Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

Everything about a semi-truck is bigger. The tires, the wheels, the mirrors, the loads they carry and the insurance policies that must be maintained on them. That last one is for very good reason: The potential for substantial property damage and serious injury when a semi-truck is involved in a crash is also outsized. These are some of the reasons Florida truck accident lawsuits can take much longer to resolve than typical car accident cases.Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyer

In a single recent year, there were more than 500,000 crashes involving large trucks, including more than 4,500 that were fatal and 107,000 that resulted in injuries. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the majority of those injured or killed in these collisions (82 percent) are the people in other vehicles. The number of fatal truck crashes per people in the U.S. has risen 27 percent since 2010. Continue reading

Construction sites are among the most dangerous workplaces in Florida. Those on-the-job work from heights, dodge moving objects, face the threat of slips, trips and falls, toil down in the trenches and encounter hazardous chemicals, toxic materials and live electricity. Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer

But it is ever possible for a worker injured in a construction accident to sue? The answer is yes, it’s possible, though as our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers can explain, it’s usually a third-party liability lawsuit rather than a direct lawsuit against one’s employer. The reason for this has to do with Florida’s workers’ compensation laws. Specifically, F.S. 440.11 holds that workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy of injury claims by an employee against an employer UNLESS:

  • The worker is not actually the company’s employee.
  • The employer committed an intentional tort that caused the injury or death of an employee (deliberately intending to injure the employee or engaging in conduct that, based on prior similar accidents or explicit warnings, they knew was virtually certain to result in injury/death to the employee and the employee didn’t know about the risk).
  • The employer didn’t secure workers’ compensation insurance, as they were required by law.

It is very tough to prove employers in construction site accidents committed an intentional tort. Most claims stem from the other two exceptions. Continue reading

The pregnant widow of a man shot and killed in South Florida over a puzzling parking lot altercation that resulted in her husband’s death – which she witnessed – has vowed that in addition to pressing for justice from the criminal courts, she will file a civil lawsuit for wrongful death. Would her baby have a claim too?

The right of survivors to claim damages is one of two kinds of wrongful death lawsuits in Florida. The other is an estate claim that seeks recovery of damages on the decedent’s behalf.Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney

The Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorneys at The Ansara Law Firm can help you determine the right of each survivor affected following the death of a loved one due to another’s negligence, recklessness and/or violence. We can also help you determine which kind of wrongful death lawsuit makes the most sense to pursue.

Florida law regarding the civil rights of fetuses can be a touchy subject, but statute does make it clear that a child who was not yet born when a parent died still has the right to pursue wrongful death damages – as long as they are eventually born. 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

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 parents of a toddler who drowned in a retention pond earlier this year have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the owner of the property, alleging negligence for failure to install a fence that would have protected their son and prevented his drowning.wrongful death Fort Lauderdale

A Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney can explain that these types of cases are what we refer to as premises liability claims. They posit that a property owner owed a duty of care to those who entered that site, failed in that duty and injury or wrongful death ensued.

Normally, this duty of care extends only to lawful guests, which means if someone trespasses on a property, they aren’t owed much of anything (except that the property owner not actively try to hurt them by setting traps, etc.). But this type of case involves a special kind of premises liability claim under what’s known as the attractive nuisance doctrine.

Essentially, F.S. 768.075 holds that landowners generally owe no duty to trespassers under most conditions. One exception is where it pertains to young children if there is a feature on the property likely to attract children, such as a swimming pool or pond. F.S. 823.08 also outlines a number of potential attractive nuisances, such as abandoned iceboxes, clothes dryers and other similar airtight objects in which children might want to play, but would be extremely dangerous. 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

Troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol will be cracking down on unsafe driving habits this month as part of their Operation Safe DRIVE (Distracted Reckless Impaired Visibility Enforcement), noting they’ll be watching in particular for infractions involving commercial vehicles. As one official noted to a local news outlet, a “surprising” number of highway crashes involve commercial vehicles of some type. Fort Lauderdale truck accident attorney

Our Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyers don’t find this surprising at all, in particular after viewing the latest U.S. Department of Transportation data on Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Analysis Division.

The data shows there were nearly 4,900 trucks and buses involved in deadly crashes in 2017 – which was a 9 percent increase from the number recorded just a year earlier. Further, the number of large trucks (defined as those over 10,000 pounds) and buses involved in fatal crashes spiked 42 percent from the record low of 3,432 in 2009.  Continue reading

Florida wrongful death lawsuits stemming from suspected medical malpractice by way of excessive medication doses are more common than we’d like to believe. Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice attorneys know that medical errors like these can result from ineffective charting procedures, inadequate oversight, poor staff training or staffers simply making an error and not following protocol.wrongful death lawyer

A study by Johns Hopkins University found that more a quarter of a million people in the U.S. die every year as a result of medical errors, and medical researchers said the actual figure could be as high as 440,000. Even the low estimate puts it at No. 3 for leading cause of death, behind heart disease and cancer. Medication overdose is what killed a two-year-old child in 2006 after an area pharmacist accidentally gave the child 20 times the recommended dose of sodium chloride. It was the girl’s last chemotherapy visit. She died three days later in Cleveland, Ohio. The pharmacist later served six months in jail for involuntary manslaughter.

Now in that same state, different hospital system, an intensive care doctor has been fired and nearly two dozen other employees have been placed on leave, including pharmacists and nurses. The Associated Press reports it all stemmed from the doctor who ordered dozens of patients be given potentially lethal doses of pain medication over the course of several years. Doses for another half a dozen patients were reportedly larger than necessary to simply provide comfort for the patients, but probably isn’t what caused their deaths. Continue reading

In what is believed to be one of the largest Florida wrongful death awards in the state’s history, three of the men convicted in connection with the shooting death of a 19-year-old former classmate have been ordered to pay $500 million. Of course, as our Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorneys can explain, it’s highly unlikely her family will receive anything close to that, as the claims were based on an intentional tort, for which insurers will not pay. What it does, as her family’s wrongful death attorney explained, is hold the men personally liable financially.Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorneys

Most Florida wrongful death or injury claims stemming from an assault or battery are filed against third parties for torts of negligence such as inadequate security. Liability insurers often will provide coverage (at least theoretically) for negligent acts that made plaintiff/decedent vulnerable to a criminal attack. Direct claims can be filed against a person for offenses like assault, false imprisonment, battery and homicide, meaning their personal assets and earnings will be subject to collection to fulfill the judgment. It is different than restitution, which is ordered by criminal courts.

In some cases, wrongful death attorneys will advise against pursuing an intentional tort claim against the attacker/wrongdoer unless he or she is independently wealthy. The reason is there may be no real gain even if the jury awards you a substantial sum. Plus, personal injury and wrongful death debts can sometimes be discharged in a subsequent bankruptcy proceeding. However, crime victims may have power in that scenario as a “creditor” in an adversary proceeding, asking the bankruptcy court to declare an ordinarily dischargeable debt instead nondischargeable. Injury or wrongful death verdicts resulting from the bankruptcy petitioner’s willful or malicious acts can be grounds for the court to deny discharge of this debt. Continue reading

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