Articles Posted in Personal Injury

Cruise vacations are popular, and many people embark on cruise lines out of Florida. While cruise ships are generally safe, circumstances can arise that cause passenger to suffer harm. Whether a cruise ship will be deemed liable for injuries caused by a dangerous condition depends on numerous factors, including whether the defendant was or should have been aware of the condition. In a recent ruling issued in a lawsuit against a cruise line, a Florida court discussed what evidence is needed to establish actual and constructive notice of a harmful condition.  If you were injured on a cruise, you might be owed compensation, and it is in your best interest to contact a Florida personal injury lawyer to determine your possible claims.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was vacationing on a cruise ship owned by the defendant when she suffered bodily harm. Specifically, she suffered a partial amputation of her finger after it was caught in a door that slammed shut. She subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, arguing that the door constituted an unsafe condition and that the defendant failed to properly maintain the door or warn passengers of the potential risk of harm. Prior to trial, the defendant moved for summary judgment.

Notice of Harmful Conditions on Cruise Ships

The court explained that in order for the plaintiff to recover damages under maritime tort law, she must show that the defendant had a duty to protect the plaintiff from certain harm, a breach of the obligation by the defendant, and actual harm proximately and actually caused by the breach. The court elaborated that the reasonable care standard they employed, which is based on what an ordinary person would do under the circumstances, dictates that a ship owner must have constructive or actual notice of the condition that created the risk in cases in which the risk is one that is commonly encountered on land and is not limited to cruise ships. Continue reading ›

Traveling by air is generally safe, but turbulence, rough landings, and other conditions encountered while flying can sometimes cause personal injuries. Merely because a person suffers harm while flying does not necessarily mean they can recover damages from an airline, however. Instead, as demonstrated in a recent Florida ruling, they must provide competent evidence establishing causation, and if they fail to do so, their claims may be dismissed. If you sustained losses while flying, you might be owed compensation, and it is in your best interest to confer with a Florida personal injury attorney to discuss what claims you may be able to pursue.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is alleged that the plaintiff suffered injuries during a rough landing on a flight from Florida to North Carolina. Specifically, she asserted she sustained a compression fracture and other back injuries because the flight crew neglected to monitor the rate of descent and approach speed of the plane, which caused it to land in a violent manner. She subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit in federal court against the airline that operated the plane. The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing in part that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate causation.

Establishing Causation in Florida Personal Injury Cases

The court ultimately adopted the defendant’s reasoning and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims. The court explained that, pursuant to Florida law, to sustain a claim for negligence, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, that the defendant breached that duty, and that the breach caused the plaintiff to suffer damages. In negligence actions, Florida has established a preponderance test for causation; a mere probability of causation is not enough. Expert medical testimony as to medical causation is often necessary in a negligence lawsuit when the causal relationship between alleged injuries and the incident at issue is not clear to a layperson. Continue reading ›

While expert testimony is not required in most personal injury cases, it is generally permissible. A party that seeks to introduce an expert must show both that the expert possesses the qualifications needed to offer an expert opinion and that the expert employed reliable methodologies in developing the opinion in question. If a party fails to establish these elements, its expert may be precluded from testifying on certain issues, as demonstrated in a ruling recently issued in a Florida matter arising out of a slip and fall accident on a cruise ship. If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, it is advisable to speak to a knowledgeable Florida premises liability attorney to evaluate what evidence you must produce to recover damages.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff was a passenger on a cruise ship owned by the defendant when she slipped and fell on a wet substance on the lido deck. She suffered injuries in the fall and subsequently instituted a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging in part that the accident was the direct and proximate outcome of the defendant’s failure to reasonably maintain the floor in the lido deck area.

Allegedly, the plaintiff retained an expert to conduct an engineering analysis of the area where the fall occurred and to offer testimony that the defendant had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous conditions that led to her fall and the defendant’s failure to comply with industry standards. The defendant moved to preclude the plaintiff’s expert from testifying, arguing that he was not qualified, his opinions were not helpful to the trier of fact, and they were not derived using reliable methods. The plaintiff opposed the motion. Continue reading ›

Cruise ship owners have a duty to provide a safe environment for their passengers. Thus, if a cruise line allows a dangerous condition to persist on a ship and a passenger ultimately suffers harm as a result of the condition, the cruise line may be held accountable. As discussed in a recent Florida ruling, though, liability will only be imposed on a cruise line if it knew or should have known of the risk that led to the plaintiff’s injuries. If you were hurt in an accident on a cruise ship, you could be owed compensation, and it is advisable to speak to a Florida personal injury lawyer to assess what evidence you must produce to demonstrate liability.

