Verdicts and Settlements
Verdicts and Settlements
Florida distracted driving accidents can be caused by other activities
When you are behind the wheel of an automobile, it is vital to keep your attention on what you are doing. This can be especially hard nowadays. The instinct and impulse to look at your smartphone is strong. You are not alone in feeling this way. Smartphones have not only become a part of everyday life; they have consumed it. Shopping, communicating, coordinating with colleagues, friends, and family—all of this is now done on smartphones. These devices have become such an integral part of how people live that it has become virtually impossible to live without them.
However, an exception must be made when you are on the road. No matter how many times you hear the buzzing sound that informs you of a new message or update, you must not grab your phone to read it while on the road. Doing so can have catastrophic consequences.
Distracted Driving is a Problem in Florida
People overestimate their ability to focus on driving while looking at their phones. Indeed, many people do not believe that using their phones while driving is dangerous. A recent survey found that only 37% of drivers believe that the use of their phone makes it harder to drive and that most people think it is okay to send a text message, watch a video, or take a picture while behind the wheel of a vehicle.
This is a problem, and it is getting worse. Drivers feel pressured to reply to work messages immediately. In fact, recent surveys suggest that people feel pressured to respond to any kind of text message they have received. Nearly 59% of iPhone users respond to text messages while driving and over 70% of respondents hold video chats while behind the wheel.
Smartphone use is not the only issue. Distracted driving comes in many forms. Here are some other common activities that drivers engage in rather than pay attention to the road:
- Fiddling with the radio
- Drinking and eating
- Interaction with children in the backseat
- Interaction with unrestrained pets
None of these are harmless actions. And even if you have gotten into the habit of doing them while driving, you should know the danger they pose. For example, drivers who are eating or drinking while behind the wheel are eight times more likely to cause a crash. Just because you have been doing something a long time does not make it safe.
How Big of a Problem is Distracted Driving?
There are many problems in the world, so it is right to ask how big of a problem is distracted driving. To provide a point of comparison, there are 10,000 deaths caused by drunk driving every year while 3,500 deaths can be linked to distracted driving. But here are more facts about distracted driving accidents in Florida:
- There are over 50,000 distracted driving accidents a year in the state
- Nearly 10 people a day are seriously injured because of distracted driving
- Nearly 20% of fatal teen driver accidents are caused by a distracted driver
- 200 Floridians lose their lives each year because of distracted driving
What is Being Done in Florida to Stop Distracted Driving Accidents
It is now illegal to text while driving in Florida. This law went into effect on January 1, 2020. Law enforcement officials now have the power to pull over drivers they suspect of texting and write a texting-and-driving citation.
However, this is not enough. The real work must come from Floridians themselves. The easiest way to prevent Florida distracted driving accidents is to give up old habits that are unsafe. Here are some things you can do to practice distraction-free driving:
- Put your smartphone in your purse, handbag, or pocket—anywhere out of reach
- Never check your phone for text messages, phone calls, or app alerts
- Pay attention to your surroundings
- Always drive defensively
- Do not ride with friends and colleagues who use their smartphones while driving
- If you have kids in the back seat of your car, speak to them without turning to look at them
- Never let conversations with passengers pull your attention from the road
- Refuse to engage in any conversation or small talk when driving in inclement weather
If You Have Been Hit by a Distracted Driver
If you have done everything right and another driver has done everything wrong, then you should hold them accountable. You should not allow someone whose negligence and recklessness caused an accident that left you injured and in debt to get away with it. You should hire a lawyer with considerable experience in Florida distracted driving accidents.
If you were in such an accident, you may need serious medical intervention to make you well again. This can lead to lost income and an abundance of medical bills. At some point, you will need to deal with these realities. You will need financial help to get back on your feet, and you may need to file a lawsuit to get the compensation you are entitled to.
The insurance company of the distracted driver who hit you should fairly and timely settle your claim. However, it can be difficult to get them to pay what they owe. The insurance company may try to contact you soon after the accident to offer a low-dollar settlement. You should not agree to anything until you have consulted with a lawyer. You should in fact leave all communication and negotiation with the insurance company to your attorney. This is the best way to avoid doing or saying something that will undermine your position.
If the insurance company is unwilling to offer a proper settlement, then you may have to file a lawsuit against the other driver and the insurance company will have to defend it. To be successful, your attorney will need to build a case against the driver who hit you. They will have to prove that their distracted driving led to the accident, that you were injured as a result, and that you are owed a certain amount of money as a consequence.
Proving Your Case
Cases involving Florida distracted driving accidents are not always straightforward. You can take nothing for granted. When building a case for your compensation, your attorney will begin with your recollection of the events that led to the accident. But your memory of how the accident unfolded will not be enough. They will need to gather all the facts related to it.
To do so, your attorney will bring in a private investigation team. These professionals will revisit the scene of the collision and gather any camera footage available. They will also track down witnesses of the accident and interview them. They may be able to find a witness who recorded the collision on their phone camera.
The investigators will also speak to people who may have been in the car with the other driver. Your lawyer will subpoena the phone records of the other driver to determine whether they sent or opened text messages or videos during the time they were on the road.
Your medical experts will assess your condition and the prospects for your recovery. If you have suffered permanent disability because of the accident, a medical expert can describe and explain how it will affect your ability to work and live. Your lawyer will also consult with experts who develop computer simulations based on the evidence left at the scene of the crash.
If you were the victim of a crash caused by a distracted driver, you deserve justice. Hiring the right lawyer can help you get it. Contact a Florida distracted driving accident attorney today.
Whenever passengers are involved in an accident, the question that comes to mind is “who caused it?” Typically, the driver is always at fault. The fact that you sustained some injuries as a passenger is not necessarily sufficient to warrant compensation. Since the personal injury laws vary from state to state, it’s crucial to understand whether you can sue the at-fault driver in Florida.
The response to this tricky question is “yes you can”. Remember that in most cases, the driver’s insurance company will deny the claims, or reduce the damages in the quest to cut costs. As a passenger in a Florida car crash, having a competent attorney in Florida will work to your advantage if you are looking to get your maximum compensation.
The attorney’s knowledge of the local traffic laws and experience in the courtroom will enable you to circumvent the challenges that will ensue once the fight begins.
Duty of Care
In order to receive compensation, proof of negligence is vital. Remember that the damages must be legally recognizable to be admissible in court. The driver has a responsibility to drive safely since the passenger cedes control of the vehicle.
This responsibility is known as the duty of care. The Attorney for Florida Car Crash must prove that the accident was a result of the breach of this duty. The attorney will establish that the defendant owed the plaintiff this duty of care.
Whereas the road poses many challenges that include negligent motorists, poor visibility, uneven surfaces, black spots, steep brows, and poor lighting, a competent driver is expected to operate the vehicle safely in all these situations.
Breach of Duty
Breach of duty involves assessing whether a motorist caused an accident as a result of omission or commission. Failing to act when supposed to do so is comparable to acting erroneously. A reasonably prudent driver will only swerve the vehicle at the right place and time.
Drivers know that passengers can be injured as a result of their actions, meaning that they should act in certain ways to avert such injuries.
The attorney is required to prove that the defendant’s negligence was the actual cause of the accident. While a driver might have been acting negligently, the plaintiff cannot receive any compensation if the negligence was not the actual cause of the injury. It would be unfair to sue the driver if the accident was caused by a hit and run motorist. In such a situation, both the passenger in a Florida car crash and the driver can sue the offender.
However, if the driver was texting while driving, the attorney can argue that the accident could have been avoided. In most situations, hit and run accidents are deemed unforeseeable. In Florida, a driver who acts reasonably cannot be sued if the accident was caused by a random event or an unexpected act of nature.
Proof of Fault
It is crucial to have some supportive evidence to prove the driver was at fault. The police officer will provide a report as well as an opinion on the major cause of the accident. This report must indicate the various traffic law violations that include speeding, tailgating, ignoring the red lights, and so on.
Sometimes, the police officer may provide other details, such as the specific positions of the vehicles, eyewitness accounts, or pictures of the scene. It is almost impossible to get proof of fault without a police report. As such, be sure to ask for a copy of the police report from the officer who responded to the scene.
In addition to the police reports, you can get more information, especially if you focus on the aspects that will support your case. Be sure to share such information with your Florida attorney.
As a passenger, you do not bear any responsibility for the accident that you suffered. However, you must make a third-party claim by proving the liability of the driver as well as elucidating the losses you suffered as a result.
The only way to establish the extent of your injuries is to go for a comprehensive medical examination. A passenger accident lawyer works hand in hand with a medical practitioner that undertakes a thorough examination of all fractures and soft tissue damages.
Remember that while fractures are easy to identify through X-rays, soft tissue damage can be extremely difficult to prove. Passenger accident examinations require special laboratories, equipped with the latest medical equipment. The doctor will cite that you need special treatment to recover and sufficient funds to cater for the long-term injuries.
Incompetent Company Drivers
If a company hires a driver without undertaking the necessary tests and screens, it can risk the lives of motorists, passengers, and other road users. Drivers are not only required to pass the physical exam, but they should also have the appropriate driving licenses.
Such companies should also undertake drug and alcohol tests occasionally. A company that does not review the driver’s prior employment history can be liable to damages and accidents that occur. The attorney for Florida Car Crash will sue the company for negligent hiring.
Since the companies have deeper pockets than their drivers, you can get a sizable compensation for your injuries.
Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Law
In Florida, you can sue the at-fault driver and obtain compensation for pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of a bodily function, and permanent injuries. Because long term injury laws are complicated, you should contact a Florida personal injury attorney in the shortest time possible to review your situation.
When it comes to permanent injuries, Florida has adopted the no-fault insurance system where your insurer caters to the damages no matter who is at fault. Depending on your personal injury protection policy, you can receive a minimum of $10,000 to cover your medical expenses and lost wages as a result of the accident. However, medical treatment must be conducted within 14 days after the accident or the $10,000 in medical benefits would be reduced to $2,500.
Were you or a loved one involved in an accident and would like to sue the at-fault driver for damages? Contact us today, and we’ll have our experienced Florida accident attorney represent your case.
In South Florida, are Wrongful Death and Survival Action Cases Different?
Death is a tragic experience. According to the law of Florida, no cause of action dies with a person. In South Florida, injury and death cases may require one to either file a wrongful death claim or a survival action case when negligence results in the death of a loved one.
Knowing which claim is appropriate requires expert analysis of an experienced South Florida attorney. A plaintiff may plead both when the cause of death is uncertain and select which claim is applicable at the time of trial. There are several key distinctions between the two claims.
Wrongful Death Claim
You can define wrongful death as death caused by another person, mainly out of negligence. For example, medical malpractice and car accidents, among others, are considered wrongful deaths.
The relatives of the victim of a wrongful death act can opt to file a claim against the accused. These claims are geared towards getting compensation for the damages caused.
The Florida Wrongful Death Act sets aside procedural requirements for filing a wrongful death claim and the right channels for a cause of action.
Types of Wrongful Death Claims
When it comes to wrongful death, there are many types of wrongful death cases. Such include:
- Truck Accidents – Maybe as a result of driving an oversized truck, drunk driving, fatigue, aggressive driving, loss of control.
- Medical Malpractice – Misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, error during surgery.
- Occupational Accidents – Dangerous working conditions, overworking.
- Defective Products – Defective products, toxic food, untested products.
- Car Accidents – Over speeding, reckless driving, ignoring traffic rules, driving under the influence.
- Aviation Accidents – Pilot errors, mechanical issues.
- Pedestrian Accidents – Caused by drunk drivers, over speeding, neglecting traffic rules.
Why do you need an attorney?
Everyone has the right to legal representation for a wrongful death claim because such claims are complicated and involving. A South Florida wrongful death attorney may guide the decedent’s representative on the course of action.
Firstly, the representative needs to establish that it was a wrongful death. Moreover, all the negligence components must be sufficient and eligible for compensation.
Factors such as who can recover, what the damages are, and when they can recover, conflicting laws in common-law marriages, children, and financial dependents need to be explained by an experienced attorney.
Who Can Sue?
The law of Florida requires the personal representative of the decedent to file the claim. All potential beneficiaries should be identified in the complaint, and the relationship to the decedent be alleged and proven. The personal representative may be named in the will of the decedent or appointed by the court.
The claim might be filed on behalf of the decedent, family members, and any survivor who has an interest in the case. Family members legally required are:
- The spouse of the decedent.
- Children – this includes a child born to unmarried parents, children under 25 are entitled to greater damages than adult children.
- Blood relative.
- An adopted sibling who either partly or wholly depended on the decedent.
The remedies sought on a wrongful death claim are called damages. The jury considers the relationship of the person suing to the decedent and the value of the decedent’s probable net income. It is a civil claim and is brought by the decedent’s representative, who has the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Section 768.21 of The Florida Statutes provides for the rules that are followed by the court when awarding damages. Damages include the value of support and services provided by the decedent, loss of companionship, protection and guidance, mental and emotional suffering, medical and funeral expenses, lost wages, and benefits.
Statute of limitations
The state of Florida has certain time limitations of filing a South Florida Wrongful Death Case. According to section 95.11 (4), you must file a wrongful death claim within two years from when the incident occurred.
A claim cannot be commenced four years after the incident except when it’s on behalf of a minor. They can extend the deadline under specific circumstances discussed in the Act.
Justice delayed is justice denied. Therefore, it is fundamental for the personal representative to seek a South Florida Wrongful Death Attorney with vast experience on specific cases that may be affected by the statute of limitations. A thorough understanding of the statute of limitations is beneficial.
You could lose your right to a fair hearing and your right to bring your claim before a court of law.
Survival Actions Case
When a personal injury to the decedent results in death, then the personal injury claim shall be nullified. The personal representative could bring in a survival action claim when the death was caused by a wrongful act, negligence, breach of contract, and recovery even if death did not occur from it.
