When you’re injured in an accident, it can be difficult to know what to do during your recovery. While a medical professional can help speed up your physical recovery, what happens when your finances are placed under stress due to the costs of medical bills and lost wages at work?
The obvious answer is that finding a personal injury lawyer to help you is the key to making sure that your finances aren’t wrecked by an accident. The level of knowledge that they provide is far greater than what the average person will have, and can help make sure that you understand what to expect during the process.
But while there are some well-known reasons to trust in an accident lawyer – better skill, more knowledge about the legal system, and so on – there are also several that are overlooked. These surprising benefits of having an accident lawyer helping you deserve some attention, and can show you why an attorney should be one of the first people you contact after an accident.
More Respect From Insurance Companies
One of the key reasons that... read article
Dealing with aging parents, and grandparents, comes with a host of concerns that you may never have contemplated until you are faced with one, like driving. At some point we all have to stop driving because it is not safe for us, and more importantly, it is not safe for other passengers on the road.
Approximately one in six American drivers is 65 and older, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. That age group is projected to grow to more than 40 million drivers by the year 2020.
The hazardous part is that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that fatal crashes per mile traveled increase at about age 70, and peak at age 85 and older. This gives us a quantifiable marker on approximately when our beloved elders should probably put the car keys away – for good.
However, a 2012 survey by AAA reported that almost 90% of senior drivers questioned said that losing their drivers’ license would be problematic for their lives.
According to everydayhealth.com, some of the health conditions that may jeopardize a person’s ability to sit behind the wheel include:
- Dementia, including Alzheimer's disease
- Problems with hearing or vision
- Parkinson's disease
- Any conditions that require medications... read article
If you’ve been injured in a mishap or act of negligence that was clearly the fault of someone else, then your natural instinct—and the correct one—would be to not let the person or people responsible get away with it. A personal injury lawsuit, pursued in court, is the way you ensure that whomever has wronged is forced to pay for their actions, both legally and financially. This is where a personal injury lawyer in St. Petersburg becomes your guide and advocate through a complex process.
But once you’ve made the decision to actually go to court, how long will it take in order for justice to be served? As with a medical issue, this varies a lot depending on the circumstances of a specific case, so let’s look at the entire process and see you may be looking at.
In the very beginning, shortly after your injury, this is when you will often have to make your decision about whether or not you want to pursue a personal injury case. You may require an auto accident lawyer or some other kind of attorney who specializes in... read article
When you are the injured party in a personal injury case, you are a single individual that is being represented by your personal injury lawyer in St. Petersburg seeking financial compensation. This is not a criminal case, but a civil one, since in most personal injury cases, it is not a criminal act that is being prosecuted, with a jail sentence for the other party.
In this case, you are the plaintiff, and your lawyer is pursuing a lawsuit on your behalf. However, the other party also has representation, and although this is not a criminal case, the other lawyer is still referred to as the defense lawyer, and acts on behalf of the people you are suing for damages.
So what does a defense lawyer do in a civil suit for something like personal injury cases?
The Professional Responsibility
Unlike you, if you are the plaintiff, the defense lawyer is not necessarily representing a single individual. The defense lawyer may be acting on the interest of another person, an insurance company, if one is responsible for paying out damages, or even an entire business or corporation, if, for example,... read article
On January 4th of this year, the Walt Disney Corporation issued a nationwide recall on a specific “Minnie/Mickey Mouse Hoodie” that was discovered to have a product defect. After the clothing item had been released to the public, the company eventually realized that the snaps on the hoodie can detach, and that this could present a serious choking hazard to children.
At the time of this writing, there have, thankfully, not been any accidents involving the clothing item just yet. However, this article of clothing is sold at all Disney parks and resorts in America, including, obviously, Walt Disney World right here in Florida. Disney is now offering a complete refund for people that have purchased the item, and while it has now been discontinued, approximately 15000 of these items made it out to the public and Disney is now trying to get them back. If you own this particular item, you should contact Disney to see what your next step should be to return it and get a refund.
This is just one recent case that illustrates something we all need to be mindful of. While... read article
Any kind of accident involving a vehicle is one that involves an a huge degree of physical force, usually focused in one or two specific directions. This means that because of the forces involved, and the relative frailty of the human body when compared to the vehicles and physics of the event, injuries tend to be quite serious.
A whole subsection of both medicine and law has arisen to handle the aftermath of a vehicular accident. And while there are many legal specialists that are involved in car accidents, there are also some motorcycle attorneys that further specialize in the complex issues surrounding a mishap with a motorcycle.
Why is there a need for this degree of focus in legal cases and injuries? Are car and motorcycle accidents really that different, and if so, why?
Orders Of Magnitude
The biggest differentiator between typical accidents like a slip and fall in a public space, and a collision between vehicles is speed. A car or motorcycle is traveling much faster than a person walking through an aisle in a department or grocery store, and when a vehicles makes an impact,... read article
Let’s say you and your family have a fun-filled day of shopping ahead at the local galleria. The plan is to buy clothes, home furnishings, maybe some tech gadgets – and there will definitely be a stop at the food court for sure. So what happens when your excursion gets derailed with an accident during your shop? What happens when you slip and fall at the mall???
