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June 2017 Archives

Florida Court of Appeals Decision Finds Medical Malpractice Caps Unconstitutional in Lawsuit Brought by Mother of Child Who Suffered a Severe Birth Injury

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. 

Attorneys Examine Florida Appellate Decision Revealing Waiver Does Not Preclude Financial Recovery for Injuries Suffered in a Jet Ski Accident

While cruises offer a litany of fun and recreational activities, a certain amount of risk of injury accompanies some of these activities. This risk increases significantly when cruise lines and companies with whom they arrange excursions fail to exercise reasonable care for the safety of passengers. Cruise lines attempt to erect obstacles to liability that include requiring passengers to sign waivers of liability. In this blog, our Miami cruise accident attorneys review an appellate court decision permitting a lawsuit to move forward despite the existence of a waiver executed by the plaintiff in favor of the cruise company. 

The Duty of Cruise Companies to Warn Passengers of Risks of Criminal Activity during Excursions

Ports of call during a cruise offer passengers opportunities for sightseeing, recreational activities, and shopping, but foreign countries where these excursions take place can be unsafe because of environmental hazards and crime. While major cruise companies like Carnival, Holland America Line, Celebrity X Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, and others have worked to narrow the scope of their liability so that it terminates when passengers reach the gangway. The 1985 court decision of Carlisle v. Ulysses Line Ltd. long ago established that passengers have a duty to warn passengers of known dangers beyond the point of debarkation at locations where passengers are invited or reasonably expected to visit. In this blog post, our Miami cruise injury lawyers examine the duty owed to passengers during excursions in the context of an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision that reaffirmed this duty established by the Carlisle decision. 

What Every Passenger Injured on a Cruise Needs to Know

Many people are injured every year because of the careless or malicious acts of others, but the injury victims decline to pursue compensation for their injuries. While no injury victim should be forced to cover the cost of their own medical bills and lost wages when someone else is to blame for their injuries, a significant number of people never seek to hold the at-fault party responsible. The most common reason that injury victims abandon their legal right to a monetary recovery involves concerns about the complexity of the process and a belief that the likelihood of success is low. However, people who suffer physical injuries because of the negligent acts or omissions of others put the odds in their favor when they are represented by an experienced Miami cruise ship injury lawyer.

Miami Semi-Truck Accident Lawyers Review Decision Analyzing Potential Vicarious Liability of a Commercial Carrier for Liability of an Independent Contractor Operating a Leased Big-Rig

Given the massive size and weight disparity between a tractor-trailer combination and a passenger car, collisions between a big-rig and a car tend to cause severe injury to occupants of the automobile. Because trucking companies recognize their drivers log enough hours on the road that there is a high probability they will be involved in a trucking accident, commercial carriers prepare for future litigation in anticipation of future lawsuits. These strategies include on-call rapid crash response teams, extensive litigation resources, and creative use of independent contractor relationships. Our experienced semi-truck accident lawyers are familiar with these tactics and employ appropriate strategies for obtaining successful outcomes in trucking accident injury lawsuits. In this blog post, we examine a court decision where an appellate court rejects a trucking company's attempt to use independent contractor status to shield itself from liability.

Los Abogados de lesiones personales de la Florida mirando la Respuesta de Johnson & Johnson al veredicto de $65 millones de polvos de bebes

Los estudios han estado alrededor por décadas que divulgan un acoplamiento entre el uso higiénico femenino de los productos del polvo del talco y un riesgo creciente del cáncer ovárico. Las preocupaciones sobre el efecto carcinógeno de los productos a base de talco como Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder y Shower to Shower culminaron recientemente en un veredicto de $65 millones de dólares contra el fabricante. Bloomberg informó que el veredicto masivo representa la tercera derrota consecutiva en una ola de demandas por responsabilidad por productos contra el gigante farmacéutico. En esta entrada del blog, nuestros abogados de responsabilidad de productos de la ciudad de Miami analizan el resultado y la importancia de estos juicios grandes contra Johnson & Johnson (J & J).

Citizens' Allegations of Arson and Fraud to Deny a Fire Claim Backfire Notes Miami Homeowners Coverage Attorneys

Our homeowners insurance coverage attorneys often meet people who are given the run around by their insurance carrier when they file a claim for damage to their home. These individuals frequently assume they have no real recourse. While policyholders usually understand that they can file a lawsuit for breach of contract, they might be concerned about their ability to afford attorney fees on an out-of-pocket basis. Our law firm handles homeowners insurance claims involving denied policy benefits on a contingency fee basis. Further, Florida courts can award lucrative attorney fee awards when an insurance carrier loses a breach of contract action. In a case from the Florida 3rd DCA, Citizens Property Insurance Corp. v. Pulloquinga, the court not only granted attorney fees but applied a 1.5 multiplier to the amount of the fee award.

