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Florida Statute 767.04 imposes strict liability on dog owners for bites inflicted on others, no matter whether the dog was known to be vicious or whether the owner had knowledge of such viciousness. guarddogs

Strict liability means the owner can be held responsible to pay for damages caused by the bite, even if the owner didn’t do anything wrong. All that has to be shown is that defendant owned/ had control of the dog, the dog bit the plaintiff and plaintiff suffered injuries.

In the recent case of Arellano v. Broward K-9, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal was asked to weigh whether a plaintiff in a dog bite case was precluded in her dog bite claim against defendant due to her own actions, which defendant asserted were the superseding and intervening cause. The appeals court reversed the trial court’s summary judgment in favor of defendant, citing the strict liability portion of the state’s dog bite law.  Continue reading →

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The Florida Supreme Court has issued a decision that strengthens a defendant’s use of liability waivers in fending off civil litigation. In so doing, the court approved the Fla. 5th District Court of Appeal’s approach and rejected the decisions reached by the First, Second, Third and Fourth District Courts of Appeal.signature

This is not to say just because an injured person signed a liability waiver – sometimes called a “release” – that the case is a lost cause. However, an injury lawyer will have to deftly argue that point to overcome this challenge even prior to trial.

The courts may still tend to view these waivers with a skeptical eye, but now with the ruling of Sanislo v. Give Kids The World, Inc. these documents may now pose a bigger problem for Florida plaintiffs than before.

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For patients under nursing home care, all aspects of health, medical treatment, and wellness are important. When you place a loved one under nursing home care, you expect that simple needs, including nutrition, hydration, and comfort, will be well tended. You also expect the nursing home to manage special needs, including dietary restrictions. In a recent case, a Tallahassee nursing home has been fined $31,000 by the state for failing to monitor the blood-sugar levels of diabetic residents. This oversight put dozens of patients at substantial risk of severe injury or death. According to reports, diabetic residents were not properly monitored because the nurses didn’t have adequate testing supplies.

insulinThe Florida Agency for Health Care Administration imposed the order on the Heritage Healthcare Center after investigations led to an inspection of the facility. According to reports, 60 of the 67 patients who required glucose monitoring went weeks without proper testing. Investigators revealed that the necessary testing supplies were locked in a closet and that nurses did not have access to the materials to properly monitor glucose levels. Reports documented that the nursing home failed to test patients for 24 days in the month of April and at least 17 days in the month of May.

Nursing home negligence and failed care can leave patients at risk of serious injury, even death. Our Fort Lauderdale nursing home neglect attorneys are committed to bringing justice to patients and their families. Nursing home injuries, ranging from nutritional deficiencies, falls, bedsores, head injuries, improper medications, and other accidents that could leave a nursing home vulnerable for liabilities. We will take a strategic approach to investigate any allegation of nursing home abuse and take necessary action to protect your loved ones.

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Jones v. Imperial Palace – Trip-and-Fall Claims Require Actual or Constructive Knowledge

Suffering a fall in a public place can be more than a minor embarrassment – it can cause very real and very serious injury. parkingbumper

However, that alone is not enough to secure compensation. Proving premises liability in Florida as well as in most other jurisdictions requires proof the property owner or possessor had actual or constructive knowledge of the danger, the danger wasn’t easily knowable for the injured person, and the property owner failed to either mitigate the hazard or warn of it.

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In the event of an accidental death, on the road, on the water, a construction site, or private property, the cause of the fatality must be investigated. When an accidental death is the result of individual or organizational negligence, the victim’s family can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against responsible parties. After three powerboat racers died in an offshore race in 2011, the families of the victims are now bringing separate wrongful death lawsuits against the organizer of the race and other affiliated defendants.

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After a wrongful death, families want answers, but they also want to move on. While a wrongful death action cannot bring back a loved one, it does help to ensure that responsible parties are held accountable. For many families the financial compensation is also necessary to regain security and begin to move forward after an accidental death. Our Fort Lauderdale boating accident lawyers are experienced in the investigation and pursuit of wrongful death claims against negligent individuals and entities.
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Sinkholes have been a problem for developed areas in Florida for decades. What is a sinkhole? A sinkhole is a natural depression or hole in the ground caused by the collapse of ground surface layers. A sinkhole can be caused by chemical dissolution or collapse caused by man-made activities, including the collapse of a mine. Sinkholes are formed by the gradual removal of surface layers and may open up to a cave-like space underground. Many urban sinkholes are caused by natural water drainage and weather patterns.

After an injury or death caused by failed maintenance or a dangerous property defect, victims or their families can bring a claim against negligent individuals or entities. Sinkholes have become a problem throughout the state of Florida resulting in multiple injuries and death. Our Fort Lauderdale premises liability attorneys are experienced in the investigation and pursuit of claims involving property owner negligence. In the event of a sinkhole injury or accident, can you hold the property owner liable? Who is responsible in the event of a catastrophic or deadly sinkhole?

