Articles Posted in Florida Personal Injury Caselaw

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Depending on the severity, car crashes can be devastating. If you have been injured in a car wreck, you could potentially recover a variety of damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage and more. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our highly skilled Miami car accident attorneys are committed to fighting for the rights of South Florida clients. When you hire us, you can rest assured that we will handle the legal details so you can focus on healing.

The Case

In Seminole Lakes Homeowner’s Association (HOA) v. Esnard, the court held that a HOA that creates conditions that lead to an accident does not necessarily mean the HOA will be liable for the accident when the condition created by the HOA did not directly lead to the accident.

In the case at hand, when facing a serious parking problem, the HOA allowed on-street parking, even though restrictive covenants required otherwise. The municipal code prohibited on-street parking that could interfere with the flow of traffic. Permitting on-street parking prevented two cars from traveling between vehicles parked on either side of the street.

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If you have been injured on someone else’s property, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries through a premises liability lawsuit. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our highly skilled Miami injury attorneys have extensive experience handling premises liability cases and are prepared to vigorously advocate for your rights to get you the full and fair compensation you deserve.

Florida property owners have a legal obligation to make sure their property is in reasonably safe conditions so individuals who enter the premises are not injured. If the property owner fails to ensure the property is safe, he or she could be liable for any injuries that result from a property defect.

Under Florida law, property owners must exercise “ordinary care” to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition. Secondly, a property is required to warn guests of known dangers that may not be immediately apparent to the visitor. There is, however, one exception to this rule. Property owners have no duty to warn visitors of a danger that is “open and obvious.” In fact, this is a defense that can be used by the property owner in situations where a person claims the property owner’s failure to warn was the cause of injury.

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If you have been injured and you believe you cannot sue the at-fault party because you signed a liability waiver, you need to speak to a seasoned Miami injury attorney about your legal rights and options. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we understand that waivers are not always enforceable and will do our best to make sure you get the justice and compensation you deserve for your harm.

Many businesses require people to sign a liability waiver before allowing them to partake in certain activities. A liability waiver is a type of form that releases a party from liability for harm or damage that might take place under contract. In other words, the individual signing the contact “waives” his or her right to hold the other party liable for injury or losses. These agreements are common in a wide range of activities, from go karting to white water rafting. It is important to note that just because you signed a waiver does not necessarily mean you will be barred from suing in the event of an accident or injury. The general rule is that while waivers of liability can insulate businesses from liability of acts for negligence, they cannot insulate from gross negligence. A waiver may be unenforceable for a number of other reasons as well.

A Recent Florida Case Involving a Liability Release Waiver

A Florida appeals court recently discussed the parameters of a liability release waiver and if such an agreement could preclude a plaintiff from pursing a claim of gross negligence against the at-fault party. In this case, a woman signed a release and waiver of liability and assumption of risk agreement to access a restricted area of a speedway. During the race, she was killed when a tow truck backed over her. The plaintiff filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the speedway. The trial court found that the release agreement barred the lawsuit, finding that it only applied to gross negligence and pointed out that no gross negligence took place in this case.

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Workplace accidents injure countless Floridians every year. If you have been injured in a workplace accident, our experienced Miami personal injury attorneys can help you figure out your next steps. Sadly, not all workers are covered by workers’ compensation. Whether you were an employee or an independent contractor at the time of the workplace accident, we will meticulously analyze the circumstances surrounding your injury and determine an appropriate legal strategy accordingly.

Construction Loaders Considered “Dangerous Instrumentalities” in Florida

Earlier this year, the Florida Supreme Court quashed a lower court’s decision in support of Caterpillar Financial Services Corp. in a case involving a multi-terrain loader that cut off a construction worker’s middle finger. The plaintiff was clearing debris from a private residential lot. While attempting to transport a tree stump into the disposal trailer, he was inside of the vehicle trying to consolidate the debris. His colleague was unaware that the plaintiff was inside of the disposal trailer and as the plaintiff tried to get out of it, the stump went over his hand, severing his middle finger.

The plaintiff sued his employer, claiming that the construction loader falls within the dangerous instrumentality doctrine. Under Florida law, individuals who have suffered harm due to a “dangerous instrumentality” are permitted sue the person or entity that owns the instrumentality for damages. In other words, Florida’s dangerous instrumentality doctrine creates a law, which states that the owner of an inherently dangerous tool is legally responsible for any injury or harm caused by that tool’s operation. As such, whether the loader was a dangerous instrumentality was a central question in the case.

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Car accidents happen daily in Florida and across the United States. If you or someone close to you has been injured in an auto accident that was not your fault, please a contact a seasoned Miami car accident attorney as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we are dedicated to helping South Florida clients obtain the justice and compensation they rightfully deserve.

Establishing Liability After a Car Accident

When it comes to determining fault in an accident, some cases are simple while others are complex. In the vast majority of auto accident cases, the legal concept of ‘negligence’ is used to establish fault. Negligence takes place when an accident is the result of someone failing to use the level of care that an ordinarily prudent person would have used behind the wheel under the same circumstances.

Using Circumstantial Evidence

In a recent car accident case, a Florida court upheld a jury’s decision for a plaintiff who sustained serious injuries after her vehicle was rear-ended by a van while stopped in traffic on a bridge. In this case, the court needed to make a determination about whether the plaintiff’s case wrongly relied on stacking a number of inferences since her evidence was circumstantial. The court held that the plaintiff’s case did not rely on the wrongful or inappropriate stacking of inferences and affirmed the lower court’s decision favoring the plaintiff.

