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A 14-year-old was recently injured in a Florida amusement park accident when she was reportedly thrown from a ride while it was in motion, eventually landing on the metal walkway that surrounded the ride. The Tallahassee Democrat reported the ride moves in a circular loop, but does not leave the ground, operating something like a fast carousel. The high school freshman later said she felt her feet start to slip and she was unable to hold on.injury lawyer

The girl’s mother said her daughter had not been engaging in horseplay or flouting the rules in a manner that would have resulted in her being thrown from the ride. She said she shouted at the ride operator to halt the machine, but the music was too loud to grab his attention. The girl was initially unconscious and was later transported to the hospital with a broken nose and a large gash on her forehead requiring stitches.

The ride was shut down for the rest of the evening and into the following morning, but was later cleared for re-opening, following an inspection by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ ride inspection unit. The unit reportedly ascertained there was no malfunction of the machine. Specifically, it appeared the lap restraints were working properly and the speed was within the limits of the manufacturer’s recommendations.  Continue reading →

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Most serious Florida bicycle accidents occur on public roads, and the majority of the time, defendants in the cases are careless drivers. However, Florida has an avid – and growing – cycling community that enjoys off-road biking. The question of whether the property owner of these trails (in most cases, the city, county or state government) can be liable for an injury resulting from a bicycle accident on them will depend on a number of factors. bike accident attorney

These cases are often predicated on the legal theory of premises liability. Specifically, plaintiffs will need to show the government/ property owner owed some duty of care to those who were invited on site and that this duty was breached by the creation of or failure to address a dangerous condition on the property.

For instance earlier this year, a federal judge ruled the government was responsible for serious injuries sustained after a bicycle accident on an Air Force Academy trail. Part of the trail appeared to look simply shaded, but in fact, it was missing entirely. Plaintiff was flung off his bicycle and onto an asphalt path, where he sustained a traumatic brain injury, vision loss, damage to his endocrine system and permanent scarring. His case prevailed against the federal government under the federal Premises Liability Act.  Continue reading →

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Car accident and pedestrian accident lawsuits usually involve claims that one or more motor vehicle drivers was negligent. However, an experienced injury lawyer can tell you it may be worth exploring whether other individuals or entities might also be responsible. A good example of this is landowner liability for crash-related injuries.pedestrian accident lawyer

For instance, if you’re on a public road, we may explore whether the government poorly maintained, designed or constructed the road in a way that increased the odds of an accident or enhanced the severity of it. If you’re on commercial private property, we may explore whether the property owner failed in its duty of care to provide a safe means of ingress and egress for customers. And then there are also some cases where a private property owner could be liable for injury that occurs on a public road – but usually the circumstances to successfully make such a claim are limited.

Recently, the California Supreme Court took on this issue, deciding that landowners do not have a duty to insist invitees in crossing a public street when the landowner doesn’t do more than maintain a parking lot that requires invitees to cross the street to access landowner’s premises – so long as the dangers of the public street aren’t magnified or obscured in some way by a condition of landowner’s property or some action taken by the landowner. Continue reading →

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The National Floor Safety Institute (a non-profit dedicated to reduce slips, trips and falls through education, research and development of standards) reports falls account for more than 8 million hospital emergency room visits annually. Bone fractures occur in about 5 percent of all falls, which are a leading cause of missed time off work for laborers and a top cause of death among the elderly. injury attorney

When one suffers a fall at a store or other place of business, the question of whether a claim for damages is viable will depend on numerous factors, including how obvious the hazard was to whether the store had “notice” (actual or constructive) of it. Slip-and-falls in particular can be tricky because of more stringent standards of proof passed by the legislature in 2010 and codified in F.S. 768.0755.

Recently, a slip-and-fall lawsuit out of Wyoming resulted in a plaintiff getting a second stab at pursuing her case, after a trial court had previously dismissed her claim for failure to state a genuine issue of material fact. The Wyoming Supreme Court disagreed and reversed, remanding the case back to the lower court for trial. That doesn’t mean plaintiff will necessarily win, but summary judgment (which is decided by a judge as a matter of law) is inappropriate for a case where there are unresolved matters of genuine material fact (which are to be decided by a jury).

The case underscores how complicated the simple matter of a fall can be, legally speaking. Continue reading →

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Fall may be in full swing, but Florida boaters know it’s the perfect time of year to be out on the water. Unfortunately, those waters can be perilous when reasonable care is tossed to the wind.boating injury lawyer

The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reports there were 931,000 registered vessels in the Sunshine State as of last year, and a total of 714 reportable boating accidents. Reportable boating accidents are those that result in more than $10,000 in property damage or personal injury or death. Of those 714 boat accidents, 421 resulted in injuries and 67 deaths. Personal watercraft (i.e., Jet Skis, SeaDoos, etc.) accounted for 13 percent of all registered vessels, but 26 percent of all reportable boating accidents. In terms of fatal crashes, there were 11 total, with nearly half of them involving a rented vessel. Palm Beach County ranked No. 3 in terms of the most reported boating accidents in Florida – 62 total reported with 3 of them fatal and 19 resulting in injuries. More than $1 million in property damage was reported.