The Plaintiff’s Fall

Allegedly, the plaintiff was a passenger aboard a cruise ship owned by the defendant when she sustained injuries in a trip and fall accident that occurred on a step in one of the ship’s dance lounges.  The plaintiff suffered injuries in the fall and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant in which she asserted a negligence claim. In her complaint, she averred her fall was caused by poor lighting and stated that the defendant failed to warn passengers of the dangers presented by the inadequate lighting, of which it was or should have been aware.

It is reported that the parties conducted discovery, after which the defendant moved for summary judgment on the basis that the plaintiff failed to show it had actual or constructive knowledge of any dangerous condition. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue reading ›

Many people enjoy going on cruises, but unfortunately, not everyone who embarks on a cruise behaves appropriately. If a party suffers harm while on a cruise due to the negligent or intentional acts of another party, the cruise ship will typically not be deemed liable. There are exceptions, though, such as when the cruise ship is on notice that harm is likely to occur and fails to take the measures necessary to prevent it. Recently, a Florida court discussed what a plaintiff seeking compensation for harm caused by another cruise ship passenger must prove, in an opinion issued in a case in which the judge ultimately ruled in favor of the defendant. If you were injured on a cruise, it is smart to speak to a Florida personal injury attorney to discuss what damages you may be owed.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

Allegedly, the plaintiff was a passenger on a cruise ship owned by the defendant. She was walking up the gangway when the ship was docked in the Bahamas when the man walking in front of her lunged and swung at another woman. The woman fell and hit the plaintiff, causing her to fall off of the gangway and hit her head on the pier. The plaintiff subsequently suffered a traumatic brain injury and concussion and developed chronic migraines.

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, arguing it had notice of the man’s dangerous propensities but negligently failed to prevent him from harming another individual. The case proceeded to a bench trial, after which the judge found that it failed to establish the defendant’s liability. Continue reading ›

Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common causes of personal injury. Parties who sustain injuries in falls can seek damages from the owner of the property where the fall occurred. Proving liability can be challenging, though, depending on what triggered the fall. In a recent Florida opinion in which the court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant, the court discussed what evidence a plaintiff must produce to prove liability for a slip and fall accident that was caused by transient substances. If you were hurt in a fall in a store, you should contact a Florida premises liability attorney to assess your options for seeking compensation.

The Plaintiff’s Fall

It is alleged that the plaintiff was walking through an aisle at the defendant store when she slipped and fell. After she got up, she observed an orange liquid on the floor. She sustained injuries in the fall and subsequently filed a premises liability lawsuit against the defendant. During her deposition, the plaintiff testified that she did not know how long the liquid had been on the floor or how it arrived there. Further, she stated it was free from any tracks other than those caused by her shoe, and she did not see any dirt marks.

In personal injury matters, the plaintiff may request a certain compensation award but the issue of what damages are appropriate rests squarely with the jury. Juries do not always issue awards that align with the evidence, however, and in some instances, the damages granted are woefully inadequate. Thankfully, in such instances, injured parties can move for additur, which is a modification of a damages award by the court. In a recent Florida opinion delivered in a personal injury case, a court discussed additur and when it is appropriate. If you suffered harm due to someone else’s negligence, you might be owed damages, and you should consult a Florida personal injury attorney to discuss your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Harm and Subsequent Damages

Allegedly, the defendant homeowner embarked on a home improvement project without obtaining a necessary building permit or hiring a licensed contractor. Instead, he hired an unlicensed contractor and then let the country. The plaintiff was hired to work on the project as a day laborer to help install a support beam and was directed to remove an electrical conduit from the ceiling so the beam would fit.

