Sometimes when folks read that the statute of limitations on Florida personal injury and wrongful death claims is two and four years respectively, they figure they’ve got some time before they need to bother reaching out to a South Florida injury attorney. And while it is true that you technically have that time span in which to file a claim, our Naples injury lawyers know what that timeline fails to take into account is:

  • The faster you act, the more likely your attorney can gather important evidence, talk to key witnesses and best preserve your case.
  • In most all cases,  you won’t be able to file a claim at all unless you have properly provided notice to defendants in accordance with Florida law. The timeline for notice is shorter than the statute of limitations period, and the requirements can vary depending on a host of factors.injury attorney Naples Continue reading

An Orlando car accident lawsuit alleges vehicle manufacturer Tesla has mislead consumers into believing the autopilot feature of these vehicles is more capable – and safer – than it truly is. Florida car accident attorneys know that while claims against car makers isn’t a new phenomenon, this case could foreshadow what we can expect in the courts when the auto industry is rolling out ever more advanced tech for use on our roads.car accident lawyer Orlando

According to Wired, the autopilot feature was a key reason he opted to buy the Tesla Model S vehicle last year. His daily work commute was 250 miles round trip, most of it on the highway, and he concluded the semi-autonomous driving system would make his life easier. He used the feature on a regular basis, allowing it to keep the car in his lane and avoid other moving vehicles. During his ride, he relaxed, checked his emails, private messages and social media – though he insists he never completely stopped paying attention. Then a few weeks ago, as he was returning home to Winter Garden from his job in Fort Pierce, Autopilot engaged at 80 mph on the Florida Turnpike, something unexpected happened: He crashed. He struck a disabled, empty Ford Fiesta that was abandoned in his lane of travel.

Now his car accident lawsuit, filed in Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit, alleges severe permanent injuries, including a fractured vertebrae. In a written statement, a company spokesperson indicated the automaker has no reason to believe the feature somehow failed, stressing that when Autopilot is engaged, it is still the driver’s duty to stay alert to their surroundings and “in control of the vehicle at all times.” The company insists it has never advertised the feature as a fully autonomous system and never promised that Autopilot would make the car crash-free. Prior to using Autopilot for the first time, drivers are required to watch the road and keep their hands on the wheel. If a driver goes more than a few seconds without their hand on the wheel, a warning bell starts to ding. Continue reading

The oath taken by health care providers begins, “First, do no harm.” But some doctors get this very, very wrong. medical malpractice attorney

Recently, a Florida car accident victim is accusing her surgeon of committing medical malpractice in West Palm Beach, saying she went into the hospital for spinal surgery, only to awaken from surgery and learn one of her healthy, fully functioning kidneys was removed unnecessarily. South Florida medical malpractice attorneys refer to these as “never events,” because there is no acceptable reason they should ever happen. Yet they do, and all too often.

The National Quality Forum, a non-profit organization comprised of professionals in healthcare, business and policy, lists 28 serious reportable adverse patient events including:

  • Surgery on the wrong body part;
  • Patient elopement/ wandering resulting in serious injury or death;
  • Maternal death or serious injury associated with a low-risk pregnancy while being cared for in a health care setting;
  • Serious patient injury or death associated with a fall while being cared for in a health care facility;
  • Pressure ulcers;
  • Unintended retention of a foreign object in a patient after surgery.

Continue reading

Every year, more than 200,000 child playground injuries nationally prompt a trip to a hospital emergency room, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Three-fourths of these occur on public playgrounds (schools and parks), and nearly 60 percent involve broken bones, contusions and abrasions. More than 20,000 are treated for traumatic brain injuries. Falls account for 70 percent of playground injuries. Slides and swings account for most injuries among children under 4, while climbing equipment is involved with most kids 5 to 14. Parents may be tempted to chalk up the incident to “just an accident,” but West Palm Beach injury attorneys know many times, these injuries occur because someone was negligent.playground injuries

When it comes to liability, our personal injury lawyers will look at the incident from all angles. Manufacturers and distributors can be liable when playground equipment is defectively designed or put together. Property owners can be held legally responsible if they failed to maintain the equipment as specified by the manufacturer. Schools, daycares and caregivers can sometimes be held to account when there is evidence of failure to adequately supervise (as accounts for 45 percent of playground injuries, according to the American Trauma Society).

In 2016, Florida legislators proposed Senate Bill 406, the Playground Safety Act, which called for requiring certain new and existing playgrounds to comply with specified safety standards and guidelines and authorized counties and cities to require playground permits and charge fees for the construction or renovation of certain playgrounds. Unfortunately, the measure died in committee. West Palm Beach injury attorneys can still refer to the fact that Florida public schools are guided by the State Requirement for Educational Facilities (SREF), provisions of which require separate kindergarten playgrounds and mandate all playgrounds and equipment comply with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Handbook for Public Playground Safety, which outlines ASTM specifications for just about every type of playground equipment imaginable. Playgrounds that don’t meet these guidelines can be dangerous. Continue reading

Fraternities on college campuses have come under fire in recent years for violent attacks and sexual assaults. Some occur during “hazing rituals,” while others in the midst of unchaperoned alcohol-fueled parties. Civil liability for these incidents can be tricky.fraternity liability

Consulting with an experienced Fort Lauderdale injury attorney is imperative. Fraternities tend to be self-insured – and sometimes receive more funding from alumnus than the colleges themselves. If you’re going to challenge them in a courtroom personal injury case, you need a lawyer prepared to go to bat for you.

Fraternity Violence Alleged in Recent Florida Injury Lawsuit

Recently, a new injury lawsuit alleges that a 20-year-old Florida State University student was struck so hard in the face during a so-called hazing ritual that he know suffers a “dead area in his brain” that has left him permanently impaired for life. The lawsuit was recently filed in Leon County Circuit Court against Alpha Epsilon Pi International – a fraternity that is national, and based in Indianapolis.

