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What happens if someone dies in Florida without a will? Fort Lauderdale probate litigation lawyer

A recent survey by the AARP revealed 60 percent of American adults do not have a will and are not planning for the end of their lives. Some of this is dictated by age. For instance, among those between ages 53 and 71, roughly 58 percent do have estate-planning documents. Among those older than 72, more than 80 percent have a will. Although most Americans live past the age of 40, there is never a guarantee.

That’s why our Fort Lauderdale probate attorneys want to stress the importance of a will for everyone over the age of 18 – even if you don’t think it’s not necessary because you’re married and assume all of it will go automatically to either your spouse or children.

The process of probate itself can consume a portion of those assets, and disputes that arise between potential heirs certainly will too. 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

Distracted driving continues to be a major problem in Florida – one a Palm Beach County lawsuit alleges has been compounded by the “inherently dangerous” technology employed by one of South Florida’s popular rideshare companies.Palm Beach Car accident lawyer

Plaintiff was a pedestrian who sustained serious, life-long injuries in a crash several months ago. The driver who struck her had himself been struck seconds earlier by a Lyft Inc. driver. Plaintiff alleges the Lyft driver was distracted by the company’s digital app, which requires the independent contractors to check their phones constantly behind the wheel.

Are Rideshare Apps Unreasonably Dangerous?

Although this isn’t the first time rideshare drivers and even other technology companies have been accused of liability in distracted driving cases, this matter is a bit different than many of the others our Palm Beach County car accident attorneys have seen. In addition to asserting Lyft’s negligence, plaintiff also raises the issue of product liability. The technology is unreasonably dangerous as designed, according to the complaint. Continue reading

When it comes to the Florida probate litigation statute of limitations, one might generally presume reading F.S. Ch. 95 that they have about four years to file a case. However, as our Fort Lauderdale probate litigation attorneys can explain, trust cases in particular almost always follow something called equitable law.undue influence probate litigation

Equitable strives for equal, but in the case of some breach of trust cases, our Fort Lauderdale probate litigation attorneys have seen this mean as little as 6 months… Or it could mean you have as many as 40 years.

In the case of undue influence, however (which is the most common grounds for a Florida will contest), your limitations period again is usually four years. At most, however, it can be up to 12 years. This is thanks to something called the “delayed discovery doctrine.” Continue reading

Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys can tell you there is no such thing as a “safe” car crash. Anytime a large mass of hot, moving metal collides with anything, there is the potential for serious injury or even death. Still, there are undoubtedly some types of collisions statistically known to be worse than others. Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer

These include:

  • Pileup car accidents
  • Rollover crashes
  • T-bone collisions
  • Head-on collisions

The National Safety Council reported that last year, more than 40,000 people were killed in U.S. car accidents – the third straight year in a row they were that high after decades of declines. Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers know this doesn’t even encompass everyone affected, as there are hundreds of thousands who suffer severe injuries. Motor vehicle collisions are one of the No. 1 causes of death in the U.S., as well as a leading cause of unintentional injury and property damage.

Although every crash is unique, the reality is there are certain kinds that tend to result in substantial medical expenses, lost wages, extended recovery time and pain and suffering.

When it comes to compensation for these losses, Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys typically first help you start with claims to your own auto insurer through personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to a maximum $10,000 (80 percent of your medical losses and a portion of your lost wages). Florida is a no-fault state for auto insurance claims, but you can step outside that system and pursue bodily injury liability coverage from the insurers of those at-fault if your injuries are considered serious, disabling and/or permanent. 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

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

Absent the assistance of an experienced Fort Lauderdale special needs trust attorney, your dependents with special needs will be at the mercy of the state to ascertain their eligibility for public assistance benefits as well as their entitlement to your estate. Fort Lauderdale special needs trust attorney

If you have a child – minor or adult – who is physically or mentally impaired and therefore cannot earn an income and be self-sufficient, it is in their best interest for you to establish for them a special needs trust. This ensures they will receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), SSDI, Medicaid, Medicare and other support programs when you die and are no longer able to provide daily care and support.

It is imperative to discuss these elements with a South Florida estate attorney because the reality is, if you – with the best of intentions – leave your child with more than a certain amount of assets, either in your will or through a trust – you might inadvertently disqualify him or her from eligibility to receive public benefits. If you have a substantial estate to allow your special needs child or loved one to live comfortably – and also cover medically necessary treatment – this may result in your child ending up in a difficult situation. As our Fort Lauderdale probate litigation attorneys can explain, even a relatively small inheritance from you could result in your adult child becoming ineligible to receive government benefits that may otherwise better cover their needs.  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

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

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