Articles Tagged with West Palm Beach personal injury attorney

Florida personal injury lawsuits are efforts to compel a negligent party (defendant) to pay monetary compensation for causing some preventable harm to the person who was hurt (plaintiff). There are, however, a number of legal defenses that can be raised to either prevent the defendant from being found legally responsible (liable) or reduce the amount of money they have to pay. One example is called the “alcohol defense.” It was recently raised in the case of Mainstreet Entertainment Inc. v. Guardianship of Jacquelyn Faircloth before Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeal. The court tossed a $28 million+ verdict against two bars because the lower court improperly prohibited one of them from asserting the alcohol defense.Florida injury lawsuits

As West Palm Beach injury lawyers can explain, the alcohol defense is outlined in F.S. 768.36. It states that in civil actions, a plaintiff can’t recover for any damages for loss or injury if the court finds that at the time the plaintiff was injured:

  • They were under the influence of any alcohol or drug to the extent their normal faculties were impaired OR their blood alcohol level was 0.08 percent or higher AND
  • As a result of that intoxication, the plaintiff was more than 50 percent at-fault for their own injuries.

This is especially noteworthy in Florida because our courts otherwise abide by a system of pure comparative fault, per F.S. 768.81. What that means is a plaintiff’s financial damages will be reduced by whatever percentage of the fault they shared – up to 99 percent. So if you’re 75 percent liable, you can still collect damages for the other 25 percent that is someone else’s fault. Many other states won’t let a person recover any damages at all if they are more than 49-51 percent liable for their own injuries. A few states won’t let you recover anything at all if you are even 1 percent at-fault. In Florida, you can theoretically be 99 percent at-fault and still recover on that 1 percent of damages (though that scenario isn’t ideal).

The alcohol defense, however, can eliminate your right to compensation entirely if you 51 percent or more at-fault for what happened because of alcohol or drug intoxication.

So that brings us to the Mainstreet Entertainment case. This was a drunk driving tragedy involving two young people – one a pedestrian and one behind the wheel – both allegedly intoxicated. The question was apportionment of liability. Continue reading

Most people who file a Florida injury lawsuit are brand new to the process. They may have never given the notion a second thought – until something happened to them. Our West Palm Beach injury lawyers understand the prospect can feel overwhelming. Our goal as trusted civil trial lawyers is not only to fight for a fair resolution to your claim, but also to guide you through every step as painlessly as possible. West Palm Beach injury lawyer

Although every civil injury lawsuit is different, there are a few frequently asked questions and common issues that arise early on.

Here, we’re offering the first five things to know before filing a Florida injury lawsuit. Continue reading

West Palm Beach injury lawyers have been watching closely the progression of HB17, a bill that would limit the amount of damages for losses like pain and suffering that can’t be easily quantified. The $1 million damage cap would affect non-economic damages in personal injury cases. Proponents claim it’s necessary to improve insurer and large corporation stability, “balance out” their legal risk resulting from high litigation costs and lower what we all pay for insurance and other products/services. West Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyer

The Florida House Civil Justice Committee approved the cuts, and the bill is advancing.

Here’s the reality about legislative actions like this (also known as “tort reform“): It’s a “get-out-of-jail” free card for insurers and big business. Where they have been successful, it is found companies are better-shielded from litigation risks and their profits are higher. It very often does not result in savings for the public/consumers. Furthermore, it’s been proven that the people most affected by a policy like this are the individuals hurt most severely. Finally, it’s likely no coincidence the most ardent advocates of this measure receive an awful lot of campaign contributions from lobbyists for these industries.

The Case of McCall v. State Showed Damage Caps Don’t Work

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When you are reeling from a personal injury in Florida, the materials on your cast may hardly even be dry before you are hit with a barrage of paperwork from doctors, police and insurance companies. None of those entities or individuals, however, is looking out for your best interest, making sure your rights are protected and that you aren’t saddled with a financial burden you don’t deserve. Whether your injury resulted from a work accident, car accident, slip-and-fall or some other incident, it will behoove you to hire a South Florida injury lawyer with experience, as opposed to one just starting out. South Florida injury attorney

There have been numerous reports the last handful of years about the fact that there are too many law students and too few legal jobs, with the American Bar Association reporting schools are continuing to raise tuition and produce twice as many graduates as the job market has to absorb. We mention this to say that while there is plenty of bright young talent in the legal profession, there are also a fair amount starting out – even in the first few years – who may not have much if any experience in handling the kind of case on which you require assistance. There are also attorneys who take many different kinds of cases – from personal injury to criminal defense to business law – just to make ends meet. But that doesn’t help you with a Florida work injury claim where the rules for workers’ compensation benefits and third-party liability claims are very specific. You can have greater confidence in the experience of attorneys who can point you to proof of success in past cases.

Personal injury attorneys in Florida are paid on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not pay a fee for attorney services upfront. Instead, you pay a portion of whatever is recovered (if anything is recovered) either from a settlement or jury verdict.  Continue reading

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