Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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Fort Myers car accident lawyerAnother rainy season is just around the corner here for us in Southwest Florida, where an average of 56 inches of rain falls annually. Just as safely navigating snow and ice are critical skills for drivers up north, careful driving in severe thunderstorms is imperative for motorists in South Florida. As a longtime Fort Myers car accident lawyer, over the years I’ve seen too many preventable crashes caused by drivers who failed to use adequate caution during heavy rain.

Although turbulent weather can be cited as a factor in a collision, it doesn’t negate the fault of drivers who operate their vehicles with less care than they should during a downpour.

If you drive in Florida, you owe certain reasonable duties of care to your passengers, other motorists, pedestrians, construction workers, bicyclists and anyone else sharing the road. Drivers are expected to take any and all precautions to drive safely at all times. Reasonable care is expected with regard to every vehicle or person in the foreseeable zone of danger. That means mostly driving at a speed that is reasonable for the amount of traffic on the road, but it also means adjusting one’s speed and driving behavior in accordance with weather conditions.

For example, a driver caught in a sudden rainstorm may be moving at the speed limit but still deemed to be negligently operating their vehicle because of the significantly reduced visibility and increased potential to skid and slide. Continue reading

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Florida salon injuries lawyerPeople patronize Florida salons and spas with the goal of looking and feeling their best. Operators have a responsibility to follow professional guidelines and best practices and avoid using products or processes that will put their clients at risk of physical harm. Unfortunately, as our Fort Myers injury lawyers can explain, when salon service providers fall short, the outcome can be far worse than a bad haircut. Practitioners are working with dangerous, caustic chemicals, lasers, sharp instruments, and extreme heat/UV lighting. Salon injuries can be the basis for litigation and sizable damage awards.

Examples of salon injuries resulting from salon and spa negligence in Florida can include the following:

  • Burns (chemical, laser, heat, electrical, or wax).
  • Cuts from sheers, nail clipping/filing tools, or scissors.
  • Scalp injuries leading to permanent loss of hair or scarring.
  • Staph and bacterial infections.
  • Eye injuries (as a result of eyebrow and eyelash treatments).
  • Back and neck injuries.
  • Slip-and-fall injuries.

Recently, a South Florida salon injury resulted in a $1.75 million settlement after a cut during a pedicure resulted in a foot injury that ultimately forced doctors to amputate her leg. Continue reading

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Florida concert injuriesDroves of music-lovers flock to concerts and music festivals because they thrive on the rush of shared energy and musical collaboration. But the presence of so many bodies in close proximity can have deadly consequences, as we saw recently at the Travis Scott Astroworld Festival tragedy in Houston, TX. Crowd surge has been cited in the deaths of at least 9 people and the serious injuries of dozens more. Mounting lawsuits against the performer, the venue, and the organizers are asserting negligence resulting in the concert injuries and deaths.

Scott’s performances are known to be marked by rowdiness bordering on danger, and the singer has even been arrested twice in the past for encouraging people to rush the stage in direct defiance of public safety orders. Among the Astroworld injury claims filed so far, plaintiffs accuse Scott of having actively encouraged and fomented dangerous behaviors leading to death and serious injury. A criminal investigation into the deaths is also underway. Although it’s early in the investigation/discovery process, the general consensus by crowd safety experts appears to be that these concert injuries were preventable.

As longtime Florida injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys, we recognize that while this is one of the most significant concert injury cases in recent memory, it’s sadly far from the first. In fact, previous incidents are precisely why large venues and product companies typically have a long list of stringent safety protocols that must be followed. Most notably, National Fire Protection Association standards have provisions that include things like:

  • One crowd manager per every 250 people – at the very least.
  • Expected occupant loads in excess of 6,000 require a life safety evaluation that assesses safe egress and danger mitigation for large numbers, given expected crowd behaviors, nature of the event/participants, potential severe weather conditions, hazardous materials incidents, medical emergencies, civil disturbances, etc.
  • Emergency Action Plans that include a minimum of 18 different considerations, such as building details, staff training, evacuation procedures, designated staff responsible for emergency duties (and proper training), drills, etc. These EAPs should be approved by the authority having jurisdiction.
  • In areas of assembled occupancies of up to 10,000 square feet, the occupant load shouldn’t exceed one person for every 7 square feet.

