Articles Tagged with personal injury lawyer

If you’re injured in a Fort Lauderdale car accident, you may be aware that your first avenue to collect damages is personal injury protection (or “PIP”) coverage. This is state-mandated auto insurance that you pay for that will cover a portion of your medical bills and lost wages if you are injured in a Florida car accident – regardless of who is at-fault. However, as our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers can explain, PIP is not likely to cover all of your damages – particularly if it was a serious wreck. That is why if someone else caused the crash (or exacerbated your injuries from it), you will want to explore stepping outside of that no-fault system and filing a claim against the at-fault driver. Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer

What PIP Does NOT Cover

Although PIP is the go-to for no-fault accident coverage in Florida, it does not cover every scenario, every type of loss – or even every person. The following is a list of what PIP won’t cover:

  • Property damage. If your car is damaged in the crash, you’ll need to file a separate claim with your own insurance company (or the insurer of the at-fault driver) in order to be compensated for necessary repairs. Florida law requires drivers carry at least $10,000 in property damage liability coverage.
  • Motorcycle operators. PIP coverage is not mandated – or even available – to owners/operators of motorcycles or other self-propelled vehicles. Motorcyclists must rely on other types of auto insurance coverage.
  • More than $10,000 in medical expenses. No matter how serious your injuries are, PIP is only going to cover up to $10,000 in medical expenses. In fact, PIP is only designed to cover up to 80 percent of “reasonable medical expenses.” Furthermore, if your injuries are not “emergent,” PIP may cover no more than $2,500 in medical expenses. Unless you take legal action against the at-fault driver, you and/or your health insurer will be liable for the rest. If your injuries are “serious and permanent,” as outlined in F.S. 627.727, you may step out of the no-fault system and pursue a claim against the at-fault driver for damages for the full amount of your losses. If they do not have insurance or lack enough insurance, you may file a claim with your own uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) carrier for the difference.
  • More than 60 percent of your lost wages. PIP will cover up to 60 percent of your lost wages if you can’t work due to your injuries – but not if it equals more than $10,000 (and usually far less because that is all that’s available to cover your medical expenses too). If you can’t return to work at all or must take a lower-paying job as a result of your injuries, you could be facing substantial income losses. These are recoverable from the at-fault party if you step outside the no-fault system and pursue damages.
  • Pain and suffering. PIP coverage only covers economic losses. This would include things like medical bills and lost wages. But Florida car accident victims are traumatized, both physically and emotionally. The law recognizes the impact of this, which is why crash victims can pursue damages (compensation) for pain and suffering – but only in a civil claim. You won’t recover pain and suffering damages from your PIP carrier.

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Following a car accident it’s wise to be wary of insurers. No matter how friendly they seem or how much they insist they’re there to help, an agent’s loyalty is to their employer. Saving the insurer money is their primary goal, and they do it by figuring out ways to pay you less.Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer

Protecting yourself involves not providing any details to which they are not entitled. It’s important that you appreciate you do have a contract and legal obligation to honor. You are required to inform the insurance company about the accident. That means providing the basic necessary information. Beyond that, your lips should stay sealed until you’ve talked to a personal injury attorney.

Note too that you don’t have this same obligation to the other drivers’ insurer. You benefit nothing from giving that insurer a statement or signing any paperwork they send you. All you need to do is get the insurance information from the other driver. You don’t need to provide them with information. Continue reading

Summers in South Florida – and across the country – are rife with their own risks of child injuries, even excluding the COVID-19 pandemic. But compounding matters this year are a few different factors, including a reluctance by parents to bring their children into the emergency room. However, as noted by a pediatrician writing for The New York Times, delays like this can be painful for the child, and they can cause problems for the doctor. For instance, you can’t stitch a days-old laceration, no matter how sizable. As our Fort Lauderdale child injury lawyers can explain, some injuries can be exacerbated by delaying medical care. Some, like head injuries and those involving internal bleeding, may even prove fatal if they aren’t caught early and treated. Fort Myers child injury lawyer

Here, our Fort Lauderdale child injury attorneys details some of the more common child injuries and fatalities reported this summer and what type of situations may allow for legal recourse (compensation for medical bills, lost wages, loss of life enjoyment, pain and suffering, emotional distress and punitive damages). As always, this is not intended to be legal advice, and specific questions and concerns should be addressed in direct consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Continue reading

Tourism is one of the biggest industries in Florida, with more than 128 million visitors flocking to the Sunshine State last year. A sizable number of those opt to stay in one of the state’s 423,000 hotel rooms. Like any other property owner, hotels, motels and resorts owe a duty of care to their patrons that requires they keep the property in reasonably safe condition, check for hazards and warn guests of any non-obvious dangers that can’t be remedied right away. In the event this does not happen and someone is seriously hurt, those injured should explore the possibility of a hotel injury lawsuit.hotel injury lawyer

Fort Lauderdale injury attorneys will examine your premises liability claim to determine whether it’s viable and identify all potential defendants. Some of the most common hotel injury claims include:

  • Parking lot injuries;
  • Swimming pool accidents/drowning;
  • Slip-and-fall injuries;
  • Trip-and-fall injuries;
  • Falls from heights;
  • Food poisoning;
  • Burns from fires, hot water, food or drinks;
  • Elevator/escalator injuries;
  • Animal attack;
  • Injury caused by broken/defective furniture;
  • Bed bugs/unsanitary conditions;
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals;
  • Playground injuries;
  • Assault/battery.

Any one of these incidents can cause serious and lasting injuries and trauma. If there is evidence the hotel staff knew or should have known about the risk and failed to fix it or provide guests warning, there is a good chance a personal injury claim could be successfully made.

