(877) 244-6420 - Call for a free consultation with a Florida Accident Attorney

Wrongful Death Claims

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...

Read More »

Tragic Florida Wrongful Death Crash Highlights Difficulty In Computing Future Wage Loss

Posted by on Feb 17, 2014 in Motorcycle Accidents, Types of Accidents, Uncategorized, Wrongful Death Claims

Tragic Florida Wrongful Death Crash Highlights Difficulty In Computing Future Wage Loss

I was so saddened to read in the Orlando Sentinel about a devastating head-on crash that occurred on Interstate 275 in Tampa last weekend. Apparently the driver of a white Ford SUV was traveling at an extremely high rate of speed in the wrong direction on I-275 near the Busch Boulevard exit, which is in the vicinity of the University of South Florida.  Traveling in the correct direction on the highway was a 2010 Hyundai which contained four students from USF, including the driver, Freedom High School graduate and Orlando native, Jobin Kuriakose. The students were all members of the Sigma Beta Rho fraternity at USF, where Mr. Kuriakose was apparently referred to as “Brother Ambition.” My first thought after reading about this crash is, obviously, how tragic this is.  I am the parent of a high school senior who is about to go away to college, and the thought of losing him at such a young age, before his life has really begun, is horrifying. Professionally, as an Orlando accident attorney, a case like this one reminds me how difficult the issue of future wage loss often is in serious personal injury and wrongful death cases. For example, under the Florida Wrongful Death Act, Mr. Kuriakose’s surviving family members would be entitled to recover the lost net accumulations and/or loss of support and services that Mr. Kuriakose would have likely generated in the future. The difficulty arises in trying to determine this loss when someone Mr. Kuriakose’s age perishes in an accident. After all, he is a college student, and likely has little earnings history. Therefore, expert testimony is often required to analyze and attempt to predict what the decedent would have earned if not prematurely killed. Insurance companies often hire expert to say that this is merely speculative.  Oftentimes, this issue is left for a jury to decide, which is inherently unpredictable. Plainly, this issue is very difficult for families. If you should have any questions regarding a Florida Wrongful Death case, or the issue of future lost wages as they pertain to a personal injury or wrongful death case, please call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901. Consultations are always...

Read More »

Fall Didn’t Kill Woman, But Disney Could Be Liable For Wrongful Death Anyway

Posted by on Dec 10, 2013 in Recent News, Theme Park Accidents, Types of Accidents, Wrongful Death Claims

Fall Didn’t Kill Woman, But Disney Could Be Liable For Wrongful Death Anyway

The surviving family of a woman who was injured on the Jungle Cruise ride at Walt Disney World has filed a wrongful death suit against the Central Florida theme park operator, even though the woman was nowhere near death when she left the park on the date of her accident. To a typical layperson, this scenario might not seem right.  But, as a Florida theme park injury lawyer, I think the law on this issue is completely fair and reasonable. According to WFTV.com, the decedent was a mother who broke her leg trying to safely hold her daughter while she entered the Jungle Cruise ride.  Her family believes that someone at Disney should have helped her board, and that their failure to do so represented negligence that was the legal cause of the woman’s original leg injury. The original leg injury was significant, and required the injured woman to be taken from Disney by ambulance to a local hospital.  Her leg required surgery, and less than 24 hours after returning home after her surgery, the young mother suffered a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot) that killed her. Under Florida law if the clot is related to the woman’s surgery, and the surgery was required as a result of Disney’s original negligence, then Disney can be held liable for the wrongful death of the mother — and therefore might have to pay damages to the woman’s surviving husband and children. Any other result would not fairly compensate victims of negligence.  Negligence only has to be one of the causes of the ultimate harm, not the only cause, in order for the careless person to be held liable. If you have any questions regarding a Florida wrongful death case, a theme park accident, or Florida’s intervening cause law, contact Winter Park personal injury lawyers Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

Read More »