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We all know that auto insurance exists because innocent victims of car accidents shouldn’t have to pay for damages they incur due to someone else’s negligence. thegunblackwhite

But there are some cases in which the term “accident” has encompassed situations that don’t involve a traditional crash of two automobiles. Across the country, courts have held that personal injury protection coverage includes injuries that might not necessarily involve the collision of two vehicles, but rather arises out of the vehicle – even when the connection between the injury and the vehicle use is remote.

For example, if you slip-and-fall while exiting the vehicle, courts have held that no-fault auto insurance coverage would apply. However, if you slip-and-fall after you’ve already gotten out of the vehicle, that probably wouldn’t be covered. 

Players involved in recreational, collegiate and professional sports assume some risks on the field. However, one young rising soccer star from South Florida alleges his team and the association was negligent when it failed to property train amateur players practicing with aggressive, veteran players. soccor

In January 2014, plaintiff in Quetglas v. U.S. Adult Soccer Association et al., had been attending college on a soccer scholarship when he was accepted as a teammate on United Miami Football Club, a regional team for amateur adult soccer league, managed by defendants. He had little experience playing against professional-level players, and during a warm-up drill, without supervision from his coach or other staffers, he was aggressively side-tackled by a teammate. He flipped upside down, landing on his neck.

Making the situation worse, he alleges, staffers improperly moved him before emergency medical services arrived. As a result, he suffered debilitating injuries to his cervical spine, resulting in incomplete quadriplegia. He is now permanently disabled and must use a wheelchair.

An error by a trial judge in releasing accident scene photos to a plaintiff in a personal injury case has resulted in a delay in the start of trial. camera

Plaintiff in Port St. Lucie v. Follano allegedly fell knee-deep into an uncovered sewer valve-access pipe, and had to be extracted by the fire department. Staffers with the city took photographs of the scene shortly after the accident, when plaintiff had been rescued and the scene was cleared.

Plaintiff returned to the site the following day and took her own photographs. However, by that time, the pipe was covered. When she filed a lawsuit, she requested the city turn over the images it had of the scene. She asserted to the court those were the only images reflecting the condition of the site at the time of the incident. But defendant countered the images weren’t necessarily indicative of the scene as it was prior to plaintiff’s fall because the site had been “significantly altered” by the rescue work of the firefighters.

Tree stands are popular among avid game hunters looking to expand their field of vision while minimizing their ground scent. hunting

But these stands can be dangerous, especially when they are not properly manufactured or maintained. A recent study by the Ohio State University Medical Center revealed these tree stands – not guns – are the most dangerous aspect of hunting.

Of 130 Level 1 trauma hunting-related injuries the team analyzed over a 10-year period, 50 percent were from falls. Of those, 92 percent were from tree stands. Comparatively, 29 percent of all serious hunting injuries stemmed from gunshot wounds.

Waivers of liability can be powerful defenses for businesses and individuals who have negligently acted and caused harm. dumbbell

However, just because a plaintiff has signed a waiver doesn’t necessarily mean there is no case. Although the Florida Supreme Court just this past year strengthened liability waiver defense by holding such contracts don’t need to contain the word “negligence” or “negligent acts” to be effective, the court also ruled in general, public policy should disfavor such contracts.

That said, proving that a waiver of liability was against public policy or ambiguous is a difficult hurdle to overcome. In some instances, it may be necessary to assert defendant acted with gross negligence or intentional, willful, wanton disregard for the safety of others. These kinds of acts are not protected in liability waivers.

For some accident victims, securing an out-of-court settlement or favorable verdict in court is just the first step. money2

Aside from the possibility of appeals, plaintiffs who sued government agencies must fight to collect on anything above $200,000 – even if the defendant agency agrees to pay it.

That’s because Florida lawmakers capped damages for all claims against the government or government employees at $200,000.

Suing an engineering, construction or installation firm for defects in building design or construction can be a tough prospect if the work was finished long ago and/or was substantially complete and accepted by the owner prior to the injury. hvacpipe

This is true in many states. In Florida, for example, the Florida Supreme Court ruled in Slavin v. Kay in 1959 that once a purchaser accepts a building, it’s the purchaser who accepts any of the building’s defects for purposes of liability. But this is true only when the defects are patent. Latent defects aren’t covered, and in some cases, a contractor might still be liable to third parties for injuries caused by latent defects. Subsequent court opinions held latency is determined by whether the danger posed by that condition was open and obvious – not whether the physical condition itself was open and obvious.

What this means is if you are injured as a result of a defective building condition, most likely, the defendant to pursue will be the owner of that property/structure. It might also be worth exploring the management firm/maintenance company, if the problem was failure to ensure proper upkeep.

It’s been two years since Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent left a night club drunk, got behind the wheel of a vehicle and crashed the car – killing his best friend and teammate Jerry Brown Jr. beers

He was criminally convicted, sentenced to 6 months in jail and 10 years’ probation. He’s now out of prison and has been reinstated to his team, which has announced he will play in a game again for the first time this month.

However, he now faces a lawsuit filed by the nightclub that served him copious amounts of booze that fateful night. The father of his deceased teammate (and also in a separate lawsuit, the mother) sued the bar, alleging staffers knowingly continued to serve Brent even after he was visibly intoxicated and knew he planned to drive. The bar recently filed a counterclaim against Brent, alleging his negligence was the sole cause of the crash, and he is the one who should be held responsible.

Today, generic prescriptions represent between 55 and 80 percent of the drugs we consume in the U.S. Choosing a generic option generally saves patients hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars annually on drugs they need for treatment of certain conditions. tablet

What’s problematic, however, is who is held liable when those generic drugs are defective and cause injury. Answer: generally no one. That’s because most claims regarding defective drug injuries are brought under a theory of negligence called “failure to warn.” That is, the company knew the drug was dangerous in some way, but failed to convey that to doctors or consumers. Because of the way generic drugs are regulated, though, their warning labels must mirror those of the brand name producers.

But here’s where it gets troublesome: Courts have generally held generic drugmakers can’t be liable for warning labels they didn’t create. However, neither can brand name drug manufacturers be held liable for illnesses or injuries caused by generic drugs they didn’t produce or sell.

Effective April 2006, the Florida Legislature scrapped the theory of joint and several liability, joining the majority of jurisdictions that have abolished these legal principles. It was a move heavily lobbied by big businesses, and now, per Florida Statute 768.81, victims in cases where several parties may be responsible for injuries are unable to compel a single defendant to pay for a penny more than his or her percentage of fault.wheelchair1

Our Fort Myers injury lawyers know that what this means, essentially, is that many injured parties are no longer made whole. Joint and several liability allowed victims to fully recover damages for injuries in cases where a full recovery from all defendants might not be possible. That is no longer an option, and it can include cases where other individuals are not even named as defendants.

Similar statutes have been passed in Minnesota, where the Minnesota Supreme Court recently weighed the case of Staab v. Diocese of St. Cloud, a premises liability lawsuit stemming from a fall due to uneven flooring that was unmarked as such. The issue of joint and several liability was the key point of contention in the appeal.

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