South Florida has a reputation for being somewhat risky. It’s got a plethora of alligators, firearms and hurricanes. But as it turns out, one of the riskiest things you can do here is take a stroll. West Palm Beach pedestrian accident lawyer

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there are an average of more than 9,300 pedestrian accidents in this state every year. As a result of those, more than 5,800 pedestrians are injured (more than 1,360 of those injuries are serious), and nearly 800 die. Risky driver behaviors, such as speeding, drunk driving, and distracted driving, contribute to these incidents and have been on the rise.

From 2010 to 2021, the pedestrian death rate in Florida rose nearly 80%, while other types of traffic fatalities increased by 25%. Florida has the third-highest rate of pedestrian deaths nationally in 2021. (In some recent years, it’s ranked No. 1.) That same year, state lawmakers passed a measure requiring the state driver education test to include a minimum of 25 questions on pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

Filing a Florida lawsuit for robotic surgery injuries may be warranted if adverse patient outcomes are the result of machine malfunction, surgeon error or a preventable mistake during the procedure. Such claims may be filed against the surgeon, but also potentially against the manufacturer of the robot. Lawsuits against surgical robot manufacturers would not be for medical malpractice, but rather product liability. West Palm Beach product liability lawyer

The use of robotic systems for surgeries has grown rapidly in recent decades. Specialized technology has enabled these systems to deliver precision care, even in difficult-to-reach areas, such as the heart, digestive system, bladder, prostate and more. They tend to result in less pain during recovery, shorter hospital stays, lower risk of infection and smaller scars.

However, they’re also associated with a number of serious risks, such as nerve damage and compression. What’s more, their safety may be overstated, and complications underreported. In one report published in the Journal for Healthcare Quality, researchers report that of the 1 million+ robotic surgeries performed in the last 20+ years, there were 245 complications and 71 deaths reported to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. That figure was suspiciously low. Researchers then uncovered several incidents that were reported by the news media that were never reported to the FDA, indicating intentional underreporting. It’s likely there are additional incidents that were never reported to the FDA or the media.

Johns Hopkins Medicine reported 57 percent of surgeons anonymously reported irrecoverable operative malfunction while using a robotic surgical system, requiring them to convert the procedure to laparoscopic or open surgery. Continue reading

A new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that 20% of women report experiencing medical mistreatment from their healthcare providers during maternity care.West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer pregnancy

As our West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyers can explain, it is the job of fetal and obstetrical medical professionals to do their best to ensure the safest and healthiest pregnancy outcomes for their patients. Of course, with any pregnancy, labor, and childbirth, there is a risk of adverse outcomes that can include serious illness, injury and even death. But often, when healthcare professionals are meeting the applicable standard of care, that risk is significantly minimized. If a healthcare worker’s substandard care contributes to the death of the mother or serious injury to a fetus that survives birth, it can be grounds for a personal injury or wrongful death medical malpractice claim.

There is currently no provision in the Florida Wrongful Death Act that allows surviving parents to sue for the death of a stillborn fetus. It may be possible for the mother, and in some cases the father, to sue for mental anguish relating to the loss. These claims are usually as part of a personal injury claim filed by the mother. However, existing law doesn’t allow for such a claim to be made for “wrongful death.”

A bill pending in the Florida legislature would amend the law to add “parents of an unborn child” to the list of people who can file wrongful death lawsuits. It’s not clear whether it will pass, however, as it’s drawn sharp criticism from abortion rights advocates over the implications the law could have for doctors who perform abortions, medically necessary or otherwise. (It does contain a caveat that such a claim couldn’t be filed against the mother.)

Civil lawsuits for maternal deaths resulting from medical malpractice are more straightforward in the right to file a claim, but still potentially complicated. It’s not enough to show that an adverse outcome occurred while a patient was under the care of the healthcare provider in question. One must show strong evidence of medical negligence which directly resulted in an adverse outcome for the pregnant person.

Some examples of situations that may give rise to a birth or pregnancy-related medical malpractice claim include: Continue reading

For the majority of adult working Americans, driving is a means to work — and a means for work. This is true despite the rise in remote work in recent years. If you are involved in a Palm Beach car accident while driving for work – or are hit by someone who was driving for work – there may be additional legal considerations for any subsequent personal injury claims.Palm Beach car accident attorney

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 79% of Floridians commute to work by car each day, and the average commute time increased from 25.6 minutes in 2021 to 26.4 minutes in 2022. During that same time, the percentage of people working from home went from 18 percent to 15.2 percent.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor of Labor Statistics reports that among civilian jobs, approximately 30 percent require driving some type of vehicle for work. About 21 percent drive passenger vehicles, while 9 percent some type of commercial vehicle, such as a tractor-trailer or construction vehicle. Some occupations, such as trucker, delivery person or policing, primarily involved driving.

As our Palm Beach car accident lawyers can explain, when a car crash occurs involving someone who is working, viability of legal claims may depend on:

  • Whether the driver was an employee of the company (as opposed to an independent contractor).
  • To whom the vehicle belonged.
  • Whether the individual was actively engaged in a work-related function at the time of the crash (as opposed to simply commuting to or from work).

The reason this is important to investigate is that when an employer can be held accountable for a crash, there is a greater potential for higher damages. That’s because employers tend to carry higher liability insurance for their employees than those people would as individuals. Continue reading

When sexual assault occurs on a boat off the coast of Florida, survivors can understandably be a bit perplexed about their options for legal recourse. What jurisdiction is in charge? Who can be held responsible? How much time is there to file? West Palm Beach sexual assault lawyer

At Halberg & Fogg, our West Palm Beach sexual abuse lawyers are committed to the fight for accountability in the wake of such offenses. We know that survivors of sexual assault often have a number of legal options, but it’s imperative to be deliberate in the actions we take. A misstep could mean wasted time, added trauma for survivors and potentially lost opportunities to pursue justice.

The jurisdiction (court that has authority) and the laws that will apply in a civil sexual assault lawsuit stemming from an incident on a boat will depend on a few things.

These are: Continue reading

Privatization of the medical industry – from nursing homes to hospitals to home health care companies to primary care doctors – is increasingly becoming the norm. Recently, a new study showed  that adverse medical outcomes are more likely in privatized healthcare facilities. This is unsurprising to any Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer.Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer

Published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Medical Association, the analysis revealed that in three years after a private equity firm purchased a hospital, the number of negative medical outcomes among patients soared. Surgical infections, bed sores, falls – these sorts of adverse medical events collectively rose by 25 percent. Central line infections in particular rose by 38 percent. Falls by patients staying in the hospital were up 27 percent. These are the sort of incidents that should never happen. And most telling was that in similar hospitals that were not privately-owned, the rates were not rising.

There was a 5 percent drop in the number of patient deaths. However, researchers noted that could be explained by a tendency toward admitting healthier patients who otherwise might have been sent home. Such practices not only skew death rates, they also drive profits.

Those who have studied hospital safety extensively point to this as the first data that strongly points to quality problems at hospitals that are taken over by private equity companies. Continue reading

Filing a lawsuit for South Florida sexual assault in the workplace is a daunting prospect. Ultimately though, many plaintiffs find it provides vindication, justice, and much-deserved compensation for the physical pain and emotional trauma suffered in a place they had every right to expect safety. Florida sexual assault in the workplace

A recent high-profile example of alleged sexual assault in the workplace made headlines recently. Singer, celebrity, and American Idol star Paula Abdul recently filed a lawsuit, alleging repeated incidents of sexual assault and sexual harassment involving a television executive. Named defendants in the Superior Court of Los Angeles sexual assault lawsuit include the executive as well as several production and media companies that employed and/or contracted with both Abdul and the executive on two separate popular TV shows.

According to the complaint, Abdul contracted with the two hit entertainment competition shows, American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, which she worked on from 2002 to 2009. She alleged she was bullied, harassed, and unfairly compensated almost from the start of the show. Much of the harassment stemmed, she alleges, came from this one particular TV executive. This included verbal sexual harassment, but also sexual abuse, she says.

During one early season regional competition, she alleges the executive approached her when she was alone in an elevator, forced her against a wall, groped her, and shoved his tongue down her throat. She fled the elevator in tears and immediately called one of her reps. However, she ultimately decided to take no immediate action for fear of being “blackballed.”

A few years later, when she was in talks to contract on the second show, the executive invited her to his home for what he thought was a business meeting. The two talked about the show and their professional collaboration. However, toward the end of the evening, the executive reportedly forced himself on top of her while she was seated on the couch and tried to kiss her. She rejected him and immediately left. Again, she did not report this incident, fearing retaliation and ostracization in an industry known to protect powerful men. (Our Palm Beach sexual assault attorneys would note this points to just how powerful such fears can be, considering they impacted even an international superstar.)

