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We trust that when we send our child to school, the teachers, administrators, coaches and other staff are going to do all they can to ensure the safety of our youth. In fact, they have a legal duty to do so. schoolbuswithchild

When that does not happen, it may be possible to hold the school district liable for damages.

Such was the case in Smith v. Leake County School District, a matter recently before the Mississippi Supreme Court. While the lower courts had granted the school district governmental immunity after finding the protection of a bullied student was a discretionary function, the state high court reversed, finding it is actually a ministerial one.  Continue reading

Attorney fees in car accident and other personal injury lawsuits in Florida are based on a myriad of factors, including the degree of difficulty of the task, the amount of time needed, the amount of experience necessary and the skill of the attorney in that particular area of law. The Florida Bar Association reports overhead fees account for 30 to 50 percent of what a lawyer charges, and include things like equipment, maintenance and costs.courthouse

The good news for personal injury claimants is that:

  • Most injury lawsuits are accepted by lawyers on a contingency fee basis, which means plaintiff’s don’t pay attorney fees upfront – or at all if they lose;
  • In some cases, attorney fees may be paid by the defendant in addition to the damage award, so it won’t cut into the amount you receive. In some cases, this might be more or less than what you originally agreed to pay your lawyer. This possibility should be provided for in the initial fee arrangement.

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Whether an injury lawsuit sounds in medical malpractice as opposed to general negligence – or visa versa – is a critical consideration.medicaldoctor

Medical malpractice lawsuits must satisfy certain special requirements that include:

  • Shortened statutes of limitations;
  • Statutes of repose;
  • Expert witness affidavits;
  • Merit certificates.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit for general negligence doesn’t need to meet these kinds of requirements, which means filing and pursuing claims of general negligence isn’t nearly as expensive and onerous as pursuing a claim of medical malpractice.

In the recent case of Pitt-Hart v. Sanford USD Med. Ctr., the South Dakota Supreme Court was asked to determine whether a claim stemming from a fall-related injury of a patient recovering from surgery was one of general negligence or medical malpractice.  Continue reading

Employees injured on-the-job in Florida are entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits from their company’s insurance policy. Power Plug

But in addition, they may also have ground to pursue third-party litigation against others who may bear some responsibility for their injuries.

Workers’ compensation benefits are not awarded based on fault, so long as the employee was injured in the course and scope of employment and the injury arose out of employment. Employees can almost never sue their employers for a work-related injury, as workers’ compensation is considered the exclusive remedy.

They can, however, take action against others. But keep in mind, whatever compensation is collected in these actions may be subject to a lien by the employer’s insurer. Usually, it’s still worthwhile to take legal action against third parties because what you are awarded is usually far in excess of what you receive in workers’ compensation. That’s because workers’ compensation only pays for medical bills, a fraction of lost wages and nothing for pain and suffering.  Continue reading