Articles Tagged with Miami injury lawyer

According to CNBC, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) uncovered a $1 Billion scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid. As a consequence of this investigation the owner of more than 30 Miami-area nursing homes, Philip Esformes, was indicted by a federal grand jury in July of 2016. The DOJ also accused a physician’s assistant and hospital administrator for their role in stealing and laundering money from the federal government since 2009.  The depth and breadth of the fraudulent scheme shows how elders and the infirm are at the mercy of unscrupulous health care providers. Miami personal injury attorneys who have experience recovering damages for injuries and abuse in nursing homes will fight to protect your loved one in a nursing home or long-term care facility.

The DOJ alleges that Esformes, with assistance from the other individuals involved, bilked the faltering health care system to fund a ridiculously lavish lifestyle. All at the expense of some of our most vulnerable people in our community: the elderly and the poor. Prosecutors alleged that Esformes subjected his residents to unnecessary medical treatments so that he could bill Medicare for the treatment. Additionally, and perhaps most egregiously, Esformes allegedly drugged some of his patients with prescription narcotics. The over prescription of narcotics renders the patient incapable of weaning themselves off of the drug. As a result, the patient remained bound to the facility because they were addicted to the painkilling drugs. Prosecutors referred to this abuse as a “cycle of fraud.”

Local law enforcement authorities are aware of the problem. The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, which represents the Miami-area, indicated that the South Florida area is replete with Medicare and Medicaid fraud. Consequently, law enforcement is paying close attention to facilities in the hopes of preventing this type of wide-spread fraud in the future.

The statute of limitations is the time limit when a lawsuit must be filed. After that time expires, a lawsuit cannot be filed, and a victim will be forever barred from recovery for injuries.

In many injury cases, the statute of limitations (SOL) won’t be an issue—hopefully, a victim will find an attorney relatively quickly, and that attorney will file suit well within the time frame allowed. But there is a hidden SOL problem that many attorneys may not be aware of, that could forever bar a party’s right to recover, even when a lawsuit has already been filed.

Naming the Proper Party

Even injury cases that seem like “slam dunks,” or “easy” cases, can have complex issues, that could prevent someone catastrophically injured from recovering at trial. No case should be seen as easy, even when facts seem to look like they go in a victim’s favor. A recent case demonstrates how even when on the surface a case seems like a winner, what happens at trial can turn things around in a hurry.

The Wrongful Death Case

The case arose when the estate of the victim, who died, sued a driver in a rear-end accident. The defendant rear-ended the victim, ejecting her from her car, and killing her. It was later learned that the defendant was an off-duty police officer who had fled the scene after the accident, lied about what happened to his car, and at the time of trial, was actually in jail for charges related to the accident.

We often hear about punitive damages in movies or on TV. It seems easy to get them, if you believe Hollywood’s interpretation of punitive damages. But in Florida, punitive damages are not easy to get, and there is even a special statute that dictates when and how punitive damages can be sought.

What Are Punitive Damages

As the name implies, punitive damages are intended to punish, or at least, deter others from acting in a similar manner in the future. This is different from traditional damages, which seek to compensate the injured victim for loss.

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

When someone is injured, we normally think of suing a person or a company whose negligence was responsible for our injuries. But if you learned that ghosts—or, more legally proper, “phantoms”—could be responsible for injuries, you’d probably think we were joking.

But phantom defendants are far from funny. In fact, they can be a huge problem when they get involved in your injury case.

How Phantoms Get Into Your Cases

We’ve written in the past about the importance of understanding what kind of cases are medical malpractice, and what kind are general negligence or products liability. A recent case has again discussed the difference, this time in a products liability context.

Why The Difference Matters

The difference is important because of the mandatory medical malpractice pre-suit requirements. Florida law puts significant requirements on a plaintiff suing for medical malpractice that aren’t required for ordinary negligence or products liability.

Usually when the Florida Supreme Court adopts new procedural rules, they are of most concern to attorneys, and don’t have as much impact on injured individuals. The rules are procedural, and usually dictate how the lawyer must practice.

But the Florida Supreme Court has adopted a change to Florida’s appellate rules that’s worth noting because it could have an immediate and direct impact on injured victims who want to sue negligent government entities.

A Bit About Sovereign Immunity

If you are injured in an accident, it is very possible that it may not be the first injury you’ve ever sustained. As we go throughout our lives, and our body ages, we may well have medical problems, whether they are related or not to negligence. But those prior injuries or conditions can cause complex issues in a personal injury case.

The Need to Show Causation

One way that defense attorneys who represent negligent parties try to defend cases is on the basis of causation. Even if someone is negligent, it must still be demonstrated that their negligence actually caused your injuries.

When a personal injury case goes to trial, many attorneys are prepared for the trial itself. They may line up witnesses, prepare evidence, and have a good working knowledge of trial rules. But many attorneys don’t realize how important it is to not only understand the rules of evidence at trial, but to also understand the rules of appeals.

Preserving Matters for Appeal

Contrary to popular belief, an appellate court cannot review just anything that may go wrong or be improper at trial. An appellate court can only consider arguments that are made at trial. This is often called “preserving” an issue for appellate review. And it means that a trial lawyer must understand what has to be done at trial to preserve problems for appellate review.