Miami-Dade County Personal Injury Lawyers Explain Attractive Nuisance Doctrine in Context of Swimming Pool Drowning Lawsuit

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. 

Miami Cruise Injury Lawyers Analyze Case Revealing Jurisdictional Challenges in Pursuing Claims against Negligent Excursion Operators

Because cruise companies often are based in foreign countries and operate their ships in navigable waters, there are many complex issues that have nothing to do with the merits, such as jurisdiction, choice of law, and venue issues. Personal jurisdiction essentially refers to the authority of the court to exercise power over the defendant. While this issue is fundamental to pursuing a lawsuit against a cruise excursion operator, the issue can be particularly difficult for a plaintiff. Excursions offer cruise passengers many opportunities for tours, recreation, and adventure, but these outings frequently occur in foreign countries that lack the safety laws and practices observed by U.S. tour operators. In this blog, our Miami cruise injury lawyers analyze an appellate court decision regarding personal jurisdiction of an excursion operator. 

Por qué un abogado experimentado de accidentes de tránsito en la ciudad de Miami puede ser necesario para protegerlo de las tácticas de litigios injustas e impropias

Aunque los ocupantes de vehículos lesionados en accidentes de camiones tienen el derecho de entablar una demanda en la Florida sin representación legal, la decisión de hacerlo prácticamente garantizará resultados desastrosos. Los transportistas comerciales y sus compañías de seguros esperan que los conductores de camiones se involucren en accidentes, por lo que las empresas de camiones anticipan los litigios. Los operadores comerciales tienen equipos de investigación de respuesta rápida, una red de expertos en reconstrucción de accidentes y los recursos extensos de litigios que se centran en negar o limitar la recuperación de las lesiones y las muertes causadas por los conductores de camiones descuidados y remolques no seguros.

Semi-Truck Accident Lawyers Review Tractor-Trailer Crash Appellate Decision Involving Multiple Parties Alleged to Have Contributed to the Collision

While tractor-trailer accidents inherently involve complex issues, multi-car accidents are common when big-rigs are involved in a crash because the large vehicles can obstruct multiple lanes of traffic. When a collision involves the independent negligent actions of third parties who cause a single injury, defendants often point their finger at one another attempting to shift financial responsibility to the other party. This strategy can raise problems for injury victims because a trucking company typically will have far more insurance coverage than the truck driver or a third party driver. Causation issues also might arise when there are multiple drivers who independently contribute to the same injury. In this blog, our Miami semi-truck accident lawyers consider an appellate decision that reveals the complications involved when multiple drivers cause an accident.

Miami Property Damage Attorneys Review Florida Court Decision Analyzing Shifting Burden between Policyholder and Insurer under All-Risk Policy

Our Miami property damage attorneys find that there are many procedural and evidentiary issues that make the process of pursuing a legal claim complicated when your insurance carrier denies your claim. While the law provides remedies and legal venues to pursue your rights, the path to obtaining benefits under a homeowner's policy can be convoluted and complicated. One issue that homeowners will have to understand and navigate effectively if they pursue a lawsuit for breach of contract against their insurer is the nature of the shifting burden of proof in a lawsuit involving an insurance claims dispute. A recent case decided by the 2nd District Court of Appeal of Florida provides an overview of this shifting burden under an "all-risk" homeowner's policy.

Florida Court of Appeals Permits Trip and Fall Victim to Move Forward Despite "Obvious" Nature of Hazard

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. 

Complex Issue of Establishing Liability in Slip and Fall Accidents Analyzed by Miami Cruise Injury Lawyers

Our first blog post in this two-part series analyzed the barriers to legal compensation in slip and fall lawsuits against cruise companies based on the ticket contract. While all plaintiffs injured in falls must overcome considerable obstacles, cruise passengers face an even tougher road. Whether the fall occurs at sea during a cruise under federal maritime law or in a Miami grocery store under Florida state law, the knowledge of the defendant constitutes one of the most critical issues in determining the outcome. In this post, our Miami cruise injury lawyers examine the challenges that must be navigated even after the obstacles created by the restrictive language in the passenger ticket contract have been successfully handled. 