According to section 46.021 of the Florida Statutes, a survival action claim is the continuation of an existing legal claim sought before the decedent’s death filed by the estate. The death may be unrelated to the injury; however, a survival action case recovers the damages for the pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment caused by the injury.
Who Can Sue?
The personal representative, who is the administrator of the decedent’s estate, may bring a survival action case to court. The decedent may have died before filing a claim or may have died before getting compensation. The state gives the decedent’s estate the right to sue on behalf of the dead.
A survival action claim can arise where the decedent filed a personal injury case but died before getting justice. The personal representative, therefore, carries on with the case on behalf of the decedent. The same can also apply where the decedent did not get a chance of filing their claim.
In a survival action case, the court compensates the decedent as living and pays the damages to the decedent’s estate.
The damages here might include bills from surgeries, medications, therapy, other utilities resulting from the injury, lost job, or wages. The damages are paid to the decedent’s estate. The courts look at the severity of the pain, suffering, and money used to sort the situation.
Comparison Between a Wrongful Death Claim and a Survival Action Case
The primary difference between a wrongful death claim and a survival action case is on the damages. The damages of a wrongful death claim are paid to the family members, whereas the damages of a survival action claim are given to the decedent’s estate.
In a wrongful death claim, the family members seek compensation for the loss, pain, and suffering plus incurred expenses they suffered as a result of the death. However, in a survival action claim, the personal representative or the decedent’s estate seeks damages owed to the deceased if he or she died before being awarded compensation.
In a wrongful death claim, the claim is directly related to the death of the decedent, while in a survival action claim, their death may not be directly caused by the negligent action.
When someone is negligent and consequential damage occurs, then you have the right to file a claim either on behalf of the decedent in a survival claim or as a family member in a wrongful death claim. It is crucial to seek the services of an experienced South Florida attorney to help clarify any bone of contention and give the plaintiff the correct procedure for a cause of action.
Would you like to file a South Florida wrongful death case? Talk to us today for professional assistance.
Finding residential care for loved ones can be emotionally and financially difficult for many people. Nursing home care is one of the most important and common residential care options available in the United States. While there are many competent residential care facilities, nursing home abuse in Florida can occur to any client.
What Is A Nursing Home?
The definition of a nursing home may vary, but it is commonly used to describe a residential facility where a person can live or stay temporarily. Most clients are elderly and may seek treatment that cannot be provided in a regular home setting.
Nursing home services usually include 24-hour care with trained nurses and staff. Case management is also usually provided as well as health monitoring, personal care, and supervision. Specialized dietary needs are often met at a nursing home facility and occupational or physical therapy is usually offered in Florida.
Family caregivers may not be able to provide all the services needed to aging relatives and many people cannot afford to equip their households with the proper safety regulations needed. Nursing homes are ideal for those with limited mobility or who need nursing assistance. Since many of these services are essential for everyday living, nursing home care is critical. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes can meet the basic standards of care and abuse can happen.
Is Nursing Home Abuse in Florida Common?
Approximately 1 in 10 elders are abused per year. Nursing home abuse can be detrimental to the client as well as his or her family and friends. Nursing home abuse can happen more often because it is not always reported. While some forms of physical abuse can be obvious, many types of abuse may go unnoticed. If a patient or client does not wish to report abuse, this can have an impact on other residential guests as well.
There are a variety of reasons why a client may not feel comfortable reporting nursing home abuse. One of the most common reasons is fear. Reporting nursing home abuse may feel scary if there is a fear of retaliation. Others may be concerned that their claim will not be believed. With the right nursing home abuse attorney, abuse can be stopped in a dignified and professional way.
5 Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse In Florida
There are several common types of nursing home abuse in Florida. Although residents of a nursing home may be part of an inpatient facility, they are still legally protected by the United States law.
Physical abuse is a commonly understood form of abuse that is generally thought of as a fairly straightforward type of abuse. Physical abuse is considered an intentional act of causing trauma or bodily injury to a nursing home resident. Those who experience cognitive disorders such as dementia or memory loss are found to be more susceptible to this type of abuse. Examples of physical abuse include hitting or slapping, punching, biting, kicking, shoving, grabbing, pushing, or using an object to inflict harm. Restraining or using ties to confine a person is also considered physical abuse. Physical abuse can cause short or long-term injuries to any resident of a nursing home.
Psychological abuse can be more difficult to see than physical abuse. Since physical abuse can leave visible scarring or bruising, abuse can be more immediately noticeable than the effects of psychological abuse. Psychological or emotional abuse occurs with the intent to cause distress. Examples of psychological or emotional abuse include name-calling, threats (including to have the resident placed elsewhere), isolation, limiting the use of transportation or privileges for the purpose of control, and using insults. Emotional or psychological abuse can greatly impact the mental health of any resident.
This occurs when there is an intentional act of violating a nursing home client through unwanted sexual contact. Sexual abuse is not necessarily sexual intercourse, however, it can include that type of assault. Sexual abuse examples can include unwanted touching, groping, or oral intercourse. Symptoms of sexual abuse can include bruises, lesions, scratches, or sexually transmitted diseases. Sexual abuse can damage a resident both physically and psychologically and can leave a long-lasting negative impact on the quality of life.
Financial abuse can happen in any nursing home and involves the intentional exploitation of a resident’s finances. This form of manipulation can occur when others try to gain financial control over a client or resident in several different ways. Examples of financial abuse include blocking the resident’s access to their own funds, stealing possessions, money, or personal financial documents, forging documents, deceiving a resident, and misusing a power of attorney for financial gain. General staff members as well as nurses, caregiving aides, and/or family members can all financially abuse a nursing home resident. The sooner this type of abuse is reported, the easier it can be for a resident to take charge of his or her finances.
Neglect is unlike many forms of abuse because instead of intentionally bringing harm or deceiving the resident, neglect involves a lack of action. Nursing home neglect can be a common problem in Florida and can often be overlooked by well-intentioned family members or friends. Examples of nursing home neglect include leaving residents alone for a long time and not meeting the basic needs of the resident. This can include necessities such as food and water as well as medication. Chronically forgetting to administer medication and baths is also considered a form of nursing home abuse. Dirty or unkempt rooms, ignoring residents’ complaints against staff, and failing to report illness or injury are all examples of potentially dangerous nursing home neglect.
Who Commits Nursing Home Abuse
A nursing home employs many different professionals to work at their facility. Some are designated to help administer direct medical care while others assist in daily living routines or paperwork. Nursing home abuse can occur from any professional, but most likely involves those who work directly with the resident.
Nursing home abuse is often committed by those who work closely with the client. This can include nursing staff and care aides. Many times these professionals are also the ones who are responsible for reporting health concerns. This being said, nursing home abuse can also happen from other residents in the facility. Abuse from other residents can be physical, psychological, sexual, or financial. Residents who experience cognitive issues may be especially susceptible to nursing home abuse.
Visiting family members can also commit nursing home abuse. While this is a less likely scenario, it can happen to any resident. Family member abuse can include any type of abuse such as physical, sexual, financial, and psychological mistreatment. Since this is not always an obvious problem, family members can continue the abuse for an extended period unless it is reported. If this type of abuse is not reported, it can cause financial distress as well as physical and psychological stress.
Residents Who Experience Cognitive Issues
Several elderly residents in nursing home facilities experience a variety of cognitive issues. While some of these can be related to Alzheimer’s disease or specific forms of cancer or brain tumors, many cognitive issues can occur. The natural process of aging can often impact an individual’s ability to remember events correctly or to organize thoughts cohesively.
While cognitive decline is average for many people, those who experience these issues may be more likely to experience nursing home abuse. There are a few different reasons for this. One reason occurs when cognitive issues impair the ability to properly perceive reality. This can lead to abuse if others think that the resident either won’t remember or won’t be believed. Cognitive impairment can make it more difficult for the resident to understand what is happening and report the abuse.
Residents who have cognitive issues have the same legal rights as other United States citizens. Reporting nursing home abuse is essential when receiving legal assistance.
A nursing home abuse attorney can help residents receive justice and the right kind of care that is necessary. Nursing home abuse in Florida is more common than most people care to think about. Even reputable and expensive nursing home facilities provide no guarantee when it comes to elderly abuse.
If you or somebody you love is experiencing nursing home abuse, it is essential to have proper legal representation. Without legal representation, it can be difficult to get the help or compensation needed for future care. The right nursing home abuse attorney is experienced and will treat any client with dignity, trust, and professionalism.
How Do You Prove Negligent Security in Florida?
If you are the victim of a crime, pursuing the criminal may not fully compensate you for your losses. Finding the perpetrator likely will involve considerable time and effort. Even when the criminal is apprehended and brought to justice, restitution orders do not address all of your pain and suffering and the loss of your income and ability to work. Also, you will likely find that the perpetrator may not have enough resources to pay the large damages you might encounter.
At the heart of what is negligent security is the claim that the owner or person in control of the premises lacked adequate measures to prevent the crime. Typically, the defendant in this kind of case has commercial liability insurance from which you can be compensated for your injuries and losses.
Below is an explanation of what is required to prove this claim in Florida and how an attorney can help you establish the claim.
To prove negligent security in Florida, you must show that:
- You were lawfully on the premises.
- The premises lacked adequate security measures.
- The property owner reasonably foresaw the criminal activity which you suffered.
- You suffered harm as a result.
We start with the element that the owner must have reasonably foreseen the criminal activity. At the heart of what is negligent security is the concept of foreseeability. Generally, a landowner does not have a duty to stop the criminal behavior of a third person. The exception to this rule arises when the property owner should have anticipated the particular criminal activity.
In examining this element, Florida courts generally consider the specific criminal offense, how many times it or other criminal offenses occurred, when they occurred, and whether they occurred on or near the property in question. Landowners may be more likely to face liability the closer in time and space the incidents occurred to the one in which you were victimized. Multiple incidents on the property, especially if similar to the crime at issue, can strengthen your negligent security claim. For example, a shopping center owner may be deemed to have reasonably foreseen robberies, assaults, or attacks in the parking area based on prior incidents and that the lack of adequate lighting contributed to them.
To prove this element, a Florida negligent security attorney will collect information about prior crimes on or near the property. Law enforcement reports and reports from local media outlets (television, internet, radio, newspapers) provide strong evidence that the landowner knew or should have known about prior crimes. This evidence also provides the date, time, location, and type of crimes. During the discovery phase of a lawsuit, your attorney may request information relevant to foreseeability, such as:
- Prior insurance claims by the property or store owner based on criminal acts, such as theft of merchandise and vandalism.
- Reports of thefts, break-ins, and other crimes made by the property or store owner.
- Social media posts of criminal activity or comments about security measures.
Criminals take advantage of conditions on the property that tend to conceal their presence and activities and allow relatively easy entry on the premises.
The particular premises may affect what lack of security measures prove negligent security in Florida. In parking lots or decks, inadequate security often means a lack of lighting or guards. If you were injured in a parking deck or a spacious parking area, you might sue on the grounds of a lack of security patrols. Clubs and bars with a history of fights might need bouncers or other security personnel to eject intoxicated or unruly patrons who pose a risk of injuring innocent bystanders in fights. Other conditions that may show negligent security, in general, include broken windows, unlocked doors at places where the public does not enter, and lack of properly operating security cameras.
If you have been injured by a criminal at a convenience store, Florida statutes may help you prove negligent security in Florida. Under Section 768.0705 of the Florida statutes, a convenience store owner or operator must have in place at the time of the crime certain security measures to enjoy a rebuttable presumption against liability. Sections 812.173 and 812.174 of the Florida Statutes list these standards. Some of these include:
- A security camera system that records and obtains images of potential offenders.
- A drop safe or other cash management device that limits access to cash receipts.
- Illumination of the parking lot at an intensity of at least two-foot candles (21.52 lumens) per square foot at 18 inches above the surface.
- Clear notice at the entrance that the cash register contains $50 or less.
- Window signs that do not obstruct the view of the store from the outside or normal line of sight to *cash registers and sales transaction areas.
- Height markers at the store entrance displaying height measures.
- A cash management policy that limits the cash on hand at any time after 11:00 p.m.
If the convenience store has had an incident of certain crimes, including murder robbery, or kidnapping, the convenience store must have as additional measures the presence of at least two employees between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. and a secure enclosure meeting certain standards as identified in the statute if the convenience store has had an incident of certain crimes, including murder robbery or kidnapping,
Proving Inadequate Measures
Photographs and videos can portray very strongly, the lack of security measures at the time of the crime. If the security camera itself was working and, thus, did not contribute to the crime, you can use it to show details of how the crime occurred and whether any doors or windows were broken or unlocked.
Discovery during a lawsuit also helps a Florida negligent security attorney prove whether measures were in place. For example, the property owner may be asked for the video of the incident. A response that the video camera system was not working at the time might provide solid evidence of inadequate security measures. Other discovery requests might seek records on maintenance, repairs, and reports of malfunctions that show the defective condition.
The harm from criminal acts such as robberies, carjackings, or assaults goes beyond the loss of property. Although you may recover the value of the stolen property, you may have damages for personal injuries. These may include medical expenses for the treatment of bruises, fractures, concussions, or other personal injuries that result from the attack. Your bills from the hospital, treating physicians, physical therapists, mental health professionals treating the emotional or mental trauma from the attack, and prescriptions to treat the injuries help quantify your expenses. With the medical records from these providers, you can show the type and extent of your physical and mental injuries. Your injuries may have also resulted in lost wages and lost earning capacity.
