Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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:

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

If you have experienced an illness or injury and you believe it is due to the negligence of another person, business, or other legal entity, you may have a personal injury case. The requirements for a personal injury case are:

  1.       The one who caused your injury owed you a duty of care
  2.       The person or business was negligent in that duty

In a personal injury case, you are probably dealing with multiple insurance policies, depending on the details of your situation. You could have claims for health insurance, auto insurance, a third party’s insurance, homeowners insurance, or business insurance. This is a lot for the average person to handle since most people are not dealing with insurance claims on a regular basis and don’t understand all the details, loopholes, and fine print that insurance companies often use to calculate their payout. 

If your insurance claim is denied in connection with an injury or accident, reach out to a lawyer to determine if you have a case for a personal injury lawsuit. In many cases, the insurance company may claim that your injury or accident is not covered, the procedure isn’t covered or wasn’t medically necessary, or there is insufficient evidence to prove the company is responsible for reimbursing you.

As an expert personal injury lawyer in Florida dedicated to “fighting for the little guy,” I handle these details every day. I will help you determine whether you have a case, then work tirelessly to collect all the evidence you need through documentation, investigation, and research to create the strongest case for you. I will discover every avenue that can be taken and every party responsible, in order to provide you with sufficient compensation. 

Injuries at fraternity parties are not uncommon. Not only is a lot of alcohol often consumed, even by minors, but a lot of “partying” of other sorts – dancing, rough-housing, using drugs – may also take place, which can lead to injuries to those involved with the behavior as well as to innocent partygoers who are behaving themselves and acting with decorum. Other issues at fraternity parties may involve the quality or condition of the building itself. 

A variety of types of incidents can happen at a fraternity party: falling from a balcony; slip and falls from wet floors; health issues after alcohol poisoning; fights; even falling through shoddy construction. In just one example, a floor collapsed at a Clemson University fraternity party on the floor below because of the weight and force of many people dancing. 

As with all personal injury cases, it is necessary to prove that the defendant had a duty of care and that the defendant breached that duty. The defendants, depending on the situation, could be the hosts, the university, the owners of the property, or other individuals involved. 

More than 100 million people visit Florida each year from out-of-state or overseas. Florida is full of wonderful destinations, hotels, beaches, and resorts. Everyone comes to have a great time, but sometimes things go wrong. If you or a loved one has been injured while on vacation in Florida, you may wonder what you can do to be compensated for another party’s negligence.  Just as in your home state, you have the right to sue for damages. You must do so within the statute of limitations and prove the accident, injury, or illness took place in Florida. The statute of limitations for a personal injury case against another party in Florida is four years; against a government body, three years; for a wrongful death case, two years. 

Types of Accidents

Car accidents are among the most common sources of injury while on vacation. Many people drive to Florida in their own cars, while others rent cars or use a service, such as a taxi, shuttle bus, Uber, or Lyft. As with any accident, it is critical to get identification and insurance information from the other driver, take pictures, and get medical attention as soon as possible. If the police are called to the scene, you should also obtain an accident report. 

In most personal injury cases, attorneys agree to represent clients for a contingency fee, meaning they receive payment based on the compensation received by their clients. Additional costs are inevitably incurred, but the costs vary based on the particular case.

If your case is settled before filing a lawsuit, your costs, beyond the attorney’s contingency fee, will be low. There will most likely only be administrative fees such as photocopies of official documents, travel expenses, and other miscellaneous costs. Court cases, however, can include a number of other expenses. 

Court costs: There are numerous court costs, including the filing fee, jury stipends, summons filing, stenographer fees, deposition costs, and more. 

Can the Time to Accept a Proposal for Settlement be Extended?

Although the case law isn’t entirely clear on whether or not the time to accept a proposal for settlement can be extended, there are certainly good arguments that it cannot. For example, Florida Statute 78.79 and Rule 1.442 contain no provision for extending the time to respond to a Plaintiff’s proposal for settlement. In contrast, they state in no uncertain terms that a proposal for settlement must be responded to within 30 days.

Additionally, at least one Court has found that a motion to enlarge the time to respond to a proposal for settlement does not toll the acceptance period. State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co. v. South Florida Med. Health Center, 24 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 21 (Fla. 11th Cir. Ct. 2016). In that case, the Plaintiff filed a motion to enlarge the time to respond to a proposal for settlement. After the motion was filed, the Defendant never withdrew the proposal for settlement – and the Plaintiff subsequently accepted the proposal for settlement on the 40th day after the proposal for settlement was conveyed. The appellate Court held that the motion to enlarge did not toll the acceptance period. The Court pointed out that Florida Statute 768.79 and Rule 1.442, which govern the use of proposals for settlement, must be strictly construed to permit only 30 days to accept a proposal for settlement.

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