Defendant hotels will often argue comparative negligence (i.e., the person injured shared some or all of the blame, proportionately reducing damages) or that the claimant wasn’t as seriously injured as they said. Having an experienced personal injury attorney will be imperative. Continue reading

The recreational use statute in Florida is one echoed in many other states. With few exception, §375.251 holds that a property owner who provides the public with park area or other land for outdoor recreational purposes doesn’t owe a duty of care to keep that land safe for entry or use or to give warning of potentially unsafe conditions. That means generally, even private property owners aren’t liable for personal injuries when they extend use of their land free for recreational purposes.Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer

There is often one big exception: If a charge is made or usually made for entering the park or a certain area or if there is any commercial or other activity that profits from patronage of the general public on the park land, then liability may become an issue.

This was reportedly the situation for an alleged personal injury at a park in Arizona. Here, the Arizona Supreme Court reversed an earlier summary judgment in a personal injury lawsuit favoring a defendant company with rights to an area of a public park where a patron fell and was injured. Continue reading

Following several tourist injuries and at least one death, a Bahamian-headquartered cruise line docking in the Port of Miami is being sued by multiple plaintiffs who say they encountered an unreasonable risk of danger at an on-shore zip line excursion in Honduras. As with many excursions advertised by large cruise lines, this one was offered by a third-party independent contractor. However, plaintiffs allege firstly they were misled in marketing materials to believe the cruise line itself was the operator. Furthermore, these tourists say the cruise company should have known the zip line excursion wasn’t safe because numerous cruise ship guests suffered tourist injuries on it. Miami tourist injury attorneys know that if they can prove both of these elements, they may have a decent shot at recovering damages for their injuries.Miami tourist injury lawyer

In July, a newlywed groom on that zip line crashed into his brand new bride, suffering serious injuries that proved fatal. The Miami New Times reports that prior to that incident, there were at least 10 people who sustained severe injuries while on the excursion facilitated by Royal Caribbean, which received complaints after each incident.

Zip lining is arguably one of those recreational activities, such as rock climbing or mountain biking or snow skiing, that by their very nature present some sort of risk of an accident or injury. Defendants will often argue the “assumption of risk” doctrine, meaning they assumed the inherent risk when they chose to do that activity anyway. Such assertions can be especially bolstered if the claimant signed a waiver of liability. Such waivers don’t completely shield defendants from liability (particularly for gross negligence), but they can be useful for the defense. However, in the case of this Honduran-based excursion, the numerous federal lawsuits indicate a pattern of problems that went beyond what one might assume while zip lining. Rather, the allegations are that this particular zip lining excursion was especially dangerous – even for zip lining – and that Royal Caribbean knew about it yet failed to protect future guests from being hurt either by terminating their contract with the zip lining company or warning guests of the potential dangers or prior accidents.  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

Inflatable bounce houses, bounce pillows, space walkers, moon bouncers and slides – all are increasingly popular at community events and private parties in South Florida, a fun attraction for children to release some of that pent-up energy. However, there is a growing body of evidence that inflatable bounce houses and related amusements are anything but safe. Children have been seriously injured and even died. Product liability and premises liability claims may be appropriate.injury attorney

Recently, The Lincoln Journal Star in Nebraska reported a 2-year-old boy died on a recent afternoon when a strong gust of wind blew over the unenclosed inflatable bounce pillow on which he was playing at a pumpkin patch. The boy and his older sister, 5, were at a private event, playing on the pillow with their parents, who both slid off seconds before the gust of wind swept the pillow up, despite being tethered to the ground. The wind gust reportedly clocked in at around 60 mph. The pillow was ripped of its moorings and flew some 30 to 40 feet. The girl was thrown, but the boy reportedly became “wrapped like a taco” inside the inflatable.

The newspaper reported the pumpkin patch owner does carry the requisite liability insurance required of such operations. Such a claim would fall under the umbrella of premises liability, which holds property owners or controllers responsible for dangerous conditions on their property. Our Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers explain that while the number of defendants will be case specific, it’s plausible the child’s parents may have grounds to pursue claims also against the inflatable pillow manufacturer, as well as the event organizer, if a different entity than the pumpkin patch. 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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Cruise ships off the coast of Florida (and elsewhere) have a well-documented, long-running problem with sexual assaults on board, according to U.S. government data that spurred an NBC News investigation last year. Of the 92 alleged on-board crimes reported by cruise lines in 2016, a total of 62 were sexual assaults. When these occur at sea, it can be difficult to pursue criminal prosecution, and in fact, most sexual assault cases did not result in an arrest and/ or conviction. Further (and even more disturbing) many of those on-board sexual assaults involved minors.Florida tourist injury lawyer

One of the only avenues claimants may have to seek justice is civil litigation. Of course, a perpetrator can be held directly liable for damages resulting from a sexual assault, including medical expense treatment, therapy costs, pain and suffering and more. However, civil litigation can also hold the cruise line to account for negligence in the failure to protect against a foreseeable third-party criminal assault. Our Fort Lauderdale tourist injury lawyers know this can involve lack of adequate security, negligence in over-serving alcohol to patrons or failure to properly screen potentially dangerous employees. Because these incidents occurred at sea, they must be tried in a federal court and maritime law is applicable.

One such case is recently proceeding to trial, after the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida denied a motion by defendant Royal Caribbean Cruises to dismiss a complaint alleging negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress stemming from the alleged sexual assault of a 13-year-old boy aboard one of its ships. Plaintiff is seeking both actual and punitive damages on both counts. Continue reading

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