Articles Tagged with Fort Myers injury lawyer

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Florida's careless driving statute Drivers who cause South Florida car accidents rarely intend to hurt anyone. However, Florida’s careless driving statute does not consider a driver’s intention. What matters is whether the driver was using reasonable regard for the laws and current road conditions. Failure to use reasonable care, the basic allegation in a careless driving traffic case, is also what injury lawyers assert when alleging negligence in many Florida crash cases. As our Fort Myers car accident lawyers can explain, a driver who is negligent failed to use reasonable care. They can be held legally liable to cover some – or all – of the resulting damages (assuming the injuries were serious enough to exceed the criteria set forth in F.S. 627.737).

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates some 95 percent of crashes are caused by human error. Florida’s careless driving statute is outlined in F.S. 316.1925. It states anyone operating a vehicle on any street or highway in Florida, “shall drive … in a careful and prudent manner, having regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic and all other attendant circumstances, so as to not endanger the life, limb, or property of any person.” Failure to do so is careless driving.

Careless driving is frequently cited in cases like rear-end car accidents and failure-to-yield crashes. It’s also sometimes cited by officers in distraction cases, though if they can specifically prove it, they may assert a violation of F.S. 316.305, Florida’s distracted driving law. This provision bans not only texting while driving, but also emailing, instant messaging, and other forms of nonvoice interpersonal communication behind the wheel.

Allegations of careless driving may cross the threshold into “aggressive careless driving,” as defined in F.S. 316.1923, if two or more traffic violations occur at the same time or one right after the other.

Some examples of applicable violations: Continue reading

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Florida car accident injury riskA new analysis from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicates that car accident injury risks are higher for women than men, though the reason appears to have little to do with physical differences. Rather, it comes down to the types of vehicles women tend to drive compared to men.

As our Fort Myers car accident injury lawyers know, men have long been known to be overrepresented in fatal crashes. Research suggests this is because men on average drive more miles and often engage in riskier driving behaviors (speeding, impaired driving and foregoing seat belts, etc.). But once IIHS researchers controlled for speed and other factors, they found women on a per-crash basis were nearly 30 percent more likely to be killed and 37-73 percent more likely to suffer serious injuries.

They concluded this had to do largely with the types of motor vehicles women tend to drive. Once study authors limited comparison to similar crashes and vehicle types, the gender discrepancies mostly disappeared. Women are more likely to drive cars that are smaller and lighter. They’re also more likely than men to be driving the vehicle that is struck in front-to-rear and side-impact crashes. These types of crashes can result in more severe injuries.

Curiously, they did discover an unexplained phenomenon of women being especially prone to serious leg injuries compared to men, something researchers said “will require more investigation.” Continue reading

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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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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 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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Florida motorcycle passenger injuries

Motorcycle accidents in Florida are unfortunately all-too-common. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports that there were more than 9,100 motorcycle crashes reported statewide in a single recent year. NHTSA reports that per vehicle miles traveled, those on motorcycles are 28 times more likely to be injured in a crash than people in passenger vehicles. As for motorcycle passenger injuries specifically, a JAMA Surgery study found that traumatic brain injuries – the most common type of motorcycle injury overall – were far more common among passengers, who are reportedly less likely to wear helmets.

Despite the outsized risk posed to passengers on motorcycles, most injury articles focus on damages for the motorcycle operator. For Florida motorcycle passenger injuries, the approach to financial compensation may be different than the average single-rider case. Riders have little control over the bike itself, placing the passenger in an exceedingly vulnerable position. Often, liability may be sought from more than one source.

Continue reading

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Fort Myers injury lawyerRoughly 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses occur annually, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. One-third of these incidents caused employees to miss at least one day at work. Those in agriculture, mining, construction, manufacturing, retail trades, transportation, and warehousing are at the highest risk for work injuries. As a Fort Myers injury lawyer, one question I am sometimes asked is whether or not someone can file a lawsuit following a work-related injury. The answer will depend on circumstances under which the person was injured, whether dangerous machines/products were involved, and who was responsible for safety at the place where it happened.

