A Law Firm that Fights for You!

Far too often, people are dissatisfied with their attorneys.  Complaints are often that the lawyer does not return phone calls, does not pursue the claim aggressively, or settles to easily.  At The Ben Law Firm, we have fought for and recovered millions of dollars in financial compensation for our clients.

The Ben Law Firm Puts the Ball In Your Court!

Insurance companies thrive on inexperienced lawyers!  Hire The Ben Law Firm, and we will put the ball back in your court.  We have decades of experience negotiating with Insurance Companies and recovering maximum financial compensation for our clients!

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Our website is located at TheBenLawFirm.com.  We can be reached by telephone at (954) 961-2055 or by email at [email protected]

 

FBI closes investigative file in cruise ship death

Relaxing on Balconies on Cruise ship
Relaxing on Balconies on Cruise ship

The FBI concluded its investigation into the death of a woman who fell from a cruise ship because there was not sufficient evidence to prove a crime was committed.

The FBI said the agency had been looking into what happened on Christmas night 2008 when a 36-year-old woman allegedly fell from a balcony of the Miami-based Norwegian
“Pearl.”

The woman and her husband, were celebrating their first wedding anniversary. The Cost Guard conducted a search but her body was never recovered.

Various incidents have occurred in the past where passengers have either fallen or even forced overboard from balconies on cruise ships. Obviously, under these circumstances, it is very difficult to investigate given these tragedies to determine the cause. Occasionally, in the past, cruise lines do not immediately initiate a criminal investigation which it makes it even more difficult to determine what happened. Many of the larger cruise ships have thousands of people and violent crimes can happen. If something does happen, you should report these right away to the ship’s security officer. If the crime is significant, and you are not satisfied with the way the ship handled the claim, you should contact the appropriate legal authority.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Hollywood, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Medical emergency on a cruise, you may be walking the plank.

2a61c3c730a47b2993bb8763718ecce21-617x411[1]-thumb-333x221-47007Cruiseline passengers seriously injured or stricken with illnesses may find themselves going from the frying pan to the fire.

One recent incident involved a Royal Caribbean passenger who suffered a heart attack during a cruise, and was unceremoniously dropped off at St. Kitts and taken to a substandard hospital on the island. Royal Carribean maintained it did the proper thing, but his wife says the hospital was a dump and unfit to treat a man with his condition.

The wife states that facility was dirty and was not equipped to provide the medical services necessary to treat a heart attack victim. The passenger required the insertion of cardiac stent which was delayed because of the ship’s decision to drop him off at the remote Carribean island. The delay in treatment caused additional damage to the patient’s heart which could have been presented had he been promptly taken to a modern facility equipped to handle this type of procedure.

One thing passengers can do to mitigate the risk of being in the third world during a medical emergency is to purchase travel health insurance with medical evacuation coverage. In the event disaster strikes, like the gentleman who suffered a heart attack on board the cruise, at least you have the resources to get you to the nearest appropriate medical facility as quickly as possible. This cost of this coverage is very reasonable and if you are going to be some place where the medical facilities are less than optimal, it makes good sense.

Former Astronaut killed in Jet Ski Accident off Florida Beach

racing_picture_30_accident_a[1]-thumb-333x183-44385Former astronaut, Alan Poindexter, 50, died as a result of a jet ski accident in Florida beach.

Poindexter was a space shuttle commander who flew twice into space.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission reported that Poindexter was jet skiing with his two sons off of Pensacola Beach, Fla., when he was struck by another jet ski operated a family member. Poindexter was rushed to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola, where he later died from his injuries.

Because jet skis (sometimes referred to as personal watercraft) operate over water, many people think these high powered vehicles are simple to operate and have a care free attitude while scooting about. To the contrary, jet skis are heavy pieces of machinery, equipped with high powered engines and have tremendous speed and torque. One careless moment on a personal watercraft (“PWC”) can lead to tragedy and unfortunately, there are many serious accidents in South Florida involving jet skis.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

South Florida dies after falling off yacht

3484648472_32a338feb0[1]-thumb-333x221-27870A Miami-Dade man was killed when he fell from the rear diving platform of a luxury yacht and was sucked into the path of the vessel’s propellers.

