Playground accidents can occur on Florida school property during school hours or at city and county parks. Some accidents are the result of child’s play and may not result in serious injuries. However, other preventable accidents are the result of someone’s negligence. In many instances, a child’s injuries are the result of defective equipment or negligent supervision. Florida children who have suffered playground injuries because of another person or entity’s negligence should contact an attorney to discuss their rights and remedies.

Typical defendants in Florida playground accidents are playground equipment manufacturers or retailers, school employees, or the city or county responsible for maintaining the playground. These cases entail many challenges because plaintiffs must comply with strict filing notices and deadlines. Requirements vary depending on the nature of the accident, type of lawsuit, and defendant.

Playground accidents, specifically those that occur on school grounds, are not always related to defective equipment, but may involve instances of altercations between students. For example, in a recent opinion, a state appellate court addressed evidentiary burdens in a lawsuit involving a physical altercation on a school playground. In that case, the child suffered injuries when other students attacked her during recess. The family filed a lawsuit alleging that the child’s injuries were a result of the school’s negligence and carelessness because of the school’s failure to supervise children on the playground adequately.

Recently, a national news source reported on the rising rates of drug-resistant infections present in hospitals and nursing homes. The startling report indicates that the fungus, Candida Auris, was present in over 100 nursing homes and 64 hospitals. In many instances, individuals who suffer exposure to this fungus die within 90 days. Florida nursing home residents and their families who suffer injuries or death because of exposure to this or other resistant bacteria and fungus should speak with an attorney to discuss their rights and remedies.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), considers the spread of this fungi a global health threat. Candida Auris is resistant to common antifungal drugs and is often misidentified. The misidentification often leads to inappropriate treatment and allows the fungus to become more potent and deadly. Additionally, this fungus is quick spreading and frequently causes a fatal epidemic at affected facilities.

Nursing homes are particularly susceptible to outbreaks because the facilities typically have less sophisticated disease control teams. The lack of skilled infection control teams compounded with highly immunocompromised, and vulnerable residents can have disastrous consequences on residents.

When a person suffers injuries because of the negligence of a medical provider, the victim or their representative may file a Florida medical malpractice lawsuit to recover compensation for the damages that they sustained. Incidents of medical malpractice occur more frequently than people may realize. In addition to death, the most common reasons for medical malpractice claims include severe and pervasive brain damage resulting in lifelong care. In most cases, medical malpractice relates to diagnosis errors, surgical errors, and general treatment.

Florida law provides that medical malpractice victims may seek three main types of damages from the negligent health care provider:  compensatory, non-economic, and punitive damages. Victims may be entitled to compensatory damages to cover tangible losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages. By contrast, non-economic damages are designed to address losses related to pain and suffering. Courts rarely permit punitive damages, and these damages only apply in situations in which the provider engaged in gross negligence.

These damages are only available if the lawsuit is timely filed. Under Florida law, medical malpractice victims must file their lawsuit within two years of discovering their injuries and no later than four years after the incident. However, there are certain crucial exceptions in specific incidents of medical malpractice.

Recently, a Florida appellate court addressed the statute of limitations in Florida medical malpractice lawsuits. The appeal stemmed from a complicated medical malpractice case involving the birth of a baby born with brain injuries, allegedly because of negligent care by a hospital and physician. Following delivery, doctors told the parents of the baby that their child needed to remain in the hospital for an additional 10 days because of an infection. Before releasing the baby, the hospital performed a head ultrasound and reported that the findings were unremarkable. In the months following discharge, the plaintiff suspected that something was wrong with her child because he was not meeting developmental milestones.

For approximately the next year, the mother took the child to various specialists, all of whom diagnosed the baby with other mild and common conditions. However, in 2011, the family retained an attorney, who filed a petition with NICA, Florida’s Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association, on behalf of the child. It was not until the baby was three years old that a doctor diagnosed him with spastic cerebral palsy, which is typically caused by a lack of oxygen during delivery. With this information, the family filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and physician. The hospital filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the statute of limitations barred the case.

Generally, under Florida law, medical malpractice lawsuits must abide by the state’s two-year statute of limitations. The two years begin to run from when the patient knew or should have known that an injury occurred because of medical malpractice. Additionally, the state’s statute of repose provides that, barring exceptional circumstances, health care professionals cannot be liable for medical malpractice more than four years after the incident occurs. There are specific exceptions to this statute, which are relevant when there are incidents of fraud, misrepresentation, or concealment.

The risk of a car accident is an unfortunate reality that all drivers must recognize each time that they get into a car. Statistics indicate that close to 2.5 million people suffer injuries or fatalities each year because of a car accident. Many car accidents result from user error, unsafe driving, and inclement weather. The rate of South Florida car accidents may begin to increase as the popularity of self-driving cars and autopilot features starts to gain mainstream traction.

Some say that self-driving cars may eliminate many of the common causes of car accidents, since these vehicles are unable to drive impaired or become distracted, and they can adjust their settings to inclement weather. However, this feature entails its own set of problems that may increase the rate of car accidents in Florida. Recently, the car manufacturing company Tesla has faced significant scrutiny over the company’s autopilot technology. While the company claims that its autopilot feature is safer than traditional driving, there have been several high-profile accidents involving the technology in recent months.

For example, according to a recent news report, a man collided with a disabled police vehicle while his Tesla was in autopilot mode. The man reported that he was tending to his dog in the back seat of the car when his vehicle went off course and slammed into the unoccupied police vehicle. Tesla states that the autopilot feature allows their cars to steer, accelerate, change lanes, and brake automatically. However, they also advise drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel and remain alert. To add to this confusion, Tesla’s CEO has posted videos on social media that depict drivers engaging the autopilot feature without their hands on the steering wheel. These facts, compounded with recent fatalities that occurred while this feature was engaged, suggest that autopilot technology is not as advanced as the company claims.

