Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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Key West injury attorneyMillions of people every year seek a sunny respite in South Florida, visiting places like Miami, Key West, Naples, Sarasota, and Fort Myers. While Florida is as safe as any other state in many respects, there are some higher risk areas on the roads, at some resorts and, of course, in the waters. Although you might purchase insurance on flights or hotel stays, those usually only cover losses from delays, cancellations, or theft. If you’re seriously hurt while on vacation in South Florida, you will need to work with a local injury attorney who can handle your claim for damages.

As a Fort Myers tourist injury attorney, I help people from all over obtain financial compensation for the injuries they sustained here on vacation due to someone else’s negligence.

Some examples of South Florida tourist injuries in recent months:

  • Just recently, a woman and her adult son from South Carolina were killed in a Florida crash when the car they were in collided with a flat-bed tractor-trailer at an intersection that had an inoperative traffic light, according to the AP. The adult son’s wife and two young children, who were also in the vehicle, were injured but survived.
  • Earlier this year, a tourist from Mexico was seriously injured in a Naples hit-and-run car accident while she was bicycling. She was badly hurt, and returned to Mexico for treatment of her injuries. Although police initially closed the case for lack of evidence, an injury lawyer she hired obtained additional evidence (surveillance video from a nearby business) that resulted in law enforcement re-opening the investigation.
  • Last year, an Indiana couple filed a $100 million Florida injury lawsuit against a boat operator who was allegedly drunk when he caused a South Florida boating accident resulting in the woman suffering a serious, lifelong traumatic brain injury.

Accidents that occur while you’re on vacation in Florida can lead to serious injuries. In addition to crashes, bicycle accidents and boating injuries, tourist injuries can stem from:

  • Swimming pool accidents.
  • Amusement park accidents.
  • Hotel injuries.
  • Parasailing injuries.
  • Festival and concert injuries.
  • Trade show and convention injuries.
  • Sexual assaults and other violent attacks.

There are several things you can do immediately after an incident (if you’re able) to preserve your chances of recovering full financial compensation for your losses. These include:

  • Seeking immediate medical attention.
  • Reporting the incident to local police and/or premises owner/manager.
  • Documenting the scene with photos/videos.
  • Collecting witness information (names, phone numbers, addresses of people who saw what happened).
  • Seeking legal representation.

If you’re not able to do these things, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a case. It does mean you’d be wise to seek legal counsel as soon as possible.

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Naples injury lawyerMost people who file damage claims for personal injuries from a car accident, slip-and-fall or some other incident won’t have to worry about the prospect of a compulsory medical exam. As a Naples injury lawyer can tell you though, this changes if you actually file a lawsuit.

A compulsory medical exam (sometimes referred to as a “CME”) is a medical examination of a plaintiff or defendant in a personal injury lawsuit at the request of the other party (usually of the plaintiff at the request of the defense). Per Rule 1.360 of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, parties to personal injury lawsuits have the right to request an examination when “the condition of the subject in question is in controversy.” In other words, the other party is asserting doubt about whether the injury in question is as severe as one claims. An “independent” doctor is called upon to conduct their own medical exam and put forth their conclusions.

We put the word “independent” in quotations because the choice of medical examiner typically rests with the requesting party, who must establish to the court that they have “good cause” for the request.

The reason most injury claimants needn’t worry about this is because most Florida personal injury claims are resolved in settlement negotiations – without the need for a lawsuit or long before a trial begins. But even if your case does not ultimately go to trial, preparing for one may require you to undergo a CME. An experienced Naples injury lawyer can tell you what to expect and what you need to know. Continue reading

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Florida negligent security lawsuitsA popular Fort Myers Beach resort is facing two Florida negligent security lawsuits that allege the property owners did not take the safety of guests seriously.

For those who may be unfamiliar, negligent security is a type of premises liability claim filed in civil court demanding financial compensation if the owner or manager of a property fails to ensure adequate security, putting guests at heightened risk of criminal violence, including shooting, assault, battery and rape.