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A number of people in Florida and across the country suffer from a serious nicotine addiction, which they satisfy by smoking cigarettes. If you or your loved one has developed an illness due to a nicotine addiction after using cigarettes, you may be able to recover compensation for the injury. Our highly reputable Miami injury lawyers have represented numerous smokers and their families in personal injury cases, and can represent you as well. These cases are extremely tricky so having an experienced attorney advocating for you can be the difference between winning and losing a case.

Products Liability Cases

Consumers expect products to be safe. While it is now commonly understood that smoking is bad for your health, this was not always the case. People were already addicted to cigarettes long before tobacco companies began warning smokers of the risks on the packages. This intentional disregard for public health often makes tobacco companies and cigarette manufacturers susceptible to products liability lawsuits. These lawsuits intend to hold manufacturers accountable for placing hazardous products into the stream of commerce.

Wrongful Death Case Caused by Dangerous Product

Florida’s highest court recently published an opinion rebuffing a lower court’s ruling to enforce a seemingly clear-cut rule pertaining to the extent of compensation a party filing a wrongful death claim in the state is allowed to recover. The Supreme Court determined that the court had made a mistake in failing to defer to the jury decision and the trial court ruling in not allowing the defendant’s request to lessen the total compensation given by the jury to the plaintiff.

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If you have been injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our seasoned Miami car accident attorneys understand the nuances of Florida personal injury law and can help you navigate the case in an effective and efficient manner.Being forthright and truthful when providing testimony is critical to every personal injury case. When a person fails to provide honest testimony, there can be serious consequences for the case. In a recent Florida case, the state appeals court dismissed a personal injury lawsuit after the plaintiff concealed a history of lower back injuries.

In this case, the plaintiff was riding in a car owned by his girlfriend when the vehicle was hit by a white pickup truck. After the accident, the truck fled the scene. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit after the crash, claiming that the girlfriend’s conduct behind the wheel was negligent and caused him to suffer permanent neck and lower back injuries.

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Medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage are just some of the damages that a personal injury plaintiff would typically be entitled to receive after an accident. Every accident is different, and the amount of damages a plaintiff will be entitled to receive will vary based on the specifics of the case. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, our skilled Miami car accident attorneys can help you determine the appropriate amount of damages in your case. With years of experience, we understand how to navigate these types of claims in an effective and efficient manner.

In a recent case, the plaintiff got into a car accident with the defendant. The defendant admitted that he caused the crash but disputed that the accident caused the plaintiff’s permanent injuries.

At trial, the plaintiff’s pain management physician testified that the plaintiff would require palliative care that would cost between $525,000 and $850,000. The plaintiff’s orthopedic surgeon testified that while the plaintiff’s condition was stable, cervical surgery would help increase the plaintiff’s functional capacity and quality of life. The cost of cervical surgery can be between $90,000 and $120,000. He also stated that if the surgery was not entirely successful, a follow-up lumbar surgery might be needed that would cost between $60,000 and $90,000. The plaintiff also sought lost wages, testifying that she was afraid of losing her job due to her injury.

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Unfortunately, medical errors affect many people in Florida every year. If you have been harmed due to a medical professional’s negligence, you need to reach out to a reputable Miami medical malpractice attorney without delay.

In a recent case, the plaintiff filed a claim against a doctor and a pharmacy for overprescribing medication. The deadline for pre-discovery passed, and the plaintiff had not identified any expert witness who would be testifying for her at trial. The court determined that the plaintiff had failed to designate any expert on the applicable standards of care until the day on which the district court had scheduled the summary judgment hearing. The district court ruled that since the plaintiff was late in naming an expert, the expert should be excluded, and without expert testimony, the plaintiff would not be able to establish his or her case based on the alleged standard of care violation by the defendants.

The plaintiff appealed. The appellate court affirmed the lower court’s decision, explaining that trial courts have broad discretion regarding how to handle their caseloads, including imposing sanctions when a party fails to comply with relevant deadlines. For starters, the court pointed out that the plaintiff had not preserved the issue for appeal, and even if the issue had been properly preserved, the plaintiff would not have been able to win because she failed to explain why the notice of expert testimony was filed more than three months past the discovery deadline. Ultimately, the plaintiff’s case was dismissed against the doctor as well as the pharmacy.

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An unexpected accident can not only result in painful injuries but also lead to numerous doctors’ visits and even days off from work. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our seasoned Miami accident attorneys understand the nuances of Florida personal injury law and can apply this knowledge to your case. We are here to answer your questions and address your concerns.

Florida is known for its lush golf courses. While most people enjoy the activity without incident, the reality is that Florida golf cart accidents are quite common. Some of these accidents can result in serious and long-term injuries. In most cases, a person who sustains an injury can file a claim for damages against the at-fault party. The at-fault party’s insurance company will then evaluate the case and make or deny payments for medical expenses and other losses accordingly.

A Florida appeals court recently issued an opinion in a case involving a female pedestrian who suffered injuries after being hit by a golf cart. The woman was walking along a path in a retirement community when she was hit by another resident driving a golf cart. Sadly, the operator of the golf cart who caused the crash did not have enough insurance coverage to properly compensate the victim for her harm. As a result, the woman had to file a claim under her own insurance policy’s underinsured motorist (UM) provision.

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