Will your accident attorney be able to seek Florida uninsured motorist compensation following a work related car accident? In the recent case of Germany v. Darby, an employee Earl Germany was injured in a car accident while driving a work vehicle. The vehicle had uninsured motorist coverage for up to $500,000 for executives and their families, but only $30,000 for all others. That includes Mr. Germany and all other employees of the company. As a result, the Court was forced to determine whether it was legal to provide varying degrees of coverage dependent upon the insureds. The Court ultimately held that different dollar values of coverage is permissible. In Florida, the uninsured motorist coverage automatically matches the bodily injury coverage, unless the uninsured motorist coverage is expressly rejected or reduced. As the Court wrestled with the language found in § 627.727(1), the Court begins first by analyzing the actual language used in the statute because statutes do not need interpretation if the language is clear and unambiguous. The statute provides that a written rejection of the coverage on behalf of all insureds or selection of a lower limit conclusively presumes that there was an informed, knowing election of the lower limits. Notably, the court held that there does not need to be a specific limit. The Court then analyzed Varro v. Federated Mut. Ins. Co. In Varro, a special endorsement allowed for UM coverage for a any director, officer, partner, or owner of the named insured and his or her family member but specifically excluded coverage for any other person qualifying as an insured. The court in that case concluded that UM rejection based on only some insureds is not permissible. However, that court also [...]
Florida Supreme Court Says Exculpatory Clause Effective to Bar Negligence – Sanislo v. Give Kids The World, Inc.
Personal Injury Attorney review of SANISLO v. GIVE KIDS THE WORLD, INC., No. SC12-2409 (Fla. Feb. 12, 2015) relating to exculpatory clauses. Give Kids the World, Inc., (Give Kids the World) a non-profit located near Disney World, endeavors to provide storybook vacations to the seriously ill children and their families. Give Kids the World provided the Sanislos family with a form that was filled out in order to fulfill the wish. The form contained a liability release that provided, in pertinent part […]
PERSONAL INJURY JURY INSTRUCTIONS When considering how much to demand for a personal injury, your accident attorney will review the amount of damage that you have incurred, and will continue to incur in the future. Medical bills, lost wages, and future medical bills are examples of the types of damage that is recoverable. Insurance adjusters are not considering the types of instructions levied to the Jury, but attorneys should when contemplating the types of compensation that will or could be awarded. § 501.1 Personal Injury and Property Damages When it is proven during a trial that Defendant is liable for the accident, the Court instructs the Jury write on the verdict form, in dollars, the total amount of loss, injury, or damage which the greater weight of the evidence shows will fairly and adequately compensate him or her for the loss, injury, or damage, including any damages that he or she is reasonably certain to […]
New Uninsured Motorist Opinion from the Florida Supreme Court Turning to the Florida Supreme Court, our attention is brought to a case involving uninsured motorist policies and compulsory medical examinations (“EUOs”). The question before the Court was: [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"][fusion_tagline_box backgroundcolor="" shadow="yes" shadowopacity="1" border="1px" bordercolor="" highlightposition="left" content_alignment="left" link="" linktarget="_self" button_size="small" button_shape="square" button_type="flat" buttoncolor="" button="" title="" description="WHEN AN INSURED BREACHES A COMPULSORY MEDICAL EXAMINATION PROVISION IN AN UNINSURED MOTORIST CONTRACT, DOES THE INSURED FORFEIT BENEFITS UNDER THE CONTRACT WITHOUT REGARD TO PREJUDICE? IF PREJUDICE MUST BE CONSIDERED, WHO BEARS THE BURDEN OF PLEADING AND PROVING THAT ISSUE?" animation_type="0" animation_direction="down" animation_speed="0.1" class="" id=""][/fusion_tagline_box]The Supreme Court answered in the negative for the first part of the issue presented. For the second part of the question, the Court held that the insurer pleading the affirmative defense has the burden of pleading and proving prejudice. The facts go as follows. The Insured held a $100K underinsured motorist policy with State Farm Automobile Insurance Company to cover for personal injury and car accidents. Due to estimated damages at $3.5 million, it should come as no surprise that the insured requested the entire $100K. Because it reached the Supreme Court of Florida, it should be immediately clear that State Farm did not tender the policy limits. Instead, State Farm attempted to set a compulsory medical examination (CME) with a doctor that the insured also attempted to schedule an appointment with. For unclear reasons, the policy holder ultimately declined to attend the CME and simply filed a lawsuit. The trial court in the Fifth District reviewed a summary judgment request that argued [...]
Slip & Fall Attorney Review of Ramsey v. Home Depot Virtually everyone has visited a business and said “somebody is going to get hurt” from a dangerous condition. Diving a little deeper, you may have wondered whether the owner would be liable if somebody actually becomes injured. Your slip & fall attorney will first determine whether the danger is concealed or open and obvious. If the danger is concealed, then the business owner has a duty to warn the public of the hidden danger, but only if the business itself knew or should have known of the concealed danger. Alternatively, a business can be held liable for injuries that result from a failure to use ordinary care to maintain its premises in a reasonably safe condition. Open and Obvious Hazard In Florida, while a business owes a duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition, there is no duty to warn against an open and obvious condition which is not inherently dangerous.[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"] However, liability is always apportioned according to fault. Thus, even when the danger is open and obvious, an injured party may still argue whether the condition was dangerous and whether the owner or occupier of the land should have anticipated that the dangerous condition would cause injury, despite that the danger was open and obvious. Facts In the instant case, Gudrun Ramsey was shopping at Home Depot. After shopping, she returned to the parking lot and tripped on a wheel stop that is common place in many parking lots. Ramsey sued home depot for negligence claiming that home [...]