The Statute of Limitations
As with any case, the law gives you only a certain amount of time to start a lawsuit. In Florida, the deadline for you to file a negligent security lawsuit stands at four years from your injury. The clock normally starts running from the date of the crime since you likely would have suffered some injury. If a family member died from negligent security, you have two years from the date of death to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
Contact a lawyer with experience in negligent security cases in Florida if you have been injured by a criminal to see if you can pursue the premises owner or operator.
How is Fault Determined in a Multi-Car Collision?
Multi-car collisions happen out of nowhere. You’re driving down the road and all of a sudden someone crashes into another person. Vehicles behind them start hitting the brakes, skidding, and maybe getting into more collisions. Within just a few seconds, a calm day becomes chaotic.
That’s a scary scenario for everyone involved. Multiple vehicles sustain damage, people get injured, and the police are trying to sort everything out.
The question that must be answered is “Who is liable for this crash?” Let’s look at how is fault determined in the state of Florida.
What Exactly Is a Multiple Vehicle Accident?
The term “multiple vehicle accident” refers to any traffic accident that involves more than two vehicles. It could involve three vehicles or it could involve dozens.
Other terms that mean much the same thing include “multi-car collision,” “vehicle pile-up,” and “chain-reaction crash.”
These types of accidents often occur in high-speed, high-volume areas like major city roads and highways. People are traveling fast and often too close to each other.
We have seen several types of collisions commonly involves multiple vehicle accidents. These include:
Rear-end collisions where one motorist hits the rear of another vehicle. The impact causes the other vehicle to move forward and hit a third vehicle.
Head-on collisions where one vehicle crosses into oncoming traffic and collides with the front of a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction.
T-bone, or side-impact, collisions where a crash between two vehicles propels one of them into the side of a third vehicle. This usually happens at intersections.
A common scenario starts with someone clipping another vehicle’s bumper. The bumped vehicle veers over into another lane and hits a third vehicle. Other vehicles may get hit or have to veer to avoid the original crash.
Another common situation involves someone hitting the brakes to avoid hitting an obstacle ahead. The vehicle behind that one doesn’t have enough room or time to stop before hitting the car ahead. This can cause a chain reaction of rear-end collisions.
In any of these cases, you need a car accident injury firm at your side.
Florida’s Comparative Fault Law
So, who is at fault in a multiple vehicle collision? Florida uses what is known as “pure comparative fault” to determine who is liable for a collision.
Florida law allows the judge and/or jury to assign contributory fault to everyone involved with the collision. While one vehicle may have caused the original collision, subsequent collisions or damage may have been the fault of other drivers involved.
For example, let’s say Car A is traveling too close to Car B, which is in the lane ahead. Car B hits the brakes to avoid an obstacle in the road ahead. Car A doesn’t have room enough to stop and rear-ends Car B. Car C, traveling in the lane behind, swerves into oncoming traffic to avoid hitting Car B. In doing so, Car C hits Car D which was traveling in the opposite direction.
Car B started the collision sequence by traveling too close to Car A. However, Car C swerved into oncoming traffic causing a second collision. Did Car B’s negligence cause Car C to swerve into oncoming traffic or did Car C act in a negligent manner that contributed to the secondary collision?
That’s what the judge and jury determine during the trial. They can assign fault to any driver in a collision, from 0% to 100%. In multiple vehicle accidents, multiple drivers can be assigned fault at the same or differing percentages.
Collecting Damages Under the Comparative Fault Law
If your Boynton Beach car accident attorney successfully litigates your damage claims, your award amount will be reduced by the amount of contributory fault assigned to you.
Let’s say you were the driver of Car 1. You sustained injuries in the accident involving Car 2 and Car 3. After trial, the jury determines that you were 20% at fault, Car 2 was 70% at fault, and Car 3 was at 10% at fault.
If the jury awards you $10,000 for your injury, you only have the right to recover $8,000. That’s a 20% reduction from the $10,000 award.
Florida also limits the amount you can collect from each driver to the percentage at fault assigned to them. So, since the jury assigned 70% of the fault to Car 2, you would only be able to collect $7,000 of the $10,000 award from the owner or driver of Car 2. The remaining $1,000 you would need to collect from Car 3.
This limitation replaces the old legal principle of “joint and several” liability. In many states, if two parties are held responsible for the same liability, a wronged party can go after one or both to collect damages. Under this old principle, Car 1 could recover the full $8,000 from either Car 2 or Car 3, no matter the amount of fault assigned to each.
Proving Driver Negligence
When you’re involved in a vehicular accident and sustain an injury, your Boynton Beach car accident attorney will use the “negligence” cause of the accident as the legal basis for your claim. To prove the other driver was negligent, the attorney must prove four things: duty, breach, causation, and damages.
The driver had a duty to operate the vehicle safely while following all related Florida laws. The driver breached that duty when failing to operate the car in a safe, reasonable, and legal manner. Due to the driver’s breach of duty, the car accident occurred. You received an injury or other damages as a result of this accident.
If the attorney fails to prove any of these four things, the legal action fails.
That’s the basics of how is fault determined in the State of Florida for multiple vehicle collisions. When you are involved in any vehicle accident that results in injuries due to another driver’s negligence, you need to talk with a qualified attorney at a car accident injury firm as soon as possible.
If you were involved in a multi-car collision, contact the Bodden & Bennett Law Group today!
Will Florida Medical Malpractice Claims increase because of COVID-19?
The country continues to reel from the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic has made millions of people ill and caused the deaths of tens of thousands. The eyes of the nation have been rightly focused on the Coronavirus and the death and misery it has caused. However, Coronavirus is not the only medical condition that is debilitating and life-threatening. People are still receiving diagnoses, surgeries, and prescription medication for a range of other injuries and illnesses. And Florida medical malpractice claims are still occurring throughout the state.
Medical malpractice occurs when there is a deviation from a sanctioned professional practice or standard resulting in injury to the patient. An individual or an entire medical team can be held responsible for medical malpractice. Diagnostic error, surgical error, and prescription error are the most common kinds of medical malpractice. If you have been the victim of any of these errors, you should hire a Florida medical malpractice attorney and file a lawsuit against the person responsible.
1. Diagnostic error
You put your trust and confidence in your physician. When things are not quite right, when you feel ill and not yourself, going to the hospital for a diagnosis is the right thing to do. Your doctor should be competent to diagnose your condition. They should be able to use their own expertise and experience to get to the root of the problem. They should also tell you in plain English what you are suffering from and what will need to be done to relieve you. Your physician must be as accurate as possible in their diagnosis, even if it requires consultation with another medical professional. You should be told the truth, and you should be given options to resolve the problem.
Physicians who fail to meet this standard put the well-being of their patients at risk. If you were misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all for an illness and it led to the failure of your health, then you have a case against your doctor.
2. Surgical error
Incredible as it seems surgeons with years of experience have operated on the wrong body part and removed perfectly healthy limbs and organs. Such professionals have also botched operations, making the health of the individual under their care worse rather than better.
There are surgical procedures that are risky because they are complex and imperfectly developed. But there is a difference between a surgical outcome that is poor because it is inherently difficult and high risk and an outcome that is poor because of the incompetence and errors of the medical professionals involved.
If you are the victim of surgical error, then you should hire a Florida medical malpractice attorney and build a case against the surgeon and their team.
3. Prescription error
If your condition requires you to take pills, you should be given the correct prescription. Again, there is no room for error here. The wrong prescription can threaten your life or cause serious internal damage. Your physician should have a firm understanding of your medical problem. They should also be aware of all your allergies and the possible side effects of the drugs.
The prescription of potent painkillers can lead to addiction. Opioid addiction that is the result of over-prescription or careless monitoring has gained legal ground in recent years as a form of medical malpractice. If you have become addicted to painkillers, then you may have a case against the physician who wrote the prescription.
Florida Medical Malpractice Claims in the Time of COVID-19
The pandemic has increased the ways in which medical professionals can fail to give good care. Florida medical malpractice claims are on the rise for some of the following reasons:
1. Failure to implement infection control and preparedness plan
Healthcare providers must take the steps needed to protect their patients. They must have a robust training plan in place so that everyone involved in patient care knows how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This plan should be informed by CDC guidelines, and it should include instruction on hand washing and social distancing. And it should also include advice on how to keep equipment dedicated to COVID patients separated from equipment used for other patients.
In general, all hospitals should know how to effectively isolate the spaces, persons, and equipment involved in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
2. Failure to provide an acceptable level of care
Florida medical malpractice claims also extend to the following instances:
- Failure to properly diagnose patients who have contracted COVID-19
- Withholding treatment from COVID-19 patients with disabilities
- Abandonment of COVID-19 patients with acute symptoms
Proving Your Case
If you believe you are the victim of COVID-19 medical malpractice, you must prove your case. Hiring a Florida medical malpractice attorney is a good first step.
If you have caught COVID-19 when you were in the hospital for some other reason, then you should call a lawyer. If you went to the hospital complaining of symptoms associated with the virus and you were turned or misdiagnosed, you should call a lawyer. The ramifications of either scenario can be serious. They may lead to your unknowingly infecting members of your family, some of whom may be especially vulnerable.
The pain, suffering, and expense to you and the family of your COVID case demand compensation. Florida medical malpractice claims involve facts, evidence, and the law. The lawyer you hire will put all these together to get you the best possible outcome.
Before you proceed with your lawsuit, you should be aware that many states have passed laws giving complete immunity to healthcare workers on the frontline. And the federal government, in The CARES Act, has given immunity to some medical workers who volunteered when the crisis was at its peak. The Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act protects qualified healthcare professionals who provide care, which includes the treatment of patients with authorized devices and drugs. The PREP Act also gives immunity to manufacturers of personal protective equipment.
To get justice in a COVID case, you will need to demonstrate that medical professionals who gave you treatment were negligent, reckless, or incompetent. Although there are things that medical experts could not have known about when the virus first broke out and cannot be held liable for, the basic principles of providing sound medical care can never be set aside. If you are the victim of carelessness and unprofessionalism, then you should file a lawsuit.
Non-COVID Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Florida medical malpractice claims that are unrelated to the virus are still being pursued. If you were the victim of a misdiagnosis, a botched surgery, or a prescription error, the people who treated you do not have immunity. You can still hold them accountable.
The injuries you sustained as a result of medical malpractice may have put you back in the hospital. You may have needed to go through a series of painful and invasive procedures to restore your health. As you recover, your attorney will speak with you to hear your story. This can be done through video conference or in a socially distanced in-person session. Getting these details will enable your Florida medical malpractice attorney to develop a legal strategy.
You need not remember everything. Your lawyer will employ a private investigation team to gather all the facts surrounding your case. The investigators will speak to the colleagues of the persons involved in the medical malpractice. They will also interview individual members of the team. Someone may have warned against pursuing a certain course of treatment or cautioned the surgeon against making the error that has caused you so much pain and suffering. Other patients may have suffered at the hands of the same physician. The investigators will track down such persons and get them to make personal statements about their experience.
Your lawyer will also subpoena all records and documents related to your case and treatment. These can provide valuable evidence about the methods and practices of the medical team. Your attorney will bring in independent medical experts to evaluate such documents and to review the procedures of the professionals responsible for your injuries.
The main aim of your lawyer is to maximize your compensation. To do so, they will need to establish the value of the case. In addition to gathering evidence that proves medical malpractice, your lawyer will also need to demonstrate the nature and scale of the injuries. They will request the records kept by your current physician to better understand the debilitation caused by your injuries and your prognosis for recovery. They will also speak to your family to understand how your injuries have affected your life with them. All these factors will go into the amount of compensation your attorney will demand of the respondent.
Your medical malpractice suit need not go to trial. In fact, the other side will want to avoid a lengthy and expensive court battle. The issue is likely to be settled through negotiation. You want an attorney with the skill and experience to get you an offer that is commensurate with what you have been through.
A car accident can ruin your life. You take your health and well-being seriously. You follow the rules of the road, and you do not take unnecessary chances. This cannot be said of everyone who gets behind the wheel of a vehicle. If a reckless, inattentive, and negligent driver smashed into you, it can cause severe injuries, which can put you under serious financial strain.
A spinal cord injury is one of the worst kinds of injury you can suffer. It can leave you seriously debilitated. People have been known to lose their homes and fall into bankruptcy because of spinal cord injuries from auto accidents. Do not allow this to happen to you. If you have been injured in an accident, then you have the right to claim compensation. Contacting a Florida spinal cord injury attorney is the first step toward getting the financial support that you need.
Signs and Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury
There are different kinds of spinal cord injuries. A shock or bruising of the spinal cord is reversible. If you have suffered this kind of injury, you may feel pain and temporary paralysis but in time you will recover all mobility. This kind of injury presents itself as a localized pain to the neck or back. You may also feel numbness and weakness in the arms or legs.
The fracturing or severing of your spinal cord is much more serious. This kind of injury leads to complete loss of strength and sensation in the legs and other parts of the lower body. An upper cervical fracture can affect your breathing. You may also feel tenderness and experience spasms in the affected region. There is often swelling and visible bruising at the location of the break.
To get a better understanding of the scope and scale of the injury, your doctor will use imaging devices of various kinds, including a CT scan and an MRI test. The latter is used to assess the severity of nerve compression and injury to the spinal cord. The CT scan will allow doctors to discern the exact location of the fracture. In all cases, it is important to accurately assess the nature and extent of the spinal cord injury and stabilize the fractured vertebrae.
Spinal cord injury treatment can be broken down into the following categories:
1. Pre-hospital care
Spinal cord injuries from auto accidents can be made much worse if proper care is not taken at the accident scene. To avoid increasing the seriousness of the injury, you must be removed from the wreckage cautiously. The first responders should stabilize your neck and spine on a backboard before placing you in the ambulance.
2. Emergency room care
Once you reach the hospital, you will receive specialized drugs intravenously. You will need to be evaluated to diagnose the underlying cause of the spinal cord injury.
