Articles Posted in Personal Injury

Pedestrians injured in car accidents will often seek damages in a civil lawsuit from the driver of the vehicle that caused the collision. Generally, this will require the pedestrian to prove the negligence of the driver caused the harm alleged. In a recent ruling issued out of Florida, the court discussed the elements of negligence a plaintiff must prove to establish liability and the potential defenses a defendant could assert to refute the plaintiff’s claims. If you were hurt by a reckless driver while you were walking, you should speak to an experienced Florida pedestrian accident attorney to assess what you must prove to recover compensation.

The Plaintiff’s Accident

Allegedly, the plaintiff was standing outside of his parent’s house with his nephew, who was three years old. The nephew wanted to cross the street, and as the plaintiff did not want him to go alone, he decided to accompany him. Prior to attempting to cross the street, the plaintiff observed a mail truck stopped on the side of the road three doors down.

It is reported that the plaintiff began quickly crossing the street with his nephew when the mail truck began moving. The mail truck driver was exceeding the speed limit and looking at his phone and did not notice the plaintiff and his nephew. The plaintiff pushed his nephew out of the way but was struck by the mail truck and suffered injuries to his head and back. He filed a negligence claim against the driver’s employer, seeking compensation for his damages. Following discovery, the defendant moved to have the plaintiff’s claims dismissed via summary judgment, arguing he had not proved negligence.

Continue reading ›

In Florida, there are rules that dictate when parties must produce evidence in support of their claims and defenses and when witnesses, including experts, must be disclosed. Such rules are designed to ensure a fair trial and to prevent one party from ambushing the other with previously unforeseen information on the eve of trial. If a party fails to comply with deadlines regarding discovery and disclosure, it may have an adverse impact, as demonstrated in a recent car accident case in Florida in which the plaintiff’s late-produced expert was prohibited from testifying. If you suffered injuries in an accident, it is important to speak to a knowledgeable Florida personal injury attorney regarding what you must prove to recover damages.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff, who was operating a power chair, was struck by a car when she attempted to cross a Florida highway in a construction zone. She filed a lawsuit against the driver and the construction company, setting forth negligence claims alleging, in part, that she suffered psychological trauma due to the accident. During discovery, both the defendant’s and the plaintiff’s expert psychiatrists testified that the plaintiff was not suffering from PTSD and issued reports reflecting that testimony.

It is reported that days before trial, however, the plaintiff produced a second report from her expert wherein the expert stated the plaintiff suffered from PTSD and that it was caused by the accident. The defendants filed a motion in limine, asking the court to preclude the newly produced evidence, and the motion was granted. The jury found that plaintiff did not suffer any harm in the accident and ruled in favor of the defendants, after which the plaintiff appealed, arguing the trial court erred in precluding her second expert report.

Continue reading ›

Many people assume that when one driver rear-ends another, there is no dispute as to who is at fault for the accident. In many lawsuits arising out of rear-end collisions, however, the defendant driver will argue that the plaintiff’s actions contributed to the accident in some way, and therefore liability is not clear based upon the sheer fact that the defendant rear-ended the plaintiff. The evidence needed to overcome the presumption of a defendant’s liability in a case arising out of a rear-end crash was recently discussed by a Florida court. If you were hurt in a rear-end accident, you might be owed damages from the driver that hit you, and it is in your best interest to speak to an experienced Florida personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was driving an SUV on a highway in Florida when he was struck from the rear by a commercial truck that was driven by the defendant driver and owned by the defendant company. The plaintiff suffered severe injuries due to the accident, including injuries to his right arm that required surgical repair. As such, he filed a lawsuit alleging negligence claims against the defendants. Following the close of discovery, the plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that he was entitled to judgment as a matter of law on his claims. The defendants opposed the motion, alleging that the plaintiff’s negligence contributed to bringing about the accident, and therefore, the issue of liability was disputed.

The Presumption of Liability in Florida Rear-End Accidents

In Florida, there is a presumption that the rear driver in a rear-end collision is negligent. The presumption is rebuttable, however. Specifically, the Florida Supreme Court has ruled that as tort recovery in Florida is guided by the principles of comparative negligence, the presumption that a driver’s negligence was the sole cause of a rear-end collision can be rebutted, and its strength weakened if the defendant produces evidence that is sufficient to show that the front-driver acted negligently in the operation of his or her vehicle.

