Photo of Richard Ansara - Attorney at Law
No Fee Unless SuccessfulCall Us 24/7 at (888) 267-2728
Richard Ansara Attorney at Law

Broward Injury Lawyer Blog

An auto insurer’s failure to comply with the state’s Claims Administration Statute, F.S. 627.426, meant  no genuine issue of material fact was left to consider regarding insurance coverage of an absconded drunk driving suspect who allegedly killed five people in a horrific crash.car accident

Plaintiffs, parents of one of those killed, sued defendant driver for wrongful death resulting from the crash. The incident happened on I-95 outside Miami, when defendant drove his mother’s vehicle onto the shoulder of the highway, plowing into seven other vehicles that had just been involved in a chain reaction collision and had parked in the emergency lane. Victims ranged in age from 22 to 57. (Plaintiff’s son was a recent university graduate.)

Defendant driver’s blood alcohol level was 0.127, well above the legal limit of 0.08, and that was several hours after the crash. He also smelled of alcohol, a trooper noted, and allegedly admitted to drinking at a local nightclub prior to the collision.  Continue reading

Almost every public service announcement warning regarding drunk driving in Florida suggests finding a designated driver. This is a person who agrees to be sober in order to safely drive another person or group of people after they’ve been indulging in alcohol. All drivers owe a duty to use reasonable care on the roads. But by taking on this responsibility, does a designated driver owe a higher duty of care to intoxicated passengers? car accident

This was a question recently considered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit, which answered: No.

The driver in this case was the designated driver among a group of young adults who were drinking at a house party. The group was rowdy, and when it was time to go, two of the passengers opened the trunk and piled in, their back to the rear windshield. Driver instructed them to get out, but the two passengers refused, insisting they would be fine. They weren’t going far and she could drive slow. Not wanting to argue, she relented.  Continue reading

Your auto insurance policy is a contract. It outlines your rights and your obligations, and as long as it isn’t ambiguous or contrary to public policy, the terms of it are most likely binding. One of the common terms is the obligation of insured to cooperate with the investigation.car accident

This does not mean you are required to give a statement before talking to an attorney. But it does mean you may be required to testify under oath at the request of the insurer, or else risk foregoing coverage.

This was exactly what happened in a recent Kentucky Supreme Court decision wherein substantive issues of material fact relating to the crash were in question.  Continue reading

To win a slip-and-fall lawsuit in Florida, plaintiff (the injured person) must prove defendant had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazard and failed to address or warn about it. slip and fall lawyer

Actual knowledge means the business was aware of that particular hazard in that place and time. Constructive knowledge, per F.S. 768.0755, is proven with circumstantial evidence that shows:

  • Dangerous condition existed for a period of time wherein, in the ordinary exercise of care, the business should have known about the condition;
  • Condition occurred with regularity and was therefore foreseeable.

The dangerous condition alone or even the fact that plaintiff was hurt – even severely – isn’t enough to prevail. One must show either actual or constructive knowledge. Most slip-and-fall cases are based on constructive knowledge, as actual knowledge can be difficult to prove.  Continue reading

A trucker deemed negligent in a trucking accident lost his appeal on a $3.3 million verdict favoring the driver of a minivan who suffered serious injuries in the crash. Part of that appeal was based on the assertion that trial court wrongly excluded evidence of plaintiff’s marijuana use prior to the crash. Defendant also argued against the medical necessity of future shoulder surgeries. The California appellate court affirmed.trucking accident

Although California was the first state to legalize marijuana as medicine (and one of a handful now to allow it for recreation), it’s not the only one now grappling with traffic-related issues involving marijuana – both in the civil and criminal courts. It is a much more complex issue than alcohol impairment of a driver because with marijuana (and many other drugs), traces are left in the system long after consumption. That means one may test positive for marijuana – even at a higher level – and not necessarily be impaired. One can have relatively high levels of marijuana in the blood and urine even if they have not consumed the drug within days or weeks – by which time the psychoactive effects would have worn off.

