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New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are supposed to mark a fond farewell to the past and a celebration of the promise to come. Too often though, a Miami drunk driving crash leads to injury, or worse, death. Miami drunk driving injury lawyer

Florida news outlets reported that between 2014 and 2016, a total of 34 New Year’s Day crashes were reported in the Sunshine State, averaging about 11 annually. It’s widely known the first and last days on the calendar are some of the worst for drunk driving accidents, injuries and deaths. In Florida, only five other days averaged more, though none with more than 13. The riskiest time on the roads is from midnight to 3 a.m. on Jan. 1. That’s when nearly one-third of all New Year’s Day car accidents occur. On New Year’s Eve, 44 percent of crashes occur between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. This pattern of drunk driving on New Year’s is seen all over the country, year after year.

Miami drunk driving injury lawyers know holidays in general tend to see a spike in Florida car accidents, starting around Thanksgiving and continuing on to Christmas and New Year’s and then through spring break in March. Mothers Against Drunk Driving teamed with Uber last year to encourage folks to designate a sober driver before they are too drunk to drive home themselves.

How to Avoid a Miami Drunk Driving Accident This New Year’s

If you can’t stand the thought of simply staying in this holiday or you’re planning on throwing a party, consider the following:  Continue reading

Police and other law enforcement investigators play an integral role in your Florida car accident injury claim. As Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers can explain, a traffic crash investigator provides a credible, unbiased and third-party documented observation of details like the date, time and location of an accident, names and contact information of everyone involved, description of injuries documented at the scene, descriptions of vehicles – down to the license plate and VINs. Investigators also provide details about any potential crash causes they may note, statements from witnesses and, if possible, those involved, road and weather conditions noted at the time of the collision and the nature and extent of any damages to personal or public property. They may even take photos or clips of video footage and sometimes in serious crashes or those involved in a DUI or other criminal investigation will continue to gather evidence even after they have left the scene. Fort Lauderdale car accident injury lawyer

Sometimes, citations for traffic violations will be issued, with conclusions drawn about who was at-fault for the Florida car accident.

But while police reports can be very persuasive and valuable in a crash case, they aren’t the only evidence considered, nor are they generally deemed the last word in any crash case. (In fact, the crash report itself is generally considered “hearsay,” and can’t be presented as evidence at trial absent the testimony of the officer who wrote it.) Continue reading

An increasingly common issue sprouting up in Fort Lauderdale probate litigation is prenuptial agreements. These agreements, also sometimes referred to as premarital agreements, are those made by couples prior to marriage that concern the ownership of respective assets should the marriage fail. However, Florida probate lawyers know they can also include virtually any right or interest in any present or existing property rights – including stipulations such as alterations of an existing will. As long as there is nothing in the contract that violates the law or affects the right of child support, the parties can pretty much contract for anything they want. Florida undue influence lawyer

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported that in a national survey, more than 60 percent of top family law attorneys have seen an increase in the total number of prenuptial agreement requests over the last three years, many saying millennial newlyweds were a significant driver of the uptick, though older generations too are securing these agreements, particularly in second or subsequent marriages. The reason for the latter, the AAML noted, was because older couples have more assets to protect.

A recent Florida probate case involving a prenuptial agreement was weighed by Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal. The spat was between decedent’s son and his wife over the way the estate was administered.  Continue reading

An appellate court recently affirmed a Florida car accident victim’s right to uninsured motorist benefits from her insurer after successfully arguing a 12-foot ladder left in the road had fallen from a truck whose owner/ driver were not identified. This personal injury case before Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeals was interesting for the fact that:

  • It involved a phantom motor vehicle;
  • The court inferred the ladder in the road had fallen from a pickup truck that had parked in the right emergency lane;
  • The court inferred the ladder had fallen into the road (causing a chain collision) due to negligence in securing the ladder.Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer

These conclusions were based primarily on circumstantial evidence and witness statements. Plaintiff’s uninsured motorist (UM) insurance carrier argued there was no proof of those last two points, the assertion relying wholly on circumstantial evidence and failing to exclude other possibilities. Defense sought a directed verdict in its favor. The court denied the motion and jurors decided the case in favor of plaintiff. The phantom vehicle was found 60 percent at-fault for the collision, while the soda company truck that rear-ended plaintiff’s vehicle when she made a sudden stop on the highway was 40 percent at-fault. The UM carrier is liable for damages caused by the “phantom vehicle. Continue reading

