Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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

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

South Florida is slated to the site of the first major locale in the state to allow dockless, electric scooters on its streets. In Miami, however, not too many elected officials are excited about it, according to The Miami Herald. While those who voted in favor of the scooters say they provide a solution to the congested city’s traffic problems, offering something of a “last-mile” solution in between neighborhoods and public transit options. However, those representing neighborhoods of Little Haiti, Wynwood and Overtown don’t want the scooters back in the neighborhood after they were ousted earlier this summer.electric scooter injury

The primary concern, officials told reporters, is Miami scooter accidents resulting in serious personal injury, given that the electric versions travel up to 15 mph.  Continue reading

A golf club may be liable for a near-fatal wasp attack suffered by a patron in California, where an appellate court reversed a summary judgment in the golf club’s favor.golf course injury lawyer

Although this is an out-of-state case, it’s an important read given that Florida has more golf courses than any other state (with Palm Beach County having more than any other county in the country). As a business, golf courses that invite patrons onto their property for the financial gain of the course owe the highest duty of care to those patrons, meaning they have a responsibility to regularly check for potential hazards and to either mitigate or warn of those about which they know or should know.

Here, the California First Appellate District, Division One, held that operators of golf courses must maintain their property in reasonably safe condition, which includes the duty to exercise reasonable care to shield guests from yellow jacket nests on their site. The measures a golf course operator is required to take may vary, so the court didn’t reach the issue of whether defendant golf course in this case breached that duty or caused patron’s injuries (those would be questions of fact for a jury, rather than a judge, to decide). Nonetheless, the case should move forward, as the course was not entitled to summary judgment before the trial even started. Continue reading

Proving that negligence caused an elevator accident injury does not require expert witness testimony, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled recently – echoing the precedent set by other state courts, including Florida.injury attorney

The ruling is notable for the fact that a requirement of expert witness testimony (as necessitated in medical malpractice litigation) is often an expensive and cumbersome process. Although expert witnesses can undoubtedly be critical in establishing key elements of a personal injury or wrongful death case, a mandate such opinion be required to move beyond the summary judgment phase is a substantial hurdle.

Injuries and particularly deaths caused by malfunctioning elevators are increasingly rare (and on the whole, elevators and escalators are safer than stairs). Relying on a range of government data, the Center for Construction Research and Training and the National Institute for Occupational Safety concluded in 2006 that incidents involving elevators and escalators kill about 30 people and injury roughly 17,000 a year in the U.S. Improved technology – and particularly the cables, electronics and pulley systems – have improved drastically since, as noted in a 2013 report by The Washington Post. Those who install and maintain elevators have the potential to be injured due to falls, electrical shocks, muscles strains and other injuries related to confined spaces, scaffolds, cranes, rigging, hoisting heavy equipment and lock-out/tag-out accidents. The passenger safety profile, however, is much better, with the Consumer Product Safety Commission concluding the fatality rate is 0.00000015 percent per trip. Still, a 2008 study published in the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention concluded after a review of 14 years worth of data, the injury rate was 7.8 per 100,000. Continue reading

The claims bill process for Florida personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits is once again coming under scrutiny for alleged lobbyist bias. This was after the Associated Press recently reported nearly half of the injury and wrongful death claims bills approved by state lawmakers in the last two years were awarded to victims represented by a lobbyist who is the brother of the state House speaker.injury attorney

So why are personal injury and wrongful death cases handled in the legislature? Aren’t they handled in the courts? For those who aren’t familiar with the claims bill process, it deals specifically with claims against state and local governments that have already been through the court system. Florida allows exception to sovereign immunity (the idea that you can’t hold government accountable) so one can sue the government for negligence pretty much just like any other entity (with some exception). However, if you win, there is a damage cap of $200,000 for any individual person and $300,000 per incident. Those who have ever endured a serious injury know just how quickly one can burn through that amount – just in medical bills alone. So jurors at trial may award plaintiff damages far in excess of that amount, but that is all a plaintiff can collect – that is, unless they can find a state lawmaker to file a claims bill on their behalf requesting to be awarded more compensation to which they are rightly owed. That bill is then presented to the entire state legislature for approval. Each damage award is considered as a separate item by lawmakers. It is a tedious process that tends to require a lot of “cooks in the kitchen,” but it can be an invaluable means of compensation for those seriously injured.

