Articles Posted in Personal Injury Attorney

A business invitee is suing an Orlando business for alleged negligence.

The woman filed a complaint on June 21 in the Orange County Circuit Court, alleging that the business failed to provide a safe environment for its business invitees.

According to the complaint, the woman alleges that she was returning to her car on March 11, 2015 when she tripped and/or slipped on an uneven sidewalk on the business’ parking lot. As a result, she suffered bodily injury, pain and suffering, disability, mental anguish, an aggravation of a pre-existing condition, medical expenses and loss of earnings.

She holds the business responsible for allegedly failing to correct a dangerous condition and provide adequate signs that warned of the dangerous condition.

She is seeking more than $15,000 in damages.

If you slipped in a parking lot, there are a number of questions our Florida Slip and Fall Accident Injury Lawyers will ask you to determine who is at-fault and whether you can be compensated, including the events leading up to your accident.

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Uber knowingly leased unsafe cars to its drivers in Singapore, according to new reports.

One of those cars, a recalled Honda Vezel with an Uber driver at the wheel, spouted flames from its dashboard in January, melting the car’s interior and cracking its windshield. The driver had just dropped off a passenger when he began smelling the smoke.

Uber had bought more than 1,000 of the defective cars, which were recalled by Honda in April 2016 due to an electrical component that can overheat and catch fire.

And though Uber knew the cars needed repairs to make them safe, the company continued to lease them to drivers unfixed.

Word of the fire apparently reached Uber’s executives in San Francisco shortly after the company’s insurer in Singapore said it wouldn’t cover the damage to the scorched Vezel due to the known recall.

When Uber launched in Singapore in early 2013, it marked the company’s first expansion into Asia.

It was a good market to enter: In addition to all the rain you might expect in a tropical climate with two monsoon seasons, owning a car in Singapore is extremely expensive. The government requires owners to buy a certificate of entitlement, which represents “a right to vehicle ownership and use of the limited road space for 10 years.” The certificates are released through competitive bidding, and recently they’ve fetched prices from $44,000 and up.

That kind of expense made it hard for Uber to find drivers, and so the company created a unit, Lion City Rentals, that would lease cars to drivers. It represented a new approach for the company, which avoids owning assets.

Instead of buying cars from authorized Honda and Toyota dealers, the company reportedly began importing hundreds of used cars a month from small dealers in the “gray market”, where safety standards are hard to enforce. At least one of those dealers didn’t get the Vezels fixed before selling them to Uber. While Uber was aware of the problem and asked the dealer to hasten its repairs, the company continued to lease the defective vehicles to drivers without warning them of the safety issue.

Even after the fire, Uber told drivers that the Vezels needed “immediate precautionary servicing” — without mentioning the risk of fire and overheating.

Uber says it took action, but “could have done more.”

“As soon as we learned of a Honda Vezel from the Lion City Rental fleet catching fire, we took swift action to fix the problem, in close coordination with Singapore’s Land Transport Authority as well as technical experts,” Uber said in the statement. “But we acknowledge we could have done more—and we have done so. We’ve introduced robust protocols and hired three dedicated experts in-house at LCR whose sole job is to ensure we are fully responsive to safety recalls. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve proactively responded to six vehicle recalls and will continue to do so to protect the safety of everyone who uses Uber.”

Uber lost nearly $3 billion in 2016 but is nevertheless is one of the largest privately held companies, valued at nearly $70 billion.

Uber’s actions are quite appalling. Uber reportedly bought the defective, recalled vehicles from what is known as the “grey market” and knowingly leased them out to drivers. Knowingly leasing defective vehicles to drivers, knowing that drivers and passengers are at a great risk of suffering injuries or even being killed, is absolutely shocking. Uber should be held accountable for its careless actions and it is extremely likely that federal regulators will launch a full blown investigation into the type of vehicles that the company is leasing out to drivers in the United States.

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Older people are dying on the job at a higher rate than all other workers combined, even as the rate of workplace fatalities decreases, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal statistics.

This is an alarming trend as baby boomers reject the traditional retirement age of 65 and keep working. The U.S. government estimates that by 2024, older workers will account for 25 percent of the labor market.

