Articles Posted in Personal Injury

Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps base in North Carolina, had one of the worst cases of water contamination that has been seen in the United States. The water also affected the nearby Marine air station, New River. Many retired military personnel live here in Florida, and since Camp Lejeune was a busy base during the time of contamination, many of these resident veterans, their families, and civilian personnel who worked on the base may be able to seek damages for harm caused by contamination at Camp Lejeune. 

What went wrong at Camp Lejeune

The contamination at Camp Lejeune was caused by multiple sources. Not all the wells on the base were contaminated, but the contaminated well water was sent to a water treatment plant where it was mingled with other wells, thus contaminating the entire water source. The water in two of the wells contained trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), benzene, vinyl chloride, and other volatile organic compounds (VOC). One of the sources was a dry cleaner outside the base which opened in 1953 and dumped wastewater laced with PCE, a known carcinogen. PCE is also used in other solvents that may have been used on the base. Another major contamination source was underground storage tanks that leaked 1,500 gallons of fuel every month. 

An e-cigarette uses a battery to heat up a liquid that is turned into an aerosol, which users inhale. The liquid is most commonly nicotine with additives such as propylene glycol, flavorings, and other chemicals. Inhaling these products can have serious enough consequences, but the heating process itself forms additional toxic chemicals. Heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead and a variety of carcinogens have been found in the vapors produced by e-cigarettes.

Lung injury is so common it has earned the term EVALI (e-cigarette and vaping-associated lung injury). In a period of just two years ending in 2019, 1,479 lung injury cases in 49 states and 33 deaths in 24 states were documented by the CDC due to “vaping” (called this because of the vapors the products produce). By February 2020, 2,807 hospitalized EVALI cases or deaths had been reported to the CDC from all 50 states, DC, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, including 68 deaths. 

Injuries from e-cigarettes

Grocery stores, retail stores, and other places of business have a duty to provide a safe environment for their customers here in Florida. When they fail to fulfill their duty, injuries can happen and the stores are liable. You may be able to receive compensation for your injuries if you were injured at a grocery store, supermarket, or another place of business. 

What is needed for a personal injury case

Florida law requires that the plaintiff in a personal injury case (the injured person or the person’s surviving family) prove: 

Everyone knows how painful a burn injury can be. Even just touching a hot pot seems to hurt for hours. More severe burns are not only excruciatingly painful, they can leave permanent damage, such as infection, scarring, nerve damage, loss of proper function, breathing difficulty, and PTSD. 

In many cases, depending on how the accident occurred, burn victims don’t realize that a third party may be at fault for their injury. For this reason, it is to your advantage to talk to a burn injury lawyer to determine if you have a case. If you’ve been burned in Florida, you may be able to seek compensation.

Causes of burns

Parasailing is an extremely popular sport in Florida. Between 3 to 5 million people enjoy parasailing every year, with Florida being one of the most popular states for this sport. While parasailing is statistically very safe, accidents do happen and they can be horrifying. 

What is Parasailing?

Parasailing involves a boat pulling a parachute, called a canopy, in which one or multiple people are harnessed. Parasails can reach 500 feet into the air or more, providing a spectacular view and a feeling of flying. People may be harnessed to the canopy in a style similar to a parachutist or they can sit in a gondola, somewhat like a seat on a Ferris wheel. If harnessed, the parasailor generally begins on the boat and then is reeled back in to land again on the boat. If in a gondola, they land in the water, since the gondola is somewhat like a paddleboat.

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

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. 

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