Articles Tagged with Palm Beach personal injury lawyer

As Palm Beach personal injury lawyers, our clients are those who have been impacted by the negligence or wrongdoing of others. However, we have occasionally heard of incredulous third-party defendants who wonder how they could possibly be held liable for someone else’s misdeeds. But there are quite a few instances in Florida injury law wherein statute allows for vicarious and third-party liability. Car accident cases may be among these. West Palm Beach injury lawyer

In general, there are three ways third parties can be liable for Florida car accidents:

  • Drunk driving accidents. In drunk driving accidents, third parties, such as bars or social hosts, can be held legally responsible per F.S. 768.125, if they either served alcohol to the impaired driver prior to the crash – knowing they were either under the age of 21 or habitually addicted to alcohol. This is called “dram shop liability.”
  • Employers of negligent drivers. If a tow truck driver is on the job and runs a red light, crashing into another car and causing serious injuries, the tow truck driver’s employer may be held liable – even if the company technically did nothing wrong. Employers can be held vicariously liable for the negligence of their employees if the workers were acting in the course and scope of employment at the time of the incident. This is based on a legal doctrine called respondeat superior, which is Latin for “let the master answer.”
  • Vehicle owners. This is where we sometimes hear the question, “Can I be sued in South Florida if someone else wrecks my car?” And the answer is: Yes. Florida is a little unique in this because of its recognition of the dangerous instrumentality doctrine. Basically, it was established in the 1920s by the Florida Supreme Court that motor vehicles are recognized as inherently dangerous instruments. As such, if you own one and you allow someone to use it (with express or implied permission) and that person goes on to operate it in a way that is negligent and causes harm to others, YOU can be held legally responsible. This is another example of vicarious liability for someone else’s negligence. However, it only applies if you have given that driver permission. If someone steals your car and then wrecks it, you would not be vicariously liable in that instance.

Sometimes, vehicle owners can be found directly negligent too – even if they weren’t operating the vehicle. As our Palm Beach personal injury lawyers can explain, there may also be grounds for negligence as well. Continue reading

If you’re thinking about filing a South Florida personal injury lawsuit, chances are you’re also still reeling from the incident. Our West Palm Beach injury lawyers recognize that litigation can seem like a daunting prospect. One of our goals is ensuring prospective clients understand the basics of the personal injury law in Florida, and how that might play out in their case.South Florida personal injury lawyer

Here, we outline five key facts Florida personal injury clients should know.

  1. You may not even have to file a lawsuit. A fair percentage of the time, your lawyer may be able to resolve the matter by filing a personal injury claim directly with the defendant/insurer and negotiating with them. Everyone knows the costs – and risks – associated with going to court. If it’s at all possible to settle the matter out-of-court, that’s usually in everyone’s best interests. A lawsuit really only needs to be filed when the other party is denying any wrongdoing or refuses to pay fair compensation for your losses. Even if you file a lawsuit, cases rarely make it all the way to trial. They’re either dismissed or settled before it gets to that point. (Most cases settle because, as injury lawyers, we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we aren’t paid unless you win. That gives your lawyer strong incentive to shoot straight about your odds at the outset.) Often, when a case does make it to trial, it’s only one or two issues of contention. Of course, those issues may be substantial and still require significant research, expert analysis, and time, but it’s better where possible to narrow down issues of contention to as few points as possible.

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

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