Articles Posted in Personal Injury

Published on:

When patients entrust medical professionals, facilities, and hospitals with their healthcare, an expectation of competent diagnosis and treatment consistent with the established standard of care in the community constitutes a reasonable expectation.  Many people are overwhelmed by the massive stack of intake paperwork they face as new patients.  Frequently, a waiver or release of liability often will purport to limit the legal rights and remedies of patients to seek financial compensation for injuries or other harm caused by the negligence of a health care provider.  Although many patients assume they cannot pursue a medical malpractice claim because their health care provider had them execute a document limiting the liability of the provider or facility, courts do not always enforce these types of provisions.  In this blog, our Miami medical malpractice lawyers review a court case decided a few weeks ago that allowed a plaintiff to pursue a medical malpractice claim despite signing a release of liability.

In Brooks v. Paul, the plaintiff’s lawsuit alleged that her physician and other defendants negligently cut her ureter during spinal fusion surgery. The plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit, but the defendants sought summary judgment by claiming that the release signed by the plaintiff shielded the medical providers from liability. The language of the release provided in pertinent part that the medical providers “will not carry any medical malpractice insurance.  Being of sound mind and sound body, I hereby acknowledge this fact and agree not to sue [the medical providers] for any reason.  My reason for doing this is that I realize that [the medical providers] will do the very best to take care of me according to community medical standards.” Continue reading →

Published on:

Since summer has arrived, kids will flock to swimming pools, lakes, and other bodies of water.  Although a swimming pool or pond can provide recreation, entertainment, and exercise, parents must exercise vigilance because drowning constitutes a serious risk to small children.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately 10 people per day drown in non-boating related incidents.  Almost one in five of these drowning victims are children 14 or younger, so parents should be vigilant in the vicinity of swimming locations.  Tragically, drownings and near drownings resulting in brain damage can occur even when parents take precautions to protect their children.  In this blog, our Miami defective product attorneys review a case where parents unsuccessfully pursued a product liability lawsuit alleging a defective piece of safety equipment was a substantial factor in causing their toddler’s drowning.

In Coterel v. Dorel Juvenile Group, a federal appellate court from another state considered a product liability lawsuit brought by the grieving parents of their 23-month-old son.  The young child climbed out of his crib in the middle of the night and wandered to a nearby pond.  When the parents awoke in the morning, they discovered the door open.  The dad searched and found his son floating in the pond about fifty yards from the home.  The parents filed a wrongful death suit against the maker of a doorknob cover that the couple received as a gift.  The complaint alleged that the manufacturer of the safety device was defective because it failed to prevent the boy from opening the door.  The lawsuit contended the doorknob cover was negligently marketed and negligently manufactured. Continue reading →

Published on:

Although buses statistically provide one of the safest forms of transportation, the carnage and extent of injury can be devastating when Florida bus accidents occur.  Because passengers in Miami-Dade County embark on tens of thousands of trips covering hundreds of thousands of miles annually, serious bus accidents are predictable.  When bus drivers fail to exercise caution and remain attentive, or public entities and transit companies do not exercise care in screening, training, and supervising drivers, the risk posed to passengers increases dramatically.  While bus companies are considered common carriers who owe passengers a heightened duty of care, injured passengers seeking financial compensation from municipalities and other government entities that run bus lines face special challenges.  In this blog, our Miami bus accident attorneys review a recent settlement of a bus accident claim that focuses attention on these obstacles.

An article in the Sun Sentinel reported on the tragic story of a boy who suffered permanent debilitating injuries after being dragged by a bus.  The boy and his mom were approaching the bus when she fell, so she told her son to run to catch the bus.  A passenger on the bus informed the bus driver about “runners” approaching the vehicle.  While the teen was able to reach the bus before it pulled away from the curb, the driver closed the door on the boy’s arm.  The driver then pulled the vehicle away from the curb and dragged the boy for approximately seven seconds.  The teen fell and was then partially run over by the massive vehicle.  He suffered a traumatic brain injury and remained in a coma for more than a month.  The teen also was unable to return to school for 1.5 years.  The lingering effects of the bus accident included neuropsychological deficits in memory and processing speed, physical impairments, compromised motor dexterity, neurocognitive disorder, central auditory processing disorder, and adjustment disorder with depression. Continue reading →

