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Feasting with friends and family is one of the many celebrated holiday traditions. Although we tend to think of the winter holiday season as one where we spread family recipes, cheer and gifts, the truth is food poisoning on holiday in South Florida is unfortunately too common.food poisoning on holiday

Of course, food poisoning can occur at any time, but our South Florida injury lawyers know some of the problems that can lead to foodborne illness during this otherwise festive time include:

  • Restaurants, grocery stores, cruise ships, hotels and food processing plants are extremely busy in the latter months of the year. This can lead to overlooking important sanitary guidelines for food safety.
  • Mail-order foods – especially meats, cheeses, fruits and seafood – can be especially hazardous if not properly packed, shipped, stored and delivered. These are popular items in gift baskets this time of year.
  • Holiday buffets, whether at restaurants, office parties or family gatherings can become breeding grounds for foodborne illness when food is left out for long stretches.
  • Amateur cooks (and sometimes even experienced ones) are rushed and sometimes fail to follow proper food prep safety.
  • Certain popular holiday foods, such as eggnog, turkey and even baked goods can be hazardous if not properly prepared or surfaces thoroughly cleaned.
  • Growers and distributors may not properly label “post-purge” dates on food items sold in stores and wholesale to restaurants.

Symptoms of a foodborne illness include stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, headaches, aches, flu-like systems, and lethargy. Although most people can recover from food poisoning, those with compromised immune systems, children and the elderly may be especially vulnerable to developing serious complications. If you have fallen seriously ill as a result of food poisoning on holiday, contact our South Florida injury lawyers for information about your legal options.  Continue reading →

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Over the holidays, our South Florida injury lawyers field many calls those hurt in a slip-and-fall accident. It is not always possible to avoid a slip during holidays because so many potential hazards abound. Our hope is that by highlighting them here, we can raise awareness and help people avoid a fall or at least some of the most serious outcomes.slip during holidays

Of course, slip-and-fall accidents can happen at almost any time. However, many suffer a slip during holidays because often their guard is down. Folks are understandably distracted, walking to and from stores, in parking lots, carrying packages, wrangling small children, attending parties and decorating. When a slip during holidays occurs at your own home, there may be little you can do to obtain compensate – unless the fall was owing to a defective ladder or other defective product. However, when you are a guest in someone else’s home or at a hotel or as a customer in a store, you are owed a duty of care by the property owner to make sure you are not put at unreasonable risk of injury due to unforeseen and non-obvious dangers.

From the perspective of a South Florida injury lawyer, it’s important to point out that the fact that you fell isn’t grounds in and of itself to collect damages. Florida slip-and-fall law is codified in F.S. 768.0755. It stipulates that if a person falls on a transitory foreign substance on the floor of a business establishment, that person must prove the business had either actual or constructive knowledge of the condition – and failed to take action to remedy it. Actual knowledge would mean employees knew about that specific hazard. Constructive knowledge means either that the slippery floor either existed for such a length of time that the business should have discovered in the course of using ordinary care OR that it occurred with some regulatory and thus was foreseeable.  Continue reading →

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There are an estimated 423,000 hotel rooms in Florida, spread across nearly 4,520 properties, according to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations. As an experienced Orlando hotel injury attorney can explain, owners of hotels and resorts aren’t required to guarantee their guests will never be hurt on site. They do however owe a duty of care to provide guests with a property that is safe, clean and free of conditions that are foreseeably dangerous. When they fail to provide this, it’s considered a duty of care breach, and companies can be liable for injuries that result.Orlando hotel injury lawyer

Florida hotel injury cases fall into a category of tort claims known as premises liability. Because guests of a hotel or resort are presumably there for the benefit of the property owner, they are deemed “business invitees” under Florida law and, as such, are owed the highest legal duty of care by the business. That means not only to property owners (and managers) have a responsibility to warn of or correct known dangers on site, they must also routinely inspect the property for any dangerous conditions that may otherwise be unknown.