3. Operative and hospital care
The immediate and most urgent treatment may include surgical decompression or a closed reduction of cervical dislocation. Other, more specialized treatments are also available.
4. Rehabilitative care
Rehabilitation will need to begin immediately after the surgical period. You will need to do physical therapy at least twice a day in a facility or at home. In the severest cases—those with tetraplegia and quadriplegia—you will need life-long assistance and the help of in-home care. You may also have to take prescription drugs indefinitely.
Corpectomy and Discectomy
You will have to undergo surgery of some kind if your spinal cord has been badly damaged. Corpectomy and discectomy are two of the most common procedures. These more invasive surgeries allow patients to heal more fully from their injuries. You should only allow doctors who have extensive experience in carrying out these surgeries to work on you. The doctor who operates should have many successes under their belt. If not, then they should refer you to someone else.
A corpectomy involves the removal of all the vertebral bodies found in a spinal cord section. A discectomy involves the removal of only the damaged parts of a spinal cord. Before deciding which procedure is best, a surgeon will discern the source of the greatest pain to the patient. This can be done by doing CT scans and MRIs. The surgeon will also ask you to walk and move your limbs as part of the evaluation. They will also ask you to describe the pain.
The success rate of these surgeries has increased considerably in recent years. This has much to do with the advancements that have been made in orthopedic science and medicine. These surgeries help reduce pain. However, they do not come without risks, which include the following:
1. Nerve damage
Either type of surgery can lead to the inability to control your bladder and bowels. It can also harm your vocal cords which may lead to hoarseness when speaking. The nerve damage can be temporary or permanent. If it is permanent, then you may need to see a specialist.
2. Hip bone damage
Your hip can be destabilized during the operation. If that happens, you will have problems walking.
Further risks include:
- The formation of blood clots in the lungs or legs
- Paralysis in your arm or leg
- Infection near the bone grafts
- Excessive bleeding that leads to a heart attack or stroke
Other complications can occur. You may need to have further surgeries to correct new medical problems.
Fair Compensation for Spinal Cord Injuries From Auto Accidents
If you must undergo a series of extensive surgeries, it may be some time before you can go back to work. If the first surgery leads to a series of further surgeries to correct new problems, then it can be years before you are healthy enough to work. Your illness may take a toll that makes it impossible for you to resume life as you knew it. You may need to give up your livelihood permanently.
Disability comes in many forms. And even if you are not confined to a wheelchair for the rest of your life, your spinal injury can lead to the kind of complications that qualify as permanent disability.
You should not have to deal with the financial consequences of being in this situation all on your own. The person whose recklessness and negligence put you in this terrible condition should be made to pay.
The Florida spinal cord injury attorney you hire will do all that is necessary to get you the compensation you are entitled to. In the days and weeks after the accident, you may not be up to seeing anyone outside of your family. At some point, however, you should sit down with a lawyer and discuss your options for getting compensation.
The insurance company of the other driver should be held liable for such payment. If the other driver was clearly in the wrong, their insurance company may offer to settle the case. Their first settlement offer is likely to be a low-dollar figure. You should not accept it. In fact, you should not directly communicate or negotiate with the insurance company. Refer all such inquiries to your attorney. If the insurance company is not willing to offer an adequate settlement, then you will need to sue them.
The first thing your lawyer will do after speaking with you is to establish the value of your lawsuit. They will do so by reviewing your medical records, speaking to members of your medical team, and speaking to your family—to get a sense of the strain your injury has put on them.
Your lawyer will also strengthen the case against the other driver. They will not depend solely on the accident report. Your attorney will employ private investigators to gather additional evidence. The investigators will attempt to get copies of any traffic footage. They will also speak to people who witnessed the accident. Some people do not like dealing with the police but do not mind speaking to private investigators. The latter may get information that is crucial to proving your version of events. There may even be a witness who captured the entire accident on their cell phone camera.
Your lawyer will also bring in independent medical experts to evaluate your injuries and medical records. Such professionals can testify about the scale of your debilitation and your prognosis for recovery. Your attorney will also hire an accident reconstruction expert who can use the forensic evidence from the crash to build a computer simulation of it.
All this will be used to come up with a dollar figure. It is the dollar figure that your Florida spinal cord injury attorney will demand of the insurance company, and that they will hold to when entering negotiations. Your attorney will be the only one looking out for your interests, and they will fight to ensure that you are treated fairly.
After A Car Accident, Here’s What You Should Do With Your Child’s Car Seat
Car seats have a critical role in securing the youngest of passengers against injuries. Damaged or used car seats may not adequately secure children when a collision occurs. Automobile accidents that barely phase you as an adult could create serious problems for infants and toddlers.
If you’re involved in a car accident, your child’s car seat can become structurally compromised. This can happen even if the seat did not have an occupant. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises that you replace a car seat involved in a motor vehicle accident unless you meet all five of the agency’s criteria for what it deems to be a minor accident. If any of the below circumstances arise from the crash or other events, do not keep the car seat.
You Can’t Drive the Car from the Crash Scene
A crash hard enough to make your vehicle inoperable likely will damage the car seat. The force of head-on collisions can knock your car out of alignment and crack radiators or engines. A vehicle that is out of alignment can cause a rapid loss of tire tread and make it difficult for the drivers to maintain control of the steering while driving. With leaking fluids come the likelihood of overheating, damaged engines, and malfunctioning brakes. A motor vehicle accident can damage the wheels and tires. In short, you will likely need a new car seat if your vehicle has to be removed from the crash scene by a tow truck.
Damage to Door Closest to Car Seat
In a four-door vehicle, inspect the rear door closest to the car seat (or base) for damage. You might consider both rear doors of a four-door if you mount the baby seat in the middle. For a vehicle with three rows of seats, count the two doors in the second row and the tailgate or liftgate as the closest doors. (SUVs and hatchbacks often come with tailgates and liftgates.) If any of those are damaged, deem the car seat unsafe for further use.
After a car accident, you might initially dismiss any idea that you have been injured if you can walk afterward. However, refusing or denying medical treatment allows seemingly non-existent injuries or minuscule scraps or aches to fester into serious medical problems.
For example, a forehead impact on the steering wheel or dashboard might cause a concussion. Look for signs such as dizziness, headaches, blurry or double vision or memory loss. If you go to the hospital after the wreck, you likely will get an MRI or other imaging test that may detect the concussion. Head impacts may also cause interior swelling that can prove serious or even fatal. Other hidden injuries can impact your knees, ankles, shoulders, and back. Continued use of these and other extremities can aggravate what you believe to be minor pains into conditions that limit your ability to work, sleep, and engage in normal activities.
Any injury following an automobile crash demands your serious attention. Take it as a reason to replace your car seat and to get prompt medical treatment and attention. When you take your car wreck case to a Florida car accident attorney, have a list of hospitals and medical providers handy. The attorney will obtain medical records and bills to prove the extent of your injuries and that you took reasonable steps to prevent injuries. By all means, assume that any child passenger is injured enough to need a trip to the hospital or a doctor immediately.
When an airbag is deployed after a car accident, you can readily conclude that the collision has enough force to damage your child safety seat. This includes any of your airbags — front, side, and knee airbags.
The activation of airbags does not only happen in high-speed collisions. Your front airbags may deploy at speeds as low as 10 to 12 mph, assuming an impact on an inflexible wall or barrier. If you are wearing a seatbelt, the activation threshold stands at around 16 mph. At speeds of as low as eight mph, a crash into a pole or tree will cause deployment of your side airbag. With collisions with other vehicles, driving at 18 mph is fast enough.
However, even when the airbag does not deploy, you may still need to discard the car seat. In fact, non-deployment might have caused some of your injuries and might give rise to a product liability claim. That is, the manufacturer or dealer of your car might face liability if the airbag failed to work. To sue the carmaker or seller, you likely need expert evidence that the airbag should have deployed in the crash. Your product liability claim may be time-barred depending on when you bought it and the age of the car. Talk with a Florida lawyer about injuries you claim to come from the malfunction of your vehicle.
The Car Seat Looks Undamaged
Examine the seat carefully for damage. The presence of cracks, broken pieces such as the armrest, headrest, or latch call for you to replace the seat. After a car crash, you might notice torn tethers or stitches or white stress marks that occur when something hits or applies pressure to the seat.
Even before a car accident, you should periodically inspect child car seats. Your police or sheriff’s office or fire department may offer seat inspection services. Trained technicians or personnel will look for cracks and other indicia of damage to the seat and whether you have correctly installed it in the car.
The car seat itself can place your infants, toddlers, or other small children at risk of injury. To that end, stay informed of any voluntary or government recalls of your car seat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides a search tool for recalled car seats by brand name or model. You might see recall notices in the news, the manufacturer’s website, or even at various retailers that sell car seats or other infant or baby products.
As a rule of thumb, you generally should not use a car seat involved in a wreck. A child’s car seat can be damaged or otherwise rendered unreliable even in what appears at first to be a minor wreck or one involving low speeds. As you should not dismiss potential seat damage, you should not discount the possibility of injury from a wreck. When you refuse or neglect medical attention, you could aggravate hidden injuries or harm, and the insurance company’s lawyer may say you failed to mitigate your damages.
If you have been in a car wreck, contact a Florida car accident attorney before you discard the seat. In fact, it might serve as evidence related to the crash and your injuries or those of any passenger in the seat. The lawyer can review your case and determine if defective drivers, airbags, or car seats contributed the harm.
Insurance coverage for every driver in Florida should include uninsured and underinsured coverage. There are a few tips listed below that explain what this insurance coverage does, and you should approach a Florida auto accident law firm when you believe that you deserve further compensation after an accident.
What Does Uninsured Coverage Do?
Uninsured motorist coverage for Florida drivers is necessary because you never know when someone else does not have insurance. This type of coverage pays for damage that occurs when the other person involved in the accident does not have insurance. These people will be cited for not having insurance, but you still need money to pay for your damages. That is what your insurance company expects, and this type of coverage can pay for it easily.
You also need to remember that uninsured coverage is useful for people who do not know who caused the damage. Hit and run accidents can occur at any time, and you should make sure that you have coverage that will protect you. You do not have time to find the other driver, and you may never find them.
Florida drivers need uninsured motorist coverage to ensure that they are protected if they are injured in a crash. Paying for repairs to a vehicle is important, but you need coverage that will pay for everything that occurs. You might want to get medical coverage as part of your traditional insurance policy, even though someone who causes an accident should be paying for your injuries. The uninsured coverage can kick in so that your policy premiums do not rise.
These insurance policies also take care of passengers in the car. Your insurance would cover them when the at-fault driver does not have insurance to pay for injuries or damage. When the other driver has no insurance, you need to turn to your uninsured coverage rider. This part of the policy makes it much easier for you to get the care you need, and you should ask your agent how to use it to help your passengers. Anyone who was in the car should be covered, and you want friends or relatives to be insured and have money to pay for medical care and missed work.
Can You Get Underinsured Coverage?
Florida drivers need uninsured motorist coverage, but they may also want to consider what happens if someone that causes an accident is underinsured. Many insurance companies offer cheap coverage that does not pay for much. You can use your uninsured coverage to pay for someone who is underinsured. Make sure that you talk to your insurance provider about what they have heard from the other insurance company. You can use this insurance to make sure that you are not left paying out of your pocket for something you did not do.
When you encounter underinsured drivers, they may not know that they are underinsured. You cannot expect to get a full assessment of the insurance situation at the accident scene. You can ask your insurance agent to investigate the claim that was filed, and they can tell you if you need to use your uninsured coverage. It is alright if you do not realize you need this coverage right away.
Review Your Policy
You should review your policy to learn about all the things you are paying for. Many people think they have uninsured coverage, but these people do not. You should ask your insurance agent about adding more coverage, so you will be able to add value to the policy to avoid paying too much when you are involved in an accident.
As you review your policy, you should ask your agent to raise your coverage to a level that you are comfortable paying for. The amount of coverage that you get will change how much you are paying, and you should also remember that most people never check their policies. In fact, your policy might change when it renews. The insurance company can do whatever it wants, and you
need to know that you are covered properly.
What Happens If the Insurance Company Will Not Pay?
When the insurance company will not pay, you should reach out to a Florida auto accident law firm for help. A lawyer can reach out to the insurance company for clarification on their coverage, and they can file a claim for the coverage that you are owed. You may also need a lawyer to help you reach out to the state if the insurance company is not providing coverage lawfully.
If the other driver is underinsured, their insurance company might refuse to offer the available coverage. A lawyer can reach out to that insurance company, make sure that that insurance company covers the accident properly, and possibly sue for more coverage if the insurance carrier has underinsured their drivers unlawfully.
How Do You Get Uninsured Motorist Insurance?
Uninsured coverage should be a part of any insurance policy. However, there are cheap policies that do not offer this level of coverage. When you do not see this coverage as part of your policy, you should ask your agent or insurance provider to help you. The company or the agent should tell you how much coverage they can provide you. You should ensure that the uninsured motorist coverage for Florida drivers is available to you before you buy the policy. If the company does not offer it, you should make sure that you find another provider.
Buy Your Policy Today and Keep It Up to Date
You should buy your insurance policy, keep it up-to-date, and work with an agent who can show you the available options. Remember that you can get uninsured or underinsured coverage because you could be hurt by both types of drivers. You might be relieved when another driver tells you they have insurance, but you can use your uninsured coverage to pay for another driver’s policy that cannot give you the coverage you need. Even small updates to your coverage can protect you and save thousands of dollars after an accident.
Driving is a risky business. Even if you are careful and conscientious when on the road, you can still get into an accident. When this happens, you must act to get the compensation you deserve. A Florida auto accident attorney can help you in this endeavor.
In general, an accident may have two outcomes. It can be minor and leave you relatively unscathed, though still hurt and with some property damage. Or, it can be severe and put you in the hospital for weeks and lead to the ruin of your life.
