7 Tips for Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer in Florida

7-tips-for-hiring-a-personal-injury-lawyer-in-florida                 Personal injury law has a vast number of statutes and rules that apply to this specific practice area. Attorneys who handle personal injury, as well as other legal issues such as bankruptcy, divorce, and real estate, may not have the expertise or deep understanding of the laws and the technicalities. A personal injury lawyer focuses their time and effort on representing clients injured as a result of carelessness or negligence of ...

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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...

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Preserving Error in Florida Personal Injury Cases

One of a judge’s primary roles in a Florida personal injury case is to decide which evidence the jury is allowed to consider. It is very common for one or more parties in a lawsuit to present evidence that the other party considers objectionable. This may be because the evidence is claimed to be irrelevant, based on hearsay testimony, unreliable, or otherwise excludable under one of the Florida rules of evidence. When a party learns of an opposing party’s intention to present evidence, the court may be asked to rule on the admissibility of evidence by the party against whom the evidence is being introduced. In so doing, the court will hear arguments fr...

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The Importance of Preserving Relevant Evidence in Florida Personal Injury Cases

One of the most critical parts of a Florida personal injury lawsuit is the pre-trial discovery process. During pre-trial discovery, parties can request relevant information from the other side. If the court approves a request for discovery, the court will order that the evidence is passed to the opposing party, regardless of whether that evidence is favorable to the other side or whether the side in possession of the evidence plans to use it at trial. Although it may seem counterintuitive, preserving all evidence – even unfavorable evidence – is of critical importance in a Florida personal injury lawsuit. Under the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, parties have an obligation to preserve evidence as soon as litigation is “reasonably anticipated.” Thus, a party’s obligation to preserve evidence may arise before a lawsuit is filed. A party’s failure to preserve relevant evidence is re...

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Can Parties Contract Around Default Statutes of Limitations in Florida Personal Injury Cases?

All Florida personal injury cases must follow certain procedural rules in order to be properly heard by a court. In most cases, court procedural rules are jurisdictional, meaning that a party’s failure to comply with a rule deprives the court of the jurisdiction – or power – to hear the case. Thus, when certain rules are not followed, Florida courts have little discretion but to dismiss the case. One of the most troublesome procedural rules in Florida personal injury cases is the statute of limitations. Essentially, a statute of limitations sets the time by which a plaintiff’s claim must be filed. While there are certain exceptions, in Florida, most personal injury cases must be filed within four years of the plaintiff’s injury. For Florida medical malpractice cases, the case must be filed within four years of the alleged act of negligence. Of course, there are exceptions to the...

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Pedestrian Bridge at Florida International University Collapses, Resulting in Six Fatalities

Earlier this month, a pedestrian bridge on the campus of Florida International University collapsed, killing six and injuring several others. According to a recent news report, students and teachers on campus identified several cracks in the bridge before its collapse. However, no action seems to have been taken amid reports of the cracks. As students prepared to go back to school four days after the tragic accident, the first lawsuits started to be filed. One man who was riding a bike near the bridge at the time of the collapse recently filed a Florida personal injury claim against the firm that designed the bridge as well as the company in charge of its construction. The bridge was constructed using a new method...

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Who Pays in Uber and Lyft Accidents?

Over the past few years, the popularity of rideshare apps, such as Uber and Lyft, has skyrocketed. Indeed, last year, over 45 million people used a rideshare app at least once to get to their destination. However, drivers who are employed by these companies do not need to meet any special criteria other than having three years of driving experience and a clean driving record. The result is that, in too many cases, inexperienced drivers looking for a quick buck end up causing Florida car accidents while transporting passengers. The rideshare movement, has raised a number of questions involving who can be held responsible when an accident occurs. The two main rideshare companies, Uber and Continue reading →

Punitive Damages in Florida Personal Injury Cases

When someone is injured due to the reckless, intentional, or negligent conduct of another party, they may be entitled to monetary compensation from the at-fault party through a Florida personal injury case. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, the severity of the accident victim’s injuries, and the defendant’s level of culpability, an accident victim may be entitled to one or more of several types of damages. Types of Damages in Personal Injury Cases The most common and straightforward type of damages in a Florida personal injury case is compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are designed to restore the plaintiff back to the situation in which they were prior to being injured. Of course, courts cannot go back in time and make a plaintiff “un-injured,” so instead courts estimate the costs that have been incurred by the plaintiff in the pas...

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Filing a South Florida Truck Accident Case

The highways of South Florida see a large number of commercial trucks every day. As a result, it isn’t surprising to learn that there are a significant number of truck accidents across the state. Indeed, according to a recent government study, there were nearly 300 fatal Florida truck accidents in 2016 alone. Miami-Dade and Broward Counties see the highest number of fatal Florida traffic accidents each year. Due to the dangers presented by large trucks, Florida truck drivers are required to obtain a special license prior to operating a large truck. In order to obtain a commercial driver’s license, an aspiring truck driver must pass several written tests, as well as a pre-trip inspection test and a road test. In addition, truck drivers who plan on carrying hazardous materials, school children,...

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Florida Residents Who Engage in Recreational Activities on Another Party’s Land May Do So at Their Own Risk (With a Few Notable Exceptions)

The Florida state government wants to encourage people to be active and to enjoy the beautiful Florida weather by rollerblading, skateboarding, mountain biking, or engaging in other recreational activities. However, the government seemed to notice that there were becoming fewer and fewer places to partake in these activities because landowners were prohibiting people from engaging in these recreational activities on their land, due to the liability they may face if someone is injured. The Florida Legislature’s solution was to pass Florida Statute 316.0085, which provides immunity to certain landowners who open up their property for the public’s use. While there are other recreational use statutes in Florida, th...

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