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Many small business owners here in the greater Miami area have suffered financially through COVID-19. Particularly devastating is discovering that the business interruption insurance policy they thought would protect their operation has a pandemic exclusion.  

The purpose of business insurance is to provide income replacement during a period of business interruption due to covered causes in order to help the company remain viable and able to continue to pay operating expenses and other overhead costs until the company can resume business. 

Business interruption insurance is a valuable resource, but it only covers exactly what is written in the agreement and only for the time period or up to the dollar amount agreed upon. There are, however, opportunities for policyholders to appeal the insurance company’s definitions, that is, to argue that their particular circumstance falls under their coverage guidelines. 

On March 29, 2021, the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, signed into law SB72, “Liability Protections for COVID-19-Related Claims” granting liability protections against COVID-related injury and death claims. This law protects health care providers, businesses, religious organizations, governmental entities, and individuals against civil liability by applying a heightened standard of proof for plaintiffs claiming damages due to COVID-19. 

The goal of the legislation is to protect frontline workers and other health professionals and help businesses reopen. Senate President Wilton Simpson stated, “Our hardworking and dedicated health care providers have been on the front lines of this pandemic from day one, putting their own health in jeopardy to help others. Meanwhile, businesses across Florida are doing the best they can to safely reopen and keep people employed during a period of extreme uncertainty. The last thing we want is for businesses and health care providers, who do the right thing, to face a constant threat of frivolous lawsuits that hamper their ability to serve their patients and customers.” 

While it may be true that some lawsuits are “frivolous,” I maintain a very high level of integrity in my practice in personal injury law. I feel a duty to help individuals in their pursuit of justice and compensation against large organizations and big businesses and never file frivolous suits. If you believe you have been harmed due to COVID-related negligence, reach out to me. We will discuss the circumstances and determine if arguing based on COVID is the best approach, or if there are other acts of negligence that took place that may be more likely to prevail in court. 

I’m often asked if a driver who causes an accident can still get compensation for their medical bills. The short answer is yes. Florida is one of about a dozen states with “no-fault” motor vehicle liability laws. That means that no matter who is at fault in an auto accident, each person turns to his or her own insurance first to cover medical expenses and/or lost wages, up to as much as $10,000, depending on the various details of your case. This is called Personal Injury Protection coverage, or PIP. 

Whether you were the driver or passenger, at fault or not, on a bicycle or a pedestrian hit by a car, if a car is involved in the accident you should turn to your auto insurance policy first for coverage. If you don’t have auto insurance, you may be covered by the auto insurance of a household relative who has insurance. 

“Can I Sue for More than Just PIP?”

As with any other personal injury lawsuit here in Florida, when you are injured in your own home or on your own property, you must be able to demonstrate negligence on the part of a third party to receive compensation. For instance, if you slip and fall in your own kitchen because of your wet tile floor that has been properly installed, you cannot file a claim against your homeowner’s insurance or the installer of the floor for compensation because you are the negligent party. However, that does not mean that all injuries on your property are your fault. 

Product Injuries

Product injuries happen every day in the United States, and sometimes those injuries are serious. Power tools, lawnmowers, baby cribs, electronic devices, large appliances, and kitchen equipment are common items that cause injuries. Other injuries may be caused by defective chemical products, such as cleaning agents or hygiene items. 

Florida has specific laws that hold dog owners accountable for dog attacks. If you’ve been bitten by a dog in Florida, the statute of limitations (the legal deadline) for filing a lawsuit is four years from the date of the incident. In rare circumstances, that may be extended, so it’s important to check with an experienced personal injury attorney to see if you qualify for that extension.

 Florida Statutes Pertaining to Dog Bites

In a nutshell, Florida law holds dog owners liable for injuries caused by their dog biting someone in a public place or if the person is lawfully in a private place, such as the dog owner’s property. It doesn’t matter if the dog never bit anyone before or if the owner never suspected the dog was dangerous. If “Bad Dog” signs were posted, or if the person bitten was trespassing or in some way provoked the attack, the victim’s ability to receive compensation may be reduced, but he or she may still get some compensation. 

Spinal injuries can be devastating. Though they vary in degree based on the location and severity of the injury, no spinal cord injury is a small matter. All require extended care to help the injured patient return to good health. Sometimes, however, full recovery is not possible. Expenses can be devastating and can go on for years. Depending on how the injury occurred, you may be eligible for significant financial help.

Spinal injuries can be caused by vehicle accidents, slip and falls, sports collisions, and other impacts. If you sustain a spinal cord injury in a motor vehicle accident in the state of Florida, the first $10,000 of medical expenses should be covered by the PIP (personal injury protection) on your own auto insurance policy even if you were a pedestrian or a bicyclist. Healthcare costs over the first $10,000 can become part of your claim against the negligent party. You may need to hire an attorney who specializes in personal injury law to help you with your claim.

If you’ve recently been involved in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, or other accident and you have any of the following symptoms, seek medical help immediately to determine if your spine or head have been injured:

Since Florida is warm most of the year, we see motorcycles on the road almost year-round. This means we have a large number of motorcyclists but unfortunately, this also means that we are one of the leading states for motorcycle accidents involving injuries and deaths.

To a biker, a motorcycle represents more than just a way to get from Point A to Point B. To a biker, the motorcycle represents freedom – not in a rebellious sense, but in the sense of feeling the wind rushing by and the road under your wheels. Riding requires the use of your muscle groups, heightened awareness, and thought, while at the same time providing a sense of peace and relaxation. Even if it’s just a short ride to work, every ride feels like an adventure.

Unfortunately, riding a motorcycle is also more dangerous than driving a car, and too many bikers are involved in an accident at some point in their lives. In 2018, motorcyclists in the United States were involved in approximately 79,000 crashes involving injury, and an additional 5,000 involving a fatality.

Can you sue over an airbag recall if you were injured? Nearly 67 million airbags built by Japanese auto parts maker Takata were recalled in 2019 and 2020. This is a critically important recall, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has called “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history.” Nineteen different automakers have used these defective airbags in multiple car models. 

The problem is in the metal cartridge within the airbag, which is loaded with propellant wafers that cause the airbag to quickly inflate upon impact. High humidity, high temperatures, and age can cause the system to become unstable and the cartridge to ignite and explode upon impact, sending metal shards throughout the car. So far, this defect has caused 17 deaths and over 200 injuries in the United States alone. 

The problem, according to the NHTSA, is the use of an ammonium-nitrate-based propellant without a chemical drying agent. What makes this situation particularly troubling is that there is some evidence that Takata was aware of the potential danger before going to market with these airbags. 

If you’ve experienced a personal injury in Florida and have not received sufficient compensation for your injuries and losses, it’s critical to collect as much evidence as possible to support your position. The stronger the evidence, the stronger your case and the greater your chances of just and fair restitution for the harm you’ve experienced. 

Try to collect as much evidence as you can, but don’t wait until you think you’ve collected enough before you talk to an attorney. I know from my years of experience as a personal injury lawyer in Florida the kinds of evidence I will need in order to build a powerful case for you.

Strong Evidence for Your Case

In Florida, if you have been seriously injured in a slip and fall on someone else’s property, you may be able to receive compensation. The success of the case depends on demonstrating the property owner’s negligence (or in some cases, the renter’s negligence). This is known as “premises liability.”

Premises liability refers to the legal responsibility of owners to maintain an environment that is safe and free from defects that could be hazardous. There are several kinds of premises liability — homeowner liability, renter and landlord liability, and business owner liability.

Types of Hazards

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