If you have been in a minor fender bender, you can start building a case against the person who caused it immediately afterward. Once you have verified the health status of everyone involved, you should start photographing the scene and taking statements from witnesses. You should ask people who saw the accident if you can record what they have to say on your cell phone. This can be compelling evidence against the person whose recklessness and negligence caused the accident.
Things are much different in a severe accident. Such an incident can leave you unconscious and immobile. You may not know what happened to you until weeks later. You may need multiple surgeries and a series of extensive and invasive treatments in order to make you healthy again. You will need further rehabilitative treatment, and you will need to pay for medications.
Being out of work and the potential loss of your career and livelihood are some of the most pernicious effects of a bad accident. Depending on the kind of work you do, it may be impossible for you to return to it if you are seriously injured.
You should not be left alone to sort out the financial difficulties caused by an accident. Either your insurance company or the insurance company of the person who smashed into you must offer reasonable and adequate compensation. Although insurance companies exist for this very purpose, it is often difficult to get them to pay what they owe.
The Insurance Company Will Try to Keep You in the Dark
There are certain things your insurance company doesn’t want you to know. They will do their utmost to minimize the amount of money they must pay-out, and they often succeed in this aim by keeping potential beneficiaries ignorant, uncertain, and afraid. Some insurance companies will bend, stretch, and even break the law to minimize a pay-out. The only way to counter all attempts to keep you in the dark is to enlighten yourself. You should know your rights, and you should know the obligations of the insurance company toward you.
Here are 6 things your insurance company doesn’t want you to know:
1. By law, insurance companies are required to handle your claim in good faith.
Despite their goal of minimizing payment amounts, the insurance company must process your submitted claim, and they must make good-faith decisions about your claim. There can be no excessive delays in handling your claim, and the insurer cannot simply reject it outright. If they decide to reject your claim, they must provide sound reasons for it.
It should also be noted that you can fight a rejected claim. If your insurance company unjustly denies or rejects your claim or does not give you the benefits you are supposed to receive, then they are acting in bad faith. If this happens, you have the right to file a bad-faith lawsuit against them.
2. You can say no when asked to give a recorded statement.
The insurance company you submitted your claim to may ask to record your statement—on video or audio. You have a right to refuse. A recorded statement by a claimant is not needed to process a claim. There is no reason for any insurance company to make this request unless they are up to no good. Be sure to speak with a Florida auto accident injury attorney before agreeing to give any statements to an insurance company.
You should also be aware that your conversations with insurance representatives over the phone may be recorded. You should assume that they are. That is why you should not deal directly with the insurance company if your case requires a huge pay-out or your claim is being resisted. If your claim is being contested in any way, you should assume that the insurance company will use any statement that you make against you.
Even a casual remark can count as a formal statement and be used as evidence. Never say anything that indicates the nature and severity of your injury. You are not a physician, and you should not speak as one. The way that you feel at the time that you speak to an insurance representative is not relevant to your physical condition. Do not fall into the trap of sharing your feelings about your health with an insurance representative.
3. Even if you’re at fault, you might still have a case.
If you are found to be at fault for the accident, you should not abandon all hope of compensation. First, there may be mitigating circumstances—that is, other factors may have contributed to the
crash, which may put you only partly at fault.
You should not give up on your case. If the accident has put you in the hospital and out of work, then you should submit a claim and pursue compensation. Your Florida auto accident attorney will advise you on whether you have a case. Do not make any assumptions before consulting with them.
4. Your case may be worth a lot more than the insurance adjuster will tell you.
The claims adjustor works for the insurance company. It is important to keep that in mind. They will not be completely honest and transparent about the value of your case. They may tell you that your case is worthless because of some pre-existing condition you admitted to when applying for insurance. They may also try to downplay your right to receive compensation for lost wages as well as pain and suffering.
The insurance adjuster will cite a range of reasons for minimizing the amount of your pay-out. Do not be taken in by any of them.
5. If you accept any settlement, your claim is over.
The insurance company will want to settle the claim soon after the accident. To this end, they will make a low-dollar offer. It may seem like a great deal of money to you, but you should not
accept such a deal without the advice of your attorney.
If you face mounting bills, an inability to work, and the need for continuing medical treatment, you may think it best to accept any settlement offered to you. But once you have done so, your claim will be over. You will be unable to make further demands on the insurance company.
6. Hiring a Florida auto accident attorney can increase your chances.
The insurance company would prefer you not to hire an attorney. They know that if you hire a lawyer that specializes in auto accidents, your chances of getting a fair and adequate settlement will increase substantially. That is why they will pressure you to accept the initial settlement they offer. They do not want you to receive what is rightfully yours.
Hiring an auto accident attorney will defeat the plans of the insurance company to keep you in the dark and take advantage of your lack of knowledge.
You drive to survive. You’re always cautious and alert when on the road. Your reserve and diligence pay off by keeping you and your family safe. However, there are no guarantees. You never know when you will encounter a reckless and inattentive driver. That is why you must have a sound insurance policy.
The Importance of Insurance
Automobile insurance is mandatory in every state for anyone who owns a vehicle. If you are like most people, you view the purchase of insurance is just one of many things that you must do to drive a car. But it is much more than that. If you’re ever in a serious car wreck, your insurance may be your only means of financial support. Such an accident may require you to undergo a range of invasive medical procedures. You will be forced to stop working for a certain period of time, and you will need months to recover and recuperate from your accident.
Insurance is the ultimate contingency plan. It provides the money and resources you need in the event of an unexpected catastrophe. However, not all insurance plans are the same. You must choose an insurance policy that is best suited to your life circumstances.
Finding the Right Coverage
Before choosing or designing an auto insurance plan, you should know the different types of coverage that are available. You should know exactly what your plan covers and how your premium will be affected if you are ever in an accident. You should also understand the process of making a claim and ensuring its success if you have been in an accident.
Perhaps the most fundamental question for an insurance policy is what kind of coverage is mandated by state law. Most states require you to have an insurance policy that offers a minimum amount of coverage for each injured person and the total amount of property damage caused.
If you opt for such minimums, you may find yourself liable for the balance of the money owed far exceeds the amount covered by your policy. To cover all your bases, you may want to consider comprehensive coverage. The latter covers things like damage, injury, car theft, vandalism, and other acts that are beyond your control. Not all comprehensive insurance coverage plans are the same. You want to be sure about yours before you sign the dotted line. For this reason, you should have hard questions for insurance policy companies that offer this option.
Other questions to ask your insurance company include:
1. Do I have medical payments coverage?
If you are severely injured in an accident, you may need to undergo advanced procedures to save your life and put you on the road to health. These operations can be expensive, and you will not have the option of saying no to them. That is why you must ensure that MedPay is part of your insurance coverage. This is a type of no-fault coverage that will kick in regardless of who was responsible for the accident.
2. What are the parameters of my policy?
It is vital that you understand what is and what is not included in your coverage. If you have taken out automobile insurance, it may not apply to accidents that occur while you are on a motorcycle or ATV. If you have taken out insurance for every driver in your family, you should make sure that it covers your younger children—those that are under the age of 18.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance
Most drivers do the right thing: they take out the insurance coverage that is mandated by law. However, some people drive around on the streets and highways without insurance coverage. These are some of the most reckless and selfish people you will ever encounter. And if you are ever involved in an accident with one of them, it can cause you a great many problems.
Among the most important questions to ask your insurance company are:
1. Do I have uninsured motorist coverage?
If you are hit by an uninsured motorist, they will not be able to compensate you for medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses. You may be able to sue them, but you are unlikely to profit by it. You cannot get money from a person who does not have it. Uninsured motorist coverage will ensure that you get the money you need. It will cover all injuries and damages that result from the crash.
2. Do I have underinsured motorist coverage?
The person who hit you may have insurance, but their coverage may not be high enough to cover your personal injury claims and property damage. If you were involved in a bad accident caused by the other driver, their insurance may not be able to cover your bills if they have minimum coverage. UIM coverage will ensure that you receive the medical treatment you need and that all your other expenses and losses are covered.
Dealing with Your Insurance Company After an Accident
If you have been in an accident, your first order of business is to recover your health and strength. You may need to spend some time in the hospital before you are ready to deal with the financial fallout of the accident.
Your insurance company may seem eager to help you process your claim. Do not be fooled by the charming and easy-going manner of an insurance adjuster. You must remember that the priority of the insurance company is its own interests. It will try to minimize the amount of money it pays out to you, and the representative you deal with will have that goal in mind.
Even if you are dealing with an honest and straightforward insurance company, you must watch what you say and be as exact and precise as you can on the claim you submit. Any misstatement or error on your part can render your claim invalid. Even the smallest mistake can significantly reduce the amount of money you receive.
To get the best outcome, you should follow these tips:
1. Keep to the facts
You should never speculate, offer an opinion, or make an evaluation of the accident or the damage and injuries caused by it. You should leave such matters to professionals. You should refer to documents and statements made by your physician on anything having to do with your injuries. And you should point to the police report if you are asked about the circumstances that led to the accident.
2. Never admit fault
You can only know what you saw and what you did before the accident. You will have no knowledge of the other driver’s actions until the conclusion of an independent investigation. For this reason, you should not admit fault for the accident. Let the results of the official report speak for themselves.
3. Know that you are being recorded
Every conversation you have with an insurance company representative is being recorded. You must, therefore, watch what you say. Any statement, claim, or opinion you utter may be used to reduce the value of your claim.
4. Hire a lawyer if things get difficult
If you are having a hard time getting the money that you are entitled to, it may be wise to hire a lawyer. The matter is especially urgent if you are owed a large settlement amount. Once you have retained legal counsel, you should turn overall communication and negotiation to them. This is the best way to avoid saying or doing the wrong thing and further prolonging the settlement.
In many instances, an at-fault driver or another person who injures you was working for someone else. That circumstance raises the potential of the company’s liability for your injury claim. The ability to pursue the company offers the important advantage of reaching a party with the insurance or other resources to pay on your claim. Florida law offers grounds for liability for company injuries.
Under the principle of “respondeat superior,” companies must answer in liability for injuries you sustain at the hands of their employees. This vicarious liability arises regardless of the employer’s own use of care or even lack of knowledge of the incident.
Generally, whether the negligent actor was an employee or an independent contractor is key in your prospects of holding the company vicariously liable. Companies generally do not face responsibility for the negligence of independent contractors. Below, we’ll explain some exceptions to that general rule.
Ironically, the right of the company you’re suing to control the negligent actor’s work affords the rationale for respondeat superior. Whether and the extent to which the company controls the actor distinguishes an employee from an independent contractor.
To prove the requisite right of control necessary to establish the employer-employee relationship, you are not constrained by the company’s merely labeling the negligent actor as an “independent contractor” rather than an employee. Instead, a South Florida Injury Lawyer looks to factors such as:
- The company trained the employee and furnished the tools and equipment for the work
- The employee had assigned tasks, hours and work locations
- The employee did not have the independent right to select helpers
- The company exercised the right to control the manner in which the work was performed
- The company set dress codes and other policies for the employee to follow
That the actor received an hourly wage or salary may support a company’s liability for an injury claim. To that end, we seek to show that the actor(s) were issued a W-2 form rather than a Form 1099 typically used for independent contractors. Other economic evidence of the employer-employee relationship comes from whether the negligent actor had other jobs or opportunities simultaneous with those provided by the company.
Course and Scope of Employment
Once you show an employer-employee relationship, you must prove that the employee committed the tort while in the course and scope of employment. This normally means that the employee must have been advancing or promoting the company’s interests or business. With regard to car accidents, at-fault drivers can create liability for their companies when:
- Delivering products
- Transporting patients, customers or passengers
- Driving between the headquarters or office and a job site or between job sites
In pursuing your case, we examine the crash report to determine whether the company owned the vehicle driven by the at-fault driver. Proof of a company-owned vehicle may come from the registration information or even signage on the car.
A company might not escape responsibility merely because the employee used his or her own car. Note that you generally do not have a vicarious liability claim for your injuries if the negligent driver was commuting between home and work. Similarly, respondeat superior may not apply if the negligent driver was running personal errands or driving in a grossly reckless manner, such as by driving under the influence of alcohol or other impairing substances.
Liability for Injuries Due to the Company’s Own Negligence
The circumstances of your case may support and even necessitate that you resort to theories beyond vicarious liability. A company can be liable for injuries caused by its own negligent or tortious acts, as well as the negligence of its employees and agents. Often, this basis comes into play when the employee acted outside of the course and scope of employment. Victims of employees whose actions escape vicarious liability may suffer from assaults, batteries, other intentional torts, and other acts beyond mere negligence.
Also, the acts of employees may rise to the level of supporting punitive damages. However, Florida law does not permit you to recover punitive damages from a company solely upon the basis of vicarious liability. Instead, you need proof that the company participated, condoned, approved, or ratified the conduct that supports punitive damages.
A South Florida Injury Lawyer may pursue negligent hiring, supervision, and retention claims against companies. In a negligent hiring claim, you show that the company hired an unfit or unqualified or incompetent employee and that the company knew or should have known of the employee’s lack of qualifications.
Negligent hiring suits often address cases where the employee committed an intentional tort or acted maliciously. In those instances, vicarious liability normally does not apply because the willful or malicious action falls outside of the scope and course of the employer. The basis for negligent hiring cases lies in the company’s allowing the wrongdoing employee to be in the workplace or business setting.
