Blogs By K Ryan

Woman injured by defective product considers whether her claim will be considered personal injury or product liability

Understanding the Difference Between Personal Injury and Product Liability

What is personal injury?

Florida law defines personal injury lawsuits as cases where a person is injured due to another entity’s negligence, wrongful act, or breach of contract or warranty. This umbrella lawsuit category gives way to more specific types, such as medical malpractice or product liability.

Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit may result in compensation for related costs, such as long-term medical treatments and mental anguish.

If the lawsuit finds the defendant to have engaged in either gross negligence or intentional misconduct, the plaintiff may become eligible for punitive damages.

According to Florida law, intentional misconduct is when a defendant knew about the wrongfulness of their conduct and the risk of injury it carried, but engaged in the conduct anyway.

Gross negligence is when an entity’s conduct is considered to be so negligent that it shows conscious indifference or disregard for the claimant’s safety, rights, or life.

If a person pursuing a personal injury claim succumbs to their injury, their personal injury claim will become null. Certain members of the decedent’s family as defined by state law may be able to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.

What is product liability?

According to Florida law, product liability refers to product manufacturers, designers, and related parties’ responsibility to provide safe products. If you are injured by a defective product or suffer a loss due to the defective product, such as in the case of a house fire caused by a malfunctioning appliance, you may have grounds to file a product liability claim.

There are several standards that must be met for a product liability claim to be viable. Most importantly, the injury must be caused by negligence, strict liability, breach of warranty, or similar actions by parties involved in the product’s design, formulation, construction, manufacture, installation, assembly, or preparation.

Part of what makes a product defective is that the injury occurred while the product was being used properly. However, there are cases in which poor or faulty instruction may lead to legal action.

Pursuing a product liability lawsuit can result in compensation for costs such as lost income and medical treatment. Additionally, this type of legal action alerts companies to serious issues, which means your lawsuit may prevent others from being hurt.

In these types of cases, Florida allows fault to be split between parties, all of whom are assumed to be responsible for the product’s ability to safely perform as intended.

There are several types of product liability cases, such as those that claim injury or loss due to a defendant’s failure to warn of product dangers or a design defect.

Why are product liability and personal injury sometimes confused with each other?

Both product liability and personal injury lawsuits deal with injurious negligence, which may be why the two are often confused, but that’s where their similarities end.

In addition to the aforementioned qualities of each lawsuit type, a major difference between product liability and personal injury is the claimant’s burden of proof.

In product liability lawsuits, a viable claim proves that the product was defective, used correctly, and caused the injury or loss. Plaintiffs do not have to prove fault as product liability lawsuits use the rule of strict liability, which assumes that the ability to use a product without suffering an injury is the responsibility of those involved in the product’s supply chain.

While personal injury lawsuits require plaintiffs to prove similar points, such as the defendant’s behavior resulting in their injury, they also require the plaintiff to prove that the defendant had and violated a duty of care to the plaintiff. Duty of care means that the defendant had some obligation to care for the plaintiff’s safety.

Have you been injured by a defective product or someone’s negligence?

Contact a Personal Injury or Product Liability Lawyer.

If you’re dealing with loss or injury caused by a defective product or the negligence of another entity, you are entitled to seek compensation. As intimidating as pursuing legal action may sound, Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey, & Fronrath is here to assist you every step of the way. We handle each case with the utmost care.

Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey, & Fronrath has won their clients millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts. Let us fight for you to get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a risk-free consultation.

doctor examines patient chest x-ray

Misdiagnosis: Can you sue?

When it comes to medical advice or care, we usually trust the professionals. But what happens when the professionals get it wrong? Unfortunately, doctors and other medical professionals are capable of making dangerous mistakes such as misdiagnoses.

If you or your loved one has been negatively impacted by such malpractice, you may find yourself asking if you can sue a doctor for misdiagnosis. The answer is a bit complicated as not every medical error leads to a valid claim. Let’s break this down.

What is medical malpractice?

According to Florida law, injury or death resulting from medical negligence is considered to be medical malpractice. That means you can sue a doctor for misdiagnosis if the error was due to the doctor’s negligence.