Under Florida law, health care providers owe a duty to their patients. This duty requires doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to provide a certain level of care to their patients. When a medical professional fails to live up to this duty, and a patient is injured as a result, the patient may be able to pursue compensation through a South Florida medical malpractice lawsuit.

Medical malpractice claims can be complex, and they often raise several unanticipated issues. One of the most critical early decisions that an injured patient must make is which parties to name as defendants. Of course, the medical professional whose negligence resulted in the patient’s injuries is an obvious choice. However, there may be other parties that can be named to improve a plaintiff’s chance of recovering compensation for their injuries.

This stands true for all Florida personal injury cases. And a common source of liability is an at-fault party’s employer. For example, under the doctrine of respondeat superior, an employer can be held liable for the negligent acts of their employee. Thus, employers are routinely named as defendants in cases involving an employee’s negligence. However, most medical professionals are legally classified as contractors rather than employees, making a respondeat superior claim difficult, if not impossible.

Infants, children, and young teenagers are susceptible to a wide array of medical and health issues that can have lifelong and potentially fatal outcomes. Although safe and swift medical treatment is important for all individuals, it is crucial for populations that are unable to articulate their symptoms or effectively advocate on their behalf. When medical professionals fail to appropriately treat young children, they may be liable under Florida’s medical malpractice statutes.

Florida law requires that medical professionals adhere to a reasonable standard of care when treating their patients. When a physician or other health care provider diverges from this standard of care, either by their action or by their failure to act, they may be liable to compensate their patients for the damages that they suffered. Under Florida’s medical malpractice statute, medical professionals owe children a “substantial duty of care.” This heightened standard means that these professionals must act reasonably in all aspects of their handling of the child’s medical care.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) lists pediatric medical malpractice lawsuits as one of the most common types of medical malpractice lawsuits brought against medical professionals. Some common incidents that result in medical malpractice are birth injuries, failures to diagnose, misdiagnoses, prescription errors, defective laboratory equipment, and surgical complications.

An appellate court in Florida recently released an opinion addressing issues that frequently arise in South Florida truck accident cases. The case arose after a woman suffered severe injuries when a trailer flew off a truck and collided with her vehicle. The woman filed a lawsuit against various parties, including the trucking company as well as the automotive company that installed the wheels on the trailer. After amending her complaints, the trucking company was the only defendant remaining. At this point, the trucking company moved to dismiss the claim, alleging that their duty to maintain the truck was a delegable one, and therefore the company was not liable for the injuries that the plaintiff sustained.

The trucking company argued that they were not negligent because they conducted all relevant and applicable safety inspections, and they did not know that the automotive company was negligent in their repair. The woman argued that the company’s duty to maintain and repair its fleet was non-delegable.

Under Florida law, when a person suffers injuries because of a trucking accident, various parties may be liable. Some common defendants in Florida trucking accidents are the truck driver, the truck company, manufacturers of trucking component parts, and mechanics who worked on the vehicle. Although all of these parties may owe the victim a duty of care, issues arise when determining which parties breached that duty. Many times, defendants will argue that they are not responsible because they delegated a duty that was owed to the plaintiff to another party, and that other party should be accountable for the injuries that the victim suffered.

Florida dog bite law imposes liability on dog owners if their dog bites another person when the victim is lawfully in a private place or a public place. This statute only includes incidents in which a person suffers injuries specifically resulting from a dog bite. In cases in which a person suffers another type of injury from a dog, such as a scratch or a fall, the owner may be liable if the victim establishes that the owner’s negligence or failure to use reasonable care caused their injury.

Moreover, Florida courts follow strict liability theories when addressing dog bite injuries. Strict liability in dog bite cases means that owners can be liable when their dog bites another person, even if the person had no previous knowledge or warning that the dog might attack or bite someone. Unlike victims of other dog-related injuries, dog bite victims do not need to establish that the owner failed to take reasonable care to prevent their dog from biting the victim.

Dog bite victims may want to hold a landlord liable for injuries that they suffered because of a dog bite. For instance, plaintiffs in a neighboring state filed a lawsuit against a landlord after a dog escaped a yard and bit a woman. The dog bite victim alleged that the landlord was liable because he failed to repair a broken gate latch, which allowed the dog to escape the yard and attack the victim.

Pharmaceutical companies and retailers have strong financial motivations to get their products on shelves as quickly as possible. However, in some instances, these drugs can have potentially dangerous side effects for consumers. When someone suffers injuries because of a defective drug in Florida, they may be able to recover financial compensation for the harm that they suffered.

Most defective drug lawsuits are a type of Florida product liability claim and brought under strict liability theories. In some cases, other approaches may be appropriate, depending on the type of drug that the patient took, the harm that they experienced, and the warning that the company provided. There are three main defective drug claims that a Florida patient may pursue against a pharmaceutical company or retailer:  a defective manufacturing claim, an improperly marketed drug claim, or a dangerous side effect claim.

Defective manufacturing claims occur when a product is contaminated or otherwise tainted during production. Sometimes products will become contaminated during production at the facility; in other cases, a product may become compromised at some point between manufacture and when the patient receives the drug. Improper marketing claims arise when the pharmaceutical company uses inappropriate or inadequate warnings, instructions, or recommendations regarding the use of the product. These types of claims may incorporate various theories of liability. Finally, a dangerous side effects claim generally transpires after a patient suffers injuries because the company failed to reveal hazardous side effects appropriately. In some cases, the product’s dangerous propensity is not discovered until sometime after the product has been on the market; however, patients may allege that the company knew of the side effects but failed to warn the public. In some cases, companies will not issue a formal recall but will provide an enhanced warning. This does not always suffice, and the company may still be liable.

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