As our Fort Myers Beach hotel injury attorneys can explain, courts do not expect property owners to see into the future. Instead, they are expected to proactively address any reasonably foreseeable danger to guests. When they do not mitigate those risks or issue warnings, they can be held legally responsible in Florida negligent security lawsuits for breaching the duty of care owed to those harmed in violent acts on site. Continue reading

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Florida jury dutyJurors perform an essential role in the system of American justice, with jury service considered an integral duty of citizenship. Yet every year, about 3/4 of those summoned for Florida jury duty don’t show up, according to The Sun-Sentinel.

In fairness, some of those who skip out are legitimately exempt. What many fail to realize is that skipping out on jury duty is against the law and carries a penalty.

So what happens if you miss jury duty? As our Fort Myers civil trial lawyers can explain, there are two different answers to this: The possibility and the actuality. That said, it is not a service we would advise blowing off lightly. Continue reading

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Southwest Florida car accidentThe recent emergency closure of a major national east-west thoroughfare (the I-40 Mississippi River Bridge in Tennessee) due to a critical crack in a bridge beam has drawn attention to the $2.3 trillion infrastructure package proposed by the White House for road renovations nationally. Florida, which was given a C grade for overall infrastructure, has more than 400 bridges and 3,560 miles of highway considered to be in “poor condition.” Although strengthening of infrastructure makes us safer in the long-haul, road construction could well increase Southwest Florida car accident risk in the short-term.

Florida Road Construction Projects

Florida has seen exponential growth in recent years, placing increased burdens on our roadways and traffic infrastructure. The Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro area in Lee County has been among the fastest-growing regions in the country.

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florida-slip-and-fall-300x200

Whether you are a construction worker, nurse, or teacher, if you are injured on-the-job in a Florida slip-and-fall, workers’ compensation may be your sole source of financial recovery. Workers’ compensation is considered the exclusive remedy for most work-related injuries in Florida, meaning it is the only recourse one has against an employer. Workers do not need to prove negligence so long as they were hurt in the course and scope of employment, and in turn the employer covers the cost of treatment and a portion of lost wages during recovery.

However, workers’ compensation tends to fall short of the damages (pain and suffering, loss of life enjoyment, etc.) one could recover in a personal injury lawsuit. Because the exclusive remedy provision of Florida workers’ compensation law makes it almost impossible to win a personal injury case against one’s own employer, our South Florida slip-and-fall injury lawyers would primarily be concerned with the potential liability of a third-party property owner/controller or other liable parties. This would be someone other than your direct employer. (Note: Independent contractors are often not  considered “employees” for workers’ compensation purposes and thus may be allowed to pursue injury claims against the company for whom they were working.)

Slip-and-fall cases are a type of premises liability. Premises liability is a legal concept referring to an injury caused by an unsafe or defective condition on someone else’s property. To win, a plaintiff must prove negligence (failure to exercise reasonable care) in owning/maintaining the property. The mere fact of a dangerous condition or occurrence of injury does not automatically mean the property owner was negligent. In most cases, you must prove the property owner knew or reasonably should have known the site was unsafe and failed to take proper steps to address the danger. (The exact proof burden for slip-and-fall injury claims is spelled out in F.S. 768.0755.)

It is important that if you are seriously injured at work and believe a third-party was at least partially responsible that you speak with an experienced injury lawyer about your legal options. You may have grounds to pursue additional damages beyond workers’ compensation.

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Florida large truck accident cases

In the last decade, the number of deadly Florida large truck accident cases increased nearly 75 percent, with almost 300 reported in the most recent year, according to The Federal Motor Carrier Administration. On average, more than 3,000 people lose their lives in U.S. truck accidents annually. Federal data released last month indicated the number of people injured in large truck crashes – occupants and non-occupants – spiked 5.3 percent to 159,000 in 2019.