Misdiagnosis is just one of the many types of medical malpractice. Similarly common are medical malpractice lawsuits involving surgical or medication errors.

When can you take a medical mistake to court?

A valid medical malpractice claim for misdiagnosis requires the plaintiff to prove three main points:

– The misdiagnosis was due to negligence

– The care you received was below general standards

– The misdiagnosis resulted in injury

While the latter point may be relatively simple for a plaintiff to prove with medical records, those seeking compensation for medical malpractice must work with a Florida lawyer who has experience with the other two.

Without access to a Florida medical malpractice lawyer’s expertise and professional network, winning a medical malpractice lawsuit can be a Sisyphean task.

Why is misdiagnosis considered medical malpractice?

A misdiagnosis can result in delayed treatment and unnecessary medical expenses, procedures, and medications. It also can lead to the condition worsening, potentially increasing the risk for pain, suffering, additional treatments, and medical debt.

In extreme cases, misdiagnosis can result in death. And, in addition to the accompanying physical stress and side effects, misdiagnosis can cause immense emotional stress, mental anguish, and financial precarity.

If you’re not convinced you should sue a doctor for misdiagnosis, keep reading.

Why should I sue for misdiagnosis?

Suing a doctor for misdiagnosis could lead to compensation that can help pay for medical bills, loss of income, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.

In Florida, medical malpractice lawsuits make it possible for plaintiffs to recover compensatory, non-economic, and punitive damages.

Compensatory damages cover items with clear costs, such as lost income and medical treatments.

Non-economic damages include hard-to-price areas of loss, such as emotional suffering.

The final category, punitive damages, doesn’t apply to most medical malpractice lawsuits. It requires the behavior that led to the misdiagnosis and injury to have been grossly negligent or intentional.

You should sue a doctor for misdiagnosis because misdiagnosis can cost you a lot. It costs you time, money, energy, and, ultimately, your health. You deserve to be compensated for what this negligence took from you.

Who can I sue for misdiagnosis?

Medical malpractice lawsuits can be filed against any entity, whether a person or corporation, involved in the negligence. It’s important to note that Florida law does not require doctors to have medical malpractice insurance, which could affect the payout schedule of any settlements or verdicts.

Are you struggling with an injury caused by misdiagnosis?

Contact a Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyer today.

Can you sue a doctor for misdiagnosis? Sometimes. That’s the type of answer that makes it all the more important that you work with an experienced Florida medical malpractice lawyer. Florida law limits how long you have to file a medical malpractice claim; you have four years from the date of the malpractice. We strongly suggest you pursue legal action as soon as practical.

At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, we handle every medical malpractice case with care and compassion. We know that you deserve to have been treated competently by your doctor and receive the best health outcomes possible. Let us help you get compensation so you can get the quality medical care you need.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation medical malpractice case consultation with a specialist. Schedule your consultation now by calling us at 561-655-1990 or visiting our website.

wrongful death settlements

5 Things to Consider When Negotiating Wrongful Death Settlements

When a person dies due to the negligence of another entity, their immediate family may be able to sue those responsible for the loss. Florida law limits who can file wrongful death lawsuits and how long individuals can file such claims, so it’s best to file the claim sooner rather than later. 

But the same approach doesn’t hold true for negotiating wrongful death settlements in Florida, and here’s why.

 

Insurance Companies May Try to Settle to Save Money

As grim as it sounds, insurance companies will sometimes try to settle a wrongful death claim quickly to prevent the lawsuit from uncovering additional liability, neglect, and the like. 

With that in mind, it’s best to consult with a Florida wrongful death lawyer to ensure that you’re getting the highest settlement offer possible.

 

You’re Likely Entitled to More Compensation Than You Think

Wrongful death settlement offers may not include all the compensation to which you’re entitled. According to Florida law, you and your loved ones may be entitled to compensation for medical costs, loss of income, loss of support, loss of parental guidance, loss of instruction, loss of companionship, funeral expenses, travel expenses, mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, and more.

As noted, the party you’re settling with is more than likely going to try to get you to agree to an offer far below what you deserve for your loss and pain. This is another reason you must work with an experienced Florida wrongful death lawyer who will put you and your needs first.

