Earlier this month, an appellate court issued a written opinion in a Florida car accident case involving an out-of-state student who was listed as a driver on her parents’ Florida insurance policy. The case required the court to determine if the insurance company’s refusal to cover the accident was proper under the insurance contract. Ultimately, the court parsed the language of the insurance policy and determined that the plaintiff should be covered under her parents’ policy.

Front-End DamageThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was originally a resident of Florida but attended college out of the state. Although she had moved away, the plaintiff remained as a listed driver on her parents’ insurance policy. The policy covered both parents as well as the parents’ relatives. As many contracts do, the policy defined the term “relative” to mean either a related person who lived with the parents or an unmarried and un-emancipated minor who is away at college.

While away at school, the plaintiff was involved in a car accident. The accident was undisputedly the fault of the other motorist. However, that motorist did not have car insurance. Thus, the plaintiff filed a claim with her parents’ insurance policy under the uninsured motorist protection clause.

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Earlier this month, an appellate court issued a written opinion in a Florida car accident case illustrating when certain types of damages are appropriate. The case presented the court with the opportunity to discuss a jury’s verdict that awarded a plaintiff compensation for both future medical expenses as well as lost wages. However, the court concluded that the jury’s verdict insofar as it related to the plaintiff’s lost wages was contrary to the evidence.

Broken WindowThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was involved in a car accident with the defendant. The defendant admitted that he was responsible for causing the accident, but he argued that the plaintiff’s injuries were not caused by the accident. Thus, the case went to trial on the issue of damages only.

The jury heard evidence from the plaintiff’s expert witness, who testified that the plaintiff would need palliative care. The expert also recommended that the plaintiff undergo a cervical surgery to improve her quality of life. Depending on how the cervical surgery went, the plaintiff may also need a lumbar surgery, although it was too early to tell if such a surgery would be needed. The expert estimated that the costs were as follows:

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Before most Florida personal injury cases reach trial, the court hears a motion for summary judgment from at least one of the parties. A motion for summary judgment asks the court to consider all of the uncontested evidence presented by both sides and make a legal ruling in favor of the moving party. Importantly, summary judgment motions can save an immense amount of time if properly filed and litigated. However, it is important to keep in mind that when there is a material issue of contested fact involved in a case, a motion for summary judgment is not appropriate.

Fast FoodA recent case illustrated a court’s unwillingness to grant summary judgment to the defendant in a premises liability case when there was a question whether the defendant had knowledge of the dangerous condition causing the plaintiff’s injury.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was visiting the defendant fast-food restaurant with some family members. After placing his order, the defendant began to walk back to the area of the restaurant where the tables were. As he was walking, he thought he heard a restaurant employee call his name. The plaintiff turned around and tripped on the leg of a high chair that was protruding out into the walkway. The plaintiff filed a premises liability lawsuit against the restaurant, arguing that the restaurant’s negligent placement of the high chair resulted in him tripping, falling, and sustaining serious bodily injuries.

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Earlier this month, an appellate court issued an opinion in a Florida car accident case requiring the court to determine if a jury was within its right to refuse to award future medical expenses to the plaintiff when the defendant failed to provide contradicting expert testimony. Ultimately, since the plaintiff’s expert’s testimony was “far-from-conclusive,” the court determined that the jury was free to make the decision it did.

Neck X-RayThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was injured in a Florida car accident that was caused by another driver. The at-fault driver either did not have insurance or had insufficient insurance to cover the plaintiff’s injuries, so the plaintiff filed an underinsured/uninsured motorist claim with her own insurance company. The extent of the plaintiff’s injuries were not conclusively established, but it was determined by her neurosurgeon that she suffered from degenerative disc disease.

The insurance company did not contest that the other driver caused the accident, but it claimed that the plaintiff’s injuries were not caused by the accident. In support of its position, the insurance company attempted to present three expert witnesses. However, the court prevented the jury from considering the experts’ testimony.

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Earlier this month, an appellate court in Georgia issued an opinion in a personal injury case that discusses principles that often arise in Florida medical malpractice cases and other personal injury cases. The case required the court to determine if the plaintiff’s evidence gave rise to a case of medical malpractice against the defendant pharmacist in the wake of a medication error. Ultimately, the court concluded that the plaintiff’s testimony failed to establish that the pharmacy violated any professional duty of care, and thus the medical malpractice claim was dismissed.Medication

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff suffered from serious medical issues requiring that he take certain medication. One day, the plaintiff’s wife went to pick up her husband’s prescription from the defendant pharmacy. The plaintiff’s wife was provided a single bag with two bottles inside. Neither bottle had the plaintiff’s name on it, and neither contained the proper medication.

