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Medical malpractice claims constitute a significant number of the negligence actions filed in Florida state courts. The types of lawsuits are complex in nature and may invoke statutory provisions that govern the rights and obligations of parties involved. Because Florida statute tightly regulates medical malpractice claims, statutory definitions are critical, and as the case below illustrates, such definitions may determine whether plaintiffs can move forward with their claims.

In Townes v. National Deaf Academy, LLC, a patient in a residential treatment facility required a leg amputation after she was put in a disciplinary hold by a care provider at the facility. The place in question operated as both a residential treatment facility and a school for autistic, hard of hearing, or deaf individuals who possess behavioral and psychiatric conditions. The facility staff consists of nurses, therapists, and psychiatrists who provide medical and educational services. The patient in question suffered from multiple mental disabilities, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, and impulse control disorder. As part of the patient’s care plan, staff members implemented Therapeutic Aggression Control Techniques where they restrained her physically after senior employees made a determination that such techniques were warranted after the patient experienced a behavioral episode. Continue reading →

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A defendant may be able to escape liability for injuries if the injured party executed a waiver that releases the defendant from liability. However, our Miami personal injury attorneys find that courts construe these waivers very carefully especially if they constitute a very broad release from all existing and future claims. Parties should take care in executing such broad waivers and must insist on clear language that defines the scope of the waiver. The case below illustrates how any ambiguity will usually be construed in the plaintiff’s favor and against a waiver’s broad applicability.

The case of Peterson v. Flare Fittings involves an incident where the plaintiff was injured when a 10-foot balloon made contact with his head while he was attending a trade show and sporting event. The balloon contained the defendant’s logo and was attached to a tree beside a tent operated by the defendant. According to the plaintiff, the impact caused his knees to buckle and caused him to be in pain and to be dazed. The plaintiff reported the incident to a manager, He then sought medical treatment and was discharged after receiving negative X-rays. He returned the following day to participate in the paintball competition that was a part of the event and was required to sign a waiver. The waiver stated, in relevant part, that it constituted a release from all past or future claims connected to participation in the event and related activities. The plaintiff signed the waiver. He participated in the competition and returned home shortly after that. Several years later, the plaintiff filed a personal injury suit against the defendant for injuries arising from his collision with the balloon and alleged that the defendant was negligent. The defendant raised the waiver as one of its defenses to liability and filed a motion for summary judgment on that ground. The court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue reading →

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Our experienced personal injury lawyers have found the issue of damages can be one of the most contentious parts of an injury lawsuit. Generally speaking, damages is the amount of money that a plaintiff is entitled to from a defendant to compensate adequately for injuries. Damages can take the form of economic damages or non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to the actual amount of money that a person is entitled to due to losses from an accident. This value is calculated based on bills incurred or records of payments and include medical fees, lost wages, fees to repair property, etc. On the other hand, non-economic damages are losses that have no inherent, concrete dollar amount. Courts do not usually calculate non-economic damages from hard bills or records that assign a specific number and, therefore, are harder to ascertain. These include damages for pain and suffering, emotional suffering or anguish, or loss of consortium with family members.

Some states have recently passed legislation to limit the amount that courts can award for non-economic damages, including Florida. The issue of legislative caps is what the court faced in Miles v. Weingrad. In Miles, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice suit against the defendant, her doctor. The plaintiff had surgery to remove a malignant tumor from her leg and asked the defendant for a second opinion. The defendant recommended a second surgery, which he eventually performed, for the purpose of ensuring that cancer was, in fact, removed. However, the plaintiff experienced many complications after surgery and experienced limited mobility. Continue reading →

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While it may seem trivial, our Miami wrongful death attorneys understand that a crucial part of any personal injury suit is ensuring that claims are filed before the applicable statute of limitations expires. Every cause of action has a statute of limitations, which is the amount of time that the law provides claimants for filing suit in court after the negligent act took place that caused injury. If a party fails to file a claim within the statute of limitations period, the result will often be the court’s dismissal of the claim outright as untimely. While there may be certain circumstances that will keep a claim alive as the case below illustrates, it is crucial that plaintiffs preserve their rights by observing the statute of limitations and pursuing claims in a timely fashion.

In Roden v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, the initial plaintiff filed suit against a group of tobacco companies alleging that she suffered injuries from smoking cigarettes and that the companies were liable because of their actions. Shortly after filing the suit, the initial plaintiff died, and her daughter filed a motion to substitute herself into the lawsuit as the estate’s personal representative. The court granted the daughter’s motion. However, the tobacco companies then filed a motion to dismiss the case two years later, arguing that the initial plaintiff’s death nullified the personal injury claim against them. The companies contended that since the initial plaintiff’s daughter failed to amend the complaint to include a wrongful death claim, the lawsuit should be dismissed. The daughter tried to file an amended complaint to include a wrongful death claim, stating that she did not add a wrongful death claim because she thought her previous attorney filed another complaint with a wrongful death claim. The trial court dismissed the complaint in agreement with the tobacco companies, and the daughter filed an appeal. Continue reading →

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Our personal injury attorneys are finding the use of video surveillance as evidence in civil personal injury suit has gained more prominence as more sophisticated and easily-concealable video surveillance technologies become available. Ensuring the availability of this evidence is of particular importance in certain injury cases such as slip-and-fall claims inside commercial establishments where such video surveillance is regularly employed. For plaintiffs, in-store videos can become a crucial source of evidence for proving that the defendant’s negligence in maintaining the premises caused injuries and damages. Defendants must produce video surveillance footage and cannot unreasonably withhold such evidence.

