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Responsibility for sidewalk maintenance depends on where the walkways is located and what the state and municipal ordinances say about who is responsible. Sometimes it can be private property owners located adjacent to the walk or homeowners associations or businesses on which the walkway exists. On public sidewalks, though, responsibility for maintenance usually rests with the county, city or town government. Orlando sidewalk injury lawyer

If you suffer injury in an Orlando sidewalk trip-and-fall, your claim is likely to be against the City of Orlando, which is responsible for sidewalk grinding of sections that have become lifted, cracked or uneven. Although old English common law established the idea of governmental “sovereign immunity” from torts, F.S. 768.28 outlines the state’s waiver of sovereign immunity in tort actions, allowing it to be treated just like any other negligent party or vicariously liable employer. However, there are a number of exceptions, which is why it’s so important to work with an Orlando injury attorney with a track record of success in cases against government agencies. Ask for specific examples when you’re deciding which attorney to hire.

One of the exceptions outlined in the statute involves something called discretionary function immunity (the opposite of which is ministerial function, for which governments can be held liable). These are technical and complex legal concepts, but the easiest explanation is that ministerial duty applies to a public employee’s official duty, without room for the worker to exercise any discretion. On the other hand, discretionary function is that which involves a function of one’s public employee job that requires the individual to exercise some degree of judgment in carrying out the task.  Continue reading →

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Florida slip-and-fall injury lawsuits are among the trickiest in which to prevail, thanks to a high proof burden standard in this (and many other states) requiring evidence the business had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition that caused the plaintiff to slip. Orlando slip and fall injury lawyer

This is not to say they aren’t worth pursuing. Many slip-and-fall claims in Florida are actionable, and it’s especially important in cases where serious injury resulted to at least explore the viability of a claim. That’s because these incidents can result in serious and lasting injuries, depending on the floor material, how hard the person fell, at what angle they fell and how fragile their body was to begin with. Some of the most common injuries we see in Orlando grocery store slip-and-fall cases include: Head injuries (including traumatic brain injuries), hip fractures, back and spinal cord injuries, shoulder injuries, sprains and fractures (particularly of wrists and ankles).

However, in contested claims (where the insurer refuses to make a payment), before a court can consider the severity of your injuries and what you might be owed, there first must be a decision about whether the defendant business owner/ manager is negligent. Having an experienced injury lawyer on your case as soon as possible is imperative because certain critical evidence – which you might not even realize is important – could be lost forever if it’s not promptly preserved. For example, if you don’t know what you slipped on or how long it was there, you will have a very tough time prevailing in a slip-and-fall case. But it’s possible certain evidence – such as security surveillance footage – may offer key information that can help answer these questions – and save your case. However, if your attorney doesn’t request that it be preserved, it might be deleted by the store (common practice for many businesses with such cameras).  Continue reading →

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An underinsured motorist (UIM) carrier has been deemed responsible to render policy limits for punitive damages an at-fault driver is unable to pay, even when those limits pertained to “property damage” losses plaintiff didn’t suffer. car accident attorney

The case is indicative of why you need a highly experienced Florida car accident attorney to help handle drunk driving and/ or wrongful death accident claims. The reality is, you are likely to have valid claims against numerous insurance companies and making certain you have received payment on all policies rightly owed is imperative. Further, drunk driving accident claims are among the only type of car accident case in Florida wherein one might expect to obtain punitive damages, as outlined in F.S. 768.82. Such damages are allowable in cases where there is clear and convincing evidence a defendant is guilty of intentional misconduct or gross negligence. They are intended to punish the defendant rather than “make whole” the plaintiff (the latter being the goal of most personal injury claims).

In the case in question (arising in South Carolina, but with issues that may pertain to Florida car accident claimants), plaintiff and his wife were riding in a vehicle owned by the wife’s mother. Without warning, a drunk driver crossed the center line and struck their vehicle. Both were seriously injured, with plaintiff’s wife dying several days later due to catastrophic injuries. The at-fault driver paid its policy limit. Then the vehicle owner’s (decedent’s mother) insurer paid on its  UIM limits for ($25,000 to husband individually and $25,000 to him as representative of his wife’s estate). Husband then sought recovery from his own insurer, which provided split limits UIM policy. This allowed for property damage coverage up to $50,000 and bodily injury coverage of up to $100,000 each. Continue reading →

