Articles Posted in Personal Injury

After a 38-year-old man was shot and killed, his mother and his five-year-old son filed survival and wrongful death claims against the shooter. The man was killed in August 2009, and on June 9, 2015, the man’s mother and the man’s then five-year-old son filed a complaint against the shooter. They alleged wrongful death based on negligence, a survival action based on negligence, wrongful death based on gross negligence, a survival action based on gross negligence, wrongful death based on battery, a survival action based on battery, and fraudulent conveyance.

HourglassThe defendant moved to dismiss the case, and the court granted the motion to dismiss as to the wrongful death claims because the court said they were filed too late. The plaintiff appealed the decision, and in a recent decision, a state court of appeals reinstated the claims.

Under that state’s laws, a wrongful death claim had to be filed within three years of the date of death. However, the state provided exceptions under certain circumstances. One statute provided that a wrongful death claim filed by a minor plaintiff was tolled during the period of minority. Another statute stated that if a plaintiff did not know about a claim due to an adverse party’s fraud, the time period for the claim began to run when the party discovered or should have discovered the fraud through ordinary diligence.

Continue reading →

In all Florida personal injury cases, the plaintiff must prove certain facts before they will be entitled to receive compensation for their injuries. The specific elements that must be proven depend largely on the type of case, but some elements are almost universally required across all Florida personal injury cases.

Desert HighwayOne of the most common – and most contested – elements in a Florida personal injury case is the element of causation. Simply stated, the element of causation requires that a plaintiff prove that the defendant’s actions were the cause of their injuries. While this sounds simple in theory, a recent case illustrates how establishing causation may not be as straightforward as it initially seems.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was riding his motorcycle on the highway. When he rounded a curve, he approached another accident without warning, and he was unable to safely stop in time to avoid an accident. He ended up sustaining serious injuries as a result of the motorcycle accident.

Continue reading →

When a party files a personal injury lawsuit against a defendant, the case proceeds through several stages before ultimately going to trial. One of the most important and most contentious phases in a personal injury lawsuit is the pre-trial discovery phase.

TireDuring the pre-trial discovery phase, parties make requests for certain evidence from the opposing party. A party can only request relevant evidence or evidence that may give rise to the discovery of additional relevant evidence. Once a party makes a request for certain evidence, the judge will rule on the request. If the judge orders that the requested material be released, the party in possession of the evidence must comply. A failure to comply can result in sanctions.

Sanctions for violating pre-trial discovery vary, depending on the type and severity of the violation. It is not unheard of for a court to dismiss a plaintiff’s case if he or she withholds evidence from the defense. If a defendant withholds evidence, the court can prevent the introduction of other evidence or issue a fine. However, any fine imposed can only be for the amount of money the plaintiff had to expend due to the defendant’s bad faith. A recent U.S. Supreme Court case illustrates this principle.

Continue reading →

As a general rule, people do not have a duty to assist in the rescue efforts of another party in danger. However, if a passerby does decide to assist in rescue efforts, the party who is in need of rescue has a duty of care to the person or people who have decided to help them. As a result, if a rescuer is injured in the course of helping the in-danger party, the party in need of rescue may be held liable for the rescuer’s injuries.

Police CarIn Florida, this rule broadly applies, meaning that even firefighters who are injured in the course of their employment may be able to seek financial compensation if they sustain injuries caused by a negligent homeowner. However, a recent case out of Kansas tests the limits of the rescue doctrine.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was a police officer who was involved in a high-speed accident while responding to the scene of a single-vehicle accident. Prior to the accident, the plaintiff had received a call that there was an accident on the highway and that several south-bound lanes were blocked as a result. The plaintiff was given the specific location of the accident and told which lanes were blocked.

Continue reading →

Earlier this month, a Florida appellate court issued a written opinion in a personal injury case brought by a motorist who was rear-ended by another driver. The court ultimately affirmed the jury’s verdict in favor of the defendant despite the fact that the defendant driver admitted that he was at fault for causing the accident. The court based its opinion on the fact that the jury was presented with conflicting evidence as to the seriousness of the collision, and therefore the jury was free to find that the collision was not the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.

Minor AccidentThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was driving to the gym when he was struck from behind by the defendant, who was driving a pick-up truck. The plaintiff did not immediately go to the hospital, but went the next day. After being seen by a doctor, the plaintiff was prescribed pain medication and completed three months of physical therapy. The plaintiff filed a personal injury case against the defendant, seeking compensation for his medical bills as well as for his lost wages.

Both the plaintiff and the defendant testified at trial, and offered different versions of what happened on the day of the accident. The plaintiff testified he was completely stopped when the defendant rear-ended him, and that he had to “brace” himself to prevent his head from striking the steering wheel. He explained that his car suffered various types of damage as a result of the collision.

Continue reading →

In Florida, as in any other state, all drivers have a duty to drive in a careful and prudent manner so that they can avoid endangering others’ persons or property. If a driver breaches that duty and injures someone, the driver may be held liable for injuries and other damages. Whether a driver was operating the vehicle reasonably depends on the circumstances of each case. For example, traveling at the posted speed limit may be reasonable under good weather conditions, but it may be unreasonable in a snow storm.