Therefore, determining when marijuana in the system is “active” versus “inactive” can be tricky. We are likely to see it play it an increasing number of personal injury cases here in Florida, now that the drug has been approved as a prescription for certain conditions.  Continue reading

Florida has the highest child drowning rate in the country, with the Florida Department of Health reporting enough children under 5 die this way every year to fill three preschool classrooms. Not only is it devastating, it’s infuriating because virtually every one of these instances is preventable. This is not to say anyone intends for this outcome, but there simple precautions go a long way.wrongful death attorney

Many of these incidents occur when there are many people around, such as family gatherings or holiday celebrations. Often it comes down to a miscommunication between adults who are supposed to be supervising the child. Property owners can be held accountable in some cases on the theory of premises liability or negligent supervision. However, it will come down to the individual facts of the case. If there is no defect in the pool, it often comes down to negligent supervision. If a homeowner assumes responsibility for supervision of young swimmers and then breaches that duty, he or she may be held liable. However, if another guest steps in an assumes that responsibility, the homeowner may no longer have a duty of care to supervise.

This was the case recently in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the father of a young boy who drowned in a backyard pool at a family gathering. Continue reading

Many personal injury lawsuits involve not just individuals, but also businesses. In fact, employers may be vicariously liable for the negligent actions of employees acting in the course and scope of employment. However, a recent decision by the state high court in Nevada held that individual members of a limited liability company cannot be held liable for the actions of a larger corporation just by virtue of being a member.personal injury lawyer

The decision does not directly impact Florida claimants, but state supreme courts often look to sister courts when considering similar legal matters, so it warrants review.

According to court records, plaintiffs filed their personal injury lawsuit after their son nearly drowned – suffering severe and lasting injuries – while at a wave pool at a water park. Plaintiffs alleged the water park and member LLCs contributed to their son’s injuries because the park failed to properly staff enough life guards. Continue reading

Thousands of runners across Florida are in training for the upcoming half-marathon. Although the streets dedicated for the run will be blocked to traffic, a preventable tragedy at last year’s event still has many runners feeling wary. pedestrian attorneys

Fort Lauderdale police reported a driver, under the influence of alcohol and drugs, paid no mind to the orange cones along the course, nor the repeated instructions by race officials and police when he barreled onto the course, striking and killing an 80-year-old runner. Defendant in that case is now in jail, awaiting trial on a charge of DUI manslaughter. Meanwhile, The Sun Sentinel reports organizers of the race – as well as police – are carefully going over the safety plans for this year. Police say they meet months in advance to plan, driving through the course themselves a good eight times to make sure they haven’t missed any glaring safety concerns. Still, a police captain quoted by the paper said while they work to anticipate possible danger, they can’t always prevent careless drivers from circumventing those restrictions.

In general, Florida is one of the most dangerous places for pedestrians – runners included. The Miami Herald reported pedestrian deaths nationally are at a 10-year high, with Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach having one of the worst rates for car vs. pedestrian fatalities. Continue reading

The state fair – and many of the other local fairs held throughout Florida and the country – are heavily anticipated and fondly remembered. However, the risk of potential injury and death cannot be overlooked, particularly when it comes to the safety of the amusement rides. From the Ferris wheel to the Fire Ball, these rides may be thrilling – but they can also be extremely dangerous, as highlighted recently after a tragedy in Ohio. fair injury

There, at the state fair, an 18-year-old U.S. Marine recruit lost his life when the ride he was on malfunctioned and he fell from his seat. Seven others, ages 14 to 42, were seriously injured. Investigation into the accident is ongoing, and fairs across the country have taken similar rides out of commission while they conduct more thorough inspections. The ride involved in the fatal accident had been inspected several times as it was being erected, and was permitted by an inspector the day of the accident.

Part of the problem, engineering experts and inspectors told USA Today, is that there are too few inspectors and a patchwork of safety regulations that are decided on a state-by-state basis. Congress relinquished control of fair safety oversight to the states back in the 1980s, so there are no concrete, uniform standards for fair and ride safety and inspections.  Continue reading

Florida has more fatal motorcycle accidents than any other state in the country. Data released earlier this year from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed 616 motorcyclists were killed in the Sunshine State just in 2015 alone (an uptick from the initial estimate of 557). motorcycle accident lawyer

Now, a new analysis from the federal agency examines the estimated cost of lives saved prevented when motorcycle riders don helmets.

Researchers say at least 1,772 lives have been saved by motorcycle helmet usage in 2015. In terms of economic costs, that was $3 billion in direct loses and $19 billion in comprehensive costs that were saved. However, another 740 people who died might have lived had they been wearing protective head gear. That amounts to $1.4 billion in economic costs and $8.3 billion in comprehensive costs. Continue reading