Articles Posted in personal injury

Many people enjoy going on cruise ships for vacations, and many of these ships leave from Florida.  Fort Lauderdale is a major departure point for cruise lines, and many will fly to our city to leave from port. From Fort Lauderdale, you can head to the Caribbean, towards South America, Mexico, Canada, or you can even take a transatlantic journey across the ocean to England on the Queen Victoria or the Queen Elizabeth.

Broward Personal Injury LawyerThese large ships are like floating cities with thousands of people and all kinds of activities for adults and children.  While they can be a lot of fun, there can also be accidents, just like you would have at a land-based amusement part or other attraction. Continue reading

Florida has one of the highest boating accident rates in the country, with the most recent data from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reporting 737 reportable accidents in 2015, resulting in 55 deaths and 438 injuries. These incidents resulted in $13.5 million in property damage alone – to say nothing of the pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and loss of consortium that victims incurred.

Because most boating accidents occur due to operator negligence or mechanical failures, victims can often stake a successful claim for recovery of damages. An experienced injury lawyer can help you navigate your options.

Sadly, we saw this tragic scenario play out yet again in a recent airboat crash in the Florida Everglades – just one day after the victim graduated from the University of Miami. According to The Sun Sentinel, vicitm was on the airboat with her parents and sister when the horrific accident occurred.

Broward Boat Accident Lawyer
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It’s not uncommon in situations where multiple vehicles crash on the same road in short succession that authorities and/ or insurance companies will find one or more drivers at-fault – even if the at-fault driver(s) didn’t directly strike the victim. The question is whether the person alleged to be at-fault took action that proximately caused the other vehicles to crash. motorcycle

However, when there is no direct contact, proving causation can be difficult. This is especially true when a certain amount of time has elapsed between one collision and another, as a recent case before the South Dakota Supreme Court showed.

According to court records, a motorcyclist attending a weekend motorcycle rally was traveling on eastbound on his bike along a curved highway. At around 3 p.m. this motorcyclist, who it was later determined was impaired, turned one of those curves at a high rate of speed and drove into a ditch. The impact of that collision killed him. Continue reading

Landlords of residential properties – like most all property owners – have a responsibility to ensure their site is in reasonably safe condition for both tenants and visitors.urban decay

F.S. 83.51 requires that landlords to comply with all applicable building, housing and health codes and make sure all exterior walls, foundations, steps, porches, floors, doors and windows. Plumbing has to be in usable, workable condition, screens have to be in reasonable condition and they must also provide locks and keys and make sure common areas are kept in a safe, clean condition.

When they fail in their duty, they may be held liable for resulting injuries. The only real exception would be if a tenant is harmed by conditions created or caused by tenant’s own negligence or wrongful act or by the negligent/ wrongful act of the tenant’s family or other person on site with tenant’s consent.  Continue reading

Approximately 15 million Americans have food allergies, according to Food Allergy Research & Education, Inc., which further notes this potentially deadly condition affects 1 in 13 children under 18 (or two in every classroom). Approximately 90 percent of these allergies stem from milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, wheat, soy and shellfish. Every three minutes, someone is rushed to an emergency department due to a food allergy reaction.cheesecake

Food manufacturers, processors and distributors (including grocers, restaurants and schools) may be liable for a patron or consumer’s allergic reaction to food in a variety of circumstances. It’s not expected that these providers will be able to protect consumers from all harm. In general, in order to prove these entities were negligent, the plaintiff will have to show the manufacturer/ business breached a duty of care that caused the customer damage. There is no recognized duty that requires exclusion of all allergens in food products or to shield all consumers from potential allergic reactions.

That said, manufacturers, restaurants and other distributors may have a duty to warn customers about allergens, per the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004. It’s the duty of a food allergic consumer (and/ or the parents) to avoid those allergens. However, providers need to list the common name of major food allergens in their listed ingredients (i.e., “whey” needs to be listed as “milk” or “lecithin” as “soy”). Alternatively, companies can indicate the product “contains” or “may contain” certain potentially allergic ingredients, which must be listed. Those companies that don’t label major allergens or do so inadequately can have their products subject to recall, and could be liable if someone suffers a severe reaction as a result of relying on that inadequate label or incorrect label. Continue reading

Proponents of tort reform are seizing on their opportunity with a GOP-controlled Congress to push forward with a series of measures that would make it harder to win medical malpractice and personal injury lawsuits, as well as to obtain just compensation. congress

As The New York Times reported, one of those measures would impose new limits on lawsuits involving care that is covered by Medicare, Medicaid or private health insurance subsidized by the Affordable Care Act, with some limits applying to product liability claims as well as medical malpractice litigation involving physicians, hospitals and nursing homes. In effect, it is lower income and older people who would find it the most difficult to win lawsuits for injuries caused by defective drugs, defective medical devices or negligent medical care. This bill is part of the plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.

