Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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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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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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You may recall back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, there was an avalanche of litigation stemming from leaking breast implants. These silicone implants did not last as manufacturers promised they would, and there were also accusations that companies failed to warn consumers of the possible hazards caused by ruptured implants. These included pain and soreness, change in breast size or shape and may be connected to joint problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis.woman

All this led to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration banning manufacture of silicone breast implants for nearly 15 years. That ban was lifted in 2006, with the FDA agreeing to authorize just three companies to sell silicone implants in the U.S. Last year, the breast implant market generated about $635 million – and 8 out of 10 customers opted for silicone implants.

Now, one of those companies, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, is the target of litigation that some are saying could be the “tip of the iceberg” for a new onslaught of personal injury claims. Continue reading →

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Cruises are a popular vacation option for those who want to relax, not worry too much about organizing the details. However, what many people don’t understand is that when they are on a cruise, they are in muddy legal territory in which they may have limited protections to pursue compensation if they suffer personal injury or loss of life.cruise ship

Most cruise lines are shielded from certain claims of liability based on the waiver printed on the back of each passenger’s ticket. Boarding of the ship with that ticket is viewed as acceptance of the terms.

While cruise ship injury lawsuits can prove more challenging, these companies aren’t immune. There are a number of instances in which cruise lines can be held liable. A number of injury and wrongful death lawsuits recently filed in Florida are illustrative of the fact that it can still be worth it to pursue litigation. Continue reading →

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Jurors in Georgia awarded $5 million to a woman who suffered a paratransit van fall that caused her to lose her left arm and rendered her right arm useless. wheelchair

Deliberations lasted about 7 hours before finding the company that operated the non-emergency transport van was partially responsible for the 2012 accident that prompted the lawsuit, Smith v. Logisticare.

At the time of the incident, plaintiff was a left leg amputee and she was traveling in defendant’s van to get to a dialysis appointment. She reportedly was not properly secured into the van, and fell out of her wheelchair when the van hit a pot hole. Because she was not properly belted into position. Crush fractures suffered to her arms necessitated her left arm be removed and her right arm no longer functional.  Continue reading →

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Waivers of liability can be difficult to overcome in personal injury cases. Often, proof of simple, ordinary negligence will not be enough. Instead, what must be shown is proof of gross negligence.shower2

Gross negligence occurs when there is some kind of blatant violation of or clear indifference to a legal duty toward the rights and protection of others. It’s a kind of flagrant and conscious disregard for the use of reasonable care. It doesn’t mean showing the accident/ injury was intentional, but rather showing an extreme lack of care that is likely to cause foreseeable, serious harm to someone else. In some cases, an assertion of gross negligence will support a recovery of punitive damages too, though there usually needs to be evidence of willful, wanton misconduct.

In the case of Anderson v. Fitness International LLC, the question was whether plaintiff had sufficiently proven gross negligence to overcome the protection that his signed waiver of liability had afforded the defense. A California appeals court ruled: No. Continue reading →

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