Articles Tagged with Fort Lauderdale injury lawyer

The New York Court of Appeals recently considered a case wherein plaintiff alleged injuries sustained as a result of a poorly-maintained, diseased tree was the responsibility of both the property owner and the state. According to court records, plaintiff suffered serious personal injuries when a large branch broke off that tree, which abutted the road, and fell onto her Jeep. The impact caused her to suffer traumatic brain injuries. treebranch

Plaintiff and her spouse sued both the property owner and the state. Against the property owner, plaintiffs alleged there was negligence in the failure to inspect, trim and remove the dead/ diseased tree. As far as the state, plaintiff alleged negligence by Department of Transportation workers for a failure to properly maintain trees along that road or warn drivers of the dangerous along that highway.

Defendant property owner asked to be allowed to introduce trial evidence of the state’s alleged negligence, and also requested a jury instruction on the apportionment of liability for damages between property owner and the state. Plaintiff indicated that while there was nothing preventing the jury from hearing trial evidence tending to show the state was possibly liable for her injuries, but she objected insofar as the jury should not be allowed to apportion fault against the state. (The state could not be ultimately joined in this action because sovereign immunity laws prevented her from prevailing in such action.)  Continue reading

Japanese auto parts maker Takata recently pleaded guilty to fraud for concealing defects in millions of airbags sold to consumers throughout the U.S. and across the globe. The Justice Department announced the company will pay $1 billion for this deception, which affected 19 automakers and some 100 million vehicles worldwide. airbag

Although that sounds like a lot, it’s actually peanuts, given the scope of the fraud in comparison to what other companies have paid for similar offenses. For example, Volkswagon was required to pay $21 billion over an emissions-cheating scandal. Although penalties will include $125 million to consumers, the judge could have imposed as much as $1.5 billion. However, doing so likely would have put the auto maker out of business.

Still, that might yet be on the horizon. In Miami, a U.S. District Judge said the settlement means the pending multi-district litigation can move forward, most likely via settlements before trial. Continue reading

Recently, the North Carolina Supreme Court took on the issue of whether an arbitration agreement can be enforced in a medical contract. In a 4-2 decision, the court ruled plaintiff patient and his wife don’t need to go to private arbitration with the doctor and surgical practice for permanent injuries plaintiff suffered when defendant doctor performed surgery on him eight years ago. medical doctor

Plaintiff went to the doctor for repair of a hernia. When he made his first appointment with the surgeon, he was handed a huge stack of paperwork to sign, which defendant doctor’s office routinely presents to new patients, along with other documents, prior to the first time the doctor meets with the patient. Included in that stack of papers was a legal document, known as an arbitration agreement, in which plaintiff signed away his right to have any future disputes with the doctor – including those pertaining to medical malpractice – resolved by a court of law. Instead, any disputes would be handled through a private arbitration firm.

This practice has become increasingly common, and the Florida Supreme Court encountered this very issue with regard to medical malpractice claims in a 2013 case – and reached a very similar conclusion.  Continue reading

Work is a dangerous place for many in South Florida, and there are numerous opportunities to get hurt, depending on the field. Falls are typically the most common, but motor vehicles accidents are a significant source of workers’ compensation claims too. Workers’ compensation benefits are typically the only source of money one can get from an employer for a work-related injury. The good news is employees don’t have to prove the company was negligent, but they are usually only entitled to coverage of medical bills and a portion of lost wages. driveInjuries caused by co-workers – even negligent co-workers – usually fall under this exclusive remedy umbrella.

However, if a worker is injured by a co-worker who was not acting in the course and scope of employment, then the injured worker may be able to pursue a claim directly against that co-worker.

This was the situation in Entila v. Cook, recently weighed by the Washington Supreme Court. Although the ruling doesn’t have a direct bearing on cases in Florida, it’s known that state high courts will often look to the rulings set by other state supreme courts in deciding similar cases.  Continue reading

Traffic engineers have decided that despite a fatal crash in late September, a Delray Beach intersection won’t be getting a new traffic light after all. However, engineers did recommend moving forward with a number of improvements that were already planned. intersection

The Sun Sentinel reports the crossing at Federal Highway and Northeast First Street will be updated over the next several months to include:

  • A sign for motorists on Federal Highway, notifying them of the upcoming intersection;
  • A sign for motorists on Northeast First Street, to notify them cross traffic won’t stop;
  • Larger stop signs for those traveling both directions on Northeast First Street;
  • Relocation of a garbage can and bench that reportedly obstruct motorists’ views.