Premises owners and occupiers have a duty to warn of or correct known dangerous condition on the premises – and to regularly inspect the premises for any unknown dangerous conditions. For example, an Orlando hotel injury attorney might file an injury claim on your behalf if the hotel or resort owner failed to promptly discover and/ or clean a spill from the floor in the lobby or a broken stairway railing. If we can help prove it was this breach of care that caused your injuries, you have a strong case for damages. These can include all related medical bills and expenses, lost wages/ time off work, out-of-pocket expenses, loss of earning capacity, inconvenience, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of spousal support, etc.  Continue reading →

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A jury in Lake County has awarded $2.3 million in a Florida personal injury lawsuit filed by a woman whose car accident injuries occurred in two separate crashes: One in 2007 and another in 2014. West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers recognize that while it is unusual for such claims to take nearly 10 years to resolve, it’s not unheard of in a complex case where auto insurers fight tooth-and-nail. While successful settlement negotiation is often preferred, your attorney should not hesitate to press these claims to court if defendant’s settlement offers are too low. Florida personal injury lawsuit

According to a local news report of the injury case, the woman’s first Florida personal injury lawsuit was filed in 2010 (within the four-year statute of limitations for Florida injury lawsuits) after an uninsured driver crashed into her on State Road 50, resulting in damage to a disc in her vertebrae. At the time, plaintiff was living with her grandmother and was covered under her grandmother’s auto insurance policy (often such policies do cover resident relative drivers, though it’s important to check the exact language). That policy did provide protection for collisions involving uninsured motorists. The second crash occurred in 2013, which re-injured her back, requiring a spinal fusion surgery and installation of screws and other hardware. In the second crash, the insurer covering the at-fault driver only paid a small sum, leaving plaintiff again to compensation from her grandmother’s insurer for underinsured motorist coverage. The policy covered up to $300,000 in damages, but plaintiff’s medical bills alone were estimated at more than $550,000.

The insurer fought to discredit plaintiff’s claim for damages, arguing there was evidence of her doing things she would not be able to do were injuries as severe as she claimed, including kayaking, running, twisting and bending. Both sides in the Florida personal injury lawsuit hired expert witnesses to bolster their positions. In the end, jurors awarded compensation for past and future medical bills and past pain and suffering, as well as $1.3 million for future pain and suffering.  Continue reading →

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Our Orlando child injury lawyers know that when you send your child to school each day, the school accepts responsibility for your child’s safety and well-being. This is a “duty of care” owed by the school. The question at issue in Florida child injury lawsuits is often the extent of that duty. Orlando child injury lawyers

In the past, Florida’s sovereign immunity laws were generally thought to bar lawsuits against school districts (a government entity), even when their actions resulted in the personal injury of a child. Then in 1981, Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeal ruled the state’s amended sovereign immunity law was unconstitutional, and that a school district could be held liable for failure to supervise an extracurricular activity resulting in personal injury. This decision was affirmed by the Florida Supreme court in Rupp v. Bryant. In 1984, Florida’s 5th District Court of Appeal ruled in Leahy v. Sch. Bd. of Hernando Cnty., that in the context of student athletes, schools have a responsibility to avoid aggravation of injury. In 2000, Florida’s 2nd District Court of Appeal expanded consideration of duty owed by a school, widening analysis to factual scope, extent and performance of that duty.

Still, Orlando child injury lawyers know that claims against school districts can still be difficult, given the hurdles we must overcome due to the fact that sovereign immunity laws do still apply, though waiver can be found in F.S. 768.28. Claims under this provision are also capped at $200,000 per person and $300,000 per incident, the only exception being those who press for an individual claims bill through the state legislature. Continue reading →

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One of the first things our Plantation injury lawyers are asked by new or prospective clients is, “What is my injury case worth?” That is actually a pretty complex question, but we may be able to give a ballpark estimate fairly early on. What you should absolutely avoid, though, are accepting any personal injury settlement offers without discussing it first with your attorney. That’s because it’s very common for injury case defendants and insurers to toss out Florida personal injury settlement offers that may seem like a lot at first blush, but in fact are much lower than to what you might actually be entitled. personal injury settlement offer

Personal injury settlement offers are made by defendants (or more likely, the insurance companies representing those defendants) or plaintiffs in order to settle the case prior to a trial. Civil injury trials are time-consuming and expensive, and both sides have an interest in avoiding them if at all possible. That doesn’t mean Plantation injury lawyers should be quick to settle. We recognize that often the first offer made by insurers is not the best and final offer. Your lawyer should have a strong sense of how much your claim is worth as well as the tactics often employed by defendants in these cases.

This is especially important because of provisions of Florida law that penalize parties who reject reasonable personal injury settlement offers and end up with virtually the same or worse outcome at trial.

