Articles Posted in Personal Injury

With more children and families sticking closer to home this summer, the risk of a Palm Beach bicycle accident resulting in severe injuries is higher than ever. Safe Kids Palm Beach County reports that traumatic injuries suffered by children in Palm Beach County bicycle accidents has shot up nearly 170 percent in recent months. Eight kids were treated locally for serious bike crash injuries in just five weeks.Palm Beach injury lawyer

The non-profit kids’ safety organization indicated most of the bicycle accidents involved collisions with cars. More than 90 percent of riders treated at local hospitals weren’t wearing helmets and suffered some type of brain injury.

“Kids think they’re invincible,” the SKPBC director told WPTV recently.

That may be true, but our Palm Beach County injury attorneys want to stress it doesn’t give a free pass to drivers who are distracted, speeding or otherwise careless – particularly in residential neighborhoods where one would expect to see more children on bicycles right now. The failure of a child to wear a helmet won’t excuse a negligent motorist from liability either. Continue reading

Health care workers and first responders are known for being the first helpful faces on the scene in the midst of a crisis. That’s perhaps no more true than in the moment we’re all facing together right now. healthcare workers

Doctors, physician’s assistants, nurses, paramedics and other medical professionals are considered among the most essential workers on the front lines as we collectively navigate this global health emergency.

As most Floridians are under state and local orders to remain socially distanced, keeping each other safe by staying in, these workers do so by showing up. Often, they’re caring for the most vulnerable among us. They’re conducting roadside tests, caring for at-risk nursing home residents, admitting emergency room walk-ins and treating critically ill ICU patients.

Our South Florida personal injury lawyers have counseled clients through some very difficult times – auto accidents, elder abuse, hurricane claims and instances of medical malpractice. Whether negligence or a natural disaster, the one constant has been our commitment to continue advocating for our clients. It’s what we do.

South Florida injury lawyers

The current public health crisis is unlike anything most of us have ever experienced.

We understand our clients have questions about what these circumstances mean for pending cases. We have been personally reaching out to each and every one to update them on the status of their claims.

Others have concerns about the novel legal questions this situation might present.  Our team remains available to you through via phone, video conferencing and email. We also continue to offer free initial consultations through these mediums. Continue reading

Florida personal injury laws are designed to compensate those who are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. These extend to individuals involved in car accidents, slip-and-fall incidents and injury due to use of dangerous products. South Florida injury claims

Claims for damages (financial compensation) can be pursued either by filing a lawsuit or negotiating a settlement. As our South Florida injury lawyers can explain, most claims are resolved via settlement, as these tend to conclude faster, be less costly and outcomes are more certain than in litigation.

Civil injury attorneys will usually work to negotiate a settlement with defendant insurers before going the route of a lawsuit. While each case is different, it’s usually only if those settlement negotiations break down (when an insurer tries to settle a claim for less than it’s worth) that your attorney will recommend a lawsuit. Continue reading

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

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