Articles Posted in Serious Injury Verdicts

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Doctor reviews brain scans of a patient represented by South Florida brain injury lawyerA traumatic brain injury can make it seem as if time is literally standing still. Many of the 2.5 million people diagnosed with a TBI in the U.S. each year describe a sense of “depersonalization” or “derealization” that disrupts their sense of time – along with their memory, balance, sleep cycles, mood patterns, brain function, and more.  Unfortunately, as a Florida brain injury lawyer can explain, that doesn’t always mean you’ll have more time to file a civil negligence claim for damages related to that injury.

Traumatic brain injury or “TBI” is a contributing factor in an estimated one-third of all injury-related deaths in the U.S. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Safety Research revealed the cost to society for care and lost productivity due to brain trauma is enormous: $76 billion annually. Not all TBI sufferers are permanently impacted, but the National Institutes of Health report an estimated 5.2 million people in this country are disabled due to their TBI.

Although we don’t know exactly how many TBI injuries are caused by another’s negligence, we do know a fair number of Florida litigants include TBI claims. A longitudinal study published in the journal Frontiers in Neurology found that approximately 40 percent of TBI victims in one city had filed a personal injury lawsuit related to their claim.

A Florida brain injury lawyer can also tell you that many of the most common types of actionable injury claims involve head trauma: Car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip-and-falls, hotel and resort injuries, golf cart injuries, construction accidents, nursing home falls, medical malpractice claims, criminal assaults on business property, etc. Depending on how serious your injuries were and whether someone else was at-fault for what happened, it may be possible to take legal action against at-fault parties in civil court to recover damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Factors That Impact How Long You Have to File Your Florida Brain Injury Lawsuit

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South Florida school zone crash lawyerSchool zone or zoo? Anyone who’s traversed a school zone South Florida at busy pickup or drop-off times might have a tough time discerning. For all school officials and traffic safety engineers prioritize keeping kids safe, the Florida school zone crash risk is still high : Speeding drivers, school bus drivers with big blind spots, distracted walkers and cyclists (especially those with noise-canceling headphones), jaywalkers, and unsafe pickup/drop off behaviors in among 1/3 drivers (double-parking, stopping in the middle of the crosswalk, etc.).

There are an estimated 3.2 million schoolchildren in the U.S. (public and private). According to the Florida Department of Education, about 500,000 students ride a bus. In Lee, Collier, and Charlotte Counties, about 25%-35% of kids take the bus. The rest walk, ride a bike, or are car riders. In Lee County alone, 1,300 students are classified as facing “hazardous walking conditions” on their way to school (about 12,300 statewide).

According to the Transportation Research Board, an estimated 25,000 kids are injured and 100 are killed each year while walking to or from school. Not all of those happen in school zones, though most do involve speeding vehicles. About 30 percent of school zones do not have crosswalks.

As longtime Fort Myers personal injury lawyers, we know that unfortunately, Florida has the third-highest number of annual child traffic deaths, and consistently ranks at the top of the list for child pedestrian and bicycle deaths. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the most dangerous time for child pedestrians is between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. – after school hours.

Traffic Rules in Florida School Zones

The posted speed limit in most Florida school zones is 20 mph, though some cities and counties have lowered it even further to 15 mph. Going even 1 mph over that limit can result in a $50 fine – without any prior warnings. Anything above that, and you’re facing a fine of between $200 and $500 (depending on how fast you’re going), plus 3 points on your license (both of which can be waived if the prosecutor allows you to take a traffic safety course). Flashing yellow lights are drivers’ main indicator upon entering and exiting. Enforcement times are typically posted on road signage, though it’s usually 30 minutes prior to the start of school, during school hours, and 30 minutes after school hours have concluded. And in case you didn’t know: It’s illegal to obstruct a crosswalk in a school zone, even if you’re picking up or dropping off a child. If there’s a crossing guard, drivers must obey all their zone crash lawyer Florida

In an effort to bolster student safety near schools, a new Florida law went into effect July 1, 2023 to heighten enforcement of school zone speed limits. The law authorizes city or county governments to enforce speed limits in school zones with speed detection systems (similar to red light cameras). Although the idea of speed cameras isn’t especially popular with motorists, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reports their presence can reduce the total crash risk from 8  to 49 percent.

Some say it doesn’t go far enough, though, because violators won’t incur points on their license, and their infractions won’t result in higher auto insurance rates.

Existing law outlined in F.S. 316.306 prohibits the use of handheld wireless communication devices (cell phones, mainly) while driving through a designated school crossing or in a school zone. To do so is considered a primary offense (for which police can initiate a traffic stop).

Reduce Florida School Zone Crash Risk

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South Florida truck accident lawyerLarge truck accidents, frequently resulting in substantial property damage, serious injuries, and fatalities, have a unique set of complicated insurance and liability issues. In fact, collecting financial damages following a Florida truck accident can be much more complicated than a basic car crash crash.

In a single recent year, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported more than 4,100 people died in large truck crashes nationally. Of those, nearly 70 percent were people in other vehicles. Another 15 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists. The number of people killed in large truck crashes rose more than 30 percent just from 2009 to 2019.

After a commercial truck accident, it’s imperative to work with an injury lawyer who has extensive experience handling these types of claims. The reality is that pursuing any claim for personal injuries can become complicated rather quickly, but crashes involving commercial vehicles are often even more complex. Continue reading

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Florida spinal cord injuries lawyerWhether from a fall or dive, violence, medical mistake or car accident, Florida spinal cord injuries can be utterly devastating. Such injuries can be catastrophic, permanently limiting one’s mobility, career options, recreational opportunities, relationships and more.  But the question of whether or not to file a lawsuit depends on a host of factors best discussed with an experienced civil trial lawyer.

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, more than 17,800 new spinal cord injuries are reported in the U.S. every year, and about 300,000 people are living with a spinal cord injury. The average age at the time of injury is 43. Top causes are motor vehicle accidents and falls, followed by violence, sports (including diving) and medical/surgical incidents.

Tragically, Southwest Florida is no stranger to spinal cord injury incidents, particularly those involving diving, given our close proximity to so many bodies of water. Late last year, a Georgia teenager suffered a spinal cord injury in Naples.  According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the victim, an 18-year-old competitive swimmer at Florida State University, dove from a boat into shallow water. She is now paralyzed from the chest down.

In that case, there was no immediate mention of potential litigation. As our Naples neck and back injury lawyers can explain, the question when determining lawsuit viability is whether negligence – by another individual, business or organization – legally caused the injury. To prove negligence, one must show the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim, breached that duty and as a result of that breach an injury ocured. Continue reading

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Naples personal injury lawyer

Some people think they must suffer catastrophic injuries to recover damages in a Florida injury lawsuit. That is not always true. What is true is that when catastrophic injuries are involved, winning full and fair compensation can actually be an even greater challenge. In you have sustained life-changing injuries, it is highly recommended that you sign nothing until you at least consult with an injury lawyer. After that, you can then decide if you feel comfortable handling the claim alone or if you’d prefer a trial attorney’s help.

We know for a fact that no insurer is eager to pay the full sum of what is rightly owed in these cases.

As our Naples personal injury attorneys can explain, catastrophic injury claims (which typically involve severe damage to the spine (back), spinal cord, brain, or other extremities) are actually more common these days than they were even two or three decades ago. This is mostly because of the evolution of modern medicine. As noted by insurance industry research: “Medical advances are helping first responders better stabilize accident victims at a scene… Many who used to die are now living. … Advances in medicine (have also) significantly reduced complications that arise from catastrophic injury claims. This means longer life expectancies.”

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