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Slip and fall accidents occur when a person slips or trips while on another’s property. They can be the result of poor lighting, potholes, uneven surfaces, spilled liquids, slippery floors, and freshly mopped floors. Among other things, as a plaintiff in a Jacksonville premises liability lawsuit, you need to establish that you were injured as the result of a dangerous condition, and the property owner knew or should have known about it. A recent slip and fall case in Florida arose when the plaintiff went into a large chain store and slipped and fell on a puddle on the floor. She suffered tingling in her extremities and pain in her right knee and lower back. She went through a course of nonsurgical treatment, but kept suffering from restricted motion and pain.

She was referred to a board-certified orthopedic surgeon. He faced limitations in diagnosis because of her pacemaker. He found a lumbar spine disc herniation and misaligned patella. He suggested an alternate treatment. She wasn’t considered to be the right patient for this treatment. She sued the chain store claiming negligence. The controversy went to trial. There, she presented evidence of her medical expenses past and future. She also tried to establish pain and suffering damages. The defendant didn’t put forward an expert. Instead, it tried to blame her pain on other medical conditions such as arthritis. In its closing argument, it claimed she was exaggerating her pain, even if she was hurt by the fall.

The jury awarded her past medical expenses. It didn’t award her pain and suffering or any future damages. The court denied a motion for new trial. It also denied a motion for additur, which is a request that the court decide whether the amount of damages was insufficient given the facts and circumstances.

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When you visit someone else’s property, you assume it will be up to code, and that there will be no hidden dangers. If you are injured in a Jacksonville slip and fall accident as a business invitee, you may be able to bring a premises liability lawsuit to recover damages. In some cases, property owners raise the defense that the danger was not hidden, but “open and obvious.” In a recent premises liability case in Florida, one of the plaintiffs fell and was hurt while visiting the defendant’s housing development. She was leaving a model home for the first time and didn’t see the step down from a raised front porch onto the walkway.

The plaintiffs claimed the defendant had created a dangerous condition because the same brick pavers covered both the porch and walkway so that they blended into each other. The plaintiffs argued that this breached the duty to warn and the duty to keep the premises reasonably safe. Before trial, she testified she was looking ahead when she left the house, but it seemed like a single level.

The defendant made a motion for summary judgment. It argued that no competent evidence had been submitted regarding the dangerous condition serving as optical illusion. It submitted a verified expert report whose opinion was that the way the step was configured wasn’t an unusual design. The landing was up to code.

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In most Jacksonville personal injury cases, a plaintiff is limited to compensatory damages. However, in drunk driving cases, punitive damages may be requested. The issue of punitive damages is distinct from compensatory damages, and often the trial will be split into phases, so that this issue can be considered separately by the court. A recent Florida appellate case arose when the plaintiff was rear-ended by one of the defendants. The defendant driver was drunk at the time of the collision. The plaintiff sued both him and his employer for negligence. He asked for punitive damages against the driver because he was intoxicated when the crash happened.

Prior to trial, the employer stipulated that its driver was liable for causing the crash and that it was vicariously liable. It also agreed that if the jury awarded the plaintiff compensatory damages, the plaintiff would also be entitled to punitive damages. It moved to bifurcate the trial to exclude evidence that the driver was drunk while the jury determined whether to award compensatory damages. The trial was bifurcated, but the court didn’t exclude proof of intoxication while compensatory damages were being considered.

The plaintiff talked about the defendant driver’s intoxication upon opening and closing. He also submitted evidence to that effect. However, he also told the jury this information wasn’t relevant to deciding compensatory damages. The lower court instructed the jury that the defendant driver was impaired by alcohol and revealed to them his blood alcohol level, which was far higher than the legal limit.

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Expert witnesses can play a pivotal role in Jacksonville truck accident cases for all involved. In a recent personal injury lawsuit in Florida, the defendant appealed a jury verdict that awarded the plaintiff driver more than $8.2 million in damages for injuries he suffered in a collision with the defendant’s truck. The case arose early in the morning on the highway. The plaintiff was driving to work. The defendant’s truck driver, an employee, was backing up an 18-wheeled tractor trailer to deliver glass on that highway. While backing up, the truck was in a jack-knifed position; the cab was at a 90-degree angle from the trailer. Its hazards were on and both his headlights and running lights were on. The trailer was illuminated by reflective tape.

As the defendant truck driver backed up, he looked at his mirrors. He would later testify he believed no cars were coming. As he tried to straighten the cab to realign it with the trailer, he blocked the traffic flow and a few seconds passed before the plaintiff’s oncoming car hit the cab. The truck driver estimated the car was going 50-60 mph at the point of collision.

The plaintiff claimed his car was on cruise control at 50 mph, which was just under the speed limit of 55 mph He wasn’t distracted. However, there was no light on the road, and the truck appeared out of nowhere. Due to the crash, he suffered fractures of his heel, ankle and leg bones.

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Florida property owners owe a duty of care to their business invitees. A property owner found to have breached that duty could owe damages to injured parties involved in a Jacksonville premises liability suit. Among other things, they owe a duty to warn customers about dangerous conditions of which they know or should know. In a premises liability case in Florida, the plaintiff appealed from a summary judgment order in favor of a store where he’d fallen.

The plaintiff claimed that the store’s negligence had resulted in laundry detergent on the floor that caused him to slip and fall. The case arose when a customer spilled laundry detergent near the store’s checkout counter. The store manager and another worker were behind the counter. The manager left the counter to get cleaning supplies when he saw the spilled detergent. The other worker kept ringing up customers.

Around 41 seconds after the other customer spilled the detergent, the plaintiff came into the store. He stepped on the detergent as he went by the counter and fell ten seconds after entering the store. Thirty seconds after that, the store manager came back with supplies to clean up the detergent.

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