In another incident, she says the same executive sexually assaulted her assistant, pressing up against her and groping her from behind in an unwanted advance.

In her sexual assault lawsuit, Abdul alleges that not only was the executive liable, but so too are the media and production companies, saying each is responsible in some manner for one or more of the events, either approving or ratifying the conduct of other defendants.

Statistics on Sexual Assault in the Workplace

Continue reading

Millions of residents, vacationers, and business visitors in Florida rely on ridesharing services like Uber. The company itself reports contributing $1.1 billion in gross state product to Florida’s economy – and that doesn’t even include the UbeEATS branch of the business. But those who rely on Uber and other rideshare services should understand how the state’s new comparative fault standard may impact their Palm Beach personal injury claims.

Let’s start by explaining what comparative fault is, and how it’s changed in Florida in the last year.Florida Uber accident lawyer Palm Beach

Comparative fault in principle is the idea that everyone should be responsible for his or her own wrongdoing. So if you’re injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver but your injuries were exacerbated by the fact that you were speeding, the drunk driver would not necessarily be 100% liable to pay for your damages. A finding of comparative fault proportionally reduces damage awards to whatever extent the plaintiff is responsible for their own injuries. So if there is a finding of 20% comparative fault due to your speeding, you can only collect up to 80% of your total damage awards.

Different states have different rules about how comparative fault is applied. Prior to last year, Florida followed a pure comparative fault model. That means that even if you were 99% at fault for your own injuries, you could still collect the remaining 1% of damages from the other at-fault party. Obviously that wouldn’t be an ideal scenario, as it would dramatically reduce your damage award. But the idea with a pure comparative fault model is that a person who is 45% responsible for causing an accident shouldn’t be off the hook completely simply because the person hurt was 55% responsible. Continue reading

Reckless drivers have caused damage and death on our roads as long as there have been motor vehicles. Although Palm Beach car accident lawyers can attest it had been getting safer in recent decades, we’re now in the midst of one of three historically huge spikes in U.S. traffic deaths. Palm Beach car accident lawyers Florida roads getting deadlier

As detailed in a recent analysis by The New York Times, the first uptick occurred early in the 20th century, when cities were first flooded with large numbers of new, unskilled drivers. The second occurred at the midcentury mark, with the unveiling of the freeway system and powerful vehicles that could go from 0 to 60 mph in mere seconds. Nearly 51,000 traffic deaths were reported in a single year in the 1960s, rivaling the number of U.S. soldiers killed in combat during the entirety of the Vietnam War.

From 1972 to 2011, traffic deaths started declining. Vehicles got safer. The government began requiring stronger roofs and doors. Seat belt laws were passed. Airbags became standard. Medical advances were made. Crashes that would have killed people in the 1960s now only result in a broken leg. Accountability for bad driving behavior, like DUIs and later cell phone use, got more stringent. Young drivers were required not only to pass driver’s education courses, but also to complete graduated driver’s license schedules before being granted a full license.

In Florida, medical malpractice law is complex. Even defining the term requires some explanation. When it comes to the negligence of healthcare providers, the Sunshine State has many unique laws and procedures. Not every poor medical outcome or injury at a hospital qualifies as medical malpractice in Florida. Sometimes there are barriers preventing viable claims even when the evidence strongly supports allegations of medical negligence. This is why it’s so important to work with an experienced attorney. medical malpractice lawyer

To ascertain whether an injury qualifies, our Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyers typically start by carefully considering the following:

  • Whether the healthcare professional had an established caregiver-patient relationship with the plaintiff.
  • Whether the healthcare professional’s actions – or inaction – caused harm or injury to the plaintiff.
  • How likely it is that there is some other cause of the plaintiff’s harm or injury.
  • Whether those actions fell below the applicable standard of care for someone in their position (considering education, experience, facility, region, etc.).
  • How long ago the healthcare’s alleged negligence took place, as well as when the harm/injury was discovered.
  • If the patient died as a result of the alleged medical malpractice, did they have a surviving spouse OR children under the age of 25 at the time of the incident?

Remember: The burden of proof lies with the plaintiff, or the one who is filing the case. And there is a rigorous process with medical malpractice claims just to get past the preliminary stages of a lawsuit. Working with an experienced Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer is critical.

What Exactly is Medical Malpractice?

Florida medical malpractice laws are outlined in 766.101 to 766.203. Medical malpractice is generally understood as subpar treatment provided by a doctor, surgeon, nurse, or other healthcare provider that results in significant harm or injury to the patient. Continue reading

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