Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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A bicyclist who suffered a severe injury after his bicycle struck a pothole will receive a $6.5 million settlement from the City of Los Angeles, following lawmaker approval of a claims bill. The claims bill process involving public entities in L.A. is somewhat similar to how such matters are handled here in Florida, where damage caps per F.S. 768.28 allows for up to $200,000 per claim or $300,000 per occurrence, unless legislators pass a claims bill to allow for more. pothole1-300x225

According to the Los Angeles Times, plaintiff suffered severe and permanent brain damage when he encountered a pothole while on his bicycle. The impact tossed him from his bicycle, causing him to suffer several broken bones and a traumatic brain injury.

He alleged in his lawsuit that the street on which he crashed was poorly maintained, causing what was in essence a concealed trap for those on bicycles. Claimant presented evidence that he is likely to suffer some form of disability for the rest of his life. Members of city council agreed to approve the multi-million dollar settlement.  Continue reading →

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Jurors awarded $148 million in damages to a former dance student who was permanently paralyzed as a result of a poorly-maintained pedestrian shelter at a bus stop of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. That amount fell shy of the $175 million plaintiff’s attorneys sought for her injuries, but it was far more than the $30 million defense attorneys suggested to jurors.injury attorney

According to The Chicago Tribune, the City of Chicago, which is responsible for maintenance at the airport, conceded liability in the case. The only matter to be decided by jurors was how much should be paid in damages.

In Florida, when someone has been injured in any type of accident, there may be grounds to pursue both financial (economic) as well as non-economic damages. Economic damages are calculated by determining the cost of things like medical bills, therapy and lost wages resulting from the incident. Non-economic damages, meanwhile, are intended to cover the kinds of intangible negative impact of an injury. For instance, non-economic damages would cover things like pain and suffering, loss of life enjoyment, permanent disfigurement or loss of consortium.  Continue reading →

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For the last four years, Florida has used the Daubert standard in civil trials as a means of testing the scientific validity of testimony by expert witnesses. Previously, the state courts adhered to the less strenuous Frye standard. Both standards are named for specific cases that set the criteria for what kinds of evidence would be admissible in civil cases. Federal courts have been using the Daubert standard for 20 years. Florida legislature’s passage of House Bill 7015 eliminated Florida’s reliance on the Frye standard, effective July 2013. Defense attorneys in particular were pleased with this because it meant more ways in which to attack expert witness testimony from plaintiffs, who bear the burden of proof.injury attorney

Now, a closely-watched case that will be weighed by the Florida Supreme Court by the year’s end could change that. In Delisle v. Crane Co., et al., plaintiffs, husband and wife, challenge several industrial manufacturers, alleging liability for the husband’s mesothelioma allegedly linked to defendant’s asbestos-laden products. Plaintiffs originally filed suit against 16 different manufacturers, but only proceeded to trial against two of those – and won an $8 million verdict.

Defendants appealed, arguing there was a lack of causal connection between their products and plaintiff’s illness. Specifically, they challenged the admission of certain plaintiff expert witness testimony. Defendants asserted causation testimony by a pulmonologist should not have been admitted because the expert failed to provide an adequate scientific basis for his opinion. Another challenge was that the “every exposure” argument presented by plaintiff had already been discredited by previous court decisions. The appellate court reversed and remanded for a new trial.  Continue reading →

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State fairs are iconic Americana. The whir of cotton candy machines, the game jingles and, of course, the rides. personal injury lawyer

But the experience isn’t always as safe as patrons have come to expect. Recently in Ohio, a U.S. Marine recruit, just 18-years-old, was killed and seven others injured when the Fire Ball ride broke apart in mid-operation, just hours after it had passed its inspection. Video captured by a person nearby shows the ride swinging back and forth like a pendulum before it crashed and part of the ride went flying, dumping several passengers. Soon after the incident was reported other state and local fairs with similar rides shut them down, hoping to figure out what went wrong before re-opening them. The Dutch manufacturer of the ride, which reports there are 43 similar rides across the world, including 11 in the U.S., is conducting its own examination into what went wrong.

