Articles Posted in Damages

Published on:

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.

Published on:

Car accidents can have potentially devastating consequences for everyone involved. If you have suffered harm in a car accident caused by someone else’s wrongdoing, error or carelessness, we can help. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our diligent Miami car accident attorneys will analyze the circumstances surrounding your wreck and help you understand your legal rights and options. With years of experience, you can trust that your case is in good hands.

Apparently, you are more likely to survive a car accident if you are riding in the front, according to a new study published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In response to this finding, IIHS is encouraging automakers to improve safety for backseat passengers. Currently, there is no national standard or method to evaluate rear passenger safety in front-end collisions. To address this, IIHS is developing a standardized test that will determine how well a motor vehicle protects backseat passengers. The initiative began after IIHS reviewed 117 accidents across the country in which many rear passengers, who were wearing seat belts, suffered more serious injuries or were outright killed– when compared to front seat passengers in front-end accidents. According to the report, it is not necessarily that the back seat has become less safe; it is that the front seat has become more safe with automakers adding a variety of active and passive technologies (i.e., airbags that activate during side impacts and rollovers) to improve passenger safety.

All drivers on the road have an obligation to drive in a safe and prudent manner. To hold a driver accountable for an accident, you must show that the driver was negligent and that his or her negligence led to the accident and resulting harm. To establish negligence, the plaintiff (i.e., the injured party) is required to demonstrate each of the following elements: i) the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to drive using reasonable care; ii) the defendant violated this duty to use reasonable care behind the wheel; and iii) the defendant’s violation was a direct and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s damages (i.e., bodily harm or property damage).
Continue reading →

Published on:

Sadly, pedestrian accidents are far too common. If you have sustained an injury in a pedestrian accident, it is vital to contact a reputable Miami injury attorney who can help. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we know how a pedestrian accident can turn your life upside down in an instant. You can rest assured that we will examine the details surrounding your injury and create a custom legal strategy for your case.

Earlier this month, two people died in a fatal motorcycle accident that took place in Lee County. A 49-year-old man was operating the motorcycle when he hit a 70-year-old pedestrian who was trying to cross the street at the time. According to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), both the motorcyclist and pedestrian were pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger on the motorcycle was transported to a local hospital to be treated for serious injuries. The FHP is currently investigating the accident.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 5,987 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in 2016. Data from Governors Highway Safety Association found that, in 2016, Florida ranked 2nd highest in terms of pedestrian fatalities at 3.22 per 100k population, right behind New Mexico, which had 3.45 deaths per 100k population. That same year, Miami-Dade had 83 pedestrian fatalities, putting it in the top ten counties with the largest number of pedestrian deaths in the country for 2016. Broward County also made the list with 67 pedestrian fatalities that year.

Continue reading →

Published on:

When accidents take place, the risk of being injured is quite high. While some injuries are minor, and individuals can make a full and speedy recovery, in other cases, injuries stemming from auto accidents can result in life-changing disabilities. If you or someone close to you has been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you can recover compensation for your harm. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we are here to guide you through the legal process. We understand that this is a stressful and difficult time for you and your family, which is why we will handle your case with the utmost compassion.

Under Florida’s personal injury liability law, you are not liable for another person’s bodily injuries even if you caused the car accident unless those injuries meet a certain threshold. If the injuries do not meet the legal threshold, the injured party cannot recover compensation for any pain and suffering or non-economic damages associated with those injuries. This is because Florida drivers must carry $10,000 in personal injury protection coverage, and the idea is that this policy will pay for medical expenses, lost wages, travel expenses, and other out-of-pocket costs that may arise from auto accidents. This coverage kicks in first, irrespective of who caused the accident.

Under Fla. Stat. Ann. Section 627.737, if a person sustains one of the following types of injuries in a motor vehicle accident, the “threshold” standard will be met:

Published on:

Establishing damages in personal injury cases can be a complicated process. If you or someone you know was injured by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover damages. Exact determinations of damages can be tricky, and having the right attorney on your side can make all the difference in your case.

It is important to note that obtaining any sort of compensation typically requires establishing negligence. Negligence is a failure to exercise reasonable care that causes injury to someone else. Reasonable care refers to the standard of care a reasonably prudent person would use in the same or similar circumstances. In order to prevail on a negligence claim, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to use reasonable care, the defendant breached this duty, the plaintiff’s resulting harm was a direct result of the defendant’s breach, and the plaintiff incurred actual damages.

Compensatory damages are awarded to an individual to make the person whole again. Put another way, compensatory damages are meant to restore the plaintiff to the condition in which he or she was before the injury. Compensatory damages refer to both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages typically include compensation for medical expenses, lost income, impaired earning capacity, property damage, and more. Non-economic damages include losses such as pain and suffering and other forms of mental distress, which can be tough to measure in terms of a monetary amount.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Nerve damage can have serious consequences, such as pain, loss of feeling, and loss of function. If you or a loved one has suffered a nerve injury in an accident, you should seek the help and guidance of a Miami injury attorney. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our team will work meticulously to analyze the facts of your case. You can rest assured that we will provide you with competent and compassionate legal advice at every step of the way.

