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State troopers are reporting at least 186 people in Florida died last year in hit-and-crashes. Another 19,000 suffered serious injury in accidents where the at-fault driver chose not to bother stopping. speed1

In total, there were 92,600 hit-and-runs statewide, according to the Florida Highway Patrol, which responded to roughly 23,000 of them.

These figures are especially troubling when you consider they represent a marked increase form just a year earlier. In 2014, there were about 8,000 fewer hit-and-run crashes in Florida. That’s a 9 percent increase in a year and a nearly 17 percent increase since 2013.  Continue reading

Plaintiffs in a proposed class action injury lawsuit scored a major goal in an action targeting the U.S. Soccer Federal, Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the U.S. Youth Soccer Association Inc., National Association of Competitive Soccer Clubs Inc., California Youth Soccer Association and the American Youth Soccer Organization.soccer3

The New York Times reported that as part of an effort to resolve the Meher et al v. FIFA et al litigation, it would impose a series of safety initiatives specifically aimed at reducing head injuries for players – particularly women and children. The policy would set strict limits on young players, expressly banning participants under the age of 10 from “heading” the ball. Players between the ages of 11 and 13 will be required to significantly reduce the number of “headers” they can take on in practice.

Regulations will be required for all U.S. Soccer youth national academies and teams – which will include Major League Soccer Youth clubs. However, the rules will remain “recommendations” for development programs and other soccer associations that under the control of U.S. Soccer.

When choosing a personal injury lawyer to represent you, it’s important to know that most attorneys accept these cases on a “contingency fee basis.” countycourthouse

What this means is that there is no attorney fee unless you win. This is important because many people injured as a result of someone else’s negligence do not have the upfront capital necessary to file a case, pay for a lawyer, hire expert witnesses and do the investigation that is critical to proving their losses in court. In a sense, a contingency fee arrangement opens the courthouse doors to those who otherwise would have no other means. Payments are made based on a percentage of the total awarded either through settlements or jury verdicts.

These percentages are typically fixed and they may vary depending on the complexity of the case and the length of time it will take to obtain a resolution. While these agreements are beneficial to both plaintiffs and their attorneys, it’s important important for both parties to be on the same page about them. That’s what the case of Chalfant v. Guardianship of Flannigan illustrates.

The stereotype of college fraternities and sororities is depicted in scenes from the 1970s movie, Animal House, where debaucherous young men cause chaos and seek promiscuous young women. Those images still exist, but concerns over binge drinking, sexual assault and other forms of violence on campus at Greek organizations has resulted in increased litigation. Defendants may include individuals, the local chapter, the national chapter and the college itself. heel

While many of these cases make major headlines, some are much more benign – but sometimes no less damaging.

Take the recent sorority liability lawsuit out of Ohio, where an undergraduate member suffered a severe leg injury while trying to exit a door of the home. Her case is predicated on the legal theory of premises liability. This is the notion that owners and managers of property have a responsibility to those legally on site to protect them from danger that isn’t obvious, or at least warn them of it.

Although air travel is statistically quite safe, there are still a fair amount of accidents every year, particularly when it comes to smaller aircraft, including helicopters. helicopterseenthroughleaves

Some might think of these ventures as primarily reserved for military or government service workers, but keep in mind there are plenty of outfits in Southern Florida that advertise ocean helicopter rides to tourists. The potential risk is one worth considering.

The good news is the helicopter accident rate in the U.S. appears to be declining, according to data from the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team. However, when these accidents do occur, it’s important for those affected to consider all potential legal options.

The alleged pre-accident negligence of a driver not to seek treatment for high blood pressure – ultimately leading to a stroke – should not be considered for comparative fault purposes, according to a California appellate court. Plaintiff in this case, Harb v. City of Bakersfield, is entitled to a new trial on this basis, as well as the fact jurors received an unnecessary and potentially confusing instruction. caraccident2

The case against the city began in late 2007. A neonatal intensive care doctor had just finished a 12-hour shift and was on his way home. As he drove, he suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. As a result, the doctor drove his vehicle up over a curb and onto a sidewalk. A police officer responded to a 911 call about the crash, and suspected the driver was drunk. Witnesses had told dispatch the driver had thrown up, urinated on the sidewalk and appeared to be attempting to leave.

Officer noticed he was disoriented and looking for her keys. The doctor refused to obey the officer’s orders. After a struggle, she placed him under arrest. Officer did not note other obvious indicators of impairment, such as odor of alcohol, redness or watering of the eyes, etc.

Property owners have an inherent duty to protect all persons lawfully on the property from unreasonable risk of harm. When it comes to children, that standard is somewhat heightened in that youths are not presumed to have the knowledge or maturity to protect themselves from obvious harm or danger. concretebroken

The recent case of Ruiz v. Victory Props., LLC details a case where reportedly dangerous conditions in the back yard of an apartment complex indirectly led to serious head injuries sustained by a 7-year-old girl who lived there.

Trial court granted summary judgment to defendant, finding the girl’s injuries were not a foreseeable risk of the dangerous conditions that existed. The court noted that to decide otherwise might have the unintended consequence of making land owners reticent to rent property to families with children. The appellate court, though, later backed by the Connecticut Supreme Court, reversed, finding ample evidence the land owner had a basic duty to keep the site clear of hazards that might be dangerous to children, and further that a reasonable argument could be made that this breach of duty resulted in the girl’s injuries.

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