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Most auto insurance policies impose per-person or per-accident limitations. This is typically a pretty straightforward issue. However, a dispute about how many “accidents” occurred can leave a big question mark as to how much claimants are entitled to receive. bicycle accident

In a recent bicycle accident injury case before the Wyoming Supreme Court, plaintiffs were suing a single driver after an incident wherein they were riding bicycles together and both were struck by defendant driver operating a car. One bicyclist died and another was seriously injured. They had uninsured motorist coverage through their own carrier, which had a policy extending $300,000 in damages per accident. That would mean no matter how many claimants, the insurer would only pay out a maximum $300,000.

Plaintiffs, however, contended they were each entitled to a maximum $300,000 because there had actually been two accidents, not just one. While the trial court granted summary judgment to the insurer, the state supreme court found the record insufficient to conclude there had only been one accident. The case was remanded for further proceedings.  Continue reading →

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The bankruptcy of a negligent driver who caused injury to a husband and wife may prevent plaintiffs from actually seeking damages against the defendant, but it doesn’t shield the auto insurer from having to pay out.car accident attorney

That was the ruling of the Alabama Supreme Court in a recent case involving two car accident claimants. Although this is an out-of-state case, it deals with matters that could just as easily arise in Florida, and justices often consider rulings by sister courts that have weighed similar issues.

To understand the court’s ruling, we must first explain a bit about U.S. Bankruptcy Code and how it impacts personal injury claims. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy in particular involves a trustee who gathers and sells a debtor’s nonexempt assets and uses the proceeds to pay creditors in accordance with the provisions of bankruptcy law. Part of the debtor’s property may be subject to liens that can be paid to creditors. Continue reading →

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Your personal injury attorney must carefully consider any offer of pre-trial settlement by the defense in a civil case to better your chances you won’t run afoul of F.S. 768.79 at the conclusion of trial. The very first section of this statute stipulates that if a defendant files an offer of settlement that is not accepted by plaintiff within 30 days, defendant is entitled to “reasonable costs and attorney’s fees” incurred if the final judgment is that defendant was not liable OR the judgment obtained is at least 25 percent less than the original pre-trial settlement offer. car accident attorney

Obviously, there is no way to know for sure how a case is going to be decided or how much a plaintiff may be awarded in a successful case. That makes turning down settlement offers a risk. This is why having a personal injury lawyer with extensive local pre-trial negotiation and trial experience is invaluable. Knowing how such cases have gone in this same jurisdiction or in front of this same judge in the past is important to your case.

An example of this was recently weighed by the Alaska Supreme Court in Whittenton v. Peter Pan Seafoods, Inc. This was a truck accident case alleging vicarious liability of the negligent truck driver’s employer. The question was whether defendant’s offer of settlement prior to trial entitled defendant to collect attorney’s fees – even though plaintiff had won.  Continue reading →

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It was to be expected following one of the biggest and most powerful storms in Florida’s history that those who stayed would be grappling with some degree of power loss in the immediate aftermath. However, one could also reasonably assume that health care providers – including nursing homes responsible for the care of elderly and vulnerable individuals – would be prepared to ensure patients’ basic needs would be met. nursing home negligence

That reportedly did not happen at a nursing home in Hollywood Hills, according to nursing home negligence lawsuits filed recently by family members of several residents who died there under sweltering conditions following the storm and subsequent power outages.

CBS News reports a total of 10 nursing home patients died after they were kept in a facility that had essentially become a “sweatbox” in the days after Hurricane Irma. While the facility lacked air conditioning, just across the street was a fully-equipped and cooled hospital.  Continue reading →

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There are three basic types of civil liability (legal responsibility) in Florida personal injury cases:

  • Negligence
  • Intentional Torts
  • Strict Liabilitypersonal injury lawyer

Intentional torts are those that involve actions like assault and battery – some kind of intentional action that caused physical harm to someone else. Strict liability most typically arises in product liability cases, and involves a legal responsibility – even though there was no actual negligence or intent to do harm. Rather, it is simply by the design/ production/ distribution of a defective product that caused harm that a defendant can be liable.