Cases can range from those injured in a car accident with a negligent city worker to the medical malpractice of a nurse employed by a government-owned hospital.

Allegations of lobbying bias isn’t really anything brand new. In fact, back in 2013 and 2014, lawmakers didn’t approve a single claims bill, in part due to the firm opposition of the then-Senate president, who argued the bills were passing based on the effectiveness of their lobbyists, not the actual merits of the claim.  Continue reading

By the end of last year, more than 2 billion people were actively using Facebook on at least a monthly basis. Instagram, meanwhile, serves about 800 million active users a month. Users of Snapchat upload approximately 10 billion videos daily. WhatsApp has about 1 billion users a month. So what does all this have to do with your South Florida injury lawsuit?personal injury lawyer

A lot if you have posted anything pertinent to:

  • The incident in question;
  • The people involved in the incident;
  • Any element that pertains to the incident;
  • Your mental/ physical condition or well-being prior to and after the incident.

Because a serious injury resulting from something like a car accident or a case of medical malpractice or a criminal attack is something that – of course – affects us very profoundly, it is understandable that many people share those details online. It’s almost become like second nature in this increasingly digital age.

But as the recent Congressional hearings of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reveal, there is an increasingly limited expectation of privacy regarding what we share on our “personal” pages – even when we limit privacy settings and contact lists. Continue reading

Florida consistently has one of the highest percentages of properties with pools and hot tubs, with the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals reporting nearly 335,700 hot tubs in the state as of 2015, with an additional 9,400 being added annually. Many of these are prominent features at resorts, hotels, condominium complexes and other locations frequented by Florida tourists, snowbirds and residents.injury attorney

Swimming pool injuries and hot tub injuries can run the gamut, whether due to unreasonably slippery surfaces or lack of gates or barriers or improper construction or poor maintenance. Determining who was at-fault and whether you have a claim to pursue compensation for your injuries will depend on exactly how and why the injury happened. For example, if a residential pool owner fails to ensure an appropriate barrier, alarm or other protection feature is in place, as required by F.S. 515.29, they could be held liable for child drownings or other injuries proximately caused by that.

In a recent case out of Pinellas County, the Tampa Bay Times reports a man was awarded $7.5 million in a South Florida personal injury lawsuit verdict stemming from a fall inside a hot tub at a resort where the spa was partially drained and unlit back in 2008. It’s being deemed one of the largest injury verdicts ever in that county’s civil court. According to news reports, the man suffered permanent back and neck injuries after the fall. Continue reading

Injuries that occur in hospitals are mostly matters of medical malpractice, meaning they stem from substandard care provided by medical professionals. However, some hospital injuries are the result of general negligence (often due to unsafe conditions on the premises). Although hospitals are providers of care, they are also owners of property, with a duty of reasonable care under premises liability law to the general public who enter. medical malpractice

This distinction is clear in some cases. For example, a visitor slips-and-falls in a just-mopped hospital lobby that isn’t marked with a sign. Clearly, that incident isn’t a matter of medical malpractice; the visitor wasn’t even being treated. However, when it comes to patients – current, prospective or leaving – the waters can get muddied.

It’s an important distinction to make because the proof burden for these two types of cases is very different. For general negligence cases, one must simply prove defendant owed a duty of care, that duty was breached and the breach resulted in an accident that caused injuries. However, Florida medical malpractice cases, per F.S. 766.102, require claimants to prove by the greater weight of evidence that alleged actions of health care provider(s) breached the prevailing professional standard of care for that health provider. This considers whether the level of care, skill and treatment in light of all surrounding circumstances is deemed acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers. In order to do this, one must present a qualified expert medical witness testimony – and that’s long before one ever gets to the trial phase. There is also the matter of the statute of limitations (the time in which one has to file a case). In Florida, general negligence claims can be filed within four years. Medical malpractice claims have to be filed within two years.  Continue reading