Articles Tagged with Miami injury attorneys

By now most of our readers should know that where a crime is committed, there may also be an avenue for civil recovery, by suing the wrongdoer for damages. A recent case provides an interesting analysis as to what happens when a family member is killed by another family member, and a surviving spouse attempts to sue for damages as a result of that crime.

A Tragic Familial Murder Case

The case is Cosman v. Rodriguez, and it involved the killing of a wife by her husband after fifty years of marriage. The husband was convicted of murder, but the wife’s surviving adult child tried to sue the husband for damages.

If you are injured because of the negligence of another, you may begin to analyze your case with the more obvious aspects of an injury lawsuit. Was someone negligent? How? Were you injured? How badly?

But often overlooked is the issue of collectability. Collectability is your ability to collect a judgment that is entered in your favor. Being awarded millions of dollars can be an empty victory if the defendant has no funds to pay the verdict entered.

Collectible and Non-Collectible Defendants

If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, it’s likely that you can find an attorney to take your case, regardless of your financial situation. That’s because unlike many areas, in personal injury, attorneys are often paid on contingency. That means that you don’t pay them until and unless you win or settle your case.

Contingency fee arrangements serve an important role for Florida consumers—they ensure access to courts. Someone who is injured does not have to worry about paying $100-$400 per hour for a qualified attorney, ensuring that even those with limited financial means can still hire the best attorneys in the state to represent them.

But an upcoming Florida Supreme Court case could put this fee system in jeopardy. It’s a case that Florida consumers should take an interest in.

Many families in Florida admirably and nobly care for children with mental disabilities, even into the child’s adulthood. Doing so can be a huge obligation, financially and emotionally.

Many of those children may have disabilities that make them dangerous. What responsibility does a parent of a dangerous adult child have towards others? And if you’re injured by an adult, what right do you have to sue the child’s parents if they knew the child was dangerous?

One case decided earlier this year has set some guidelines on these questions.

If you are injured and file a lawsuit for damages, in many cases, the other side may settle with you before a trial is needed. In return for paying you damages for your injuries, the negligent party often may want a confidentiality provision in your settlement agreement.

A case from earlier this year demonstrates how seriously defendants can take these confidentiality agreements. It also demonstrates how mindful everyone must be in an age of social media.

Man’s Daughter Violates Confidentiality

In all kinds of cases, witnesses can provide vital information that can lead a jury to enter a verdict for damages in favor of an injured person. Witness information is of particular importance where facts are disputed. A single witness, especially neutral witnesses with no stake in the outcome, can be the difference between recovering for an injury and being left with nothing.

In many cases, witnesses voluntarily come forward. For example, someone who witnesses a car accident may remain on the scene, and provide their contact information to an investigating police officer, or a treating doctor may be expected to be called as witnesses. 

But what about witnesses that may not have come forward voluntarily? Or aren’t even aware they have information to provide? How does someone who is injured get their information to call them to testify at an injury trial?

If you are injured in a fall on a business owner’s premises, a crucial question will be whether the dangerous condition was “open and obvious” to you. The open and obvious doctrine can be a difficult hurdle to overcome for injured victims seeking damages for their injuries, but a case earlier this year may have made that hurdle a little lower. 

What is Open and Obvious? 

As the name implies, an open and obvious condition is one which is out in the open, and readily observable to anyone demonstrating due care. Generally, we all have a duty to look out for our own safety. This includes avoiding dangerous conditions that are open and obvious.

Florida law has a very complex and often expensive pre-suit process for anyone who seeks to sue for medical malpractice. The pre-suit requirements are mandatory, and must be strictly complied with. But in many cases, it may not be so clear whether an injury was caused by medical malpractice or not. If that question is answered incorrectly, the result can be devastating for a case.

The Pre-Suit Requirements

If someone believes they have been a victim of medical malpractice, notice to all prospective defendants must be sent, describing the nature of the claim and the injuries. The potential defendants can then reject the claim, offer to settle it, or request the claim go to arbitration.

When a personal injury case gets submitted to a jury, the jury doesn’t just automatically know what questions it must decide on, nor does it know what kind of law applies. It’s up to the parties, at the conclusion of a trial to instruct a jury to give them guidance on how to rule. That’s normally done by submitting jury instructions.

Both parties must agree to the instructions, and when they can’t it’s often a judge that will make the final decisions.

Those instructions are vitally important. As you can imagine, subtle wording can persuade a jury, and misstating the law, or what the parties have to prove to win, can be the difference between winning and losing. And when jury instructions are incorrect or inaccurate, it can create huge problems, such was the case in a recent appeal to Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals.

Victims of injuries very often suffer not only physical injuries, but emotional ones as well. Anxiety, fear, post traumatic stress disorder, and any number of mental ailments are natural consequences of injury, and damages for these injuries can be recovered from a liable party in a personal injury suit. But what if you have only mental or emotional injuries, without physical injury? In these cases, the law makes it much tougher to recover damages.

Situations Where Victims Might Have Only Emotional/Mental Damages

In many cases, someone may suffer no physical injury or impact at all, but still have mental or emotional injury. Emotional damage can stem from an event that happened to you, or from witnessing something happen to a loved one. Some common examples of situations where there may only be emotional damage would be: