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One of the most popular activities in our area is going out on a boat.  Whether we are talking about inshore fishing, deep-sea fishing, or just taking a ride, boating can be a lot of fun.  However, many people do not realize how dangerous boating can be if things are not done right.  The other issue is that many people who enjoy boating do so via rental, charter or on a friend’s vessel.  In other words, they have little control of the safety of the boat on which they are riding.

boating accidents Florida Every year in South Florida, there is an added emphasis put on Safe Boating Week. Concern has been heightened this year following the high-profile death of Marlins staff ace pitcher Jose Fernandez. Unfortunately, many serious or fatal boating accidents involve the operator being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Continue reading →

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A slip-and-fall lawsuit plaintiff recently was handed a victory by the Alabama Supreme Court, which ruled the case should be remanded for trial because the defendant, in this case a restaurant, failed to prove the hazard in question was open and obvious.wetfloor

Even though this is an out-of-state case, the open and obvious doctrine is a pretty universal one in most states when it comes to premises liability law and slip-and-fall cases in particular. The open and obvious defense is an exception to the duty of care owed by property owners which requires that they use reasonable care to shield or warn lawful visitors from dangerous conditions. If the danger is open and obvious, it is presumed the visitor will take reasonable care to avoid it and protect themselves. There is no duty to warn of a condition that is obvious.

In the recent slip-and-fall case out of Alabama, the court examined the details of an injury suffered by the patron of a fast-food restaurant, cast in the light most favorable to plaintiff, who was appealing an earlier summary judgment in favor of defendant.  Continue reading →

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A new analysis by Harvard Medical School researchers indicates that while the number of successful medical malpractice claims in the U.S. has fallen – dramatically so – the average payout in successful claims has risen.doctor

Between 1992 and 2014, the number of medical malpractice claims nationally that resulted in a damage award to the plaintiff fell by a stunning 56 percent, researchers reported. However, the average amount that was paid out for claims that were successful climbed by almost 25 percent, from an average of $287,000 between 1992 and 1996 up to $353,000 from 2009 to 2014.

There are a few things going on here. The first is the very obvious effect of tort reform on medical malpractice lawsuits. Lawmakers across the country, under intense pressure from big industry lobbyists, have steadily carved away at plaintiff access to the courts for claims of negligence by medical professionals. Continue reading →

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A child under three is injured every eight minutes in the U.S. as a result of a product-related accident. Most of these involve products like:

  • Cribs
  • Walkers
  • Strollers
  • Carriersbaby face

In many cases, the child suffers a concussion or other type of head injury.

This information was derived from a new extensive study, published in the journal Pediatrics, conducted by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio. This all breaks down to about 66,000 serious child injuries a year that require treatment at a hospital emergency department. What’s especially troubling about the study, which analyzed data over the course of 20 years, is that baby and toddler product injuries were on a downward trend for the first several years, but have since been climbing again.  Continue reading →

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Facial trauma, which is also formally referred to as maxillofacial trauma, is any type of physical trauma to one’s face. It can involve soft tissue injuries, like lacerations, burns or fractures, as well as trauma such as eye injuries. child

Particularly when it comes to children, we know many of these injuries are preventable. They are often caused by:

  • Defective products (particularly infant and toddler items);
  • Sports-related injuries;
  • Car accidents.

April is National Facial Protection Month, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. The month was designated for the spring because it’s often the time at which children across the country start to become increasingly active in outdoor activities.  Continue reading →

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Anytime personal injury lawsuits are settled, there may be terms and conditions that must be read carefully. There are some situations wherein the language could prohibit any and all future claims against other potential defendants – and that may not be a scenario you want, depending on the circumstances. mechanic

In a recent appellate case out of California, the language of an earlier settlement agreement became an issue in a subsequent personal injury lawsuit filed by a mechanic against a property owner. The question before the appellate court was whether plaintiff’s claim against these entities was barred because of a settlement with one defendant

Here’s what happened: In 2011, plaintiff, a mechanic, was hired by the auto sales company to figure out why a vehicle owned by the sales firm wouldn’t start. Unbeknownst to plaintiff, the towing company had recently towed the vehicle to the site and disconnected the transmission shift linkage when it did this. However, the towing company employee did not reconnect the shift linkage. Plaintiff said he put the vehicle in park and climbed underneath to troubleshoot. When he went to test the electrical connection to the starter, the vehicle ran over him and dragged him through the parking lot.

Plaintiff’s spine was crushed.  Continue reading →

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You were injured by someone else’s negligence. You hired an experienced injury lawyer. Defendant refused to settle so you took your case to trial. You won – and the jury has awarded you a sizable sum. Now you can put it all behind you – right? gavel

Not necessarily. In Florida civil lawsuits, the judge has the right to to order a remittitur. This is a ruling by a judge, usually based upon a motion from the defense to reduce or toss a jury verdict, that lowers the amount of damages awarded in a civil injury lawsuit. Typically, a remittitur is when the amount awarded is deemed “excessive” or unreasonable. If the motion for remittitur is granted, plaintiff has one of two options: Accept the reduced award or agree to undergo a new trial solely on the issue of damages.

In a recent case before Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeals, one justice issued a dissenting opinion on the issue of remittitur, arguing, “Unless there is something that influences the jury outside the record, in my view, this verdict should stand.” He added, “The amount of damages in a civil case are well within the province of a jury, and a verdict is not excessive because it is above the amount the court considered a jury should have allowed.”  Continue reading →

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Earlier this year, the family of a 6-year-old Apopka boy received the news that is a parent’s worst nightmare: Their son had been killed. He had been riding his bike in an Orange County neighborhood one Sunday afternoon in January when a 50-year-old driver struck him. The boy had been riding in the street and then, for reasons unclear, rode out into the street. bike memorial

Bicycle accident fatalities are a major problem in Florida – and it’s not just children who are losing their lives, though they do account for about a fifth of the total. However, the average age of bicycle crash victims between 2006 and 2015 rose from 41 to 45.

Recent figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate there were a total of 808 bicycle deaths in 2015, accounting for 2.3 percent of all traffic deaths throughout the year. That’s an 12.3 percent increase over 2014, when there were 726 bicyclists killed, accounting for 2 percent of all traffic deaths.  Continue reading →

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The Daytona Beach Journal offered up some great news last month when it reported the number of bicycle deaths during the 76th annual Daytona Bike Week had fallen to historic lows this year. Officials told news reporters this had to do with a number of factors, including lower attendance, beefed up law enforcement patrols and increased awareness among industry groups. motorcycle

Still, it wasn’t all positive. Two people still died and three were injured in separate accidents. But when you look at the fact nearly 500 people died in motorcycle accidents in Flagler and Volusia Counties between 2005 and 2015 and that almost a third of those happened at one of the region’s two major biking events – Bike Week and Biketoberfest – this year’s two deaths is far fewer than we’re used to seeing. It’s still two too many.

What’s more, Florida is nowhere near rid of its motorcycle accident risks. As The Orlando Sentinel reported, a recent study by AAA indicated that Florida once again leads the nation in motorcycle accident deaths.  Worse, there were 606 motorcyclists killed in this state in 2015, which marks a stunning 30 percent increase in just a single year – from 2014.  Continue reading →

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The overall number of traffic accidents and roadway deaths is climbing. This in itself is troubling. But our trucking accident lawyers in Orlando are especially concerned about the uptick in crashes involving large trucks. truck

These vehicles are massive. The damage they cause is substantial. Though they may occur less frequently than crashes involving smaller passenger cars, that’s really only because there are statistically fewer of them than smaller cars. When large trucks are involved in a crash, the injuries tend to be more severe. Fatalities are more likely.

Recently just outside of Orlando, one person died and another was left severely injured following a dump truck crash resulting in a fuel leak on a Thursday morning. The large truck was driven by a 56-year-old who made a U-turn at Fort Jefferson Boulevard from South Goldenrod Road. According to the highway patrol, a 30-year-old driver of a passenger vehicle, who had a 33-year-old passenger with him, was unable to stop in time to avoid a collision. He slammed into the dump truck. Both passenger vehicle occupants were rushed to the hospital, where the driver died.  Continue reading →

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