Continue reading ›

Generally, a plaintiff has the right to choose where to file a personal injury case. Even if a court has jurisdiction over a matter, however, a plaintiff’s chosen forum may be overturned if it is determined that another venue is more appropriate. This was demonstrated in a recent Florida personal injury case in which the court determined that the action should have been brought in Georgia and ultimately transferred the case. If you were hurt due to the careless acts of another party, it is prudent to speak to a diligent Florida personal injury attorney regarding your rights and what you must demonstrate to recover damages.

Facts and Procedural History

It is reported that while the plaintiff was staying at a hotel in Georgia, she slipped and fell on a wet bathroom floor, which caused her to suffer a cut lip and shoulder injuries. She subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendants, which were the company that owned the hotel, and the parent corporation and franchisor of the hotel chain. The defendants are both Delaware corporations. The defendants then filed motions to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint for lack of jurisdiction, or in the alternative, to transfer venue to the district court in Georgia in the jurisdiction where the defendant hotel was located.

Grounds for Transferring Venue

Upon review, the court noted that while the plaintiff alleged in her complaint that the venue was proper because she resided in Florida, a plaintiff’s domicile is not a basis for venue. The court went on to explain that, in the interest of justice and pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1404(a), the action should be transferred to a Georgia court.

Continue reading ›

It is not uncommon for a defendant in a personal injury case to assert what are known as affirmative defenses, which attempt to shift harm for a plaintiff’s injuries onto the plaintiff. While affirmative defenses are generally permitted, there are some instances in which a plaintiff may have grounds to ask the court to strike certain defenses. What defenses a defendant can assert was recently discussed in a Florida case in which the plaintiff sought damages from a cruise ship line. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to the negligence of an entity that owns cruise ships, it is wise to confer with a skillful Florida personal injury attorney to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your potential claims.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiffs, a husband and wife, entrusted their eighteen-month-old daughter to the care of her grandfather while they were on a cruise operated by the defendant. Tragically, the grandfather lifted the toddler up to a window, and she fell 150 feet to her death. The plaintiffs then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that its negligence led to their daughter’s untimely passing. The defendant filed an answer to the plaintiff’s complaint and asserted numerous affirmative defenses, many of which attributed liability to the grandfather. The plaintiffs moved to strike these defenses, arguing they attempted to assign fault to a person that was not a party to the case.

Affirmative Defenses Permissible Under Maritime Law

Under the relevant rules of procedure, a court may strike any matter from a pleading that is scandalous, impertinent, immaterial, or that constitutes an insufficient defense. While granting a motion to strike is a drastic remedy, it will be granted in cases in which it is clear that the matter which will be stricken has no bearing on the subject of the litigation, such as when the recovery sought is unavailable as a matter of law.

Continue reading ›

It is not uncommon for a person to be injured in an accident while traveling in another state, or for a crash to involve multiple parties that all reside in different parts of the country. While people injured in accidents have the right to file lawsuits against the parties that caused the accident in the courts of their choosing, whether a court can exercise jurisdiction over an individual’s lawsuit will depend on numerous factors, including where the accident occurred and the activities of the defendant within the state. If you were hurt in a collision while you were in another state, it is advisable to speak to a trusted Florida personal injury attorney to discuss your options for seeking compensation.

Facts and Procedural History

It is reported that the plaintiff, who is a resident of Florida, was riding a motorcycle in New Hampshire when he was rear-ended by a truck owned by the defendant company and operated by the defendant driver. The plaintiff suffered significant injuries and financial losses, after which he filed a lawsuit in Florida, asserting negligence claims against the defendants. The defendants moved the case to federal court on the basis of diversity and filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the court lacked personal jurisdiction over the defendants. Upon review, the court granted the motion.

Personal Jurisdiction Under Florida Law

In order for a federal court to exercise personal jurisdiction over an out of state defendant in a case in which jurisdiction is premised on diversity, personal jurisdiction must be permissible under the state’s long-arm statute, and the exercise of jurisdiction must comply with the due process rights granted by the Constitution. Exercising personal jurisdiction will comport with due process if the defendant has established sufficient contacts with the forum, so that allowing the plaintiff to maintain the suit does not offend the ideas of substantial justice and fair play.