By far, most personal injury claims and lawsuits involve a claim of negligence. This is usually what is alleged in cases involving car accidents, slip-and-falls and medical malpractice. Negligence is an unintentional act or inaction (by someone who had a duty or obligation to conform to a certain standard of conduct) that resulted in injury to another person.  Continue reading →

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Floridians have unfortunately long been notorious for being bad drivers – and that’s with a network of operational traffic lights, upright trees and a system of active police patrols. car accident lawyer

But after the extremely powerful Hurricane Irma walloped the state earlier this month, there were downed traffic lights, trees, power lines and damaged homes and buildings. This created a significant hazard in and of itself – and this was after some 7 million people were ordered evacuated from their homes, sparking massive traffic jams and other highway headaches.

Once the winds and flooding subsided and motorists began to venture out – and some back to their homes from emergency shelters – intersections became a virtual game of chicken. Intersections without power are supposed to be treated as a four-way stop. While there is no doubt people were tired, stressed and perhaps even traumatized, we also know that many of these crashes may have been avoided had motorists used a bit of common sense and patience. In other words, these drivers needed to use reasonable care. Continue reading →

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An elderly woman reportedly died after suffering a serious and painful bedsore while in the care of a physician at a nursing home in New Jersey. Media reports are the family of the 90-year-old woman died approximately three months after being admitted to the nursing home with a fractured hip. nursing home abuse lawyer

Her insurance covered her stay for 100 days, after which time she was promptly discharged. It was only at that time, when she was brought home, that family members say they discovered the bedsore on her lower back. She was rushed to the hospital, where doctors diagnosed her with a Stage IV bedsore. She was septic. She was frail and ultimately not able to overcome the blood infection. She died a short time later after being discharged to her home to be cared for by hospice workers.

Now, her family accuses the doctor and staff at the nursing home of either failing to notice the bedsore or of ignoring it as it developed – in either case a breach of the applicable standard of care for medical professionals of their position.  Continue reading →

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As historic Hurricane Irma came barreling toward Southwest Florida, many residents hurried to leave the state. Some were under mandatory evacuation by local and state officials fearing unprecedented and dangerous storm surge. Others were afraid to live for days or weeks without water or power. car accident attorney

All of this led to a massive evacuation of some 6 million people out of Southern Florida. This kind of congestion inevitably lead to car accidents across I-75, I-95 and I-4, the main routes out of the state.

We now know of a local man whose car accident death can be indirectly tied to Irma, after he reportedly was killed in a hit-and-run car accident in Georgia. The 91-year-old from Naples was injured in a hit-and-run collision at a rest stop on I-75 in Georgia.

The Naples Daily News reports the elderly man had stopped at the rest stop, walked across the parking lot to the restroom and was struck by a vehicle. The driver took off and has not yet been identified.  Continue reading →

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Many South Florida DUI injury and death cases handled by our dedicated personal injury lawyers occur simultaneously with a pending criminal matter. The two processes are totally separate, and generally do not impact the other. car accident

The purpose of a civil trial is to make whole (to the extent possible) the victims of a defendant’s action or inaction. Conversely, the purpose of a criminal trial is to penalize a wrongdoer for violating the criminal code of laws. While some criminal cases result in a defendant being forced to pay restitution, that is not the primary goal of the criminal procedure.

That’s why we encourage Florida victims of drunken driving to speak to an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible after the crash. Information gleaned in the course of the criminal investigation could impact the civil case as well.

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When personal injury or wrongful death is caused by the reckless or careless actions of another, a negligence action may allow those affected to recover damages. However, plaintiffs (those who were wronged) need to pay careful attention to the statute of limitations in their case. That means knowing exactly what kind of case they have, who the defendant is and when the cause of action occurred. wrongful death lawyer

A good wrongful death attorney can help you navigate this complex field of law to ascertain what your rights are and when you must act. Failure to take action within the allotted time will result in total forfeiture of the claim. A plaintiff might have the strongest case ever, but if it isn’t timely filed, it will be forever barred.

A recent case out of Alaska had this unfortunate outcome, illustrating why it’s so important to seek prompt legal assistance with your case. Alaska, like Florida has strict limitations when it comes to when a personal injury or wrongful death claim can be filed. In Florida, F.S. 95.11 prohibits any personal injury lawsuit from being filed after four years of the cause of action (time of injury) or two years for any wrongful death action. Alaska also has a two-year statute of limitations on wrongful death cases. The time limit varies from state-to-state.  Continue reading →