Allegedly, although the plaintiff was advised the power was off, it was on, and he suffered an electric shock that caused him to fall off a ladder and onto the floor. He underwent a surgical repair of the fracture followed by three months of physical therapy. He subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, asserting a negligence claim. The jury ultimately deemed the plaintiff 55% negligent and the defendant 45% negligent and awarded the plaintiff compensation for the cost of his medical bills and $25,000 for pain and suffering. The plaintiff then filed a motion for additur. The court granted the motion and added $225,000 in damages for pain in suffering. The defendant filed a notice rejecting the additur, which entitled him to a new damages trial. He then filed an appeal. Continue reading ›

Florida has a thriving maritime industry, and many people work on ships that dock in ports throughout the state. While people who suffer injuries on such ships can pursue damages from the responsible parties, the Limitation of Liability Act (Act) typically dictates how their claims will be handled and can limit what compensation they can recover. Recently, a Florida court discussed the Act and its implications in a case in which a man working on a ship suffered catastrophic injuries. If you were hurt while working on a ship, it is in your best interest to speak to a skillful Florida personal injury attorney about your rights.

The History of the Case

It is alleged that the yachting company hired the plaintiff’s employer each year for the repair and maintenance of its yacht. The plaintiff, a deckhand, was working on the yacht when the ball of a crane broke free from its chain and struck the yacht’s handrails, which then flew into the plaintiff. He ultimately suffered the loss of his right foot and a traumatic brain injury due to the impact.

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the yachting company to recover compensation for his injuries. The defendant yachting company sought an injunction limiting the plaintiff’s damages under the Act. The trial court lifted the injunction, and the defendant yachting company appealed. Continue reading ›

Spills are common in warehouse stores that sell a variety of goods, including food. Unfortunately, in many instances, spills lead to slip and fall accidents. In some cases, a person hurt in a fall may be able to recover damages from the store owner for the harm suffered. Generally, however, a plaintiff must prove that a defendant property owner had actual or constructive notice of a dangerous condition to demonstrate liability. A plaintiff’s burden of proof in a slip and fall case was the topic of a recent Florida opinion, in a matter in which the defendant’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims was granted. If you were hurt in a slip and fall accident, it is in your best interest to speak to a dedicated Florida premises liability lawyer to determine your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff was shopping in the defendant’s store when she slipped and fell on water that was near a bay of freezers. She admitted that she did not see the water prior to the fall and did not know how long it had been on the floor. She subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging it was negligent for allowing the dangerous condition that led to her fall to exist. After discovery was completed, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing the plaintiff could not prove that it knew or should have known that the water was on the floor prior to her fall. Upon review, the court agreed and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.

Proving Fault for a Slip and Fall Accident

Under Florida law, a plaintiff asserting a negligence claim must prove that the defendant had a legal duty to protect the plaintiff from certain harm, the defendant breached the duty, and the plaintiff suffered injuries that were actually and proximately caused by the breach. Further, a plaintiff alleging negligence based on a transitory substance in a business must also demonstrate that the defendant had constructive or actual knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken measures to remedy it. Continue reading ›

The majority of cruise ships employ doctors to provide medical care to passengers who become ill while on board. Cruise ship doctors, like other medical professionals, can be held accountable if they commit malpractice, but they are not always held to the same standards as other physicians. In a recent Florida opinion, a court discussed the burden of proof imposed on a plaintiff alleging harm caused by a cruise ship doctor’s malpractice. If you suffered harm due to the carelessness of a health care provider, you could be owed damages, and it is advisable to speak to a skillful Florida personal injury lawyer about your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff was aboard a cruise ship owned by the defendant when he became ill. He visited the ship’s doctor, who determined the plaintiff suffered a heart attack. He was admitted to the ship’s intensive care unit, but it was determined that it was better for him to remain on board rather than seek treatment at a port. The doctor contemplated treating the plaintiff with medication but determined that the risks outweighed the benefits.

Allegedly, when they returned to Florida two days later, the plaintiff was taken to the hospital, where he underwent heart surgery. He eventually had a pacemaker installed and had permanent medical issues due to the damage to his heart. The plaintiff sued the defendant, alleging its negligent care caused his harm. A jury found in favor of the plaintiff, and both parties appealed. The defendant argued, in part, that the trial court incorrectly instructed the jury as to the standard of care. Continue reading ›

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