Proponents of the measure say it is a necessary means to lower the number of “frivolous lawsuits” that drive up health care costs for everyone else. Of course, this assertion has been disproven time and again. Take for example the Florida Supreme Court’s decision in 2014 rejecting a 2003 medical malpractice law and lambasting the legislature for manufacturing an alleged medical malpractice crisis that didn’t exist to pass unnecessary tort reform. In a 5-2 ruling, the court suggested lawmakers created the crisis to cap damages on medical malpractice cases, which saves a modest amount of money for many at a “devastating” cost on a few – namely those who have suffered the most severe and egregious injuries due to medical negligence or defective medical products. The law was ultimately deemed unconstitutional under the state’s equal protection clause.  Continue reading

Stem cell research holds a great deal of promise in addressing some of the most problematic conditions and ailments of humans. That said, it’s still a relatively new science, and treatments haven’t been thoroughly vetted. Initially, this spurred wild growth of stem cell “treatment” clinics in countries like Mexico and China, where medical standards can be more lax than in the U.S. However, we are finding a number of clinics have cropped up in the states as well – sometimes with troubling outcomes. eye

In fact, as recently reported by Scientific American, there are more than 550 clinics across the country that offer interventions for everything from autism to Alzheimer’s disease – and all of these treatments are unproven. Most of these clinics offer help with orthopedic procedures, such as sports injuries or joint pain, and there are some that offer cosmetic procedures, such as face lifts.

In South Florida, as reported recently in a case study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the most serious instances of these rogue treatments was detailed after three women were permanently blinded after undergoing an unproven stem cell “treatment” that was advertised as a clinical trial.  Continue reading

Almost every parent views their very top priority to be keeping their children safe. This is especially true in their first few years of life.babytoy

But now a new study published in the journal Pediatrics reveals a child under the age of three is injured every eight minutes in the U.S. due to accidents stemming from products. Researchers gleaned information from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System from 1991 through 2011. Over this 21-year period, there was initially a substantial drop in injuries of about 34 percent from 1991 to 2003, attributed largely to the sharp drop in baby walker/ jumper/ exerciser injuries. A number of these products were taken off the shelves and parents began to learn more about the dangers. However, this period of declining child product injuries was followed by a dramatic upswing from 2003 to 2011 of 24 percent. Most of these new cases were classified as closed head injuries and concussions.

In trying to determine the most dangerous products that require closer attention, researchers found the products that caused the most problems for young children to be:

  • Baby carriers – 20 percent
  • Cribs and mattresses – 19 percent
  • Strollers and carriages – 17 percent
  • Baby walkers/ jumpers/ exercisers – 16 percent

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All businesses that welcome the public have a legal responsibility to discover any condition on site that may be dangerous, and to either promptly address that hazard or warn invitees of it. pallet

However, as noted in the 1952 Florida Supreme Court case of Earley v. Morrison Cafeteria Co. of Orlando, the business may assume that invitees will perceive conditions that are obvious upon the ordinary use of his or her own senses. Restated another way, there is no duty by the business to warn patrons of open and obvious conditions. So a business needs to warn about concealed dangers that are known or should be known to the owner and are unknown to the patron and can’t be discovered through the exercise of due care. The business also needs to use ordinary care in maintaining its property in reasonably safe condition.

These standards were all reviewed in a recent case before Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeal, which considered the open and obvious doctrine defense in a trip-and-fall injury lawsuit against a Bay County grocery store. Before the court was a request to consider whether summary judgment in favor of defendant was appropriate when the injured man observed the dangerous condition, but failed to step around the obstacle.  Continue reading

A slip-and-fall injury lawsuit out of Kentucky has just made its second trip to the state supreme court, with justices ruling the appeals court failed to consider the state’s “recent attempts to modernize” the open and obvious doctrine. Specifically, the state high court has issued a series of rulings in recent years that align with a newer philosophy on the doctrine that considers comparative negligence. sidewalk

The case is illustrative of the fact that the law, while often viewed as concrete and unyielding, is actually fluid and constantly evolving. Your personal injury attorney must be abreast of all these developments. And while the Kentucky Supreme Court decision doesn’t directly impact those in Florida, it’s important to note that state high courts often review the decisions of their sister courts when considering similar issues.

To understand this ruling, we must first outline the two key legal theories at issue: The Open and Obvious Doctrine and Comparative Negligence.  Continue reading