At this time, it has not been determined by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials whether alcohol was involved or if rough seas played a factor.

This unfortunate accident comes on the eve of the Columbus Day holiday weekend when an annual flotilla of boats of all sizes and types anchor off Elliott Key to celebrate. The partying, together with alcohol and other substances, has resulted in injuries and even deaths over the years.

Various law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, FWC, Miami-Dade police and fire-rescue units and Biscayne Park National Park rangers will be patrolling the bay and local marinas this weekend on the look out “BUI” — Boating Under the Influence.

Any boats stopped will be inspected for the required safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers and life preservers, and the operators will be checked for BUI. Penalties include jail and the confiscation of the boat.

South Florida is the boating capital of the world and a lot of boat operators who would never drive under the influence of alcohol don’t think twice about operating their boat drunk. These people tend to believe that driving their boat under influence is safer than driving their cars when impaired. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, but the sad reality is that each hundreds of people are injured or even killed through boater negligence.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Hollywood, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Carnival passengers must sue cruise line in South Florida

imagesCA5N0G3E-thumb-333x221-21292An Indiana appeals court has upheld the South Florida “small print” venue provision buried in a Carnival Cruise Lines’ ticket. A woman filed suit against Carnival in her home state of Indiana alleging that as a cruise passenger she became ill because the Carnival ship she was on was going too fast.

Doris Beard sued Carnival claiming “due to the speed of the ship I became very sick, my body swayed terrible on the ship I had bleeding, which I had not has [sic] in three years. The ship was moving so fast everyone on board became sick, even the workers,” according to a court document.

Carnival’s attorneys requested that the case be dismissed based on the “small print” venue clause in its ticket, contending that lawsuits against the company by passengers are required to be filed South Florida, where the cruise line is based.

Although the cruise line’s motion was denied by the Indiana small claims court, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the decision finding that the small claims court “erred.” The end result is that the woman can re-file her lawsuit in South Florida, assuming that she is still within the one-year statute of limitations.

Most cruise lines, particularly those based in South Florida departing from the Port of Miami or Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, have provisions for venue and the statute of limitations printed in their tickets. Frequently, this language is buried somewhere in the middle of the ticket in fine print with language straight out a law school text book.

“Venue” is the legal term for where a lawsuit must be filed and a “Statute of Limitations” deals with the time period in which a passenger must file suit. Carnival’s ticket limits venue to the federal court in South Florida and has a one year statute of limitations. The courts have enforced these provisions, which can be quite onerous for a passenger seeking legal redress against Carnival for injuries or damages, particularly when they are living out of the South Florida area. This impediment is the intended effect of incorporating this language in small print buried somewhere in the ticket.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Teens arrested for South Florida boating accident

2391366086_8afee8992f[1]-thumb-333x221-20781Two 16-year old boys operating a boat were arrested and booked into the juvenile assessment center in connection with a boating accident that resulted in a teenage girl losing a part of her leg earlier this year. According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office report, the boat motored into a restricted swimming area within 500 feet of the Juno Beach fishing pier. The boys disregarded horns and signals from lifeguards.

The juveniles, whose names were not released, were both charged with leaving the scene of an accident with injury, reckless operation of a vessel and culpable negligence in the February 5th crash that injured a 15-year-old girl.

The girl and her two friends were in the water south of the Juno Pier when the boat approached. As she was trying to climb on board, the driver throttled the motor, in an apparent attempt to keep the boat from getting beached, according to an eyewitness.

The boat struck the girls, knocking them over, and the girl’s leg was struck by the propeller. Doctors were later forced to amputate part of her right leg.

After the injury, the boat left the scene and the boys made no attempt to notify any law enforcement agency, the report stated.

Teenage boys and power boats make a dangerous combination. They often lack the maturity to handle the horsepower at their fingertips and are oblivious to the potential for danger. Parents frequently hand over the keys to the family boat with out making sure that their children have the training necessary to safely operate these vessels. As a result, boating accidents involving minors are an all too unfortunate occurrence in South Florida.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Hollywood personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

National Safe Boating Week in South Florida

an attempt to capture the water splashing up -- he was enjoying the wake of my brother's boat.