Proving that the employer should have foreseen or known about the unfitness requires evidence that the employer did not conduct an adequate background check. Under Section 768.096 of the Florida Statutes, an employer enjoys a presumption that it did not negligently hire an employee upon taking specific actions in checking an applicant’s background. These include, among other things:
- Applications that ask about convictions
- A criminal record from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement
- Reasonable attempts to obtain references from prior employers
In the car accident context, negligent hiring may involve selecting employees with traffic violations, including speeding, impaired driving, and other moving offenses. Related to negligent hiring that causes injuries in traffic cases is the principle of negligent entrustment. That is, you sue a car owner who allowed an unqualified or dangerous driver to use the vehicle at the time of your injuries.
Liability for Company Injuries Caused By An Independent Contractor
The fact that an independent contractor caused your injuries doesn’t necessarily shield the company from your claim. Companies can be held vicariously liable for the negligence or other wrongful actions of the independent contractor when the contractor is engaged in an ultrahazardous activity such as transporting explosive or hazardous materials or where the company has a non-delegable duty. Negligently selecting independent contractors or entrusting them with vehicles can also subject companies to liability for injuries caused by independent contractors.
Get Help Pursuing a Company’s Liability for Injury Claim
With the help of a South Florida Injury Lawyer, you can get the compensation you need for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages or earning capacity. Our team will identify those parties who bear responsibility for causing your injuries.
You take your safety seriously when you are on the road. You follow the rules and you remain alert to the movement and direction of other drivers. However, other drivers may not be so careful and despite your best efforts to prevent an accident, you may end up in a car crash. When this happens, you will need the financial help and support of your insurance company.
Insurance companies exist to offset the financial burden caused by a car accident. If you have been injured in an auto crash, your insurance company is obligated to look after your interests. Your insurance policy is a contractual agreement between you and the insurance company. You make payments and in return, they promise to give you the money you need to recover after an accident.
Insurance companies are legally liable to compensate you for all short-term and long-term losses that you incur. Unfortunately, this is not how most of them behave. Like other businesses, insurance companies are out to make a profit. To do so, they must find ways to minimize the amount of money they pay out to each claimant. This is a legitimate business model, but it often leads insurance companies to take extreme—and sometimes unethical—steps to deny money to people who deserve it.
After you submit your Florida personal injury claim, an insurance adjuster will be assigned to your case. This is the primary representative of the insurance company. The adjuster may sound friendly and supportive over the phone, but you should not be fooled by this. Make no mistake: the main aim of the insurance adjuster is to find weaknesses in your case, to look for things that will justify a lower pay-out. Insurance companies train their employees to deploy subtle and sometimes dishonest tactics to meet this goal. If you were in an especially bad accident and you have submitted a high-dollar claim, you should assume that the insurance adjuster assigned to your case will not be the only one dealing with it. Insurance companies can deploy a range of resources to discredit the justifications for your Florida personal injury claim.
That is why you must hire a Florida personal injury lawyer as soon as you can. As you recover from the accident, you may not be up to dealing with insurance adjusters and lawyers. But you will soon need to bring in legal counsel. Your medical expenses and lost wages may put you in financial difficulty, and the insurance money may be the only thing that can get you out of it.
A lawyer will help you counter the range of moves that the insurance company will make to reduce the value of your Florida injury claim. Here are some of the most common ploys used by such companies:
1. Using your medical history against you
Your insurance company may try to use a pre-existing condition to devalue your claim. If they can establish that you have received treatment for some injury and illness in the past, they may try to say that this condition exacerbated the effect of the injuries you sustained in the accident and that they do not need to pay as much money.
The best way to prevent this from happening is to restrict access to your medical records. Insurance companies do not have carte blanche to go through your entire medical history. The insurance adjuster you work with may say that access to all your medical records is a routine aspect of the claims process. It is not. Your insurance company only needs to see medical records related to the injuries you suffered to verify their credibility. Do not allow them to dig into your past medical history.
2. Rushing to establish your injuries
Some of the severest injuries do not present right away. For example, if you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, it may take some time for any sign of it to show. Difficulty concentrating and thinking may begin to show in the weeks following the accident. And this may indicate serious impairment in the months to come.
Insurance companies know this. They understand that certain injuries take time to fully manifest, which is why they often rush to establish your injuries and begin processing the claim. The at-fault insurance company may even be so callous as to call you the day of your injury, when you are weak, groggy, and confused, in order to get you to officially state all of your injuries. Insurance adjusters know that you will not be in the physical or mental state to make the best choices, and they will use this fact to bully you into accepting a low settlement amount for your Florida injury claim.
If you have been a victim of such a scheme, your attorney may be able to help release you from any commitments you made while in an acutely poor mental condition. Such dubious schemes are unlikely to prevail in court.
3. Delaying the processing of your claim
If you have been badly hurt, you may be in desperate need of cash. The insurance company knows this, and they will use it to their advantage. After rushing to get the details of your injuries, they may slow down the processing of your claim. This is done to wear you down. They figure that you will become so desperate for money that you will accept their low-dollar offer.
4. Asking for a recorded statement
Never go on the record about your injuries with an insurance company. There is no need for you to make any statement about your injuries to them. You are not a doctor. What you have to say about the harm done to you is immaterial to your insurance claim.
A dishonest insurance company may send an insurance adjuster to your bedside or call you over the phone to ask you to answer questions about your injuries. Your answers will be recorded, and then used later to devalue your claim.
Even an interaction that seems benign—such as answering “fine” when a representative asks you how you are doing—can be used against you. Always refuse to give a recorded statement to an insurance company.
5. Questioning medical claims
The insurance company may go right at the severity of your injury. They may claim that you are not as bad off and debilitated as you claim. Insurance companies typically hire their own physicians and medical experts to review your records to support their side of the story. However, these people have no right to examine you without your consent. The medical team that is treating you is the only one with first-hand knowledge of your injuries, pain, and suffering. Their report will be the most credible.
Your insurance company may also try to convince you that you should end your treatment early. They may claim that you will not be covered for additional procedures. But you should always keep in mind that an insurance adjuster is not a medical expert. They are not qualified to tell you what kind of treatment you need. You should also keep in mind that your injuries are probably more expansive than the insurance company is willing to concede.
The bottom line is that medical costs should never get in the way of your treatment. If your policy does not cover the kind of procedures you require, your Florida personal injury lawyer may be able to find alternative ways to make sure you receive the proper medical treatment.
6. Denying liability
One of the most common ways insurance companies minimizes the value of claims is to blame you—the victim—for the accident. They will refuse liability on the grounds that you contributed to the accident in some way. If the other party is clearly at fault for the accident, they may claim, without evidence or logic, that you could not have been so severely injured.
Again, it is not up to an insurance company to determine the extent and severity of your injuries.
7. Advising you not to seek legal counsel
An insurance company that acts dishonestly toward its clients understands the threat posed by a personal injury lawyer. One of the first things the insurance adjuster may do is to discourage you from seeking legal advice. They will tell you that a lawyer is expensive. This is not true, as most personal injury lawyers work on a no win, no fee basis.
The insurance representative may also claim that a lawyer will take a large portion of your settlement, this is also untrue. Research has shown that accident victims who seek legal representation tend to receive settlements that are several times larger than they would obtain without legal counsel.
The thing to keep in mind is that the sole aim of a personal injury lawyer is to get their clients the highest settlement possible. To do so, attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident. They will also review medical records and speak to members of your medical team as well as your family. This investigation is done to determine the value of your case. Once an amount has been established, it will be used to guide negotiations with the insurance company.
Insurance companies fear personal injury lawyers because they are experts at building technically and legally sound cases against them. Always seek counsel if you have any doubts about the honesty and reliability of your insurance company.
8. Conduct surveillance of you
The insurance company has a great deal to lose in high-dollar injury cases. If you have been seriously injured and require a large pay-out, the insurance company will want to undermine your claim. They may go to the extent of putting you under surveillance. In fact, you should assume that you are being watched.
To avoid paying out a multi-million-dollar settlement, the at-fault insurance company may have you monitored by a private investigator. This kind of thing does not only happen in the movies; it happens in real life. The investigator may track and photograph your every move. That is why you must take the orders of your doctor seriously and resist partaking in activities that they have warned against. If the insurance company catches you engaging in vigorous physical activity, they will have all that they need to question the credibility of your claim.
Your activity on social media will also be monitored. In fact, this is the first place the company will investigate. If you have been seriously injured and you post photos of yourself partying on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, your claim will be called into question. You should also avoid discussing the case on social media. The insurance company can use anything you say about them against you.
9. Offering a quick settlement
The insurance company may offer to settle your case quickly in return for a verbal or written release of your claim. This can seem like a good deal at the time it is offered, especially if you are already stretched financially. However, you should not do it. Signing such a form or giving your verbal consent will cut off all paths for the further pursuit of money for your injuries.
You should sign no document proffered by the insurance company before you have spoken with your lawyer. Nor should you make any statement to them without the advice of counsel. In fact, there is no reason for you to directly interact with the insurance company. You should leave all such communicating and negotiating to your attorney.
10. Misrepresenting the law
If you have never been in an accident before, you will be unfamiliar with how personal injury law works and what you are entitled to. Some insurance companies count on this to minimize the amount of money they are forced to pay-out. Your insurance company may tell you that you are not entitled to seek damages for pain and suffering. They may also say that you can only recover a certain amount of money—the certain amount being what they offer.
The boldest insurance companies will even send to you their legal representatives along with the insurance adjuster. In a show of force and intimidation, they will claim that the law offers little relief from your present condition and that you are better off taking what is offered to you.
Never accept legal advice from an insurance company. Always hire your own lawyer and follow only your lawyer’s advice.
11. Misrepresenting your policy and coverage
The insurance company may also try to misrepresent the amount of money you can claim under your coverage. The language used in insurance policies is highly technical. When you purchased it, the representative who sold it to you will have only given you the highlights. After an accident, you must delve into the details.
A personal injury attorney is the only person who can help you do so. Your personal injury lawyer will be familiar enough with such documents to tell you exactly what you are entitled to. They will also communicate with the insurance company so that you are not forced to engage in highly technical conversations.
The Only Person You Can Trust
The insurance company is not on your side. The only person you should trust is the lawyer you hire. They will stop the insurance company from cheating you out of what is legally yours. They will build a case bit-by-bit for your compensation.
Happy 244th Birthday America! Here Are 5 Personal Injury Safety Tips To Help You Stay Safe This 4th of July
Happy 244th Birthday America! Independence Day is one of our favorite holidays, below, we have listed 5 Personal Injury Safety Tips To Help You Stay Safe This 4th of July.
Happy 244th Birthday, America! It’s time to celebrate America’s Independence. Safety is extremely important on the 4th of July as you and your family enjoy a relaxing, fun day. We have five 4th of July safety tips that will help your weekend be safe and memorable.
Social Distancing and Wearing Masks
This year’s celebrations may look a lot different than those in the past due to the Coronavirus. It’s important to remember social distancing measures and to wear a mask for an overall safer 4th of July. Stay six feet away from others when watching fireworks, grilling out, or attending a neighborhood function. The pandemic is accelerating at a rapid speed, so it’s important to put these safety measures in place. Always wear a mask when you go into a public space. You could be helping the spread of the virus. You could even be carrying it without knowing, so the mask protects others from infection. Don’t attend big parties or events for the 4th of July. It’s tough to stay away from the big celebrations, but your health could be jeopardy if you play along with the crowds. This year it’s best to celebrate with close friends and family. Create your own fun with a cookout, watch the fireworks from home or just relax in your backyard. Stay healthy this Independence Day with your mask in hand and putting social distance measures into practice.
Bar-B-Que Safety Tips
Independence Day doesn’t seem the same without some yummy food cooked on the grill. We have to include grilling safety on our personal injury safety tips because every year over 16,000 patients go to the emergency room due to burns from grilling. If you’re grilling with gas, always check the gas cylinder holes for any leaks by applying soap and water to the hose. Look for any bubbles. If the lid is closed, don’t turn on the gas. If you go for charcoal grilling this year, it’s important to not add any lighter fluid to coals that are already burning. Coals are hot, so never touch them. They’ll still be hot hours after cooking. Always watch for cross-contamination of your meat. Remember to never grill indoors. Even if it’s raining on the day of celebration, keep the grill outside away from the deck or siding.
Fireworks Safety Tips
Fireworks are a lot of fun when you set them off yourself, but they should be used with extreme caution. The number one thing to remember is to never use illegal fireworks. Check with your county to see if it is even legal to shoot fireworks in your area. Then look for an area clear of debris. There should be no one around you when you light a firework. They look innocent but can be deadly. Sometimes fireworks have a mind of their own. Pets and/or children may become started when a firework goes off, so it is best to keep them away when lighting any. Remember to always light one firework at a time. There may be a firework that seems dead, but still has some power left in it. Leave it sitting alone for 20 minutes before placing it in a bucket of water.
Travel Safety Tips
It’s a time of celebration, but the Fourth of July weekend can also be a time when drunk drivers hit the road. Never drink and drive. If you’re serving alcohol at a celebration, make sure no one leaves intoxicated. Ask guests to have a designated driver. Never get behind the wheel after drinking. You can assign your own designated driver or call a ride share service. You can even ask to spend the night with friends. Be cautious that police will ramp up their presence on the 4th of July weekend, so you risk getting a DWI or DUI as well. Save your life as well as others on the road by watching how much you drink.
Swimming Pool Safety Tips
The Fourth of July is the perfect time for a dip in the pool with friends or a beach celebration. It’s important to stay safe around the water. If people are drinking alcohol, keep a close watch on children that could wander out of the sight of those watching them. Use the buddy system, even with adult swimmers. This means everyone has a buddy so there is no one left alone swimming. Children should be the primary focus around water as well. Never get distracted and lose sight of them. It’s also important never to dive in water less than 10 feet deep. Those that cannot swim should be wearing a life vest. These personal injury safety tips for the water can be easily overlooked when everyone is having fun and many people are drinking. Make sure you keep a close watch on anyone near a body of water. Drowning happens within seconds. Take a few seconds to put these safety measures into place near water, and you’ll save lives.
