Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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When it comes to the injury risks in Southwest Florida, it’s hard to overstate the risk of walking.

Nationwide, the risks have reached epidemic levels, and Florida has long been the deadliest state in the nation for pedestrians.

NPR reported this week that pedestrian deaths have reached levels not seen in decades. A new report issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association identified 6,227 pedestrians who were killed by motor vehicles last year.

As our injury lawyers in Cape Coral and Fort Myers recently reported, Florida is the deadliest state in the nation for pedestrian accidents. The Fort Myers-Cape Coral area is among 8 metro areas in Florida to be named to the nation’s 10 deadliest areas for walkers, according to Smart Growth America’s report, Dangerous by Design, which largely focuses on inadequate infrastructure, like sidewalks and crosswalks.

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Fall injuries are a serious concern. Only those who have never dealt with the consequences of a serious fall think of a”slip and fall” lawsuit as someone who is just trying to make a buck.

As the New York Times reported this week: Falls can kill you. 

Southwest Florida’s aging population, and wet tropical climate are just two factors that make the region particular susceptible to fall injuries. Our injury lawyers want fall victims to know they have certain rights, although these cases can be complex and consultation with an experienced law firm is best done as soon as possible after an accident.slip and fall

It’s no longer enough to prove injury occurred by falling on a substance or hazard while at a business. Florida’s tourism industry and business-friendly environment helped lawmakers push through an amendment that now requires a business to have had actual or constructive knowledge of a hazard and to have failed to correct it. Constructive knowledge generally means a hazard existed for a length of time sufficient enough to have been discovered.

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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 →