Articles Posted in Personal Injury

Several years ago, changes to Florida’s slip-and-fall law made it more difficult for plaintiffs to win such cases. But as a recent six-figure verdict revealed, they continue to be worth pursuing, particularly when injuries are serious and your lawyer is experienced. Palm Beach slip and fall lawyer

“Successful Florida slip-and-fall cases are those that involve injuries that were clearly preventable,” said West Palm Beach Injury Lawyer Ryan Fogg. “Often times, corporations will create safety rules to prevent accidents like these. But if the management and staff fails to follow through and abide by those rules, serious injuries can result, and the corporation can be held accountable.”

Florida’s slip-and-fall statute is F.S. 768.0755. It refers to “premises liability for transitory foreign substances in a business establishment.” This is just a fancy way of saying legal responsibility for a slippery substance on the floor of a business that’s open to the public. In order to prevail in these cases, one must prove the property owner/controller had either actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition that caused the fall. Actual knowledge would be if the property owner created the condition or was clearly informed about its existence. Constructive knowledge can be established when the condition:

  • Existed for a substantial enough length of time that the business would/should have discovered it in the exercise of ordinary care.
  • Occurred with regularity, and thus was foreseeable.

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Most people assume that Florida slip-and-fall lawsuits are fairly straightforward. However, as our Palm Beach injury lawyers can explain, the truth of the matter is that South Florida slip-and-fall claims, which involve an area of law called premises liability, can quickly become quite complicated.

Some of the factors that are going to come into play as to how thorny a case can get:Palm Beach injury lawyer

  • How long did the hazard existed in the area where you fell (or how long you can prove it was there)?
  • Was the hazard something that occurred regularly at that location?
  • Who was responsible for maintaining safe walking surfaces at that location? (Were there multiple responsible parties?)
  • How open/obvious was the hazard that caused the fall?
  • What was your purpose on site? (Were you a business invitee? A social invitee? A trespasser? All of this will matter in a Florida premises liability claim.)
  • How badly were you hurt? Did you incur medical bills? Did the injury leave you unable to work for a time?

All of this is going to factor into the viability and value of your Florida slip-and-fall claim and how much it’s worth. This is why you’ll want to discuss your case with an injury lawyer.

That said, here are five questions that we’re frequently asked when approached about a Palm Beach slip-and-fall injury claim: Continue reading

Thanksgiving is all about gathering and good eats. Lots of folks are especially excited about this year’s festivities, as pandemic-related restrictions have increasingly eased. However, many holiday safety concerns persist year after year.Palm Beach injury lawyer

As longtime South Florida injury lawyers, the cases we handle almost all involve preventable injuries resulting from the failure of someone else to use reasonable care – not necessarily because they meant to cause harm, but simply because they weren’t careful. If at all possible, we want people to avoid associating joyful holidays like Thanksgiving with sadness or regret. That’s why we urge everyone to take a few minutes to ensure they’re being as safe as possible – behind the wheel, in front of the stove, through the stores, and at the table.

Driving Dangers on Thanksgiving

If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s carelessness or wrongdoing, the first step in pursuing civil damages is a demand letter. Palm Beach injury lawyer

Demand letters are the initial correspondence made by the plaintiff (person who was hurt) to the insurance company that provides coverage on behalf of at-fault or negligent parties. South Florida injury attorneys draft demand letters for cases involving car accidents, medical malpractice, premises liability, product liability, and other claims.

A well-drafted demand letter can potentially help you obtain fair compensation for your injuries while avoiding a personal injury lawsuit altogether. This is why it’s imperative that you work with an experienced Palm Beach injury attorney. It is inadvisable for personal injury plaintiffs to write their own demand letters because often these cases are more complicated than they appear at first blush. A poorly-written demand letter can significantly damage your case potential.

An injury attorney will help you apply the law to your case, determine the full extent of your damages, identify all potential defendants/at-fault parties, ascertain causes of action for your claim, advise you of your case value and viability and draft the demand letter to insurers. Continue reading

A recent expose by reporters at The Palm Beach Post detailed the many alleged medical mistakes and lawsuits peppered throughout the 30-year career of a Palm Beach OB-GYN who retained his medical license until only recently. The watchdog reporting raises questions not only about how he was able to continue practicing with his track record, but also why obstetrics and gynecology specialists have higher rates of medical malpractice claims compared to other medical experts. Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer

According to a survey of more than 4,000 physicians by Medscape, nearly 60 percent had been involved in one or more medical malpractice lawsuits during their career. For OB-GYN practitioners specializing in women’s health, that rate was 83 percent. On average, OB-GYN practitioners are involved in 2 to 3 medical malpractice claims over the course of their careers.