Continue reading

A horrific school bus crash in Tennessee made international headlines when the driver, ferrying 37 children, strayed from the route and crashed, leaving six children dead and dozens injured. Questions have been raised as to whether the 24-year-old driver intentionally crashed the bus and whether the district should have been aware that he was a possible risk on the road.school bus

The reality is that school bus accidents – especially fatal ones – aren’t all that common. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that between 20004 and 2013, there were 1,214 school-transportation related fatal crashes. Approximately 134 people die in school vehicle-related crashes and about 8 percent of those are actually on the bus. About one-fifth are pedestrians and bicyclists. Most are people in other vehicles.

In the recent Florida case of Davis v. Baez, plaintiff was a student pedestrian who was injured when she was struck by another vehicle while crossing a darkened, busy street early one morning to get to her bus stop. Normally, the school bus driver wouldn’t be liable in a case like this, but the driver – allegedly and against the school district’s policy – instructed students at this particular stop to cross the street and be waiting for him at the bus stop on the east side of the street when he arrived. He told them if they didn’t cross before he got there, he wouldn’t stop to pick them up. However, school policy required that the students be allowed to wait on the east side of the street until the bus arrived, at which time the driver would extend his flashing stop sign to halt traffic in both directions so students could cross safely to the stop.  Continue reading

A man who successfully sued a hotel chain and several other defendants for third-party liability stemming from a criminal attack at a hotel has now won another victory for attorney’s fees before the Florida Supreme Court.parkingbumper

At issue was F.S. 768.79 and whether a trio of defendants – named as one entity in jury instructions – received sufficient offers of settlement to trigger the requirement that they cover plaintiff’s lawyer fees.

The statute allows that if an offer of settlement is made (by either side) and isn’t accepted within 30 days and the matter then goes to trial and is decided in favor of the opposite party (at least 25 percent less than the offer made by a defendant or 25 percent more for an offer made by plaintiff), the losing side has to pay the attorney’s fees of the other party. The goal is to encourage litigants to accept reasonable offers and thus reduce the time and expense of a trial. (It should be noted that most civil injury lawyers accept cases on a contingency fee basis, which means they are only paid a percentage of your total damage awards if you win, but nothing if you don’t win. An award of attorney’s fees means your financial obligation to your lawyer wouldn’t be taken out of your final damage award.)  Continue reading

Catastrophic traumatic brain injury is a thief. It steals the remnants of a person’s identity. It takes away the lives they and their loved ones once knew. It robs them of the future they might have had. brainscan

When traumatic brain injuries occur as a result of a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, the victim deserves to be compensated, as do their loved ones. It won’t give them back the life they had. But a just outcome in an injury lawsuit can alleviate the stress of medical bills. It can ease the financial woes caused by that individual no longer being able to work. Although nothing can return things to the way they once were, it can help families begin to heal.

Recently, a jury in the Georgia case of Khan v. Moore Freight Service Inc., recognized this. As Courtroom View Network (CVN) reported, plaintiff as awarded $20 million in damages following trial. Continue reading

In Florida, courts have established a rebuttable presumption when it comes to the negligence of rear drivers in rear-end collisions. However, this presumption is not without exception, though they are very specific.

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For example, a sudden stop by a driver ahead isn’t enough to overcome the presumption. The stop has to be both sudden AND unexpected. For instance, a driver on a suburban street who stops suddenly for a child who darted out into the middle of road – that’s not wholly unexpected. Neither is a driver who stops suddenly at an intersection because someone else ran a red light. However, a driver who arbitrarily stops suddenly on a four-lane highway – that might be both sudden and unexpected.

Still, drivers who are struck from behind should not assume these will be slam-dunk cases either. An experienced attorney can help you spy any potential hurdles to overcome. Continue reading

In Florida car accident litigation, it’s not just the facts that matter. It’s the procedural details. driving

The claim has to be properly stated, served and filed. All the elements have to be there – on time – or else you risk forfeiting your right to assert damages, perhaps forever.

This was the unfortunate outcome for plaintiff in Sorenson v. Batchfelder, recently before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Although this is an out-of-state case, the same general principles apply.  Continue reading

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