 

Attorney and Legal Fees May Come Out of the Settlement Total

If you think that a settlement offer is fair, consider how the total of the offer will be affected by the deduction of attorney and legal fees, as well as any taxes. 

Though wrongful death settlements aren’t always taxed, there are exceptions, which is why you must work with an experienced Florida wrongful death lawyer who will fight for you to get the compensation you deserve.

 

A Wrongful Death Settlement May Mean Sacrificing Punitive Damages

The awards discussed above are considered compensatory, which means they are meant to compensate you for your loss. But there is a second category of possible awards in Florida wrongful death lawsuits: punitive damages.

Punitive damages are meant to punish the liable party for the wrongful death. Depending on case details, Florida may cap total possible punitive awards to $500,000 or $2 million. In some cases, Florida law states there is no cap to punitive damages.

To be entitled to these damages, a wrongful death lawsuit must provide evidence that the death was caused by intentional misconduct or gross negligence. State law defines this to mean that the liable party knew of the wrongfulness of the conduct and the risk to the decedent yet still engaged in the conduct or the defendant acted so recklessly as to be considered indifferent to the decedent’s safety, life, or rights.

 

The Payout Method Determines How Long You’ll Have to Deal with the Liable Party

When a wrongful death settlement amount has been agreed upon, the parties must then decide on a payout method. Settlement payments usually are paid as lump sums or structured payments over a set period of time. The former method allows the grieving party to pay off related bills and debts quicker, potentially saving them from costly interest accrual and fees. 

Unfortunately, that option is not always available. 

This is an important variable in wrongful death settlements as the payout method dictates how long the grieving party must interact and keep the liable party in their lives. The emotional and financial stress of this decision cannot be understated, especially as settlement payout methods cannot be changed once agreed upon. 

 

Need help with a wrongful death claim or settlement negotiation?

Contact a Florida wrongful death attorney today.

At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, we handle wrongful death lawsuits with the utmost care and compassion. We understand that you’re going through an incredibly difficult time and grieving an impossible loss. That’s why we’re here to help you get the compensation you need, whether that means taking cases to court or negotiating wrongful death settlements

Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey, & Fronrath has won our clients millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

 

risk factors for elder abuse

5 Risk Factors for Elder Abuse

One in six adults over the age of 60 has experienced abuse within the past year. The rate of abuse in nursing homes and care facilities is also high, with two in three staffers reporting they have abused a charge in the past year.

Elder abuse in Florida can take many forms, including emotional, financial, physical, and sexual. In some instances, the abuse may appear as elder self-neglect.

What causes some caretakers to abuse their elderly charges varies, but there are some universal risk factors for elder abuse. These risk factors may appear in the individual, in the perpetrator of abuse, or in the relationship between the two. 

 

Isolation

One of the main risk factors for elder abuse is social isolation. Many older Americans become isolated as they age and are forced to move in with caretakers or to more affordable locations. 

This social isolation means that abuse can go undetected by others. Additionally, the lack of a social support network means that the older person has no one to turn to for advice, comfort, or assistance. This can worsen the mental health impacts of elder abuse. 

 

Physical Limitations

When an older person deals with any physical limitations, whether those due to advanced age or injury, the risk of elder abuse spikes. Now that an older person requires assistance in moving around or completely any activities of daily living, they are less able to escape their abusers, which in turn makes them less able to report and interrupt the abuse. 

Physical limitations are one of the top risk factors for elder abuse as they lead to a new host of abusive behavior, such as a refusal to help someone to the bathroom or ignoring an older person’s need to bathe or eat. In addition, this can lead to instances of medication withholding or abuse.

 

Cognitive Impairment

With advanced age comes the risk of cognitive impairment and degenerative diseases like dementia. Dementia is a common disease that encompasses a variety of symptoms, such as forgetfulness, judgment impairment, and interrupted social and daily functioning. 

Dementia takes many forms, the most common of which is Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease causes memory issues and movement problems in later stages.

As with physical impairment, cognitive impairment is a risk factor for elder abuse such as medication withholding or overdosing. Cognitive impairment is one of the strong risk factors for elder abuse because it also can lead to victims not recognizing abusive behavior, being unable to advocate for themselves or report the behavior to authorities.

