2019 was certainly a big year for our team here at Todd Miner Law in Orlando. It was a year of growth, learning, and encouragement. Perhaps most importantly, it was a year of great case results for even greater clients. 2019 was also an important year for Florida, marked by legal changes and news stories that the state will remember for many more years to come.
For the purpose of retrospection, let’s take a moment now to look back at seven of the biggest stories in our 2019 blog:
- Workers’ comp for first responders with PTSD: In early February, we discussed how workers’ compensation for PTSD was given to a Pulse nightclub shooting first responder. A gunman killed nearly 50 people in 2016 after opening fire on innocents in Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, and Mr. Omar Delgado was one of the first people on the scene to help. He was left emotionally and psychologically scarred from what he had seen there and filed for disability benefits through his workers’ compensation coverage. When the benefits were approved for Delgado in January of 2019, it was the first time PTSD benefits were given in Florida under such circumstances, with the bill making it possible only becoming law in 2018.
- E-scooter accidents: Also in February, our blog directed your attention to the growing problems with the e-scooter craze, fronted by Bird and Lime. The companies and others like them allow people to rent a motorized electric scooter, charging the rider by the minute. However, most people who rented Bird and Lime scooters had no idea how to safely operate the scooters, putting themselves and others at risk. Riders are not even given helmets before renting an e-scooter. There is also the problem of people leaving scooters where others can trip on them. Reports from around the country showed that 10 e-scooter accidents were happening each day, causing injuries of varying severity. Cities throughout Florida are battling to ban e-scooters from their streets, but the problems they cause are ongoing to this day.
- Florida Highway Patrol staff shortages: In early April, we caught wind that the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) is facing a serious staff shortage. The agency, which is reportedly the lowest paid agency in Florida, was short about 200 troopers, losing nearly 100 each year. The result of fewer troopers on the highways is worsened traffic conditions and increased difficulty when investigating a car accident. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV), the FHP helps investigate about 30% of all traffic collisions but must try to do so with a reduced workforce.
- New Florida texting law: In May, we talked about how Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill to make texting behind the wheel a “primary offense.” Law enforcement officers are allowed to pull someone over and write them a citation if they witness the driver engaging in a primary offense. People caught using a cellphone behind the wheel have been given warnings, but citations will start being written on January 1st, 2020. Offenders can be fined up to $60 per offense and be forced to pay court and processing fees, while also incurring three points on their driving record.
- WXXL Orlando Radio features Todd Miner: Also in May, we got to celebrate a milestone for lead Attorney Todd Miner: appearing as a featured guest on WXXL 106.7 Orlando Radio’s “Johnny’s House” talk show. He was invited to discuss his career as a personal injury attorney with a unique past as both a former insurance defense lawyer and a former Assistant State Attorney. The radio show appearance was a great opportunity for our law firm to be able to better connect with our communities.
- Red Hot & Boom 2019 presenter: In June, we announced in our blog that Attorney Todd Miner would be the Presenting Sponsor for the Red Hot & Boom Independence Day celebration event, organized by XL 107. The Fourth of July event was a huge success, with food, entertainment, and fireworks drawing a big crowd from all around the region. It was such an honor for our law firm to be able to act as the Presenting Sponsor at an event that brought smiles to so many of our friends and neighbors. We are looking forward to the chance to present and sponsor again in 2020!
- Hospital ER case goes to the Florida Supreme Court: In September, we talked about a landmark medical malpractice case that has moved up the court system to the Florida Supreme Court. A woman underwent a botched cosmetic procedure in a clinic before being rushed to the Doctors Hospital in Miami-Dade, where she passed away in the ICU. The woman’s family is attempting to sue the hospital, claiming the medical staff there failed their “duty of care” and provided her with inadequate medical attention. The hospital is challenging the lawsuit, stating it cannot be held liable for emergency medical services performed by its independent contractors. This case is one to watch, as its conclusion will change the face of medical malpractice litigation in Florida and possibly beyond.
With 2019 being such an eventful year, we look forward to what 2020 will bring. From all of us at Todd Miner Law in Orlando, we wish you and your family a Happy New Year. And, as always, if you need help with a personal injury claim of your own, we would like to hear from you. Call (407) 269-5877 for a free initial consultation with a member of our team.