Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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With summer on the horizon, Miami families will flock to swimming pools for recreation, exercise, and leisure activity.  Although swimming pools are popular amenities in many apartment complexes, condominiums, and homeowners’ communities, residents and their guests are sometimes endangered by negligence.  The forms of unreasonably careless behavior that can lead to drowning deaths, or near drowning incidents that cause permanent brain damage, take many forms, such as inadequate security, unmaintained lifesaving equipment, missing drain covers, unsecured gates, or missing fencing.  In this blog post, our Miami drowning death attorneys review a decision from Florida’s 5th District Court of Appeals which demonstrates the challenges drowning victims frequently face when pursuing compensation for wrongful death.

In Southern Owners Insurance Company v. Cooperativa v. De Seguros Multiples, etc., the parents of a seven-year-old boy brought a wrongful death lawsuit following the drowning of their child left in the care of a homeowner within a private gated condominium community.  The boy was swimming in a pool shared by members of the association at the time of his drowning.  The mother of the boy sued the condominium association alleging theories of negligence and negligent supervision.  The trial judge granted summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff based on the conclusion that the association’s liability coverage extended to the owners of individual condo units.  The judge relied on a clause providing that the coverage of the association applied to individual members when liability was the product of repair, maintenance, or ownership of areas of the premises not reserved for an individual member’s exclusive use or individual unit.  Continue reading →

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The popularity of cycling is on the rise with people increasingly focused on fitness, recreation, and conservation.  While bike riding might promote personal health, the activity often becomes decidedly unsafe when motorists fail to exercise caution and attentiveness.  Cyclists lack the physical barriers to injury and safety equipment that often protect occupants of cars during collisions.  Although motorist negligence causes many injuries and fatalities, a faulty bicycle also might contribute to a serious bicycle-related injury.

In this blog, our bicycle accident lawyers have provided an analysis of a decision from Florida’s 3rd DCA demonstrating the challenges involved in legal claims involving a defective bike.  The plaintiff in Trek Bicycle Corp. v. Miguelez filed a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of a bike he was riding when he was involved in a crash.  Special rules apply when consumers are injured by defective products that often permit holding entities involved in designing, manufacturing and selling products strictly liable. Continue reading →

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Resorts and cruise ships departing from Miami offer recreation, relaxation, and excitement, but negligence by staff and management in designing or maintaining the premises can lead to catastrophic injuries and wrongful death.  While an injured tourist might have the right to pursue a lawsuit against a resort, travelers should speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer because these legal claims can pose special challenges.  Large resorts typically have guests sign contracts that contain provisions severely limiting their rights.

In this blog, our Florida slip and fall accident attorneys focus on an appellate court decision that limited the option of a seriously injured plaintiff to litigating the case in a foreign country.  The plaintiff in Feggestad v. Kerzner International Bahamas, LTD, et al. was injured when he slipped and fell on a sidewalk on the resort premises.  He sought damages for his injuries while his wife sought compensation for loss of consortium.  Continue reading →

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While our personal injury lawyers frequently discuss the standards and evidence involved in proving liability, the process of establishing the amount of a party’s damages is no less important.  Medical bills, payroll records, and vehicle repair receipts can provide a way to quantify economic damages.  The process is more complicated when trying to prove future estimated damages.  Although testimony from a vocational counselor, economist, medical professional, or another expert might provide evidence about future damages that will be incurred, a recent appellate court decision demonstrates that plaintiffs need skilled legal representation to effectively litigate this aspect of a judgment.

In the 5th DCA case of Auto Club Ins. Co. of Florida v. Babin, the appellate court reviewed a directed verdict in favor of the plaintiff regarding damages.  The plaintiff was injured in a multi-car chain reaction crash.  The first at-fault motorist who caused the initial impact did not have adequate insurance to cover the full cost of the plaintiff’s damages.  While that driver’s insurance company did not dispute liability, the carrier tenaciously argued the plaintiff was not entitled to all of the sought after damages. Continue reading →

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The devastating injuries frequently incurred in collisions involving a tractor-trailer often mean staggering medical bills, lifelong supportive care, significant lost wages, and diminished earning potential.  The role of the jury in obtaining a full recovery can hardly be overstated, so jury misconduct is a serious issue though the vast majority of personal injury claims are settled prior to trial.  In this blog, our personal injury lawyers review a recent $3.5 million trucking accident lawsuit involving serious allegations of jury misconduct. When jurors engage in improper conduct, both sides of a lawsuit might face significant repercussions that might even include the judge ordering a new trial.

In the recent case of Laylock v. TMS Logistics, the plaintiff’s $3.5 million verdict has been jeopardized based on allegations of inappropriate juror actions.  The plaintiff in the lawsuit filed a certiorari petition with Florida’s 1st DCA seeking to block juror interviews targeting alleged jury misconduct that the defendant contended warranted a new trial.  The 1st DCA allowed the interviews to move forward reasoning that any prejudice to the plaintiff could be resolved on appeal.  The jury returned the $3.5 million verdict based on a finding that the defendant was responsible for 95 percent of the damages. Continue reading →

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Our personal injury attorneys in Miami are very familiar with the challenge of proving negligence in a lawsuit can be complicated, but the doctrine of vicarious liability can ease this process considerably.  In this context, vicarious liability refers to situations where the negligence of an individual is attributed to a third-party who was not driving a vehicle involved in the accident, such as an employer or minor’s parent.  Many car accidents involve at-fault drivers who lack insurance or assets to pay a judgment or settlement.  When situations like this arise, proof of liability of a third-party based on the theory of vicarious liability can mean the difference between being fully compensated for all injuries and needing to pay hospital bills, vehicle repair costs, and other damages out of pocket.  Although vicarious liability constitutes a valuable litigation strategy for many Miami car accident victims, the specific facts of a collision can make the task of proving that a third-party should be vicariously liable extremely difficult.

