One of the most interesting things about how business is developing in the 21st century is the rise of the new “sharing economy” where people convert their property into temporary money-making operations. Air BnB is an example of people doing this with their homes, using them as informal “hotels” for travelers to make a little money on the side, and Uber or Lyft are the automobile version, where drivers make some extra money by using their own car as an unofficial taxi to ferry passengers to their destinations.
However, as with anything in life, things can wrong, and there’s a chance that you may find yourself in an incident with one of these riding services where an injury is involved. If this happens to you, what are your options when dealing with this new kind of service?
Complex Legal Protection
One of the things that really comes to the fore when you look at a service like Uber is just how convoluted their legal rights are when it comes to the business. First, unlike a cab or truck driver, an Uber driver is NOT... read article
Distracted driving is, unfortunately, one of the leading causes of automobile accidents in the 21st century. You may be doing your best to drive safely and responsibly, but if another driver is too busy shooting a video of themselves, or taking a selfie and gets into an accident with you, the injuries that follow don’t discriminate based on responsibility.
Fortunately, however, the law does. And if the other driver was clearly at fault because of distracted driving, this definitely weighs in your favor if it should come time to seek financial compensation for injuries and damage. For people involved in distracted driving incidents, this is one of the great things about the use of smartphones in these accidents; being computers, smartphones track and store all activity. So, if a person was shooting video of themselves singing, taking a photograph, or sending a text message, all of that will be stored on the phone, complete with a timestamp of when the action took place. It’s a “smoking gun” that squarely implicates them.
Or will it?
In some cases, a person involved in a distracted driving accident may have the clarity... read article
When it comes to personal injury cases, there are a few different ways the situation can end. Most often the case will end with a settlement out of court, or else the case will be dropped because it lacks any merit. Sometimes the case will go to trial and be decided by a jury of peers, but if both parties agree a case will other times go in front of an arbitration board which sacrifices accuracy for speed.
However, if you’re in the middle of a personal injury lawsuit or another civil case, you may hear someone suggest mediation as an option. Here’s what mediation involves:
Mediation Is Not Arbitration
The two words may have similar meanings to the general public, but as far as the law is concerned they refer to two completely different things. The decision of an arbitration board has an authority similar to a court decision (although it can’t act as precedent), and as such it is an alternative to a jury trial.
Mediation, however, is a supplement to a trial, and it can also supplement an arbitration case. If the parties of a case... read article
For many pet owners, this is a nightmarish scenario that no one wants to think about. You love your dog or your cat, and you just want the best for them for all the joy they bring into your household with you, your children or other family members. And then one day, your cat or dog becomes sick, and, to your horror, there is nothing you can do about it. Eventually, your beloved house pet dies and you want to know why.
This has happened to many pet owners over the years, and in some cases, it has come to light after an examination that what has killed the pet is that most unexpected of sources, the pet food itself. It’s almost inconceivable, but it does happen; sometimes pet food does get contaminated with either contagious diseases, or foreign, toxic substances which can make pets sick and even kill them.
If this happens to you, your pet and your household, it doesn’t mean that you have to sit back and accept this. You did nothing wrong by wanting to feed your pet quality food, someone else... read article
According to a recent report by Smart Growth America, 47,025 pedestrians died in accidents during the decade from 2003 through 2012. This figure is sixteen times larger than the number of people who died in natural disasters during the same period.
An even more stunning finding is that an additional 676,000 pedestrians were injured during that period—meaning a pedestrian died or was injured in an automobile accident once every eight minutes on average.
The most dangerous cities were those built during the suburban boom during the post-World War II era in the Sunbelt. Unfortunately, the top four spots go to cities in Florida, with the Tampa-St. Petersburg area taking the number two spot.
Part of the reason for Florida’s pedestrian accident rate is the rapid growth of our urban centers in the last few decades, but Florida’s sunny weather and outdoor amenities encourage active lifestyles that result in more pedestrians than in other areas of the country.
In order to avoid unnecessary injuries from pedestrian accidents, it is important to know the right of way laws for pedestrians and motorists in Florida. Where a sidewalk is provided, a pedestrian must walk... read article
Although the application of negligence law has changed over the centuries, the core concept itself is one of the oldest ideas in law. The central idea of negligence is that someone who does not exercise reasonable care in taking an action should be liable for damages or injuries to another that result from those actions.
When a drunken driver runs off a neighborhood road and crashes into a garage door, the application of negligence doctrine is pretty clear cut. The drunken driver should be liable for damages caused to the garage door because he failed to operate his car in a reasonable manner by driving drunk.
But what happens when an injury occurs because both parties have failed to act in a reasonable manner? For example, imagine a situation in which two cars are approaching an intersection with a traffic signal from perpendicular directions. One of the drivers runs the red light, and the other driver crashes into it. The second driver could have stopped in time, but failed to do so because he was looking at his phone.
