Articles Posted in Damages

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 ›

Like a number of other states across the U.S., Florida has a cap on medical negligence damages that can be awarded to a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case. Simply put, this means there is a maximum amount of financial compensation that a Florida plaintiff can recover for non-economic damages in a medical malpractice claim under state law. This rule does have some exceptions. Each case is different and will be evaluated by a court on a case-by-case basis. If you or someone you know has been injured in a medical malpractice case, it is best to seek the help of a qualified Miami medical malpractice attorney who can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Medical malpractice refers to medical negligence. It occurs when a healthcare provider does not offer a reasonable standard of care. Under Florida law, an acceptable standard of care is defined as “the level of care, skill and treatment which is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent, similar healthcare providers under similar circumstances.” In other words, the healthcare professional must act the same way another sensible healthcare professional would act in the same or similar situation. Healthcare providers include physicians, dentists, chiropractors, nurses, and more.

In order to recover damages in a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff must establish the elements of negligence. There are four basic elements that must be present. The healthcare professional must have owed the patient a duty of care, the healthcare professional must have breached the duty of care owed to the patient, the patient must have suffered harm as a direct consequence of the healthcare professional’s breach, and there must be actual damages that the plaintiff can identify. Continue Reading ›

Under Florida law, an injured person may seek a variety of damages from an at-fault party. The specific damages that a plaintiff can obtain will depend on the nature and severity of the injuries. Typically, damages can include medical expenses, lost income and benefits, pain and suffering, and more. While there is no specific method, an experienced attorney can help you effectively demonstrate damages and get you the maximum allowable recovery under the law.

In Maggolc Inc. v. Robertson, the Third District Court of Appeals addressed what type of evidence is needed to prove lost wages. The facts of the case are as follows. The plaintiff was injured in a motor scooter accident in Miami Beach when his automobile hit uneven pavement. He later sued Maggolc, the company responsible for maintaining the pavement where the accident took place. At trial, the jury decided in favor of the plaintiff, awarding him over half a million dollars in damages, including those related to lost earnings.

On appeal, Maggolc claimed that the past lost earnings and future lost earning capacity damages award was improper due to the “skimpy” testimony regarding the matters. Specifically, Maggolc claimed that the plaintiff’s claims were “unsupported by financial records of any kind” and could be mere speculation. Indeed, there were no tax documents or bank records to support the plaintiff’s claims that he was earning $80,000 prior to his accident. Continue Reading ›

When you’ve been injured in any type of accident, whether it is a slip and fall, a car wreck, or a pedestrian accident, you may have suffered damages. Damages are defined as the amount of money needed to compensate an accident victim who has been harmed by another person’s negligence or misconduct. There are two general categories of damages:  economic and non-economic. Economic damages include medical bills, lost income and benefits, future lost income, loss of support and services, property damage, and any other economic loss arising from the accident. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience.

Non-economic damages can be difficult to prove, since there is no set way to quantify them as we can quantify the loss of a car or a hospital bill. Consider pain and suffering, which is the legal term for physical and emotional stress that stems from your accident. Factors that you might consider in this category include aches, pains, temporary or long-term physical limitations, depression, scarring, or overall reduced quality of life.

It is important to note that the plaintiff has the burden of proof in a negligence case, which includes proving liability as well as damages. Since pain and suffering is challenging to prove, it is important for victims of accidents to document their feelings and experiences after an accident. Memories fade, and once time passes you may not remember how severely the pain disrupted your life. This is exactly why having a journal or pain log that keeps track of your injuries and how they adversely affect your daily life is critically important. Detailing the type of pain, the frequency of the pain, the duration of pain, the severity of the pain, and the feelings associated with the pain could truly make all the difference when it comes to proving pain and suffering in your case. Continue Reading ›

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