There’s a ton of slips waiting to slide you onto the floor at the mall, such as:
Fallen merchandise into aisles;
Debris from outside, like rocks, that has fallen on sidewalks or indoors;
- Torn carpeting/broken pavement;
- Malfunctioning escalator;
- Wet surfaces from rain; and
- Spilled drink/food.
Now proving your case in Florida requires the victim to provide evidence about the store and every entity who could be held responsible for the fall – which is why you need an experienced personal injury lawyer from the jump! You will need surveillance video, witnesses, photographs, maintenance records and anything else that can help corroborate your claim.
The next question is, who do you sue? There are several parties who operate within the mall who owe a legal duty of care to shoppers. Of course your lawyer will help you with this... read article
Do you imagine yourself sailing the high seas with a cold frosty mug of beer, or a crisp fruity chardonnay, perhaps? Well, stop. Because boozing and boating is not only a bad idea – it’s illegal.
The law is known as “BUI.” A vessel operator suspected of “boating under the influence” must submit to sobriety tests and a physical or chemical test to determine blood or breath-alcohol content. Vessel operators are presumed to be under the influence if their blood or breath-alcohol level is at or above .08 on the breathalyzer test. However, A blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 to 0.08 also may also indicate a person is "under the influence" if there is other competent evidence, like visual signs of intoxication, or even the smell.
Florida law prohibits anyone from operating any vessel or using water skis, a sailboard, or similar device while intoxicated due to alcohol or any combination of alcohol, controlled substances, or drugs.
When you operate a vessel on Florida waters, you consent to be tested for the presence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicating substances if requested by law enforcement. Refusal to submit to testing is punishable by a civil penalty of $500, with criminal implications if... read article
In the unfortunate event that you get involved in an accident that results in your injury, you may find yourself in a situation where you know that you were clearly not at fault. In some cases, it may be very clear to everyone, including multiple witnesses, that you are in the clear and that the other party is responsible for the injuries that you now have to recover from, or, worse yet, learn to live with.
Sometimes in these situations, you may get a surprising and responsive amount of attention from insurance adjustors who reassure you that what happened was terrible, and that you deserve some financial compensation for your trouble. They may even make an offering of money, on the spot, that can address your issues, and all you have to do is sign a document that they present to you and the money is yours.
You should not sign this document. ESPECIALLY if you haven’t spoken to a St. Pete lawyer about whether or not you have a case.
Nipping A Lawsuit In The Bud
If you are approached by an insurance... read article
Not all law firms created equal, and even when you have a legal practice that specializes in handling personal injury cases, sometimes the staff at these firms aren’t interested in actually representing the rights of their client, so much as they are at arriving at a quick settlement. The St. Pete lawyer is not one of those firms. But why do these firms exist, and what is their motivation for acting against their client’s best interest?
Working For The Payout
One of the things that needs to be understood about the income of a law firm that handles personal injury cases is that in most instances, you, as a client, will not actually be the source of payment or “salary” for the lawyer that takes on your case.
In most conventional personal injury cases, an attorney’s final fee is going to be a percentage of whatever amount that lawyer manages to negotiate for the client. This includes both a final resolution in court for winning a personal injury case, as well as whatever settlements are agreed upon in out of court arrangements.
Doing The Math
Unfortunately, for some lawyers,... read article
One of the most upsetting experiences that can happen to a person is getting involved in an accident that results in an injury. It’s particularly demoralizing if the injury was sustained through no fault of your own, but was the direct result of someone else’s own carelessness or ineptitude.
Most of the time when this occurs, things are normally “straightforward” in the sense that whatever injuries you’ve suffered, you’ll either get treated for them and eventually recover, or else, in the case of permanent, crippling injuries, you’ll recover as best you can, and then adjust to a new life with handicaps that you will have to simply live with.
But sometimes it doesn’t even end there. It varies from one accident to another, but there are some cases where the initial injuries you suffer from, and the subsequent treatments, aren’t the end of the story. In some instances, you may still suffer from further injuries down the line.
Every accident is unique, and so are the injuries sustained, which depend on a lot of factors, such as the nature of the injury itself, and the health of the... read article
When it comes to criminal court cases, many of us, thanks to films and television, are familiar with the idea that it is the right of a person that is undergoing trial to have that judgment rendered by a jury of peers. In the simplest terms, this means that no person should have their fate decided by a single authority, like a king, but, instead, in the interests of fairness, have the merits of their case and argument decided by average, everyday people.
However, while most people understand that a jury is necessary for criminal trials, you may be surprised to learn that a jury is present at civil trials as well, such as a personal injury lawsuit that is brought against a negligent person or company. So what happens in these instances?