National Safe Boating Week is set for May each year. Its purpose is to recognize the importance of boat safety, particularly in South Florida, where there are more registered boats than in any other area of the country. After Monroe County (the Keys), Miami-Dade ranks second for boating accidents and Broward County (Fort Lauderdale) is not far behind.

While the overall number boating accidents including personal watercraft, is down, accidents still frequently occur when boats collide with fix objects like docks, channel markers, etc. A lot of these accidents can be attributed to driver negligence, inattention, inexperience or even intoxication.

The vast majority of boaters involved in an accident have not even taken a boating safety class. Florida law requires all boaters under 21 years of age to pass a class before they can operate a boat.

With regard to personal watercraft, such as a jet ski, a person must be at least 14 years of age to operate a personal watercraft in Florida and a person must be at least 18 years of age to rent a personal watercraft in Florida.

National Safe Boating Week serves as a reminder to us all to be careful while we are operating our boats. It should also serve as a clarion call to the Florida legislature to make our waterways safer. The legislature needs to carefully consider initiatives to raise the age limits for jet skis from 14 to 16 and to require a safe boating class for personal water craft.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Hollywood personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Cruise ship disabled in Antartica

s10-thumb-333x200-14830According to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators an expedition cruise ship visiting Antarctica with Americans on board was damaged on Monday after striking an uncharted rock. The “Polar Star” struck the large rock while at anchor just north of Detaille Island at the Antarctic Peninsula.

Following the collision, the “Polar Star,” was able to free itself from the rock. There were 80 passengers are on board the vessel including 32 Americans, 9 Canadians and 8 Australians. Fortunately, no passengers were injured.

The initial damage assessment revealed that the ship’s outer hull was breached from the collision, but the inner hull was unharmed. The 4,998-ton “Polar Star” is now sailing north along the Antarctic Peninsula under its own power, with the hopes of returning to its home port of Ushuaia, Argentina. The ship’s captain reports there was no apparent oil spill outside the ship, but booms have been deployed as a precaution.”

Although more than a century has passed since the “Titanic” struck that infamous iceberg in the North Atlantic, a cruise ship’s safe return to its home port is not always a certainty. Less than two months earlier another cruise ship visiting Antarctica, the “Clelia II,” was damaged by large waves.

Although both the “Polar Star” and the “Clelia II” were based out of Argentina, there have been several incidents of cruise ships limping back to Port Everglades and the Port of Miami, both located in South Florida. Cruise ship mishaps can involve more than just a ruined vacation or inconvenience, they can also result in injury or death That is why some one considering a cruise should check out the ship’s safety record, particularly in light of the intended itinerary.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Cruise Ship Crime Control

prisonbarge-thumb-333x135-12425You may have read or seen those stories about cruise ship passengers disappearing or falling overboard or even being assaulted by crew members. Although the cruise industry has tried to play these stories down, we still hear about them.

The often overlooked fact is that cruise ships are literally floating population centers comprised of various people in different states of inebriation. Kendall Carver whose adult daughter mysteriously disappeared from a Celebrity cruise ship in 2004 says: “It’s like a town serving unlimited drinks with no police.”

Until recently, the United States government exercised little control over what happened on cruise ships, but with the spate of bad publicity things are starting to change.

In 2011, the FBI will finally get the jurisdiction it needs to investigate crimes that occur on ships which have docked at U.S. ports. Mediterranean cruises for example, are outside the purview of the FBI.

The new law, the Cruise Vessel and Safety Act of 2010, mandates the following:

* Peep holes and security latches on all passenger and crew doors

* Electronic video surveillance that documents crimes to be made available to law enforcement

* Passenger security guides with information on reporting crimes to U.S. law enforcement

* Limits on crew access to passenger cabins

* Staff with knowledge and equipment to perform rape exams

* Free and immediate access to law enforcement

* Prompt reporting of crimes, which must be contained in a log

The Sun-Sentinel reports reports that from December 2007 to October 2008, there were 363 incidents, mostly on board Carnival and Royal Caribbean cruises, whose vessels largely depart from the Port of Miami or Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The new law, which was enacted over the strenuous objection of the cruise industry lobby, heralds the much needed realization that our government needs to do more to protect American citizens from becoming crime victims aboard cruise ships.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.