Many people considering a Florida medical malpractice claim envision dramatic courtroom scenes of emotional testimony under a relentless media spotlight. The reality is the vast majority of these claims never even make it to a trial.West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer

Medical malpractice claims that prevail beyond the early stages of summary judgment motions will most likely be settled during negotiations between your attorney and insurers for the doctors, hospital, or other health care providers involved. It is imperative that you are working with a dedicated West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorney with extensive experience in insurer negotiations.

Here are some key things to know about South Florida medical malpractice settlement negotiations.

Florida Medical Malpractice Law

Medical malpractice claims in Florida are a unique type of personal injury case. State law requires attorneys to investigate these claims carefully before pursuing them. We must acquire expert witness testimony to assert the standard of care was breached by the health care professional, and we have to provide ample notice to the defendants of the claim.

Whereas most Florida personal injury cases have a four-year statute of limitations in which to file a claim, the time window for medical malpractice claims is just two years. Depending on whether there is a government defendant involved, notice requirements may be even shorter than that. There are very few exceptions, so it’s important to act quickly if you have the slightest inkling you may have a claim. Continue reading

Disney Cruise Lines is facing a Florida sexual assault lawsuit after the family of a 3-year-old girl alleges she was targeted by another child in the ship’s day care. The plaintiffs say the day care was poorly-staffed with employees who weren’t properly trained. The company denies the allegations and expressed their intent to the Orlando Sentinel to vigorously defend against them in court.South Florida sexual assault lawyer

As our West Palm Beach sexual assault lawyers can explain, cruise ship sexual assaults have been an ongoing issue that has rightly garnered much media scrutiny the last several years. Civil litigation in these cases argue premises liability and general negligence, though there are special considerations because of the fact it happened at sea.

Claimants in the most recent case are arguing children aboard the ship’s daycare should have been separated according to age groups to protect the younger kids. The 3-year-old, they say, should have been grouped with infants, toddlers, and other kids under 5. Staffers, they say, should have been better trained about how to prevent and react to improper touching of a child.

Cruise Ship Sexual Assaults

Cruise ships are often referred to as “floating cities,” with movie theaters, restaurants, private quarters – and crime. U.S. government data shows that sexual assaults are the most commonly reported crimes on cruise ships. It’s been revealed also that many victims of sexual assault aboard cruise ships are minors. One report by Congress in 2013 indicated one-third of sexual assaults on cruise ships involve a victim under the age of 18. Continue reading

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

Expert medical testimony is crucial in any Florida medical malpractice claim – for both sides. It’s required to even move past the early stages of a case (by presenting sufficient evidence the defendant breached the applicable standard of care for their profession and position). It’s also critical in helping jurors determine whether that standard was breached and if so, whether that breach caused the medical injury. Special medical knowledge is pivotal.Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer

Per F.S. 766.202, a medical expert is defined as a person who is duly and regularly engaged in the practice of his/her profession AND holds a health care professional degree AND who meets the requirements set forth in F.S. 766.102. That provision holds (among other things) that the expert witness in a medical malpractice case must be able to speak to the prevailing standard of care that a reasonably prudent health care provider in the same or similar situation would abide. In order to do that, they need to conduct a complete review of the pertinent medical records, but they also need to be someone who specializes in the same specialty as the health care provider defendant. (For example, a general practitioner wouldn’t likely be able to attest to the purported negligence of an anesthesiologist.)

As our Palm Beach medical malpractice attorneys can explain, the fact that a plaintiff’s expert medical testimony is so important has increasingly made it a target for defense requests to exclude it. The standard for admissibility of expert witness testimony is called the Daubert standard, after the 1993 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals. Florida previously used the less-rigorous Frye standard, but adopted the Daubert standard in 2019. Continue reading

Ongoing testimony of sickening abuse of U.S. Olympic gymnasts by an organization doctor has led to demands for significant change in sports organizations. Collegiate-level sports organizations should take heed, especially as a new study by the non-profit Lauren’s Kids revealed 1 in 4 current and former college athletes surveyed reported experiencing sexual assault or sexual harassment by someone on campus who was in a position of power. That is compared to 1 in 10 in the general student population. Palm Beach sexual abuse attorney

In other words, college athletes were 2.5 times more likely to encounter sexual abuse than their peers.

Coaches, it was indicated, were the most commonly-identified group of abusers.

USA Today reported this fact with a number of anecdotes from high-profile cases in recent years. Among those: Continue reading

A fatal Florida trucking accident lawsuit involving two distracted truck drivers has resulted in a $1 billion verdict.Palm Beach truck accident lawyer

As our Palm Beach trucking accident lawyers can explain, this type of verdict is not typical. However, it does reflect how a punitive damage award can substantially increase the amount one is compensated. Punitive damages, as outlined in F.S. 768.72, require special permission from the court as well as evidence the defendant was grossly negligent or acted with intention or wanton disregard for the safety of others. Punitive damages can amount to treble (triple) the compensatory damages.

This case involved an 18-year-old freshman at the University of North Florida who was struck and killed by a distracted semi-truck driver in 2017. His car was one in a line of standstill traffic on I-95, all backed up because another semi-truck driver had crashed earlier into an RV, causing it to burst into flames. The two vehicles and debris blocked highway traffic well over a mile for more than an hour.