Published on:

Although dogs can constitute loving pets, canine attacks occur every day throughout Florida.  If you have never been bitten by a dog, you might be inclined to assume that most dog bites inflict only minor injuries.  However, approximately 4.5 million people experience dog bites annually in the U.S.  Almost one in five of these individuals suffer an infection.  In 2015, 28,000 people suffered dog bite injuries so severe that they needed reconstructive surgery.  While dog bite victims in Florida might have the right to assert strict liability claims against a dog owner or keeper, the actions of the victim often are asserted as a defense.  In this blog post, our Miami dog bite lawyers analyze an appellate court decision from last year that allowed a lawsuit to move forward to trial after the defendant attempted to shift financial responsibility to the dog bite victim.

The plaintiff was injured by guard dogs obtained by the defendant company K-9 to secure the premises of a business in the neighborhood.  When a K-9 worker returned the next morning to feed the dogs, the employee discovered the business had been burglarized, which allowed the dogs to escape the premises.  The plaintiff discovered the guard dogs in her backyard.  She mistakenly assumed the dogs for friendly pets of a nearby neighbor.  She kept the dogs secured in her yard where she fed and sheltered the animals.  Although she had two pet dogs of her own they were kept segregated in her home.  In attempting to return the dogs to the owner, she notified the neighborhood watch and contacted the local animal shelter. Continue reading →

Published on:

The civil litigation process involves many technical rules, procedures, and deadlines that must be strictly adhered to by a plaintiff seeking financial compensation.  While these procedural hurdles might seem like “technical details” to many injury victims, the civil litigation process can be unforgiving when parties without legal representation try to navigate these traps for the unwary.  In many cases, this type of procedural misstep could result in dismissal of a personal injury lawsuit that is otherwise with merit.  In this blog post, our personal injury lawyers examine an appellate court decision involving a motion for dismissal based on a claim that service was not effective.

The plaintiff was involved in a collision with a school bus.  She believed the school bus driver’s negligence caused the collision.  The complaint filed in the personal injury lawsuit alleged the school district also was responsible based on a negligent hiring theory.  While a lawsuit against a public entity like a school district will involve special procedures and a timely notice of claim, the procedural issue raised by the defense in this lawsuit applies to all civil litigation. Continue reading →

Published on:

While pedestrian accidents often are caused by distracted, careless, or indifferent motorists, some collisions between motor vehicles and people who are walking, jogging, or running are the result of the faulty design of roadway features.  Approximately 13 people die per day by cars after being struck while on foot.  A report entitled “Dangerous by Design 2016” created by the pedestrian safety group Smart Growth America identified nine Florida major metros as among the 11 most dangerous metro regions in the U.S. for pedestrians.  While municipalities and other government entities can be liable for pedestrian accidents caused by poor roadway design, the process of suing a government body or agency poses special challenges because of the principle of sovereign immunity.  In this blog, our Miami pedestrian accident lawyers examine a Florida Appellate Courts decision that focuses on the important role sovereign immunity plays when people sue cities, counties, or the State of Florida for design defects that contribute to pedestrian fatalities.

In Gonzales v. City of Atwater, surviving family members of a 72-year-old woman who was run over in an intersection filed a lawsuit against the motorist and the municipality.  The motorist who slammed into the elderly pedestrian was executing a left turn at an intersection into a shopping center.  Evidence introduced at trial indicated the pedestrian had the right-of-way, but the driver testified he did not see her prior to crashing into her with his vehicle. Continue reading →

Published on:

Discovery is an important part of the litigation process in any car accident lawsuit because this permits the issues in the case to be narrowed and each side to investigate the facts and allegations made by the opposing party.  Skillful use of discovery tools and close attention to the information provided could mean the difference between a substantial settlement or verdict and an outcome favorable to the defense.  While a party might have valid objections to answering certain questions, providing false information, misrepresentations, or material nondisclosure could have dire consequences.  In this blog post, our experienced car accident attorneys review a decision from the Florida Court of Appeals reversing the dismissal of an injury victim’s claim despite allegations of fraud perpetrated upon the court.