It is not immediately clear whether these provisions were followed at Astroworld, but some safety experts have gone on record to opine they likely weren’t. Standing-room only setups are known to be among the most dangerous and deadly crowd configurations at large events. It’s imperative these areas don’t get overpacked and that there are specially-trained crowd managers and medical teams on hand. Throngs of this size are supposed to be constantly monitored by these specialists, and issues promptly and properly addressed before problems pass the point of no return. Continue reading

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Florida nursing home injury lawyerThe potential for serious Florida nursing home injury rises exponentially when facilities are poorly staffed. A recent report from the Florida Health Care Association reveals nursing home staffing shortages have become more problematic than ever over the last year. A survey of long-term care facilities throughout the Sunshine State reveals a stunning 92 percent say they are short-staffed, with 88 percent revealing the problem has gotten worse since 2020.

Almost all responding nursing homes (98 percent) said they’d had to ask staffers to work overtime in the past month. Nearly 75 percent had to bring in temp agency workers to help fill full-time staff shortages. Approximately half have said they’ve cut down on the number of monthly admissions.

Among the nursing home staff positions that have proven hardest to fill:

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Naples injury lawyerTaking legal action is sometimes the best strategy following a Florida injury in a car crash, slip-and-fall, or medical mistake. However, doing so is typically inadvisable without the aid of a Naples injury lawyer. The first step in that process may be something called a “free consultation.”

You may have heard the term, but how much insight/advice is actually included in that? What should you bring to it? What questions should you ask? If you schedule one, are you obligated to hire that lawyer/law firm? Will you actually speak with a lawyer of will the consultation be with a staff member?

The consultation is at no charge to you and a great opportunity for you to glean important information about your rights, what your case may be worth, the possible outcome, and how a lawyer might help you pursue damages. There is no obligation for you to hire that particular attorney during the consultation. In fact, it may be advisable to consult with more than one Naples injury lawyer before deciding which one you ultimately hire (if you hire one at all). It’s a risk-free way to gain a better understanding of your legal options and to make an educated choice about which attorney will be the best fit to help you do it.
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South Florida injury lawsuitEvery Florida injury lawsuit is different, and the law is always evolving. That’s why when you ask any lawyer a seemingly straightforward question, you almost always get: “It depends.”

That said, there are some common questions our Fort Myers personal injury lawyers have noticed frequently arise, whether we’re talking about car accidents, nursing home injuries, slip-and-falls or medical malpractice.

If you’re thinking of suing for a personal injury or wrongful death in the Sunshine State, here are five facts to know: Continue reading

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Florida product liability lawyerFlorida product liability claims can be the subject of complex legal battles, often owing to the difficulty in establishing the chain of commerce.

Under Florida law, when a product has been defectively designed or manufactured or when there are label defects, several entities may be held strictly liable. Potentially liable entities include the manufacturer as well as any others allegedly involved in the design, manufacturing, or sale of the product.

As our Florida product liability lawyers can explain, the chain of commerce has been raised in a growing number of injury cases in recent years aiming to hold accountable large e-commerce retailers like Amazon. If a store like Home Depot sells you a defective chainsaw and it causes serious injury, the store can be held liable because of its role in the chain of commerce. However, e-commerce makes it a little tricky. It’s been the position of Amazon that the doctrine of strict products liability doesn’t apply because e-commerce platforms don’t distribute, manufacture, or sell many of the products on the site. Rather, it asserts it is merely “an online marketplace.” Amazon insists it should be the third-party sellers who are legally responsible for dangerous product injuries.

However, that argument was rejected in a California appellate decision last year – the first of its kind at the state appellate court level. Although that ruling isn’t precedential for Florida, it could be instructive in future cases.

The ruling is particularly noteworthy considering more than 360 million products are sold on Amazon Marketplace a year in the U.S. alone. Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal reported that more than 4,000 banned, unsafe and mislabeled products had been sold on the company’s platform. These products ranged from toys with choking hazards to defective motorcycle helmets. Dozens have resulted in federal lawsuits alleging serious injury and death. Continue reading

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South Florida personal injury lawyersWhen Florida personal injury lawyers take on a case, they’re frequently successful at negotiating a settlement – often before a lawsuit is necessary and long before the pre-trial or trial phase.

