Areas of Practice
The attorneys of Sellars, Marion & Bachi are an experienced team of trial lawyers who litigate a wide range of cases. Our clients include individuals, corporations, professionals, manufacturers, organizations and insurance companies. Our goal is to provide each client with the very best representation available, no matter the size of their case. These are areas of the law we devote substantial attention to.
Administrative Law/Professional License Defense
Some of our professional clients find themselves accused of violating their licensing requirements. Complaints against them vary from simple advertising violations and poor record-keeping to insurance fraud and professional malpractice. Our lawyers have over 25 years of experience representing professionals when the Department of Health or the Department of Business and Professional Regulation file Administrative Complaints seeking to suspend or revoke their license, impose a term of probation and/or levee a significant fine against them. We regularly represent professional clients before their respective Administrative Boards to ensure that a fair and appropriate resolution is achieved on their behalf. When these matters cannot be resolved before the professional's Board we are well versed in administrative procedure and are therefore able to litigate these issues before a Department of Administrative Hearings officer. Our experience and familiarity with administrative procedure enable us to help the accused professional navigate safely through this often stressful and uncomfortable process. Finally we are able to effectively coordinate the defense of these license complaints with the defense of malpractice lawsuits which are often brought in conjunction with one another.
Automobile Accident Litigation
Tens of thousands of automobile accidents occur each year in South Florida. Therefore, a large percentage of the injury cases litigated in South Florida involve motor vehicle accidents. Over the years the attorneys of Sellars, Marion & Bachi have represented thousands of individuals, businesses and insurance companies in claims involving automobile accidents. Our lawyers utilize expert witnesses in the fields of accident reconstruction and biomechanics when appropriate to litigate these oftentimes complex cases.
In law, an appeal is a process for requesting a formal change of an official decision. Appeals are often taken to challenge a judge's ruling, taking the position that he or she misapplied the law, came to an incorrect factual finding, acted in excess of his or her jurisdiction, abused his or her power, was biased, considered evidence which he or she should not have considered or failed to consider evidence that he or she should have considered. While many firms do not possess the expertise to do so, our firm is unique in that we handle our own appeals. We have handled many appeals over the years, and are eager to do so when we feel our clients have been shortchanged in some important way by the legal system.
Bad Faith Litigation
Insurance bad faith is a legal term describing a tort claim that an insured person may have against their insurance company for its bad acts. Insurance companies owe a duty of good faith and fair dealing to persons they insure. If an insurance company violates that covenant, the insured person (or "policyholder") may sue the company on a tort claim in addition to a breach of contract claim. The result is that a plaintiff in an insurance bad faith case may be able to recover an amount larger than the original face value of the policy, if the insurance companies conduct is adjudged to be sufficiently egregious. We at Sellars, Marion & Bachi have litigated numerous bad faith claims on the half of both individuals and insurance carriers. This has given us a unique perspective in the field, as we know and fully understand both sides of the bad faith litigation process.
Catastrophic Injury Claims
There are many types and degrees of injuries a person can sustain as a result of an accident. Injuries resulting in someone's death, or in the loss of one or more limbs are considered some of the worst. Other examples of catastrophic injuries would include brain injuries, quadriplegia, paraplegia and significant burns. We at Sellars, Marion & Bachi have litigated hundreds of catastrophic injury cases over the years, and in doing so frequently consult with and retain nationally recognized experts in all relevant fields. Experts in these types of cases are often the key to success, and we are experienced in finding and utilizing the best experts in the fields of engineering, science, medicine, biomechanics, vocational rehabilitation and economics, to name a few.
A chiropractic malpractice claim is a claim for professional negligence by act or omission of a chiropractor in which the treatment provided is alleged to fall below the accepted standard practice in the chiropractic community, and causes injury or death to the patient. For many years the attorneys of Sellars, Marion & Bachi have been called upon to represent Chiropractic Physicians in claims against them for malpractice. As a result, we possess unique knowledge in the field and have become very skilled in defending these physicians.