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Amid reports that hundreds of people have been sickened in 10 states connected to two second cyclospora outbreaks (one of those resulting from eating McDonald’s salads), it’s important to point out that food poisoning illnesses can result in liability of these restaurants and grocery store chains.food poisoning injury

Recently one such case, Stachulski v. Apple New England, LLC, resulted with the New Hampshire Supreme Court, which affirmed a damage award of $750,000 in favor of a plaintiff who fell ill with salmonella after consuming a hamburger at defendant restaurant. Although ultimately ending in a favorable outcome to plaintiff, it highlights some of the challenges plaintiffs in food poisoning lawsuits may face.

According to court records, 29-year-old plaintiff, an HVAC technician, based his claim on a theory of strict products liability, explaining in his complaint he had dined at the restaurant with his wife and brother-in-law in February 2014, at which time he consumed a hamburger, which he alleged to be the source of his illness. He ordered the burger medium rare, and that was the start of the nightmare. (His brother-in-law too became ill, but recovered after a few days.) Plaintiff was hospitalized for a full week in intensive care when he first became sick. Even after he was released, he was unable to work for a full year due to uncontrollable bowel movements. He was embarrassingly on the toilet dozens of times daily, suffering kidney failure, shutdown of his liver and septic infection in his blood. Continue reading →

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South Florida trampoline park injuries among children have seen a stunning rise, with an NBC6 investigation reporting nearly 300 falls and injuries at trampoline parks resulting in 911 calls, about 70 of those requiring paramedics. Among those calls were a 4-year-old boy with a sprained ankle and a 6-year-old girl left bleeding after a larger child jumped on top of her and a boy who suffered a head injury. At one business alone, there were 60 calls to 911 in two years.trampoline injury

Larger studies suggest the problem is widespread and growing. For instance, a study published in the journal Pediatrics revealed that between 2010 and 2014, there were approximately 92,000 emergency department visits made during the study period. That alone is troubling, but particularly when you consider that trampoline park injuries spiked 10-fold during the study period. Five-to-six new trampoline parks open across the country every single month, with an estimated 450 open as of the end of last year. That’s compared to the 35 to 40 that were in existence in 2011 and 280 in 2014.

Sprains and fractures were among the most common trampoline injuries, with dislocated joints twice as commonly occurring at trampoline parks as at residential trampolines. Also more common at the businesses were fractures more likely to occur in younger children – accounting for roughly 50 percent of injuries among children younger than 6.  Continue reading →

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Living in an age of medical and scientific advancements, we have a tendency to think of our health care providers – and specialist doctors in particular – as being infallible. The truth of the mater is they are simply human who can cause harm even when they are trying to help. That’s the case with most birth injuries that give rise to medical malpractice claims.birth injury attorney

Recently, a jury in Ohio awarded $11.35 million to a boy, now 16, who reportedly suffers from intellectual and social disabilities after suffering a brain injury at birth. His parents say the OB/GYN and her practice were negligent in the delivery of the boy in April 2001. According to court records obtained by The Akron Beacon Journal, the child was born via vaginal delivery, wherein the doctor used a vacuum and forceps. This was despite the fact there were several indications the boy needed to be delivered via C-section. These factors included the fact that patient was a first-time mother, the baby was large and also his head was facing the wrong direction. Plaintiffs alleged the baby was traumatized as a result of the delivery, with evidence of contusions and bruising.

He was thereafter hospitalized in the facility’s neonatal intensive care unit, where doctors explained the child may suffer lasting injuries. Although he initially appeared to function normally, social and developmental delays became apparent as he got older. The couple was hopeful the child would “grow out of” these issues, but by the time he was between 9- and 10-years-old, they concluded that the reality was he would not. It was at that point the parents contacted a birth injury lawyer to help investigate their claim. Continue reading →

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Head injuries can be among the most serious types of personal injuries seen in the West Palm Beach area.  Not only can these accidents result in death, in cases where they do not prove fatal, they can leave a victim with a traumatic brain injury (TBI).  A traumatic brain injury can result in the need for a plaintiff to undergo multiple surgical and non-surgical medical procedures, and will leave plaintiffs unable to do many of the things we take for granted like walking, eating, using fine or even gross motor skills, talking, and they may have trouble concentrating on simple tasks, memory issues, trouble returning to work, and in many cases, these victims will not make anything close to a full recovery.

