What was supposed to have been a day of fun, splashing and sun took a tragic turn recently when a 3-year-old girl drowned and a 4-year-old nearly died at a pool party at an apartment complex in Tampa.child drowning death

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said in a release that the children’s flotation devices slipped off of their arms and the two went underwater. Minutes passed before anyone noticed they were at the bottom of the pool, where 10 children were being monitored by three adults.

Several people rushed to help, giving CPR to both girls. The younger of the two was pronounced dead at the hospital. The other is said to be alert and awake and is expected to make a full recovery. Continue reading

In a Florida restaurant injury lawsuit recently filed in the Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court, a 45-year-old woman alleges a waiter at a restaurant inside the Don Cesar Hotel poured liquid nitrogen into her water. The incident occurred last year, and according to the lawsuit, wherein plaintiff says she nearly died.restaurant injury lawsuit

Although this isn’t your typical restaurant injury lawsuit, it does underscore the duty of care that restaurants and other business establishments have to their patrons.

Restaurant establishments have a responsibility to keep their properties safe for their customers, and to warn them if any aspect is not safe. That can include the the temperature – or contents – of food and drink if there is a potential danger. It can also include injuries that occur in dining areas, restrooms, walkways and even the parking lot.

Most commonly, a restaurant injury lawsuit will stem from a slip-and-fall, due to spilled food or drinks or a claim of negligent security in the event of a preventable criminal attack on site. Restaurants can also be held liable for food poisoning or sickness caused by contamination or allergens not disclosed or obvious in a certain dish.

Chemicals in one’s food or drink can also certainly be cause for a claim, especially when it results in serious illness or long-term injury. Continue reading

Your Florida injury lawsuit is over. The judge has made a final ruling. Whether you won or lost, there is still something that needs to be resolved: Taxation of costs.injury lawyer West Palm Beach

But what are costs in a tort case? What costs are taxable? Which are considered non-taxable costs?

It’s important to point out that “taxes” in this case aren’t referring to a cut owed to the Internal Revenue Service. The question is whether the losing party can be “taxed” for certain costs associated with the litigation process incurred by the prevailing party.

For example, expert witness fees – paid to an expert witness for their services before or during trial – can be either a taxable or non-taxable cost (depending on a host of factors). These have to be paid whether you win or lose. If you win and the court decides that cost is taxable, the defendant pays.

Despite some clear lines drawn in both case law and statute, the question of taxable/non-taxable costs – and whether a person should have them covered – can still be a matter of sharp dispute.

Recently, the Alaska Supreme Court in King v. State Farm Mut. Ins. Co. was asked to settle an argument over whether a plaintiff who won her drunk driving injury lawsuit was entitled to certain taxable costs. The court ruled some couldn’t be collected because plaintiff didn’t timely file the request, but the lower court had erred in denying her others. Continue reading

The widow of a man shot and killed by a stranger over a parking spot in front of her eyes in Clearwater recently told a local news agency that in addition to showing up to every criminal court appearance of the alleged gunman, she planned to file a civil wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of her – and the child she is expecting. Miami wrongful death attorney

The right to claim wrongful death damages following the death of a parent due to negligence or intentional misconduct is well-established – both in a 1988 Florida law, F.S. 768.0415, as well as the 1990 Florida 5th District Court of Appeal ruling in Ellis v. Humana of Fla., Inc..

There was already precedent prior to that in the 1942 Florida Supreme Court decision of C.F. Wheeler Co. v. Pullins., which stated a child could collect workers’ compensation death benefits for a parent killed prior to the baby’s birth – the primary caveat being  whether  the child was born. Continue reading

Lifting patients is a common – and extremely dangerous – duty of nurses in all different settings. Those in hospitals, nursing homes, urgent care and surgery centers are typically required to follow certain protocol when they do lift to reduce the chances of. Unfortunately sometimes due to short-staffing and lack of training, those safe-lifting protocols aren’t followed.

The question recently before Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal was whether a lawsuit centering on injury resulting when a nurse dropped a patient she was lifting could be categorized as ordinary negligence or if it fell under the umbrella of medical malpractice. medical malpractice lawyer

Why would this matter? Because Florida medical malpractice lawsuits are a whole lot tougher. Per Florida statute section 766.106., plaintiffs must meet a higher proof burden (deviation from the applicable standard of care – proven only with expert witness testimony – versus the mere absence of reasonable care where one had a duty, as is the case for ordinary negligence).

Because of the additional requirements for medical malpractice cases, it’s generally in the plaintiff’s best interest to file a claim as one of ordinary negligence if that is a possibility. And the truth is, not all injuries that occur in a hospital are medical malpractice, but the lines aren’t always obvious. Continue reading

Florida civil lawsuits don’t die just because a defendant does.

