Articles Tagged with Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer

Car accidents happen every day in Florida – about 1,095 times a day, to be exact. In some of those instances, more than one person may be at-fault.Fort Lauderdale injury lawyer

They may not be equally at-fault. But as a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer can explain, the fact that an injured party was partly responsible for a crash does not bar them from seeking compensation from the other party, at least not in Florida. That’s thanks to a doctrine known as comparative fault.

Broadly, comparative fault (also called comparative negligence or contributory negligence) is a partial legal defense that can reduce the amount of monetary damages a plaintiff can recover in a negligence-based claim. It’s based on the degree to which the plaintiff’s own fault, negligence, or wrongdoing contributed to cause the injury or exacerbate it.

For example, if Person A runs a red light and causes a crash that injures Person B, the latter has a legitimate claim against the former. This is true even if Person B also happened to be speeding at the time of the crash, thereby making their injuries more severe than they might have been otherwise. In this situation, a jury may find that Person A was 80% at fault and Person B was 20% at fault. If the total damages were $100,000, then Person B’s total damages would be reduced according to their own fault – so by 20%. That means the most they could recover in that scenario would be $80,000.

Florida has been a pure comparative fault state since 1973. That meant that even if you were 99% at fault for the injury you sustained, you could still pursue legal action against the other person for their 1% of fault.

However, that changed in March 2023, with updates to F.S. 768.81, Florida’s comparative fault law. The statute was changed to say that if you are 51% or more responsible for your own injuries, then you cannot recover any damages at all. However, you could be 50% at fault and still recover the other 50% from other at-fault parties. Continue reading

Few occurrences are quite as traumatic as the serious injury or death of a child. Parents navigating the aftermath and exploring avenues of accountability and compensation from those at fault need to understand there are a few ways in which Florida child injury lawsuits differ from other claims.Florida child injury lawsuit

As our Fort Lauderale personal injury lawyers can explain, many underlying legal principles, causes of action and deadlines are the same. But when a victim is a minor, there may be some special considerations and extensions.

Here, we detail three ways that Florida child injury lawsuits may be different than adult personal injury filings.

1. Statute of Limitations for Child Injuries in Florida

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As Broward car accident lawyers, we may be able to represent more than one person involved in the same car accident – but only when there is no conflict of interest between them. The problem, however, is that not all conflicts of interest are immediately apparent.

Defining a Conflict of InterestBroward car accident lawyer

As noted in Florida Rules Regulating the Florida Bar 4-1.7, some ethical conflicts of interest for lawyers exist when:

  • The representation of one client would be directly adverse to another.
  • There’s substantial risk that representing one or more client would be materially limited by the lawyer’s responsibilities to another client, former client, or third person by a lawyer’s personal interest.

Such conflicts can sometimes be waived if the lawyer believes they can provide competent and diligent representation to all clients, the representation isn’t barred by law, and each affected client gives informed consent.

When Interests May Conflict for Broward Car Accident Victims

When it comes to Broward car accident cases, the most obvious conflict of interest would involve representation of one driver suing another for negligence. That would likely never happen.

Similarly, it’s highly unlikely a Broward car accident lawyer could ethically represent both an injured passenger and the driver being sued for the negligence that caused the passenger’s injuries.

Where the lines become a bit more blurred is when two people in the same crash are suing a third party for negligence that caused both their injuries. For example, it might make sense for two family members injured in the same car accident to hire one lawyer if the other driver was mostly if not entirely at-fault. This is particularly true if you’re a parent of minor children.

However, it’s important to understand that if a driver and passenger suing the same driver for the same act of alleged negligence, a conflict can arise because the money will be paid from the same pot. If the injuries of one person are more severe, fairness would stand to reason that they should get a larger chunk of the money. An attorney representing both clients may find themselves with a conflict of interest because they’re advocating for the maximum payout for each.

Also bear in mind that there are few South Florida car accidents in which one driver is entirely, 100 percent at-fault for the crash. There are often several factors. If you are a passenger in a car with a driver who was just partially at-fault, you may have viable claims against both drivers. In that situation, it would be a conflict of interest for a Broward personal injury lawyer to represent both you and the person who was driving the car you were in.

Florida Bar Ethics Opinion on Car Accident Lawyer Conflicts of Interest

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Florida’s sun-kissed beaches, resorts, and theme parks are world-renowned – which is why Broward County alone drew 118 million visitors in a single recent year. Tourism is the state’s No. 1 industry, and our restaurants, hotels, and other businesses profit handsomely from it. But with this comes responsibility to take reasonable precautions to protect guests from foreseeable risks. Failure to do so, as a Fort Lauderdale injury lawyer can explain, can be categorized as negligent security and could be legally actionable if you’re harmed. woman looks out of balcony of Florida hotel negligent security risk

The broad definition of negligent security is a form of premises liability by which an individual who is injured by the criminal action of a third party can hold legally liable the owner or tenant of a property where the injury was inflicted. Typically, such injuries arise out of cases of robbery, rape, assault, or battery.

This is not to say there’s a potential civil claim for every criminal action. The question is whether you had a right to expect some degree of safety where the attack occurred – whether that was at a shopping mall or an office complex or an entertainment venue or a hotel. The people who own and control these properties are expected to have a basic understanding of the possible safety risks posed to their customers, and to take reasonable action to secure the premises and protect these individuals – particularly when (as in the case of the hotel) those individuals are paying customers.

As a Fort Lauderdale injury lawyer can tell you, prevailing on a claim of negligent security against a hotel requires proof that the crime could have been prevented – or at least made less likely – if the hotel owner or manager had used appropriate security measures. If the  lapse in security happened due to the mistake of an employee, the hotel owner/employer can still be held liable under a legal doctrine known as respondeat superior, Latin for “let the master answer.”

Examples of Negligent Security at a Florida Hotel

There are many different scenarios in which an injured Florida tourist could sue a hotel for negligent security. Continue reading

If you’ve recently been in a Fort Lauderdale car accident, you may be wondering whether this ordeal will eventually wind up in a courtroom trial.Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer

While every case is different, the most probable answer is: No.

That’s not to say it’s impossible. But the truth is, most Fort Lauderdale car accident cases never even become lawsuits – let alone make it all the way to trial.

When we talk about Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawsuits, we’re referring to cases that fall under the umbrella of legal “torts.” As our Broward personal injury lawyers can explain, a tort is an act – or omission – that results in injury or harm to another for which courts can impose legal liability.Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer

In most Florida personal injury cases, it’s necessary to prove that the “tortfeasor” (aka alleged wrongdoer or defendant) owed a legal duty of care to the person who was hurt. By breaching that duty of care and causing injury, the tortfeasor is responsible to pay financial damages to those adversely impacted.

There are many different kinds of torts. But when it comes to Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawsuits, there are a few types we see crop up time and again.

1. South Florida Car Accidents

Auto accidents are the root of most personal injury claims in Florida. All motorists owe one another – as well as passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and other road users – a duty of care to obey all traffic rules and use reasonable caution behind the wheel. If they violate traffic laws and someone gets hurt, they can be held liable. Even if they don’t explicitly violate the law but failed to use reasonable care when driving, they can be held legally liable in a Florida personal injury case.

It’s worth noting that (at least for now) Florida is a no-fault car accident state. What that means is that all motorists are required to carry a type of insurance coverage called personal injury protection, or PIP. This coverage will kick in and cover up to $10,000 in damages (medical bills, lost wages, etc.) to the insured and other parties covered by the policy – regardless of who is at fault. However, if the injuries sustained in the crash meet the “serious injury threshold” as outlined in F.S. 627.737, those hurt can step outside that no-fault system and pursue financial recovery from those who were at-fault in the crash. (Generally, a serious injury is defined as one that results in significant or permanent loss of a key body function, permanent scarring or disfigurement, or death.)

Florida follows a system of pure comparative fault, per F.S. 768.81, which basically means everyone is expected to bear legal responsibility for damages that is proportionate to their level of fault. (This applies in many different types of Florida personal injury cases.) As it pertains to Fort Lauderdale car accidents, if the plaintiff (person filing the claim) is found to bear a percentage of the blame for what happened, their financial recovery will be reduced by that percentage. For example, let’s say you’re injured in a crash with another driver, you suffer $100,000 in damages, but are found 20 percent at fault. The most you could collect from the other driver would be $80,000. Continue reading

Social media has become a ubiquitous presence in our daily lives, making it second nature to share everything from the mundane to the momentous. Those involved in South Florida personal injury lawsuits know that it can be one of those “big things” that can consume a lot of your physical and emotional energy. It would seem natural, then, to share this with others to whom you’re connected on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok or other platforms. Fort Lauderdale accident attorney

As Fort Lauderdale accident attorneys, we generally advice against this. The problem is that information on social media accounts – particularly anything that relates to your accident, injury or recovery – could undercut your personal injury claim. Such posts can provide defense lawyers with a valuable source of information that refute the cause of your injury, impeach your credibility or poke holes in the amount of damages you claim to have suffered.

This isn’t to say that people posting about their case are lying about anything. In fact, it’s more likely that they post because they feel they have nothing to hide. The problem is you aren’t looking at the information through the same lens as a lawyer. The intent and implications of certain pictures, posts, videos or comments could be twisted by the defense team. It’s better to limit your social media engagement while your case is pending, if possible. If you have questions about specifics, direct them to your accident attorney. 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

There is no law that says you must hire – or be provided with the services of – a personal injury lawyer. However, if you have suffered serious injuries, it’s important to understand that the legal rules implicated in many Florida personal injury cases can be complex. In some instances, insurance companies refuse to settle in good faith. In trying to handle the matter on your own without the assistance of a Fort Lauderdale injury lawyer, you may soon find that you’re in over your head. Worse, it can cost you more than the attorney’s fees you’d pay.Fort Lauderdale injury lawyer

The civil justice system makes personal injury representation more accessible by stipulating that Florida injury cases must be accepted on a contingency fee basis. What that means is plaintiff’s don’t pay attorney’s fees up front – or at all if they don’t win. Attorneys have incentive to be honest with you about the merits of your case, the extent of your damages and your chances at winning a favorable settlement or verdict.

That said, you might not need an attorney, particularly if your injuries are very minor. An injury lawyer will tell you will tell you upfront in a free initial consultation whether you can benefit from their services – or not. 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

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