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Law Matters Blog

The State of Florida Alimony

ALIMONY:  The Florida Legislature has made two recent attempts to significantly modify alimony in Florida.  The first Legislative change in 2014 was vetoed by Governor Scott.  The second bill died without passage when the State House abruptly ended Session in 2015, without passage of the Alimony Reform Bill.  None of the Special Legislative Sessions thereafter dealt with the Bill.

Does medical malpractice apply to fatal medical mistake cases?

A doctor is often a Florida resident's best hope for finding the underlying cause of the person's pain and suffering. Whether the individual has an infection, a broken bone, a significant disease or any medical ailment in between, he can often benefit from visiting a doctor and receiving treatments tailored to his particular health-related needs. Doctors are, however, human, and they do from time-to-time make mistakes. Some medical errors are relatively harmless, but others can pose life-threatening risks to the affected patients.

When a fatal accident happens to a patient under the care of a doctor or other medical personnel, claims based on medical malpractice may become available to the victim's survivors. Medical malpractice claims involve proving a number of elements, including that the doctor or medical provider did not meet an acceptable standard of care in the treatment of the victim. A suing party generally must also prove that the victim's harm arose from that doctor or medical provider's deficiencies or mistakes.

What to do if you are hurt in a hit-and-run accident

Minor fender-benders on Florida roads are often low key events. When the parties to the accidents are uninjured, they generally know that they should get out of traffic, speak to the other parties and exchange contact and insurance information so that they can have their vehicles repaired. Most people are willing to extend this courtesy to other drivers; some, however, choose to ignore their accident-related obligations and leave the scenes of their collisions.

When an accident-causing driver flees, the accident is often called a hit-and-run crash. Hit-and-run accidents often leave victims alone on roads and streets, sometimes unsure of what exactly happened to them. A person who is the victim of a hit-and-run accident can take some steps to protect himself and his rights following a crash.

Is Florida doing enough to prevent drunk driving accidents?

According to the advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Driving, more than 600 people died on Florida roads in 2014 due to alcohol-related traffic accidents. Though this number represents a decrease over the total alcohol-related deaths counted in 2013, it is still painfully high. Drunk driving accidents are preventable and it is often on law enforcement officers' ability to stop dangerous drivers to keep innocent travelers safe on local roads.

The online news provider WalletHub recently released an analysis on drunk driving laws across the country and ranked states based on the stringency of their alcohol-related legislation. Florida ranks in the middle of the pack at 21st, meaning that there are 20 states with more lenient drunk driving laws on their books than those utilized here in the Sunshine State. It takes three drunk driving charges in order for a negligent driver to be charged with a felony in Florida, and Florida does not automatically impound vehicles after drunk driving arrests.

What is the statute of limitations for a wrongful death action?

In a perfect world, negligence would never happen. All people would consider the safety and care of others when they chose to act, and everyone would take the proper precautions to proactively prevent and avoid harm. Unfortunately, Brevard residents know this utopia does not exist. A cursory review of the evening news demonstrates with definitive clarity the fact that dangerous and preventable things happen each and every day.

When a crime, negligence, or recklessness inflicts loss and suffering on innocent parties, the legal system provides those victims with opportunities to seek compensation for what has been taken from them. Whether it is lost money, damaged property, personal injury, the loss of a loved one or other forms of loss, civil lawsuits give victims the opportunities to become whole after their ordeals. Victims should know, however, that they do not always have unlimited time to pursue their damages.

Pre-Nuptial Agreements

Pre-Nuptial Agreements (i.e. Ante-nuptial Agreements) are a part of a family lawyer's practice that requires great care, knowledge and experience.  Any Pre-Nuptial Agreement can be contested years later in a divorce or probate case. The sums of money at stake, if a Pre-Nuptial Agreement is determined to be invalid or portions of the agreement unenforceable, can be vast.  The risk of the agreement being determined invalid must be considered by the attorney and client alike, when the agreement is negotiated, drafted and executed.

Drinking can lead to the reckless operation of boats

For most young people school is out and their families are beginning to plan summer vacations. While some Florida residents will leave the state to explore far-off destinations, others will stay right here in the Sunshine State to relax and have fun. For many, summer pleasure involves spending time on the vast expanses of water that surround and traverse the state. Boating is a favored pastime for residents and visitors alike.

Unfortunately, some individuals choose to engage in dangerous and even reckless behaviors while operating their vessels. Drinking and boating is a problem for individuals who engage in the harmful practice as well as for those who may encounter them on the water. An intoxicated boater may face criminal charges for his reckless operation of a watercraft, and if his actions harm others he could face civil claims for compensation as well from those who may have been hurt in an accident.

Many car collisions occur due to negligence

Just last week, this blog looked at the prevalence of drunk driving accidents on the state's roads. Drunk driving is just one cause of the many car collisions Brevard residents attempt to avoid each and every day; distracted driving, reckless driving, and many other causes also create hazards for individuals traveling on streets and highways. At the core of many of these bad driving scenarios is negligence on the part of the responsible motor vehicle operator.

Negligence occurs when a person fails to act responsibly given the facts of a certain situation. For example, driving fast and without one's lights on at night could be negligent. Negligence could also occur when a driver exceeds the speed limit and too closely follows another vehicle on slippery wet roads. For every different driving situation, there are ways that a driver could act negligently.

Drunk driving accidents are prevalent in Florida

According to the advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Driving, in 2014 more than 40,000 drunk driving arrests were made in Florida. Some of those arrests were made contemporaneously with drunk driving car accidents. In those drunk driving accidents, some 676 people were killed during the noted calendar year.

These are staggering statistics. Last year's drunk driving fatality total amounts to nearly two alcohol-related driving deaths occurring each day of the year. Such a high rate of death and presumably higher rate of injury from drunk driving incidents can lead one to wonder how loved ones of a victim can cope after the devastation of an alcohol-related vehicle collision.