Articles Tagged with personal injury attorney

Florida is somewhat unique when it comes to slip-and-fall cases (compared to other states and compared to other premises liability action here in Florida). Thanks to a 2010 move by the legislature (backed heavily by corporate lobbyists), people suing for slip-and-fall in Florida must prove not only that there was a transitory foreign substance on the floor of a business that caused a fall that resulted in injuries. They must also show, per F.S. 768.0755, that the property owner had actual or constructive knowledge of the substance. slip-and-fall

Actual knowledge would be if the property owner/ controller created the mess or was directly informed of it. Constructive knowledge can be established with circumstantial evidence that shows the slippery condition had either lasted for a long enough time the property owner should have discovered it in the course of using ordinary care OR that it occurred with regularity and was therefore foreseeable.

This can be challenging, which is why the injury attorney you choose should be highly skilled and experienced with a track record of success in these cases in the last eight years since the law changed.  Continue reading

Social media has become such an integrated part of our everyday lives, it’s hard to believe it Facebook first launched in 2004, becoming open to the general public in 2006. Today it has 1.3 billion users. Twitter, which also launched in 2006, has more than 100 million users who post 350 million tweets daily. Instagram, used by 500 million people, didn’t get its start until late 2010. personal injury attorney

For many, it’s second nature to share random thoughts, photos, songs and more. We get into heated online debates and there are hundreds of thousands of “groups” to connect with those who share our interests. All of this can seem pretty benign. However, it has come to matter a great deal in our justice system. Specifically with regard to Florida personal injury lawsuits, you should know that anything you post – even if self-destructing or deleted – may come up in your case. Forensic investigators can usually recover transient data and use it in later court proceedings, sometimes becoming critical pieces of evidence in proving or disproving some material issue.

Although it might seem harmless to engage on these platforms, you must be careful not to post anything you wouldn’t want displayed and analyzed in a courtroom. Defendants in personal injury cases can use it not only to challenge the actual facts of the incident (if you post or share anything that runs counter to your previous testimony), they may argue your damages aren’t as significant as you allege. For example, if you’re seeking substantial damages for pain and suffering, but your social media pages are peppered with happy, smiling, action-shot photos, this could be used to show you aren’t actually suffering as much as you say. This is regardless of the fact that, of course, we all present our best selves on these platforms. Continue reading

An alleged failure to misdiagnose a child’s chronic kidney disease led to a medical malpractice lawsuit, one that just landed before the Florida Supreme Court. injury attorney Fort Lauderdale

A girl who underwent a kidney transplant in 2007 took legal action against her pediatrician of seven years, alleging he should have diagnosed her with C1q nephropathy before it caused such serious health problems requiring the transplant. Her doctor countered she actually has a different disease, one that is acute and could not have been identified any sooner. After a mistrial the first time around, the family was awarded $4.1 million in damages at the second trial.

On appeal, defendant doctor argued the trial judge was wrong to allow multiple expert witnesses in the same discipline to testify on plaintiff’s behalf, considering a pre-trial order by the court to limit testimony to a single expert ion each area of medical specialty. However, a divided Florida Supreme Court ruled the doctors who testified were not doing so as “experts,” but rather as “treating physicians,” a distinction that could have an impact in future Florida personal injury lawsuits. Continue reading

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

In Florida premises liability law (which pertains to the responsibility of property owners to keep their site reasonably safe), the “open and obvious” doctrine is one that essentially states if a hazard or condition was open and obvious to a reasonable person, the landowner isn’t liable (or might be less liable) for failing to address the danger or warn the injured person about it. The idea is a visitor should have been able to recognize and appreciate that an open and obvious danger was present and take measures to protect themselves from that harm. personal injury

It can be a powerful defense, and one our personal injury attorneys in Fort Lauderdale are committed to challenging head-on. We recognize there may be numerous exceptions to the open-and-obvious doctrine, including:

  • Landowner knew people would likely be hurt even if they were aware of it;
  • Negligence per se, which involves violation of a health or safety statute, for which landowner could be liable regardless of the awareness or actions of the injured party.