The plaintiff’s wife, not noticing the error, gave the medication to her husband. Later that evening, she found the plaintiff on the floor near the front door to their home. The plaintiff’s wife did not notice anything that could have caused her husband to trip, and she concluded that he fell on his own. The pharmacy error was later discovered, and the couple subsequently filed a personal injury case.

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Earlier this month, an appellate court issued a written opinion in a Florida premises liability lawsuit involving a plaintiff who slipped and fell as she was entering the defendant store. Ultimately, the court concluded that the plaintiff’s case should be dismissed because there was no evidence showing that the business owner had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazard causing the plaintiff’s fall.

Wet FloorThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was accompanying a neighbor to a nearby big-box retail store. As the two arrived, they went to get a shopping cart under the awning immediately outside the store’s entrance. As the plaintiff started to walk toward the store’s entrance, she felt her right leg give out from under her, and she fell on her left knee. The plaintiff was then taken to the hospital and subsequently filed a premises liability lawsuit against the store.

The plaintiff later testified that she did not see the liquid before she fell, that there were no store employees around the liquid at the time of the fall, and that she was not sure what the liquid was or how long it had been there. The store filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that there was insufficient evidence to find that it had knowledge of the liquid.

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As a general rule, Florida landowners have a duty to those whom they invite onto their property to ensure that the property is reasonably safe for their visitors. While the specific level of the duty owed depends on the relationship between the parties as well as the purpose of the visit, in general, landowners must remedy known dangers and warn visitors of those dangers that cannot be fixed.

GravelWhen a visitor is injured on another party’s property, they may be entitled to compensation for their injuries through a South Florida premises liability lawsuit. In order to be successful, a plaintiff must establish that the landowner owed them a duty of care that was breached somehow by the landowner’s conduct, or by the landowner’s failure to take remedial actions. Additionally, a plaintiff must establish a causal link between the landowner’s alleged negligence and the plaintiff’s injuries. A recent case illustrates the type of analysis that courts conduct when viewing premises liability lawsuits.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff dropped a trailer off at the defendant tire shop with her brother. The two entered the building, arranged for the repairs, and left without incident. However, upon returning later that afternoon, the plaintiff fell outside the shop as she stepped off the pavement and onto a slightly sloped strip of gravel that ran alongside the edge of the shop. The gravel was placed alongside the building to allow water to drain away from the shop. As a result of the fall, the plaintiff broke a bone in her leg.

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Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a personal injury case discussing when summary judgment is appropriate in a car accident case involving the payment of future medical expenses. The case illustrates an important concept that is applicable in all Florida car accident cases when the at-fault driver’s insurance company disputes some aspect of the claim.

Doctor's CoatIn this case, the court determined that the expert witness testimony presented by the insurance company gave rise to a material issue as to whether the plaintiff’s continued medical care was a result of the accident. As a result, the court reversed a lower court’s decision granting summary judgment in the plaintiff’s favor.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was involved in a car accident with a driver who was insured by the defendant insurance company. The insurance company acknowledged that the other driver was at fault and agreed to pay the plaintiff’s medical expenses in advance. In total, the insurance company covered approximately $53,000 of the plaintiff’s medical expenses.

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When a someone is injured due to the negligence of a medical professional, they may be entitled to recover compensation for their injuries through a Florida medical malpractice lawsuit. All Florida personal injury lawsuits, especially medical malpractice lawsuits, are subject to strict procedural requirements that must be followed. One of the most commonly encountered hurdles that Florida medical malpractice plaintiffs face is the timeliness requirement embodied in the statute of limitations.

Knee X-RayIn Florida, medical malpractice cases must be brought within two years of the date of the injury. In some cases, that timeframe can be extended if the plaintiff is young at the time of the injury or does not discover the injury until a later date. However, even under these circumstances, time is still of the essence because Florida’s statute of repose prevents a lawsuit from being filed more than four years after the injury unless there has been fraud or concealment.

A recent case illustrates how courts determine when a victim’s claim accrues – or when the clock starts ticking.

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Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a personal injury case that illustrates the importance of following all procedural and court rules in South Florida medical malpractice cases. In this case, the plaintiff brought a lawsuit against a physician and pharmacy, claiming that they overprescribed medication. The case presented the court with the opportunity to discuss whether the plaintiff’s late-filed notice of expert testimony should be admitted, and if not, whether the plaintiff’s claim must fail as a result.

TimerUltimately, the court resolved both issues against the plaintiff, dismissing her case against both the pharmacy and the physician.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendants, a physician and a pharmacy. The deadline for pre-trial discovery passed, and the plaintiff had not identified any expert witness who would be testifying on her behalf. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, and on the day that hearing was scheduled to be held, the plaintiff announced that she would be having an expert testify.

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