The Dangers of Drowsy Driving on Florida Roads

Drowsy driving is a major cause of Florida car accidents. Indeed, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving killed 795 people in 2017 alone. However, because this data relies only on police and hospital reports, traffic safety experts, sleep scientists, and public health organizations all agree that the actual number of deaths caused by drowsy driving is much higher.The NHTSA has identified several characteristics that are common among drowsy driving accidents. For example, these accidents typically involve vehicles occupied only by the driver and occur in the late night/early morning hours or the midafternoon. They also usually involve one vehicle drifting off the road at a high speed, without the driver making any a...

Continue reading →

Nursing Home Neglect Claims in Florida

One might expect that Florida nursing homes recruit some of the best nursing staff available because they care for one of society’s most vulnerable populations. However, given the track record of most Florida nursing homes, that does not seem to be the case. Indeed, it seems as though every few days there is a new report of abuse or neglect at a Florida nursing home.According to recent estimates by the World Health Organization, nearly two out of three nursing home staff members have reported that they engaged in some type of abuse over the past year. The number of instances involving nursing home neglect is more difficult to determine because residents report such a small percentage of the cases. However, it is estimated that approximately 12% of nursing home resid...

Continue reading →

Can Florida Landowners Be Held Liable for Injuries to Trespassing Children?

Most Florida premises liability cases arise after a guest or customer is injured while on the defendant’s property. These cases generally proceed under the theory that the landowner either failed to warn their guest of a known hazard or did not take sufficient efforts to remedy a dangerous hazard that was on their property.There are, however, other premises liability theories through which a landowner can be held liable for injuries occurring on their property. For example, under the attractive nuisance doctrine, a landowner can be held responsible for a child’s injuries that occur as a result of a dangerous object, feature, or condition of the defendant’s land that attracted the child onto the property. Notably, under the Florida attractive n...

Continue reading →

Florida Court Holds Landowner Can Be Liable for Injuries, Even Though the Hazard Was “Open and Obvious”

As a general rule, Florida landowners owe a duty of care to those whom they invite onto their property. This duty, however, is not without its limits. For example, a landowner will not typically be found liable for injuries that are caused by a hazard that is “open and obvious.” The rationale is that when a hazard is open and obvious, the visitor has equal of the danger as the landowner, and should be able to avoid the hazard.In a recent Florida slip-and-fall case, however, the court discussed a situation where a landowner may still be liable for a plaintiff’s injuries that were caused by an open and obvious hazard.The Facts of the CaseAccording to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff tripped and fell on an uneven section of sid...

Continue reading →

Florida Workplace Injury Claims against an Employer

Recovering after a Florida workplace accident can be tricky for several reasons. For one, as a general rule, an injured employee cannot file a Florida personal injury lawsuit against their employer – even if the employer was negligent – because a workers’ compensation claim is an injured employee’s sole remedy in most cases. And while a workers’ compensation claim allows for an injured worker to receive some benefits without establishing that their employer was negligent or at fault for the accident, the amount and duration of Florida workers’ compensation benefits can be limited.There are several exceptions to the sole-remedy provision. The two main categories of cases in which the sole-remedy provision does not apply are those cases involving a non-employer third-party’s negligence and cases involving injuries to workers in specific industries in which lawmakers have specificall...

Continue reading →

Can You Still Make a Claim After Signing a Liability Release Waiver?

Recently, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a Florida personal injury case involving an accident that occurred on the Daytona International Speedway. The case required the court to determine whether the plaintiff was prevented from pursuing a claim against the Speedway based on a release of liability waiver she had signed before the accident. Ultimately, the court concluded that although the waiver was valid and enforceable, it did not cover the specific claim made by the plaintiff.The Facts of the CaseThe court’s recitation of the facts was brief; however, it appeared from the court’s discussion of the facts that the plaintiff was a pit-crew member for one of the racers. Before the plaintiff was allowed onto the racetr...

Continue reading →

The Importance of Naming All Potentially Liable Parties in a Florida Car Accident Case

Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a Florida car accident case requiring the court to determine whether a residential community could be held liable for an accident victim’s injuries. The court’s opinion largely focused on the question of whether the defendant’s negligence was the proximate cause of the plaintiffs’ injuries. However, the case also serves as a valuable lesson for Florida injury victims.Proximate Cause in Florida Injury CasesTo establish a claim of liability against a defendant, a plaintiff must be able to show that the defendant’s actions were the proximate cause of their injury. To be sure, proximate cause is a complex legal concept, but boiled down to its ess...

Continue reading →

The Florida Rules of Evidence Play a Major Role in All Personal Injury Accidents

The judge plays an extremely important role in any Florida personal injury case. Among the major duties of the judge during a trial is to make all evidentiary rulings. These may come up in a pre-trial motion in limine or throughout trial when a party attempts to elicit or present certain evidence that the opposing party believes is objectionable and should be excluded.Florida judges are guided in these decisions by the Florida Rules of Evidence, which are quite complex and cover many of the situations that may come up during a trial. Perhaps the most basic rule is stated in Rule 90.402, which explains that “all relevant evidence is admissible, except as provided by law.” Thus, the party attempting to admit evidence must first establish that it is relevant...

Continue reading →

What the Lack of a Dead Man’s Statute Means to Florida Personal Injury Victims

One of the many roles of judges during a Florida personal injury case is to determine what evidence is admitted at trial as well as which evidence the jury will be permitted to consider during its deliberations. To guide a judge’s decision on these critical issues, lawmakers have enacted the Florida Rules of Evidence.One of the unique aspects of Florida evidentiary law is the lack of what is known as a dead man’s statute. About half of the states have a dead man’s statute, which prohibits an interested party from testifying about a conversation they had with someone who has since died. The idea behind the rule is that because the deceased person is not present to refute the representations made by the interested party, it is difficult to ensure these statements a...

Continue reading →

Florida Court Discusses the Prohibition against Stacking Inferences in Recent Car Accident Case

Recently, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a Florida car accident case discussing circumstantial evidence as well as its limits. The case required the court to explain the rule against stacking inferences based on circumstantial evidence.The Facts of the CaseAccording to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was riding as a passenger in a minivan that was being driven by a family member. The minivan was traveling over the Buckman Bridge when, about a mile onto the bridge, the driver of the minivan had to bring the vehicle to a stop because there was a ladder in the road.Apparently, no one saw how the ladder ended up on the road; however, the plaintiff testified that she saw a motorist who had parked ...

Continue reading →