Articles Tagged with injury attorney

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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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Some people go to the beach fearing only the small chance they’ll encounter a shark close to shore. In fact, there are a number of other more serious hazards on land. boardwalk

That’s what one man found while visiting Myrtle Beach, SC. According to a local news report, the man was staying at a local hotel in August 2014. As he leaned on a railing of a narrow boardwalk leading onto the sand, the railing gave out. The man fell off the walkway and is now suing the City of Myrtle Beach, the entity that owns and maintains the pathways that lead to the beach.

In his premises liability lawsuit, the man alleges the boardwalk was not properly built in the first place, and thereafter was not properly maintained. However, the city is relying on the state’s recreational use statute. Florida has one too. Basically, if a landowner allows their property to be used free of charge for public recreation, the rights of those people to sue the entity or company for negligence are significantly undercut. In fact, the only way to prevail is to assert gross negligence. In this case, it would mean gross negligence in the way the boardwalk was designed, constructed or kept. Plaintiff’s attorneys say they believe their case is strong.  Continue reading →

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For many people, celebrations on New Year’s Eve are among the most highly-anticipated. There is usually exceptional food, copious drink and great company.party

But there is good reason our brave first responders and hospital emergency workers brace for the holiday every year. In the midst of all these parties, there is a spike in serious injuries and illnesses directly related to the revelry. A study published in the journal Social Science & Medicine analyzed some 60 million hospital death certificates over a 25-year stretch. What they found was that, on average, 42,325 more people than expected died during the two weeks between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, with New Year’s Day having the highest fatality rate of any day of the year.

These reported incidents weren’t solely due to drunken driving accidents, but those certainly didn’t help. Even when people suffered from health-related ailments, authors speculated the death rates were higher during this time because people delayed seeking treatment due to the holidays. Continue reading →

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Attorneys’ fees are often a concern of personal injury plaintiffs, or anyone needing professional legal help. But when it comes to personal injury or wrongful death cases, almost always there is a contingency fee arrangement, which means the client pays nothing upparking bumperfront and the attorney is ultimately reimbursed a percentage of the damages awarded in a settlement or trial verdict. If the case is lost, the attorney isn’t paid.

There are some circumstances, however, in which attorneys’ fees might be paid by the opposing side. Per F.S. 768.79, plaintiffs who extend a settlement offer that is not accepted within 30 days may recover attorney’s fees if they prevail in trial and are awarded damages in excess of 25 percent of that settlement offer.

Plaintiff in Anderson v. Hilton Hotels Corp. was seriously injured when he was attacked by a gunman in a hotel parking lot. He later filed a lawsuit against the the hotel and three other defendants – including the management company, the investment firm and the security contractor – for premises liability/ negligent security for failing to keep the property safe for guests. The question in his case was whether settlement offers made to the separate entities should be aggregated before being compared to the final damages awarded. The Florida Supreme Court answered: No.  Continue reading →

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A haunted house injury lawsuit was recently settled for $125,000 after a California woman reportedly suffered serious injuries when a moving wall knocked her down onto a poorly-lit floor in an unlit location on site. Among her injuries: Severe fractures to one of her legs and soft tissue injuries to her back and spine.hauntedhouse

The Oakland Press reported the woman filed her lawsuit last year, which was one year after the injury in October 2014. Plaintiff alleged operation of the haunted house rendered it both unsafe and defective. This in turn resulted in a substantial number of injuries to patrons. The alleged negligence of the site owner/ operator reportedly involved:

  • Employees moving walls;
  • Inadequate lighting on the floor;
  • Fall hazards.

Of course, patrons who enter haunted houses do inherently accept some risk. But the question becomes what level of risk was inherent and what responsibility did the owners/operators have to patrons? As paying customers on site, patrons are owed the highest duty of care by the owner/ operator. That means the site has to be reasonably safe and patrons have to be adequately warned if there are any conditions that aren’t safe. Continue reading →

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At some time in their lives, Americans will experience a missed, delayed or wrong diagnosis from a health care provider. That’s according to the latest in a series of in-depth patient safety reports by the Institute of Medicine, which is part of the National Academy of Sciences. doctor

The first of these studies, released in 1999, was the bombshell, “To Err is Human,” which revealed some 100,000 people die every year in the U.S. as a result of health care errors. The latest estimates indicate the actual figure is likely four times that high. But diagnostic errors are scarcely mentioned in this literature. Now, researchers contend this under-studied issue accounts for far more problems than other types of mistakes, such as surgical mishaps or medication errors.

Much of research in the past has spotlighted mistakes that occur in hospitals. This is, of course, important. After all, that’s where emergency services are rendered, many surgeries take place and patients receive longer-term, inpatient critical care. However, it’s not where the majority of diagnostic errors happen. They occur in surgical centers, outpatient facilities and doctors’ offices. Continue reading →

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Ride-sharing company Uber, which has usurped local taxi providers in larger cities, has an estimated 160,000 drivers in the U.S. The service promises its users that it conducts thorough background checks of these drivers so that patrons can be as safe as possible. adriver

Now, in an amended complaint that is part of a civil lawsuit filed by two district attorneys offices in California, there is new evidence to refute such assertions by the company.

The lawsuits, filed by district attorneys in San Francisco and Los Angeles, say the background checks conducted by Uber in those two cities failed to uncover serious criminal records of 25 drivers, just in those two cities. Offenses of these drivers range from felony traffic convictions to sex offenses to murder. With this information, the lawsuit focuses primarily on reportedly misleading claims made to consumers, as opposed to any legal violation in Uber’s background check process. Continue reading →