The nervous system is a complex bundle of sensory receptors that play a role in everything the body does. Nerve damage can happen in varying degrees. Nerves can become damaged when nerve fibers are stretched, cut, or otherwise harmed. Autonomic nerves are in charge of basic involuntary functions, such as breathing and heartbeat. Motor nerves control movement by facilitating communication between the brain and the muscles. Sensory nerves convey information about muscles and skin. Since nerves do so many things, nerve injuries can seriously affect our day-to-day lives.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Automobile accidents, premises liability cases, and other personal injury claims fall within the scope of negligence law. Negligence is the failure to use the level of care a prudent person would use in the same or similar circumstances. In order to establish negligence, a plaintiff must demonstrate that he or she was owed a duty of care by the defendant, that the defendant breached this duty of care, and that the plaintiff suffered harm as a direct result of the defendant’s breach. A plaintiff who can show negligence is entitled to recover compensation for his or her harm.

In the United States, the losing side does not typically have to pay the winning side’s attorney’s fees. Under the so-called American rule, each party pays their own attorney’s fees, irrespective of whether they win or lose, unless there is some contract, statute, or court rule that says otherwise. This permits individuals to file claims without the fear of incurring excessive costs if they lose the case. The American rule is in contrast to the English rule, which mandates that the losing party pay the winning party’s attorney’s fees.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Every day, people are injured throughout the state of Florida in various types of accidents. If you or someone close to you has been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. Calculating damages, however, is not an easy task, which is why it is advisable to consult a qualified Miami injury attorney who can assess the merits of your case.

Individuals can be injured in a variety of ways, including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, slip and fall accidents, pedestrian accidents, boat accidents, and more. Once an injured party has established that the party responsible acted in a negligent manner, the injured victim will need to show damages. Damages refer to all financial and emotional expenses related to an individual’s injuries. If an individual cannot demonstrate financial or emotional costs that were suffered, that individual will not be able to recover any compensation, no matter how negligent the defendant was. Put another way, there has to be harm for there to be a recovery.

Damages in Florida personal injury cases can be categorized into two broad categories:  tangible and intangible damages. Tangible damages, often referred to economic damages, are damages that pertain to quantifiable financial costs. Intangible damages, often referred to as non-economic damages, are those that are psychological in nature and cannot be quantified in the same way that economic damages can be.

Continue reading →

Published on:

If you have been injured due to another person’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries. While compensatory damages are awarded quite commonly, punitive damages are much harder to obtain. Punitive damages are only permissible in limited situations and are awarded in a very small percentage of personal injury cases. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, it is important to contact a qualified Miami personal injury attorney who can help assess the merits of your case as well as what types of damages you may be eligible for.

Compensatory damages are awarded to make an injured person whole. Thus, compensatory damages include compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, physical impairment, lost income and benefits, property damage, and therapy costs.

Punitive damages are special or exceptional damages designed to punish the offending party for its reckless or careless conduct. The idea is that punitive damages deter others from acting in a negligent manner. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate the injured party. As such, the awarded sum is generally much higher than the measurable value of the harm.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Unfortunately, accidents in stores happen all the time in the state of Florida and across the United States. Stores and other commercial places of business have a legal obligation to ensure that the premises are safe for their customers to enter. If the store fails to keep the property in reasonably safe condition, and a customer is injured on the premises, the owner may be liable for any resulting harm. However, premises liability cases are extremely fact-intensive, and the outcome of the case will depend on the specific circumstances of that particular incident.

In Schwartz v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the Fifth District Court of Appeals denied a plaintiff’s motion for a new trial after a zero-damages jury verdict. The facts of the case are as follows. The plaintiff was shopping at Wal-Mart when she was hit in the back by an ornamental pumpkin. According to court documents, the pumpkin in question weighed approximately 8.5 ounces and was “squishy.” Even before trial, Wal-Mart conceded that the plaintiff was struck by the ornamental pumpkin due to an employee’s negligent behavior. Wal-Mart, however, contested the issues of causation and damages, which are necessary elements of negligence.

Negligence is the failure to take proper care when doing something. Put another way, negligence is the failure to take reasonable care in one’s actions or omissions. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent person would behave in the same or similar circumstances. In order to prevail on a negligence claim, the plaintiff has to establish the following elements:  1) the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care; 2) the defendant breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff; 3) the defendant’s breach caused the accident; and 4) the plaintiff suffered quantifiable damages as a result. All four elements have to be met in order to win on a negligence claim. Continue reading →