Auto Accidents

  • Friday, May 2, 2014 - 14:39

    The common view of a plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer is not flattering.   Most people see the PI lawyer as an “ambulance chasing” parasite on our economy and our society.  This image, perpetuated by those who oppose personal injury lawyers in court, prevails.  Who are those who oppose personal injury lawyers in court?  Insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, hospitals, product manufacturers, and doctors, to name a few.  There are plenty of resources available to generate the propaganda machine that feeds and perpetuates the adverse view of personal injury lawyers in our society.

    The fault is not all the big money, powerful interests.  There are, of course, plenty of personal injury lawyers who feed the flame and who lack regard for a calling higher than lining their own pockets.  But this group is a minority.  Most personal injury lawyers willing to take on America’s biggest and most powerful entities are devoted to more than their own profit.  These men and women are empowered by the realization that their work makes a difference, that by holding negligent (and worse) actors accountable for the harm they cause, no matter how rich or powerful the negligent actor is, the plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer helps make all of us safer.

  • Friday, June 7, 2013 - 16:59

    After a long, arduous journey, Marisela Otaola and her family received justice this year when they resolved their case against Cusano’s Bakery in the wake of a favorable decision from the Third District Court of Appeal. The underlying, tragic case involved the wrongful death of Omar Otaola, age 34, who was an avid cyclist. Omar, riding his bicycle across Bear Cut Bridge on Key Biscayne (the site of several tragic cycling deaths), was run down and killed by a Cusano’s Bakery truck on a Saturday morning in February, 2006.

  • Friday, May 24, 2013 - 12:53

    There are many important and valuable trial tactics and techniques.  You can and should read books on the subjects and attend seminars too.  Here are 5 "big picture" tips to remember before every trial:

  • Thursday, April 18, 2013 - 16:10

                     In a recent article published by JAMA ("The Journal of the American Medical Association"), the authors revealed what we all probably knew anyway: medical errors, including surgical errors, actually make money for hospitals.  After all, when the errors cause complications the patients require more care, more days in the hospital, and the hospital bill is larger.

                     The authors, from various institutions including Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, demonstrated that private insurers and Medicare routinely pay for the added care, irrespective of whether the care was occasioned by medical malpractice.

                     The data, though intriguing, is hardly surprising.  The difficult issue, however, is whether we can trust the marketplace to motivate doctors and hospitals to reduce medical errors when they have no financial incentive to do so.  The article points out that no one believes hospitals are intentionally causing errors to make money.  But the converse concern remains: no one really believes hospitals have great incentives to spend money on error reduction when doing so reduces revenues.

  • Friday, March 22, 2013 - 12:01

              Any plaintiff’s lawyer who has successfully resolved a case for a Medicaid beneficiary knows the importance of the United States Supreme Court’s opinion Wos v. E.M.A., 568 U.S. ___ (2013), released this week.

  • Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 16:33

     "In suits at common law, trial by jury in civil cases is as essential to secure the liberty of the people as any one of the pre-existent rights of nature." James Madison

     "I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution."  Thomas Jefferson

                     "First thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."  You've heard this one before.  It is the famous quote from Shakespeare's Henry VI.  Though it is reminiscent of the old joke about lawyers at the bottom of the sea, it was not a joke in the play.  In fact, it was part of a scheme, hatched by Dick the Butcher, to enable the rebel Jack Cade to overthrow the king.  The people that stood between the Jack the rebel and dominant, unchecked power were lawyers.

                    This tells us what we already know.  Lawyers provide order and accountability in our society.  Our jury system was designed to provide justice, deliver order, and insure safety.  When wayward people or companies fail to follow the rules, endanger our well being, put profits over safety, and injure innocent people, the wrongdoers can and should be held accountable in a court of law.

                    But things these days have gone all wrong.  The tort "reform" movement has tried, and to a large part it has succeeded, to kill all the lawyers.  Our system is losing its power to hold people, corporations, hospitals, and insurance companies accountable for the harm they cause, whether negligently or purposefully.  Today and in large numbers, judges, juries, and legislators are motivated by impulses and influences outside the evidence, having nothing to do with the facts of a given case.

                    Why?

  • Friday, December 7, 2012 - 17:56

                    After Arkansas Department of Health & Human Services v. Ahlborn, 547 U.S. 268 (2006), the United States Supreme Court decision allowing for an equitable distribution argument to reduce a Medicaid lien, the law in Florida remains murky.  A new decision from the 4th DCA, Roberts v. Albertson's, et al., 37 FLW D2515 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012), has certified the question to the Florida Supreme Court and provides a good road map for the plaintiff's lawyer seeking an equitable resolution of a Medicaid lien.

  • Friday, November 30, 2012 - 14:41

              Florida state senator Nancy Detert (R - Venice, FL) filed a bill (SB 52) last week in the Florida Senate that would empower police officers to cite people for texting while driving.  Currently, Forty-Five (45) of the fifty United States have some form of ban on texting while driving.  The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been urging all states to ban this practice and to empower police to do something about it.  Almost 4,000 highway deaths per year are attributed to distraced drivers.  As anyone who has tried to text and drive knows, this practice is even more dangerous than driving under the influence.  Florida, Montana, South Dakota, South Carolina, and Arizona are the only states in the country that have failed to enact laws prohibiting the practice. 

  • Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 18:31

                     In Tricam Industries, Inc. v. Coba, the Third District Court of Appeal  recently addressed the nagging question of attorney "due diligence" with respect to juror background checks.  Ever since the Florida Supreme Court's opinion in Roberts v. Tejada, 814 So. 2d 334, 339 (Fla. 2002), when a party receives a less than favorable jury verdict, that party might engage in post verdict research of the jury panel only to determine that at least one of the jurors had an undisclosed litigation history.  This post verdict research then leads to a motion to interview jurors and a motion for new trial.  Whether the lawyer and his client have a legitimate gripe will turn on whether they failed to exercise due diligence.

  • Monday, September 24, 2012 - 14:50

                    In an earlier entry in these pages, I wrote about the Sears Roebuck v. Learmonth case.  There, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, a federal appellate court, asked the Mississippi Supreme Court to answer the question of whether Mississippi's $1 million cap on noneconomic damages violated the Mississippi constitution.  In the case the jury rendered a verdict in the amount of $4 million, well in excess of the cap.  The jury was not asked to break down its number into economic and noneconomic categories.  The parties stipulated that, based on the evidence presented on economic losses, the non-economic award was over $2 million, again well in excess of the cap.  With that, the issue was ripe for the Mississippi Supreme Court's consideration.  But it wasnt to be.