Do you know what happens in this situation? Surprisingly, the answer... read article
Dog attack incidents occur hundreds of times a year in Florida, and costs dog owners more than $7 million per year. In fact, in 2014, Florida recorded an average of $38,400 per dog bite insurance claim—the highest in the country. Even worse, sometimes dog attacks can lead to jail time for the dog owners.
If you’re a dog owner, it is important to know the dog bite laws to protect yourself and your dog from liability. If you’ve been bitten, it is important to know what your rights are in the aftermath of a dog attack.
Florida’s Strict Liability Dog Bite Laws
The most important thing to know about Florida’s laws is that when it comes to dog bites, Florida is a strict liability state. What this means is that a dog owner is always liable if:
- the dog bites another person;
- and the person who was bitten was in a public place or lawfully in a private place.
The injured person does not have to prove that the dog owner knew that the dog was likely to bite or failed to take reasonable care in... read article
Inspired by the case of Padi, a labrador mix in Sarasota that was scheduled to be euthanized before a judge intervened, the Florida legislature unanimously passed a bill in February that would provide dog owners in severe dog bite cases more opportunity to challenge decisions to euthanize the dogs.
Florida’s Dangerous Dog Laws
Under Florida law, a Dangerous Dog is one that has aggressively bitten, attacked, or inflicted severe injury on a human, or has severely injured or killed a domestic animal on more than one occasion.
A dog will not be declared dangerous if the dog’s attack was provoked or if the dog was protecting another person from an attack.
The owner of a dog that has been declared dangerous carries special responsibilities. The dog owners must register their dogs with the state and immediately report if the dog goes missing. They must also restrain the dog at all times and post warning signs at all entry points to their property. The dog must also be tattooed or implanted with a chip to identify it as a dangerous dog.
If a dangerous dog attacks another person, the dog owner... read article
As consumers, when we buy a product, we are implicitly putting our trust in the company that manufactured it to provide us with a safe product. Unfortunately, there are a variety of factors that result in unsafe products making their way to store shelves.
In some cases, companies, driven by economic calculations, will intentionally design less than safe products, knowing that the injuries that result will cost less than the profits to be made. In other cases, companies will design a safe product, but a few of the products will make it to shelves with defects that cause injuries. In yet still other cases, companies make products, such as power tools, that are dangerous by design.
Product liability laws hold companies liable for injuries that result from defective products. In the modern economy, a single company is seldom responsible for the entire production process of a product. There are parts suppliers, manufacturing companies, design and branding companies, distributors, and retailers. Liability for a defective product can extend to one or more of these companies involved in the production.
The laws encourage each of these companies to make... read article
The summer grilling season is quickly approaching, and that means cookouts, pool parties, and backyard sports. Unfortunately, with all that fun, there are bound to be some accidental injuries. What happens when someone is injured on another’s property?
In Florida, there is an entire body of premises liability law, which creates duties for a property owner to make sure that their properties are safe for visitors. This law opens up both homeowners and business owners to lawsuits from people that are injured on their properties.
Although property owners have a duty to keep their property safe for others on their property, it would be odd to envision a situation in which a burglar who trips over a broken tile and breaks his arm while falling would be able to sue the property owner for failing to repair the broken tile.
To prevent this type of situation, Florida premises liability law differentiates visitors into three different categories. The duty of care a property owner owes is different for each of these categories.
There are two types of invitees under Florida law. A public invitee is a person who is invited to enter the... read article
If you have been seriously injured by an accident that was not your fault, chances are you are struggling with medical bills. These bills can pile up in no time, and it can be a real struggle to find your way out. You do not need to feel like you are alone with your injury. We are here to help you and can find you a way to get your life back together.
Loss Of Income
When you are seriously injured, most of the time you have to take some sort of leave from your job. Sometimes it is a short leave for only a few days, while other times you can be forced to take an extended leave that lasts months, or even years. In either case, you will experience a loss of income that was not your fault. A loss of income claim may be filed in this case to recoup some or all of your lost income.
Mortgage And Utilities
While you are not working, unfortunately you costs of living do not decrease. A mortgage does not disappear, and utility bills may actually increase because you... read article
Have you seen products that have been labeled with a manufacturing defect? Have you been injured by a product with a defect? A manufacturing defect can cause injuries ranging from small to traumatic. Legal action may be necessary to pay for medical bills and to make sure that no one else gets hurt from using the same faulty product. Let’s take a look at what a manufacturer’s defect is and how it affects you.
A manufacturer’s defect is when a defect occurs in a product that was not intended. This can include faulty parts, incorrectly assembled pieces, poor materials and more. A well-designed product can still contain manufacturer’s defects. Manufacturers order their parts from other manufacturers, and if all the parts are not up to the proper level of quality, the final product also will not be up to quality. These small defects often go unnoticed by the plant, and end up causing injuries to the people who purchase them.
