Articles Tagged with Injury lawyer Fort Lauderdale

As it has now down now annually for more than a decade, the American Tort Reform Association has released a new edition of its “Judicial Hellholes” report, and this year, ranking Florida No. 1. It was deemed the worst in terms of “judges in civil cases systematically apply laws and court procedures in an unfair and unbalanced manner, generally to the disadvantage of defendants.” injury attorney

Do not be duped by this report, even if it gets circulated in various media reports. Here’s the truth of the matter: The ATRA is part of a well-funded public relations campaign (one that has been discredited numerous times by media outlets as well as state and national legal experts and academics).

It’s an organization that receives millions of dollars from deep-pocketed CEOs and others with business interests who want to make it harder for you collect damages if you’re seriously hurt. It’s prepared by a business-oriented group that takes a clear stance against personal injury lawsuits and sizable class action awards. The American Association for Justice refers to the report as “slick propaganda.” It plays on the erroneous theory that people and attorneys are getting rich off bunk personal injury claims. Continue reading

Every year, thousands of people in the U.S. die in distracted driving accidents – 3,400 in 2015, to be exact. While most states, including Florida, have some type of law on the books that aims to curb these incidents. But there are plenty of traffic safety advocates who say these measures aren’t doing enough. phone

Just take Florida, for example. F.S. 316.305 went into effect in 2013 (and was one of the last texting-and-driving bans in the country to be enacted). The statute prohibits a person from operating a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols or other characters into a phone or wireless communication device. So far so good, right? But there are a few issues. First off, it’s a secondary offense, which means police can’t initiate a traffic stop on this basis alone; they can only issue a citation if they stop a driver for another offense. Even if they do ticket the driver, it’s only a $35 citation for a first-time offender. Not much of a deterrent. Beyond that, the law doesn’t ban talking (which studies have shown can be just as distracting) or dialing a number (and it can be tough for an officer to discern the difference between that and texting from outside the vehicle, especially if it’s moving). Also, it doesn’t address the expanding technology, which includes video chats.

Now, there are two bills on the table to enhance penalties for those who violate Florida’s current ban on texting and driving. HB 47 would increase the fine (doubling it for offenses in school zones or designated crossings) and also make the violation a primary offense, as opposed to a secondary offense. Meanwhile, HB 69 targets drivers 18 or younger, and would make the offense primary only for these motorists.  Continue reading

The central question in a Florida injury lawsuit is whether a plaintiff’s paralyzing spinal cord injuries in June 2012 were the result of medical negligence or the crash for which she was being treated. doctor

The case is Silkworth v. Boca Raton Regional Hospital. The South Florida woman alleges her injuries were caused by failure of the hospital staffers to adhere to appropriate medical guidelines in immediately immobilizing her spine in the wake of a horrific car accident. She had been a passenger in the backseat of a taxi late one night when the vehicle was T-boned by another motorist. She was rushed by ambulance to the hospital. She concedes she was in serious condition when she arrived at the hospital, but the standard of care in her case dictated that medical workers immediately immobilize her spine. But they didn’t do that, and now, she says, she is permanently paralyzed from the waist down.

Medical reports indicate plaintiff didn’t have any symptoms of paralysis until long after she got to the hospital and underwent treatment – without her spine first being immobilized.  Continue reading

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused a review of a Florida case that challenge the state’s entire workers’ compensation system. That means the lower court’s ruling in Stahl v. Hialeah Hospital will stand. worker

The ruling was not wholly unexpected. Stahl was essentially an indictment of the entire workers’ compensation system in Florida. The case stems back to 2003, when plaintiff began working as a nurse at a mid-sized hospital and he suffered a work-related back injury. This occurred just a few months after state legislators had enacted a series of changes to the state’s workers’ compensation program. Two years after his injury, his physician determined that he had reached maximum medical improvement. Unfortunately, that rating – and his injury – was essentially career-ending because, being unable to lift above a certain weight, he could no longer be a nurse. He was then awarded just 12 weeks of impairment benefit income and $5,472 – for an injury that permanently locked him out of his field. Later, the workers’ compensation board determined plaintiff didn’t meet the definition for permanent total disability and his claim for those benefits were denied.

What he argued in his case was that this award of just $5,472 was not adequate for the injury he sustained. Therefore, it could not be the exclusive remedy plaintiff had as recourse. Florida, like so many other states, recognizes an exclusive remedy provision that prohibits injured workers from suing their employer for negligence in exchange for a system of no-fault benefits. However, those benefits are supposed to fairly compensate workers for their losses. It was supposed to be part of a “grand bargain,” but as workers’ compensation protections are being steadily whittled away, it’s more of a bargain for companies and more of a raw deal for workers.  Continue reading

Traffic laws are intended to keep order on the roads and improve safety for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians who all share the space. road

However, there are questions about how effective some of those laws truly are when when Florida has some of the highest rates of accident deaths by motor vehicles – including those involving bicyclists and pedestrians. In 2014, there were 2,494 traffic fatalities in Florida. That’s compared to New York – which has almost the exact same population – which had 1,039. California – which has double Florida’s population – had 3,074 that year. Texas, which is also about double, had 3,538.

Traffic safety experts say the issue is somewhat complicated. It starts with the fact that our roads (as were many in the South) were designed primarily for fast motor vehicle traffic. It continues with the fact that we have year-round nice weather and beautiful beaches and other tourist draws. That means we have far more people on our roads, many of them inexperienced with the area and sometimes on long commutes. There is also the issue of lacking public transportation, which is a major problem in a lot of Florida cities. But another issue is the fact that many of our traffic laws are rather lax.  Continue reading

Florida is known to have a pedestrian accident problem. Nationally, 4,735 pedestrians were killed an an estimated 66,000 injured in 2013, the latest year from which figures are available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). highway5

Florida ranks No. 2 in the nation for the most pedestrian accidents that year – 501, to California’s 701. When population was factored in, Florida was also No. 2 – tallying 2.56 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 population, versus Delaware, which had 2.70 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people. Delaware counted a total of 25 pedestrian deaths that year. According to the Florida Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic Safety Plan, Broward County ranked No. 2 in the state for both fatalities and injuries. Miami-Dade ranked No. 1 for both.

Pedestrian crashes are more likely to result in fatal or serious crashes than any other type of traffic accident. Most of these incidents happen mid-block without crosswalks, at intersections, areas influenced by intersections, at driveway access points, railroads, bridges and public bus stops. Parking lots too can also be dangerous areas.

In most cases of vehicle vs. pedestrian, it is the motor vehicle driver who is to blame. The driver doesn’t see the pedestrian or isn’t paying proper attention. Many victims may be entitled to compensation via a number of different avenues, but it will depend on the circumstances. Pedestrian accident victims and their loved ones must seek experienced legal council because despite the statistics, there is still much that has to be proven in order to secure damages against a driver. This is especially true where a pedestrian may have shared some responsibility for what happened. Continue reading

Property owners have a duty to take reasonable steps to make sure their property is safe. That includes addressing slippery conditions, longstanding walkway defects or security issues. This is especially true for property owners who host risky and potentially dangerous activities on site, regardless of whether participants sign waivers. courthouse

That said, plaintiffs still have a heavy proof burden in showing a causal link between a property owner’s negligent maintenance of property and alleged injuries.

This was seen in the recent case of Gemmink v. Jay Peak Inc., recently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Continue reading

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