In this blog, our personal injury attorneys review the 1st DCA decision in Depriest v. Greeson that considered the complex issue of the vicarious liability of the estate of a vehicle owner.   The daughter of the car owner was operating the car at the time of the collision.  She was determined to be at-fault for causing the accident.  The plaintiffs, who were involved in an initial head-on collision, were waiting for assistance when the daughter collided with their vehicle.  The plaintiffs contended the second impact caused further injury and vehicle damage.  A lawsuit was filed against the estate of the owner of the vehicle, who was deceased at the time of the accident. Continue reading →

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Liability of a property or business owner operating an enterprise on commercial premises can be liable for product suppliers and customers.  The duty owed for injuries to a customer or party engaged in a commercial relationship on the premises of a business owner is contingent on the relationship between the parties, the nature of the hazard, and the actual or constructive knowledge of the owner.  In this blog post, our Miami personal injury lawyers review an appellate court decision addressing the liability of a gas station owner to the driver of a tanker run down while resupplying fuel to the service station.

The lawsuit was brought by the driver of a tanker truck who was at a gas station to deliver gasoline.  According to documents filed in the lawsuit, the truck driver parked his rig at the service station and placed three orange warning cones around his vehicle.  The plaintiff entered the store to discuss details about the gasoline delivery.    As directed by the owner of the gas station, the plaintiff moved to the area where the gas tanks were located to measure the level of the tank’s prior to filling them.  The tanker driver placed an orange cone as a warning in the vicinity of where he was determining the amount of gasoline in the tanks.  While engaged in measuring the volume in the tanks, the plaintiff got on his hands and knees to retrieve a tank cap that he dropped inside the tank.  Another driver hit the plaintiff as he attempted to fish out the cap. Continue reading →

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The legal doctrine of negligent entrustment authorizes the imposition of liability on the owner of a dangerous instrument, such as a motor vehicle, for negligence by a motorist the owner knows or should know poses an unreasonable risk of harm.  The basic rationale for this legal theory is that a vehicle owner should exercise ordinary care when placing a dangerous instrumentality like a motor vehicle in the hands of another.  While actual knowledge that the person using the vehicle has a pattern of drunk driving convictions, citations for reckless driving, or a history of at-fault accidents can justify liability, vehicle owners cannot bury their head in the sand to avoid liability.  The legal relationship between the parties as well as known facts might give rise to a duty to inquire further.  In this blog, our Miami personal injury attorneys highlight a recent case where a Florida appellate court allowed a claim of to go forward based on the negligent driving of an employee under the legal doctrine of negligent entrustment.

An employer gave an employee permission to use a company car for the weekend to move a mattress as part of a move.  Permission was given to use the company car during off-work time and for the sole convenience of the employee.  The employee proceeded to down several alcoholic drinks before operating the vehicle and subsequently collided with the plaintiff.  The injury victim filed a personal injury lawsuit against the employee based on negligence and against the employer based on negligent entrustment.  The trial judge granted the employer’s request for summary judgment based on the grounds the company did not know of the employee’s pattern of unsafe driving. Continue reading →

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Many people have been involved in barroom brawls that cause serious injury.  The party suffering injury often does not cause the physical altercation or might even be an innocent bystander.  The owner of the bar and the property can be liable to a person injured because of unsafe conditions on the premises.  Owners of a bar or the commercial property where a bar is located have a legal duty to take reasonable care to prevent patrons from being hurt in a fight or to warn of the potential for brawl-related injuries.  In this blog, our Miami personal injury attorneys discuss negligent security claims in the context of a court decision involving a woman injured in a fall during a bar fight.

In the Florida appellate case of Faber v. Pasco, the plaintiff sued Joseph Karl, the bar owner, and Karl of Pasco, the owner of the commercial property.  The plaintiff filed a premises liability lawsuit alleging that the negligence of the defendants caused her injury when she was at The Karl Reef.  The complaint alleged that the manager of the bar and the plaintiff were standing near each other when a fight erupted.  The complaint also indicated that the plaintiff was the victim of an intentional attack that caused her to fall after another customer hit her. Continue reading →

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Falls in grocery stores, restaurants, malls, and other types of businesses can have a devastating impact on victims.  Customers shopping in a grocery store probably assume they will receive compensation if they fall and suffer injury.  However, litigation of slip and fall accidents in Florida poses special challenges that make it important to seek legal representation from an experienced Miami personal injury lawyer.  In this article, our attorneys review a recent case that demonstrates the special obstacles to proving liability in a Florida business.

The task of establishing the liability of a business for a fall involving a customer became more difficult because of changes in Florida law when F.S. 768.0755 was enacted.  The law included the requirement that a plaintiff in a lawsuit involving a fall on a transitory foreign substance must prove the owner of the property/business had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazardous condition and that the owner/business failed to take adequate remedial action to protect the injury victim.  Actual knowledge is self-explanatory, such as when the business/owner observes the hazard or receives a report from an employee.  Constructive knowledge involves a more complicated factual analysis.  The circumstances and facts must support a finding that the owner/business would have been aware of the hazard with the exercise of reasonable care.  The most common way to prove constructive notice is to establish that the hazard has been present long enough that ordinary care should have led to its discovery or that the situation is so common the hazard was foreseeable. Continue reading →

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