According to the fraternity injury lawsuit, the incident occurred in April when plaintiff was reportedly designated as the “Scumbag of the Week,” which reportedly called for physical punishment. Another fraternity brother was selected to dole out the “punishment,” amid chants from the other members to hit him. Plaintiff was struck in the head with a blow so hard, he suffered a skull fracture and hit the floor unconscious and having lost a tooth. Continue reading

You are likely aware that if a physician or other health care provider is negligent in providing medical care, patients have recourse in the form of a Florida medical malpractice lawsuit.Palm Beach birth injury lawyer

However, unlike typical negligence lawsuits, there are all kinds of special rules. For example, claims must first go through a mediation process. The “standard of care” for doctors is different than what is used in general negligence lawsuits. And then there are some cases where doctors can be totally immune from medical malpractice claims if there services were provided on a volunteer basis via F.S. 766.1115.

Volunteer Docs Enjoy Government Immunity

Essentially, if the doctor’s services are provided via contract to the state’s Department of Health free-of-charge as part of an initiative to ensure indigent patients receive care, those doctors have sovereign immunity protection and can’t be named as a defendant in medical malpractice claim connected to that care. Continue reading

A recent analysis by the Insurance Research Council reveals Florida is No. 3 in the nation when it comes to bad faith insurance lawsuits for claims of bodily injury liability in car accidents, at an additional claim cost of some $7.6 billion in the last dozen years.Florida bad faith insurance attorney

What is bad faith insurance? Let’s start with the fact that the majority of Floridians are covered by some type of insurance, whether it’s auto insurance, home insurance, health insurance, boater’s insurance, flood insurance, commercial liability insurance or life insurance. When you obtain an insurance policy, you enter into a contract with an insurer. You agree to abide the terms of that policy – pay the premium each month on time, etc. – while the insurer agrees to cover the losses or damages – up to a certain amount –  resulting from circumstances as outlined your policy.

Insurers act in bad faith when they try to walk back on their obligations to you, sometimes by refusing to pay a legitimate claim or even agreeing to investigate it. Other times, they will take an unreasonable amount of time to process a claim or offer you far less than they claim is worth, knowing full well you should be paid more. It goes beyond simply a disagreement with an adjuster or even an honest mistake. Florida takes bad faith insurance very seriously, and per F.S. 624.155, an insurer found to have engaged in bad faith can be compelled to pay not just compensatory damages (to make up for your losses) but also punitive damages – up to triple the amount you were originally owed.

Anyone involved in a West Palm Beach car accident should become familiar with the acronym, “PIP,” which under Florida’s no-fault auto insurance law refers to “personal injury protection” benefits, as outlined in F.S. 627.736.West Palm Beach Car Accident Attorney

As our car accident lawyers in West Palm Beach can explain, it basically works like this: You’re  in an auto accident. You’re hurt. It doesn’t matter which driver is at-fault, the PIP auto insurance will cover its own insured (and passengers, qualifying resident relatives and in some cases, non-vehicle occupants such as pedestrians or bicyclists).

However, the most you can possibly recover is up to 80 percent of your medical expenses and 60 percent of your lost wages – maxing out at $10,000 (assuming your injuries are emergent; otherwise, you’re capped at $2,500). It’s only in cases of serious, debilitating, permanent or fatal injuries, as outlined in F.S. 627.737, that one can step outside of that no-fault system to file an injury lawsuit against the negligent driver or file a claim for your own uninsured/ underinsured motorist benefits.

Tort Reform Advocates Claim Frivolous Crash Claims Clogging the System Continue reading

Emergency medical services (EMS) professionals, which include both emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics are often the first responders on scene in the midst of a medical crisis, such as a Florida car accident, heart attack or serious personal injury. When they do their job right, countless lives are saved. However, if EMS negligence occurs, people affected may have grounds to sue the EMS worker and/ or that person’s employer (either a private company, government contractor or the government itself) for liability to pay damages.EMS injury attorney

The principles of EMS are essentially:

  • Early detection;
  • Early reporting;
  • Early response;
  • Good on-scene care;
  • Care in transit;
  • Transfer to definitive care (i.e., a hospital).

The purpose of EMS is to provide immediate medical care in the hopes of prolonging life, as well as providing individuals the means to promptly get definitive care when they need it. But as in so many other professions, events don’t always go as planned.  Continue reading

In a review of a federal district court’s handling of a Florida birth injury lawsuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit wrote the lower court, “Did an admirable job of MacGyvering a solution in this case, and we affirm much of what it did.” The appellate court did reverse a small portion of the Florida medical malpractice birth injury decision, which had been appealed by both sides.Naples medical malpractice attorney

There were two primary statutes in play here:

  • The Federal Tort Claims Act, 28. U.S.C. 2674, requiring courts to (as the appellate court put it) “MacGyver a remedy fashioning tort-damages awards against the U.S. where the unique aspects of the federal government make it difficult or impossible to strictly apply a state damages statute to the government… (approximating) the statutory remedy as closely as they can to achieve the ends required by the FTCA.”
  • F.S. 768.78(2), Florida’s medical malpractice damage statute.

Essentially, the court cobbled together a remedy for civil damages in this birth injury lawsuit where the guidelines of both laws weren’t precisely aligned. Naples medical malpractice lawyers recognize this underscores the fact that having an attorney well-versed in federal and state law proves crucial time and again in these cases, particularly when the exact remedy isn’t obvious. It’s the injury lawyer who will be trusted by plaintiff to make a strong case for maximum monetary relief and accountability.  Continue reading