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Posts made in April, 2014

Why Are Florida Medical Malpractice Cases So Expensive To Pursue?

Posted by on Apr 16, 2014 in Medical Malpractice

Why Are Florida Medical Malpractice Cases So Expensive To Pursue?

We are fortunate to have many potential clients come into our offices and speak with us about potential medical negligence cases.  Virtually every potential client has what seems like a legitimate complaint against a doctor, hospital, or other medical provider over the medical care that they, or a loved one, has received. In many instances we agree with the potential client that a medical provider has been negligent, however in many — if not most — cases we have to decline representation.  One of the most common reasons why we do not pursue medical negligence cases has nothing at all to do with the merits of the case.  Instead it has to do with the expense of bringing the case. Since most medical negligence cases are handled on a contingency fee basis (i.e. the lawyer invests his time and his own money in the case in hopes of being paid at the end of the case if his client wins), attorneys have to be confident that a case is strong enough and will generate enough in damages to warrant pursuing the case in the first place.  Because medical negligence cases are so expensive, lawyers generally do not take cases unless they have the potential to deliver significant damages. What makes medical malpractice cases so expensive?  The Florida Legislature has created a medical malpractice system that requires any claimant bringing a claim to have an expert witness prepare a written report stating that the care received by the victim from the doctor or hospital deviated from the accepted standard of care.  Sometimes multiple reports are required.  Each report will generally cost tens of thousands of dollars.  Doctors who are willing to criticize their colleagues generally charge a hefty fee for doing so.  And this is only the beginning.  Once a medical malpractice case gets underway there are generally additional, costly medical experts required.  Almost all of these expert witnesses will be located out-of-state, so travel expense is almost always required.  It is not unusual for a medical negligence case to have one hundred thousand dollars in case costs spent before trial even begins. Unfortunately, medical negligence cases almost always come down to having to make a business decision, and very rarely have to do with something as simple as whether the treating doctor was right or wrong. If you have questions regarding a potential Florida medical malpractice case, or how medical negligence cases work, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

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If Your Name Is On A Car Title, You Have Exposure For Damages

Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 in Motor vehicle accidents, Wrongful Death Claims

If Your Name Is On A Car Title, You Have Exposure For Damages

Anyone whose name appears on a car title in the State of Florida could be on the hook for damages after a recent Florida Supreme Court decision in Christensen v. Bowen. Apparently the Christensens were on the verge of divorce when they purchased a car together.  As part of the eventual divorce,  Ms. Christensen got to keep the car, but her husband’s name remained on the title to the car.  Some period of time later, Ms. Christensen negligently operated the car and caused a crash that killed Mr. Bowen.  Mr. Bowen’s family brought a wrongful death case against Mr. and Mrs. Christensen, as is permissible  under Florida’s dangerous instrumentality law. It was undisputed that the husband had no day-to-day control over the vehicle during the time that was being operated, so the Mr. Christensen originally attempted to have the claim against him dismissed. After making its way through the trial and appellate courts, the case finally came before the Florida Supreme Court, which decided that because the husband’s name is still on the title, he could have exercised some control of the vehicle (even though he didn’t), and therefore should be held liable. There are probably two important lessons to be learned by Florida consumers from the Christensen case.  First, if you don’t want to be potentially liable for damages caused by a car, don’t let your name appear on the car’s title.  Second, if you cannot get your name removed from a car title, make sure the person driving it has plenty of liability coverage on the car. If you any questions regarding a Florida car accident, or about how this recent Florida Supreme Court opinion might affect your legal rights, please call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

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Safety From Shooting IS Possible At Orange County Apartment Complex

Posted by on Apr 2, 2014 in Negligent Security

Safety From Shooting IS Possible At Orange County Apartment Complex

I read with great interest an article on WFTV.com describing a phenomenon that many apartment complex owners and managers say is impossible. On May 27th, Orange  County Sheriff Jerry Demings officiated a ceremony certifying the Beacon Hill Apartments as Orange County’s first Crime-Free Multi-Housing Complex.  The certification is the culmination of a three-phase project that took almost five years to complete. The project included multiple property upgrades such as door peepholes and fencing around the entire complex.  Applicant screening became much more rigid.  The property manager of Beacon Hill indicated that it took tens of the thousands of dollars to achieve the certification. I say, “Bravo” to the owners and managers of Beacon Hill.  When we bring negligent security cases against apartment complexes after our clients have been shot, raped, or otherwise assaulted, the complexes always say that they cannot afford to put increased security measures in place.  They always say that they would have to drastically increase rents to make their properties as safe as we would like them to be.  Or, they say that the complexes are just located in dangerous neighborhoods, and therefore tenants should expect a certain level of crime. The Beacon Hill experience tells us that these arguments are nonsense.  If an apartment complex is seriously committed to providing a safe environment for residents and guests, it can make it happen.  It might take some effort, and will almost undoubtedly cost some money.  However, these seem like small prices to pay to provide a safe place for our children to grow up, and for our elderly to live out their golden years. Here’s hoping that Beacon Hill remains a Crime Free Complex, and that other apartment complexes in Central Florida (and particularly those with reputations for crime and violence) follow suit. If you have any questions regarding a Florida apartment shooting, rape, or assault, or a claim for negligent security, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill for a free consultation at...

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