Arguments Make All The Difference
As with a criminal trial, in a civil lawsuit, both the plaintiff’s lawyer and the defense lawyer will be making their arguments directly to the jury. On the weight of those arguments and the evidence that is presented, the jury will then go behind closed doors, discuss the case amongst themselves, and eventually... read article
Thanks to the proliferation of broadcasts for both reality TV shows and dramas on television, many Americans are now familiar—and accepting—of the concept of forensic experts. Usually when the word “forensic” comes up in discussion about legal matters, this conjures images of a murder case, with scientific experts using their knowledge and equipment to come up with the evidence that puts criminals in jail. After all, you may be able to tell a lie confidently, but your fingerprints or DNA at the scene of a crime is proof that can’t be argued with.
What you may not be aware of is that forensic investigation can play an important role in resolving a civil case like a personal injury lawsuit. But how does it work in this situation?
Evidence Is Everything
The purpose of a personal injury lawsuit, is, just like a murder trial, to convince a jury that there is an appropriate action to take. Here however, instead of a verdict of innocent or guilty, based on whether someone committed an act of murder, the verdict is to award or not award the money that a plaintiff is... read article
When a traffic accident occurs, the impression that most people have, understandably, is a rapid escalation of events that ends in a tragedy, and is over in just moments. The high speed collision of two vehicles is something that happens very quickly, but may have lifelong repercussions afterwards. If one person is convinced that they are not responsible for the accident, and that the other driver is, then that is usually grounds for pursuing a personal injury lawsuit.
But how is the blame actually decided upon in a car accident? It happens so fast, and causes so much damage that you might think the court is stuck with a simple case of one person’s word against another, but fortunately, that’s not true in the 21st century. A good lawyer for car crash has many different tools available to get to the truth, and accident reconstruction is especially helpful.
Uncovering The Truth
Accident reconstruction, also known as traffic collision or vehicular accident construction, is a very specialized discipline that takes a lot of knowledge and expertise from different branches of science such as physics and engineering.
An accident reconstruction expert goes to the... read article
People that watch the news or any dramatic film or television involving the crash of an aircraft are familiar with accident investigators at these events always being on the lookout for what is called a “black box.” In the case of an airline accident a black box is the nickname for a “hardened” piece of hardware that records all the relevant data of the operation of an aircraft, and is designed to be durable enough to survive the immense forces involved in a crash.
In today’s modern automotive industry, it’s not just aircraft that benefit from this kind of advanced information collection. If you own a relatively new automobile, you yourself may already have this type of equipment on board, although it is called a crash/data event recorder.
What It Does
As the name implies, a data event recorder is designed to do just one thing, and that is gather as much mechanical information about a vehicle’s activities as possible. Depending on the design of an EDR, this data collection may be taking place constantly, or it may only begin once a car performs a sudden, detectable activity, such... read article
If you are involved in a serious accident that leaves you injured, one of the first things you may think about, especially if someone else was actually responsible for the injury is “How can this be made right?” Of course, if you are not to blame for the injuries and someone else is, common sense and human decency go directly to the idea that the other party actually responsible should be the one that shoulders the burden for fixing this problem, at least financially.
But the road to getting financial compensation is long and complicated. However, the first step is a crucial one, and that is taking some time out to have a consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Getting Off On The Right Foot
One thing that a potential client should understand going into a possible personal injury court case is that a professional, ethical lawyer will not ask for any fees or charges prior to accepting a case. In the event that representation is offered, you don’t have to worry about any monthly service contract or other form of payment. A lawyer will only be... read article
Any sensible person will tell you that there is a world of difference between a mature, cognizant adult with a basic understanding of the world and the environment, and a child who is still trying to figure out both how people and the world works. This is why there is a special set of laws in place for children, and this is why, even with terrible crimes like robbery and murder, when a child is involved, they are not tried—or punished—as an adult. Children are different and we have to be mindful of that.
This is why it’s important for property owners to understand that while some rules of responsibility and self-determination apply to people who get hurt on your property—especially trespassers—you shouldn’t rely on those same legal protections with children.
They Don’t Know Better, So You Should
In a typical case of injury on your property, many factors have to be weighed. For example, if you have a tree with a branch that is in danger of falling off, and you do nothing about it, but at a barbecue you host, one of your guests, standing under the... read article
If you run a business yourself, you know that there is always that delicate balancing act to make sure your “bottom line” is profitable. That is to say, you don’t go crazy spending money where you don’t need to, and being inefficient with where your monthly and yearly operating budget goes. No one becomes rich by spending money pointlessly, or acting inefficiently.
However, there is one area where money and attention are crucial, and that is in the maintenance of your property, especially if you run a business where the public at large comes to your place of work often to do business there, such as a shop, restaurant or other retail outlet.
It’s Your Responsibility
As a business owner, anything that happens on your property to your customers is your responsibility, assuming the customers themselves are behaving in a reasonable manner. This means that if they sustain an injury on your property, especially if it is due to some element of your property, then you are liable for a potential personal injury lawsuit.
This is where attentiveness is especially important. If you or an employee notices the occurrence... read article