Articles Tagged with personal injury attorney

In most cases, you have up to four years in which to file a Florida personal injury lawsuit. There is rarely a good reason to wait that long, but for some circumstances, the longer statute of limitations per F.S. 95.11(3) is advantageous. As for how long a Fort Lauderdale injury lawsuit will take to resolve once it is filed, the answer depends on many variables.injury lawyer Fort Lauderdale

Whether we’re talking about a boating accident or a dog bite or a slip-and-fall injury or even a car crash, key questions to be resolved include:

  • Who was at fault?
  • To what extent were those persons at fault?
  • What injuries resulted from the wrongdoing?
  • How will those injuries impact a plaintiff, survivors, etc.?

That is a very broad oversimplification of the legal questions that arise, but the difficulty in answering them can shed some light on how long a claim may take to resolve.

For instance, as your Fort Lauderdale injury attorney sets about answering the question of “who is at fault?” we may discover there is more than one defendant with some responsibility. That could complicate the claims resolution process. Continue reading

A Florida teacher sexually assaulted by an 18-year-old student is trying to collect on a $3 million settlement from her former employer, the Miami-Dade School District, accused of endangering her and breaking the law, opening the door to a violent attack and serious injuries. Although sovereign immunity laws cap liability for government agencies (like school district) at $200,000 per individual, more can be awarded through the passage of a state lawmaker claims bill, for which the district lobbied and a legislator from Broward has already sponsored. Miami teacher injury lawyer

As Miami school injury lawyers, we are struck by a few different unique elements in this case. Firstly, most school assault injury lawsuits in Florida involve students who are either injured by other students or teachers. Schools unquestionably owe a duty of care to students over whom they have control and can be held liable in some circumstances for criminal assaults that occur on school property or are the perpetuated by school employees or contractors. It’s less common that claims are filed by teachers suffering injury by student. Not that it’s unheard of. An article published last year in Education Week revealed an estimated 6 percent of the nation’s nearly 4 million teachers were attacked by a student during the 2015-2016 school year. Another 10 percent were threatened with violence by a student. The article also highlighted a 2017 study published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence indicating female teachers were more likely to be attacked than male teachers, with new teachers especially vulnerable to threats and violence.

This case hit all those marks. However, teacher injuries sustained in the course and scope of employment – whether a slip-and-fall or an attack by a student – are typically covered by no-fault workers’ compensation. For most work accidents and work injuries, this will be the exclusive remedy (only legal recourse) a teacher or school employee has against an employer district. Work injury exclusive remedy in Florida is spelled out in F.S. 440.11. The only exception is when the actions of an employer, as proven by clear and convincing evidence, reveal the employer deliberately intended to hurt the employee OR engaged in conduct employer knew (based on prior similar accidents or explicit warnings specifically identifying a known danger) was virtually certain to result in an employee injury or death AND that risk of danger wasn’t apparent to employee AND employer deliberately misrepresented or concealed the danger to prevent the employee from making an informed judgment about whether to perform the work.

Since changes were made to this state law in 2003, zero Florida work injury cases have met this exception to exclusive remedy threshold. Arguably, there is a good chance this teacher injury case might have met the proof burden, which is likely why the district chose to settle the case pre-trial for an amount in significant excess of statutory damage caps.  Continue reading

Although medical malpractice is a frequent cause of litigation in Florida courts, plaintiffs in those cases understand there are stringent proof burdens that must be met, notices that must be filed and expert witnesses to be secured. A Florida injury lawsuit filed on the basis of general negligence is often less of an ordeal (and usually not so expensive from a litigation standpoint) than one rooted in a claim of medical malpractice. Because defendants in these cases realize the hurdles plaintiffs face in medical negligence claims, they will often argue that almost any injury that occurs in a hospital or any type of health care facility is medical negligence. Florida injury lawsuit

Recently, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal sided with a plaintiff in a Florida injury lawsuit, finding the hospital’s alleged liability for injuries sustained when another patient beat him up were not rooted in failure to abide medical standards, but rather those set forth in general negligence. In so ruling, the court reversed the trial court’s dismissal of the case, reviving the claim and giving the injury plaintiff another shot at recovering damages.

Florida Injury Lawsuit Sounds in Ordinary Negligence, Not Medical Malpractice

According to court records, plaintiff was a resident patient at a psychiatric hospital operated by defendant in the fall of 2013 when a fellow resident entered plaintiff’s room and, armed with a metal handrail that had been removed form the hallway wall, beat plaintiff about the face and head. Plaintiff’s subsequent Florida injury lawsuit alleged the hospital was negligent in failing to provide him with security and for its failure to train staff to recognize and address emergency situations, such as the assault and battery that led to his injuries. Plaintiff asserted hospital breached these duties by failing to correct the situation or train its staff or control its patients prior to the assault.  Continue reading

Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment. Failure to do so may result in a fine by government regulators. Workers’ compensation – the exclusive remedy for employees against their employers for job-related injuries – is paid on a no-fault basis. That means workers who are injured in Florida don’t need to prove their employer acted in a manner that was negligent in order to collect compensation.work injury lawyer

Third parties, meanwhile, can be liable and compelled to pay damages to the person injured on top of what he/ she receives for workers’ compensation – but only if the plaintiff can prove the third party negligent.

Many serious Florida work injuries involve some type of fault from a third party, whether that’s:

  • A general contractor or property owner who fails to make sure the work site is free from an unreasonable risk of hazards (known or foreseeable);
  • A negligent driver who strikes a work crew on the road;
  • A product manufacturer that designed/ made/ sold a heavy machine that is unreasonably dangerous, even when operated as intended.

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Trampoline parks have been cropping up in Broward County and throughout the country, offering children a chance to literally bounce off the walls to burn some energy. They are especially popular in South Florida in the summer, where parents and caregivers need something fun and active to keep kids occupied while still keeping them out of the crushing heat. trampoline injury lawyer

However, a recent investigation by NBC6 in Miami revealed child injuries at trampoline parks have become incredibly common. Just in the last two years in South Florida, there have reportedly been nearly 300 911 calls made regarding injuries and falls at trampoline parks. In roughly 70 of those instances, paramedics were required at the scene.

Those incidents included:

  • A 4-year-old boy who suffered a sprained ankle;
  • A 6-year-old girl left injured and bleeding when a larger boy jumped on top of her;
  • A boy who suffered a traumatic brain injury at a Broward County trampoline park.

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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.

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