The widower and surviving children of a 36-year-old woman killed in a Florida car accident three years ago have secured a $13 million verdict against the estate of the driver who caused the crash by making an illegal pass. The family’s wrongful death lawyer says the next step is to pursue a bad faith insurance claim against the auto insurance company that acted in bad faith in failing to settle this claim before trial. West Palm Beach wrongful death lawyers

As our West Palm Beach wrongful death lawyers can explain, bad faith insurance claims are those stemming from an insurance company’s failure to act in a reasonable manner when processing, investigating and paying a claim. This remedy exists because legislators and courts recognized that when it comes to settling claims, insurers are in the driver’s seat. They have more expertise, negotiating strength and financial resources than any claimant. That makes good faith and fair dealing of insurers essential. But that doesn’t mean they always do.

Working with an experienced wrongful death lawyer can help reduce the chances that an insurer will attempt to undercut you with a low-ball settlement or refuses to settle for a reasonable amount. If that doesn’t happen, a good lawyer can help you begin to gather evidence to build a solid case for bad faith insurance. Continue reading

The Florida Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether a hospital can be held accountable for the negligent treatment by independent-contractor emergency room doctors. Our West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyers will be closely following the developments of this case, and a decision is likely to be handed down sometime next year. West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyers

The case stems from a botched plastic surgery provided at an unlicensed clinic by a man posing as a Venezuelan doctor. The clinic was licensed to give massages, but advertised the services of certified plastic surgeons (which it did not have) to perform buttocks-enhancement injections. A 28-year-old woman was rushed to a local emergency room after suffering complications from the procedure in 2013. She was treated at the hospital’s emergency room and in the intensive care unit, but died within hours. The “doctor” was later arrested and the clinic shuttered, but her estate filed a lawsuit against both the hospital and emergency room doctors for negligence.

The hospital insists it cannot be held liable for treatment provided by the emergency room doctors, as they were independent contractors. Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal agreed in a ruling earlier this year. However, this ruling conflicts with one by Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeals in a similar case.

The Florida Supreme Court has agreed to review the conflict, but has yet to set a date for oral arguments. Continue reading

Although most tend to think of New Year’s Eve as the most dangerous for holiday travelers, the truth is Thanksgiving is typically far more perilous. Hundreds of people a year are killed in crashes during the Thanksgiving travel period. In fact, Thanksgiving Day was reported to be the single deadliest day on U.S. roads in several of the last 15 years.South Florida car accident lawyer

AAA reports the 2019 Thanksgiving travel season will see the second-highest volume of holiday road traffic since the agency began keeping track almost 20 years ago. An estimated 55 million people will be taking a trip of 50 miles or more, and 49 million of those will be driving. In Florida, there will be at least 3 million travelers.

AAA predicts major road delays throughout the entire week, peaking Wednesday afternoon the day before Thanksgiving. Orlando, Miami, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale are listed as prime national destinations for holiday travelers, which means Florida roads especially will be crammed – and dangerous. Continue reading

A $14.4 million verdict awarded in a catastrophic injury lawsuit was recently overturned by Florida’s 2nd District Court of Appeal, citing the binding settlement agreement plaintiff’s father had entered prior to trial for just $10,000 and the insurer’s good faith effort to pay the policy limits. Plaintiff is in a vegetative state following a 2010 car accident in which he was a passenger.South Florida injury lawyer

The case is a cautionary tale in why it is critical for anyone acting on behalf of a loved one after a catastrophic injury to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Only certain individuals are authorized to handle financial and health care matters for someone who is incapacitated, but there is often confusion about how that process works.

It’s also not uncommon for insurers to swoop in as your “friend” early on in a case like this, trying to secure a low-ball settlement. Your case may be worth a great deal more than what they’re offering, but you won’t have the right to pursue it if you cash that check and release them from all future claims.

Why Catastrophic Injury Cases Require Experienced Plaintiff Lawyers

Catastrophic injuries are those that permanently prevent a person from performing work and enjoying life as he/she would have prior to the accident. Examples include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries;
  • Severe burns;
  • Spinal cord injuries;
  • Amputations;
  • Paralysis.

