Articles Tagged with personal injury lawyer

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

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

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

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

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

When a worker is injured in a Fort Lauderdale construction accident, there are a number of possible avenues of compensation. The first, of course, is workers’ compensation, which is a no-fault insurance benefit afforded to almost all employees in Florida. Exclusive remedy provisions of the state’s workers’ compensation law hold that this benefit is the only compensation a worker can obtain against an employer. However, it does not prohibit third-party liability lawsuits against others who may have been negligent. construction

But in order to avoid liability, particularly after an accident that resulted in serious injury or death, a company may try to assert “employer” status, which would grant immunity from a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. One way this might be asserted is via the Borrowed Servant Doctrine. This is more common following accidents on construction sites, where it is not uncommon for one employer to “loan” employees to another temporarily.

It’s common for a construction site subcontractor to loan out workers to another to ensure a particular job gets completed. If that “loaned” worker is hurt on the job, the question becomes: Which employer is entitled to workers’ compensation immunity? Unfortunately in some cases, the answer could be: Both. Continue reading

The New York Court of Appeals recently considered a case wherein plaintiff alleged injuries sustained as a result of a poorly-maintained, diseased tree was the responsibility of both the property owner and the state. According to court records, plaintiff suffered serious personal injuries when a large branch broke off that tree, which abutted the road, and fell onto her Jeep. The impact caused her to suffer traumatic brain injuries. treebranch

Plaintiff and her spouse sued both the property owner and the state. Against the property owner, plaintiffs alleged there was negligence in the failure to inspect, trim and remove the dead/ diseased tree. As far as the state, plaintiff alleged negligence by Department of Transportation workers for a failure to properly maintain trees along that road or warn drivers of the dangerous along that highway.

Defendant property owner asked to be allowed to introduce trial evidence of the state’s alleged negligence, and also requested a jury instruction on the apportionment of liability for damages between property owner and the state. Plaintiff indicated that while there was nothing preventing the jury from hearing trial evidence tending to show the state was possibly liable for her injuries, but she objected insofar as the jury should not be allowed to apportion fault against the state. (The state could not be ultimately joined in this action because sovereign immunity laws prevented her from prevailing in such action.)  Continue reading