 

Dependency

An older person is more likely to be subject to abuse if they are financially or physically dependent on others or rely on others to ensure their housing and medical needs are met. 

How this dependency appears varies but it is commonly seen when an older person and their caretaker live in a shared household or when an older person relies on someone else to handle their finances or supply the funds for their bills and basic needs. 

Due to this power imbalance, older persons may not speak out against maltreatment or abuse for fear of losing access to necessary resources.

 

Mental Health Issues

Whether the mental health issues appear in the elderly person or their caretaker, these issues are one of the largest risk factors for elder abuse. Research suggests that caretaker depression is strongly linked to elderly charge abuse. This may lead to the caretaker feeling that their charge is a burden, which can cause feelings of resentment and anger. 

Depression and mental health issues in the elderly charge may make them less likely to report abuse or recognize abusive behavior for what it is. Mental health issues are one of the common risk factors for elder abuse, so older persons must have access to necessary mental health care and advocates. 

 

Have you or your loved one been subjected to elder abuse?

Contact an Elder Abuse Attorney Today.

Only one in 24 cases of elder abuse are ever reported and instances of elder abuse are expected to increase as the world population ages. Instances of elder abuse increased drastically during the pandemic, with some studies reporting instances of abuse increased by 84 percent. 

If you know of any abuse, it’s important that you report it when possible. You and your loved ones are entitled to safety. Abuse of all types is serious and requires immediate intervention. 

After securing your or your loved one’s safety, you must work with a Florida elder abuse attorney who will help you file an elder abuse lawsuit. An elder abuse lawsuit can help you to secure funds to pay for medical, housing, and mental health treatment costs. 

Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath has won clients millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts. Let us help you get the compensation and justice you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. 

property owners rights against trespassers

Property Owners Rights Against Trespassers

Spotting an uninvited guest on your Florida property is scary. The initial shock of the intrusion might give you pause, so we’ve created a list of property owner rights against trespassers to help you handle what happens next.

 

Who is considered a trespasser?

Florida law defines trespassers as people who willfully enter a property without invitation, authority, or license and refuse to leave when warned.

There are two main types of trespass: trespass in a structure and trespass outside of a structure. The first covers any type of property considered to be a roofed structure, such as a closed business or a vehicle, while the second covers instances in which a person enters restricted land or stays in public parks after closing. 

There are exceptions that allow structures without roofs to still be legally covered under Florida trespass law, such as if the property was damaged while in a governor-declared state of emergency.

 

How serious is trespassing?

Most trespassing is considered to be a misdemeanor. However, if a trespasser is armed, the crime of trespassing becomes a third-degree felony. There are additional circumstances that increase the severity of the crime, such as if the land trespassed on is a construction or commercial horticulture site.

 

What do I do if a trespasser is on my property?

According to Florida laws about property owners’ rights against trespassers, owners or those permitted by the owner are allowed to detain trespassers if a trespasser is armed. 

To avoid being held liable for false imprisonment or unlawful detention, the property owner must alert law enforcement about the detainee as soon as practical. Additionally, a trespasser may only be detained “in a reasonable manner, for a reasonable length of time.”

Remember that when dealing with a trespasser whom you believe is armed, it’s best to alert authorities to your situation as soon as possible.

 

Does the trespasser know they’re trespassing?

In some instances, a trespasser may have made an honest mistake and will leave of their own accord. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Florida law mentions that some instances of trespassing are reasonably understood to be trespassing, such as in the case of someone entering a closed restaurant without permission, while others would require some type of trespassing warning or signage.

If the trespasser does not know they are trespassing, use your best judgment when it comes to confronting them or calling authorities. Remember that trespassers are entitled to warnings of property dangers in some instances. 

 

What happens if a trespasser is hurt on my property?

Florida law states that property owners are not liable for any civil damages for damage, death, or injury suffered by a trespasser if the trespasser was under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs at the time. 

Property owners’ rights against trespassers state that owners are liable for such damages in specific instances, such as if the trespasser had a reasonable belief that they were welcome on the property.

However, Florida law states that property owners are liable for damages, injury, or death suffered by trespassers if any of the aforementioned was caused by gross negligence or intentional misconduct. 