A South Florida injury lawyer can give you advice if you were injured as a result of negligence by someone who died in the accident itself or soon thereafter. A personal injury claim doesn’t die when the defendant does, though there can be complications because the case will be filed not against the person, but his or her estate. Typically though, it will still be an insurance company that stands in to represent the defendant and that ultimately foots the bill – especially in Florida car accident lawsuits.car accident lawyer South Florida

An appellate court in California recently addressed several issues that arose from such a situation in Meleski v. Estate of Holtlen, where a plaintiff sued the estate of a decedent, alleged to have been the at-fault driver in a crash in which plaintiff was injured. Although this was an out-of-state case, the same general principles apply with regard to Florida injury litigation.

In this case, plaintiff was injured when defendant ran a red light, colliding with her vehicle. Unfortunately, by the time plaintiff filed her lawsuit, defendant was deceased, apparently of unrelated causes. Decedent had no estate from which she could recover, but he had purchased an auto insurance policy for $100,000 that covered the accident. Plaintiff brought her complaint pursuant to the state’s probate statutes, which allowed her to serve her complaint on the insurance company directly and recover damages from that policy, though limiting recovery of damages to policy limits. Continue reading

It’s almost become second nature when something major happens to us: Update social media. However,  if you are injured in a Florida car accident, our Fort Lauderdale injury attorneys urge caution,. The reality is you could inadvertently harm your claim for damages. personal injury lawyer Fort Lauderdale

We’re all familiar with those “gotcha” news clips of a person who claimed they were seriously hurt and video evidence showed it clearly wasn’t as bad as they’d alleged. We’re not even talking about those cases. The insurance company and other defendants, they will want to damage your credibility any way they can. Defendants in personal injury lawsuits can request the court grant access to review your page – your posts, your likes, your photographs, your videos and even private messages. (Some courts have held that privacy settings matter when it comes to these requests. For example, a federal appellate court ruled in Crispin v. Audigier Inc. that when a user’s settings are “private,” their posts there are to be treated as private and not-discoverable, based on a 1986 electronics communication law. Yet the Supreme Court of New York, Suffolk County, ruled just the opposite in Romano v. Steelcase, finding the court could compel plaintiff to consent to turning over all current and deleted contents from her social media accounts, absent any consideration for her privacy settings, so long as the information contained therein was “material and necessary.”

What you need to bear in mind is that everything has the potential to be used against you. This is true even among injury plaintiffs that are truthful about how the accident happened and the extent of the injuries they suffered. Sometimes, it’s as seemingly innocuous as emojis or “likes.”  Continue reading

Many people may have mixed emotions when they receive word about the death of an ex-spouse, but they generally don’t expect to end up embroiled in probate. This can occur, though, when there are loose ends on finances, assets and property. Ideally, Miami probate lawyers know these matters would be cleanly settled years earlier in the divorce agreement, but sometimes, depending on the circumstances, it’s not possible for former spouses to entirely extricate themselves financially when the marriage dissolves. Miami probate lawyers

This was the case before a Florida probate court and later Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals, which was tasked settling issues that arose when a former wife and the estate of her recently-deceased (but long-time divorced) ex-husband disputed financial claims and rights to a residence in which they had both been long-time co-tenants. Both the estate and surviving ex-wife consulted with Miami probate lawyers to help them duke out the details.

