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Losing a loved one in a Florida car accident is never easy, but it can be especially difficult when the accident could have easily been prevented. This is particularly true for victims of drunk or otherwise intoxicated driving. Although it is against the law to drive while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, intoxicated driving remains one of the leading causes of Florida car accidents.

Earlier this month, a tragic car accident in Key Biscayne killed one and injured another, and law enforcement officers believe that the at-fault driver had been drunk while on the road. According to a local news report covering the accident, the at-fault driver was driving on the Rickenbacker Causeway when she rear-ended another car. As a result, this second car went over the median, rolled several times, and slammed into a chain-link fence. The occupants, a husband and wife, were seriously harmed. Both were taken immediately to the nearest hospital, where the wife, who had been driving when the tragic accident occurred, died from her injuries.

The at-fault driver failed multiple sobriety tests at the scene of the crash. When, three hours after the crash, she took a Breathalyzer test, it indicated that she had been driving with twice the legal limit of alcohol in her system. As a result, she has been charged with driving under the influence, vehicular homicide, and DUI manslaughter. These charges could come with fines and jail time.

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Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a Florida car accident case, centered around an insurance dispute. Technically, the case was between two insurance companies, however, the issue before the court is relevant to accident victims. Specifically, the case required the court determine if the accident victim was covered under his parents’ underinsured/uninsured motorist (UIM) protection policy.

According to the court’s opinion, a young man was injured in a Florida car accident. At the time of the crash, the man lived with his mother and step-father, who had an insurance policy with Owners Insurance Company. The Owners policy provided coverage to resident relatives who did not own their own automobile.

Another insurance company, Allstate, sought a declaratory judgment clarifying that the young man was covered under the Owners policy. Allstate hoped to establish that Owners provided coverage so that an unrelated Allstate policy would not be involved in the claim. The trial court agreed with Allstate, holding that the young man was covered under his parents’ policy.

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Recently, a Florida appellate court issued an opinion stemming from a wrongful death lawsuit against a power company. The lawsuit arose after the tragic death of a teenager who was climbing bamboo in a neighbor’s backyard. The bamboo stalk bent over into a power line, causing the young man’s electrocution and death. His mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the power company that owned and monitored the power line. The woman alleged that her son’s death was the result of the company’s negligence. She claimed that the company created a dangerous hazard because it knew of the fast-growing bamboo near the power line and failed to clear it. The trial jury awarded the woman $12.5 million in non-economic damages and $15 million in punitive damages. The power company appealed the damages award.

Florida injury victims are entitled to compensation if they suffer injuries because of another’s negligence. There are two main types of damages that Florida plaintiffs may claim in their lawsuit, compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages include economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages are tangible monetary losses that a plaintiff or their representative has incurred or may face in the future. Typically, these damages are easy to prove because they include quantifiable losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are intangible losses that a Florida injury victim or their family suffered because of the other party’s negligence. Non-economic damages are losses such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and loss of consortium. Although most states have various damage caps on negligence lawsuits, there is no cap on economic or non-economic damages in Florida.

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Recently, the District Court of Appeals in Florida issued an opinion stemming from a personal injury lawsuit filed by a construction worker after he sustained injuries climbing an attic ladder. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against a residential development company after a ladder he was climbing to repair a leak collapsed. The plaintiff appealed the trial court’s ruling, which granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment based on the ten-year statute of repose.

In Florida, injury victims are entitled to file personal injury lawsuits based on construction defects. Victims who suffered injuries because of these defects can try to recover damages from contractors, owners, builders, and developers. However, there are specific procedural requirements that injury victims should comply with to ensure that their lawsuit can proceed.

Plaintiffs must file lawsuits based on negligent construction, improvement, or design within four years of either the completion of the property or discovery of a hidden defect. Moreover, Florida’s statute of repose provides that plaintiffs must commence lawsuits based on latent defects within ten-years of a specific event. Plaintiffs can face challenges with these types of Florida accidents because the statue of repose may bar a lawsuit before the plaintiff even becomes aware of the issue.

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In addition to the physical evidence presented at a trial, the outcome of a Florida personal injury lawsuit often hinges on the testimony of the plaintiff, eyewitnesses, and expert witnesses. An expert witness is a professional who can testify and provide an opinion on a specific issue during a lawsuit. In Florida, witnesses must have specialized training, education, and experience before they can be qualified as an expert.

In many Florida motor vehicle accidents, expert witnesses may be medical professionals, accident re-constructionists, or engineers that can reliably opine on an issue in the case. Expert witnesses are crucial when no witnesses were at the scene, or there is conflicting information regarding the severity of a party’s injuries. Experts can provide the trier of fact with insight and provide conclusions regarding an accident.

For many years Florida relied on the standard provided in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals. In Daubert, the Supreme Court ruled that judges are the gatekeepers when determining whether a professional meets the criteria to be an expert witness. However, more recently, Florida adopted the standard advanced in Frye v. United States.

