Florida drivers get a bad reputation on a lot of fronts, and unfortunately, much of it is well-deserved. crash

We rank second in the country for having the most uninsured drivers (24 percent). We have the most bicycle accident deaths, the most pedestrian accident fatalities. We have more motorcycle deaths than any other state in the country (616 in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).

So perhaps we shouldn’t be all that surprised that Florida has ranked as one of the worst states for distracted driving. According to a new study by an online auto insurance provider EverQuote, Florida ranks second only to Louisiana in terms of distracted driving habits.  Continue reading

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

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have become mainstays in Broward County, and Fort Lauderdale specifically. This was even after a protracted battle with county officials that resulted in the companies being kicked out over regulatory disputes regarding driver background checks and vehicle maintenance. phone

Now, a Florida Senate committee has approved legislation that would strip local governments’ ability to regulate ridesharing businesses such as these. It would put a statewide regulatory system in place and scrap the patchwork system of city and county laws that currently in place statewide.

Previous efforts to pass similar measures in the state had failed. Now, SB 340/ HB 221 is moving at a steady clip through the process. The passing by the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee by a 7-2 margin is a first.  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

The Florida Highway Patrol is starting a new effort to solve hit-and-run crash cases and compel drivers involved in collisions to remain on scene. police light

It’s a major problem in the Sunshine State, where more than 99,000 hit-and-run accidents were reported just last year. That is fully one quarter of the total number of crashes, law enforcement officials say. Yet it only accounted for 15,900 of the charges filed last year. Mostly, that’s because the at-fault driver(s) took off and were never found.

In Broward County alone, the Sun Sentinel reports, 14 people were killed and 119 injured in the approximately 12,000 hit-and-run crashes in 2016. Palm Beach County officials, meanwhile, logged 8,000 hit-and-run crashes there resulting in a dozen deaths and 102 injuries. In Miami-Dade County, it was reported there were 19,000 hit-and-run crashes resulting in 20 deaths and nearly 150 injuries.  Continue reading

A number of recent reports of injury caused by bicycle defects have led manufacturers and distributors to recall their products, alerting consumers to possible hazards. bicycle

For example, in January, bike manufacturer Trek recalled approximately 800 bicycles and 300 wheels (not including another 160 bikes and 40 wheels sold in Canada) for issues with the front brake caliper. For those who may be unfamiliar, a caliper is the component of the bike that allows for a single pivot side-pull, allowing the bike to reduce speed or stop. In Trek’s case, the front brake caliper can come in contact with a broken spoke, which puts the rider at risk of falling.

More recently, Advanced Sport International recalled 650 bicycles for an issue with the rear wheel freehub, which can reportedly slip while the rider is pedaling, putting the cyclist at risk for falling. A hub is the body at the center of the bike wheel, where the axle is located. A freehub is a kind of bicycle hub that incorporates a ratcheting mechanism.  Continue reading

The Florida pedestrian accident death of a 16-year-old on Palm Coast has prompted residents in the community to advocate for increased street and traffic lights and sidewalks on the stretch of road where it happened.street lights

The are in which the teen was walking on the night she was killed is not lighted and has no sidewalks, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The Palm Coast Observer reported the driver who struck her said he couldn’t see her due to her dark clothing. However, that this fact alone does not mean she is responsible for the crash, nor does it means her family is barred from pursuing litigation. These kinds of cases should be weighed by an experienced injury lawyer.

Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its updated numbers on pedestrian accidents nationally. The results were not encouraging. Continue reading

In Florida, as in all states, if you are injured as a result of negligence by a government employee or agency, claims for compensation are going to follow a different set of rules, at least early on in the process. football

F.S. 768.28 is the state’s waiver of sovereign immunity law, outlining the various scenarios under which the state will agree to be sued. The state does set a number of limitations and guidelines. For example, a government worker can’t personally be held liable for harm unless they intentionally caused it. Damages against the government are capped at $200,000 for individuals and $300,000 for multiple parties harmed by the same action. Punitive damages and interest can’t be awarded, and there are other limitations if defendant in such a case is a public health agency (including a hospital) or law enforcement agency.

There is a also a special provision dealing with time limits. If you are injured by the state government, you have to file a notice of claim with that particular agency, and only after that claim has been rejected can you file your lawsuit. You must give the state agency at least 180 days to respond, and all this has to happen within the three-year window for personal injury cases and the two-year window for wrongful death lawsuits. Continue reading

A cyclist injured upon encountering a defective sidewalk has been awarded $4.85 million to settle a personal injury lawsuit against the settle with the city of San Diego.sidewalk and shadow

According to Bicycling.com, the bicycle accident occurred in 2014, when he struck an uneven sidewalk, resulting in a “ramp-like effect” that launched him 28 feet over the handlebars of his bicycle.

Apparently, a tree root had grown up through the concrete, raised it seven inches and cracked it, a condition the city was reportedly aware of the condition and failed to address it.

This is reportedly not the first time the city has paid out damages for bicycle accident injuries, though it is the largest amount the city has paid for this type of incident. Just last year, council members for the city agreed to pay $235,000 to a woman who was seriously injured after hitting a pothole while cycling in 2014. She was thrown from the bicycle, and suffered injuries to her head, pelvis and lower back, according to the San Diego Tribune.

That was one of several pothole-related lawsuits filed against the city in the last few years, each alleging city officials were aware of the dangerous condition, yet failed to address it. Continue reading

Sexual assault in nursing homes is an undoubtedly disturbing occurrence. According to a recent investigation by CNN, it’s also a more prevalent one than previously realized. hands of time

As part of an in-depth investigation into the problem, reporters discovered there were 16,000 complaints of sexual abuse in long-term care facilities (nursing homes and assisted living centers) since 2000. That was according to data from the U.S. Administration on Community Living. However, even those officials noted that number doesn’t reflect the true scope of the problem because it only includes cases that involved the respective state’s long-term care ombudsman.

When CNN queried state health departments and other agencies that regulate long-term care facilities in all 50 states, they first discovered not all could provide data on sexual abuse of residents. Of those that could, the responses varied significantly. Continue reading