There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, there are very few cases that go to trial at all. Although many Hollywood depictions of the justice system focus on the courtroom drama of trials, the reality is trials are lengthy, expensive, often emotionally-trying. Most everyone involved in a civil case will aim to avoid the risk of going to trial if a fair resolution can be reached without one.

Another reason is that injury attorneys accept cases on something called a contingency fee basis. That means they aren’t paid attorney’s fees unless they win. If they do win, their fees are deducted as a percentage of the overall settlement amount or verdict award. Just speaking candidly, injury attorneys are unlikely to accept cases with extremely long odds. The good news about this for plaintiffs is, No. 1, they have the benefit of a frank assessment of how aggressively to pursue their case at the outset. No. 2, someone with a strong injury case won’t be hindered by a lack of an upfront payment.

All this said, when we are hired to take on a case, we don’t rush to settlement if it’s not advantageous for our client. Our goal is to secure the best possible outcome for them. That means meticulous investigation, skillful negotiation with insurers and the commitment to see the case to the best conclusion for our clients. As longtime civil trial lawyers, we have the experience to know when it’s wise to settle, when it’s best to pursue a trial and also how to prepare for either possibility. That’s another benefit of a contingent legal fee as the greater the amount of money that the lawyer can recover for you the greater their fee will be.

Our South Florida injury lawyers offer free initial consultations so that potential clients can get a no-risk, straightforward analysis of their chances of success and possible strategies.  Continue reading

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Florida distracted driving crashesFood delivery services, such as Uber Eats, Grubhub, and DoorDash, have been doing booming business in recent years. The online food delivery industry is now generating more than $26 million annually, and nearly one-third of Americans say they used food delivery services twice a week. But as their popularity has risen, so too have reported Florida distracted driving crashes attributed to their drivers.

Last year, there was the tragic case of an Uber Eats driver allegedly slamming into the back of a motorcycle in Tampa, killing a 19-year-old University of Tampa student on the rear of the bike and permanently injuring her brother, the operator. The 33-year-old food delivery service driver was reportedly on her phone making a delivery near campus when the crash occurred. According to The Tampa Bay Times, the police cited the driver for failure-to-yield, but the citation was tossed when the traffic officer failed to appear in court – a ruling the police department is appealing. No criminal charges have been filed, but the victim’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. They allege Uber, its subsidiary, and the driver are all liable for their daughter’s untimely death. Specifically, they say the driver was rushed and inattentive/on her phone, and that Uber is negligent in failing to train her and for encouraging driver distraction with a feature that prompts workers to communicate with customers while they’re driving. Plaintiffs also say the company hired the driver despite a poor driving record that included citations for speeding, carelessness, and a crash.

Similar cases have been reported from Boston to San Francisco. There are currently numerous, ongoing personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against the drivers, vehicle owners, and delivery app companies.

Factors in Food Delivery Driver Crashes

The reality is food delivery drivers have always been slightly more prone to crashes, even before smartphones were everywhere. In fact, they have one of the highest occupational fatalities rates in the U.S. Primary factors driving up crashes for food delivery drivers: Continue reading

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Southwest Florida personal injury lawyerWhen it comes to civil litigation, there are many similarities and differences between Florida personal injury and wrongful death cases. As longtime South Florida injury attorneys, we will do our best to explain some of these – and why they matter.

Let’s start with some of the ways in which personal injury cases and wrongful death cases are analogous. To start, they are both torts, which are claims stemming from a wrongful act that resulted in legal liability. They can result from the same types of accidents, including:

  • Car accidents.
  • Slip, trip and fall accidents.
  • Medical malpractice.
  • Dangerous/defective products.
  • Dangerous property/premises liability.
  • Nursing home neglect and abuse.
  • Workplace accidents.

Both are claims for which civil litigants can pursue damages (financial compensation for losses). Further, both have a set period of time in which they can be filed, called a statute of limitations.

But there are numerous key differences, namely who files the claim, what type of damages they can collect and how much time they have to pursue it. Continue reading

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