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It is inevitable that self-driving cars will become more and more popular as time goes on. With this increase will also come an increase in accidents. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a self-driving vehicle or believe that autopilot played a role in your accident, you need to reach out to a skilled Miami car crash attorney without delay. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we can assess the merits of your case and provide you with an honest assessment of your claim.

Earlier this month, a Tesla in California hit a highway barrier and caught fire, causing hours of closed highway lanes as firefighters tried to ascertain whether it was safe to move the automobile and its damaged lithium-ion battery packs. The driver was killed, and the automobile was badly burned.

The United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate the post-collision fire and the measures that are needed to make the vehicle safe to remove from the accident scene. At this time, it is unclear whether the Tesla’s partly autonomous driving system, known as Autopilot, was involved at the time of the crash.

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If you have been injured in an accident, the last thing you want to worry about is evidence not being preserved properly. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our highly reputable Miami injury attorneys understand the specific laws surrounding preservation of evidence in Florida personal injury cases and will make sure that your rights are protected. Personal injury cases are complicated, which is why it is imperative that you work with an attorney who understands this area of law.

A very important aspect of any Florida personal injury claim is the pre-trial discovery phase. During this process, parties can ask for relevant information from the other side. If the court approves a request for discovery, it will order that the evidence is shared with the opposing party. Preserving all relevant evidence, even if it is unfavorable to you, is critical.

The Florida Supreme Court has held that all parties have a duty to preserve evidence as soon as litigation is “reasonably anticipated.” Therefore, the duty to preserve evidence may kick in prior to a lawsuit is even filed. In all Florida personal injury cases, the plaintiff bears the burden of proving each and every element of the personal injury claim by a preponderance of the evidence.  As such, failing to preserve evidence can seriously jeopardize a plaintiff’s ability to effectively prove his or her case.

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Serious slip and fall injuries can take months to recover from and, in some cases, a full recovery may not even be possible. In the event that you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, is it vital to reach out to a seasoned Miami injury attorney as soon as possible. The question of fault in these cases can be confusing but, with years of experience, you can trust that we know how to handle even the most complicated Florida personal injury claims.

In a recent case, a Florida appeals court recently issued an opinion in a personal injury claim deciding whether the lower court properly permitted the plaintiff to leave to amend her claim to pursue punitive damages from the defendant. Eventually, the court held that it did not have the power to examine the lower court’s decision.

The facts of the case are as follows. In 2011, a minor child was injured when she fell from an amusement ride known as the “Psycho Swing”at a park in Hollywood. The parents of the child sued those who manufactured, owned and operated the ride for strict negligence. In such cases, the defendant is liable for harm even though he or she did not intend to cause the harm and did not cause it by being reckless or negligent. Among other defendants named in the lawsuit, the company that owned and rented out the swing was named.

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Damages are a crucial — yet often overlooked — element of a personal injury lawsuit. Florida personal injury victims must specifically plead and prove the damages they hope to obtain, and a failure to do so may result in a reduced verdict; even if the defendant was found to be at fault.

In a recent case, a Florida car accident victim successfully appealed a jury’s zero-dollar verdict for past non-economic damages. According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was involved in an accident when a pickup truck made an illegal left turn and hit a car that collided with the plaintiff’s vehicle. At the time of the accident, the plaintiff did not receive medical treatment or go to the hospital.

Several years later, the plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the driver and owner of the pickup truck. Pretrial proceedings resolved all issues in favor of the plaintiff, and the trial jury only needed to determine damages. The jury awarded the plaintiff $50,000 for past medical bills, $200,000 for future medical expenses, and nothing for past or future non-economic damages.

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In a recent appellate opinion, the court reversed a trial court’s ruling in a Florida personal injury lawsuit filed by a tenant against her landlord. The plaintiff filed a negligence lawsuit after she fell while walking on a pathway to her condominium. The plaintiff based her claim on the landlord’s failure to warn of the known danger and maintain the premises in a safe condition. The plaintiff argued that although she too was aware of the dangerous condition, she had notified the landlord on several occasions and offered to fix the pathway herself.

Evidently, the landlord did not repair the broken path and did not allow the plaintiff to do so. The landlord moved for summary judgment, arguing that it was not liable because the woman knew the fractured pathway, the danger was open and obvious, and she assumed the risk by not avoiding the path when she knew it to be damaged. The trial court entered summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The plaintiff appealed, arguing that there were genuine issues of material fact regarding whether the damaged pathway was open and obvious, along with the landlord’s failure to maintain the premises.

Under Florida law, landowners or occupiers owe invitees two separate duties. First, the landowner or occupier must maintain the property, ensuring that the premises are reasonably safe. Second, property owners must warn guests of any concealed dangers. Landowners may avoid liability if they establish that the dangerous condition was “open and obvious.” In these cases, a landowner will not be liable for injuries if the guest knew of the hazardous condition. However, Florida slip and fall victims can recover damages for their injuries based on a landowner’s failure to maintain their premises.