Highway at NightFlorida law requires drivers to carry at least $10,000 in personal injury protection coverage. This covers medical costs up to the policy amount in the event of an accident, regardless of who was at fault. Drivers also must have a minimum of $10,000 in coverage for property damage. However, in the event of a serious accident, these minimum amounts often do not cover all of the damages an injured person incurs.

Motorist Deaths Increased by 6% in 2016

Data released by the National Safety Council showed that motor vehicle accident deaths in the U.S. rose 6% in 2016 as compared to 2015. According to one news source, the numbers increased 14% compared to data from 2014. The National Safety Council’s numbers are similar to those found by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which found an 8% rise in accident deaths in the first nine months of 2016. Motor vehicle accident deaths amounted to about 40,200 in 2016, which was the first time since 2007 that they were over 40,000.

Continue reading →

Sometimes proving the damages in an accident case is just as important as proving the defendant was at fault. In a recent case, one state’s supreme court upheld a jury’s award of zero dollars after a woman claimed she was injured by another driver in an auto accident. According to the court’s written opinion, the driver hit the back of the woman’s car when she was stopped at a traffic light. The driver admitted that he was at fault; however, he argued the woman did not sustain any damages in the accident. As a result, the case went to trial only on the issue of damages.

Car AccidentThe woman testified that at the time her car was hit, she did not suffer any cuts, scrapes, bruises, swelling, or other visible signs of injury. Her body did not come into contact with any part of her car. Photos taken of her car after the accident did not show any obvious damage.

After the accident, the woman was brought to a hospital at her request. She testified at trial that she had pain in her lower back and the right side of her neck. She said the hospital staff did an x-ray of her neck and back, gave her medicine, and recommended that she see an orthopedist. The woman went to an orthopedist and received physical therapy. However, she did not present any medical evidence to support her claim that her back and neck were injured. Finally, she testified that she had previously had back surgery before the accident occurred.

Continue reading →

The Supreme Court of Mississippi recently published a decision in which the court found a circuit court appropriately dismissed three wrongful death lawsuits that had been filed by a family member of a man who died while under the care of the defendant doctors and hospital. The three lawsuits were dismissed because they were filed after a separate lawsuit was filed against another doctor based on the same death, and state law only permits one wrongful death lawsuit to be pursued at a time for each death. As a result of the recent ruling, the woman’s claims against all of the defendants not included in her first lawsuit will be difficult or impossible to pursue.

Doc's White CoatThe Plaintiff’s Loved One Allegedly Dies as a Result of Medical Negligence

The plaintiff in this case is a woman who lost a loved one in September 2013. The plaintiff alleged that her loved one’s death was a result of medical negligence and sought relief from the doctors who were caring for the man before his death, as well as the hospital where the man was being treated. Since the doctors were private parties employed by the state-run hospital, the woman followed different procedures and filed different lawsuits against each doctor, as well as two separate lawsuits against the state-run hospital.

Continue reading →

A panel of the California Court of Appeals recently published an opinion in which they affirmed a state district court’s decision to set aside the dismissal of a personal injury case, which was previously dismissed after the plaintiff’s attorney failed to pay a change-of-venue fee and did not respond to the defendant’s motion to dismiss or attend the hearing that resulted in the dismissal of the case. On appeal, the defendant argued that the plaintiff’s motion to set aside the initial dismissal was procedurally inappropriate, and she was not entitled to the relief that had been granted. In disposing of the appeal, the appellate court emphasized that procedural rules governing applications for relief or reconsideration of an order or judgment are designed in part to protect litigants from the undeserved harms that can result from attorney mistakes, and to give each person their day in court.

BusThe Plaintiff Is Injured as a Passenger on a Private Bus Line

The plaintiff in the case of Gee v. Greyhound is a woman who was injured when the Greyhound bus on which she was riding was involved in a crash, According to her initial complaint, the bus driver was traveling at an excessive rate of speed and lost control of the vehicle, causing it to crash into other vehicles on the road and resulting in the plaintiff and at least 20 other passengers and commuters suffering serious injuries. After the accident, the plaintiff filed a negligence lawsuit against the operator of the bus line as well as the bus driver, seeking damages as compensation for the expenses and loss she suffered in the crash.

Continue reading →

The Supreme Court of Mississippi recently published an opinion affirming a state district court’s ruling that granted summary judgment to two defendants in a lawsuit based on a semi-truck accident. The high court rejected the plaintiff’s claim for damages against the driver of the truck, who caused a separate accident that occurred before the accident that injured the plaintiff. The plaintiff had filed suit against this particular defendant in an attempt to hold him responsible for an accident that was caused in part by the slowdown and traffic jam that resulted from the initial accident.

Semi-TruckBy affirming the district court’s granting of summary judgment to the defendant in this case, the court showed how a defendant may not be legally responsible for the result of his or her negligence if there is an intervening or superseding cause between the initial act of negligence and the alleged injury.

Two Accidents on a Busy Highway

The accident that injured the plaintiff in the case of Ready v. RWI Transportation, Inc. was the second of two closely linked crashes that were the subject of this litigation. According to the facts as discussed by the appellate court, the defendant was driving a semi-truck and negligently caused an accident with a pickup truck that was driven by a man who was not a party to this lawsuit.

Continue reading →

Contact Information