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While many people find riding motorcycles thrilling, collisions involving motorcycles often cause fatal injuries. If the estate of a person who died in a motorcycle crash seeks damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, it typically will have to rely on testimony from outside sources, like an accident reconstructionist, to demonstrate how the collision occurred. In a recent Florida ruling issued in a motorcycle crash case, a court discussed the admissibility of the opinion of an accident reconstruction expert. If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, it is advisable to speak to a Florida motorcycle accident attorney to discuss what damages you may be owed.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the defendant’s vehicle collided with the decedent’s motorcycle, causing the decedent to suffer fatal harm. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging he negligently operated his vehicle, thereby causing the collision. After the completion of discovery, the defendant asked the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims via summary judgment. The plaintiff filed a response in opposition.

It is alleged that the defendant argued the evidence undisputedly showed that he was making a lawful turn at the time of the crash while the decedent was performing a wheelie. The plaintiff relied on the testimony of the lead traffic homicide detective in refuting the defendant’s assertions regarding how the accident occurred, thereby demonstrating a material factual dispute. The defendant argued, however, that the detective’s testimony was inadmissible. Continue reading ›

Store owners have an obligation to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition, to avoid harming their customers. While store owners can be held liable for breaching this duty, simply because a customer falls and suffers harm does not mean that the store will be deemed responsible. For example, in some cases, the courts will find that the condition that caused the injured party’s harm was so conspicuous and commonplace that the injured party should have discovered it and avoided injury. The open and obvious doctrine was the topic of a recent Florida opinion in a matter in which the court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant. If you were harmed in a fall at a store, it is smart to consult a dedicated Florida personal injury attorney to discuss what evidence you must produce to demonstrate liability.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff was shopping in the defendant store when she tripped and fell over a crate that was in the middle of the aisle, suffering personal injuries. She subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging it negligently allowed a dangerous condition to remain on the premises, causing her fall.

Reportedly, at the plaintiff’s deposition, she testified that she had previously worked at the store and had visited it on over fifty occasions prior to the fall, during which she had seen crates and boxes on the floor. Further, she did not know who placed the crate in the aisle, how long it had been there, or whether it was placed there by one of the defendant’s employees. After discovery closed, the defendant moved for dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims via summary judgment. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue reading ›

Imagine you are driving along Del Prado Boulevard North in Cape Coral, Florida with your family and— out of nowhere— you are sideswiped by a car going much faster than you. You spin out and so does the other car, causing multiple other vehicles to be involved in the accident.

Thankfully, there are no fatalities, but there are injuries. Your wife has a broken wrist from a side airbag, your son hit his head, and you have multiple abrasions from broken glass. Everyone has bruised, if not broken, ribs from their seatbelts.

To you, the person at fault is obvious. It was the crazy driver who was going too fast and hit your car. You’ve only lived in Florida for a 8 months and when the police show up at the accident scene, someone mentions Florida’s no-fault law. You’re outraged. No fault? It’s obvious who was responsible for this accident!  

In a case involving injuries to a pedestrian, the failure of the defendants to preserve an argument at the trial court level barred the assertion of that claim upon appeal. In Witherell v. Larimer, the parties took issue with a jury verdict concerning noneconomic damages.  During trial, the jury was provided with evidence showing that one defendant was operating a vehicle when she struck the plaintiff as he crossed the street. Neither party accepted liability for the accident, with each blaming the other for the injuries the plaintiff sustained. The plaintiff asserted that the defendant driver failed to operate her vehicle in an attentive manner, while the defendants contended that the plaintiff had been using alcohol.

At the conclusion of trial, the jury deliberated as to liability and damages. Ultimately, the jury returned a verdict, holding each party equally at fault. However, the jury concluded that the plaintiff sustained a permanent injury as a result of the accident and awarded him approximately $89,000 in damages for medical expenses. With regard to noneconomic damages, the jury awarded nothing.

The trial court instructed the jury to reconcile its holding that the plaintiff suffered from a permanent injury with the fact that it awarded no pain and suffering damages whatsoever. As a result, the jury modified its award to $1 for noneconomic damages. The trial court then entered the verdict and judgment.

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