Per court records, here’s what happened:

More than four decades ago, when the pair were still married, they purchased a property in Miami-Dade County and resided there together as husband-and-wife. Then, in 1986, the husband moved out of the residence, and the wife continued to live there. The marriage wasn’t legally dissolved until 10 years later, in 1996. The husband never moved back into the home, though he did occasionally come by for mail. But otherwise from that date until husband’s death in January 2010 in the Haitian earthquake, the exes held title as “tenants in common,” each having a 50 percent undivided interest in the property, though wife had exclusive occupancy. (In 2005 the wife’s mother also moved in, becoming a second occupant.) Continue reading

When you are injured on-the-job in Florida – as thousands of workers are – you most likely will be entitled to compensation for medical bills, a portion of lost wages, retraining and perhaps a lump sum disability payout from your workers’ compensation insurer. The good thing about workers’ compensation is that it is part of a no-fault system, meaning you don’t have to prove your employer did anything wrong or that you did not. Instead, one need only prove the injury occurred in the course of and arose from the scope of one’s employment. The trade-off is: It doesn’t cover everything. Fort Lauderdale work injury attorney

The exclusive remedy provision of workers’ compensation law stipulates it’s your only recourse against an employer. If you are left seriously injured or permanently disabled, it’s important to discuss with a South Florida injury attorney whether any third parties were negligent and, if so, whether they could be held liable to pay additional compensation.

Construction workers, who tend to have a higher-than-average rate of injury, often have grounds for third-party liability claims because frequently, there are many different entities involved with various responsibilities pertaining to safety. If your co-worker makes a mistake that results in your injury, you probably won’t have grounds to pursue anything additional there. However, if a property owner, general contractor, subcontractor, tool manufacturer or some other party fails in exercising a duty of care owed to workers on site, you might have a third-party claim. Also, if your employer did NOT have workers’ compensation insurance as required by law, you should be able to pursue an injury lawsuit against them as well.  Continue reading

When a person dies and there is more than one will, it can come as a surprise to family. No matter which side you’re on, you will need to discuss your options with a Florida probate lawyer. A careful investigation will be necessary to determine whether a will contest is appropriate. It may be that one of the wills produced has a clear claim, or it may be necessary to initiate probate litigation to assert the validity of one will over another. Fort Lauderdale probate lawyer

Many people understand the importance of updating their will and other estate planning documents when important life events occur, such as when there is a marriage, birth, death or major falling out or formation of new romantic ties. Wills can be updated and recipients of certain assets can be modified. That’s why it’s not unheard of to have two or more versions of the same will. The problem with having numerous wills is that it can ultimately result in the assets of the testator (creator of the will) not being distributed according to his or her desires. A Fort Lauderdale probate lawyer can explain in more detail, but generally, the courts will seize on the most recent version of the will. Ideally, all copies of the previous version of the will would be destroyed and the updated version should distributed to all concerned so there is no confusion. Of course, real life is rarely so tidy, and Florida will contests are fairly common.

These were the facts of the case in a matter before Florida’s 4th District Court of Appeal, though the exact issue before the court was whether a plaintiff’s claim should be dismissed for a technical defect. (This is another reason you should have a Fort Lauderdale probate lawyer on board – to ensure you don’t miss any key filing deadlines and that all claims are properly pleaded.) Continue reading

Work zone crashes are an incredibly serious problem that continues to plague our Florida roads and highways. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports in a single recent year, there were an estimated 97,000 work zone crashes, an increase of nearly 8 percent from just a year earlier – and a 42 percent rise since 2013. Although most only result in property damage, our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers know that every single day, there are at least 70 work zone crashes resulting at least one injury and every week, at least a dozen deaths. Even while overall highway traffic deaths decline, work zone crash fatalities are rising. Of those killed, 85 percent were drivers and passengers in cars and 25 percent of those fatal crashes involved a large truck (compared to 12 percent of highway deaths overall).Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney

Recently, the Alabama Supreme Court affirmed a $3 million verdict for plaintiff in a highway construction zone crash lawsuit, after defendant construction company sought a new trial or alternatively a remittitur (reduction of damages).

Work Zone Crash Causes Serious Personal Injury

The work zone crash occurred in June 2010 on a two-lane U.S. Highway where the construction crew was replacing the bridge and approaches to it. The state Department of Transportation had prepared plans for the project, including traffic control, and had supervisors on site to ensure compliance. Defendant construction worker was operating a Caterpillar motor grader in the northbound lane. Plaintiff, with four passengers in his van, attempted to go around the motor grader by crossing the double-yellow line into the southbound lane. The motor grader then turned left, and the two vehicles collided. Plaintiff suffered a double-fractured jaw, broken leg and bruised lung.  Continue reading

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