The OB-GYN featured in the Post article was reportedly:

  • Linked to at least 14 serious injuries of women and children, including six deaths.
  • Named in four disciplinary cases.
  • Named as a defendant in nine medical malpractice lawsuits.

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The vast majority of Florida personal injury lawsuits – whether they stem from car accidents, slip-and-falls, medical malpractice, or product liability – will be settled before they go to trial. This is because trials are expensive, arduous, drawn-out affairs that are a gamble for both sides. That doesn’t mean it’s always a good idea to settle and never a good idea to go to court. However, it does mean that you should be in regular communication with your lawyer, carefully weighing all the options on the table in your Palm Beach personal injury lawsuit.  Palm Beach personal injury lawyer

Understanding what recourse you have, the viability and value of your claim, is essential to making wise decisions. To do that, you must have an experienced personal injury lawyer – one who is prepared and capable of taking your case to trial if it comes down to it.

The primary reason to take a case to trial instead of settle is when the defendant and/or insurer refuses to pay fair compensation for your losses. Continue reading

Whether we’re talking about a slip-and-fall, dog bite, or amusement park injury, getting hurt on someone else’s property isn’t something for which people plan. It is, however, something certain property owners in Florida have a legal responsibility to anticipate and prepare for to some extent.South Florida injury lawyer

When they fail to do so and you’re hurt, you can pursue something called a premises liability claim.

It’s important if you’re injured to get prompt medical attention, document the scene and the injury and consult with an experienced West Palm Beach injury attorney before making any major decisions or moves.

What is Premises Liability? 

A premises liability lawsuit is a means to hold a property owner responsible for damages that arise from injury on the defendant’s property. In Florida, owners (and sometimes certain occupants) of a property are required to make a reasonable effort to maintain it to ensure it’s reasonably safe for lawful visitors. Failure to do so opens defendants to premises liability claims.

Some situations that may give rise to a Florida premises liability claim may include:

  • Slip-and-fall injuries.
  • Animal or dog bites.
  • Inadequate security.
  • Drowning or swimming pool injury.
  • Dangerous conditions for children (attractive nuisance).

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Florida lawmakers want to put the brakes on the state’s decades-old no-fault car insurance law. Both the state Senate and House passed a measure that would repeal the seventies-era statute requiring personal injury protection (PIP) coverage in favor of a system that would instead require all drivers to carry bodily injury liability coverage.West Palm Beach car accident lawyer

Our West Palm Beach car accident attorneys know the decision, which is now in Gov. Ron DeSantis’ court, could have a significant impact in the way we pursue damages in Florida car accident cases.

This state is one of only a handful remaining that uses the no-fault system of car insurance. As it stands, all vehicle owners are required per F.S. 627.736 to purchase PIP, which offers up to $10,000 in medical expense and wage loss reimbursements per crash and $5,000 for funeral expenses, regardless of fault. Those figures have stayed the same since 1979 (seven years after the law first went into effect), failing to keep a realistic pace with current medical expenses and other costs. Further, a more recent update to the law caps the recovery amount to $2,500 if the injuries don’t require emergency treatment. Continue reading

If you’re considering hiring a personal injury lawyer in Florida, understanding the basics of attorney-client privilege is important. Your lawyer, or even one with whom you are consulting to possibly hire, is legally obligated to keep conversations about your case private. However, to ensure privacy is maintained, it’s necessary to know when and how to communicate and what kind of communications might not be shielded. Palm Beach injury lawyers

Privileged communication is a legal principle applicable in both civil and criminal cases. It involves interactions between two parties that the law deems protected because of the relationship between the two. Whatever is said or otherwise communicated between them is confidential, and neither can’t be forced or compelled to share it with anyone – including the courts or law enforcement.

Privileged relationships recognized by the law include:

  • Attorney-client
  • Doctor-patient
  • Therapist-patient
  • Clergy-congregant
  • Accountant-client
  • Spouses
  • Reporters (only applicable in some states and in some situations)

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Almost all legal actions in Florida are subject to a statute of limitations. This is a narrow window of time during which a case must be filed. In civil litigation, victims (not prosecutors) are responsible for pursuing claims. South Florida injury lawyer

There is no law that automatically requires people responsible for causing harm to compensate you for it. However, they (or their insurers) can be compelled to pay with a civil claim or lawsuit. But you don’t have unlimited time to do this. Depending on the circumstances, that narrow window of opportunity may be fast closing.

Even if you think you still have a decent amount of time, your legal team may need every spare moment to  investigate and build your case. Doing so could even help avoid a drawn-out legal battle. Often, strong cases settle sooner because insurers and defendants know it isn’t worth a protracted fight. Continue reading

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