If a property owner knew of a trespasser’s presence, the trespasser becomes what’s known as a “discovered trespasser” and is entitled to warnings of any dangerous conditions. If the property owner does not warn a discovered trespasser of dangerous conditions of their property, they may be held liable for any resulting damages. 

If a trespasser has been injured on your property, you must work with an experienced Florida premises liability lawyer who will know all the legal options available to you.

There is a difference between civil and criminal trespassing. According to Florida law, a property owner isn’t likely to be held liable for negligence that results in the death or injury of a person committing a felony or attempting to commit a felony on the property.

To further complicate premises liability law, Florida also has a “stand your ground” law that may impact the outcome of a case in which a property owner purposely wounds a trespasser. These cases are extraordinarily complex. You must work with a Florida premises liability lawyer who is an expert on property owners’ rights against trespassers.

 

Have more questions about how to handle a trespass case?

Contact a Florida premises liability lawyer today. 

Dealing with a trespasser is rarely a pleasant experience, which is why we want to help alleviate as much stress and frustration as possible. At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, we dedicate ourselves to approaching premises liability cases with the utmost care for you and your rights. 

Reach out today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an expert Florida premises liability lawyer

 

defective tires

Can I sue for defective tires causing an accident?

When you’re injured in a car accident caused by defective tires, can you hold someone else responsible for your pain and suffering? Yes, with a defective product liability lawsuit.

For many, this answer leads to more questions. What is product liability and who can you sue when a defective tire causes an accident? 

Under Florida law, those involved in the tire’s manufacture, design, formulation, installation, and so on may be held liable if negligence or subpar safety standard adherence led to your injury. 

Product liability claims can lead to compensation for lost income, medical expenses, mental anguish, and more.

 

Product Liability and Defective Tires

Filing a product liability lawsuit for defective tires will require proof that the defect in question directly led to your injury. There are few other conditions that need to be met to file a successful defective product liability lawsuit. 

That’s why you must work with an experienced Florida defective product attorney who knows how to build the strongest case possible.

 

Common Types of Defective Product Liability Lawsuits 

  • Defective design
  • Defective manufacturing
  • Failure to provide instructions for proper product use
  • Failure to warn about product risk

Defects can happen throughout a product’s supply chain and manifest in various ways, such as tread separation or tire blowouts. Tire blowouts happen when your tire suddenly pops, losing air and forcing your car to swerve. They can be caused by tread separation, which is when the tire’s tread separates from the belt that lies underneath it.

In cases in which there are multiple instances of negligence or faulty actions throughout the supply chain, you may be able to sue multiple parties. Florida law allows total liability to be split into specific percentages of fault based on each party’s contribution to the defect and your injuries.

You may also file a product liability claim if a defect worsened the injuries sustained in a crash or similar circumstance. For example, if you were in a crash caused by defective tires, you may have suffered injuries specifically due to the tires. However, those injuries may be exacerbated by the presence of other defects, such as a faulty seatbelt.

 

What if the tire defect was caused during installation?

When your tire is installed by professionals, they might mistakenly damage it or even install it incorrectly. In such cases, you may be able to sue the organization or business responsible for installing your tires. 

While this defect may not have occurred in the traditional supply chain, it still was caused by professional negligence. An experienced attorney will know what options are available to you.

 

What should I do if I was hurt in a car accident caused by defective tires?

Contact a Florida defective tire accident attorney today.

According to Florida law, you have up to four years from the date of an accident to file a liability lawsuit. 

Car accidents are scary, traumatic, and exhausting events that may leave you feeling overwhelmed at the thought of adding more to your plate by pursuing legal action. 

However, a defective tires liability lawsuit can help you get the compensation you need to pay for medical bills, loss of income, and other damages, such as car repair costs. In addition, your defective tires claim can help force the repair of the defect so others don’t share your fate.

Working with an expert Florida defective product attorney will allow you to focus on your recovery while still fighting for your rights. At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, we help you get the compensation you need when you need it. 

Contact us today for a free defective tires liability claim consultation. Schedule your no-risk defective tires liability lawsuit consultation by calling (561) 655-1990.