Articles Posted in Traumatic Brain Injury

A fatal Florida parasailing accident involving a vacationer in the Florida Keys has raised questions about the enforceability of liability waivers. Florida parasailing injury lawyer

Liability waivers are standard operating procedure for companies that offer inherently risky excursions and activities, including those that rent out/offer charter boats, parasailing, wakeboarding/tubing, jet skis, scuba diving, sky diving, etc.

But as our Palm Beach injury lawyers can explain, although Florida courts have upheld the viability of these waivers, they aren’t necessarily a catch-all for every scenario. There are situations where a liability waiver can be successfully challenged. This is particularly true when gross negligence is at issue. Gross negligence is a lack of care that is so egregious, it demonstrates reckless disregard for the safety or lives of others. It amounts to a conscious violation of other people’s right to safety.

In the most recent case, a 33-year-old Illinois woman died Memorial Day weekend while parasailing with her two kids. Police reported the boat’s captain cut the cable that tethered the woman and her kids to the boat. They plunged into the water, and then were dragged along the surface until they slammed into a bridge. The mother died and her two kids were injured.

For legal experts specializing in catastrophic injury cases, there is a strong argument to be made that people who do not know how parasails are operated shouldn’t be compelled to sign waivers of liability allowing parasailing companies to profit handsomely from these ventures while evading responsibility for skirting basic safety measures. In terms of legal enforceability, much of it is going to come down to the exact language in the waiver and the details of what happened. There’s also still an open question about whether a parent can waive a child’s rights in a liability waiver.

Are There Florida Parasailing Safety Laws?

There are safety laws in Florida that pertain specifically to parasailing – and they came about after several previous tragedies.

The White-Miskell Act, named after two tourists who died in Florida parasailing accidents, requires: Continue reading

Eight acrobats who suffered life-altering injuries in a 2014 circus accident in which they fell 20 feet while hanging from their hair reached a $52 million settlement last month with the owner of the arena where it occurred. Notably, the Florida-based circus that employed them was not named as a defendant in that case.West Palm Beach injury lawyer

As our South Florida injury lawyers can explain, much of that has to do with the fact that state workers’ compensation laws stipulate that workers’ comp insurance is the exclusive remedy against an employer for work-related injuries. That doesn’t necessarily mean people who are seriously injured on-the-job don’t have alternative claims against third parties. This type of claim is more common in hazardous professions like construction, truck driving, warehousing, nursing, etc., where workers are often contracted to work at that location by another company. Continue reading

The woman who sustained a Florida traumatic brain injury when an ATV being driven by an on-duty cop hit her is suing the Clevelander Hotel and Erick Kuilan for Miami Beach personal injury. Kitzie Nicanor and her friend Luis Almonte, both 29, were walking on the beach before dawn when the ATV, which Kuilan was driving, struck them. As a result of her Florida TBI, Nicanor, who is still in the hospital, has experienced memory loss, problems concentrating, paralysis on her right side, and difficulty talking. She also broke a leg, sustained heart perforations, and had to have her spleen removed.

Nicanor is still in the hospital. Her Miami brain injury attorney says that she will likely have to undergo rehabilitation for years. She has a 1-year-old son.

According to her Miami-Dade County personal injury complaint, the Clevelander Hotel regularly lets on-duty cops drink alcohol and hang out at its clubs. (The Miami Beach Police says cops are banned from drinking while they are on-duty.) More than four hour after the ATV crash, Kuilan, who has since been fired from the force, still had a BAC exceeding Florida’s limit of .08%. He is charged with two counts of reckless driving resulting bodily injury and two counts of driving under the influence. Nicanor may also sue the City of Miami Beach.

If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a Miami Beach motor vehicle crash because someone was careless, reckless, or made mistakes, you may be entitled to Florida personal injury recovery. Some injuries are so serious that you will need all the financial compensation you can get to cover medical expenses, recovery costs, lost wages, and other damages. Sometimes, there is more than one party who should be held liable.

For example, in this Miami injury lawsuit, the plaintiff is seeking to recover compensation not just from the person who was driving the ATV, but also from the establishment that allowed him to drink alcohol. She also is considering suing the city of Miami Beach, which employed Kuilan at the time.