Florida Personal Injury Settlement Offer Statute Continue reading →

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When a spinal cord injury attorney examines the value of an injury lawsuit, he or she will look carefully at the long-term prognosis. In most cases where a spinal cord injury is “complete,” the likelihood one will ever walk again – or regain function of any significant degree at or below the injury site – is infintesimal. A spinal cord injury lawsuit centering on an incomplete injury may be return somewhat lesser damages for the greater chance there could be regained function, motion or feeling at or below the site of the injury. Still, if these functions aren’t restored within the first six months, the chances they will ever be are quite small.spinal cord injury attorney

However, the results of a recent experimental spinal cord injury treatment, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, reveals how a Florida woman was one of a handful of paralyzed patients who is reportedly “walking” again. The Citrus County woman, 23, was one of the patients who suffered a complete spinal cord injury, “signifying no voluntary movement or sphincter function below the level of injury.” Though some did retain some level of sensation, they were not expected to recover independent walking. The 14 test patient subjects were roughly 2.5 years to 3.3 years post-traumatic spinal injury for whom recovery was not forthcoming with locomotor training alone. Researchers with the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center gave the patients some 278 epidural stimulation (electrical nerve stimulators placed in the spinal cord) and gate training over a period of 15 to 85 weeks.

All experienced voluntary movement with the implant, and also improved their bowel and bladder function. Four achieved independent standing and trunk stability. Two achieved over-ground walking (not on a treadmill). In addition to the young woman from Florida, the other person who regained walking function had been paralyzed from the neck down. When the stimulator is off, he is unable to even sit up. When it’s on, he can take small steps with a walker. Continue reading →

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One of the most frequently-asked questions of an Orlando medical malpractice lawyer is: How long does a medical negligence claim take? It’s an important one, so we understand why it is raised so often. However, the best answer we can give is: It depends. how long does medical negligence claim take

Some medical negligence claims can take a few months to resolve. Others can take several years. In cases wherein plaintiff must lobby a state lawmaker to file a legislative claims bill in order to collect on a trial court’s medical malpractice verdict against a public hospital or practitioner, it’s not unheard of for it to take over a decade. The same is true of general negligence claims, but one of the main reasons medical negligence claims can take so much longer is not only are they more complex, plaintiffs must meet the pre-lawsuit screening standards set forth in Chapter 766 of Florida Statutes, which deals with medical malpractice and related matters. These include the requirement to have an expert witness who meets the qualifications as set forth in F.S. 766.102, required notice before filing action, court-ordered arbitration, mandatory mediation and settlement conferences and immunity for a number of entities.

This is why many Orlando medical malpractice lawyers and injury attorneys will try if possible NOT to have the case classified as such. Although some cases can be categorized no other way, not all injuries that occur in a hospital are the result of medical negligence.

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A recent feature in The Chicago Tribune detailed the lifelong struggle of a child – now a man – diagnosed with Erb’s palsy shortly after birth. Today, the young man is now a junior at a university in Illinois, overcoming countless challenges following his birth injury in Florida that an Erb’s Palsy lawyer can explain impacts as many as two in every 1,000 babies, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.Erb's Palsy Lawyer

The story detailed how the mother and son first realized the uphill battle they’d both face: When he was 6-years-old and cried because he was unable to tie his shoe with a single hand. His mother, however, would not allow her son to use the word, “can’t,” and instead spent months teaching herself to tie her own shoe one-handed so she could teach her son. That kind of persistence paid off, and today, the 6-foot-6-inch shooting guard (whose parents – both former college basketball stars themselves – still live in Florida) is considered an inspiring success story. However, a birth trauma attorney recognizes that such heartwarming successes do not come easy.

Those who suffer from birth injuries like Erb’s Palsy can expect long-term difficulty impacting not just their physical ability, but social development, educational opportunities and career prospects.

How a Palm Beach Erb’s Palsy Lawyer Can Help Continue reading →

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Construction accident attorneys in Orlando have been following the recent report of a tragic accident in which two workers died after falling seven stories from collapsed scaffolding at a hotel under construction near Disney.

Local news media reported four workers were standing on the scaffolding while working on a JW Marriott hotel when it collapsed, seemingly without warning. Two construction workers – ages 34 and 46 – fell, one was able to hold on and the fourth managed to climb to safety. The men were pouring concrete at the time of the tragic incident.Orlando construction accident attorney

Construction site injury lawyers use the term “accident” in these scenarios loosely because the reality is while such occurrences certainly are not intentional, they are nonetheless preventable. There are extensive industry standards and safety protocol where scaffolding is concerned. When followed to the letter – which employers, contractors and property owners have a duty to do – the risk of a collapse is almost non-existent.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) makes those standards clear. The federal agency will be launching an investigation into this Orange County construction accident to ascertain exactly where this project when so horribly wrong. Workers injured in Orlando construction accidents (or survivors of those killed) need to know they may have numerous options for financial compensation. Although the physical and emotional pain of such losses is profound, it’s also true that the monetary impact can be devastating. Continue reading →

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