Trucks in Florida barrel daily down I-75 (including Alligator Alley through the Everglades), I-275, I-95, I-4 and I-10. They also rumble along U.S. 41 and on many rural routes in South Florida, posing a greater risk to other drivers.

Florida lawsuits involving large trucks such as 18-wheelers can be especially complex. As our Fort Myers truck accident lawyers can explain, you are not dealing with the just negligence of a single, private individual behind the wheel. Rather, like layers of an onion, there are likely to be numerous corporations, employees, vehicle owners, and insurers involved.

Further complicating matters is that Florida’s large truck accident cases tend to involve very serious injuries, much more so than the average car accident (perhaps unsurprising given that these vehicles can weigh up to 30 times as much as a car). Lives have been upended, shattered, or even lost. Meanwhile, companies know they have hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars on the line. Drivers may have their careers at stake. These defendants are usually well-funded inclined to invest heavily in protecting their own interests – no matter how tragic the circumstances. These are not the kind of cases that can be trusted to just any law firm.

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Florida dog bite injuries

The pandemic compelled many Floridians to stay closer to home in the last year, prompting many to turn to four-legged companions for comfort. In 2020, there was an unprecedented number of people in Southwest Florida who fostered or adopted a pet, according to The News-Press. Undoubtedly, pets are a salve against isolation and anxiousness. However, there has been one unfortunate unintended side effect: A surge in Florida dog bite injuries.

In an analysis published by the Journal of Pediatrics, physicians at some children’s hospitals reported a three-fold increase in the rates of visits to pediatric emergency departments because of dog bites. Rates of dog bite injuries in the spring were more than double the summer rates, when these types of injuries are typically most common. Some cities, like Minneapolis, ordered all dogs to be leashed after noting a sharp uptick in dog bites there.

As our Fort Myers injury lawyers understand, families with kids and dogs have endured some unique challenges over the last year. Kids were staying home, common outlets like school, sports and playdates were sidelined, and working caregivers may not have had the capacity to supervise every second of child-animal interactions. This can increase the potential for dog bites. Continue reading

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Key West injury lawyer tort claims

If you have ever done a cursory search on filing a personal injury claim in Florida, there is a good chance somewhere along the way you ran across the phrase “tort claims.” But what is a tort?

As a Key West injury lawyer can explain, “tort” is a legal term for a personal injury caused by civil wrongs. The goal of tort law is to right the civil wrongs by “making whole” (to whatever extent possible) the person who has sustained injury, suffering, unfair loss, or some other harm caused by someone else’s careless, reckless or criminal action.

The goal in most Florida tort claims is to recover financial losses and possibly prevent the same type of situation from happening to someone else. Financial Damages can include lost wages, mental and physical pain and suffering, loss of life enjoyment, and medical bills. These are losses already incurred and those reasonably certain to occur in the future. Continue reading

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Florida personal injury lawyer

It is the most wonderful time of the year – unless preparing for or partaking in it lands you in a hospital emergency room.

From ladder falls to parking lot pedestrian accidents, an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer knows all-too-well how life-altering these occurrences can be.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that there were 18,400 reported injuries sustained by those decorating for the holidays in a single recent year. Many of these involved falls, often while hanging lights or other decorations from roofs or trees. Many suffered strains, sprains, and lacerations, but two died.

Further, the CPSC reported roughly 100 Christmas tree fires resulting in 10 deaths, 10 injuries, and $12 million in property loss. There are also 20 injuries caused by swallowing objects and dozens of burn injuries caused while cooking holiday meals.

On the road, injuries can result from drunk driving accidents caused by motorists over-imbibing at holiday parties. There are also pedestrian accidents at shopping centers, crosswalks, and other high foot traffic areas, often precipitated by distracted, rushed, or fatigued drivers.

Your health insurance may fully cover the costs of some of these injuries. However, if you are injuries are fairly serious, and someone’s negligence was at least partly to blame for what happened, you will want to consider talking to a Florida personal injury lawyer.

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