Articles Posted in Personal Injury

When someone is injured as a result of another’s negligence – slip-and-fall, medical malpractice, car accident – often you can request a type of damages known as “pain and suffering.” This is a legal term, spelled out in the Florida Standard Jury Instruction, 501.2, that basically refers to what you had to endure.South Florida injury lawyer

As specifically stated in the jury instruction, these non-economic damages are “any that result from bodily injury sustained by you resulting in pain and suffering disability or physical impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish, inconvenience or loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life experienced in the past or to be experienced in the future.”

Unlike economic damages, which are things like medical bills, lost wages or expenses incurred as a result of your injuries, pain and suffering damages aren’t easily tallied with bills, records or receipts. These are damages you must demonstrate with your own personal testimony, testimony from your loved ones, photographs, vidoes and details about your life both before and after the injury. Jurors are more likely to award economic damages, but establishing non-economic damages can be trickier.

Electric scooters (also known as e-scooters) are with increasing frequency sending South Florida riders to hospitals in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Miami. According to the Sun Sentinel, more than 100 people have been transported by ambulance to Broward Health Medical Center in the last year – more than one-third of those with head injuries – following e-scooter accidents.electric scooter injury lawyer Florida

In total last year, there were 146 e-scooter accidents reported in all of Fort Lauderdale. In Miami, there were 87 from April 2019 to mid-January of this year.

As more people are riding and helmets are optional, head and facial injuries from e-scooter accidents has tripled over the last 10 years. Head injuries can range from a concussion to a brain hemorrhage and serious blunt force trauma injuries. Unfortunately, many people still don’t seem to realize how dangerous e-scooters can be – which could point to scooter companies’ failure to warn the public. One study by researchers at the University of California found that the percentage of serious head injuries sustained by e-scooter riders is double that of bicyclists. Only about 2 percent to 4 percent of injured riders were wearing helmets, according to the UC analysis. Another study conducted last year by the CDC/Austin Public Health revealed only 1 e-scooter rider out of 190 injured in that city was wearing a helmet.

But as our Fort Lauderdale brain injury lawyers can explain, whether a rider is wearing a helmet or not shouldn’t necessarily bar anyone from filing a lawsuit against a negligent party responsible for these crashes. This is especially true because as long as e-scooters don’t travel more than 30 mph, no helmet is required. Continue reading

A waiver of liability is an increasingly common way for businesses to throw up a shield against legal responsibility for patron injuries. They are especially common where activities might pose a higher-than-average risk. Examples might be trampoline parks, jet skiing or skydiving.South Florida injury lawyer

However, as our West Palm Beach injury lawyers can explain, signing a waiver of liability won’t absolutely sabotage the legitimacy of your injury claim. If you can prove the waiver failed to meet certain legal criteria or if there is evidence of reckless or intentional wrongdoing, you may still be able to pursue your claim for damages. The same goes for many claims involving children involved in commercial activities, as noted by the 2008 Florida Supreme Court decision in Kirton v. Fields.

While it’s true that waivers of liability can insulate organizations and businesses from legal responsibility for acts of negligence (i.e., lack of reasonable care) they can’t protect against gross negligence. Gross negligence is the deliberate disregard for someone else’s safety by an act or omission the defendant knew or should have known would put another in danger. Continue reading

When we talk about “damages” in a South Florida personal injury lawsuit, we’re referring to the monetary value of what you have lost as a result of the incident or accident. Some losses obviously have no price tag, but that doesn’t mean those responsible shouldn’t be held accountable for it. You have likely heard of damages for medical expenses, wage losses, pain and suffering and even mental anguish. One type of damage lesser known (but no less important) is specifically for those closest to the person hurt or killed. It’s called loss of consortium. South Florida personal injury lawyer

Loss of consortium, as defined by the Florida Supreme Court in the 1971 case of Gates v. Foley, is filed by the spouse of the person injured as a result of a third party’s wrongful conduct. It’s intended to compensate a surviving spouse for loss of affection, solace, comfort, sexual relationship, fellowship, society, household services and assistance necessary for a successful marriage.

(Minor children and parents of minor children might also have grounds for loss of consortium in some circumstances.)

It’s important to understand that while a claim for loss of consortium is a claim separate and distinct from the primary claim, Florida courts have long held it is nonetheless a derivative one. That means its success is dependent on the injured person’s underlying claim. However, it’s possible that an impaired spouse’s claim could be settled and the deprived spouse’s loss of consortium claim would still proceed to trial. 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

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

After years of ping-ponging on the issue of evidence admissibility standards in Florida courts – weighing the long-standing, more relaxed Frye test versus the more rigorous Daubert analysis – it seems the Florida Supreme Court has made a final decision. At least for now… West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer

For decades, it was Frye. Then in 2013, Daubert. Except not everyone agreed, and for a while, lower courts and lawyers weren’t exactly sure which applied until 2018 when it was definitely Frye. But now, we’re back to Daubert.

As our South Florida injury lawyers can explain, this is going to have a big impact on both criminal and civil cases. Perhaps most significantly in torts, plaintiffs with highly-technical claims requiring expert witness testimony (medical malpractice, product liability, etc.) are likely going to have a much tougher time overcoming the “trial within a trial” hurdle that Daubert presents.

While criminal and civil defense lawyers will be pleased with this change, prosecutors and personal injury lawyers most likely are not. Continue reading

Injury at South Florida gyms has been climbing as the number of health-fitness clubs and gyms has risen – 4 percent in the last five years, according to IBISWorld market research.Industry-wide revenue topped$2billion this year. gym injury lawsuit Miami

The question of whether one can successfully sue for a gym injury in Florida will depend heavily on how the injury occurred, what assurances of safety were express or implied with your gym patronage, the language of the liability waiver you (most likely) signed and whether third parties were involved.

Because injuries at the gym have the potential to be very serious (with some reported including broken bones, facial fractures, dental injuries, head injuries, neck and spinal cord injuries and more) it’s imperative to discuss your options with an experienced Miami personal injury attorney.

Fitness centers throughout Miami in standalone buildings, shopping plazas, hotels, resorts, spas – even commercial warehouses (primarily Crossfit). Customers pay good money to use the parking facilities, access all the workout equipment, receive one-on-one time with personal trainers, attend various classes and use amenities like lockers, change rooms, showers, pools and steam rooms. Unfortunately, as our personal injury attorneys in Miami are well aware, that’s a lot of opportunity for potential danger. 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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