Gerontologists say those changes include gradually worsening vision and hearing impairment, reduced response time, balance issues and chronic medical or muscle or bone problems such as arthritis.

In 2015, about 35 percent of the fatal workplace accidents involved a worker 55 and older – or 1,681 of the 4,836 fatalities reported nationally.

The AP analysis showed that overall workplace fatality rate for all workers – and for those 55 and older – decreased by 22 percent between 2006 and 2015. But the rate of fatal accidents among older workers during that time period was 50 percent to 65 percent higher than for all workers, depending on the year.

The number of deaths among all workers dropped from 5,480 in 2005 to 4,836 in 2015. However, on-the-job fatalities among older workers increased slightly, from 1,562 to 1,681, the analysis shows.

During that time period, the number of older people in the workplace increased by 37 percent. That compares with a 6 percent rise in the population of workers overall.

The AP analysis is based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census for Fatal Occupational Injuries and from one-year estimates from the American Community Survey, which looks at the working population. It excludes cases where the cause of death was from a “natural cause,” including a heart attack, stroke among others.

AP also examined the number and types of accidents in which older workers died between 2011, when the bureau changed the way it categorized accidents, to 2015:

  • Fall-related fatalities rose 20 percent.
  • Contact with objects and equipment increased 17 percent.
  • Transportation accidents increased 15 percent.
  • Fires and explosions decreased by 8 percent.

An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found in 2013 that 44 percent of older Americans said their job required physical effort most or almost all of the time, and 36 percent said it was more difficult to complete the physical requirements of their jobs than it was when they were younger.

In most states, the fatal accident rates for older workers were consistently higher than comparable rates for all workers.

Nevada, New Jersey and Washington had the greatest percent increase in fatal accident rates for older workers between 2006 and 2015.

The three states with the biggest percent decrease were Hawaii, Oregon and Vermont.

Eight states saw their overall workplace fatality rate drop, even as the rate for older workers increased: Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New York, Texas, Utah and Washington.

In two states – North Dakota and Wisconsin – the trend was reversed; older worker accident rates got smaller while the accident rate overall increased.

If you have been injured on the job, one of the most important things you can do is to report it. While this might seem obvious, there are many times a person is injured without requiring immediate medical attention, so it might seem like a good idea to take a wait and see approach and not report the incident. However, when an accident is not reported, your employer could deny you medical treatment and benefits for missed time from work. By reporting any workplace accidents properly, you can prevent many potential hassles.

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An 18-year-old Ohio man was killed Wednesday evening when the Fire Ball ride he was on at the Ohio State Fair broke apart in mid-air, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said.

Seven people were also injured in the incident.

The victims were transported to local hospitals and at least three are in critical condition.

According to amusement ride operator Amusements of America, the Fire Ball swings riders 40 feet into the air while spinning them at 13 revolutions per minute.

Fair officials said that rides will remain closed as safety inspections continue, and those who purchased wristbands can receive refunds.

KMG International B.V., the Netherlands-based ride manufacturer, said in a statement, “Our deepest sympathies go out to all who were involved or affected by this tragic accident. We are currently gathering information on the accident and investigating the cause and circumstances of the accident.”

The operators of “Fireball” and similar rides are instructed to stop operations until further notice, the statement added.

An official with the Ohio State Highway Patrol said its investigators have been at the scene since the deadly incident was reported at 7:24 p.m. Wednesday.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture’s chief inspector of amusement ride safety said inspectors have been present at the fair since last Wednesday. An inspection of the Fire Ball would include evaluating connections and hydraulics.The Fire Ball had apparently been inspected three to four times over the previous two days.

Wednesday marked the first day of the fair, which is scheduled to run through Aug. 6, according to the fair’s website.

Other similar rides throughout the country are being shut down as a precaution.

The Monmouth County Fair in New Jersey immediately shut down a ride similar to the Ohio State Fair’s Fire Ball. A similar ride at the Orange County Fair in California was also shut down to undergo a re-inspection after the Ohio incident.

North American Midway Entertainment, which is not a provider of the Ohio State Fair rides, said in a statement that “due to the tragic incident… we will keep all our Fire Ball rides closed until further notice from the manufacturer for precautionary safety measures.”

The Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by the tragic accident at the Ohio State Fair. As the investigation into the cause of this accident continues, the Indiana State Fair and North American Midway Entertainment have made the decision to not operate the Fireball at the 2017 Indiana State Fair.”

The Illinois Department of Labor said it is also suspending the operation of all rides similar to the Fire Ball until further notice.

There is a lot of pressure placed on state fairs and carnivals to get rides set up in a short amount of time. Because of this time constraint, those setting up can neglect what matters the most – keeping people safe.

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Central Florida theme parks have submitted their injury reports for the second quarter of 2017.

There were a total of 16 illnesses or injuries that required a hospital stay of 24 hours, according to the state’s quarterly report.

Walt Disney World reported 11 incidents, while Universal Orlando had four and SeaWorld Orlando had one.

The incidents ranged from seizures to back pain.The injuries and illnesses happened between April and June.

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a 31-year-old woman felt dizzy and lost consciousness on the park’s newest attraction, Flight of Passage. On June 12, a 79-year-old woman with a pre-existing condition also became ill after being on the ride.

An 81-year-old woman had motion sickness on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey in April. An 18-year-old woman had a similar illness on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Other incidents reported:

Disney World

  • A 57-year-old woman with a pre-existing condition experienced stroke-like symptoms on Castaway Creek at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon.
  • A 48-year-old woman with a pre-existing condition had a seizure on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom in May.
  • A 34-year-old man reported eye irritation on Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Universal Orlando

  • A 47-year-old woman fainted on the Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure on June 20.
  • A 45-year-old man reported back pain on the Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides at Universal’s Volcano Bay.

SeaWorld Orlando

  • A 54-year-old man reported a shock to his arm on Journey to Atlantis on June 15.

No incidents were reported by Legoland Florida or Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

An outing at Disney World, a county fair or any of the amusement parks around Florida should be a day filled with fun and excitement. However, an amusement park injury can turn a great day into a nightmare in just a matter of seconds.

If you have been injured at an amusement or theme park, it is very important for you to contact an experienced injury lawyer before signing any documents or making any statements to a park owner or representative. The park’s initial offer will not likely cover certain necessary damages, such as ongoing medical needs or future losses.

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A man was shot and injured Friday during a road rage incident in Manatee County.

The incident occurred around 6 p.m. on 3rd Avenue East.

Deputies said the 21-year-old and his 26-year-old friend were driving north on 3rd Avenue East when the suspect vehicle pulled up behind them.

The two men said it appeared the suspect was following closely, so the 21-year-old pulled over.

The suspect stopped at the intersection of 3rd Ave. and 25th St., and officials said the 21-year-old got out of his vehicle and approached the driver’s side door of the suspect vehicle.

That’s when witnesses stated they heard a pop and the 21-year-old fell to the ground. The suspect then fled north on 3rd Avenue.

The 21-year-old was transported to Blake Medical Center with injuries to his stomach and hand. Officials said his injuries do not appear to be life threatening.

This is an ongoing investigation.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, road rage is a major factor in traffic accidents that occur throughout the country. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of aggressive driving incidents is highly underreported because road rage or aggression is hard to quantify.

Examples of Road Rage:

  • Tailgating other vehicles by speeding up to them and staying close to their back bumper.
  • Weaving in and out of traffic.
  • Cutting off other drivers.
  • Stopping short for no reason.
  • Passing a person on the right because they are driving too slow and then cutting them off.

This case shows a severe incident of road rage. When an accident or injury occurs because of road rage, the aggressive driver will face criminal charges. This could make it easier for the victim to collect financial compensation for damages in a personal injury case.

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A third man has died from injuries he suffered in the TECO Big Bend Power Plant accident last week.

The 21-year-old died on Wednesday. He was a contractor who worked for BRACE Industrial Group.

This man was one of the six workers involved in the accident at TECO Big Bend Power plant.

Officials said molten hot slag rushed out of a coal stack, spewing onto the victims.

Two of the men in that accident died immediately.

Three other people remain in the hospital from the accident.

