- PERSONAL INJURY LITIGATION
Behren Law Firm Practices in the following areas:
Legal claims that arise from vehicle accidents are typically governed by the law of negligence. Any individual who negligently operates a motor vehicle may be required to pay damages to an injured victim. A personal injury case involving a vehicle accident may become formalized through civil court proceedings, or may be resolved through an informal settlement before a lawsuit is filed. Vehicle accidents can include: ATV’s, autmobiles, motorcycles, buses, trucks, boats, etc. Anyone injured by a drunk driver in any vehicle accident, or surviving family members of a fatally injured accident victim, may be able to bring wrongful death charges against the defenfendants.
Behren Law Firm has years of practice and a successful track record representing clients who have suffered significant injuries in automobile accidents. Behren Law FIrm works closely with doctors and other health care providers to discuss the short and long-term medical consequences of an injury. Behren Law Firm understands the different sources of recovery available to car accident victims and their families.
Typically, powerboats such as runabouts, cabin cruisers and jet skis are the most common watercraft to be involved in boating accidents, although sailboats can be involved in accidents as well. The most frequent sources of injuries are caused from propeller accidents and collisions. Because personal watercraft such as jet skis can’t be steered when the throttle is released, inexperienced drivers often have collisions when confronted with an emergency. Serious personal injury and even death can occur due to a boating collision or from a person falling over the side of a watercraft and drowning.
Cruise Ship Accidents
Cruise ship accidents can include food poisoning, assault by crew members or other passengers, sexual battery, slip/trip and falls and other personal injuries. Cruise ship lines have a responsibility to make sure there are no hazardous conditions on board that can cause injury to its passengers. When cruise ship accidents occur because of poor maintenance, incompetent staff members, inadequate safety equipment, inadequate emergency precautions, and/or improperly trained employees, cruise ship owners can be held legally responsible for negligence. Victims of cruise ship accidents may be entitled to damages for pain and suffering, medical bills and lost wages.
The cruise ship industry restricts when and where a personal injury claim can be filed. For example, many tickets make a stipulation that an injured passenger must file a claim within one year of the cruise ship accident, and that claims must be made in a certain state. Because of these limitations, it is important to consult with experienced legal counsel before (and during) filing a cruise ship personal injury claim.
Defamation (Libel and Slander)
A form of personal injury that does no physical harm but can be extremely harmful to a person’s reputation or character is called defamation. Defamation is false and unprivileged spoken words or written publication which exposes any living person to hatred, contempt, ridicule, or which causes him/her to be shunned or avoided, or which has a tendency to injure him/her in his/her trade or occupation
Every year, millions of Americans are bitten by animals. Being attacked by a dog is an extremely stressful event. Many dog bite injuries leave scars and have lasting emotional effects. In the State of Florida, the owner or keeper of a dog is strictly liable for his or her dog, even if it is the first time the dog has injured someone. As long as the injured victim was not trespassing, teasing or tormenting the dog, the keeper or owner of the dog is liable for any injuries sustained. Compensation for a dog bite can include payment for medical bills, pain & suffering, mental anxiety, fear and scarring.
Insurance claims are a notice for reimbursement from an insurance company when the insured has suffered a loss that is covered under the insurance policy. Under Florida law, insurance companies cannot refuse to pay a customer's claim without "reasonable justification." This means that an insurance company must engage in a reasonable investigation and pay legitimate claims in a timely manner. If an insurance company fails to handle its customer's claim properly, it may be held accountable for resulting economic losses, including lost wages, interest on money the insured borrowed to cover expenses while insurance benefits were wrongfully withheld and loss due to damaged credit.
Slip and Fall/Premises Liability
Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere and can cause serious personal injury. Most slip and falls happen in commercial settings, such as grocery stores, drug stores, office buildings, construction sites, gas stations and malls, but they also happen on private property. Premise Liability accidents can include toxic exposure, animal attacks, swimming pool accidents and amusement park ride accidents. In any event, there exist duties on the part of the property owners to maintain the property responsibly and avoid the existence of hazardous conditions.
Dangerous or defective conditions may be large or small, temporary or permanent. Therefore, investigation of the claim is essential to a successful case. Temporary conditions such as water on the floor of a grocery store or snow and ice on the stairs of a restaurant need to be investigated quickly.
Florida Wrongful Death
A wrongful death occurs when a person is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another individual, company or organization. A legal action for wrongful death belongs to the decedent's immediate family members, usually a surviving spouse and children, and sometimes parents. Under certain circumstances, unrelated minor children living with and supported by the decedent may also bring a claim for wrongful death. In order to bring a successful wrongful death cause of action in Florida, the following elements must be present:
- The death of a human being caused by another's negligent or intentional conduct.
- The survival of family members who are suffering the loss of financial support, love, care, comfort, supervision, guidance, household assistance and general society previously provided by the deceased.
The general rule in Florida in wrongful death cases is that one is entitled to recover both economic and non-economic damages which are suffered as a result of the loss of a loved one. Economic damages in a wrongful death case include an award for the financial contributions which the decedent would have made to his wife, children and/or parents had he or she survived. It also includes the recovery for funeral services in memory of the decedent and for burial costs. Non-economic damages include loss of love, companionship, comfort, affection, society, solace or moral support.
Bureau of Transportation Statistics
Florida Department of Highway Safety And Motor Vehicles
NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Florida Department of Insurance
Center for Justice & Democracy