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The cause of a sinkhole may be difficult to determine, but in Florida they can cause significant property and personal damage. If you were injured by a sinkhole while on private property, you may be able to take legal action against the homeowner, depending on the circumstances. Under premises liability theory, homeowners have a duty to ensure that proper is safe for those who enter. If a homeowner had warning signs that the foundation was shaky or that there was a sinkhole, the homeowner may be responsible for any injuries or death.

Further complicating matters, many homeowners insurance policies exclude sinkholes as a cause for recovery.
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When taking a beach vacation in Florida or along the Atlantic Coast, many travelers will pursue the added adventure of parasailing. Hanging from a parachute, attached from a rope to the speed boat, parasailers can glide above the sea like a bird, catching views of the shoreline and the coast. Though the excitement of a parasailing excursion attracts thousands of tourists every year, participants need to be wary of the potential for serious injury, even death.

When parasailing equipment fails, parasailers could become detached from the rope, fall from the parachute, or even crash into buildings, rocks, or other boats. Parasailing operators must be well-trained and know how to properly fasten equipment. They must also ensure that the boat, sail and other devices are maintained. Our Fort Lauderdale accident attorneys are dedicated to helping Florida natives and tourists who’ve been injured.

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A parasailing crash can be deadly. In Panama City this month, two parasailers were injured in a parasailing accident. According to witnesses, two teenage girls were seriously injured after the line from the boat detached from a sail. The parachute, carrying the girls in tandem, was picked up by strong winds.

After a parasailing accident, it is important that an independent investigation be conducted on behalf of the victims. Victims should know what caused the accident, who is responsible, and how to pursue just compensation for any injuries. A victim may be entitled to financial recovery for medical costs, pain and suffering, as well as lost wages. Families who have lost a loved one in a parasailing accident may also be compensated for wrongful death.

In this recent parasailing incident, the victims were carried by gusts of wind under the parachute, smashed into a condominium and then were carried into a power line before crashing into several vehicles in a parking lot. The impact of the crash was so severe that the roof and windshield of an SUV in the parking lot shattered.

Such accidents are catastrophic and can leave victims with lasting and serious injuries. Parasailing victims may suffer broken bones, lacerations, head injuries, paralysis, or brain injuries. In many cases, the injuries are permanent. Witnesses said that the accident was “gruesome” and likely left the teenaged victims seriously injured. Though the condition of the victims has not been released, reports indicated that they were both still breathing after the collisions. The reports also indicated that both victims went limp after crashing into the condominium.

The scene was terrifying for victims who watched as the girls sailed into the building, then the power line, then eventually, to the parking lot. Many felt helpless watching them, unable to intervene or reach them until they hit the ground. One witness claimed that he saw an electrical explosion when the girls hit the power line.

In this case, the U.S. Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission are investigating and interviewing witnesses in the crowd. The victims and families of similar accidents may be entitled to significant compensation. An independent investigation can help determine the cause of the accident and identify all responsible individuals and entities, including a parasailing or tourist company.
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Truck drivers in Florida and nationwide must abide by a number of safety rules and regulations to protect their safety and other motorists sharing the road. New provisions effective July 2013 require compliance involving sleep and start-times to ensure that drivers are well-rested and that fatigue does not interfere with a truck driver’s capabilities, reaction time, and control of a commercial vehicle.

The nature of the commercial trucking industry requires that drivers are on the road for long-hours. Drivers are paid by how much ground they are able to cover in a certain period of time. This means the faster a trucker drives, and the more hours on the road, the more money a driver can make. Our Fort Lauderdale truck accident attorneys are experienced with complex cases involving fatigued or negligent truck drivers and trucking company liability.

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In many cases, truckers are prone to sleep deprivation and disruption of the normal sleep cycle. This creates concern for safety advocates as well as others sharing the road. Statistically, fatigue is proven to cause a significant number of accidents and injuries to drivers, passengers and other motorists throughout Florida. Unfortunately, truck driver fatigue prevention is not a priority during driver training. Fatigue management is often an afterthought for trucking companies who must ensure that drivers follow state and federal regulations.

Drivers may have other competing interests when on the road—going home to see their families, beating rush hour, or making up for lost time due to inclement weather. To reduce driver-fatigue and the incidence of accidents caused by driver fatigue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has developed new standards to reduce the number of “hours of service” performed by commercial truck drivers.

Several years ago, the hours of service were extended, increasing the number of hours commercial drivers are on the road under the Bush Administration. Extending the number of hours a driver can spend on the road creates the possibility for greater fatigue and more accidents. Studies demonstrate that reducing the number of hours of service will also reduce the number of fatigue-induced crashes. Decreasing the number of hours a driver can spend on the road will also reduce the health problems associated with chronic sleep-deprivation.

The FMCSA’s new regulations will reduce the number of hours a driver can work by 12 hours. This is a significant reduction (15%) from the old rules that permit a maximum of 80 hours within a work-week (7 days). Now drivers can only be on the road 70 hours. New regulations will also require that drivers take a 30 minute rest period after they have been driving 8 hours. Drivers who violate the new regulations can be fined up to $2,750 and companies may be fined up to $11,000 per violation.