The families of workers who are killed in an accident while on the job may be entitled to financial compensation on their loved one’s behalf under the Worker’s Compensation Act. When an employee dies from a work injury or an occupational disease, the Worker’s Compensation Act provides benefits to cover wage loss, medical expenses, and some burial expenses to dependent spouses and children.

Worker’s compensation claims can be complex cases. Our Florida Worker’s Compensation Claims Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can make sure you know what you can expect from your claim. We seek a full and fair settlement in every case we handle, but we always prepare for trial to make sure you are not stuck with a lowball settlement that won’t cover all of your expenses.

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The Florida Supreme Court came to a decision this week that overturned the state law limiting pain and suffering, and other non-economic, monetary awards in medical malpractice cases.

Previously, a person that suffered an injury due to medical malpractice could only be awarded $500,000 for pain and suffering by the court regardless of what a jury decided. If a person was catastrophically injured, the limit capped out at an even million. However, these limits do not include monetary damages for lost wages, medical care, or any other losses – they strictly cover pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, and emotional distress.

The Supreme Court based its decision on a 2007 case where a woman was undergoing surgery for her carpal tunnel syndrome. After the surgery, her throat was injured when removing a breathing tube, and this injury led to a six week coma and other serious injuries. When her case finally came to trial, a jury awarded her $4 million, however, the court reduced the award by half due to the state law limiting medical malpractice damages.

In 2014, the woman’s appeal verdict was found in her favor, striking down the cap. The court ruled that the limit violated the equal protection clause due to the arbitrary basis for reducing damages in the law. The court basically found that the law did not make sense, and now the Supreme Court has weighed in. They agreed with the appellate court and upheld the decision.

It is unclear if the caps on medical malpractice claims in other states will be challenged now. The Florida Supreme Court only impacts Florida law.

Medical malpractice is classified as any negligence of a health care provider that causes an injury. When a doctor, nurse or healthcare facility fails to provide a patient with quality medical care, they can be held liable for their carelessness.

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A school bus accident in Williston sent 13 students to Regional General Hospital with minor injuries Wednesday.  

According to reports, Levy County school bus 0409 was stopped at a railroad crossing in the 800 block of East Noble Avenue shortly after 7:30 a.m. when the driver of a 2006 Dodge truck struck the bus from behind.

The driver of the Dodge truck was cited for following too closely, according to reports. The students on the bus attend Joyce Bullock Elementary and Williston Elementary schools.

As a parent, there is nothing scarier than finding out your child has been injured while getting to and/or from school on a school bus. When you send your children on a school bus, you trust that they will arrive at their intended destination safely. Even though school buses are widely considered to be the safest form of transportation for school children, the reality is that injuries on school buses can and do happen. If your child suffers an injury on a school bus, you may be entitled to financial compensation for any medical bills or other damages endured. After an accident like this, you should always contact a Levy County Injury Lawyer at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible to discuss a potential legal claim.

There are many complicated issues surrounding school bus accident cases and it is important to make sure you receive the maximum amount of compensation you deserve for your child’s losses. Losses/damages can include:

  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disabilities
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

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A woman is suing Wal-Mart Stores for negligence in a store accident that resulted in a stack of tables falling on her arm.

The woman filed a complaint on March 20 in the Orange County Circuit Court against Wal-Mart alleging that its store failed to provide a reasonably safe environment for its patrons.

According to the complaint, the woman says that on May 21, 2016, she suffered bodily injury, disability, medical expenses, loss of earnings and aggravation of a previously existing condition resulting from the negligent action of an employee as he allowed a stack of tables to fall on her arm.

She holds Wal-Mart responsible because the store failed to exercise reasonable care in the maintenance, inspection, customer service or mode of operation of the premises.

The woman is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $15,000 together with interest and costs.

When you set foot inside a retail store you expect you will be provided with a reasonably safe shopping experience. In fact, retail stores are legally obligated to maintain safe premises. If you slip, trip, fall or suffer another type of injury in a retail store you may have a valid legal claim against the store for financial compensation.

Many retail store injuries can leave you emotionally traumatized and physically unable to work. When you are unable to work, your finances can wind up in complete disarray. If you have suffered due to the negligence of a retail store employer or owner, let our Florida Personal Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton help you obtain the compensation you need to move forward with your life.

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