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Here in Florida our roads are congested which calls for careful driving. The possibility of a car accident should always be taken seriously, no matter how seemingly insignificant. Anyone who has been in an accident should see a medical professional within 48 hours of the accident. Florida, a “no-fault” insurance state, requires that you carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which covers up to $10,000 of medical expenses and/or lost wages. However, you must see an approved medical provider for your injuries within 2 weeks of the accident in order to be eligible for any financial compensation. 

The degree of injury in an auto accident varies depending on the speed of the impact, the size of the cars involved, the degree of safety features in the car, the angle of the impact, and the size, age, and health of the occupants and how close they are to the impact. In short, every accident is different, but few people escape an accident with no injuries. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may even take a few days or weeks to become evident, which is why medical attention is critical. 

Types of Injuries

If you’re involved in a personal injury case in Florida, or you believe you have a case and are considering approaching a personal injury lawyer about it, there are some common terms you’ll likely hear. Your familiarity with them will help you understand your case better.

Common legal terms in personal injury cases

Plaintiff: the person who brings the complaint or the lawsuit. This can also be a group or party of people.

You filed a claim with your insurance company, expecting to receive reimbursement for your loss, but they denied your claim or offer way too little. Now what? Here in Florida, this is a common problem and we are here to help. Most importantly, if you are not happy with their response, do not sign anything until we talk.  

Whether it’s car insurance, business interruption insurance, homeowner’s insurance, or any other type of insurance, the company is in business to make money. I do not mean to paint with a broad brush, suggesting that insurance companies are dishonest or unwilling to help their customers, but the fact remains that they do need to make a profit for their stockholders. Thus, unless the coverage is very clearly defined in your policy, there may be ways to decrease or deny a payout. 

Let’s look at some of the reasons why your claim may have been denied and what you can do. Do not sign anything or cash any checks until you have attempted a dispute process or spoken to an attorney experienced in resolving insurance disputes. 

Thousands of young people flock to Florida every year during their spring break from school to experience the many pleasures that our beautiful state and our tourist attractions afford. For the vast majority, the experience is rewarding and provides wonderful memories. However, accidents do happen. As a personal injury lawyer, I have seen how negligence and carelessness have harmed many people’s lives. If you come to Florida for spring break, take reasonable precautions so that the carelessness or negligence of others does not harm you. 

Common injuries to avoid

Auto, motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian accidents: Auto accidents and fatalities around certain Florida attractions are nearly 10% higher during the spring break season. Primary causes include increased traffic, more young drivers, driving under the influence, and distracted driving. Don’t be one of the statistics. If you are driving, walking, or riding a bike, watch for erratic drivers and avoid traffic where possible. If you are a passenger, refuse to ride with someone who is intoxicated, under the influence of drugs, or distracted. 

Florida is the number one vacation destination in the country. Our beautiful beaches and hundreds of resorts, entertainment centers, and amusement parks draw people from all over the country and the world. And when it’s colder in northern climates, the snowbirds flock south to Florida’s beautiful climate. 

The increased population, traffic, and activities do increase the risk of injury, however. As a native Floridian and a personal injury lawyer, I encourage all visitors to take precautions so that their vacation is not marred by injury.

Vehicle accidents

There have been a growing number of lawsuits around the country against makers of infant formula based on bovine milk (cow’s milk), in particular Mead Johnson, the makers of Enfamil. Bovine-based formulas have been shown to significantly increase the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a potentially deadly condition. Conversely, infant formulas based on human milk show a significant reduction in the risk of NEC. 

What is NEC? What babies are susceptible?

NEC is a bacterial infection of the intestine that can cause symptoms ranging from mild to severe, and tragically, sometimes deadly. These symptoms can include diarrhea or constipation, vomiting, distended stomach, difficulty eating or gaining weight, sleep apnea, lethargy, and shock.

With Florida’s tourist season well underway, it’s important to take extra precautions on the road, whether you are a Florida resident or a visitor to our beautiful state. Because of the influx of tourists, our roads become quite congested, which makes Florida one of the states with the highest car accident rates. This is not something we want Florida to be known for, so we encourage everyone to become aware of possible red flags in order to keep safe on the road. 

Common hazards on the road in Florida

When traveling by car in Florida, keep particularly vigilant for these red flags:

The term “mass tort” defines a specific type of civil lawsuit in which a “tort,” a wrongful act that causes injury, has affected masses of people. Class action lawsuits also involve many people; however, mass tort differs from a class-action lawsuit in a number of specific ways. In our Fort Lauderdale office, we can help you understand what it means to participate in a mass tort lawsuit given your injury.  

Difference between Class Action and Mass Tort lawsuits

A class-action lawsuit involves a large number of individuals who have experienced similar harm from a product or event and for whom fair compensation is not large enough to justify separate cases. A class-action lawsuit is a single suit with many plaintiffs who will share in the distribution of any settlement or awards. One law firm represents all injured parties and argues for them as one entity. For instance, in 2017, Visa and Mastercard settled a lawsuit for overcharging fees to retailers. They settled for $7.5 billion, with each retailer receiving a small portion of the settlement due to the sheer number of plaintiffs. Many other class-action lawsuits have been filed for defective products and wrongful acts due to corporate negligence. 

Alec Baldwin’s accidental shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of a Western movie he was filming highlights the dangers of mishandling a gun and the problem with defects in deadly weapons. Accidental injury and death from firearms are sadly fairly common and can be attributed to human error, product defect, or both.

 Product defect

A number of guns have histories of malfunction. For instance, the Sig Sauer P320 handgun can accidentally discharge when bumped or dropped or when an object touches it in a certain way. They have even gone off when holstered. A Philadelphia SEPTA police officer’s holstered gun went off on a crowded train, narrowly missing injuring riders. Several soldiers have had their holstered firearms go off, injuring them in their legs. The P320 is also known to fire if it is dropped and lands at a certain angle. Numerous other lawsuits of this type have been filed against Sig Sauer. 

The deadly events at the Travis Scott concert on November 5, 2021, at Astroworld in Houston, have shone a glaring light on some of the dangers of attending a crowded public event. One would think that venues that frequently hold large events would have safety protocols in place to prevent tragedies, but unfortunately, that is not always the case. By taking a look at what went wrong in this event, you may be able to keep yourself safer when attending large venues with massive crowds. If you have ever been injured at a public event, you may be able to receive compensation for your suffering. 

Duty of care

In a personal injury case, you need to demonstrate that a person or business owed you a “duty of care” and that the person or business was negligent in that duty. In other words, the venue had a duty to take serious precautions, with appropriate procedures and safety standards in place, and to make sure those procedures and safety standards are enforced and followed. Negligence means that the venue either did not have these precautions in place, or they were not followed. 

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