Miami Beach hotel, fired cop sued in ATV crash, AP, July 29, 2011
Aunt: ATV crash a nightmare, The Miami Herald, July 7, 2011

Related Web Resources:

ATV Safety Institute

Miami Beach Police Department

More Blog Posts:
Man Files Miami Car Accident Lawsuit Against Ex-NBA Heat Player Alonzo Mourning, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, July 20, 2011
Palm Beach Wrongful Death Lawsuit Seeks Damages from Yamaha Over Fatal WaveRunner Accident That Killed One Teen, Leaving Another With Brain Damage and Physical Injuries, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, May 20, 2011
$1.575M Broward County Injury Settlement Reached with Sheriff’s Office Over Abused Child’s Brain Damage, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, February 4, 2011 Continue reading

21-year-old William Candelario is suing former Miami Heat basketball player Alonzo Mourning for Florida personal injury. Candelario claims that the former NBA player failed to help him after he was injured in a Miami-Dade car crash on the Julia Tuttle Causeway on Sunday.

Mourning’s Porsche had reportedly stuck Candelario’s vehicle, which had been disabled in an earlier crash, close to the intersection with Interstate 95. The ex-Heat player says that he did stop and check on Candelario before leaving the scene. He then called the authorities and then returned to the crash site. He has not been charged in the crash. Candelario, however, believes that Mourning could have done more to help him. He is also suing Eddy Desir, who is the driver of the car that was involved in the first collision with him.

Candelario’s Miami car accident lawyer says that his client sustained a concussion and suffered memory loss. Because of his injuries, he received treatment at the Aventura Hospital emergency room twice. It is not known at this time whether any of Candelario’s Miami car crash injuries are permanent.

Six years after the Florida water scooter accident that killed 14-year-old Yasell Perez and left then-15-year-old Samantha Archer with serious injuries, their families are in court seeking damages from Yamaha for Palm Beach County wrongful death, products liability, and personal injury. The jury trial opened last week and the plaintiffs are seeking millions.

The tragic Palm Beach County injury accident occurred on Easter Sunday on March 2005 after the teens got on a WaveRunner on the Intracoastal Waterway. Five minutes after taking off, the WaveRunner struck a boat, killing Perez and causing Archer, now 21, to sustain serious injuries, including a traumatic brain damage, a broken pelvis, and gashes to her legs, stomach and groin. She was hospitalized for two months and had to return several times to undergo surgery. Doctors have testified that Archer has lost the mental and emotional abilities that would allow her to sustain a marriage, hold a job, have a kid, or live independently.

A lawyer for Yamaha has said that the teenagers shouldn’t have told the WaveRunner’s owner that they knew how to operated the personal watercraft. He also notes that Archer at the time of the accident was under 16, which is the legal age for operating a water scooter in Florida. Meantime, the plaintiffs are claiming that a steering problem with the WaveRunner prevented the girls from being able to avoid striking the boat. Their lawyer contends that the PWC accident that killed the girls could have been avoided if only Yamaha had listened to concerns it had been receiving for years about problems with the WaveRunner’s steering system. Archer is seeking almost $7 million, while Perez’s family is also seeking millions.

Attorneys for 5-year-old Jace Manning and the insurer for the Broward Sheriff’s Office have settled the boy’s Coral Springs, Florida brain injury lawsuit for $1.575 million. The settlement brought the civil trial proceedings to a halt.

The plaintiff’s side contended that county child welfare officials failed to protect Jace, who sustained brain damage after they let him keep living with his mom and boyfriend even though there were signs that the couple might be abusive. His grandmother had even warned authorities that Jace, then 5-months, was in danger.

As a result of his head trauma, Jace remains developmentally disabled, walks with a limp, and requires intense speech therapy. He now lives with his grandmother.

The mother of Josie Lou Ratley, 16, wants the Broward School District to pay her daughter Florida personal injury compensation for the brain damage and permanent injuries she sustained during a severe beating at Deerfield Beach Middle School last year. Ratley was attacked at a campus bus stop last March by 16-year-old Wayne Treacy. He is charged with the adult crime of first-degree attempted murder. Also charged in the attack on Ratley is 14-year-old Kayla Manson with attempted murder, who allegedly pointed Ratley to Treacy when he arrived at the middle school.

