Articles Tagged with Wrongful death attorney

A $19 million damage award for the widow of a fatal railroad car accident victim was affirmed in Missouri, finding the circuit court didn’t err when finding the railroad company 95 percent liable for failure to trim vegetation surrounding the railroad tracks. car accident attorney

The appeal from the railroad company stemmed from the argument a new trial was warranted due to an alleged error by the trial court of not granting a motion for a new trial based on the intentional nondisclosures of prior car accident litigation by a juror. Ultimately, the state supreme court determined that defense attorneys could have discovered the juror’s litigation history had they re-ran her name through a standard background search once they became aware (at the juror’s notification) that her name was misspelled by the clerk of courts.

The case is worth noting for the fact that this is one of those errors that could potentially happen to either attorney in this case, and there are so many technicalities can impact the outcome. That’s why it’s so important to have an eagle-eyed personal injury attorney in Fort Lauderdale working on your behalf. Continue reading

In any Florida wrongful death lawsuit, we’ll need to decide which claims are viable – and who the claimants should be, as only certain individuals and entities have a legal right to pursue damages after someone’s death. With some exceptions, these include the decedent’s:

  • Surviving spouse;
  • Children in being at death (with the law considering them minors until age 25 and no recovery allowed for adult children if action is based in medical malpractice);
  • Parents of a minor child under 25 (may recovery mental pain and suffering);
  • Decedent’s estate. wrongful death attorney

That last one can be tricky because it may ultimately benefit some of the same survivors who collected under other claims. While survivors may claim lost wages and loss of consortium, the estate in some cases may have a separate claim that might consist of lost earnings, lost net accumulations and medical or funeral expenses. An estate’s lost earnings of decedent would span from the date of injury to the date of death – less any amount of monetary support – that a survivor lost during that period. Continue reading

Florida has the highest child drowning rate in the country, with the Florida Department of Health reporting enough children under 5 die this way every year to fill three preschool classrooms. Not only is it devastating, it’s infuriating because virtually every one of these instances is preventable. This is not to say anyone intends for this outcome, but there simple precautions go a long way.wrongful death attorney

Many of these incidents occur when there are many people around, such as family gatherings or holiday celebrations. Often it comes down to a miscommunication between adults who are supposed to be supervising the child. Property owners can be held accountable in some cases on the theory of premises liability or negligent supervision. However, it will come down to the individual facts of the case. If there is no defect in the pool, it often comes down to negligent supervision. If a homeowner assumes responsibility for supervision of young swimmers and then breaches that duty, he or she may be held liable. However, if another guest steps in an assumes that responsibility, the homeowner may no longer have a duty of care to supervise.

This was the case recently in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the father of a young boy who drowned in a backyard pool at a family gathering. Continue reading

The state fair – and many of the other local fairs held throughout Florida and the country – are heavily anticipated and fondly remembered. However, the risk of potential injury and death cannot be overlooked, particularly when it comes to the safety of the amusement rides. From the Ferris wheel to the Fire Ball, these rides may be thrilling – but they can also be extremely dangerous, as highlighted recently after a tragedy in Ohio. fair injury

There, at the state fair, an 18-year-old U.S. Marine recruit lost his life when the ride he was on malfunctioned and he fell from his seat. Seven others, ages 14 to 42, were seriously injured. Investigation into the accident is ongoing, and fairs across the country have taken similar rides out of commission while they conduct more thorough inspections. The ride involved in the fatal accident had been inspected several times as it was being erected, and was permitted by an inspector the day of the accident.

Part of the problem, engineering experts and inspectors told USA Today, is that there are too few inspectors and a patchwork of safety regulations that are decided on a state-by-state basis. Congress relinquished control of fair safety oversight to the states back in the 1980s, so there are no concrete, uniform standards for fair and ride safety and inspections.  Continue reading

The Fourth District Court of Appeals has reversed a $3.6 million damage award in the case of a pregnant woman killed while lounging poolside by a hotel, where she was struck by a drunk driver. Plaintiff, decedent’s husband and father of their unborn child, who also died, alleged the hotel was negligent in failing to create a barrier between the cabana and the road, which plaintiff alleged was known to be a hazardous condition.criminal defense

Although the trial court decided the case in plaintiff’s favor, finding the hotel 15 percent at fault, the appellate court reversed, finding the trial court should have issued a directed verdict on the issue of negligence and also addressed a number of impermissible comments made by plaintiff’s attorney during both opening and closing arguments.

