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Florida elevator injury lawyerDangerous home elevators in use at rental properties throughout Florida and across the country have sparked an urgent call from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for action by the vacation rental industry. At issue are gaps in the elevators that can pose a risk of serious physical injury and death, particularly for small children.

“These injuries and deaths are horrific, and we need the property owners and rental agencies to disable elevators immediately until they have been inspected,” wrote Acting CPSC Chairman Robert Adler.

Florida is a very popular spot for residential vacation rentals. According to one online platform, there are more than 215,000 Florida vacation homes for rent just on their site alone. The actual number of residential rentals is probably much higher, though it’s not clear how many of those sites have dangerous home elevators inside them.

The reported risk with residential elevators is that occupants can be fatally crushed in a space that exists sometimes between doors. As our Florida elevator injury attorneys can explain, with a deep gap between the outside door and the inside door, a child can go in, close the outside door without opening the inside door. They then get entrapped between the two. If the elevator moves, it’s going to have tragic consequences. A 2019 investigation by The Washington Post indicated more than a half million residential elevators in the U.S. pose a risk.

As Fort Myers injury attorneys, we recognize this is not the first thing people want to picture when planning a getaway. Given the seriousness of the risk, however, vacationers as well as property owners must take the CPSC warning seriously. Continue reading

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Naples injury attorney

Florida law requires that police be called when a motor vehicle crash occurs. The investigating officer will arrive and be tasked with documenting the scene, interviewing witnesses and preparing a crash report.

At the same time, the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees those accused of crimes the right to refuse to answer questions that could be used against them in a criminal proceeding. To prevent a possible constitutional violation, Florida law has carved out something called accident report privilege (which is not exactly a privilege, but more on that later). Basically, statements made to an investigating officer for purposes of completing the crash report can’t be used in criminal proceedings OR a civil injury lawsuit.

As a Naples injury attorney can explain, there are a lot of different reasons for this protection – constitutional and otherwise. But it’s important to note because it could have a negative (or positive) impact on your ability to recover damages from the at-fault driver. The good news is that if you work with an experienced attorney, he or she can usually obtain that same information elsewhere – especially when the details can still be gleaned during the discovery process. Continue reading

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Naples accident lawyer
Nothing is more devastating than the wrongful death of a child. As a longtime Naples accident lawyer, I’m unfortunately all-too-aware that motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of child deaths in the U.S. I also know most of these deaths are preventable – not only by the drivers involved but sometimes by auto manufacturers who fail to ensure the vehicles they sell are safe.

Car accident lawsuits against the makers of vehicles are a type of product liability claim. These are injury lawsuits, but rather requiring proof of negligence (the standard in a typical car accident case), Florida product liability claims are generally pursued under a legal theory called strict liability. This requires plaintiffs to show the product was unreasonably dangerous as designed or because of a manufacturing defect or because the warnings/instructions were insufficient.

When Vehicles Are Dangerously Manufactured, Designed

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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.

Continue reading

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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 premises liability lawyerIn any Florida premises liability case, the question of whether the defendant is responsible for the harm someone else suffered on their property often depends heavily on the unique circumstances of the case. Sometimes, that circumstance is a giant ice cream cone.

See: Greene v. Twistee Treat USA et al., recently before Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal.

Normally, people have an obligation to watch out for potential hazards when they’re on someone else’s property. They have a duty to avoid any open and obvious dangers. But that does not excuse property owners (businesses in particular) from their duty to anticipate potential dangers – even if they are open and obvious – and to warn guests of them. This is especially true if the property owner could have anticipated that the patron would be distracted or that it would have been so long since the last time they saw the hazard that they could have easily forgotten it.

In the case of the Twistee Treat tripping hazard, the 2nd DCA ruled that the “novel architecture” of the ice cream shop itself could be distracting enough that patrons might be forgiven not noticing/avoiding some hazards as they approach. Continue reading

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Florida no-fault car insuranceFlorida no-fault car insurance law isn’t going anywhere, at least this year. For motorists, that means continued reliance on personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and proof of serious injury before pursuing a fault-based car accident claim against negligent drivers.

Governor Ron DeSantis has vetoed the bipartisan Senate Bill 54, passed by state lawmakers in April. The bill would have rewritten our unique, no-fault state car insurance law and required drivers to obtain new policies by next year.

In a short statement released by the governor’s office, DeSantis, while calling the current law “flawed,” explained he felt the bill failed to adequately address issues faced by Florida drivers and could have adverse, unintended consequences for both consumers and the market.

The veto was a bit of a surprise, given that the bill had strong bipartisan support, passing with little debate several months ago. Supporters  insisted it would reduce auto insurance premiums in a state that consistently ranks within the top five. However, analysis of potential impacts yielded mixed results. Plus, the insurance industry and medical providers came out swinging hard against it.

What Does Florida No-Fault Car Insurance Mean for Motorists?

The effect of the veto is that nothing really changes for Florida drivers, at least not this legislative term. No-fault auto insurance remains in place.

Florida is one of the few states that continues its use of no-fault car insurance, as opposed to a system of fault recognized by many states. Contrary to what some presume by its name, no-fault insurance doesn’t mean no-fault is assigned in the crash. It just means the coverage pays certain damages incurred by insureds upfront, regardless of who was at-fault. 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 boating accidentFlorida is a boater’s paradise, but its waters have also placed plenty in peril. According to the newest statistics released by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the Sunshine State continues to lead the nation both for the most registered vessels and the highest number of reportable boating accidents. In 2020, officials counted a total of 836 Florida boating accident cases, causing 79 deaths (including 5 missing persons presumed dead) and 534 injuries.

These figures represent a surge of boating accidents and deaths at a time when an increasing number of people are taking to the water.

As our Key West boat accident attorneys can explain, lack of boater education is cited as a common thread in many of these cases. About 70 percent of boaters involved in deadly incidents had no boating education. Inattention/failure to maintain proper lookout is also a top cause. Alcohol and/or drug use was cited as a causal factor in about a quarter of all boating deaths. Continue reading

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Florida nursing home injuryPlaintiffs in a Florida nursing home injury lawsuit were awarded $2.5 million against a memory care center found to have been negligent in its care of an elderly patient.

As Naples nursing home injury lawyers, we expect unfortunately to see cases like these increase as the demand for elder care rises and the nursing shortage (exacerbated by COVID) continues.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports there are approximately 72,000 people living in Florida nursing homes. That figure is expected to grow as the Baby Boomer generation ages into their 60s and beyond. Consider also the fact that the majority of nursing care facilities are now operated on a for-profit basis, meaning their priority is their bottom line. For-profit facilities tend to have lower rates of staffing and higher injury rates. Continue reading

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