Let us start by making it clear that in the state of Florida, F.S. 440.11 makes it clear that workers’ compensation is considered the exclusive remedy for work related injuries. However, this does not mean you cannot file an injury lawsuit. What it means is that you probably cannot file an injury lawsuit against your employer or co-worker. The trade-off, as stated in F.S. 440.15, is that employees get the benefit of quick, efficient receipt of medical and wage loss benefits without having to prove they were blameless, while the employer enjoys immunity from work injury lawsuits. There is, however, a very narrow exception to this rule that involves employers who cause worker injuries with deliberate intent, and your injury probably does not qualify. (If your employer failed to carry workers’ compensation insurance or you were an independent contractor/not an employee, that may be another matter entirely.)

Still, what you do not want to discount is the potential for a third-party liability claim. The fact is, even if you do collect workers’ compensation, it is not going to cover as much as a personal injury lawsuit would. Workers’ compensation claims do not allow for damages like pain and suffering, mental anguish, or a loss of consortium claim from your spouse. Continue reading

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Fort Myers injury lawsuitA Fort Myers injury lawsuit resulted in a jury verdict of more than $5 million in damages, which included $2.25 million for past and future pain and suffering a few years back.

The Daily Business Review reported that in 2017, a driver in Fort Myers was reportedly high on heroin when he crashed into the plaintiff’s vehicle. The plaintiff and her two children, who were in the backseat, were seriously injured. Initially, the other driver was arrested for driving under the influence, but he later pleaded guilty to lesser charges. His auto insurance company agreed to cover the cost of the children’s injuries but argued their mother’s injuries were mostly the result of a pre-existing condition. She filed a Fort Myers injury lawsuit. The defense conceded liability, but the plaintiff still had to prove the full extent of her damages – which included pain and suffering.

Here our South Florida injury attorneys explain what pain and suffering are in the context of tort law and what legal recourse you have to be compensated for it.

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Fort Myers injury lawyerFlorida property owners owe a duty of care to protect invitees from third-party criminal attacks – where the assault was reasonably foreseeable. This principle was affirmed recently by the Fourth District Court of Appeal’s reversal of summary judgment favoring a Florida business owner accused of negligence in an injury lawsuit.

As our South Florida injury lawyers can explain, key issues in these types of premises liability cases are:

  • Reasonable foreseeability of the attack.
  • Duty of care the property owner owed to the plaintiff (designation of invitee, licensee or trespasser, depending on the plaintiff’s purposes on-site). Age and special relationships can also be factors.
  • Whether the defendant property owner’s actions proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries.

The defendant in Bryan v. Galley Maid Marine Products, Inc. argued it owed no duty of care to the plaintiff, who was on-site drinking with the owner and three others when he was attacked, twice. He suffered a broken neck, nerve damage, and facial fractures. The defense asserted there was no way the property owner could have reasonably foreseen what would happen because it occurred suddenly and without provocation. Furthermore, the defendant argued the victim was a licensee rather than an invitee, meaning the only duty business owner owed was to refrain from wanton negligence, willful misconduct or intentional exposure to danger.

The court noted there were seventeen (17) minutes between the first attack, which left the plaintiff unconscious and with missing teeth, and the second attack, which resulted in another bout of unconsciousness and even more serious injuries. No one called 911, according to court records, because those present were reportedly afraid of the assailant (who was later arrested, convicted and sentenced to prison). Continue reading

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One of the top concerns an injury lawyer hears upon meeting with prospective clients is: How much will this cost me?

Most who have suffered a serious personal injury are hurting financially as well as physically – which is why they’re seeking compensation from the at-fault party  in the first place.Fort Myers injury lawyer

The good news is that with personal injury litigation, you won’t need to pay upfront. In fact, you won’t pay any attorney fees at all unless you win.

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