Though the outcome is disappointing for plaintiff, it’s important to highlight why the court decided the way it did, as it’s likely to affect future cases. While this case began with the irrefutable negligence of the drunk driver, this claim at its heart was one of premises liability. The assertion was there was a dangerous condition on the property, defendant hotel knew or should have known about it and yet failed to address it or warn patrons of it.  Continue reading

The Florida Highway Patrol is starting a new effort to solve hit-and-run crash cases and compel drivers involved in collisions to remain on scene. police light

It’s a major problem in the Sunshine State, where more than 99,000 hit-and-run accidents were reported just last year. That is fully one quarter of the total number of crashes, law enforcement officials say. Yet it only accounted for 15,900 of the charges filed last year. Mostly, that’s because the at-fault driver(s) took off and were never found.

In Broward County alone, the Sun Sentinel reports, 14 people were killed and 119 injured in the approximately 12,000 hit-and-run crashes in 2016. Palm Beach County officials, meanwhile, logged 8,000 hit-and-run crashes there resulting in a dozen deaths and 102 injuries. In Miami-Dade County, it was reported there were 19,000 hit-and-run crashes resulting in 20 deaths and nearly 150 injuries.  Continue reading

It was supposed to be one of those memorable nights you look back on fondly with friends years later. Instead, it was the last night of Mason Zisette’s life. The 16-year-old was killed while on a double-decker, open air tour bus in California in the summer of 2014. He was aboard celebrating the 16th birthday of a female friend. As the bus passed under a pedestrian bridge, Zisette stood up. His head struck the bridge. At first, it seemed only like a small bump on his head. But he lost conscious almost immediately. He never woke up. He suffered a traumatic brain injury from which he ultimately died. teen

Now, following a jury trial that named the girl’s parents, the tour bus company and the driver, his parents have been awarded $26 million in damages. It’s believed to be the largest amount ever awarded in California for the wrongful death of a minor. The bus company was assigned 70 percent of the blame. The girl’s parents shouldered 25 percent of the blame. Zisette, meanwhile, was just 5 percent negligent for his own death.

His parents say the money is not going to bring their son back. However, they intend to use it to help press for legislation that will help change the laws and improve bus safety, which the parents say his sorely lacking. They don’t want another child to suffer the same kind of wrongful death as their beloved son, whom they called “exuberant” and “full of joy.”  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

It was late September when Miami Marlins’ star pitcher Jose Fernandez and two friends were killed in a boat crash off Miami Beach. Now, the latest report from the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner’s Office is that Fernandez was legally drunk with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.147, and he also had cocaine in his system. However, authorities have not yet been able to determine who exactly was driving the boat at the time it crashed into a rocky jetty around 3:15 a.m. The two others who died had blood-alcohol levels that were below the legal limit. Fernandez was the owner of the boat. boat

Last year, according to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) there were 737 reported boating accidents, resulting in 55 deaths and 438 injuries. Miami-Dade County had the highest number of accidents and injuries (96 total accidents and 74 injuries and 3 fatalities), while May was the month with the most accidents overall (92). Alcohol or drug use was reported to have played a role in 19 percent of all fatal Florida boating accidents.

A pair of bills proposed during the 2015 state legislative session would have aligned BUI (boating under the influence) with those of DUI (driving under the influence). As it now stands, both first- and second-time offenders of both crimes face the same amount in fines and jail time. However, DUI repercussions are lot more severe than those received for BUI. For example, BUI does not affect a person’s driving record. What’s more, BUI convictions are not considered to be “prior convictions” in future DUI cases. Additionally, BUI convictions aren’t reported to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. To treat these two offenses the same, said state Rep. Gayle Harrell, sponsor of one measure, “just made a lot of sense.”  Continue reading

A horrific, pre-dawn bus crash involving a tour bus full of sleeping passengers on their way back from Los Angeles resulted in 13 deaths and dozens of injuries. bus

Officials told The Washington Post that the bus collided with a tractor-trailer truck that was traveling on the interstate going approximately 5 mph. The bus, which was going much, much faster, slammed into the rear of the truck with such force that the entire front of the bus became enmeshed in the trailer of the truck – a full 15 feet into the back of the rig. Authorities report a total of 13 people were killed and another 31 were seriously injured and taken to area hospitals – all adults with injuries ranging from minor to critical. Of those 13 who lost their lives, 10 were women. One of the three men killed was the driver of the bus.

Now, The Los Angeles Times reports so far two of those families have filed wrongful death lawsuits against the bus company that was chartered to bring them safely home from an L.A. casino. Plaintiffs allege the bus company, USA Holiday, and the driver personally failed to:

  • Travel at a safe speed;
  • Brake to avoid a crash;
  • Properly maintain the bus.

Continue reading

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