Commercial law, which is sometimes referred to as business law or corporate law, is the body of law that governs business and commercial transactions. It is often considered to be a branch of civil law that deals with both private and public law. Often times disputes arise between individuals or businesses that they are unable to resolve. We at Sellars, Marion & Bachi, P.A. recognize that it is in the best interests of our clients, when possible, to try to reach an early and reasonable resolution of such disputes, as they are expensive to litigate. However, if a prompt and fair resolution is not possible, our lawyers have the knowledge and experience to litigate these matters to conclusion, and we will do everything we can to protect our client’s rights.
A construction defect is any problem existing at the time of construction or as a result of construction that reduces the overall value of a residential or commercial building. Litigation involving allegations of construction defects is complex litigation typically involving numerous parties, which is heavily dependent on the use of experts. This type of litigation is extremely expensive for both sides. We at Sellars, Marion & Bachi, P.A. are keenly aware of the costs and expenses involved in litigating these matters, so we do whatever we can to minimize those costs and expenses for our clients. Obtaining, reviewing and analyzing the various contracts and insuring agreements relating to such projects is crucial, and earlier this is done the better for the client. There are often issues alleged by the pleadings that can be negated by the plain language of the contracts and/or insuring agreements. We try to analyze these issues immediately, and, when possible, extract our clients from the litigation process early on.
There are many types of contracts individuals and businesses enter into. When a dispute arises, it is important to hire a lawyer who knows how to analyze contractual provisions and understands the law relating to the interpretation and enforcement of agreements. Some contracts have provisions entitling the prevailing party to recover their attorneys fees and costs from the other party. Because these types of claims can be expensive to litigate, it is important to hire a law firm with a thorough understanding of this area of the law. We at Sellars, Marion & Bachi, P.A. have litigated hundreds of contract claims over the years, including disputes involving insuring agreements.
Insurance policies are unique agreements between insurance companies and individuals. They are often referred to in the law as adhesion contracts. This is because they are drafted by the insurance company and are basically a take it or leave it proposition. In other words, the individual insured is not at liberty to change the terms and provisions of the policy. Because of this, insurance policies are construed against the insurance companies who wrote them. Moreover, statutory provisions provide for the recovery of attorney's fees from an insurance company whenever an insured prevails in a coverage action against his insurer. There are many legal principles that apply to insuring agreements. Because of this, when litigating an insurance coverage matter, it is important to hire a law firm with strong skills in this area of the law. We at Sellars, Marion & Bachi, P.A. are such a firm. We have represented individuals and insurance companies in hundreds of matters involving the construction and interpretation of insuring agreements over the years.
Individuals who are insured under an insurance policy are provided a defense by their insurance carrier when, due to their alleged negligence, they have injured another party. Insurance companies sometimes retain the services of independent law firms to represent their insureds in such actions. Over the years we at Sellars, Marion & Bachi, P.A. have been retained by a number of different insurance carriers to represent their insureds in personal injury actions. We have also been retained by many insurance carriers to represent their interests in claims brought directly against them by injured parties as well as their insureds. Since 1988 Sellars, Marion & Bachi, P.A. have represented thousands of individuals and companies at the request of insurance carriers in cases involving catastrophic injuries as well as those involving nonexistent to minor injuries.
Legal Malpractice Defense
Legal malpractice is the term for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty or breach of contract by an attorney that causes harm to his or her client. In order to rise to an actionable level of negligence, the injured party must show that the attorney’s acts were not merely the result of poor strategy, but that they were the result of errors that no reasonable attorney would make. Furthermore, legal malpractice requires proof of what would have happened but for the attorney’s negligence. Over the years we at Sellars, Marion & Bachi, P.A. have been privileged to have the opportunity to represent and defend a number of lawyers and law firms in such actions.
Negligent Security Claims
These types of claims are a subset of premises liability claims. They arise out of obligations a property owner has and duties he or she owes to those invited upon his or her property. When criminal incidents occur on someone's property, the adequacy of the security on the property is often called into question. In these types of cases a security expert is required, and we have worked with some of the leading experts in the country when handling these cases.
Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury claims are all claims involving bodily injury caused by the negligence of another. The most common types of personal injury claims are motor vehicle accidents and accidents that happen on someone else's property, which are generally referred to as premises liability claims. However, there are many other types of personal injury claims, including those resulting from assaults, medical malpractice and dangerous products to name a few. We at Sellars, Marion & Bachi have handled personal injury claims over the course of our entire professional careers, to included cases involving the most devastating and catastrophic of injuries.
