Articles Posted in personal injury

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

In a case likely to be closely-watched both for the high-profile nature of the underlying incident and the precedent it’s likely to set for victim compensation claims against school districts and other Florida government agencies deemed liable in mass casualty incidents.  the Florida Supreme Court has accepted review of a lawsuit against the Broward County School Board for failure to protect children from the mass shooting incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Broward injury lawyer blog

When oral arguments are held in late August, justices will be analyzing whether damage caps applied to government liability claims should be adjusted when multiple people are harmed or killed. The court scheduled for the same day a similar case against the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Florida Sovereign Immunity Law Caps Damages for School Liability

Broward wrongful death lawyers can explain the key issue will be an interpretation of Florida’s sovereign immunity law, F.S. 768.28. If you sue a state government agency – whether it’s a police department, city government, school district or larger state agencies – those damages are capped at $200,000 per person and $300,000 per incident. The question is whether these deaths all occurred as a part of one incident, and thus all parents are required to split the $300,000, or whether each shot fired was a separate incident, and thus entitling each individual claimant to $200,000. Continue reading

In most cases, you have up to four years in which to file a Florida personal injury lawsuit. There is rarely a good reason to wait that long, but for some circumstances, the longer statute of limitations per F.S. 95.11(3) is advantageous. As for how long a Fort Lauderdale injury lawsuit will take to resolve once it is filed, the answer depends on many variables.injury lawyer Fort Lauderdale

Whether we’re talking about a boating accident or a dog bite or a slip-and-fall injury or even a car crash, key questions to be resolved include:

  • Who was at fault?
  • To what extent were those persons at fault?
  • What injuries resulted from the wrongdoing?
  • How will those injuries impact a plaintiff, survivors, etc.?

That is a very broad oversimplification of the legal questions that arise, but the difficulty in answering them can shed some light on how long a claim may take to resolve.

For instance, as your Fort Lauderdale injury attorney sets about answering the question of “who is at fault?” we may discover there is more than one defendant with some responsibility. That could complicate the claims resolution process. Continue reading

Tort reform advocates have long pushed for ways to make it harder for Florida personal injury claimants to be compensated for losses caused by negligence. While these tort reform proponents rail about frivolous lawsuits and out-of-control damage awards and greedy plaintiff lawyers and rising insurance costs, the reality is they work for the insurance industry and they’re selling snake oil. It’s been proven time and again that rules barring litigation and enforcing caps on personal injury damages do nothing to curb insurance costs or bolster industry. Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at The Ansara Law Firm noted as much when the Florida Supreme Court said as much in 2017 when in North Broward Hospital District v. Kalitan it struck down a law capping non-economic damages or medical malpractice, rebuking legislators for predicating the law on false/misleading industry statistics.Fort Lauderdale injury lawyer

Now, emboldened by a business-friendly legislature, governor and state supreme court, Florida lawmakers are proposing a series of new tort reform measures that would once again make it more difficult for injured plaintiffs to recover sufficient damages inflicted by negligence. The first is HB 17 Tort Reform and the second is SB 1320 Damages Recoverable for Health Care Costs in Florida personal injury and wrongful death claims.

Florida Tort Reform Bill Would Protect Insurance Companies Continue reading

Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident attorneys know electric scooters and pedestrians don’t make for the safest mix on our sidewalks. Fort Lauderdale commissioners acknowledged as much in a recent two-hour meeting. However, as the mayor noted, officials don’t have any interest at this point in banning the e-scooters. One commissioner even tested a model before the meeting, concluding it wouldn’t be in the city’s best interest to eliminate e-scooters as a transportation option, particularly one that gives the city a “cool vibe.” Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident attorney

Officials did say they eventually want to enact a measure that would require the e-scooters to reduce their speed (currently at 15 mph, which is too fast to mingle with pedestrians) and also be relegated to bike lanes. The latter is within the purview of the state legislature, which is in the early phases of passing such a measure. For now, scooter riders must stick to the sidewalks.

Our city is the first in Florida to allow e-scooters, even as the metro area was named in a recent Dangerous by Design 2019 report as being among the worst in the country for deadly pedestrian accidents. Although city officials reason that e-scooters could help us carve out a tourism market advantage over other surrounding communities, being the first means we’re facing a host of regulatory and safety issues for the first time. Continue reading

A Florida teacher sexually assaulted by an 18-year-old student is trying to collect on a $3 million settlement from her former employer, the Miami-Dade School District, accused of endangering her and breaking the law, opening the door to a violent attack and serious injuries. Although sovereign immunity laws cap liability for government agencies (like school district) at $200,000 per individual, more can be awarded through the passage of a state lawmaker claims bill, for which the district lobbied and a legislator from Broward has already sponsored. Miami teacher injury lawyer

As Miami school injury lawyers, we are struck by a few different unique elements in this case. Firstly, most school assault injury lawsuits in Florida involve students who are either injured by other students or teachers. Schools unquestionably owe a duty of care to students over whom they have control and can be held liable in some circumstances for criminal assaults that occur on school property or are the perpetuated by school employees or contractors. It’s less common that claims are filed by teachers suffering injury by student. Not that it’s unheard of. An article published last year in Education Week revealed an estimated 6 percent of the nation’s nearly 4 million teachers were attacked by a student during the 2015-2016 school year. Another 10 percent were threatened with violence by a student. The article also highlighted a 2017 study published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence indicating female teachers were more likely to be attacked than male teachers, with new teachers especially vulnerable to threats and violence.

This case hit all those marks. However, teacher injuries sustained in the course and scope of employment – whether a slip-and-fall or an attack by a student – are typically covered by no-fault workers’ compensation. For most work accidents and work injuries, this will be the exclusive remedy (only legal recourse) a teacher or school employee has against an employer district. Work injury exclusive remedy in Florida is spelled out in F.S. 440.11. The only exception is when the actions of an employer, as proven by clear and convincing evidence, reveal the employer deliberately intended to hurt the employee OR engaged in conduct employer knew (based on prior similar accidents or explicit warnings specifically identifying a known danger) was virtually certain to result in an employee injury or death AND that risk of danger wasn’t apparent to employee AND employer deliberately misrepresented or concealed the danger to prevent the employee from making an informed judgment about whether to perform the work.

Since changes were made to this state law in 2003, zero Florida work injury cases have met this exception to exclusive remedy threshold. Arguably, there is a good chance this teacher injury case might have met the proof burden, which is likely why the district chose to settle the case pre-trial for an amount in significant excess of statutory damage caps.  Continue reading

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