Most commonly, catastrophic injuries are the result of motor vehicle crashes, but they can also stem from construction site falls, medical malpractice or intentional acts of violence. Continue reading

GateHouse Media recently reported on the trend of more expectant mothers deciding to give birth outside of a hospital, with labor and delivery overseen with a midwife or doula. Many mothers who choose this route say it is a rejection of the sterile and sometimes impersonal experience of a hospital maternity ward, with through-the-roof cesarean section rates, over-prescribed cocktails of powerful pain medications and a hangover of hospital bills.midwife malpractice

But birth outside of a hospital setting has its own costs. GateHouse reports that just in Sarasota County, 1 in 3 home and birth center deliveries ended at a local hospital. Doctors and paramedics say often by the time they are transferred to a hospital, the women have been in labor for three or four days. They’re scared, exhausted, fevered and have higher rates of infection.

Although midwives and birthing centers point to the many successful deliveries they’ve overseen, the problem is that labor in itself is known to be incredibly risky. When something goes wrong, midwives and birthing centers may be unprepared to handle it. Continue reading

A 10-year-old boy suffered a serious brain injury, punctured lung and broken ribs after falling off a zipline attraction at a Florida trampoline park. The Tampa Bay Times reported at least three park employees failed to check the child’s harness before the start of the ride. When the boy lost his grip on the front ropes, he plummeted some 25 feet onto a concrete surface. He had to be airlifted to Tampa General Hospital, spending five days undergoing numerous surgeries.Florida liability waiver

Now, the boy’s mother is suing the trampoline park and the former employees who were responsible for overseeing the ride from which her son fell. The boy’s mother said she had an expectation her son would be reasonably safe because employees would do their jobs.

This trampoline park, like many hundreds of others that exist throughout the state, requires patrons (or parents of minor patrons) to sign a waiver of liability agreeing not to sue the business if they are hurt. Furthermore, safety warnings are posted on the company’s website, with one notice in bold lettering indicating that “Trampolining is an action/extreme sport and is an inherently dangerous risk. Jump at your own risk and within your own ability.”

Will this be enough to protect the company from liability in a case like this? Continue reading

Vaping has been advertised by manufacturers as a safe alternative to smoking. But there is growing evidence that the devices (also known as e-cigarettes) are not so safe after all. Vaporizers have been linked to a spate of deadly acute respiratory failure illnesses as well as serious burn injuries from explosions. Some 34 lung injury deaths and 1,600 illnesses – from Florida to California – this year are being blamed on vape usage, and more than 2,000 vape pen explosions from 2015 to 2017 resulting in burn injuries. Florida vape injury lawyer

Those injured and survivors of those have died have begun filing the first of what promises to be a flood of Florida product liability lawsuits against vape pen manufacturers over these incidents.

Our West Palm Beach product liability lawyers have read through a number of these accounts – and they are harrowing.

Vape Injuries Likened to Those of Industrial Accidents, Chemical Weapons and High-Speed Car Accidents

In one case out of Florida, a mother-of-three and CBD oil vape user suffered multiple organ failure and was forced to undergo a double leg amputation as a result of medical complications from respiratory failure. Others said they quickly became powerfully addicted to vaporizer products – only to come down with severe cases of pneumonia that landed them in the hospital for days or weeks. Continue reading

A state appellate court has urged the Florida Supreme Court to revisit whether a largely-debunked medical malpractice insurance “crisis” still justifies limiting damages in certain medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuits. The request, posed as a question of great public importance, stems from the Fla. 2nd DCA’s reluctant dismissal of a medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit filed by the adult children of a woman who died after a missed diagnosis of lung cancer. Naples medical malpractice lawyer

The case raises constitutional equal protection concerns because the practical effect is that negligent doctors and healthcare providers cannot be held to account if their patient dies with no minor children or surviving spouse. Adult children (over age 25) of medical malpractice victims who die are not entitled to collect non-economic damages. (Non-economic damages are monetary compensation for intangible losses like as pain and suffering, loss of life enjoyment, loss of consortium, etc.)

This all started some 30 years ago, when Florida lawmakers, heavily courted by insurance industry lobbyists, enacted Florida State Statute 768.21 as a means of remedying “skyrocketing insurance costs” that were reportedly causing doctors to decline performing high-risk procedures and flee the state and the profession, forcing the closure of emergency rooms and other healthcare facilities.  In 2000, the Florida Supreme Court cited this law – and the purported “crisis” legislators had used to rationalize it – to prevent the surviving adult children plaintiffs in Mizrahi v. North Miami Medical Center from recovering non-economic damages for their parent’s medical malpractice death. Continue reading

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