Many types of personal injury claims arise out of the ownership, possession, maintenance and/or use of real property. Landowners and possessors are required to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition so that visitors on their property are not injured by defective conditions. Premises liability cases often involve slip and fall accidents, where a defective condition, foreign substance or other object causes a person to fall. To recover on a slip and fall case, the claimant has to prove how long the defective substance was on the ground and how visible it was in order to establish that the landowner knew or should have known of its existence, and then done something about it. Premises liability cases also include claims of negligent security, where a serious crime or attack occurs on the property that could have been prevented through the use of security or, in some cases, more substantial security. We at Sellars, Marion & Bachi, P.A. have handled a wide variety of premises liability lawsuits over the years, and are extremely experienced when it comes to evaluating and identifying whether conditions are safe or unsafe.
Product liability claims are claims against manufacturers and those in the chain of distribution of a product that causes injury or harm to a person because it is defective and unreasonably dangerous. Those potentially liable include distributors as well as retailers. These cases are complex, require a tremendous amount of time and expense to prepare and often involve numerous technical experts. We at Sellars, Marion & Bachi have extensive experience litigating these types of claims for clients.
Professionals who require a license or other certification to practice their trade, for example chiropractors, attorneys, contractors and veterinarians, to name a few, are often the targets of professional negligence claims. One such professionals are sued, issues involving liability as well as what matters may or may not be covered under their insurance policies often arise. When coverage issues arise, those issues affect everything, including the potential for the amicable resolution of the cases. We at Sellars, Marion & Bachi, P.A. have extensive experience representing professionals, and are extremely adept at working through the various coverage issues that often arise during the litigation of these types of claims.
Toxic Tort Litigation
Toxic torts arise in several contexts. People can be exposed to toxic chemicals from consumer products, from the environment, in their homes or at work. One recent example which many are aware of is people claiming they are ill due to exposure to Chinese drywall. Other examples are mold contamination, formaldehyde treated wood and carpet, and exposure to pesticides. Over the years we at Sellars, Marion & Bachi, P.A. have litigated many toxic tort cases. Such cases are complex, often expert intensive and require the devotion of substantial time and expense to pursue or defend.
Tractor-Trailer and Trucking Accidents
Litigating tractor trailer and trucking accidents is often complicated, as these types of claims often involve several different theories. For example, there may be claims against a trucking company for negligent hiring, training or supervision of the driver, or issues of negligence in the maintenance of the tractor or trailer. There may also be claims that the trailer was overloaded and overweight, or that the company had pushed the driver to reach his or her ultimate destination ahead of schedule. These cases often require the retention of several experts, and are costly to litigate. We at Sellars, Marion, & Bachi have a long history of litigating these complex claims, and in doing so have developed extensive knowledge and experience in this field.
Tractor-Trailer Underride Accident Claims
Tractor-Trailer underride accidents occur when the front of a passenger vehicle, especially a smaller passenger car, contact the rear or side of a truck trailer. Because oftentimes the front end of a small passenger car is only 30 inches above ground, and the truck trailer is usually more than 45 inches above the ground, the passenger vehicle can underride the trailer and the bed of the trailer can intrude into the occupant compartment causing serious injuries. Truck trailers designed after 1996 are equipped with rear ICC bumpers at 22 inches above the ground. These bumpers can assist with “riding down" an impact, and in some instances prevent underrides from occurring. Of course, much depends upon the speed of the vehicles upon impact, and other factors, all of which make this area of litigation very complex. Over the years we at Sellars, Marion & Bachi, P.A. have successfully defended truck trailer manufacturers and distributers against such product liability claims, and in doing so have gained significant experience in this field.
Veterinarians who are sued for professional negligence in their care and treatment of animals are defended under their professional liability policies. This is a specialty field that few law firms have the opportunity to become involved in. For years our firm has been privileged to represent veterinarians in such professional liability matters.
Wrongful death claims did not exist under common law. They are a creature of statute. Under Florida's Wrongful Death Act, and under certain designated circumstances, a family member can recover designated damages when a loved one is killed as a result of the negligence of another. These are often complex, and always emotional claims. They have to be handled responsibly and professionally, and we at Sellars, Marion & Bachi, P.A. have honed our skills and become particularly adept in handling these claims over the past several decades.