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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 →

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This is the house that Jack built.

This is the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the rat,
That ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the cat,
That killed the rat,
That ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the dog,
That worried the cat,
That killed the rat,
That ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built . . . .

Excerpt from the Nursery Rhyme “This Is the House That Jack Build”

Most people have heard this nursery rhyme which describes a long convoluted causal chain.  While this might seem line nothing more than a clever nursery rhyme, the principle of a chain reaction of events like this constitutes a real issue that arises in many personal injury lawsuits involving collisions.  The issue that often must be addressed in this context is whether the “cause” blamed for a crash and resulting injuries is too remote in the chain of events or time to impose liability.  In this blog post, our Miami motorcycle injury lawyers examine the issue of “proximate cause’ in the context of a chain reaction motorcycle accident decision. Continue reading →

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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 →

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Businesses like restaurants, bars, and other commercial establishments that serve alcohol to customers who subsequently cause a crash can be liable for injury to drunk driving victims.  When plaintiffs suffer an injury in an accident caused by an alcohol-impaired driver, they might find suing the intoxicated driver to be a fruitless pursuit.  Approximately half to two-thirds of motorists convicted of drunk driving continue to operate their vehicle even though their driver’s license has been suspended.  Because an unlicensed driver usually will be uninsured, many drunk drivers who cause permanent debilitating injury and wrongful death are essentially judgment proof.  This simple reality makes the rights of a drunk driving victim to pursue a business that serves the motorist especially important.  In this blog post, our Miami motorcycle accident lawyers examine a court decision last year in which the Florida Court of Appeals ordered a retrial after a jury awarded $11 million against a bar that served the drunk driver.

In Okeechobee Aerie v. Wilde, a motorcyclist was hit by a drunk driver who was highly intoxicated.  The motorist who caused the collision was determined to have a .26 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of the crash.  The staff of the social club bar that served the intoxicated driver testified that they knew he was an alcoholic.  Based on this evidence, the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the establishment.  After the jury returned the large verdict for the plaintiff, the bar appealed by arguing that it was not liable under Florida’s  Responsible Vendor Act. Continue reading →

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Many motorcycle accident victims probably realize that their ability to recover compensation during a personal injury trial will depend to a significant degree on a persuasive presentation of admissible evidence.  However, the civil litigation process is comprised of a complex system of rules that dictate the types of evidence that the jury may consider.  The rulings of a judge regarding the admissibility of key facts, documents, or other forms of evidence frequently determine the outcome of a trial.  Sometimes an unfavorable decision can lead to a negative outcome regardless of the merits of a plaintiff’s case.  In this blog post, our motorcycle accident attorneys examine how two evidentiary ruling in a motorcycle accident case influenced the outcome.

In the 2nd DCA case of Shaver v. Carpenter, a husband and wife were struck by an automobile while riding a motorcycle.  The couple entered an intersection proceeding straight from the west when the defendant made a left turn across the riders’ path as he approached from the east.  The primary issue of dispute involved right-of-way when the vehicles proceeded through the intersection. The married couple contended they had a green light when they continued straight through the intersection.  The driver of the automobile admitted partial fault because he alleged he entered the intersection immediately before the light turned red.  Based on this contention, the defendant argued the couple also was at fault because they entered the intersection against a red light.  The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiffs in the trial court and found that the driver of the car was 95 percent at fault and that the plaintiffs were five percent at fault.  Continue reading →

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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 →

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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 →

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While our personal injury lawyers have previously discussed the Florida 5th DCA case of Southern Owners Insurance Company v. Cooperativa  v. De Seguros Multiples, etc. as it relates to negligent supervision, this blog considers a different issue.  Although many drowning accidents in Florida result from lack of adequate supervision, trespassing children can receive special protection under the law.  Swimming pools pose a unique risk to young children who often lack the maturity and experience to understand the threat of drowning or severe injury including brain damage from oxygen deprivation.

Although the main issue in the case involved the absence of a lifeguard or other supervision, drowning incidents sometimes involve children who wander onto property with a pool without express or implied permission.  Lawsuits arising out of swimming pool drownings on the property of another are governed by premises liability law.  When a person is injured by a hazard on the property of a third party, the individual’s purpose for being on the property will dictate the duty of care owed by the owner.  Continue reading →

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Our Miami premises liability lawyers often publish blog articles that highlight the many obstacles trip and fall victims face when pursuing personal injury lawsuits in Florida.  Although the legislature has placed obstacles in the path of those injured because of falls due to lack of maintenance and care, a recent decision of an appellate court in Florida provides encouragement for plaintiffs injured because of the negligence of property owners.  In a recent case, the court considered whether the “obvious” nature of a hazard entitled a defendant to summary judgment.

The plaintiff was injured while attempting to conduct a banking transaction at an ATM machine at the defendant bank.  The plaintiff planned to drive up to the ATM machine but decided to use the walk-up ATM when she discovered the bank was no longer open.  When the plaintiff approached the area of the outdoor ATM, she discovered the area was under construction.  The plaintiff testified to the court that a sign was positioned in front of the cash machine with an arrow directing patrons to proceed around a barrier in front of the construction.  When she walked around the barrier in the parking lot, the plaintiff stepped into what she characterized as a “pothole” that caused her to fall.  The plaintiff suffered an injury to her back and neck and a fractured leg and foot. Continue reading →

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Our Miami personal injury attorneys often review court decisions that illustrate important legal issues or new developments in the law that have a potential impact on our clients.  However, sometimes we call attention to court decisions because of the disturbing nature of the outcome.  This blog post serves as a cautionary tale regarding the importance of having exemplary legal representation because the analysis of a judge or court can be unanticipated, so you need a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer.

A recent decision by a Florida appellate court denied a widow loss of consortium damages despite a forty year marriage after her husband allegedly died from exposure to asbestos.  John Kelley was exposed to asbestos from 1973 to 1974, which preceded his marriage to his wife Janis Kelly by two years.  Mr. Kelly was subsequently diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is caused by asbestos exposure.  The couple filed a product liability lawsuit against several asbestos manufacturers based on strict liability. Continue reading →

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