Articles Tagged with personal injury attorney

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The food truck industry has grown substantially in recent years, with industry researchers forecasting growth to generate about $2.7 billion this year – a 12-fold increase from the $650 million they made in 2012, according to the American Restaurant Association. But food truck liability issues may go beyond a case of food poisoning. Although they are acting as restaurants, they are still technically motor vehicles, and they move from place-to-place – sometimes constantly and sometimes to the same scheduled place every day or week. parking lot injury lawyer

This hybrid status can raise questions if someone is injured by a food truck accident. Obviously, if a crash occurs on the road with a food truck, as it did in a fatal food truck crash in Washington state last year, one might pursue a typical motor vehicle accident claim, with possible claims also against the owner of the business and/or vehicle if different from the driver. However, if an incident occurs in a parking lot, that can raise questions as to whether this is a straight motor vehicle claim or whether it may also give rise to premises liability claims, which hold property owners and controllers responsible for creating or failing to mitigate risks on their property.

An increasing number of businesses are welcoming food truck vendors on site to offer a variety of choices to patrons. This can leave the liability issue a bit murky, which is why if you’re injured, it will be essential to have the best injury attorney working on your behalf.  Continue reading →

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House fires have the potential to cause serious threats to our personal safety and welfare. The National Fire Protection Association estimates home fires kill 2,500 annually (accounting for 93 percent of all civilian structure fire deaths), which breaks down to an average of seven daily. They also injure some 12,300 people each year and cause more than $6.7 billion in direct damage. fire injury

The question of who is legally responsible for a fire can be a complex one, even when there is no evidence someone intentionally set the fire (in which case criminal arson charges may be applicable). More often than not, the cause is accidental, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t preventable or that someone shouldn’t be held liable. The NFPA reports cooking equipment is the No. 1 cause of home structure fires and injuries, followed by smoking and heating equipment.

But for those who live in rental properties, it’s important to consider the actions or omissions of the landlord. While such actions may not have caused the fire, they may have created circumstances that made the structure vulnerable to fire or exacerbated the risk of injury or death. Examples might include absent or broken smoke detectors, blocked fire exits, missing safety equipment and maintenance failures.  Continue reading →

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Disney is the “happiest place on earth,” but visitors are still sometimes at risk for serious injury. Obtaining injury compensation from an amusement park – or any large-scale corporation – can seem a daunting challenge. The good news is the civil courts are intended to be a level playing field, where no side has a greater advantage and all are subject to the same laws. While big companies do have deep pockets to hire some of the best defense attorneys, personal injury claimants generally pay nothing upfront in a contingency fee arrangement (wherein attorney’s fees are paid only if and when the claim is successful), meaning plaintiffs too have access to high-quality legal representation. injury attorney

It has been the experience of our personal injury lawyers in Orlando that sometimes the company will settle a case far in advance of trial if the facts are sufficient to support a case for negligence. However, ensuring plaintiffs are paid an adequate sum for their injuries can be more challenging. It requires extensive proof established through witness statements, medical records and sometimes expert witness testimony.

A number of recent Disney injury cases have been reported in local media outlets, who caught wind either via a public court filing or through the company’s own periodic injury report, which it releases voluntarily to the public (part of its deal with legislators to avoid state inspections).  Continue reading →

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The doctrine of avoidable consequences, sometimes referred to as the “duty to mitigate,” is an affirmative defense that can be raised by defendants in personal injury cases to argue the plaintiff was partially or fully responsible due to failure to exercise reasonable care to reduce the injury or damages suffered. injury lawyer

Sometimes, the doctrine of avoidable consequences is confused with the doctrine of comparative negligence. Both are issues raised by the defense, the main difference is while comparative negligence involves the allowance of a court finding that numerous parties contributed to the initial injury and therefore share liability damages, the avoidable consequences doctrine asserts plaintiff had a duty to prevent further injury after the the initial legal wrong occurred.

Plaintiffs must pay attention to this because it can substantially reduce damages (compensation you are owed) following a personal injury.  Continue reading →

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A Florida personal injury that occurs on someone else’s property can in some circumstances be compensated under the legal theory of premises liability. These theory opines that property owners owe varying degrees of duty to protect lawful visitors (and sometimes even lawful visitors) from unreasonable risk of harm. This could be a slip-and-fall, a dog bite, faulty stairs or negligent security resulting in vulnerability to a third-party criminal attack. One of the most common defenses in Florida premises liability lawsuits is the “open and obvious” doctrine. injury attorney

Essentially, as noted in the Florida Supreme Court’s 1952 decision in Early v. Morrison Cafeteria Co. of Orlando, a business property owner has a legal right to assume those invited to the site will perceive potentially dangerous conditions that are open and obvious to the ordinary senses. One has a duty to avoid these open and obvious dangers, and a business has no responsibility to warn patrons of these dangers. It’s the concealed dangers – those the business knows or should know about – that require warning. In any case, business property owners do have a responsibility to use “ordinary care” in keeping the site reasonably safe.

One premises liability case recently weighed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit considered whether a teetering tower of rolled insulation at a hardware store customer loading area was an open and obvious hazard, or whether the business owed a legal duty to address or warn of the potential danger.  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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In a lawsuit against a fatal amusement park accident during a school outing that claimed the life of a child, defendant amusement park cannot seek indemnification from the school. However, according to a recent New Jersey Supreme Court opinion, defendant will be allowed to seek a verdict that allocates fault to the school, meaning it plaintiffs could ultimately receive less. wrongful death attorney

The issue in Jones v. Morey’s Pier was that defendant amusement park failed to give proper notice of claim to the school under the state’s Tort Claims Act. Still, the park will be allowed to present evidence during the pending trial against it that the school was negligent and that this negligence was a proximate cause of the girl’s death. If the jury finds credible evidence of this, it can allocate a percentage of fault to the school, which would reduce the park’s overall liability and the amount it would have to pay the child’s parents.

This question of common-law indemnification against a public entity was one of first impression in New Jersey, and although it has no direct bearing on the court process in Florida, courts often look to the decisions of their sister courts in reaching conclusions about similar matters.  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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