A Glimpse at Motion for Summary Judgement in a Personal Injury Case

When people think of a victory in a lawsuit, most undoubtedly think about two lawyers giving eloquent closing statements, jury deliberations, and the final verdict being read. A victory on the merits of a case, after each side presents all of its evidence and makes the best arguments it can, is the preferred method for resolving most legal disputes between parties that cannot reach a settlement. However, there are other ways that victory can be achieved in a lawsuit. One of the most common other ways in personal injury cases is when a court grants a motion for summary judgment. A motion for summary judgment is a request by a party for a judgment that is based on the evidence prior to trial. It is a request made to the Judge, and not to the jury. The request can be for a final resolution of the entire case (final summary judgment), or it can be a request for judgment on certain issues, claims, or defenses (partial summary judgment). If a defendant files a motion for summary judgment in a personal injury case, it is essentially saying that the plaintiff does not even have disputed evidence to support each element of his or her claim. The basic elements of a personal injury claim are as follows. First, plaintiffs must prove that a defendant owed them a “duty” to behave reasonably under the circumstances. Second, they must prove that this defendant breached this duty (“breach”). Next, they must prove that they suffered harm (“damages”). Lastly, they must prove that the defendant’s breach of this duty caused them this harm (“causation”). If...

How to Prevent an Accident on Black Friday

For many, Black Friday, which is the day after Thanksgiving- could and should easily be considered another national holiday. Most people take the entire day off to flood stores and shopping malls- in search of holiday bargains. Some even camp out the night before, just to be the first to rush to a Walmart to get the best deals on appliances and big screen televisions. I’ve seen the chaos on the nightly news, and to me, it looks like a circus; but recent research conducted by Progressive, the auto insurer- suggests that Black Friday is actually one of the most dangerous days of the year to be out on the road. According to the study, starting from Black Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) is the most dangerous times of the year to be driving, period. According to the report, there are 34% more car accidents on Black Friday, 25% more accidents on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and 20% more accidents on Thanksgiving Day compared to the two weeks before and after this holiday week. This must be because people tend to be in a hurry to get to or from their destinations, maybe after having a little too much to drink. It is even worse for out of state drivers, who are more likely to get into a car accident while driving through New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, and North Carolina. BLACK FRIDAY CAR ACCIDENTS IN PARKING LOTS On Black Friday, the majority of car accidents happen in overcrowded parking lots that are at peak capacity with distracted holiday shoppers- in a...

Slip and Fall Accidents at Florida Grocery Stores

Dear Miami Slip and Fall Lawyer: Believe it or not, I slipped and fell on a banana peel. This is not a joke. I was shopping at a Publix grocery store for the Thanksgiving potluck lunch my office holds every year. I was pushing a cart full of frozen turkeys through the produce aisle when my left foot went out from under me. I fell hard onto my buttocks. When I looked under my shoe-there it was a black and oily banana peel. The produce guy came over and took the peel away and offered me a chair. Honestly, I was more embarrassed than hurt, or so I thought. I finished my shopping and went home. The next morning I woke up and my entire backside is black and blue. My roommate says it looks like I slid into third base. Not sure what that means, but I am sore. My boss does not pay me if I take time off from work, so I went in. But during the day the pain went from an ache to– I cannot sit down. My left leg kind of tingles- like I am on pins and needles. I am in the emergency room now waiting to be seen. But I am afraid that I am going to have big bills from this- and what if something is really wrong? Can I make a claim against Publix even though I didn’t file a report and didn’t get the name of the produce guy? I am pretty sure I could pick him out of a lineup- if they do those kinds of things,...

Time Frame for an Injured Cruise Ship Passenger to Sue

If you or your loved one has been injured on a cruise ship, your first course of action may be to address the injury. However, keep in mind that besides tending to your injury, there are strict deadlines which you must adhere to in order to have a viable claim against the cruise line.   You may have heard the term “statute of limitations” thrown around before and you may have wondered what that means exactly. It means that legal actions must be filed within a certain time frame. These time frames are referred to as “statutes of limitations.” For most maritime negligence cases, there is a three-year statute of limitation. However, most major cruise lines and many of the smaller ones include language in their passenger ticket contracts which waives the normal three-year statute of limitation in favor of a one-year statute of limitation. This is good news for the cruise lines, but bad news for you, the injured cruise ship passenger. Good news because the cruise lines know many of their passengers won’t bother reading the fine print. Bad news because if you were injured on a cruise ship, you are bound by the fine print in your passenger ticket, and are required to file suit within one year from the date of your injury. If your suit is not brought within this one-year time period following the date of your injury, you have lost the right to recover any damages from the cruise line. This may not seem fair, but courts have consistently enforced this limitations period. As the courts see it, passengers are expected to...

Restaurant Owner Out $2 Million After Son Causes Miami Auto Accident

Restaurant Owner Out $2 Million After Son Causes Miami Auto Accident Most people rarely think about the repercussions of using their personal vehicle for purposes other than their personal use. A case recently decided in the United States Southern District Court of Florida proves that the purpose and use of automobile plays a big roll in determining who is responsible for compensating the victim(s) in case of an accident. In the subject’s case, a young driver caused severe injuries to the female driver of another vehicle. The at-fault vehicle was owned by the driver’s father, who also owns a restaurant. The young driver stated that his vehicle was being used for personal reasons at the time of the accident. He argued that he was using the vehicle to pick up a family member from school. Their personal insurance company tendered their full policy limits of $100,000.00 to compensate the injured party. However, her injuries were so severe, that this amount did not adequately compensate her for her injuries, pain, and suffering. The accident happened during Christmas break and schools were closed for the holidays. The lawyers for the injured party thoroughly investigated the routes that the vehicle took for business purposes and it was determined that at the time of the accident, the vehicle was being used to run an errand for the restaurant. A jury found that the restaurant was also responsible for the injuries because the accident occurred while the driver was operating the vehicle within the scope of his employment with his father’s restaurant business. The jury returned a verdict of $2,000,000.00 to compensate the victim...
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