Driving a big rig or commercial truck is a significant responsibility requiring every driver to be alert, awake and able to manage uncertainties. Inclement weather, road construction, traffic, and other driver negligence can create hazards for trucks, and other drivers. The FMCSA believes that reducing the number of hours truck drivers can spend on the road will ultimately prevent driver fatigue and save the lives of other innocent motorists and their passengers.
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Anyone can be victim of a dog bite, but some are more vulnerable than others.

Children, the elderly, and, not surprisingly, postal service workers, often become victim to aggressive, even fatal dog attacks. Dog Bite Awareness Week, sponsored by The U.S. Postal Service, ended the month of May. Every year, the agency wants to raise public awareness about the dangers of dog bites with the campaign slogan: “Any dog can bite. Don’t be fooled.” In addition to the U.S. Postal Service, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the National Human Society are also partnering up to promote pet safety and prevent animal attacks.

Nationwide, the summer season is the most dangerous time of the year as kids, neighbors, friends, relatives and pets interact.

For pet owners, animal lovers, and parents, it is especially important to remember that every dog has the potential to be dangerous. National Dog Bite Prevention Week marks a public service campaign that sheds light on the public health problem of dog bites. The agency provides safety tips to keep owners informed and to prevent future bites and injuries. Our Fort Lauderdale dog bite attorneys are dedicated to helping the victims and families of animal attacks.

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Young children are frequently the victims of dog bites and animal attacks. Every year there are more than 4.5 million Americans attacked by dogs. One in five of those cases will require medical attention. Many of these tragic dog bite cases will result in death. Children often become victims because they are curious and do not know the potential dangers. Kids are also smaller, making it more difficult for them to defend themselves against small or large dogs.

Any animal attack can result in severe and lasting injuries for victims. Dog bites can cause scarring, lacerations, permanent injuries, loss of limb, and fatalities. Victims of dog bites may also suffer emotional damage from a vicious attack. According to reports, the number of dog bites exceeds the number of other public health risks, including measles and mumps combined. Studies also indicate that dog bite victims make up 5% of all emergency room visits.

There are a number of ways to prevent animal attacks. If you are a dog owner, you should always keep your animal behind a fence or on a leash. Dangerous dogs should also wear a muzzle. If you have children, you can keep them informed about the danger of dogs and make sure that they ask before petting strange dogs. Children should never approach a dog quickly or at eye level. This will intimidate a dog and could cause them to snap at a child’s face.

Remember that in the state of Florida, any victim of a dog bite is entitled to compensation, regardless of whether that dog has a previous history of bites or attacks. If you or someone you love has been bit by a dog, you should take immediate action. While medical treatment should be a priority, you should also try to identify the owner and inform authorities about a dangerous dog.

An experienced advocate can also help you collect relevant evidence to prove negligence and to recover compensation after a dog bite injury. You may be entitled to significant compensation for your losses including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, long-term care needs, and reconstructive surgery.
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In the United States, Congress has the authority to make laws that impact the trucking industry. Historically, federal regulations have worked towards motorist safety by minimizing load size, limiting the number of hours a driver can be behind the wheel without rest, and reducing truck speed in some areas. Nationwide, drivers and trucking companies are responsible for negligent accidents that result in thousands of injuries and deaths every year.

Safety advocates are now urging Congress to take additional action to increase safety for other motorists and passengers on the road. Our Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyers are committed to investigating truck accidents and will take every necessary step to hold negligent truck drivers and trucking companies accountable for injuries and wrongful death.

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If passed by Congress, the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act (SHIPA) would place tighter restrictions on the weight and size limits of trucks and pull trucks that are currently over the weight limit. A national poll shows that 68% of Americans are opposed to heavier trucks on the road. The poll, conducted by Lake Research Partners also indicates that 88% of Americans do not want to pay higher taxes to compensate for damage caused by trucks. Advocates for harsher regulations believe that new restrictions will curb dangerous conditions as well as prevent future accidents that result in personal or property damage.

It is no secret that big business has pull in Congress. Safety advocates worry that the interests of corporations and shipping companies have taken precedence over the safety of individuals on the highway. As most drivers already know, trucks on the highway can be distracting and intimidating, especially when traveling at high speeds. Even if you are traveling in a large SUV, driving next to an 18-wheeler can make you feel powerless.

Many critics, especially the families of trucking accident victims, believe that the trucking industry is winning over safety and thousands are paying with their lives. Increasing weight load limits means choosing profit over the safety of the millions of Americans who share the highway with 18-wheelers and other large trucks.
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Every year, thousands are impacted by deadly truck accidents caused by negligent driving, inclement weather, oversized loads, fatigued drivers, and other dangerous conditions caused by semi-trucks on the freeway. There are over 4,000 deaths caused by trucking accidents ever year. According to reports, half of truck drivers have admitted to falling asleep while behind the wheel.

If you or someone you love was involved in a semi-truck accident, it is important to consult with an experienced advocate and investigation team as soon as possible. Truck accident claims can be extremely complex, involving large trucking companies, state and federal laws, and competing versions of the facts. Organizing and preserving evidence at the outset is the best way to protect your rights and maximize your recovery after an accident.
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