From the time they burst onto the traffic landscape, ride share services like Lyft and Uber have been touting their success in driving down the number of drunk drivers and making streets safer. However, Southeast Florida auto accident lawyers are aware of a growing body of evidence suggesting in fact the opposite may be true. South Florida Lyft accident lawyer

In cities throughout Florida – indeed, throughout the country – there is evidence that Uber and Lyft drivers create more danger in cities where they opposite – for a myriad of reasons.

Uber and Lyft accidents in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach have been mounting, as too has litigation. Both companies offer a maximum $1 million of insurance for bodily injury liability and/or wrongful death caused by rideshare drivers.

Among the factors cited in Uber and Lyft accidents: Continue reading

West Palm Beach injury lawyers have been watching closely the progression of HB17, a bill that would limit the amount of damages for losses like pain and suffering that can’t be easily quantified. The $1 million damage cap would affect non-economic damages in personal injury cases. Proponents claim it’s necessary to improve insurer and large corporation stability, “balance out” their legal risk resulting from high litigation costs and lower what we all pay for insurance and other products/services. West Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyer

The Florida House Civil Justice Committee approved the cuts, and the bill is advancing.

Here’s the reality about legislative actions like this (also known as “tort reform“): It’s a “get-out-of-jail” free card for insurers and big business. Where they have been successful, it is found companies are better-shielded from litigation risks and their profits are higher. It very often does not result in savings for the public/consumers. Furthermore, it’s been proven that the people most affected by a policy like this are the individuals hurt most severely. Finally, it’s likely no coincidence the most ardent advocates of this measure receive an awful lot of campaign contributions from lobbyists for these industries.

The Case of McCall v. State Showed Damage Caps Don’t Work

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Drunk driving accidents in Florida claim thousands of lives – 12 percent more than the national average. West Palm Beach injury attorneys know it’s a serious problem especially in South Florida. When it comes to liability, obviously the drunk driver can be held responsible, but there are circumstances under which others can be held responsible too.West Palm Beach drunk driving injury lawyer

For example, there are dram shop liability cases, which in Florida per F.S. 768.125 only includes vendors who served alcohol to individuals who are either under the age of 21 or who are known to be habitually addicted to alcohol. Other states have broader laws for what encompasses liability.

There may even be circumstances when one’s employer can be responsible. For example, some employers have been deemed liable for alcohol-related injuries (primarily drunk driving accidents) if they encourage employees to drink on-the-clock or compel workers to attend after-hours events consuming alcohol with clients, etc. These aren’t always slam-dunk cases, but a recent ruling out of Oregon shows that employers won’t necessarily be automatically entitled to a summary judgment either. Continue reading

Law.com recently reported a hotel agreed to a $4.75 million settlement paid to a slip-and-fall victim who suffered serious injury to her right knee. Although that sounds like a substantial sum, it begins to make more sense when you put it in the context of the exact circumstances of the case. That kind of a damage award isn’t just forked over in a Miami slip-and-fall case. You need a solid tort claim – and an experienced hotel injury lawyer.slip-and-fall

Hotel Slip-and-Falls in Florida

When you visit a resort or hotel in Florida, you have a right as a visitor to expect the property will be kept in reasonably safe condition. No one anticipates heading to the hospital on vacation.

Unfortunately, hotel floors are prone to slip, trip and fall risks that can leave guests with serious and lasting injuries. Some examples our Miami hotel injury attorneys have seen include:

  • Slippery spots around pools
  • Bathrooms in disrepair
  • Wet areas around ice machines
  • Freshly-mopped floors with no caution signs
  • Pool/rainwater tracked in from guests with no mats to catch it
  • Entryways that are obstructed/in disrepair

This list isn’t exhaustive, but it gives you an idea of some of the more common dangerous conditions that can give rise to Florida hotel slip-and-fall lawsuits. These fall under a category of tort law known a “premises liability,” meaning the property owner or controller is responsible for keeping lawful guests safe.

In Florida, the duty of care owed depends largely on the guest’s purpose on site. Individuals who are paying customers, on site for the benefit of the property owner are owed the highest duty of care. That means hotels are responsible not just to warn guests of known hazards, but to check for them regularly and address them promptly when discovered. Continue reading

A missed cancer diagnosis can have serious and irreparable consequences for patients and their families. As South Florida medical malpractice attorneys know, most cancer is identified based on the totality of one’s symptoms combined with results of radiology imaging tests, such as MRIs, CTs and PETs.medical malpractice

Failure to make a correct and timely diagnosis in circumstances wherein one might expect a reasonable, prudent healthcare professional in the same situation to do so may be deemed medical malpractice, particularly when it results in worsened prognosis or necessitates more intensive treatments than would have otherwise been needed.