In the recent case of Duarte v. Snap-On, Incorporated, a motorist suffered a serious injury after an intoxicated truck driver plowed into his car while traveling at freeway speed.  The trucking company did not dispute liability based on the actions of its employee, but the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injuries were fiercely contested.  The issue of damages was complicated by the fact that the injury victim was involved in a second collision between the time of the first crash and resolution of the lawsuit involving the initial accident. Continue reading →

Published on:

Although many motorcycle accidents in Miami and the surrounding areas of Florida are caused by an inconsiderate, inattentive, or careless driver of a car, pickup, or SUV, the driver of the other vehicle often will claim the rider was negligent.  Some injured motorcyclists assume they cannot pursue a personal injury claim because they were violating a traffic law or otherwise driving in an unsafe manner.  Florida negligence law allows a plaintiff to recover in a personal injury or wrongful death action even if the injured party is partially at fault for causing the collision.  In this blog post, our Miami motorcycle accident lawyers examine a Florida appellate court decision allowing a fatally injured motorcycle accident victim to recover despite evidence he was speeding.

In Diaz v. FedEx, the Florida Fifth DCA allowed a motorcycle accident victim to recover compensation for his injuries even though he was determined to be partially responsible for causing his collision with a FedEx truck.  At the time of the collision, the motorcyclist was determined to be driving at a rate of 59 to 79 mph, which substantially exceeded the speed limit of 45 mph.  The personal representative of the estate of the decedent defended against the wrongful death claim based on evidence that the plaintiff was driving at an unsafe speed at the time of the collision. Continue reading →

Published on:

Although the Walt Disney World slogan is that the amusement park is “the happiest place on earth,” dense crowds, darkness, and visual distractions create an atmosphere that increases the risk of a serious fall.  Guests of the “Magic Kingdom” or other Florida amusement parks can suffer severe injury when falling because of improper maintenance of walkways, sidewalks, and parking lots.  Our amusement park accident lawyers recognize that visitors injured in falls while touring theme parks or other major tourist attractions in Florida frequently face an uphill battle.  In this blog, we review a case where a plaintiff effectively used evidence provided by the theme park’s own expert to withstand summary judgment.

The plaintiff seriously injured her knee when she slipped while stepping off a curb on Main Street inside the park.  Her complaint alleged that Walt Disney World Hospitality & Recreation Corporation failed to warn guests (legally considered “invitees”) of unsafe conditions and to maintain the property in reasonably safe condition for patrons.  Because of this failure, the plaintiff alleged she slipped on unsafe caulking while stepping off the curb.  During her deposition, the plaintiff testified that she was paying attention and looking down at the curb as she stepped off.  She did not see what caused her to fall but noticed a broken off section of sidewalk caulking made of rubber that was bent after she fell.  Because she did not observe any other obstacle that could have caused her to slip, she assumed that the folded over caulking triggered her fall. Continue reading →

Published on:

While Congress and President Trump spar over the shape of health care in the future, tort reform has been promoted by some as a way to control costs.  The insurance industry, politicians, and the American Medical Association (AMA) contend the medical profession has been bombarded with massive verdicts from a highly litigious public.  These misleading claims ignore the special barriers to pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit like pre-suit requirements that include obtaining an expert evaluation to establish a reasonable basis for the lawsuit among other obstacles.  When an infant suffers a birth injury that causes cerebral palsy or other lifelong debilitating birth defects, the emotional and financial consequences on the child and parents can be overwhelming.

In this blog, our medical malpractice lawyers review a Florida Court of Appeals decision that eased the burden on parents pursuing medical malpractice claims for birth injuries.  The 2nd DCA in Port Charlotte HMA, LLC v. Suarez evaluated the constitutionality of Florida’s statutory limit on non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits.  The mother of a child sued a hospital and medical providers for injuries arising from her child’s obstetrical care during her pregnancy.  The expectant mother sought medical attention at the defendant hospital on multiple occasions for symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of early onset preeclampsia.  This medical condition, which can be fatal, affects many expectant moms.  Continue reading →

Contact Information