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$750,000 Truck Accident
$700,000 Slip and Fall
$700,000 Car Accident
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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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While most people file personal injury lawsuits with the goal of presenting their case to a jury, few cases actually proceed to trial. Rather, most cases resolve prior to that time via the submission and acceptance of a proposal for settlement (PFS). While a PFS is a contractual agreement that is binding on the parties, there are exceptions that would allow a proposal to be voided, as demonstrated in a recent Florida car accident case. If you were hurt in a collision, it is in your best interest to meet with a seasoned Florida personal injury attorney to assess what compensation you may be able to recover for your harm.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was involved in a collision with the defendant, after which he sued the defendant for negligence and his insurance carrier for breach of contract. In an effort to resolve the claims, the plaintiff’s attorney directed his paralegal to send PFS to the plaintiff’s insurer and the defendant, requesting each party’s insurance policy limits. The paralegal erroneously sent a PFS to the defendant’s counsel requesting $10,000 rather than $100,000 to settle the claims. Defendant accepted immediately, after which the plaintiff realized the error and filed a motion to withdraw the proposal. The court denied the motion, finding that the PFS was unequivocal and clear on its face and pursuant to Florida’s PFS law must be enforced. The plaintiff filed a motion for rehearing, arguing he did not consent to the settlement. The court denied the motion, and the plaintiff then appealed the rulings of the trial court.

Florida’s Laws Regarding Settlements

While the plain meaning of Florida’s PFS law and the rules of the procedure both require strict compliance, both the law and the rule interpreting the law only apply when there has been a rejection of a PFS, and the case proceeds to trial and ultimately results in a judgment. Thus, the appellate court found that the trial court erred in stating that because the PFS was clear on its face, it could not be retracted.

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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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In order to convict someone of DUI, the State generally must prove the person was driving while intoxicated, which it usually does through the introduction of evidence of the individual’s blood alcohol concentration. Thus, if the police improperly obtained a blood test and the results of the test are deemed inadmissible, the State may be unable to prove culpability. Recently, a Florida court discussed when the results of chemical testing should be suppressed in a case in which the defendant was charged with DUI manslaughter. If you are accused of DUI in Florida, it is critical to retain an assertive Florida DUI defense attorney who will fight to help you try to protect your rights.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the defendant was involved in a collision that resulted in the death of another person. The police officer investigating the accident believed that the defendant was intoxicated and asked him if he would submit to a blood test. The defendant declined, after which the officer obtained a search warrant that allowed him to obtain two blood samples an hour apart. After securing the warrant, the office obtained two vials of blood from the defendant via a single draw and did not collect a second sample. The defendant filed a motion to suppress the results of the test, arguing the police failed to comply with the warrant. The trial court granted the motion, and the State appealed.

Grounds for Suppressing Evidence Obtained Via a Search Warrant

The trial court relied on established Florida law stating that the purpose of requiring specificity in the description in a warrant of the things to be seized is to prevent general searches. The duty for an officer to explicitly describe the objects that will be taken under the warrant bars general searches and avoids an officer from confiscating one thing when another thing is described in the warrant. In other words, the requirement that a warrant must be particular limits the discretion of the officer that is conducting a search pursuant to the warrant by preventing an exploratory search under a general warrant.

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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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Typically, when a party is ordered to pay child support, the obligation lasts until the child receiving the support turns eighteen. In some instances, however, the obligation can extend past the age of majority. Recently, a Florida court discussed the grounds for extending a support obligation in a case in which the plaintiff sought support from her father due to her disabilities. If you are a Florida resident dealing with a dispute over child support obligations, it is advisable to consult a knowledgeable Florida family law attorney to discuss what steps you can take to fight to protect your rights.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff, who was twenty-seven years old, filed a petition seeking child support from her father. The plaintiff had Down Syndrome, which prevented her from obtaining and maintaining gainful employment. When her parents divorced, her father was ordered to pay child support until the plaintiff turned eighteen, but since that time, she relied on her mother for financial support.

Allegedly, the defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s petition, arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction over the matter. He further alleged that there was no provision in the order dissolving his marriage that allowed the plaintiff to seek support, and no continued support was sought while the plaintiff was a minor. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion. The plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration, which was denied. She then appealed.

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Many people throughout Florida enjoy vacationing on cruise ships, and while cruises are generally safe, if the common areas of the ship are not properly maintained, it can lead to dangerous conditions that cause people to fall and sustain injuries. Fortunately, a person injured in an accident on a cruise ship may be able to recover damages under certain circumstances, as discussed in a recent Florida case. If you were injured while on vacation or in an accident on someone else’s property, it is prudent to speak to a trusted Florida personal injury attorney to discuss what evidence you must produce to recover compensation.

Factual History of the Case

It is reported that while the plaintiff was traveling as a passenger on a cruise ship owned by the defendant, she slipped and fell on a wet substance that was on the floor of a bathroom. She suffered knee injuries in the fall. She subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, arguing it negligently permitted liquid to remain on the floor in the area where she fell. Following the close of discovery, the defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that no reasonable jury could find that the defendant had actual or constructive notice of the condition prior to the plaintiff’s fall.

Allegedly, the plaintiff opposed the motion, arguing that the defendant should have been aware of the condition because the liquid was on the floor for a long time, there were similar incidents involving bathroom floors that were wet due to clogged toilets, and the defendant failed to inspect the bathroom regularly pursuant to its own policy. After reviewing the evidence, the court granted the defendant’s motion.

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People with dementia often lose their money management skills. Unfortunately, this often means that they become victims of scams or otherwise lose their hard-earned retirement money. If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with early dementia, we recommend you consult with an elder law attorney.

Our Florida attorneys hope to empower you by showing what you need to beware of and how to protect yourself financially from the effects of dementia. You can still accomplish a lot in the early stages of this disease.

One of the biggest issues with a dementia diagnosis is that it shifts the focus of your retirement plans. Instead of being able to retire at an age that would allow you to draw maximum Social Security, you may be forced to quit your job. Other dangers to your financial security include forgetting to pay your bills or falling victim to scams. While it may be difficult to think about, much less plan for, you’ll need to start thinking seriously about how you’re going to protect yourself once you slip further into dementia.

Emotions run high after people pass away, which is why it’s important that you leave behind an ironclad will that can stand up in court. Well-meaning, but dissatisfied, family members can challenge a will if there are any inconsistencies or loopholes. You want your will and testament to be strong enough that it can’t be contested. That way, you can have peace of mind knowing that your assets will be distributed how you see fit. Keep reading to learn how an elder law attorney can help you make an ironclad will.

Don’t Wait to Write Your Will

While Hollywood shows people writing their last will and testament on their deathbed, you’ll want to come to our office a lot sooner than that. A last will should be written while you are in good mental health and in the presence of an attorney. It’s a misconception that only elderly people have a will: in fact, people of all ages should look into putting one in place. If you are elderly, make sure you hire an attorney with experience in elder law. Estate planning attorneys know how to recognize potential loopholes or inconsistencies before they lead to legal issues.

Motorcyclists have little in the way of protection in the event of a motor vehicle collision. This is why it’s important to make sure to take all the precautions you can to avoid motorcycle collisions and serious personal injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a motorcycle, we recommend that you contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.

Below, you will find some of our tips for how new motorcycle riders can avoid getting in accidents in the first place.

Don’t Engage in Lane Splitting

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