Per the Broward County personal injury complaint, the plaintiff is accusing the school district of providing inadequate security and not properly supervising the bus pickup area. The lawsuit also claims that Treacy, a high school student, was allowed to “openly walk” onto the middle school grounds even though he wasn’t supposed to be there.

Treacy attacked Ratley several hours after exchanging text messages with her. He reportedly thought she was making fun of his brother’s death by suicide. He is accused of pushing Ratley’s head into the concrete and using his steel-toed boots to kick her “in the head, soccer style,” per the words used by Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti last year when describing to ABC News what happened. The assault finally stopped when a teacher pulled Treacy off Ratley.

More than five years after Lanette Gervato suffered brain damage after undergoing surgery to treat a non-bleeding brain aneurysm, a jury has awarded a $23 million Florida medical malpractice verdict to a woman for the permanent brain injuries that she sustained during the botched procedure that left her partially paralyzed, impaired her vision, and caused her to suffer other medical issues. The defendant of the case is the University of Florida.

Gervato was 35 when she sought medical attention at UF’s Shands Teaching Hospital for unexplained headaches. A neurosurgeon operated on her and inserted coils into the aneurysm. Unfortunately, according to her Miami medical malpractice attorneys, the medical team perforated an artery in her brain during the surgery. Gervato’s Florida brain injury lawsuit claims that even though nurse Rebecca Boone noticed that Gervato displayed symptoms consistent with a post-operative stroke, she kept Gervato on the drug Heparin, which is a blood thinner. Boone has settled the Florida nursing negligence case against her for $1 million.

Gervato’s Miami injury lawyers contend that the brain damage she suffers continues to cause her pain and affect her reasoning. She also has been hospitalized 10 times because of infections, her husband had to give up his job to take care of her, and her kids have had to move in with other relatives.

7-year-old Francesa Moise is in a coma after being injured in a North Lauderdale car crash on Wednesday evening. Moise and her mother, sister, and brother, were walking along Tam O’Shanter Boulevard when a car drove onto the grass next to the sidewalk and hit the little girl as the family was attempting to cross the street.

Rescuers were able to restore Moise’s heartbeat before she was flown to Broward General Medical Center. The little girl also sustained severe wounds to her face.

The vehicle that struck Moise, which authorities later described as an Acura Integra, fled the North Lauderdale pedestrian accident site and was later found abandoned near a local warehouse. Police are trying to figure out who was driving the car at the time of the Broward County traffic crash.

In other South Florida car accident news, a teenage bicyclist was transported to the hospital after he was injured in a Weston car accident. The boy was riding his bicycle at Bonaventure Boulevard and West Ridge Drive late Wednesday afternoon when the crash happened.

Also yesterday, a Fort Lauderdale bus crash sent three passengers to the hospital with minor injuries after their county transit vehicle was in a collision with a car. It is not known at this time who caused the Broward County motor vehicle crash.

Meantime, 45-year-old Coral Gables model Valentina Hubsch has been charged in the hit-and-run Miami car accident that killed college student Jared Paul last month. The 21-year-old University of Miami student was crossing the street when a 2004 Hyundai struck him on November 13. He died from his injuries 10 days later.

Teen bicyclist injured in crash with car in Weston, Sun-Sentinel, December 22, 2010
Model charged in wreck that killed Miami student, Miami Herald, December 22, 2010
3 injured after car slams into transit bus, WSVN, December 22, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Florida Department of Transportation

Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Continue reading

The driver of a Honda CRV sustained head injuries in a downtown Miami traffic collision during rush hour last Thursday. That same motor vehicle accident killed a 49-year-old Tampa woman and critically injured her 17-year-old daughter.

According to police, the truck crash happened just before 4pm when the Honda was broadsided by a Toyota Tundra pickup truck that had spun out of control, possibly due to wet road conditions. The husband of the woman driving the Honda told press that his wife was stopped at the intersection and was hit by the Toyota when it ran a red light.

The truck accident is still under investigation and no charges have been filed as of yet, according to police. The woman driving the Toyota Tundra was questioned by detectives and later permitted to leave the scene of the accident.

Police Identify Downtown Miami Crash Victims,, May 30, 2009 Continue reading

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