Continue reading

When you take your child to a restaurant, park or other property, the property owner owes both of you a duty of care to help avoid the risk of foreseeable injuries due to hazards on site. However, a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that parents are not absolved of personal responsibility for their children’s safety upon entering the premises of another. injury attorney

The personal injury lawsuit before the court involved a child who suffered serious injury to his finger, which ultimately had to be amputated, when a stanchion (also known as a rope barrier) fell onto his hand as he and his brother were playing while his parents waited in line to place their order.

The boy’s parents sued the restaurant on a theory of premises liability. Trial court granted summary judgment to defendant. The court concluded any duty the restaurant might have owed to the child in this case was “abrogated” by the fact his parents were with him with him.

To abrogate means to avoid responsibility for.  Continue reading

It’s estimated that nearly 30 million people experience a house fire just during the holidays, according to InsuranceQuotes.com.  The National Fire Prevention Association reports more than half a million properties are destroyed annually by fire, with nearly 80 percent of those being residential properties. When someone is injured – or worse, killed – in one of these incidents, it can be utterly devastating. Part of picking up the pieces means determining whether certain parties may be liable for the fire, and whether home insurance or some other entity may be required to pay damages to survivors. injury lawyer

Recently, the Connecticut Supreme Court considered a house fire liability lawsuit brought by the estate representative for a mother and her three children all killed in a fire at a public housing complex. Defendants in the case were the city fire department and five city officials. Plaintiff alleged the city was negligent in its failure to inspect smoke detection equipment in decedent’s unit in compliance with the applicable fire safety regulations and codes.

Although the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of defendants, finding they were entitled to sovereign immunity, the appellate court reversed and the state supreme court affirmed, finding a jury could reasonably find defendants displayed reckless disregard for the health and safety of the public. This is the standard necessary in that state to overcome a defense of immunity against a government agency or official, which means there is a possibility defendants could be held liable. Now the case can go to trial.  Continue reading

Just ahead of the holiday shopping rush, consumer watchdog Consumer Affairs reported on the annual list of most dangerous toys, as released by the World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH). The toys on the list are there for a variety of reasons. For instance, some, like the extremely popular Fidget Spinners, have small parts that can be dangerous choking hazards. Others have the potential to cause blunt force injury.child injury lawyer

Some of the most common risks in previous years have included things like:

  • Small, pointed parts;
  • Projectile pieces;
  • Inadequate warnings on toy labels.

Holiday shopping reportedly accounts for 65 percent of all annual toy sales, which is why our Fort Lauderdale product liability lawyers urge consumers to pay attention. That means buying toys that meet the age specifications for the child recipient and be cautious to avoid small parts in gifts intended for small children. However, manufacturers have a great responsibility too. When their product is used either as intended or in a manner that is reasonably foreseeable, yet results in an unreasonable risk of harm, they can be held accountable. Continue reading

A new government audit points the finger at Medicare for failure to enforce federal law requiring immediate law enforcement notification of any sexual or physical abuse against nursing home residents. nursing home abuse

The Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General put forth an early alert on preliminary data on the issue, based on sizable samples from cases in 33 states. Just based on those results, the IG reports, there is a pressing and immediate need for rapid corrective action.

The IG is responsible for investigating abuse, waste and fraud within the health care system. This audit was part of a much larger investigation that is ongoing, so we can expect to hear more once researchers conclude their analysis.  Continue reading

The criminal and civil justice systems are separate and serve very different functions. While the criminal justice system seeks enforcement of our laws and ordinances, civil liability exists to allow individuals, families and businesses to be compensated for civil wrongdoings. In addition to serving different purposes, they also hold different proof burdens.injury lawyer

This is why a person can be deemed liable in civil court, even if they’ve been found not guilty in criminal court.

Recently, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that there must be separate determinations for immunity in civil Stand Your Ground self-defense cases and criminal Stand Your Ground self-defense cases. In other words, a finding of immunity in one does not automatically confer to the other. This settled the matter after several Florida appellate courts had reached different conclusions on this issue. Continue reading

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