdale work injury are prescribed opioid medications to help cope with acute pain. However, a recent study revealed opioid prescriptions have an adverse affect on workers the longer they are used, ultimately increasing the duration of temporary disability claimed by workers with a myriad of injuries.construction accident attorney

The study by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute analyzed worker back injuries in 28 states over a recent five-year stretch in cases where workers took seven days or more off work. Within these numbers, they analyzed whether the workers were prescribed an opioid painkiller, if they received multiple opioids and the duration of those medications (considering long-term use to mean prescriptions within the first three months of injury extending into the 12-month mark). Then they compared this data to the length of workers’ temporary disability.

They discovered that workers prescribed opiates long-term were on temporary disability three times as long as those who had filed claims yet not received opiates. Those who were only prescribed these powerful painkillers within the first three months, but not thereafter, did not show a substantial impact on disability duration. Study authors also concluded workers employed and residing in “high prescription” regions were more likely to receive a prescription for opioids, regardless of injury. Continue reading

Florida is somewhat unique when it comes to slip-and-fall cases (compared to other states and compared to other premises liability action here in Florida). Thanks to a 2010 move by the legislature (backed heavily by corporate lobbyists), people suing for slip-and-fall in Florida must prove not only that there was a transitory foreign substance on the floor of a business that caused a fall that resulted in injuries. They must also show, per F.S. 768.0755, that the property owner had actual or constructive knowledge of the substance. slip-and-fall

Actual knowledge would be if the property owner/ controller created the mess or was directly informed of it. Constructive knowledge can be established with circumstantial evidence that shows the slippery condition had either lasted for a long enough time the property owner should have discovered it in the course of using ordinary care OR that it occurred with regularity and was therefore foreseeable.

This can be challenging, which is why the injury attorney you choose should be highly skilled and experienced with a track record of success in these cases in the last eight years since the law changed.  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

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

A collision center in Texas has been ordered to pay $31.5 million to a couple in Dallas who suffered serious injuries as a result of a crash exacerbated by negligent auto repairs. injury attorney

Plaintiffs – husband and wife – suffered horrible injuries as a result of the fiery wreck. These include the husband’s fourth-degree burns, which continues to inflict constant agonizing pain. Although the crash was caused by a negligent driver in a sport utility vehicle, experts would later testify that plaintiffs should have walked away from that collision relatively unscathed. Instead, because of an improper auto repair following a hailstorm several months earlier, vehicle occupants are left with severe and permanent injuries.

The negligent auto repair lawsuit alleged the body shop bowed to pressure from plaintiff’s auto insurer to use the cheapest fix possible – despite knowing that it wasn’t safe. That meant instead of welding the new steal roof to the vehicle, as indicated in the manufacturer’s body repair manual, the piece was glued with an adhesive. So when the vehicle was struck, the roof buckled, the car’s safety cage collapsed and the fuel tank below the driver’s seat ruptured. Plaintiff husband was trapped under the steering wheel while flames engulfed the vehicle. Wife was pulled through the passenger window by another motorist, but it took significantly longer to extract the husband.  Continue reading

Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission, which convenes every 20 years to review proposed changes to the state’s constitution, is being asked to consider an introduction of a “Nursing Home Bill of Rights,” that would mandate the right of vulnerable residents to a safe, comfortable living environment. Proposal 88 also includes a provision that would guarantee residents’ access to courts and a jury system – a right that is often lost upon admission when residents are required to sign arbitration agreements. nursing home neglect attorney

This change could have a profound and lasting positive impact for the estimated 70,000 Florida nursing home residents, who are often frail, vulnerable and targets for abuse and exploitation. Arbitration agreements are generally disfavored by plaintiff attorneys because they strip patients of the right to have disputes resolved in a court of law by a jury. Arbitration takes away certain rights that are guaranteed through the court process, such as the right to discovery (the sharing of information about what allegedly occurred). Outcomes of arbitration in nursing home abuse cases also tend to be decided more favorably toward the nursing home, with fewer and lesser judgments for the plaintiffs. Finally, the process is secretive and confidential, meaning potential future patients don’t have the benefit of knowing what really took place and residents and families don’t have the right speak freely about problems with abuse and neglect at a given facility.