Continue reading ›

Simply because a person suffers harm on a cruise does not necessarily mean that the entity that owns the cruise ship will be held liable. Rather, in most instances, the injured party must demonstrate that the parties that owned or ran the cruise had some sort of notice of the dangerous condition that ultimately caused the alleged harm. Usually, information regarding notice is obtained via discovery. Thus, if a defendant refuses to respond to discovery requests, it can greatly impair a plaintiff’s rights. The scope of discoverable information in a negligence claim against a company that owns a cruise ship was recently discussed in a Florida case in which the plaintiff’s decedent died during an excursion. If you or a loved one were hurt during a cruise, you might be owed compensation and should speak to a trusted Florida personal injury attorney to discuss your potential claims.

Facts of the Case

Allegedly, the plaintiff’s decedent suffered fatal injuries in an ATV accident while on an excursion during a cruise aboard a ship owned by the defendant. As such, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging claims of negligence. During the course of discovery, the defendant objected to an interrogatory from the plaintiff that sought information regarding other incidents in which passengers on cruise ships owned by the defendant were injured or killed on ATV excursions in the three years prior to the decedent’s death. The defendant objected to the question as overbroad, after which the plaintiff filed a motion to compel the defendant to provide the information sought.

Scope of Discovery in Negligence Claims Against Cruise Companies

In Florida, maritime law governs the liability of a cruise ship for a passenger’s harm. Florida courts analyzing maritime tort cases rely on general negligence principles. Thus, to prove negligence, a plaintiff must demonstrate that a defendant had a duty to protect the plaintiff from a particular injury, the defendant breached the duty, and the breach proximately and actually caused the plaintiff to suffer an injury, which caused actual harm.

Continue reading ›

Generally, when someone suffers injuries while at work, the person is limited to pursuing a workers’ compensation claim against his or her employer. Usually, however, if an entity other than the employer is liable for the individual’s harm, he or she can seek damages from that party. Recently, a Florida court addressed whether an employment contract could bar the plaintiff from pursuing a claim for damages against a third-party claim. If you were hurt while you were working due to the negligence of someone other than your employer, you may be able to pursue claims for damages and should consult a skillful Florida personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

Facts of the Case

Reportedly, the plaintiff was employed by a security company that provided services for various businesses. While working at one of the businesses, the plaintiff slipped and fell down a set of stairs, suffering injuries. He then filed a lawsuit against the business, alleging it negligently failed to maintain the stairs, leading to his injury. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff’s employment contract, which contained a waiver of the right to pursue claims or file a lawsuit against any of his employer’s customers, barred him from recovering damages. The court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Contractual Bar of Claims for Damages

In Florida, exculpatory contracts are disfavored under public law because they relieve a party of the duty to exercise reasonable care. Regardless, the law also favors the enforcement of contracts, and thus in cases in which a contract explicitly and clearly states that a party will be deemed blameless for any harm that may ensue, it will be enforced unless it violates public policy.

Continue reading ›

If you or a loved one were recently bitten by a dog, you may be eligible for compensation. Our dog bite attorneys can help you receive damages for medical bills, lost wages, emotional trauma, and other injury-related expenses. In Florida, the statute of limitations is 4 years from the day you were bitten. For this reason, it’s important to file your personal injury claim before the deadline. Otherwise the courts will refuse to hear your case, no matter how deserving.

Proving Injury from a Dog Bite

Continue reading to learn how to prove personal injury from a dog bite.

Fort Myers FL Auto Accident AttorneysDid you know that certain driving habits increase your risk for an auto accident in Florida? Fortunately, our car accident attorneys are here to let you know what habits you should immediately stop so you can be safer while driving.

We understand injuries can affect your ability to return to work and do everyday tasks, which is why we do everything in our power to make sure clients get the compensation they deserve.

Continue reading to learn about the 5 driving habits that cause car accidents in Florida. If you or a loved one have been recently injured in a car accident, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with one of our car accident attorneys.

Contact Information