In the meantime, it’s caused many fair officials and regulators to take stock of the safety procedures currently in place, and whether patrons may face an unreasonable risk of personal injury or wrongful death just for seeking a few momentary thrills.  Continue reading →

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We trust that the products we buy are going to be safe when used as advertised. This is true when it comes to everything from kitchen appliances to children’s toys to motor vehicles. Those who purchase certain items for medically-required uses may rely even more heavily on these devices, and need to know these devices are safe. injury lawyer

Unfortunately for a man with disabilities who used a wheelchair, the product he used for mobility was proven unsafe. Plaintiff reportedly suffered injury to his lower extremity when an inward facing bolt punctured his skin. A month later, that wound was aggravated when a screw seat and aluminum seat rail failed, causing the seat to collapse and plaintiff to be ejected out of the wheelchair. The aggravation of that original wound meant it did not heal for a full three years, and he now suffers a permanent nerve-related injury.

Plaintiff filed his product liability lawsuit, alleging the chair was defective in its design, manufacture, warnings and repair. He presented evidence in his California trial that the design of his wheelchair was dangerous, rending the chair defective, and that the instructions provided by the manufacturer were inadequate, and thus the maker was negligent. Plaintiff presented evidence at trial that his wound-related injuries and nerve injuries are going to require $5 million in care in the future, and might not ever totally be resolved.  Continue reading →

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There was no shortage of fun family activities this past Fourth of July holiday, and that includes many spectacular fireworks displays in our area.  However, in addition to these safe and processional fireworks displays, there were many who chose to launch amateur fireworks at their back yard barbecues, or more likely, in the middle of the streets in front of their respective homes.

Fireworks injury South FloridaPrior to the holiday, the Miami Dade Fire Rescue department did what they could to prevent injuries, as seen in this article from the Miami Patch. However, despite these warnings, many people still enjoy backyard fireworks, and that is fine, but extra caution must be taken to avoid harm to yourself and others. Continue reading →

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A traumatic brain injury, or “TBI” as they are often called, can be deadly.  Even in cases where they are not fatal, they can substantially alter the quality of life of victim.  It can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of a victim’s life to treat and rehabilitate the victim, and other family members may need to stop working to take care of their loved one who has suffered a traumatic brain injury.  When that happens to a high school student who is at such a relatively young age, the effects on the victim and his or her family can be hard to imagine.

South Florida Personal Injury This is one of the reasons that, when calculating damages in a personal injury lawsuit involving a young victim, we must make sure that the cost of future medical treatment and rehabilitation is included in the demand.  This is the demand we ask of the defendant, his or her insurance company, and possibly a jury, should the case go to trial. Continue reading →

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One of the great things about the summer in Florida is all of the amazing fireworks demonstrations. However, while there are beautiful professional pyrotechnics displays, many choose to buy fireworks and have their own backyard (or middle on the street) displays on the Fourth of July and many other days surrounding the holiday.

Fireworks injury South Florida While this can be fun, when a person chooses to light their own fireworks displays, there is much a greater chance someone will be hurt, and these often are the result of negligence, gross negligence, or even a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others. Continue reading →

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In Florida, if you get injured on someone else’s property, whether it is a private home or a business frequented by the general public, the law that controls whether the property owner is liable is known as premises liability law.  The basic rule is that a land owner will be liable to an injured guest in many situations, but it depends on the reason plaintiff was on the property at the time of the accident.

Deerfield Beach Injury LawAt common law, and still today, there is a distinction between licensees and invitees. A Licensee is someone who is on the property solely for his or her own enjoyment.  Basically, this person is on the property and is not benefiting the landowner.  This comes from a landmark legal decision from the Supreme Court of Florida entitled Stewart v. Texas (1953).  In this case, it was held that landowner only owes a duty to warn of known dangers, keep the property in reasonably safe condition, or intentionally places plaintiff in harm’s way.  An example of a business licensee would be someone who comes into a store to get change for a parking meter, but not to purchase anything. 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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