As your South Florida injury attorney, we wish you a happy and safe Fourth of July. If you’re injured in an accident this celebratory weekend and need help understanding your rights, please call on an experienced South Florida injury attorney to help you. Follow these 4th of July safety tips to ensure your time of celebrating America is the best party of the year.
You are not one to take risks with your life. When behind the wheel, you follow the rules of the road. To do so, you must make it your business to understand them thoroughly.
The rules and laws concerning turning right on a red light are misunderstood by many Floridians. You need not be one of them. Here is what you need to know about right on red laws in Florida.
1. You must make a complete stop
When you come to a red light (solid or flashing) or to a stop sign, you must come to a complete stop before you reach the marked limit line, enter the crosswalk at the near side of the intersection, or enter the intersection itself.
Florida law does allow you to make a right turn after you stop at the red light. However, you cannot turn right on red if there is a sign that prohibits it. You should always use caution when turning.
You can only turn left after stopping at a red light only if you are on a one-way street and you are turning onto another one-way street. You must observe right-of-way rules and turn with caution.
4. Yellow light
You can enter an intersection while the light is still yellow. However, you cannot speed through an intersection just after the light has turned red.
Consequences of Violating the Law
Most red-light violations are non-criminal infractions in Florida. If you are caught and cited, you will typically have to pay a fine. Fines range between $150 to $275. This includes fines, fees, and court costs. Three demerit points will be added to your driving record. If you accumulate too many points, you may have your license suspended.
When You Are the Victim
Violating the right on red traffic rules does not always end with a relatively benign traffic citation. It can lead to disaster. If you collide with a motorist who disregarded the rules or paid little attention to their surroundings as they turned, then you can hold that person accountable. A Florida collision attorney can help you get justice.
Your Response Matters
Collisions can, in general, be categorized as minor and major. In a minor collision, even one that causes damage to your car, you may be lucid and mobile enough to interact with the other driver and take other actions that will help build a case against them later.
Here are some of the things you should do:
1. Take control of the scene
You should be the one who calls emergency services. You can make the call while exiting your vehicle to go and check on the other driver. The operator will ask you to give them details on the condition of everyone involved in the accident. You should do so with as much clarity as you can.
You should also exchange information with the other driver. There is no reason at this point to assign blame or accept any. And do not allow yourself to be drawn into a debate with the driver over who was at fault.
2. Tell the police what happened, but protect yourself
When the police arrive, they will ask you questions about the events that led to the accident. You should answer them honestly. But you do not have to say anything that puts you at fault for the crash. If the officer presses you on a point, you can tell them that you would prefer to speak to your lawyer before answering their question.
3. Get witness statements
You should canvass the onlookers to find out who witnessed the accident. If you find witnesses, ask if you can record them on your cell phone. This is often the best kind of witness statement. Make sure you get the contact details of every witness you interview.
4. Take photos and videos
You should take photos and videos of the scene and damage done to your vehicle, and the damage done to the other vehicle. Be sure not to take any video of anyone without their permission.
5. Seek medical attention
You should go to the hospital even if there are no obvious signs of injury. You must do so to be sure that you are in-fact not injured. You must also be seen by a medical professional to get documentation. You may need this for any legal action you may want to take in the future.
6. Hire a lawyer
You should hire a lawyer to ensure that you are fairly compensated by the insurance company of the other driver. You should be reimbursed for repair costs and any other expenses or losses you suffered because of the accident. A lawyer will help you get this money.
Taking Serious Action After a Serious Accident
In a serious accident, your injuries may be severe enough to send you to the hospital. You may need to undergo extensive and invasive surgeries and other medical treatments. You may also require a long period of rehabilitation. While you are on your back, the bills will continue to add up. You will also need to pay for the treatment and medication you received.
If the accident left you with a disability, you may be forced out of your livelihood. You may also need money for live-in care and other costs related to your condition. Being in such a situation can put you and your family under tremendous strain and stress. It is not the kind of thing that you should deal with alone—especially if the accident was the result of someone who neglected to follow traffic rules.
Retaining the services of a Florida collision attorney will help you get the money you need to recover from your injuries and rebuild your life. You need an attorney with deep insight into Florida’s car accident laws. You need someone with the skill and competence to build a case against the person whose recklessness turned your life upside down.
Justice For You and Your Family
What does justice look like in this case? The answer is simple: money. Florida car accident law gives you the right to claim damages from anyone whose action or inaction has caused you material harm. The main aim of your attorney will be to get you the highest settlement possible from the other driver’s insurance company.
That is why you must speak to an attorney before you make any statement or sign any document proffered by an insurance company. Indeed, you should leave all communication with the other party to your lawyer. This is the easiest way to avoid doing anything that could jeopardize your case.
One of the first things your lawyer will do is establish the value of your case. This is the dollar amount that you are entitled to receive. To establish this figure, your lawyer will speak to the medical professionals who treated you and review their records. They will also speak to your family to determine the emotional and psychological effect your injury has had on them.
Your lawyer will also investigate the accident. They will employ professionals to interview witnesses and collect any video camera footage of the scene before, during, and after the accident. Your attorney will also bring in accident reconstruction experts who can use forensic evidence to show what actually happened.
Your lawyer will use all these statements and facts to pressure the insurance company to offer an out-of-court settlement that is commensurate with all that you have suffered.
If you have been harmed in an accident caused by someone who broke the red light laws, then you should contact a Florida collision attorney.
Summertime in South Florida typically sees a drastic increase in traffic accidents. People who drive during this season stand a greater chance of being in a wreck than during any other season of the year.
When you plan on hitting the road this summer, you need to be aware of this increased chance and learn more about the common five reasons behind it. You also need to be ready to call an experienced Florida car accident lawyer to represent you if you find yourself involved in any of the Florida car accidents this year.
1. More Teenage Drivers
Once school is out for the year, teenagers relish in the opportunity to drive themselves and their friends all over town. Their eagerness to be independent and get behind the wheel of a car often leads to serious car accidents. In most instances, they lack the maturity, reflexes, and foresight to avoid hitting other motorists and pedestrians.
When you have been involved in an accident with a teenage driver, you need to act quickly to protect yourself and your legal and financial interests. Your attorney can get to work immediately to file a Florida car accident claim against the insurer of the teen driver or his or her parents. Your expenses could be covered entirely by the responsible teen driver’s insurance company.
Alternatively, if you share some blame in the accident with the teen driver, you still need an attorney to protect your rights. Your lawyer can be instrumental in negotiating a fair settlement with the teenager and his or her parents. Your lawyer can also prove that the teenager’s exuberance and inexperience could have contributed to the accident’s occurrence.
2. Construction Season
Once summertime hits, the orange traffic cones denoting construction zones seem to pop up out of nowhere. Major thoroughfares that you drive on every day can suddenly be torn up, narrowed to one lane, and fraught with unfamiliar detours.
To some degree, work crews enjoy immunity if motorists are in accidents while in construction zones. Still, your lawyer could be able to prove that someone on the crew acted with either negligence or malice toward motorists. Your legal team could establish that you were not at fault for the accident and that the construction company owes you compensation for your suffering and inconvenience.
However, if you caused an accident that caused damage to a construction zone, you need your experienced Florida car accident lawyer to defend you. Your lawyer could show that you were unable to control causing the damage because of the dimensions of or road conditions in the work zone.
3. More Vacation Drivers
Summertime is definitely the time for families to take to the road and head out on vacation. When they drive in busy, unfamiliar areas, they often have no idea of where they are going or what road challenges could lie ahead of them. They become hazards to other motorists and pedestrians.
As you prepare to drive this summer, you need to be aware of vacation drivers and their possible lack of experience driving in the city where you live. When you spot out-of-state license tags, you need to give them plenty of room on the road and drive defensively to protect you and your vehicle. If you are involved in a wreck with a vacationing driver, you also need to call your attorney to file an immediate Florida car accident claim on your behalf.
4. Increased Number of Motorcyclists
Summertime is also the season when motorcyclists take to the road in greater numbers. The sunny skies combined with warm weather make for ideal motorcycle driving conditions.
However, it can be challenging to share the road with motorcycle drivers, especially when traffic is congested already. Some motorcycle drivers are not willing to share space with other motorists. Likewise, some car and truck drivers are not aware of the rules for sharing roadways with people on motorcycles.
When you are in a wreck with a motorcycle driver, you need to find out quickly who is to blame and what you can do to protect yourself. Rather than leave the situation to chance, you need to contact a skilled local car accident lawyer and allow him to take over your representation. Your lawyer can make sure your rights are protected and also ensure that you uphold any responsibilities that you might have, such as disclosing your account of what happened or providing your insurance information to the other involved party.
5. Vehicle Malfunctions
The summer heat and humidity are no friend to your vehicle. They cause your car to experience more frequent malfunctions like overheating and stalling. The hot roads also cause your vehicle to blow its tires or develop flats more often.
Your vehicle’s malfunction can in turn cause serious car accidents. If your vehicle stops in the middle of the road, you put other motorists around you at risk of crashing into you. Likewise, if your brakes go out or you blow a tire, you could risk crashing into other motorists or pedestrians.
You realize that you have no control over situations like these. Still, other drivers, especially those that are affected by your car’s malfunction, may not be so understanding. They want you held accountable for their damages and inconvenience.
It is important that you do not attempt to negotiate with anyone affected by your car’s malfunction by yourself. You do not want to incriminate yourself in something that you have no control over or no knowledge of.
Instead, you need to call a reliable and skilled traffic accident lawyer. Your lawyer can not only act as your intermediary between the affected drivers, their lawyers, and you. He can also obtain evidence to show that you were not at fault for what happened and act to try to shield you from fault.
The summertime invites a whole new season of Florida car accidents. When you find yourself involved in one, do not handle the situation on your own. Contact a knowledgeable and assertive Florida car accident lawyer to represent you today.
Here are 8 common Florida personal injury myths that we need to forget
You could be injured in a freak accident at any time. You deserve to be compensated for your injuries, but you might be nervous because you believe in some myths about personal injury cases. You might even make ill-advised decisions because you do not know what to do. Use these eight tips to learn what can be done to manage your personal injury case.
1. I Must Pay For A Consultation With An Attorney
Personal injury myths often prevent people from retaining an attorney. You do not need to pay an attorney for a consultation. Every lawyer has a pricing plan for their clients, and you should ensure that the lawyers you have chosen to speak with do not charge a consultation fee.
When you get your initial consultation, you will know if you need to pay for the consultation. You should also ask the attorney if they will continue to represent you without compensation until the case is closed. In Florida, contingency fee lawyers do not collect their fees until they have won your case.
2. I Do Not Need A Lawyer If I Have Car Insurance
You need a lawyer if you have insurance because your insurance company probably will not pay out your claim properly. The insurance company is in business to make money. They will do anything they can to pay as little as possible. You might even have your claim denied because the insurance company has found a technicality that allows them to avoid paying.
A lawyer can force the insurance company to pay your claim properly. Also, a lawyer from the insurance company will push you to settle as quickly as possible. You need a lawyer who will fight for your right to compensation, and your Florida personal injury lawyer should be completely unbiased.
3. I Can File My Claim At Any Time
You cannot file your claim at any time. In Florida, most personal injury claims have a four-year statute of limitations. You should also seek medical attention as soon as possible. When you do this, you will show that you have gotten and will receive treatment in the future.
When people turn out to be injured long after the accident, insurance companies tend to doubt the claim being brought. You should retain an attorney and file your claim as quickly as possible. At the same time, you should ensure that you continue to receive medical treatment during the case.
Your lawyer can continue to calculate how much money you deserve because you are receiving treatment, need more treatment, and could be disabled. If you wait too long to file your claim it will be denied because you have not filed before the deadline. There are little to no provisions allowing you to file after the statute of limitations has passed.
4. My Insurance Policy Covers All Damages And Injuries
Your insurance policy may cover some of your injuries and damage, but the insurance policy might claim that they are not liable for all your damages. This is very important because you cannot consistently submit receipts to the insurance company for coverage. You may need to pay your deductible, and you should work with a lawyer who will help you present a case to have all damages paid.
If another driver is at-fault in the accident, they could be held liable for the damages. Their insurance company may not properly pay, so you will need a Florida personal injury lawyer to help you recover those damages. You should not represent yourself in court, because the other driver will be represented by the insurance company’s lawyer.
5. The At-Fault Party Pays Out Of Pocket
The at-fault party does not pay usually pay for your out of pocket expenses. The money will come from their insurance company. This means that any dispute would be a fight with their insurance company or your insurance company. The insurance company that is supposed to pay for the damages might deny to properly compensate you.
You need a lawyer on your side who can work with you to make sure that you get properly paid. Your personal injury attorney will work with you to make sure that you understand how you will be paid.
6. Personal Injury Cases Take A Long Time To Close
Personal injury cases are not typically closed quickly even when your lawyer has evidence to show that you should be compensated. Many people would prefer to settle the case early to make it go away, and that is why you need a lawyer on your side who can negotiate a proper settlement for you, so you do not prematurely resolve the case to your detriment.
You should ask your lawyer to try to settle the case for a fair amount, so you can move on with your life. However, you should not accept a tiny amount of money. There is a time to settle, and there is a time to go to court.
7. Minor Injuries Do Not Require A Claim
Minor injuries require a claim and medical attention. You may be afraid of raising your insurance premiums but remember that can never be a justification for not seeking justice. You are filing a claim with their insurance company, and it is more likely that their insurance rates will rise.
Minor injuries can also turn into much worse injuries in the future, and that is why you should seek immediate medical attention.
