Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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 ›

Nurses are often tasked with providing patients with thorough and competent care. When nurses carelessly fail to abide by their duties, however, it can cause their patients to suffer undue harm, and many people injured by nursing negligence can recover damages. However, as in other personal injury matters, a person injured by the reckless acts of a health care provider must prove causation to recover damages. What constitutes sufficient evidence of causation was discussed in a recent Florida opinion. If you or a loved one sustained damages due to the negligence of a medical professional, you could be owed damages, and you should consult a knowledgeable Florida personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

The Decedent’s Care

Allegedly, the decedent was being driven in a medical transport van from the defendant dialysis center where he recently received treatment back to the nursing home where he lived. The driver of the van suddenly applied the brakes, causing the decedent to fall out of his wheelchair. He suffered numerous wounds in the fall, including head lacerations and a fractured leg, and ultimately passed away due to complications arising out of his injuries.

The plaintiff, the decedent’s daughter, filed a lawsuit against the defendant dialysis center, alleging it negligently permitted the decedent to leave the facility in a wheelchair when his critical medical issues made it unsafe for him to travel in any manner other than on a stretcher. The defendant filed a motion for judgment as a matter of law, which the trial court granted. The plaintiff then appealed. Continue reading ›

In Florida, property owners have a duty to maintain their premises in reasonably safe conditions, and if they breach that duty, they can be held liable for any harm that ensues. In addition to proving that an unsafe condition existed on a property, however, the injured party must also demonstrate that the property owner knew or should have known that the condition was present. In a recent Florida ruling, a court discussed what constitutes sufficient evidence of constructive notice in a case in which the plaintiff was injured in a slip and fall accident in a department store.  If you were hurt because of a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, you could be owed compensation, and you should speak to a trusted Florida premises liability attorney to evaluate your options.

The Plaintiff’s Injury

Allegedly, the plaintiff was shopping at the defendant department store when she slipped and fell in a puddle of milk. She suffered significant injuries and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserted a negligence claim, and arguing that the puddle had been present for such a length of time that the defendant should have been aware of its presence. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the claims against it should be dismissed. The court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Constructive Notice of a Dangerous Condition

Under Florida law, a business owner has an obligation to take reasonable and ordinary care to maintain its premises in a condition that is reasonably safe for invitees and to warn people entering the property of any dangers that the owner knows of and that invitees are unlikely to discover. Under this standard, if an individual slips and falls in a business on a transitory and foreign substance on the floor, the person who fell must prove that the business owner either knew that the substance was on the floor or had constructive knowledge of the condition. Continue reading ›

In personal injury matters, it is not uncommon for a defendant to try to preclude any evidence that it deems inadmissible in order to present a more favorable case to the jury. For example, a defendant may argue that certain medical records are irrelevant or that a plaintiff’s medical provider is not qualified to offer expert testimony. Recently, a Florida court issued an opinion explaining the grounds for precluding expert testimony in a case in which the plaintiff alleged she suffered injuries due to the defendant’s negligence. If you were hurt by the careless acts of a third party, you could be owed damages, and you should speak to a Florida personal injury attorney to evaluate your options.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff suffered unspecified injuries while aboard a cruise ship owned by the defendant. She filed a lawsuit against the defendant, seeking damages for her injuries via negligence claims. Prior to trial, the defendant filed multiple motions in limine, seeking to bar the plaintiff from introducing certain evidence at trial, including the testimony of her treating physician. Specifically, the defendant argued that the plaintiff’s doctor was not qualified to testify as an expert on the issue of causation. The court ultimately agreed and granted the defendant’s motion in limine on that issue.

Admissibility of Testimony from Treating Physicians

The defendant argued in its motion that the plaintiff failed to produce an expert report as required under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and therefore, her treating doctors could not testify on the issue of causation. The plaintiff countered that she did not need to provide an expert report, as she did not retain her physicians as experts, and the defendant did not object that a formal report was necessary to establish treatment and causation. Continue reading ›

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.

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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 ›

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