Proving liability and obtaining compensation for a boating accident isn’t always a simple matter, but it’s often worth pursuing given the severity of injuries typically involved. The primary cause of Florida boating accidents, as assessed by the reviewing authority in cases last year, can largely be summed up as operator error. Continue reading →

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Lawmakers are gunning for a repeal of Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system – one they say is outdated and inefficient and costly to Florida motorists. Doctors and other health care groups are opposing the measure. car accident attorney

F.S. 627.736 stipulates that personal injury protection (PIP) benefits must accompany any auto insurance policy in Florida, and it must provide compensation to the named insured, relatives residing in the same household, persons operating the insured vehicle, passengers in the vehicle and others struck by the vehicle who suffered bodily injury while not an occupant of the vehicle (i.e., bicyclists and pedestrians). It allows for up to $10,000 in medical and disability benefits (with non-emergency benefits capped at $2,500) and $5,000 in death benefits, regardless of who is at-fault in the crash. Only if someone is severely injured (i.e., has lost an important bodily function, is permanently scarred or has broken a bone) or died can one pursue legal action to obtain bodily injury liability coverage from the at-fault driver’s insurer.

Now, HB-19, which has cleared an early hurdle for the next legislative session beginning in 2018, may change that. The measure calls for overturning the no-fault laws that necessitate PIP coverage, and would instead allow motorists to pursue legal action directly against at-fault drivers. PIP benefits would no longer be required. The proposal was cleared by the state house Commerce Committee recently. Continue reading →

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Bicycle commuting could become more commonplace in South Florida, as a Silicon Valley start-up called LimeBike is expanding into Miami, offering yet another means to rent a bicycle during the daily commute. Already home to Citi Bikes, which have become prevalent in the areas of downtown and Miami Beach, Miami is poised to become a cycling destination. Citi Bikes require users to pick up and return the bikes to an existing docking station. LimeBike, meanwhile, offers an app that allows users to look up the location of nearby bikes that aren’t being used, along with an estimated walking distance to get to that bike. Cyclists use the app to unlock the bike and take it, and then drop it off and lock it up when they’re finished. bicycle accident lawyer

The company has about 400 bikes in use so far in Key Biscayne, North Bay Village and Miami Shores and is exploring further expansion, possibly into Broward County as well. The bikes cost $1 an hour (50 cents for students), and monthly memberships are $30 for 100 rides. There are currently 10,000 of the bright lime green bikes in more than a dozen cities across the U.S., opening three to four new markets weekly. They’re being promoted heavily to students, tourists and residents alike.

Still, biking in Florida is not exactly for the faint of heart. As our bicycle accident attorneys in Fort Lauderdale know, bicycle lanes aren’t common place (though the city’s Complete Streets initiative is hoping to change that). We also know that Florida has the highest rate of bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents in the country.  Continue reading →

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For many kids, Halloween – and of course, trick-or-treat – is highly anticipated and the source of many magical childhood memories. However, there are also a host of frightening dangers lurking on Halloween that have nothing to do with ghosts or goblins. injury lawyer

Attorneys for child injury victims in Orlando are committed to helping raise awareness of some of the most common child Halloween injuries, in the hopes families will face fewer emergency room trips this year.

From traffic safety to pumpkin carving to candle hazards, the hazards are seemingly endless.

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Unless you have been involved in a high stakes injury trial, you are probably unfamiliar with the terms “remittitur” and “additur.” They aren’t common knowledge, but they can have a substantial impact on any personal injury lawsuit.injury lawyer

In Florida, remittitur and additur come into play after the jury has rendered a verdict. Either side can ask the judge for a remittitur (a reduction of damages, usually by motion of the defense) or an additur (additional damages awarded, usually by motion of the plaintiff). The judge has discretion to decide whether such a request is appropriate. Some of the things the judge will consider include:

  • Whether jurors obviously ignored evidence or facts presented at trial;
  • Whether there is a reasonable connection between the evidence and amount of the verdict award;
  • Whether the award was too small or too big because of some prejudice or bias;
  • Whether the verdict is logical based on the evidence.

F.S. 768.74 is what governs judicial power on this. It’s an element of a case cannot be ignored, as it can significantly impact the amount you receive following a serious injury. Remittiturs and additurs can also be subject to appeal. Statutes on this power vary from state-to-state.  Continue reading →

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When an employee causes injury to someone else in the course and scope of employment, their employer can be held vicariously liable for those injuries. The legal doctrine is called respondeat superior, which is Latin for, “Let the master answer.” injury attorney

Of course, an employer could also be found directly liable as well for things like negligent hiring, negligent retention, negligent supervision or negligent security. But respondeat superior does not require a finding that the business was negligent. As long as the negligent employee was acting in furtherance of the business at the time the incident occurred, the business may be liable.

This is what is alleged in a Florida personal injury lawsuit recently filed against Apple Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The case is filed federally because, while the injury occurred in South Florida, the company is headquartered in California.  Continue reading →

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