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Fort Walton Beach Personal Injury Blog

The ins and outs of filing a wrongful death lawsuit

When a Florida family loses a loved one due to another person's reckless, negligent or deliberate actions, the surviving members of the family may have grounds for filing a civil lawsuit against the person deemed responsible. The civil action of filing a wrongful death lawsuit enables them to pursue financial relief. When such a lawsuit is filed, the plaintiffs must establish negligence before the civil court can determine the monetary value of the damages to be awarded to the family members.

The assumption in this type of lawsuit is that the surviving family members' lives were directly affected by a loved one's death. Not only has another party's negligence caused the personal loss but also impacted the financial and emotional lives of the plaintiffs. In Florida, the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit is limited to the deceased individual's spouse and children along with his or her parents and any other relatives who are entirely or partly dependent on the decedent.

Social Security disability benefits for traumatic brain injuries

Traumatic brain injuries can prevent victims from returning to work. Florida workers whose brain injuries render them disabled may apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Workers who contributed to Social Security taxes during their years of employment are eligible for these benefits. However, there are financial and technical rules that must be met for eligibility.

To qualify for disability benefits, the severity of the brain injury must cause long-term or permanent impairments. The Social Security Administration will need proof of the diagnosis that identifies the type of brain injury, although it classifies all under cerebral trauma after evaluating the disability claim. Even though TBI is the most prevalent of all brain injuries, other types can also qualify for benefits.

Personal injury lawsuit may follow injury at North Florida Fair

On Saturday, Nov. 4, a Tallahassee girl suffered injuries after being thrown from the 'Musik Express,' a North Florida Fair ride. Similar accidents in other states have led to personal injury lawsuits, which might also happen in this case. The general manager of the mobile fair company said the ride was shut down after the incident but reopened the next morning after an inspection, the results of which were not mentioned. The inspection was done by the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Records indicate that this company has received citations for five previous accidents since 2000. However, the Musik Express ride has received 12 citations since 2015, of which three were issued to this operator. The latest one was only two days before this incident, and it was for defective latches and worn bushings. In fact, six of the 12 citation reports indicate that there were problems with restraints.

Personal injury lawsuits come in different types

All kinds of injuries and accidents lead to the staggering number of claims in civil lawsuits that are filed in Florida and other states annually. Anybody who is suffering the consequences of injuries caused by another person's negligence might have grounds for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Of all the different types of personal injury claims, product liability is one of the most common.

These typically follow cases in which defective products injure consumers who then seek recovery of damages from manufacturers, retailers and others in the supply chain. Next on the list is medical malpractice in which health care professionals are held liable for surgical and other medical negligence. Hospitals and other facilities are often named as defendants.

Wrongful death suit may follow violent Florida crash

Sometimes, a driver's negligence causes the death of his or her passenger. When this happens, there could be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. Such action might follow a recent crash that involved three vehicles on U.S. Highway 98 in Florida.

A report by the Florida Highway Patrol indicates that an 86-year-old man in a sedan was westbound on the highway shortly before noon on a recent Tuesday. With him was an 86-year-old passenger -- both from another state. The driver of this vehicle apparently attempted to make a left turn onto another road but failed to yield to an oncoming vehicle that was driven by a 22-year-old man. The resulting collision was violent, and the impact caused the first car to spin into the path of an SUV.

Workers' compensation benefits may help after workplace fatality

Manufacturing plants in Florida and other states pose various hazards, many of which involve machines and equipment. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employers must ensure that workers are not exposed to moving parts of machines. A significant number of workers' compensation claims result from noncompliance with these safety regulations.

An employee at a manufacturer of flooring products in a neighboring state was recently killed in a workplace accident that might have been preventable. Reportedly, the incident happened on a recent Monday night. The 51-year-old employee apparently tried to remove something from the machine. The object is thought to have been a piece of carpet.

You and your workers' compensation physician

For individuals who hurt themselves on the job, workers' compensation may be critical to maintaining their current lifestyle. The employee's physicians play a strong role in determining the benefits they receive.

For you or your loved one to have the best chance at a proper recovery with necessary medical treatment, it is important you stay abreast of medical offerings and properly evaluate the provider. There are a few key facts to know about workers' compensation physicians.

Personal injury: 1 in 4 fatal teenage crashes involves alcohol

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that over 3,500 teenagers died in auto crashes in 2016. Accordingly, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles held a week-long campaign earlier this month to promote safe teen driving. The aim was to get teens to commit to driving in a way that will keep themselves and their passengers safe from personal injury. Along with personal responsibility, the focus was on never starting the car before everybody is buckled up.

During the campaign, the AAA Foundation urged parents to have conversations with their teenage children about the dangers of impaired and distracted driving. Studies indicate that a significant number of crashes by teens result from distractions. Furthermore, it is estimated that one in four teenage deaths in car accidents involves alcohol-impaired drivers.

Workers' compensation: Crane operator thrown off overpass

Road construction projects on Florida highways will always endanger the lives of all those involved. Employees of construction companies may find some comfort in knowing that they are covered by the workers' compensation insurance program. This coverage will be particularly welcome for one worker who miraculously survived a recent fall off an overpass on State Road 836.

According to a spokesperson for Florida Highway Patrol, the incident happened on a recent Wednesday morning. Reportedly, a crane that was used in the construction toppled over for reasons yet to be determined. The operator of the machine was thrown over the edge of the overpass, and he landed on the road below.

Personal Injury: Proving negligence can be challenging

Thousands of people in Florida suffer slip-and-fall injuries every year, often caused by the negligence of property owners. However,  premises owners or their tenants are not always liable for a personal injury suffered in such circumstances. In fact, proving negligence in premises liability lawsuits can be tricky.

A victim of a slip-and-fall accident can check the viability of a claim by answering a few questions. Did the property owner or an employee cause the hazard, such as a spill, torn carpeting or damaged floor covering? Was the premises owner or an employee aware of the dangerous situation and then failed to remove, repair or rectify it? Would any reasonable person have noticed the danger and done something about it?

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