Articles Tagged with Fort Myers injury lawyer

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Florida roadway hazards after hurricaneSouthwest Florida is still reeling from the unprecedented devastation of Hurricane Ian, a huge storm with near-Category 5 winds and storm surges that reached 12-18 feet in some areas of Lee County.

At Garvin Injury Law, we are lifelong Floridians and while we have lived through many previous storms this one was particularly tough. Along with the rest of the community, our hearts are broken at the loss of life and the sheer scope of damage and displacement. As we all grieve what’s been lost, begin to clear the rubble, and prepare for our next steps, we want to make sure folks are aware that there are still a number of ongoing roadway hazards after a hurricane. Motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, truck drivers – all of us need to be using extra caution as we navigate our battered neighborhoods.

We all know it’s not wise to be driving during a big storm if it’s avoidable. But in the wake of a major hurricane, there are many Florida roadway hazards that persist in the days, weeks, and even months following. There’s flooding, of course, though that has thankfully receded for the most part. But it’s given way to new dangers. We’re now seeing the traffic in coastal cities like Fort Myers, Naples, and Cape Coral becoming badly gridlocked. There are also issues with non-functioning traffic signals, damaged/washed out roadways, roadway debris, more pedestrians/bicyclists than usual, and people attempting to drive vehicles that have been damaged by flood waters.

Here, we’ll outline some of the top road concerns – and how to stay safe on our streets as we work toward recovery and rebuilding. Continue reading

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South Florida motorcycle accidents lawyerIn Florida motorcycle accidents, there can be numerous defendants – sometimes including those who weren’t actually behind the wheel. In a recent motorcycle accident lawsuit that settled mid-trial for $1 million, the defendants included the driver as well as the owner of the vehicle, which in this case was the driver’s employer, a commercial cleaning company. They were held responsible by a legal doctrine called vicarious liability.

As our Fort Myers Motorcycle Accident Lawyers can explain, vicarious liability is the legal term for when one party is held responsible for the unlawful actions of another. Vicarious liability is relevant in auto accident cases wherein one party is responsible for/has control over a third party or a type of property.

There are several ways in which third parties can be held vicariously liable for Florida motorcycle accidents. The two applicable in this case are the liabilities imposed on employers and vehicle owners in Florida. 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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Fort Myers personal injury claimsIn our many years practicing civil law, we have come to recognize there are many misconceptions surrounding Fort Myers personal injury claims. Some relate to the motivations of personal injury attorneys (no, we aren’t paid if we file frivolous claims that quickly get tossed). Others misconstrue how the processes works (no, you aren’t guaranteed a payout just because you were seriously hurt).

The reality is that Fort Myers personal injury claims are more complex than they might initially seem, and obtaining full and fair compensation isn’t the cake walk some presume. It often requires meticulous investigation and research, extensive consultations with expert witnesses and painstaking negotiations with hard-nosed (and well-prepared) defense attorneys.

If you’re hurt because of someone else’s wrongdoing, you may have a potential claim. It’s necessary in most cases to prove negligence, or that someone’s breach of a duty of care resulted in your injury. Injury lawyers often extend the courtesy of a free initial consultation, so it’s a good idea to at least reach out to one, even if you aren’t sure whether you have a case.

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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┬ádrive 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.

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