Los abogados de reclamaciones de propietarios de viviendas de la ciudad de Miami explican cuándo un hogar se convierte en inhabitable que desencadena la cobertura de ALE

Cuando su casa está seriamente dañada por una tormenta de viento, fuego u otra fuerza de la naturaleza, usted podría terminar siendo desplazado de su residencia. Aunque las reparaciones asociadas con muchas reclamaciones de seguro ocurren mientras que los propietarios permanecen en sus hogares, esto puede no ser una opción segura o factible. Si su hogar es una pérdida total o la cocina es inutilizable, la única opción viable podría ser la reubicación en forma temporal.

Our Attorneys Review Court Ruling That Policyholders Do Not Need to Establish a Breach of Contract to Proceed with Bad Faith Action

Our Miami-Dade County homeowners coverage attorneys recognize that bad faith claims pose special challenges because the issues of liability and damages must be bifurcated in a separate legal proceeding from the first-party bad faith action. Fortunately, this does not mean that an insured must obtain a breach of contract verdict or settlement before moving forward with the bad faith lawsuit. Forms of alternative dispute resolution can constitute a sufficient determination of liability and damages to permit a bad faith action to move forward against recalcitrant homeowners insurers.

A Call Of Attention to a Disturbing Decision That Denies Widow Damages for Loss of Consortium in Asbestos Product Liability Lawsuit

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. 

Special Challenges of Proving Slip and Fall Liability - Using the Passenger Contract to Limit Guest Rights

Florida law places significant roadblocks in the path of individuals who are injured in falls on the premises of a resort, hotel, or other commercial business catering to the public. Maritime and admiralty law, which governs slip and fall and trip and fall accidents at sea, places special barriers in the path of injury victims who experience such injuries while on a cruise. When these barriers are combined, the prospects of success without a knowledgeable Miami cruise injury lawyer with a track record of successful judgments and verdicts against the major cruise lines are bleak. In this two-part blog post, we examine some of the barriers that cruise victims must overcome when pursuing a slip and fall accident claim against a cruise company in the context of examples from actual cases. 

Semi-Truck Accident Attorneys Review Court Decision Analyzing Complex Issues Regarding Spoliation of Evidence

Our Miami semi-truck accident attorneys recognize that trucking collisions differ from other motor vehicle accidents. A big-rig crash is not just a collision involving a large vehicle, a collision involving a vehicle that outweighs the other vehicle by 25 times poses special dangers. When a semi-truck collides with an automobile, any resulting serious injury almost always involves occupants of the other vehicle. Because trucking companies anticipate potential liability, they frequently are geared up to dispatch investigators to a crash site within a few minutes. The trucking industry also is notorious for manipulating evidence. For example, driver logbooks that are used to track hours of service and maintenance are derisively referred to in the industry as "lie books." This practice means that the issue of "spoliation" of evidence often arises in trucking litigation. While spoliation of evidence often is alleged against the trucking company, this blog examines a court decision in which the victim of an unsafe trucker faces these allegations.

Los Abogados de lesiones personales de la Florida resaltan los desafíos especiales que enfrentan las víctimas de resbalones y caídas

Las caídas en los supermercados, los restaurantes, los centros comerciales y otros tipos de negocios pueden tener un impacto devastador en las víctimas. Los clientes que compran en un supermercado probablemente asumen que recibirán una compensación si se caen y sufren lesiones. Sin embargo, los litigios de accidentes de resbalones y caídas en la Florida plantean desafíos especiales que hacen que sea importante buscar la representación legal de un abogado de lesiones personales con experiencia en la ciudad de Miami. En este artículo, nuestros abogados revisan un caso reciente que demuestra los obstáculos especiales para demostrar responsabilidad en un negocio de la Florida.

Homeowners Insurance Claims Attorneys Warn of Risk Associated with Relying on Your Insurance Carrier to Identify All Available Coverage

Our homeowners insurance claims lawyers understand that many policyholders rely on their insurance agent or an adjuster from the insurance company to determine their rights and potential benefits under their policy. Although you should contact your insurance agent and promptly notify your insurance company of a claim, your insurer might not always act to protect your best interest. A fair number of policyholders who suffer devastating financial losses when their homes are damaged by hurricanes, fires, or other perils receive less than they are entitled to under their policies because they do not seek legal advice.

