November 22, 2007

Florida Landowners Now Liable for Car Accidents Caused by Their Landscaping

In some great news for Florida drivers, the Florida Supreme Court held that homeowners may be liable for personal injuries and wrongful death from car accidents which are caused by the landowner's failure to prevent their landscaping from overlapping into a public right of way and obstructing other traffic or traffic signs and signals.

In reviewing the case of a 1997 truck accident, which claimed the life of a driver, the Supreme Court extended the liability, which already exists for commercial property owners, to homeowners who improperly allow their trees and bushes to extend over their property-line and into a public right of way. As South Florida personal injury attorneys, we believe that this codification of the law will truly benefit all those traveling on Florida roadways.

The minimal costs and effort now mandated upon private landowners, is greatly outweighed by the life saving benefits to Florida drivers. Finally, victims of Florida car accidents, whose cases were previously denied as unavoidable, now have the right to collect damages from private landowners who disregard the growth of their landscaping. On Thanksgiving, this is certainly something for which all Florida drivers should be thankful.

November 7, 2007

Palm Beach Jury Finds ATV Owner Liable for Accident

A West Palm Beach Jury held the owners of an all terrain vehicle (ATV) responsible for the wrongful death of a 13 year old Boca Raton child and ordered them to pay the grieving parents $3.6 million dollars. The child was driving the ATV when she lost control, struck a tree and died.

The personal injury case centered around the owner's negligence in allowing an unqualified, too young child to operate the ATV. The owners of the ATV ignored the vehicle's warning labels, which stated that the vehicle should not be operated by anyone under 16 years of age, and allowed the 13 year old to operate their ATV.

This case serves as a tragic-wake up call to parents that they should only allow licensed drivers, and other mature young adults to operate their ATVs and other such vehicles. In our practice we too often see the life altering consequences of what seem to be fun family activities. We agree wholeheartedly with the organization, Concerned Families for ATV Safety, in saying that hopefully this result will help save the lives of other children.