slip and fall attorneyThis means the plaintiff will often have extensive medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and the need for full-time care.  In some cases, the plaintiff will no longer be able to live alone and may require moving to a full-time care facility. In other cases, plaintiffs will be fortunate enough to have family members who are retired or can afford to stop working, but even this will cause a tremendous financial burden to the members of plaintiff’s family and this is why we say that not only the plaintiff, but the plaintiff’s family members can also be devastated by a serious accident resulting in a traumatic brain injury. Continue reading →

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The family of a 24-year-old father is suing for his death saving his 3-year-old daughter’s life by jumping into a pond – despite the fact he could not swim – after the car unexpectedly rolled away with the child inside. The vehicle had reportedly been recalled by the manufacturer for a malfunction that could cause it to unexpectedly shift gears and roll away. Additionally, the parking lot of the apartment complex where the vehicle had been parked before it unexpectedly began rolling away had no barriers between it and the pond, despite a sharp downward slope.wrongful death lawyer

His family is pursuing damages against the manufacturer of the car for product liability and against the owner of the apartment complex for premises liability.

A review at several CarMax Inc. locations published late last year found that of the 1,700 vehicles reviewed, 1 in 4 had unrepaired safety recalls, ranging from air bag deflaters linked to deadly malfunctions to fire risks and other hazards that have been linked to serious injuries and deaths. Some vehicles had numerous safety recalls. Selling used cars with unrepaired safety recalls is not technically banned under federal law, though it is condemned by consumer and auto safety advocates who argue it puts unsuspecting motorists and passengers at risk. It is unlawful to sell new cars with unremedied safety recalls. CarMax, which sells used vehicles at 175 locations in 39 states, responded to the report indicating customers sign a release form indicating they have received NHTSA recall information prior to the sale.  Continue reading →

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A business liability insurer will not need to provide coverage to a convenience store faced with claims of negligent supervision arising from a physical altercation between the store’s security guard and a customer.personal injury attorney

According to records from the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the incident happened in 2009 at a convenience store when the customer visited the store to buy beer and that while he was inside the store, the security guard punched him in the face twice. Customer/ plaintiff left the store, called police to report an assault and was transported to the hospital where he received treatment for a broken jaw.

As our personal injury attorneys in Orlando can explain, actions for intentional tort can be difficult because many insurers will allege they do not cover intentional acts. However, there may be negligence claims that are applicable for which insurers are liable.

Plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the store owner, the security guard and the store’s insurer. He alleged the store had a duty to properly train and supervise employees, owing the highest degree of care for the safety of customers. The store’s liability insurer hired an attorney to represent him, but did so under “reservation of rights,” meaning that decision alone did not mean it would provide coverage for the end verdict. The insurer sought to bifurcate issues of coverage and liability and put the proceedings on the latter issue on hold until the issue of coverage could be decided, a motion the court granted. The store owner hired his own attorney to represent him on the issue of coverage. Continue reading →

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A motorcyclist who was thrown backward onto the hood of a car driven by a motorist who failed to stop in time for a red light was not entitled to underinsured motorist coverage from the vehicle driver’s insurer.motorcycle accident lawyer

It was an interesting argument made by the plaintiff in the case, as uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage is typically paid by an insurer to its own insured and/ or occupants of that vehicle. It can also be paid to bicyclists or pedestrians by the insurer of the car that struck them because they are not required to have insurance to use the road. In this case before the Alaska Supreme Court, plaintiff alleged he should be entitled to the driver’s UIM coverage as an “insured occupant” because he landed on the car after impact. The liability limits of the vehicle driver’s insurance did not cover the full extent of his damages, essentially rendering the car driver uninsured.

The vehicle driver’s insurer then sued the injured motorcyclist for a declaratory judgment, arguing UIM coverage was not available to him.

The motorcyclist responded, arguing the issue wasn’t ripe for the insurer’s declaratory judgment and thus the court didn’t have any subject matter jurisdiction. He filed a counterclaim seeking his own declaratory judgment in his favor that would assert the coverage was available to him. The trial court found that it did have subject matter jurisdiction, granted both summary judgment and declaratory judgment in favor of the insurer and dismissed the motorcyclist’s third-party claim.  Continue reading →

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