Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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The apathy and inaction of lawmakers is having a major impact when it comes to increasing the dangers motorists face on Florida roads,  according to the 2019 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws released by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

Florida has fallen woefully behind many other states when it comes to using the law to improve traffic safety, despite being among the most dangerous states in the nation for all types of traffic collisions, including car accidents (3rd), motorcycle accidents (2nd), bicycle accidents (1st) and pedestrian accidents (1st). truck accident lawyer

Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers continue to advocate for safer roads in Southwest Florida. Current trends are alarming, particularly when you consider how long safety improvements take to enact and have a measurable impact on road safety.

 

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Local businesses are expecting a record-breaking year for tourism in Southwest Florida.

WINK News began the year reporting a booming business on Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Islands, as Southwest Florida looks to overcome red tide and other water-quality issues that plagued the region through much of 2018. boating accident

Water quality issues cost Fort Myers Beach $12 million in August. Captiva reported $15 million in lost revenue. Still, tourism will be Southwest Florida’s biggest business through the Spring Training baseball season. The Naples Daily News reported the day after Christmas that Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) saw record traffic, with more than 9 million annual passengers last year.

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We’ve written recently about some of the increased injury risks that come with the year-end holidays.

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Among the most overlooked are holiday shopping risks and the dangers of defective products. The holidays are a time of large crowds, overstocked stores and overflowing parking lots. We also bring more new products into the home during the holidays than at any other time of the year.

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We recently reported the importance of medical records when it comes to determining damages in your personal injury lawsuit. Negotiating hospital bills and satisfying hospital liens is another area where an experienced personal injury law firm can make a significant impact on a client’s case. hospitalbills-300x225

Medical bills often comprise a substantial portion of a personal injury award. In many cases, hospitals, doctors or medical facilities will place a lien on any pending damage settlement or jury award, to make sure the reported cost of care is recovered and not otherwise diverted before medical bills are settled.  Continue reading →

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Florida Health is promoting the STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths and Injuries) toolkit, which offers fall-prevention resources to health-care providers and patients.

Florida is the epicenter of an epidemic of fall accidents among elderly adults.elderly fall prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports fall accidents are the leading cause of accidental death among older Americans. Each year nearly 3 million elderly residents visit hospital emergency rooms after a fall accident.

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It’s generally advisable for car accident victims to avoid accepting an early settlement offer from the at-fault plaintiff’s insurer, particularly before it is reviewed by an experienced injury attorney. The reason is by so doing, you may be required to sign a release through which you agree not to pursue any further claim of damages – no matter how much greater your damages are compared to what you agreed to accept initially. injury attorney

Recently, the South Dakota Supreme Court reversed a summary judgment in favor of a defendant who sought enforcement of a release of liability from all claims with a settlement of $3,000. Problem was, plaintiff’s actual medical bills along amounted to $400,000. Although the trial court granted summary judgment on the basis of that early settlement release form, the state supreme court found there were genuine issues of material fact as to whether consent was obtained with undue influence and also whether the release actually precluded plaintiff’s claim. Plaintiff hasn’t exactly won the case, but she will get a shot at taking the matter to trial.

According to court records, the 55-year-old plaintiff was a passenger in her boyfriend’s vehicle when the vehicle was rear-ended by defendant motorist. Law enforcement cited plaintiff’s boyfriend, indicating he committed unsafe lane use for using a through-traffic lane rather than the left turn lane to turn left. However, they also cited defendant for careless driving (driving too closely). Defendant later pleaded guilty in traffic court to that charge.  Continue reading →

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In the last decade, the Pew Research Center has closely analyzed the many ways Americans use social media to interact with others and seek information. Researchers discovered that in 2016, almost 8 out of 10 Americans who are online (which is most) use Facebook, 24 percent use Twitter and a third use Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn. For instance, most Americans are now getting their news via social media. They are also using it at work, whether in the course of their job, to seek employment or just to take a mental break from the stress of their day. personal injury lawyer

While these platforms provide information, entertainment and interactivity, they can also have a profound impact on your personal injury case. This is increasingly true as more Americans are online. We use these sites to document our everyday experiences, so it’s natural for attorneys – on both sides – to closely examine the information available to ascertain whether it can be a benefit or a hindrance to their case. As The American Bar Association pointed out, social media posts, pictures and messages can be compelled into evidence, assuming the requesting attorney can make an argument that the information is:

  • Authentic;
  • Relevant;
  • More probative than prejudicial;
  • There is no hearsay problem.

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If you have suffered a personal injury, you may be faced with a hospital lien on whatever damages you collect from the tortfeasor (wrongdoer). Hospital lien claims typically arise when you have received some emergency care after an auto accident or slip-and-fall and you lacked insurance to fully cover your treatment for your care. personal injury lawyer

Having an attorney to help you navigate this is important because usually, the charges claimed for the lien are highly inflated – well above what a typical health insurer would pay for the same treatment. Although hospitals and health care providers do have statutory rights to impose these liens, and they may not have to reduce the amount to the extent they would for an insurer. However, your injury attorney can help you negotiate and argue for what is truly fair.

Every state has different rules for how it handles these issues, and the Tennessee Supreme Court was recently faced with answering whether “reasonable charges” are the discounted amounts hospitals accept as full payment to the insurer or if it is the full, undiscounted bill sent to patients.  Continue reading →

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Anytime you purchase property in Florida, an inspection by a licensed, certified home inspector is typically part of the process. F.S. 468 Part XV covers home inspector requirements.  Home inspectors are called upon to closely examine the structure and property and identify potential material defects. But what if they miss something that ends up resulting in personal injury? Will you have a claim?personal injury lawyer

The answer is not a simple one, and will depend on the language on the home inspector contract (whether the contractor limited his/ her own liability), as well as the duty of care owed to the person filing the claim.

The question in a recent premises liability lawsuit out of Tennessee was whether a home inspector was liable to a third party who suffered personal injury on a someone else’s property due to a construction defect.  Continue reading →

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It seems every other week, another mass shooting is in the headlines. No matter where you stand on the contentious gun control issue, pretty much everyone can agree these incidents are tragic. They leave families not only bereft, but often drowning financially. Those we lose are often people in their prime, wage-earners who help support their families. Those who survive may incur astronomical medical bills and endure months-long recovery or lifelong disability. wrongful death lawyer

But aside from the shooters in these incidents, is there anyone really to blame? The gunmen in these cases (and they are almost always men) often commit suicide or are killed. If they do survive, their punishment will be handled within the criminal justice system. That case could be accompanied with an order of restitution, but it’s often not nearly enough to cover the damages of so many – and that assumes defendant would ever be able to pay it. Unlike a car accident or a dog bite or slip-and-fall at a store, intentional acts of violence are generally not covered by insurance companies. It’s an almost universal exclusion.

Pretty much the only way victims of crime can seek compensation is through third-party liability, usually on the theory of premises liability. This theory holds that property owners knew or should have reasonably foreseen the risk of such a violent act and taken reasonable steps to prevent it.  Continue reading →