According to the Florida Times-Union, a truck driver approaching from behind was reportedly operating his semi on cruise control at 70 mph. The data recorder on board showed he didn’t even attempt to brake until just one second before the fatal impact. However, he wasn’t the only one deemed negligent.

Testimony at trial revealed the driver whose semi truck flipped in the earlier crash, causing the stalled traffic, reportedly:

  • Was distracted by his cell phone at the time of the crash.
  • Was in violation of federal Hours of Service limit regulations.
  • Did not have a commercial driver’s license at the time of the crash.
  • Ha previous traffic violations on his record, including for speeding and other acts of aggressive driving.
  • Was not given a background check prior to being hired.

Continue reading

Survivors of sexual abuse and assault have endured more pain and mental anguish than many others experience in a lifetime. Legal accountability for those responsible can be an important part of the healing process. It’s important that if you’re considering pursuing a civil sexual assault case in Florida that you hire an injury attorney who is experienced in handling these types of complex claims. It is a specific area of law that should only be considered in careful consultation with a compassionate injury lawyer who is prepared to offer legal guidance and support throughout the process. Palm Beach sexual assault lawyer

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sexual violence is not only prevalent, it’s preventable. Approximately 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys suffer sexual abuse before they turn 18.

Many survivors of sexual abuse and assault know that by reporting what happened to law enforcement, they are opening the doors to a criminal case and possible criminal charges. What many don’t know is that they may also have grounds to pursue a personal injury lawsuit in the civil justice system.

It is incumbent on schools, sports organizations, religious groups, nursing homes, property owners, workplaces and other entities to create protective environments that are safe and routinely monitored. Proactive sexual harassment and violence prevention plans are essential. When these entities fail to exercise reasonable care and risks the safety of vulnerable guests, students, residents, or members, they can be held legally responsible in civil court.

Our dedicated South Florida injury lawyers have years of experience successfully pursuing justice and meaningful recovery on behalf of sexual assault survivors. Continue reading

Two professional dancers have filed a sexual assault lawsuit accusing a former dance teacher of sexually assaulting and sexually abusing them. The teacher’s wife, a renowned ballerina, is alleged to have participated in some of that abuse. Palm Beach sexual assault lawyer

Although the federal lawsuit was filed in Nevada, it stems in part from alleged incidents that occurred in Florida when one of the accusers was a 13-year-old dance student in Tampa, FL.

As our Palm Beach sexual assault attorneys can explain, this civil case can proceed despite a stalled criminal investigation by authorities in Tampa years ago. That’s because the proof burden in civil claims stemming from instances of sexual assault differ from those in criminal cases. Additionally, many civil sexual assault claims target third parties, and not the attacker directly. This case does directly name the attacker, while identifying his wife as a “non-party co-conspirator.” Continue reading

The number of nursing home deaths among Medicare patients spiked by 32 percent last year, according to a report recently released by a government watchdog. The report doesn’t examine patient causes of death, but instead compares overall nursing home deaths in 2020 to those in 2019. Death rates were higher every month last year compared to the year before. Nearly 75,000 deaths in nursing homes were reported in December 2020 alone. Palm Beach nursing home injury

The inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services reported that about 4 in 10 nursing home residents on Medicare had COVID-19 at some point last year. Overall deaths increased by nearly 170,000 over the previous year.

Health policy professors responding to the report noted to these were, “not individuals who were going to die anyway… We’re talking about a really big number of excess deaths.”

As our Palm Beach nursing home injury lawyers can explain, not every nursing home death of the last year may be legally actionable. This is particularly true following the passage of Senate Bill 72, called Civil Liability for Damages Relating to COVID-19. Signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis in April, the measure casts a broad legal safety net around nursing homes and long-term care facilities when it comes to pandemic-related claims.

However, it does not shield facilities whose residents suffer injury or wrongful death due to negligence, neglect, and abuse. But that does not mean some nursing homes won’t try to use SB 72 as blanket protection from nursing home litigation during the pandemic, potentially for issues like understaffing, which have been chronic and date back to long before COVID. Our Florida nursing home injury lawyers are committed to fighting for justice and the rights of the most vulnerable among us.

Continue reading

Emotional and mental distress are common for anyone who’s been injured in a violent car accident. However, when considering claims for emotional distress or mental anguish, the Florida impact rule (also called the physical impact rule) requires claimants prove either:

  • They also experienced some physical impact, OR
  • Their emotional injuries were somehow manifested physically.

There are a few exceptions, but mostly, you will have a very tough time securing damages for emotional distress (anxiety, depression, insomnia, PTSD, etc.) in Florida if you didn’t personally suffer a physical injury too.car accident lawyer

Generally speaking, a physical injury is a key element in crash claims. Our West Palm Beach car accident attorneys often also seek compensation for emotional distress on behalf of our clients, but not without this element. Claims solely involving emotional distress can be exceedingly difficult, though not entirely impossible. It really depends on the individual circumstances. Clients should know upfront the potential challenges of such claims, and consult with several injury attorneys before deciding the next step. Continue reading

Contact Information