Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Did 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.

Were you or a loved one injured in a pedestrian accident? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to be killed in a car accident than passengers.

Since pedestrians are vulnerable to being struck in crosswalks and other locations by negligent drivers, hire legal help as soon as possible. Our pedestrian accident lawyers can help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Here are the 5 ways drivers cause pedestrian accidents.

Driving in an unfamiliar area can be intimidating, especially if you’re a long way from home. Not to mention, other drivers can become aggressive if you drive slowly or make sudden stops. Fortunately, our car accident attorneys are here to help with their 5 tips for driving in unfamiliar places.

We want to make sure you stay safe on our roads. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, don’t hesitate to request a consultation with our auto accident attorneys.

1. PAY ATTENTION TO THE SPEED LIMIT

It’s rare for 100% of the blame to fall on one driver. For example, Driver 1 may have been texting while Driver 2 ran a red light.

While Driver 2 carries more of the blame for the car accident, they aren’t solely responsible. Even if you’re found partially responsible for a car accident, your insurance company may increase your rates.

For this reason, it’s important you hire a car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Although Florida is a no-fault car insurance state, the at-fault driver will still need to pay for the damage of your vehicle following a car accident. In the state of Florida, car owners must carry at least $10,000 in property damage liability insurance.

If your vehicle was damaged due to another driver’s negligence, you’ll be able to file a property damage claim with their insurance company. Contact our legal office today if you have any questions.

One of our car accident lawyers can help you through the process so you get the compensation you deserve.

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