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Broward Injury Lawyer Blog

When an employee acting in the course and scope of employment is negligent and causes injury to someone else, the employer can be held vicariously liable for those injuries – even if there is no evidence the employer did anything wrong or breached any duty of care. car accident attorney

However, Florida employers may also be held directly liable if there is evidence they breached some duty of care. Usually we see this manifested in legal theories such as negligent hiring or negligent supervision.

Recently, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed a long-standing rule in that state that plaintiffs have to pick one or the other: Vicarious liability or direct liability.  Continue reading

Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to car insurance, which means per F.S. 627.736, motorists have access to $10,000 in medical and wage loss benefits from their own insurer – regardless of who is at fault. It also means they cannot sue the at-fault driver for further damages unless they have a broken bone, have lost the use of an important body function, suffered a permanent disability or scarring. Wrongful death claims also may be pursued outside of no-fault laws. car accident lawyer

Lawmakers in Florida are working to change this. HB19, sponsored by a South Florida Republican and slated for consideration during the 2018 session, would repeal Florida’s Personal Injury Protection law that was first enacted in the early 1970s. The law would scrap PIP coverage and replace it with bodily injury liability coverage. Most states require bodily injury liability coverage (which covers others’ injuries if you’re at-fault in a crash). While most insured drivers in Florida have it, it’s not technically required. The state’s Financial Responsibility Law does mandate drivers be responsible for a minimum of $20,000 in damages to others if they’re at-fault in a crash, so most motorists opt to purchase it so they can avoid personal liability.

A House panel recently voted 18-7 to propel the measure forward to the House Floor when the new session starts in January.  Continue reading

A new government audit points the finger at Medicare for failure to enforce federal law requiring immediate law enforcement notification of any sexual or physical abuse against nursing home residents. nursing home abuse

The Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General put forth an early alert on preliminary data on the issue, based on sizable samples from cases in 33 states. Just based on those results, the IG reports, there is a pressing and immediate need for rapid corrective action.

The IG is responsible for investigating abuse, waste and fraud within the health care system. This audit was part of a much larger investigation that is ongoing, so we can expect to hear more once researchers conclude their analysis.  Continue reading

In a recent ride-along with Florida Highway Patrol troopers in South Florida, an NBC affiliate news crew took note of numerous drivers texting, scrolling and talking away behind the wheel. Despite observations of this extremely dangerous behavior, the trooper was without an actionable cause to stop these drivers. That’s because Florida has one of the weakest distracted driving laws in the country, despite this being a serious problem known to be even more prevalent than drunk driving. distracted driving lawyer

Florida is one of a handful of states where texting-and-driving remains a secondary offense. That means an officer must also observe some other traffic offense before a traffic stop can be initiated and a texting-while-driving citation issued.

 F.S. 316.305, also known as the Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law, prohibits the use of an electronic device (manually typing, sending, reading or researching data or interpersonal communication) while operating a motor vehicle. There are a number of exceptions to this rule (i.e., researching traffic or weather alerts, those who are searching radio broadcasts use of a system for navigation), but the biggest issue is the fact that it’s a secondary offense. Plus, even if a fine is issued, it’s only $30 for a first-time offense.  Continue reading

It’s estimated that nearly 50 percent of all pedestrian accidents involve some type of alcohol use – either by the motorist or the pedestrian. This can become a point of contention in an injury lawsuit because evidence of impairment – even if it’s not an illegal, given the circumstances – can still be used to discredit a witness or to show a person at-fault or at least comparatively at-fault. However, the mere fact of impairment – even if it’s against the law – does not decide liability in a civil case. That’s why even civil cases involving drunk drivers aren’t a shoe-in. pedestrian accident attorney

In Florida, a finding of comparative fault (meaning plaintiff shares some of the blame for what happened) will not prohibit a plaintiff from pursuing the case or from collecting damages. However, per F.S. 768.81, Florida’s comparative fault law, it will proportionately reduce the amount of damages to which one is entitled. So for instance, if a plaintiff is deemed 30 percent at fault and defendant 70 percent at fault, plaintiff will only be able to collect damages on that 70 percent.

In a recent pedestrian accident case out of Pennsylvania, a major sticking point was whether evidence of a decedent pedestrian’s blood-alcohol level was rightly allowed into evidence by the trial court, or whether it was unfairly prejudicial an inadmissible absent any other independent corroborating evidence.  Continue reading

The criminal and civil justice systems are separate and serve very different functions. While the criminal justice system seeks enforcement of our laws and ordinances, civil liability exists to allow individuals, families and businesses to be compensated for civil wrongdoings. In addition to serving different purposes, they also hold different proof burdens.injury lawyer

This is why a person can be deemed liable in civil court, even if they’ve been found not guilty in criminal court.

Recently, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that there must be separate determinations for immunity in civil Stand Your Ground self-defense cases and criminal Stand Your Ground self-defense cases. In other words, a finding of immunity in one does not automatically confer to the other. This settled the matter after several Florida appellate courts had reached different conclusions on this issue. Continue reading

As far as dram shop laws go, Florida’s is pretty weak. It’s not that F.S. 768.125 isn’t worth considering in your drunk driving accident claim, but it can only be applied in limited circumstances. A dram shop law is one that allows claimants to hold a bar or liquor license holder accountable for failure to prevent a patron from becoming inebriated before getting behind the wheel and seriously injuring himself or others. injury lawyer

The circumstances under which drunk driving accident victims in Fort Lauderdale can assert a dram shop claim are when:

  • The driver was served alcohol, despite being under the legal age of 21.
  • The bar staff knew or should have known driver was a habitual alcoholic, and yet continued to serve him drinks anyway.

Continue reading

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