It’s worth noting there is a resident bill of rights codified in Florida Statutes, specifically F.S. 429.28. This provision affords residents a litany of protections, including the right to a safe living environment free from abuse and neglect, treatment that is respectful and cognizant of one’s personal dignity and access to appropriate and adequate health care consistent with established and recognized standards in the community. However, Proposal 88 would commit these rights to the state constitution (making them more difficult to amend) and also taking mandatory arbitration agreements off the table.  Continue reading

As it has now down now annually for more than a decade, the American Tort Reform Association has released a new edition of its “Judicial Hellholes” report, and this year, ranking Florida No. 1. It was deemed the worst in terms of “judges in civil cases systematically apply laws and court procedures in an unfair and unbalanced manner, generally to the disadvantage of defendants.” injury attorney

Do not be duped by this report, even if it gets circulated in various media reports. Here’s the truth of the matter: The ATRA is part of a well-funded public relations campaign (one that has been discredited numerous times by media outlets as well as state and national legal experts and academics).

It’s an organization that receives millions of dollars from deep-pocketed CEOs and others with business interests who want to make it harder for you collect damages if you’re seriously hurt. It’s prepared by a business-oriented group that takes a clear stance against personal injury lawsuits and sizable class action awards. The American Association for Justice refers to the report as “slick propaganda.” It plays on the erroneous theory that people and attorneys are getting rich off bunk personal injury claims. Continue reading

It’s imperative if you have suffered a serious personal injury to consult with an injury lawyer with extensive experience and a proven track record of success because there are many technical distinctions that can complicate even a seemingly straightforward claim. injury attorney

For example, if you are injured in a nursing home fall, is it a general personal injury claim or should it be filed under a theory of medical malpractice? There are several considerations one must make before choosing, and the distinction – though potentially a fine line – is important because medical malpractice claims have different requirements for notice, statute of limitations and burden of proof. If you pursue the wrong theory, you might ultimately find your evidence doesn’t meet the proof burden for the proper theory, and therefore you can’t recover any damages.

There can sometimes be a similar cloudy distinction between general negligence and premises liability, the latter of which involving the duty of landowners and occupiers to use reasonable care in addressing hazards and warning of them. In Florida, certain premises liability claims, such as slip-and-falls in a business establishment, must meet a higher standard of proof, as outlined in F.S. 768.0755. While claims of premises liability require a property owner or occupier to use ordinary care to reduce or eliminate an unreasonable risk of harm created by a condition on site that the defendant knows or should know about in the exercise of ordinary care, general negligence involves negligent activity where an owner or occupier do what a person of ordinary prudence in the same or similar circumstances would have done.

It was a failure to file the proper type of claim in United Scaffolding, Inc. v. Levine that resulted in the Texas Supreme Court’s reversal of a verdict favorable to a slip-and-fall injury plaintiff against a scaffolding contractor. Continue reading

In Florida premises liability law (which pertains to the responsibility of property owners to keep their site reasonably safe), the “open and obvious” doctrine is one that essentially states if a hazard or condition was open and obvious to a reasonable person, the landowner isn’t liable (or might be less liable) for failing to address the danger or warn the injured person about it. The idea is a visitor should have been able to recognize and appreciate that an open and obvious danger was present and take measures to protect themselves from that harm. personal injury

It can be a powerful defense, and one our personal injury attorneys in Fort Lauderdale are committed to challenging head-on. We recognize there may be numerous exceptions to the open-and-obvious doctrine, including:

  • Landowner knew people would likely be hurt even if they were aware of it;
  • Negligence per se, which involves violation of a health or safety statute, for which landowner could be liable regardless of the awareness or actions of the injured party.

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