In pursuing a medical malpractice claim for a missed cancer diagnosis, it’s often the case that more than one defendant can be held liable. Sometimes, that’s because more than one health care professional made a mistake; other times, it is by virtue of the defendant’s relationship with the negligent party that they can be found liable. For instance, plaintiffs can assert vicarious liability against the employer of an individual health care provider who was negligent – even if the employer did nothing wrong. This is based on a liability theory known as respondeat superior, Latin for “let the master answer.” Continue reading

A state supreme court in the Midwest recently affirmed an insurance subrogation claim brought by a homeowner’s insurer against a commercial liability insurer following an accidental shooting death at a farmhouse property insured by two policies. The decision by the Iowa Supreme Court noted the commercial liability insurer’s obligation to cover the wrongful death claim on the basis of premises liability for having a dangerous condition on the property.personal injury attorney

As our Palm Beach wrongful death lawyers can explain, it’s not unusual to make claims against homeowner insurance policies, given that homes are where so many potential hazards exist – from aggressive dogs to slippery floor to untended pools. If a person gets hurt on private residential property, a homeowner’s insurance policy (often required for any who still owe a balance on their mortgage) will provide coverage – up to the policy limit.

Homeowner insurance claims often will not cover damages for injuries that were intentionally caused, such as those inflicted by a criminal assault. The exception would be claims for third-party liability, where the property owner/insured was liable for something like inadequate security or some other theory of premises liability.

The Insurance Information Institute reports that over a four-year period, almost 6 percent of insured homeowners filed a claim, and about 0.13 percent were for liability, with the average payout for those being about $17,000 ($23,000 for cases involving bodily injury). Claims involving wrongful death will likely have much larger payouts. Florida ranks No. 3 in terms of the average homeowner insurance premiums. Continue reading

Halberg & Fogg PLLC  South Florida injury law firm partner Ryan Fogg recently won a $3.6 million medical malpractice arbitration award on behalf of a Cocoa Beach man for the wrongful death of his wife, the result of medical malpractice at Cape Canaveral Hospital in Brevard County. The court-approved arbitration award followed four years of litigation, for which our team has been tirelessly committed to obtaining accountability and compensation for our client.West Palm Beach Medical Malpractice Attorney Ryan Fogg

It began with a common ailment: Back pain. Decedent, a 60-year-old woman, sought relief from a doctor, receiving four spinal injections at the facility over the course of three months in spring 2012.

As West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorney Ryan Fogg later explained to Florida Today, decedent was back in the hospital less than two weeks after that last injection – this time in the emergency room, suffering agonizing pain.  Continue reading

Falls are a leading cause of death among older Americans, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and South Florida injury attorneys know nursing home residents are especially susceptible. They’re more likely to be immobile or require significant assistance in moving just to complete basic tasks and functions. They are more likely to be in poorer health to start with, and in turn may have a more difficult time recovering.nursing home falls West Palm Beach

None of this, however, should be understood to mean that nursing home falls are inevitable or that nursing home staff is not responsible to take adequate prevention measures. In fact, nursing home operators have a responsibility to make sure patients don’t fall. That’s because the likelihood of falls as a result of certain conditions/failure to meet care standards is known. The fact that such a fall can result in serious injury? That’s known too. Complications from falls are known to lead to pain, functional impairment, disability and death among nursing home residents.  For this reason, Florida nursing home injury attorneys can assert that falls and resulting injuries in a nursing home setting are a foreseeable consequence of things like:

  • Inadequate staffing of nursing homes.
  • Inadequate training of staffers.
  • Inadequate supervision of nursing home staff.
  • Failure to provide the proper resources necessary.

Even if the nursing home itself was not negligent in causing a nursing home fall, the entity can still be held vicariously liable if any of its staffers were. There is an old Latin legal concept we still use today in Florida known as as respondeat superior, which means “let the master answer.” In other words, if the employee was negligent in the course of carrying out his or her job, the employer can be found liable also. Continue reading

In any Palm Beach County car accident lawsuit, there are several baseline criteria plaintiffs must meet to prevail. Minimally, they need evidence tending to show the other driver – who owed a duty of reasonable care to other road users – in some way breached this duty (either by violating traffic laws or making a judgment call a reasonable person in his/her same situation most likely would not). They must further show this breach of duty was the cause of the injuries they’re alleging. In some instances, that last part is pretty straightforward. The person wasn’t injured before the crash, now they are and the itemized list of those injuries is clearly documented in medical records and backed by witnesses.West Palm Beach car accident lawyer

However, there are some  South Florida car accident cases wherein proving causation is much trickier. There can be disputes over whether defendant’s negligence actually caused the crash as well as whether the crash actually caused plaintiff’s injury. Insurers will seize on whatever excuse they can to dispute causation and avoid paying.

Types of Expert Witnesses Called in a Florida Car Accident Claim

Bars, festivals, nightclubs, concerts and cruises are required to use reasonable care in ensuring the safety of patrons – particularly if they are serving substantial or unlimited quantities of alcohol – in order to prevent South Florida injuries and wrongful deaths.South Florida festival injury lawyer

According to The News-Herald, a man filed a Florida injury lawsuit recently alleges a no-limit alcohol policy for unlimited alcohol policies for VIP guests. Among the most dangerous practices: Offering unlimited amounts of “free” alcohol. This, plaintiff alleges, resulted in his falling off the balcony at a Panama City Beach business owner and sustaining serious injury.

Although there was railing on the multi-level platform, there was no railing on the stairs that flanked either side of it. When he was asked by a security employee to sit down on the step, he complied – but lost his balance ended up falling from the stairs, sustaining serious and permanent injury.