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Posts Tagged "liable"

Best Evidence Following Florida Car Crash Instantly Disappears

Posted by on Mar 9, 2015 in Motor vehicle accidents

If you are involved in a Florida car crash, you can rest easy because you know that the camera perched over the intersection where the other driver just ran a red light and smashed into you car, recorded everything, right? Unfortunately, not. The vast majority of Florida traffic cameras don’t record anything.  The images passing through the lenses of the machines disappear as soon as they are broadcast back to the traffic monitoring center.  Watch this video to learn more: If you have been involved in a Florida car accident, and have any questions, please call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901.  Consultations, and questions answered, are always...

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Was The Drunk Driver In Your Accident Illegally Served By A Bar or Restaurant?

Posted by on Jan 14, 2015 in Motor vehicle accidents, Types of Accidents, Uncategorized

Was The Drunk Driver In Your Accident Illegally Served By A Bar or Restaurant?

I saw an interesting article on the insurancejournal.com website about a lawsuit that was recently filed in Wyoming by two women who had been injured in a crash involving a drunk driver.  Unlike a typical car accident case where the claim or lawsuit is brought against the negligent driver, the ladies in the Wyoming case brought their claim against the bar that served the negligent drunk driver.  According to allegations in the injured ladies’ legal Complaint, the negligent drunk driver was underage, and the people who were running the bar where the underage girl was provided the alcohol knew that she was underage. In Florida, cases like this one in Wyoming fall under a category of claims called “dram shop” cases.  Like most states, Florida law generally protects bars and restaurants from liability when one of their patrons leaves a bar or restaurant a little intoxicated and causes injuries to someone else.  However, in Florida, there are exceptions.  Florida Statute Section 768.125 make it unlawful for any person (or business) to sell or furnish alcoholic beverages to a person under 21, or to a person who is habitually addicted to alcohol, and makes the person (or business) liable for any damages caused by the underage drinker or alcoholic. As a lawyer who has handled a number of dram shop cases over the years on behalf of injured people (and the families of those killed by drunk drivers), I can tell you that putting together a viable dram shop case against a bar or restaurant can be challenging.  However, many times it is worth it when the drunk driver has limited or no insurance and there is no other avenue of recovery.  This is particularly true when the damages are catastrophic, or result in a wrongful death claim for families member whose lives have been ruined by a drunk driver. An argument can certainly be made that businesses who profit from providing alcohol to people who should not be in possession of it, and then allow them to get behind the wheel of a car, should be made to pay damages to those who have been injured by their greedy business practices. If you have any questions regarding a crash involving a drunk driver in Florida, or if you believe that the person who hit you had been drinking at a local bar or restaurant shortly before your crash, please call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

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Would Teen Killed In Bark Blower Accident Have A Wrongful Death Case In Florida?

Posted by on Jan 8, 2015 in Work-Related Injuries

Would Teen Killed In Bark Blower Accident Have A Wrongful Death Case In Florida?

It is always tragic when a young person dies in an accident.  Our minds and hearts are always drawn to the idea of “what could have been” had the young person’s life not been taken.  When there is no sense of justice for the surviving family members after experiencing the loss, those feelings are often magnified even more. It was through this lens that I read a story on insurancejournal.com about a Washington mulch/landscaping company that was recently fined $199,000 by the State of Washington after the death of one of its teenage workers.  Apparently a 19-year-old was working on a bark blower truck outside someone’s home when he was accidentally ground to death by an auger.  (As I understand it, the auger is a screw-like device that turns in the bark truck and draws the bark into the vacuum hose that blows bark into a flowerbed.) The State of Washington Department of Labor and Industries investigated the accident and determined that the employer was regularly having its employees (many of them young people) climb into the trucks and clear out the bark while the blower machines were stilling running.  In this instance, the dead 19-year old was on his first week on-the-job.  The State of Washington punished the company with the large fine (although it is likely none of this fine money will go to the dead man’s surviving family.) I wonder if the young man’s parents were pursuing a wrongful death claim – aside from any benefits that might be available under Washington’s Workers’ Compensation system.  As many readers already know, Worker’s Compensation is really designed to get people back to work quickly.  It is not really an adequate way to recover fair and reasonable damages for workers or their families — particularly in a wrongful death case. Unfortunately, in Florida, it is very unlikely that the young man’s parents would be able to mount a successful wrongful death claim (as opposed to a Workers’ Compensation claim.)  Under Florida law an employer can only be held liable for traditional wrongful death damages if there is evidence that the employer knew with virtual certainty that a worker would be killed by a dangerous condition.  If the employer should have only suspected or guessed that a condition might kill someone, the worker’s family loses under Florida law.  Under Florida law, if workers in a bark blower truck regularly escaped injury cleaning out the auger, it is unlikely that the employer would be held civilly liable. As anyone reading this post can imagine, this is an incredibly difficult burden to meet.  Therefore, many employers are never held civilly liable for the full measure of a dead worker’s damages.  This, of course, is incredibly unjust, but does illustrate how strong the business lobby is in the Florida Legislature. Nevertheless, sometimes successful claims can be made.  They just need to be assessed...

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