This question has been raised repeatedly in recent days following the death of billionaire Florida financier Jeffrey Epstein, suspected of being the central figure in a longtime child sex trafficking ring. He was convicted of solicitation several years ago, received (by all accounts) a “sweetheart deal” from a federal prosecutor who went on to become U.S. Labor Secretary (since resigned) and was facing new criminal charges in New York. He died several weeks ago of an apparent suicide while in custody awaiting trial on the newest charges.injury lawyer

The 66-year-old’s death means that the criminal case against him personally has been dismissed. It does not, however, mean the end of sexual abuse civil lawsuits pending against him by his alleged victims. Most were minors at the time they were allegedly lured into a human trafficking operation that involved the extremely wealthy and powerful.

Now, Epstein’s $580 million estate and its executors have been named defendants in a growing number of civil cases filed by his accusers. Those cases are not closed just because Epstein is dead. Continue reading

Although both municipal and school buses are relatively safe forms of travel, school bus injuries often spike at the beginning of each school year. It’s important for parents to understand the unique challenges of filing these cases, how fault is determined and what to expect. school bus accident lawyer

Recently, a teen driver was cited in a Lehigh Acres school bus accident when he struck a bus on the very first day of school, resulting in injuries to a second grader. According to the Associated Press, the teen allegedly ran a stop sign, slamming the bus and pushing it into a ditch. An 8-year-old was taken to the hospital with minor injuries and the bus driver was hurt as well. Five students were on board at the time of the accident, with four of those wearing a seat belt.

Although every accident is different, there are some unique factors that more frequently play into causation of bus accidents and exacerbation of injuries to occupants and pedestrians. These include:
  • Frequent stops;
  • Bus drivers who are fatigued;
  • Improperly-maintained buses;
  • Frequent stops;
  • Child pedestrians interacting with traffic;
  • Lack of child occupant restraints (seat belts) on many buses;
  • Higher-than-average rollover risk.

Continue reading

A Palm Beach County wrongful death lawsuit is the second in three months against automaker Tesla Inc. involving its driver-assisted Autopilot feature – one that plaintiffs say give drivers a false sense of security and fail to live up to the express and implied promises made to consumers. truck accident lawyer

According to Insurance Journal, plaintiffs in Banner v. Tesla allege the 50-year-old driver of a Tesla sedan was killed in March when the vehicle, using the Autopilot feature as advertised, failed to steer or brake in order to avoid striking a semi-tractor trailer that had run a stop sign on a South Florida highway.

The system had been engaged for at least 10 seconds prior to the crash. His survivors say the vehicle manufacturer is and has been aware that the system was defective, yet continued to sell it anyway. They are also suing the driver of that semi-truck for negligence in causing the truck accident. Continue reading

Amid concerns that large trucks driven by tired operators pose a greater-than-ever risk to Florida motorists, federal officials are contemplating loosening existing rules. As our West Palm Beach truck accident lawyers well know, driver fatigue is cited in hundreds of the thousands of deadly truck crashes each year. truck accident attorney

Despite the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Carrier’s implementation of many new rules and regulations pertaining to trucking rules and regulation – including Hours of Service rules designed to reduce drowsy driver accidents, there has been a 20 percent jump in the number of commercial truck crashes over the last 10 years.

Rules such as those for Hours of Service and mandated electronic logging devices (ELD) were introduced to curb the practices of so many trucking carriers that reward drivers based not only the amount of time they drive, but rather on the miles driven. Many industries truck drivers to push the envelope to make their living. Continue reading

Most of us have been in a car accident at some point or another. (If you haven’t, consider yourself lucky – or due for one soon, statistically speaking; car insurance companies estimate every driver files a claim about once ever 17 years.) If you have been in a crash, you may have been asked more than once whether you plan to sue.car accident lawyer

When it comes to auto accidents, Florida is a no-fault state. What that means is that rather than pursuing a claim against the driver who was at-fault, it’s your own auto insurance company that is responsible for compensating you after the crash. This falls under the provision of state law (specifically F.S. 627.736) regarding personal injury protection insurance (or PIP). However, this only covers up to $10,000 in medical and disability expenses and only $5,000 in death benefits.

If you’re injured to the point you are required to take more than  few weeks off work, have lasting disabilities or are disfigured, this won’t be nearly enough. Yet it is only if one meets the serious injury threshold, as outlined in F.S. 627.727 that he/she may step outside the no-fault system to claim damages from the at-fault driver (or his/her own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage). Continue reading