Slip-and-Fall Claims, What Are Your Rights?

As a general matter, Florida landowners owe a duty to those whom they invite onto their property to keep the area reasonably safe and warn visitors of known hazards that may not be readily apparent. The extent of the duty owed by a landowner depends on several circumstances, including the relationship between the parties. For example, a business visitor such as a customer in a retail establishment is owed a higher duty of care than a social guest. When a landowner fails to exercise the necessary level of care in maintaining their property, and a guest is injured as a result, the landowner may be held liable for their visitor's injuries through a Florida premises liability lawsuit. In general, in order to succeed in a premises liability lawsuit, a plaintiff must establish that the property owner knew or should have known about the hazard causing the plaintiff’s injuries. Importan...

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Government Begins Probe into Missouri Duck Boat Accident that Killed 17 Passengers

Originally designed for use in the second World War, duck boats are amphibious vehicles that can travel on both land and water. In the 2000s, the retrofitted vehicles became a popular tourist attraction in many cities across the country. However, over the years since duck boats started being used for recreational purposes, there have been a number of fatal accidents, including the tragic duck boat accident that occurred earlier this month in Missouri. According to a local news report, the duck boat capsized when inclement weather quickly rolled in. Seventeen people aboard the boat lost their lives in the accident, including nine members from the same family. A few days after the accident, authorities were able to remove the boat from ...

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Boating Accidents in South Florida

Any time a passenger gets into a boat, there is a danger of something going seriously wrong. Whether it be some problem with the boat itself, or the risk of colliding with a stationary object or another vessel, boating has its fair share of inherent risks. This is especially the case in Florida, where boating regulations are notoriously lax. In Florida, there is no requirement to obtain a license prior to operating a boat. The only requirement in place is that anyone born in 1988 or later must obtain a Boating Safety Education Identification Card issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. These cards, which are available online after taking a short virtual lesson, are good for life with no further requirement. In South Florida, air boat tours are a common way for locals and tourists alike to explore the Everglades. However, even the guides operating these boats – often ...

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Alcohol Consumption Can Result in Liability for Some Florida Residents But May Protect Others

Drinking too much can be very dangerous, and excessive alcohol consumption leads to about 88,000 deaths each year in the United States. But while most people are at greater risk of injury while drinking, some people may actually be shielded from liability under Florida law. Under Florida statute 768.36, a plaintiff cannot recover damages if at the time of the accident, the plaintiff was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and the plaintiff is determined to be more than 50 percent at fault for the accident as a result of his intoxication. That means that a person who is injured may not be able to recover compensation from an at-fault party who contributed to their injury if the injured person was under the influence at the time. In order for this doctrine to apply, the plaintiff has to be under the influence to the extent that the person’s “normal faculties were impaired,” or t...

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State Supreme Court Rules for Defendant in Boating Accident Case

The Iowa Supreme Court recently released a decision affirming a lower court’s ruling in favor of the government defendant in a wrongful death case that was filed by the surviving family of a 10-year-old boy who was killed in a boating accident on a lake owned by the defendant, the state department of natural resources. The lawsuit alleged that the state agency was negligent by permitting a dredge pipe to be used and stored under the lake’s surface, which was a violation of state regulations and created a hazard for which the state should be held accountable. The most recent appellate opinion ruled that the plaintiff had no claim as a matter of law, and the defendant cannot be held liable for the boy’s death. A Boy Dies after His Mom’s Boyfriend Ignores Warning Buoys and Crashes into an Underwater Pipe The plaintiffs in the case of Continue reading →

Young Boy Seriously Injured in Florida Personal Watercraft Accident

Florida is a great place for water lovers. With some of the best beaches and boating in the nation, hundreds of thousands of people flock to Florida each year to enjoy the water. However, with so much activity on Florida waters, the chance of a serious or fatal accident occurring increases accordingly. Of all the vessels on Florida waters, one of the most dangerous is the personal watercraft (PWC). In fact, each year there are about 900 accidents involving PWCs, and approximately 35 of those accidents result in death. About 90% of all PWC accidents involve some level of user error. These figures have actually decreased over recent decades as the PWCs themselves are manufactured with additional safety features, and as state governments are increasing the licensing and regulatory requirements necessary to operate the vehicles. With that said, the numbers are strikingly high when c...

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Fatal Pompano Beach Boating Accident Claims One Man’s Life

Earlier this month in Pompano Beach, a boat accident involving two vessels resulted in one death and several serious injuries. According to one local news report, the fatal accident took place at around 8:20 in the evening on a Saturday in the Intercoastal Waterway. Evidently, the two vessels involved were traveling near the center of the canal when they collided. One of the boats had five people aboard, three of whom ended up in the water after the collision. Two people from that vessel were hospitalized for their injuries. All aboard are expected to recover. Rescue crews pulled one man out of the water who was on the second boat, but they were told another man was aboard at the time of the accident. Sadly, it was not until the next day that inves...

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More Information Released Regarding Boating Accident Involving Miami Beach Nightclub Mogul

Authorities have released additional information concerning the March 20, 2015 boating crash that injured Michael Capponi, the 42-year-old man dubbed “the godfather of Miami nightlife,” and his 23-year-old girlfriend. According to a news article published on August 19, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently released a supplemental report detailing the incident. The report noted that the accident was caused by Mr. Capponi passing out and losing consciousness while at the controls of the boat, which resulted in his 25-foot Chris Craft speedboat making a sharp turn and crashing into a sea wall, injuring both occupants. The newly released information in the Commission’s report suggests that Mr. Capponi may...

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Tragic Fort Lauderdale Boating Accident Claims the Life of One Teen, Three Others Critically Injured

Earlier this month on the Middle River near Fort Lauderdale, one teen was killed and several others injured when the boat they were riding in crashed into a cement bridge. According to one local news report, the accident occurred late in the evening hours on a weeknight. Evidently, the group of six teens set out around 10:30 on Wednesday evening to take the boat, named the Boston Whaler, out for a cruise. However, about an hour and a half into their journey, the boat collided with a low spot on a cement bridge. According to news reports, the teens were experienced boaters and did have permission from the boat's owner to use the boat. Investigators quickly responded to the scene to see if they could determ...

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Miami Radio Personality DJ Laz Avoids Criminal Charges After Fatal Key Biscayne Boating Accident

Prosecutors decided not to charge Lazaro “DJ Laz” Mendez, the host of a popular morning show on Miami’s Hits 97.3 radio station, with any crimes for his involvement in the May 2014 death of a 23-year-old man in the waters off Key Biscayne. According to an article from the Miami Herald, the victim was part of a group of partygoers who were trying to help free the boat that Mr. Mendez was controlling from a sandbar during a promotional beach party event. While the victim was pushing from behind the boat, Mr. Mendez allegedly engaged the engine, causing the man to get sucked into the propellers and killed. Charges were initially being considered based on an allegation that Mr. Mendez had been drinking before the accident and may have bee...

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