Articles Tagged with Miami injury attorneys

In many personal injury cases, a verdict can turn on the use and effectiveness of expert witnesses. And more than any other type, the expert witnesses in personal injury trials are often doctors who provide testimony as to the nature, severity, and extent of someone’s injuries.

The Need for Expert Bias Discovery

While most victims will use their own doctors and have those doctors testify, defendants will often use outside, non-treating doctors, to provide testimony. Those doctors can’t provide an opinion based on treating the victim, because they’re not the victim’s doctor. But they can and often do render an opinion based on review of medical records, or even a one-time medical examination of the victim.

In many cases, someone who is injured as a result of another’s negligence may not have physical injuries, but rather, emotional injuries. There are many examples where mental anguish or trauma may be even more significant than any physical harm that could have been sustained.

Although we live in an age where mental health awareness is more prevalent than ever, the law has been slow to adapt to mental injuries that don’t stem from physical ones. There has long been concern that allowing people to recover for only mental distress, with no physical injury or impact, will lead to false claims, and is too difficult for a defendant to disprove.

The Impact Rule

The area of products liability is one of the biggest areas in which a personal injury lawyer can make a difference in the lives of consumers. We rely upon products that we use every day to be safe and reliable, often putting our lives in the hands of the companies that make and manufacture these products.

Nowhere is that more evident than in the area of medical products. A recent, tragic death in Chicago is a reminder of how vital it is to keep companies responsible for ensuring the safety of the products.

Chicago Law Student Dies

You may have heard in the news about how arbitration clauses are causing consumers difficulty when bringing claims against big companies. You may think arbitration is a threat to just consumer clients suing businesses for unfair trade practices. But more and more, it’s being used against those who suffer personal injury due to the negligence of another, as big businesses’ way of trying to deny victims the right to a jury.

What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is an informal proceeding where both sides present their evidence and a decision is made about the case. Unlike court however, the decision is not made by a jury, but rather, an arbitrator. The arbitrator also may not even be a judge, but may be a lawyer, retired judge, or other professional.

Often when people are injured, the negligence involved multiple parties. A construction site can have contractors and subcontractors, stores may rely upon outside vendors, and apartment complexes may contract out with private security companies to handle security. Thus, knowing which entity to sue, and holding the right party responsible for your injuries, becomes crucial.

Delegating Duties

Often, companies will argue that they have delegated the duties they owe to the public or to you, to another company, and that company is the one responsible for your injuries. So, for example, a store that hires a separate maintenance company to clean their floors will point the finger at that company when you slip and fall because of the poorly maintained floors.

When people are injured because of the negligence of another, it may be natural to think that filing a lawsuit is the immediate next step in order to get reparation for injuries. But in fact, there are many steps that often occur before a lawsuit is filed, and which are necessary to develop your case, if a lawsuit becomes necessary.

Medical Treatment is Needed

The obvious first step in developing an injury case is for you to recover or try to recover for your injuries. Filing a lawsuit before you have had sufficient time to treat and recover is often a bad idea. In many cases, you may undergo months of therapy, and end up needing surgery. In other cases, the therapy may almost completely bring you a full recovery. But it’s impossible to know which will be the case until you have undergone medical treatment (this is often called MMI, or maximum medical improvement).

It’s pretty basic that when you are litigating a case involving personal injuries, you need evidence to prove your case in court. In fact, much of what happens before trial involves disputes over what evidence can be obtained and which evidence the negligent defendant is not required to produce.

One category that doesn’t have to be produced is known as “work product.” This term has a specific legal definition, but in practical terms, anything deemed work product may be very difficult for you to obtain to prove your case.

What is Work Product?

We’ve written in the past about the civil aspects of crime. A huge area of negligent security case law derives from crime that occurs at apartment complexes. Landlords aren’t insurers of tenant safety, but surely have an obligation to do what they can to keep foreseeable crime out of the complex, and provide basic safety measures for tenants to help prevent injuries.

A recent case decided by the Florida Supreme Court emphasizes how important nuanced facts are to negligent security cases. In the end, the court made a ruling that makes it a bit easier for victims to obtain reparation for injuries caused by a landlord’s failure to provide adequate safety.

Murder in an Apartment Complex Leads to Lawsuit

If you are injured in an accident, and the negligent party was drunk and under the influence of alcohol, it may appear that your case is a slam dunk. Generally speaking from a liability standpoint this may be true.  However, collecting from the insurance company for the full amount of your damages may not be as simple as you think. Some insurance policies have exclusions for certain acts.  This means the insurance company may not be required to cover an insured’s negligence  such as an intentional act, or if there is a claim that arises based on conduct that is  excluded or not covered under the insurance plan language. This can include a claim that arises out of a fight in a night club, use of alcohol, or even for punitive damages such as an insured in a drunk driving accident. These exclusions are common in premises liability cases, such as bars, nightclubs, and other commercial property insurance policies. For these reasons, it is always a good idea to ask for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Miami to discuss if any of these potential issues may apply to your case.

Recent Case Enforces Alcohol Exclusion

This does not mean that the tort feasor is entirely off the hook. Injury victims can always pursue legal action regardless of insurance that is available. It just means that the an action to collect some or all of a  judgment for claims that are not covered under insurance may have to come directly from the at fault party, as opposed to the insurance company. However, the reality of collecting against an uninsured or under insured  defendant directly just may not make sense.

The sad fact is that in many catastrophic accidents in death results. When there is a death, it is left to the estate of the deceased to pursue any claims against third parties. But there are still certain areas where the right of an estate to bring a claim is called into question.

A new case, however, has broadened the areas where the estate of a deceased person can bring a lawsuit.

Accident on the Job Brings Lawsuit