South Florida Injury Attorney Blog
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In order for a court to properly hear a case, the court must have jurisdiction over the matter. Jurisdictional issues can include both subject matter jurisdiction (the court’s competence to hear a particular category of case) and personal jurisdiction (a court’s power over a particular person or business). If a court lacks jurisdiction, it must dismiss the case, and the aggrieved party must refile the suit in the proper court. Alternatively, the claimant may appeal the matter to a higher court for review.

In the recent case of Carmouche v. Tamborlee Management, Inc., the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit was asked to decide whether the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida had general personal jurisdiction over a Panama corporation that provided shore excursions for tourists in Belize.

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clock3One of the most important considerations in any lawsuit is the statute of limitations, the period that the law allows for filing suit. Failure to file suit within the time afforded by the limitations period usually means that there can be no recovery, regardless of the merits of the action.

That said, there are a few, limited exceptions to the general requirements of the statute of limitations. While it is always best to err on the side of caution and file sooner rather than later, the exceptions can come in very handy in some cases.

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a long exposure on the side of a highway (the white lines are car headlights)If you have been hurt in an accident and are hoping to recover compensation from the party or parties responsible for your injuries, you should know that there are many factors that go into determining whether you can bring suit against a particular defendant and, if so, the extent to which you can recover losses such as lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.

This means that two people who have sustained exactly the same injury (or two families who have lost a loved one in an accident) may get a very different result, depending upon how the accident occurred and the identity of the possible defendants in a lawsuit arising from the accident.

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Historically, the doctrine of sovereign immunity prevented litigants from asserting claims against governmental entities. Over time, however, this concept of complete immunity for the government has given way to a more limited form of sovereign immunity, under which those previously protected by the doctrine are subjected to tort liability. However, certain limitations and restrictions still apply.

It is not always clear whether and to what extent a particular entity is entitled to immunity. In such cases, it is up to the courts to make the appropriate determination.

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Generally, there are two types of damages available in personal injury cases:  economic damages and noneconomic damages. Economic damages compensate an injured person for things like lost wages, property damage, and medical expenses. Noneconomic damages provide remediation for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and similar losses.

Several years ago, the Florida legislature passed a statute that placed a cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases. Recently, the statute supreme court was called upon to determine whether the cap could be applied retroactively.

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Ladders for siding work

Most lawsuits settle out of court. There are many reasons for this, but one of the main incentives for a settlement is so that the parties can put the matter behind them and move on with their lives. It’s no secret that jury trials can lead to appeals and that appeals can delay a resolution to the issues for months or maybe even years.

In the case of Coba v. Tricam Industries, Inc., the state’s highest court was called upon to determine whether a trial court and an intermediate appellate court had properly addressed a jury’s allegedly inconsistent verdict in a product liability lawsuit brought by the personal representative of a man who fell to his death from a 13-foot aluminum ladder. The woman’s complaint against the defendants, the manufacturer and seller of the ladder, alleged both strict product liability and negligence.

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Florida premises liability law requires that the owners and managers of businesses maintain their establishments in a reasonably safe condition. If this does not happen, a person who is injured on the property may bring a lawsuit seeking financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

When someone brings suit to recover damages for injuries sustained in an accident arising from allegedly unsafe conditions on business property, some in the legal community refer to it as a “slip and fall” case. In Florida, there are several statutory requirements that must be met in order for such a case to be successful. The District Court of Appeal for the Fourth District of Florida recently ruled that a particular woman’s case failed under statutory law.

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A femal doctor or nurse checking the blood pressure of a patientAfter an injured person has finished his or her medical treatment following a car accident, he or she may be asked to submit to further examination by a so-called “independent” medical examiner.

A recent appellate case explored the rules of discovery as they pertain to an injured person’s inquiry into how often a particular doctor sees patients at the request of the plaintiff’s insurance company or the law firm that represents the insurer.

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car crash2It is often said that there are two sides to every story. One of the reasons that we have jury trials is to determine which side is correct. The rules of evidence determine which evidence the jury gets to hear and which is excluded. The trial judgment makes these determinations based on motions filed by each party in a lawsuit. If a party is dissatisfied with the trial judge’s decision, he or she may appeal the decision to the court of appeals.

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LawThe settlement of lawsuits is encouraged under Florida law, so much so that the so-called “Florida Settlement Rule” states that a party who refuses a settlement offer can be held liable for the attorney fees and costs incurred by the maker of the offer if the maker is successful at trial. Of course, there are many stipulations that come with the rule, and the issue of whether or not the rule was complied with is a frequent source of litigation in and of itself.

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