Articles Posted in Evidence

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documentsIf you or someone you know has been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another party, it is important to consult a reputable Miami injury attorney who can examine the facts of your case. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we understand how important it is to thoroughly investigate the matter and collect evidence in a timely manner. You can rest assured that we will handle every aspect of your claim with the utmost diligence.

Personal injury claims in Florida are usually rooted in the theory of negligence. Negligence is a failure to exercise reasonable care in one’s actions. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent or sensible person would act in the same circumstances. Negligence can also take place when a person fails to act when he or she had a duty to do so. In order to win on a negligence claim, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant owed him or her a duty of care, that the defendant breached this duty, and that the plaintiff’s injuries and damages were a direct consequence of the defendant’s breach.

Establishing liability in a negligence case, whether it is a car accident or a slip and fall, often requires key pieces of evidence. Spoliation of evidence, sometimes referred to as the “destruction of evidence,” takes place when a party negligently or intentionally destroys material that is needed as evidence in litigation. Some examples of spoliation include getting rid of documents or records, failing to preserve video surveillance or other types of video footage, or prematurely repairing damage to property without having it inspected.

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documentsDefendants in personal injury cases are notorious for trying to get as much information as possible from the plaintiffs. Florida law provides its citizens with the right of privacy, but this right is not absolute. While some  requests for information are legitimate, others go too far. As a victim in a personal injury case, we know the last things you want to think about are procedural rules. However, these rules can significantly affect your case.

Under Florida rules of civil procedure, a defendant can seek discovery of any non-privileged matter that is relevant to the case. A discovery request for inadmissible evidence will likely be allowed if it is reasonably calculated to lead to admissible evidence.

In Muller v. Walmart Stores, Inc., the Florida Second District Court of Appeal assessed a grant of disclosure of a plaintiff’s military records to a defendant in a truck accident case.

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parking lotWhen a plaintiff is injured due to the fault of someone else, that plaintiff can typically recover damages for his or her injuries from the responsible party under the theory of negligence. Negligence is the failure to take proper care in doing something. Put another way, negligence occurs when the defendant breaches the duty of care owed to the plaintiff and that breach causes direct harm to the plaintiff. The burden is on the plaintiff to show that his or her injuries resulted from the defendant’s conduct. In Poland v. Zaccheo, a Florida District Court of Appeals addressed the issue of giving all parties a sufficient opportunity to cross-examine expert witnesses.

The facts of the case are as follows. The plaintiff was injured in a rear-end collision. The plaintiff sustained a serious injury and eventually had to have surgery on her lower back. The plaintiff then filed a negligence lawsuit against the defendant. The defendant called a medical expert who testified that the majority of the plaintiff’s injuries were “attributable to preexistent disc bulges and degeneration associated with her morbid obesity.” The expert’s ultimate opinion was that the accident did not cause any permanent injury to the plaintiff. The plaintiff’s counsel was not allowed to question the defense’s expert regarding the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.

Florida is a comparative negligence state, which means that the amount of compensation a plaintiff is entitled to is reduced by the percentage of his or her fault in the accident. Here, the jury found the defendant to be 90 percent negligent and the plaintiff 10 percent negligent. The plaintiff was awarded medical expenses and lost earnings but not any pain and suffering or future damages of any sort. The jury concluded, based on the expert’s testimony, that the plaintiff did not sustain a permanent injury due to the accident. Continue reading →