Miami Medical Malpractice Attorneys Discuss Complex Issues Regarding Calculation of the Statute of Limitations and Attorney-Client Privilege in the Context of Birth Injury

If your infant is injured during the birthing process or immediately before or after delivery, the news is devastating. Approximately one in 323 children are identified with motor and developmental disabilities associated with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy (CP) according to the CDC. Medical malpractice lawsuits, insurance company hurdles, and the complexities of litigation might not be your highest priority. However, parents of an infant who experiences a birth injury must be prepared for enormous medical expenses and supportive care throughout their child's lifetime. In this blog, our medical malpractice attorneys discuss a lawsuit illustrating the unique complexities associated with the statute of limitations and attorney-client privilege in the context of a birth injury claim. 

Miami Federal Appellate Court Case Shows Why Cruise Injury Victims Need an Experienced Florida Cruise Lawyer

Injured passengers on a cruise ship might assume that they can safely pursue a lawsuit for damages with the assistance of any personal injury attorney. This misconception can have devastating consequences because attorneys who regularly handle personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in the state courts of Florida might have little experience handling cruise ship accident cases in federal courts. Lawsuits against Norwegian, Holland America, Carnival, Disney, Royal Caribbean, and other cruise companies will usually be based on maritime and admiralty law, so working with a cruise ship injury lawyer who lacks experience with cruise injury cases can be a costly error. 

Miami Tractor-Trailer Accident Attorneys Review Drunk Driving Trucking Accident Case Involving Defense Based on Alleged Misrepresentation to the Court

Our Miami tractor-trailer accident attorneys recognize that 80-pound fully loaded big-rigs can cause catastrophic injury and horrific carnage. Although intoxicated drivers pose a serious danger no matter what type of vehicle they drive, the prospect of a drunken truck driver is especially frightening. In this blog, we consider a case decided by the Florida 2nd Court of Appeals that considered whether to deny recovery to the victim of an alcohol-impaired truck driver because the plaintiff was alleged to have misled the court.

Los abogados de accidentes de vehículos motorizados de la ciudad de Miami discuten de la admisibilidad de la misión de una citación de un ahogamiento fatal del operador de moto acuatica

Si bien la conducta de un automovilista al desobedecer las leyes de seguridad vial puede constituir una importante evidencia de negligencia, la ley de la Florida generalmente prohíbe la introducción de evidencia sobre si se emitió una citación de tráfico para establecer una parte involucrada en la conducta negligente. Nuestros abogados de accidentes automovilísticos del sur de la Florida entienden que esta distinción puede parecer confusa, pero la conducta ilegal y no la emisión de una citación proporciona la evidencia pertinente. La razón de esta regla es que el juez o jurado debe hacer la determinación de la falta de acuerdo con la norma legal pertinente, en lugar de un oficial de policía que emita una citación dentro de su discreción y no sujeto a la misma norma de prueba.

Insurance Claims Lawyers Discuss 1st DCA Ruling that Valued Policy Law Trumps Insurance Policy Appraisal Provision

Although Florida law can be tough on policyholders, our insurance coverage attorneys know that there are statutory provisions that provide important protections to consumers. A valuable statutory protection under Florida insurance law is referred to as the Valued Policy Law (FVPL) [§627.702, Fla. Stat. (2008)]. The FVPL provides expedited procedures for homeowners (including owners of mobile homes) who experience a total loss. The FVPL imposes a duty on an insurer to determine the insurable value of a building and specify the value in the policy. In the event of a total loss (i.e. the cost of repair exceeds the value of the building), the insurer is to pay the value indicated upon which premiums are collected. While this law does not prevent your homeowners insurer from raising defenses to coverage, the established value often prevents the need for costly and time-consuming litigation when an insured suffers a total loss.

Personal Injury Attorneys Review Decision Denying Recovery for Slip and Fall in Grocery Store

While you might have visited a grocery store hundreds of times without incident, you have probably seen spilled liquids, fruit smeared on the floor, and other hazards that could easily cause a fall resulting in severe injury. If the management and ownership of a grocery store design and implement adequate safety and maintenance practices, grocery store slip and fall accidents often can be prevented. Whether a hazard is caused by failure to schedule maintenance routines, lack of response to shopper reports of a spill, insufficient lighting, or sloppy cleanup of a foreign substance on the floor, careless or inattentive employees and management can spell disaster. Even when a supermarket fails to properly clean up a spill or banana peel, litigation of a grocery store slip and fall accident can be complicated. In this blog, our Miami personal injury lawyers review a case demonstrating the importance of having an experienced legal representative in your corner.