Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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All terrain vehicles are considered a welcome past-time in Florida, especially now that cooler evenings have afforded more comfortable camping conditions in rural parts of the state. However, recent news reports are littered with stories of individuals who have lost their lives in Florida ATV accidents.injury attorney

There was the teenager killed in Miami-Dade ATV crash late last month when the off-road vehicle was reportedly traveling on 198th Street and was struck by a pickup truck. Another teenager and the driver of the pickup were critically injured. Then there was the 41-year-old man who died in Ocala after the ATV he was riding crashed as he negotiated a curve on Southwest 153rd Loop. Then a 51-year-old Pompano Beach man was killed in an ATV accident at River Ranch Hunt Club in Lake Wales after reportedly losing control on a soft sand surface while trying to negotiate a right curve, resulting in a complete rollover, with the ATV resting on top of decedent.

Florida has some of the highest rates of ATV deaths in the U.S., according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The Sunshine State ranked No. 6 nationally, with 512 total deaths on ATVs reported between 1982 and 2012. A more recent CPSC analysis of ATV-related fatalities in 2016 indicates there were 337 reports of ATV deaths nationally just in 2016 alone. That’s a drop from the 484 reported in 2015 and the 581 reported in 2014. It should be noted that reporting for the last few most recent years is still ongoing, and these figures are expected to rise once the final reports are in. Between 1982 and 2016, the number of ATV deaths had risen to nearly 14,700. Continue reading →

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Car accident and pedestrian accident lawsuits usually involve claims that one or more motor vehicle drivers was negligent. However, an experienced injury lawyer can tell you it may be worth exploring whether other individuals or entities might also be responsible. A good example of this is landowner liability for crash-related injuries.pedestrian accident lawyer

For instance, if you’re on a public road, we may explore whether the government poorly maintained, designed or constructed the road in a way that increased the odds of an accident or enhanced the severity of it. If you’re on commercial private property, we may explore whether the property owner failed in its duty of care to provide a safe means of ingress and egress for customers. And then there are also some cases where a private property owner could be liable for injury that occurs on a public road – but usually the circumstances to successfully make such a claim are limited.

Recently, the California Supreme Court took on this issue, deciding that landowners do not have a duty to insist invitees in crossing a public street when the landowner doesn’t do more than maintain a parking lot that requires invitees to cross the street to access landowner’s premises – so long as the dangers of the public street aren’t magnified or obscured in some way by a condition of landowner’s property or some action taken by the landowner. Continue reading →

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When an employee causes injury to someone else in the course and scope of employment, their employer can be held vicariously liable for those injuries. The legal doctrine is called respondeat superior, which is Latin for, “Let the master answer.” injury attorney

Of course, an employer could also be found directly liable as well for things like negligent hiring, negligent retention, negligent supervision or negligent security. But respondeat superior does not require a finding that the business was negligent. As long as the negligent employee was acting in furtherance of the business at the time the incident occurred, the business may be liable.

This is what is alleged in a Florida personal injury lawsuit recently filed against Apple Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The case is filed federally because, while the injury occurred in South Florida, the company is headquartered in California.  Continue reading →

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The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that “Stand Your Ground” immunity granted in criminal cases cannot be automatically transferred to civil cases filed in response to the same incident. injury attorney

The standard of proof in a criminal case – beyond a reasonable doubt – differs from that in a civil case – the preponderance of the evidence (which basically means it was more likely than not something occurred in a certain way). That’s why a person can be found not guilty in a criminal trial, but still be found liable for damages in a civil case.

Many civil injury lawsuits are predicated on wrongdoing based on negligence. That is, someone owed a duty of care, that duty of care was breached and injuries resulted. However, some civil cases involve intentional torts. These can include things like assault and battery, false imprisonment or intentional infliction of emotional distress. A single incident can be the subject of both a criminal case and a civil case, but the two are entirely separate, and the outcome of one should not influence the outcome of the other, though much of the same evidence may be presented.  Continue reading →

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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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