One case illustrates this point well. In Target Corp. v. Vogel, the plaintiff, filed an injury suit against the company for a slip-and-fall accident she suffered in one of its Florida stores. During discovery, the plaintiff requested Target to produce a security video that showed the slip-and-fall taking place. Target refused to provide the footage, and therefore, the plaintiff filed a motion with the trial court to compel production. During a hearing on the motion, Target maintained that it was allowed to require the plaintiff’s deposition first before production of the video. Target claimed that the plaintiff did not portray the accident accurately in her medical records, which indicated that she told the doctor she fell on her back. However, Target argued that the video surveillance refuted this account. In response, the plaintiff argued that she should be allowed to use the video surveillance footage to refresh her recollection of events. The trial court ordered Target to produce the video. Target appealed. Continue reading →

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Brain injuries are severe injuries that can potentially lead to long term or permanent consequences.  Traumatic brain injury sufferers may require surgery and long term treatment.  These serious injuries can render accident victims unable to perform daily living tasks and work obligations.  They have considerable financial and physical consequences that may be ongoing for the life of the accident victim.

The personal injury lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano have assisted several clients who sustained traumatic brain injuries in car accidents, falls, workplace accidents, and more.  We understand how severe these injuries can be and the impact they will have on every aspect of the sufferer’s life.  Our attorneys diligently fight to see that our brain injured clients receive the compensation they deserve from the party responsible for their injuries.

Signs of a Brain Injury

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Probably everyone in South Florida has seen a hoverboard by now.  These innovative devices seem to be everywhere in Miami and elsewhere across the state.  Hoverboards are similar to a scooter or Segway, but do not use handlebars.  They are turned and manipulated using the weight and balance of the rider.  They run on two wheels and resemble a skateboard with a motor.  Hoverboards can be purchased at several major retailers both online and in-store.  They cost a couple hundred dollars depending upon the brand.

While hoverboards offer hours of fun, they come with some potential dangers.  Our Miami personal injury lawyers have seen reports of numerous injuries linked to hoverboard devices.  This has left some wondering whether hoverboards are safe for their intended use.  The Miami personal injury lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano are concerned with the reports of fires and falls from hoverboards.  We address some potential safety concerns and offer some tips for safe use below.

Fires Linked to Hoverboards

Fires have become one of the major safety concerns of hoverboards.  Several individuals have reported that their hoverboards caught fire while they were either charging or in use.  Several house fires have erupted due to charging hoverboards, damaging homes and placing residents at risk of injury.  Currently, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating the flammable nature of these devices.  It reports that already 37 fires have resulted from hoverboards.  Continue reading →

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Car accidents can lead to a variety of serious injuries that could lead to chronic conditions.  One potential condition is known as fibromyalgia.  Few people fully the condition of fibromyalgia, even though it is believed to affect millions of Americans.  Most fibromyalgia sufferers are women, though researchers do not fully understand why this is.  Fibromyalgia can be a debilitating condition, impacting nearly every aspect of the sufferer’s life.  The constant pain and fatigue makes it difficult for many sufferers to maintain their employment, friendships, and family life.

At Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, our car accident lawyers understand the considerable suffering experienced by those with fibromyalgia.  We also understand that much is misunderstood about this disorder and numerous misconceptions exist.  Studies show that those involved in an automobile accident have a chance of going on to develop fibromyalgia.  Continue reading →

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Under Florida premises liability law, Florida property owners have a duty to maintain their property in reasonably safe condition.  Our personal injury lawyers have found despite this duty, individuals become injured on the property of others every day.  At times, these injuries are the result of pure accident, but other times accidents occur due to a dangerous condition existing on the property.  Falls that occur due to dangerous conditions are known as “slip and falls.”  Slip and falls can occur nearly anywhere in Florida, but some common locations include grocery stores, parking lots, sidewalks, retail stores, hotels, nursing homes, pool areas, and more.

Property owners in Florida can be held liable for injuries sustained by others on their property if the slip and fall accident victim can prove several factors.  Florida Statute 768.0755 requires that an injured person prove the business establishment had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition that lead to their fall and should have taken action to correct it.  Constructive knowledge can be proven with a showing that:

  • The dangerous condition existed for a sufficient period of time that the business establishment should have known; or
  • The condition regularly occurred and was foreseeable.

Continue reading →

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Broken bones are common injuries in car accidents due to the force of the collision.  Nearly any bone in the body can become injured in the event of a serious crash.  Fractures can be excruciating and may require surgery, potentially leading to long recovery times and complications.  Any car accident victim who has sustained a broken bone will require immediate treatment in order to ensure proper healing.  These accident victims may also be eligible to seek compensation for their broken bone injuries from the at-fault driver responsible for the accident.

At Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, our Miami personal injury lawyers understand how painful and devastating broken bones can be.  Car accident victims with fractures or breaks may find themselves unable to return to work and perform daily living tasks for some time following the accident.  Our Miami car accident lawyers diligently fight for our injured car accident clients to obtain compensation for their losses stemming from the accident. Continue reading →

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