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What Do You Need to Know Before Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

What Do You Need to Know Before Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

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If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, then you may be able to file suit against them and receive compensation for financial expenses and pain and suffering resulting from the injury. There are several basics, but important, point that you should know about personal injury lawsuits in Florida before you file. If, after considering the following points you decide you will file, or if you don’t know whether or not you should, then it is in your best interest to consult an experienced personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney will be abreast of Florida’s laws and will be essential to getting you the most substantial compensation for your injury.

How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Florida?

All states have limitations on how long you have to file a lawsuit. The length of time depends on the type of suit. In Florida you generally have four years to file a personal injury lawsuit, unless it is a medical malpractice case, in which case, you only have two years. The countdown begins when the injury or accident causing the injury takes place, so it is imperative that you have your case evaluated and begin proceedings as soon as possible following the injury.

How is Negligence Proven in a Personal Injury Case?

To have a personal injury case, you have to be able to prove that the at-fault party was negligent – that their action (or inaction) caused you harm. There are three specific conditions that have to be met in order to prove a personal injury case. First, you have to show that the party who caused your injury had a responsibility not to harm you and that he or she breached that responsibility. Second, you have to prove that breaching that responsibility caused your injury. Lastly, you have to show that you have suffered damages and/or financial loss as a result of the injury.

What Are Damages, and What Am I Entitled to?

In a personal injury case, you are able to seek compensation from whoever caused you to have a financial loss, property damage, or any other kind of loss, due to your injury. The legal term for this type of compensation is damages. In a Florida personal injury case, you may be entitled to damages for the following:

Medical bills (except for car accidents)*

Disability and disfigurement

Pain and suffering

The repair or replacement of property damaged

Lost wages

The expense of hiring help to do household task that you are no longer able to do

Emotional trauma

Other costs that are determined to be caused by your injury

*Because Florida is a no-fault state and it requires every driver to have a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance policy with $10,000 of coverage, medical expenses in a car accident case are paid by the injured party’s own insurer.

Finding an Attorney for Your Florida Personal Injury Case

If you have been injured due to negligence on someone else’s part, it’s important that you find a personal injury lawyer to review your case. Attorney Joe Osborne is an experienced personal injury attorney who is ready to help you with your lawsuit. If you have been the victim of someone else’s negligence, and have sustained injuries from it, call Osborne & Francis today at (561) 293-2600 for a case evaluation.

Can Parents File a Personal Injury Lawsuit on Behalf of Their Child?

Can Parents File a Personal Injury Lawsuit on Behalf of Their Child

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When a child is injured due to a car accident or negligence on someone else’s part, it can be a tricky situation to settle or litigate because they are not yet 18 years of age. These cases require an attorney who is knowledgeable about the special procedural requirements in cases that involve children. Minors in Florida cannot pursue their own personal injury claims because they are not of the legal age to do so. That means that a parent or legal guardian must pursue the case on the behalf of their child. And in some cases, parents must obtain court approval regarding settlement agreements when a minor is involved because Florida law requires it. The law is intended to protect the interests of the child by providing judicial oversight.

When Can a Parent Settle a Lawsuit on Behalf of a Child?

Florida statutes allow parents or guardians to settle a personal injury claim on their minor child’s behalf without approval from the court when the settlement amount does not exceed $15,000. However, when it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit (if the claim isn’t settled by insurance companies), court approval is required. Additionally, some insurance companies will require that court approval is given prior to making any payments on a settlement on behalf of a minor.

If the settlement that is reached is over $15,000, then the parent or guardian is required to seek court approval by filing a Petition for Approval of Settlement. This petition includes the details of the facts of the case, issues of liability, a number of damages, the amount of the settlement being sought, and lawyer’s costs and fees. The judge then reviews the terms of the settlement to determine if they are in the child’s best interest. It’s important to understand that the law requires that the parents or guardians of the child also act in the best interests of the minor, and the judge will make sure that they are complying with that requirement.

How is the Settlement for a Minor Distributed?

Just as there are special requirements for filing and settling a personal injury claim on behalf of a minor, there are also special procedures for the distribution of monetary settlements when they are awarded to a minor.

If the net amount of the settlement (after attorney’s fees are paid) is $15,000 or less, the process is usually simple. The judge will typically have the funds distributed to the parents so they can be used for the best interest of the child. However, when the net amount is over $15,000, it’s required that a formal guardianship is set up to safeguard the funds for the child. In this type of situation, once the judge approves the settlement amount, the money is placed in a restricted annuity or bank account which can only be accessed by court order. The court will then use its discretion when allowing funds to be withdrawn based on the necessity and the reason for the withdrawal. Usually, when the funds are used for housing, education, or medical care, the court will approve the transactions, however, that can depend on each specific case.

Get the Right Help for Your Child’s Personal Injury Case

If your child has suffered an injury in an accident that was someone else’s fault, he or she may be entitled to compensation for injuries. Settlements that are pursued minors can be complex, which is why you need to find the right personal injury attorney to handle your child’s case. Contact Boca Raton personal injury lawyer Joe Osborne at (561) 296-2600 or complete the online contact form to get the ball rolling in your child’s case. He will ensure that your child’s rights are protected and help him or she obtains compensation for the injuries suffered.

Boca Personal Injury Lawyer Discusses Johnson & Johnson $417 Million Baby Powder Cancer Award

By | Medical Products Lawsuit, Medical Products Liability | No Comments

The link between baby powder and cancer has been in the news in recent years. In August 2017, a California jury awarded a woman $417 million in a personal injury lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson. The jury’s award includes $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages. Juries and judges award punitive (punishment) damages in cases where they want to send a message to companies and other defendants about wrongdoing.

Does Baby Powder Cause Cancer?

In the California case, the plaintiff was a 63-year-old woman who said she used baby powder as part of her feminine hygiene routine since she was 11 years old. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007. She also claimed she stopped using the baby powder in 2016 after hearing stories of women who had suffered ovarian cancer in connection with talcum or baby powder. The woman said she would have stopped using baby powder for that purpose if there had been a warning label on the bottle.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), baby powder is classified as a cosmetic, which means it does not have to undergo the type of FDA review required for pharmaceuticals. As CNN reports, “Some other talc-based powders on the market carry labels that mention possible risk of ovarian cancer after frequent application in the female genital area.”

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, has conducted studies on baby powder and found it to be “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

5,500 Baby Powder Cancer Claims

The $417 million verdict is not the first of its kind—nor is it the first time Johnson & Johnson has faced a lawsuit related to cancer and baby powder. As Bloomberg reports, there are currently over 5,500 cases on this issue pending against Johnson & Johnson across the country. Bloomberg also reports that the company has lost four previous jury verdicts totaling $300 million.

Court records show that the Cancer Prevention Coalition put Johnson & Johnson on notice as early as 1994 that baby powder poses “a serious risk of ovarian cancer.” Evidence also shows that a Johnson & Johnson medical consultant circulated an internal memo in 1997 stating that “anybody who denies” the link between baby powder and ovarian cancer is “denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary.”

Boca Personal Injury Lawyer Discusses Cancer Risks in Products

Boca personal injury lawyer Joe Osborne explains, “Manufacturers of products have an obligation to warn consumers of known risks associated with using their products. Chances are, most Americans have used at least one Johnson & Johnson product in their home. No one should have to worry that their personal hygiene products can make them seriously ill.”

Contact a Boca Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or illness caused by talcum or baby powder, don’t wait to speak to a lawyer. Contact Boca personal injury lawyer Joe Osborne today at (561) 800-4011