8. You Are Guaranteed To Recover Compensation For Your Injuries
You are not guaranteed compensation for your injuries, and that is why you need to retain a lawyer. A lawyer can ensure that you are compensated for your injuries, and that is why you do not talk to the other insurance company or give your insurance company any more information than they need.
You cannot recover the appropriate compensation for your injuries and damage to your vehicle unless you work with a professional who handles personal injuries every day.
These personal injury myths are easy to get confused because you might have heard some of these things from someone else. You can avoid all these problems by retaining an attorney. An attorney will take over the case, and they will ensure you are compensated. You can even get a free consultation with the attorney of your choice before your filing your claim.
The Bodden and Bennett Law Group: Here to help with Motorcycle crash claims this summer!
Nice weather, Bad Motorcycle crashes
Summer is here, and with the warmer weather, many Americans in South Florida will be dusting off their motorcycles and taking long rides throughout the state. Although Florida doesn’t get very cold in the winter, the warm summer weather is the perfect time to enjoy the fresh air and visit various places with the freedom of rumbling the open air on a sweet ride. However, there are two sides to every coin as many have learned from experience. When people start riding again, it’s natural to need a bit of practice to obtain balance, and this coupled with various weather concerns will increase the number of motorcycle accidents in the state of Florida.
It’s important to have a reliable motorcycle accident lawyer at your side like the Bodden and Bennett Law Group to gain legal power over the right to insurance claims due to motorcycle accidents. Insurance companies can be difficult to work with, and you don’t have to go at it alone with our professionals in your corner every step of the way. So, sit back and let us deliberate the potential actions to get the financial recovery you deserve.
Filing a crash claim with Bodden and Bennett Law
With free consultation offered in all cases, we are giving a true service for those in need with accessibility and reliability. We have the capacity, knowledge, and skills to serve all of South Florida, and give our all when combating those who may not have your best interest in mind regarding Florida motorcycle crash claims.
There are many loopholes and fine print that needs to be analyzed properly in the hands of professionals that couldn’t be handled as efficiently by you going solo. There is power in working together, and the Bodden and Bennett Law Group has the expertise to guide you through the process with attaining the benefits you are entitled to. Cases are handled throughout all of Florida and we take pride in serving the community at large with professional legal practice.
Obstacles to obtaining insurance compensation for crashes
The primary goal at the Bodden and Bennett Law Group is to give you the compensation you deserve for motorcycle crashes as well as other collisions. This time of the year is especially high in the rate of motorcycle crashes. Variables that go into the mix may make things messy during the process after the crash when attempting to claim the money you need to get through tough and unforeseen times.
Our knowledge of the law is a powerful weapon that can be used to force the insurance companies to do their job properly and give you proper compensation for your crash. These companies have been noted to attempt to weasel their way out of paying motorcycle riders especially, likening their excursions to the risk of a smoker. Despite this, some understand the law better than you, and it would be wise to put these types of legal issues in our hands for maximum financial compensation.
Solutions towards crashing problems
Fairness and balanced scales are the names of the game with the Bodden and Bennett Law Group, and you will benefit greatly from consulting with us to come up with legal solutions. You’ve suffered enough pain to have to fight the insurance companies by yourself, and that’s why the Bodden and Bennett Law Group will be at your side to provide expert professional legal consultation. We consist of a multi-cultural team that works together to initiate positive change in everyone’s life. Enriching the work culture is just as important to us as making sure you get your compensation.
Being fluent in various languages, there are no barriers between you and the money you deserve from any motorcycle incident. We will provide you with a motorcycle accident lawyer to serve people of all ages and backgrounds and treat all with fairness and equality. One amazing aspect of the Bodden and Bennett Law Group is that we don’t charge any initial surprise fees. You pay absolutely nothing unless we win the case for you, which is a high possibility with our upstanding professionals at your disposal.
Staying safe while riding a motorcycle in bad weather
One of the most common variables that the insurance agencies will look into is what the weather was like. For instance, if it was raining, then they might try to say that you made a poor decision and decide to not cover you based on that alone. There are all sorts of ways that you can get denied what you deserve. Generally speaking, it’s not the wisest idea to ride in an intense storm or even a drizzle that increases the risk. However, we believe in and support your right as an American to do what you want, and coverage should still extend to those who had accidents in bad weather. Avoiding the pain and discomfort of these situations is impossible because people simply love motorcycles, and can you blame them? Of course not, and that’s why we will defend any case where there is bad weather involved.
The process of understanding how to get compensated and the insurance company lingo can be daunting and frustrating. In some cases, it may be insurmountable, and that’s why it’s important to have a group of people from all backgrounds who are skilled in deciphering the legal jargon so that you can better protect yourself from getting ripped off by a company that seeks to hold your entitled claim. This can all be circumvented in court, and we will fight to the bitter end, treating each case with the same importance. Integrity, justice, and balance are all attributes that make up our incredible team to fight for you!
Accident prevention tips to stay safe this summer!
There are many ways to prevent accidents and make them safer on the whole. The first that comes to mind is utilizing a helmet. If the driver is injured without a helmet, then it may be harder to file for claims based on the insurance coverage for motorcyclists. Avoiding high winds and heavy rain can also be helpful when pursuing a cycling excursion. No matter what preventative measures are taken, there will always be accidents because it’s not a perfect world. There is much traffic, and cars can be deadly when colliding with a smaller motorcycle. In some instances, you may have your capacity for movement taken from you. It is in these dire moments when legal assistance is most important.
Someone who is already incapacitated due to the injury but is still conscious should take the advice of the Bodden and Bennett Law Group to fight for them. None of these circumstances can be predicted, and each particular file will be a different story. This is why it’s imperative to get the legal facts straight to increase to potential to recover as much compensation as possible.
Crash consultations serving South Florida cyclists
The Bodden and Bennett Law Group has all the necessary tools to accurately assess each given situation and find the proper plan of action for each individual with no discrimination of their religious or ethnic background. Everyone is treated as an equal, and our legal consultation is efficient and noteworthy among satisfied customers. We have a proven track record that will propel your case to victory, without settling for less. Being highly concerned with respect for our clients, we take the weight off of people who are already burdened with motorcycle injuries and many other cases. Seek our counsel today and take a look at the testimonies on our website to gain a comprehensive understanding of the services people have come to expect from our professional lawyers. We handle a wide variety of cases, but with the weather changing, motorcycle incidents will be one of our priorities.
If you enjoy riding around town, it’s important to know which professionals to consult in the event of an emergency crash. It would be wise to have us in your phone already to ensure complete peace of mind when dealing with the insurance companies. This is an exceptional service, and we strive to give legal results that will compensate you in your sufferings, as well as those who love you. Having a family mindset is what it’s about with us, and we do everything in our legal power and expertise to ensure a brighter and safer future for all motorcyclists in Florida!
As hurricane season approaches, now is the time to make sure you’re well-prepared in case one comes our way. The Atlantic Hurricane Season will begin on Monday, June 1st, and here are some tips for better preparation in Florida.
Some homeowners downplay the risks associated with hurricanes and fail to take the necessary preparation measures. Such people tend to wait until the skies cloud up, and relevant authorities deploy warnings to make preparations.
There are numerous benefits of getting prepared for hurricanes early in the season. One of the benefits of preparing in advance is that you’ll not need to worry about long lines to buy emergency provisions. In some cases, if you wait until the last minute, you may not get what you need.
If the storm hits, media platforms always show shoppers in affected areas scrambling to purchase essential commodities such as food and water. Also, you’ll have enough time to refine your emergency measures. Additionally, you’ll have time to test the procedures before you need them.
Preparing in advance will also enable you to develop a sound evacuation plan in advance. You’ll have time to identify the ideal locations for you and your family to meet after the disaster. Also, homeowners can develop effective communication plans for their family members and take appropriate measures to fortify their homes before hurricanes hit. Here are the 10 tips for better hurricane preparation in Florida:
1. Make Evacuation Plans
Hurricanes may necessitate evacuations. Depending on the severity of the disasters, authorities may allow several days for you to prepare or recommend immediate evacuation. Proper planning is crucial to ensure that you can evacuate quickly and safely irrespective of the prevailing circumstances.
Make plans of how to leave your residence and where you’ll go if you’re advised to evacuate. Contact the local officials and inquire about the available shelter spaces. Currently, the community plans may be different due to the coronavirus pandemic. If you evacuate to a public facility, ensure that you stick to the latest guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Also, identify places you can go after the disaster, such as a friend’s home in another area. If you have pets in your home, choose destinations that accept them. Usually, public places only accept service animals. Familiarize yourself with alternative routes and means of transport from your residence.
2. Get More Non-Perishable Supplies
Hurricanes may result in power failures, and your refrigerators may not be helpful at that time. Experts recommend homeowners to stock up non-perishable food to make sure they have plenty to take if the disaster results in a power outage.
Many people wait until the last minute to purchase foodstuffs that won’t spoil as they acquire other necessities. Note that stores may run low on the commodities if you wait too long. Most homeowners don’t think about having food in containers that can be opened even when there’s a power blackout. Some of them may buy canned food even if they only have electric can openers.
Consider using plastic silverware and paper plates during the hurricane season as your dishwasher may not work due to power outages. Also, hurricanes may lead to the contamination of water. If you use a gas grill, ensure you have a full tank or a reserve.
3. Taking Inventory of Personal Property
Compiling a comprehensive list of your properties will save you time after a hurricane. Make sure you update the inventory regularly. You may still get compensation from your insurance carrier after a disaster, even if you don’t have an inventory for your assets by using other forms of proof.
If you have prepared a home inventory, you’ll not only speed up the claims process but also relieve the stress associated with preparing one after the occurrence of a hurricane. The process of preparing the document after a disaster can also be time-consuming.
Therefore, consider doing it now. Irrespective of the extent of damage in your home, your insurance company is likely to require you to submit an inventory for your claim.
4. Review Your Insurance Needs
If there are signs of hurricanes, insurers may temporarily suspend new coverage and any coverage changes. As a result, you need to review your insurance coverage annually to match your changing needs. Insurance firms can review your current policy, explain limits, and deductibles to help you identify any available gaps.
Premiums are calculated based on how flood-prone your property is and the amount of coverage you need. Usually, flood insurance becomes effective after 30 days from the date of the purchase.
Insurance experts can offer valuable insights on hurricane risk mitigation to help you lower premiums payable and better protect your property. During a review, evaluate your flood insurance, which covers losses incurred due to rising water. Typical homeowner’s policies don’t offer protection against floods.
5. Is Your House Ready for Hurricanes?
Although you can’t prevent the natural disaster, you can try to minimize the potential damages and lower the chances of losing your possessions. First, your life is more important than your physical assets. If hurricanes hit, some homeowners may choose to follow evacuation protocols that have been put in place while others may prefer to stay inside their homes.
The latter may put your life in danger. The good news is that you can take some measures to fortify your property against the storms. This will give you the confidence to evacuate on short notice. Some of the tasks are relatively easy to complete. For example, you can clean the gutters and do all the necessary structural repairs. You can also safety-proof your landscape by trimming trees and replacing gravel with shredded bark.
6. Safeguarding Your Business
Hurricanes may cause damages to your business premises and result in losses. Fortunately, you can take some action to keep it safe after the occurrence of storms. One of the initiatives you should take is performing a business impact analysis, which will ensure a smooth recovery. The analysis aims to evaluate the potential impact of the storms on your business.
Involve all the departments in your organization in doing the analysis. Don’t assume one department is conversant with the critical processes of the others. Next, perform a pre-loss assessment for your enterprise. Statistics have shown that many business owners and managers are caught off guard by the high costs associated with repairs when a hurricane occurs.
A proper assessment can help you determine the amount of money to allocate to repairs and to ensure you have adequate insurance coverage for business premises and assets. Additionally, partner with reputable restoration contractors.
7. Refilling Your Medications
In Florida, there’s a legal requirement for insurance companies to refill medications early for hurricane evacuation. Ensure you have a sufficient supply of prescription medications before the disaster hits. In some cases, people may experience difficulties when trying to refill their medications as insurers require a specified amount of time between refills.
Florida law allows pharmacists to do the refiling, depending on the prevailing situations. For example, you can get refills if the relevant authorities issue a hurricane warning. Ensure you have at least two weeks of an extra supply of your medications.
Some medications have special storage requirements. For example, some may require refrigeration. If there are power blackouts and you need such medications, consult your physician on how to keep them safe.
8. Ensure the Safety of Your Documents
If a disaster occurs, you may lose crucial documents and this may lead to serious consequences. Many people focus their attention on actions such as increasing essential supplies and identifying evacuation routes and forget to protect their legal documents.
There are many documents you should consider protecting. Gathering them now and keeping them safe will help to reduce stress and the hassle you may experience if a hurricane occurs. Make sure you store all vital documentation in a secure location. For example, you can keep them in a safety deposit box. For improved safety, store them in an electronic form and create a backup.
9. Check Your Food Supplies
Don’t wait until weather experts issue a notice to buy enough and required food supplies. Stockpile emergency foods in your home as much as possible. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, you should have at least a three day supply of non-perishable food items.
When relying on limited food supplies, you should focus on increasing energy-rich foods. For example, get more beans, apples, and whole grains. Also, consider your special dietary requirements when shopping. People with high blood pressure should increase their supplies of low-sodium foods.
10. Invest in a Powerful Generator
Power blackouts are common during the hurricane seasons. You need to get a good generator to keep various crucial appliances in your home running. When it comes to shopping for a generator, consider your budget and your needs.
If you have high energy requirements in your home, you may need a more powerful generator. You can also purchase a DC to AC inverter for your vehicle and a quality extension cord.
Finally, once the hurricanes season is over try to find your loved ones. One of the ways of ensuring better hurricane preparation in Florida is identifying meeting points for family members. Since the cellphone towers may be clogged due to high call volume, consider using social media for easy communication.