Three Kinds Of Defects
When talking about products, there are three main kinds of defects that happen. The type of defect you are dealing with will determine how you proceed... read article
Slip-and-fall cases fall under an area of law known as premises liability. The basic idea of premises liability is that the owner of a property is required to take reasonable steps to keep it safe for visitors.
Owners of businesses have a particularly high duty of care they must meet in keeping their customers safe. Customers are what is known as a business invitee, someone who is invited to enter a property for a purpose related to business dealings with the property owner. With respect to customers, business owners must maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition, repair any hazards on the property, and warn customers of any dangers on the property that have not been repaired.
More importantly, business owners have a duty to routinely inspect their property for dangerous conditions. Thus, they can be liable for dangerous conditions they did not actually know about, but should have known about through routine inspections.
The classic scenario for a slip-and-fall case is where a customer in a grocery store slips and injures himself on a wet patch on the floor. However, the term slip-and-fall also includes scenarios in which a... read article
When a product goes wrong, there can be serious consequences. Injuries can occur and property can be damaged. A lot of times it is not the fault of the person using the product, but is actually the fault of the company who put together the product in the first place. There are three main types of defective product claims that can be filed to determine who is at fault for the damages. Here is a brief look at each one.
Product Design Defect
A design defect occurs in the beginning stages of a product. The designers make up a plan for the product and how they will make it. Somewhere in this plan, something goes wrong. It may be a miscalculation, or it may be a wrong part used in the product. The design is flawed, and therefore the product becomes dangerous to anyone using it. This type of claim means that the whole line of products that has been made is defective, not just the one product that malfunctioned. The product was made exactly to the design’s specifications, but something still went wrong. Some types of this defect... read article
When you purchase any type of insurance, whether it’s health insurance, auto insurance, or home insurance, you’re purchasing peace of mind. You want to know that in the case of a serious accident or loss, you won’t be left standing with a huge bill you will never be able to pay.
Insurance companies will gladly sell you policies, but when it comes time to pay out, they have vested interest in denying as many claims as they can.
If you feel that a legitimate insurance claim has been unfairly denied, there are courses of action your attorney can take to ensure that the insurance company pays what is owed under the insurance policy.
Breach Of Contract
Traditionally, the only way an insured could enforce the contractual obligations of an insurance company was to sue for breach of contract. A breach of contract action requires an insured to prove:
that the insurance company had a contractual obligation to pay for loss
that the insured actually incurred a loss, and
that the insurance company failed to pay for the loss.
Much of the time, the insurer’s action may not reach the level of bad faith conduct if its... read article
An injury, no matter how serious it is, requires recovery time. Some wounds are deeper than others, while some require either mental or physical care, and sometimes both. Finding out what you need will help to get you on the road to recovery, but sometimes it is just not that simple.
If you have suffered a serious physical injury, it can take days, weeks, months, or even years for you to return to the life you had before. Sometimes you can never get everything back because too much has changed. Physical injury can take a toll on you, but also on your entire family and extended family. You may not be able to drive, or cook, or clean, or do any of the hundreds of other household chores that need to be accomplished on a daily basis. You may need help from family members to get things done, and this can be taxing on everyone.
Sometimes an injury is not just about the physical part that you can see and treat. Sometimes an injury goes deeper and needs a different kind of treatment. Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,... read article
Dog bites can happen so fast. All it takes is a negligent owner, or the wrong circumstances to make a dog get aggressive. Sometimes it is truly an accident, but sometimes it is the fault of a dog that should not be out walking the streets of your neighborhood. Let’s take a look at the steps you should follow if you find yourself with a dog bite injury.
Identify The Animal
The first thing to do is identify the animal that bit you. Was it a stray dog? Or was it a neighbor’s pet? In the moment it might be hard, but if you can snap a photo, it will help you later with the identification. If the animal does not have any color or tags on it, you may have to consider that it is a stray animal, which means you should take extra medical precautions. If it does have tags and a collar, you can try to read the information and write it down. After you remove yourself from the dangerous situation, you can use the information to find out if the animal... read article
If you are involved in a boating accident, it can be a scary ordeal. You may be miles out to sea and need help. During the accident, keeping calm will be key. After the accident, there are a few things to remember.
Is Everyone OK?
First things first. Check everyone on board to make sure that they are ok. You are going to need to assess the situation and find out if anyone needs medical help. Injuries should be tended to first, and if any of them are serious, you should call for help immediately. Use your cell phone or your radio to call for the Coast Guard. They can arrive with medical help to get the care that your passengers need. In order to assist them in getting to you quickly, be sure to have your exact location available, preferably with your latitude and longitude. If there are any small injuries, you can tend to them with an onboard first aid kit.
If you accident involves another vessel, you are going to want to exchange information with the other boat’s operator.