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Florida car accidents are reportedly on the rise, according to the Florida Integrated Report Exchange System (FIRES), with the latest figures showing crashes in Lee County alone are up more than 11 percent.driving6

The latest tally indicates that in the first five months of 2015, from Jan. 1st through May 31st, there were 4,609 crashes reported on Lee County roads. Then in 2016 during that same time frame, there were 5,119 crashes on Lee County roads – an uptick of 11.06 percent. There were another 83 crashes reported in the first four days of the month.

In Florida statewide, there have been 158,399 traffic accidents reported in the first five months of this year (with another 977 reported in the first handful of days in June). That’s compared to 151,989 in 2015. That’s an uptick of 4.2 percent.  Continue reading

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.

Last year, 32 children died of heat stroke in the U.S. after being left in hot cars. The year before, it was 44 child fatalities for the same reason, and there have been more than 715 child deaths for this same cause since 1990. van

That’s according to KidsAndCars.org, which is one of the many organizations that has launched public education awareness campaigns over the last several years to put a stop to this preventable form of death. Most often, it results from caregivers forgetting the child in the car seat in the rear of the vehicle. In Florida, the problem is particularly pervasive, ranking No. 2 in the nation, just behind Texas.

One wrongful death lawsuit was filed by Florida parents whose infant child died in 2011 after the driver of a daycare van left the baby in the back of the vehicle for more than seven hours.

A head-on collision left a husband and wife in Missouri seriously injured and seeking compensation. caraccident3

They were successful in securing a collective $3 million judgment against the opposing driver, but that driver did not have enough insurance coverage to pay the judgment. Victims then proceeded to pursue action against the auto insurance company that provided coverage to husband’s employer, seeking underinsured motorist coverage.

Primarily at issue in Bate v. Greenwhich Ins. Co., before the Missouri Supreme Court, was not whether coverage existed, but whether the default judgment granted by trial court was improper. Default judgments can be issued when one party fails to respond to litigation. The courts do not favor default judgments, and generally prefer to decide cases on the merits. Plus, default judgments are almost always challenged when it comes time for plaintiff to collect.

One would think if an injury occurred as a result of an unsafe condition in a store, the store would be the correct entity to name as a defendant. However, in cases where workers or companies are subcontracted to work within those stores, the case may end up being a bit more complicated. store

Such was the situation in Kmart v. Footstar Inc., a dispute before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit between two partnering companies that stemmed from the injury of a customer in Hollywood, FL.

The store contracted with another company to carry out operations within its shoe department. The workers employed by the subcontractor in the shoe department could only work in the shoe department. As the panel of justices would later describe it, the subcontractor operations were run as though those departments were “islands.” The only way a shoe department worker could cross over into work in another department was if the store expressly granted permission to do so.

A woman diagnosed with chondrolysis of the shoulder following her second shoulder surgery pursued legal action against those responsible for producing a continuous infusion painkiller pump device. needle

When it came time for trial in McClellan v. I-Flow Corp., the district court refused to give certain jury instructions pertaining to Oregon state law (where the trial was held), finding that because the device was regulated by the federal Medical Device Amendments of 1976 (MDA), federal law pre-empted state law and such instructions were barred. Jurors issued a verdict favorable to defendants, but on appeal, the appellate panel ruled the failure to offer requested jury instructions was improper and not harmless to plaintiff.

The case was remanded for a new trial.

Personal watercraft are big in Florida. Sometimes referred to by their brand names (commonly, Jet Skis, WaveRunners and Sea-Doos), these products are not inherently safe. seadoo

In fact, the U.S. Coast Guard reported in 2012 that personal watercraft accidents accounted for nearly 20 percent of the 4,515 boating accidents that year, resulting in more than 720 injuries and 58 deaths. There are dozens of brands of these crafts, and it’s estimated Americans own approximately 1.3 million. Florida has an especially high ownership rate, and that doesn’t even account for the commercial rental companies that routinely offer use of the craft to tourists – many of whom have little to no experience on these devices and may not understand the risks.

In addition to the obvious collision hazards posed by these devices, there is a lesser-known but equally dangerous aspect associated with personal watercraft: orifice injuries. It’s as unpleasant as it sounds, and has the potential to result in serious injury, permanent disability and even death. It can occur when a rider falls off the back and lands directly in the path of the craft’s high-pressure jet stream. Those wearing regular bathing suits, as opposed to wet suits, are at greater risk of injury.

A worker who sustained serious injury after falling from a scaffolding at a construction site has successfully won the right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits, following a protracted court battle. scaffoldingsil

At issue in Carbajal v. Precision Builders, Inc., before the Oklahoma Supreme Court, was whether the worker was in fact an employee of the firm from which he sought benefits, or whether he was an independent contractor.

Our scaffolding injury attorneys recognize this as an issue that arises with unfortunate frequency in construction accidents, primarily due to the nature of how construction work is structured. Contracting is a common way of doling out work on these job sites. However, it can lead to confusion when an injury occurs and a question arises of who is responsible for covering the claim.

A tragic boating accident off the coast of Bokeelia, located on Pine Island, has claimed the life of a 61-year-old who served the University of Florida as a beloved diving coach since 1989. coconuttree

Fort Myers boating accident lawyers have learned that the incident occurred when the coach’s vessel was involved in a head-on collision with an oncoming vessel. Witnesses reported that the boats turned into one another after turning a curve in Jug Creek. The diving coach, Donnie Craine, was ejected from the boat.

Survived by his wife and three adult children, he was in Southwest Florida for an annual fishing trip. He had served as a diving coach at the University of Florida from 1976 to 1981, and later returned after working for a time at the University of Arkansas and Louisiana State University.

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