Articles Tagged with injury lawyer

Published on:

Proponents of tort reform are pressing forward with a series of bills that, if passed, would make it increasingly difficult to file an injury lawsuit, to pursue class action litigation or to obtain just compensation. gavel

The term “tort reform” is a tidy way of explaining efforts that make it harder for those who have suffered serious injury due to someone else’s negligence to seek and obtain justice. It’s wrapped in a pro-business agenda, and is predicated on the notion that plaintiff attorneys are greedy and frivolous claims are rampant and plaintiffs unfairly are awarded millions – even when it was largely their own fault for being hurt. This characterization overlooks the reality of our civil justice system and the fact that it can already be an uphill climb for many injury plaintiffs. Yet it’s been very successful. Look no further than the so-called “McDonald’s coffee case,” wherein an elderly woman was awarded $1 million (or two days’ coffee sales) after she was so severely burned by the company’s hot coffee that she nearly died. The fast-food restaurant was selling coffee far in excess of what would be considered safe temperatures and thousands of people had suffered burns in the year prior. Yet tort reform proponents managed to successfully rewrite the script for the American public, who now generally look back on that case as a class “frivolous lawsuit.”

Now, with politicians friendly to tort reform now controlling both houses of Congress and a president considered pro-business, tort reform supporters are pressing forward with their agenda.  Continue reading →

Published on:

Leonard Cohen, a Canadian singer, songwriter, poet, novelist and painter, was reportedly at peace with the idea of death, hoping only it wouldn’t be too “uncomfortable.” The icon, author of “Hallelujah,” died in his sleep last month. However, his manager later revealed that the 82-year-old’s death may have been linked to an earlier fall, which he had suffered prior to his death. cane

With our population living longer, the threat of a serious fall affects an increasing number of us. Although many of us tend not to think of falls as being all that serious, the reality is falls are the No. 1 cause of accidental death in the elderly. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the incidence rate has climbed steadily in the last 10 years. Often, falls are not just painful in the immediate aftermath, but also for months and even years afterward.

The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery reports the 1-year mortality rate for over-65 patients admitted to the hospital following a fall is 33 percent. Many times, a bad fall that results in an elderly person being admitted to the hospital can have a prognosis that is as poor as some stage IV cancers. Of course, those who are hospitalized are more likely to have higher rates of mortality as it is, because they are older and have a number of other serious conditions. But comparatively, the one-year mortality rate for older patients admitted with pneumonia is about 20 percent.  Continue reading →

Published on:

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 →

Published on:

In workers’ compensation law, the exclusive remedy provision makes it clear that employers can’t be held liable in civil court for damages related to work injuries in most cases where they carry workers’ compensation insurance. Proving fault isn’t necessary in workers’ comp cases, and it’s supposed to be a trade-off: Workers get easier access to immediate benefits for wage losses and medical bills, while companies avoid the ordeal of litigation. courthouse1

But as a recent series by non-profit news organization ProPublica pointed out not long ago here and here, there have been calculated and aggressive efforts to whittle away worker protections and insulate companies from liability for work injuries. This has occurred in a number of ways, including lobbying of legislation that reduces benefits or makes it harder for injured workers to get coverage in the first place.

However, there are ways in which personal injury lawyers are helping workers fight back  and regain some ground on various fronts. Most recently, there is the case of Stahl v. Hialeah Hospital, which the Florida Supreme Court has agreed to review. Continue reading →

Published on:

A high school freshman who went on a school summer foreign enrichment program to China returned forever changed after suffering a tick bite through which she contracted encephalitis. She became gravely ill while on the trip, had to be transferred to a hospital in Beijing and was ultimately flown back to New York, where medical doctors properly diagnosed her. greatwall

The effects have been devastating. She lost her ability to speak. Her face is partially paralyzed. She also lost some cognitive function, though she was able to eventually graduate from high school and attend college classes.

She and her parents sued the Connecticut private school where she attended and that had organized the trip, and ultimately won a $41.5 million judgment against the school, of which $31.5 were non-economic damages.