Personal injury refers to any physical injury that is inflicted on a person’s body, mind, or emotions, as opposed to any damage that may be inflicted on a person’s property or reputation.
Personal injury covers a wide variety of events such as slip and falls, dog bites, pedestrian and bicyclist accidents, car accidents, and boating accidents to just name a few.
The Basics of Personal Injury
Personal injury encompasses a portion of the law that states that you may be able to receive compensation for any losses or injuries sustained from an accident that are due to another person’s careless or negligent behavior.
One of the most common cases of personal injury would be due to a car accident. Negligence is the base for most personal injury cases. In a car accident, you will have a negligence claim when the other driver failed to provide reasonable care and attention while on the road.
The Various Stages of a Personal Injury Case
Following the accident, you should immediately seek the counsel of a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney. When you meet with the attorney, you will have the opportunity to provide them with all the details and necessary... read article
PIP stands for personal insurance protection or personal injury protection. It is typically an extension of your car insurance that will help cover medical expenses and sometimes lost wages. It has also been known as no-fault coverage because it has also been found to pay out on claims no matter who is at fault.
What Does PIP Insurance Coverage?
PIP Insurance covers medical expenses, lost wages, and more. In terms of medical expenses, a PIP plan may cover up to eighty percent of the expenses that may have resulted from the accident. However, the coverage is limited to the actual policy that is in place. In some cases, the coverage may even cover passengers of the vehicle.
In the state of Florida, for example, if you are injured and subsequently disabled due to an accident, Florida PIP insurance coverage will pay up to sixty percent of your lost wages, but this percentage may also be subject to a $10,000 limit.
Services that may also be compensated for due to the accident include all the tasks you would have previously been able to do without assistance such as taking care of the laundry or pets you may... read article
Pedestrian and bicyclist safety is important and could mean the difference between life and death when you are out on the roadways, sharing the space with other vehicles. It is important to always remain informed of the laws regarding pedestrians and bicyclists, and always stay aware of your surroundings.
In the year 2015, it was reported that a staggering 5,376 deaths in the United States involved pedestrians. This number is up by thousands from the previous year. It is also said that on average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes in traffic crashes.
Therefore, it is important to raise awareness about the dangers that pedestrians and bicyclists face, so we can help avoid tragic accidents in the future.
Pedestrian Safety Practices for Walkers
When you are a pedestrian, you should always remain visible to drivers. It is also advised that you make eye contact with them whenever it is possible, so they know you are there. If it is dark, you should wear clothing that illuminates yourself such as lightly colored and reflective clothing. During the day, brightly colored clothing will help enhance visibility as well.
The holiday season is the most dangerous time to be on the road. In fact, during the holidays according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), traffic accidents increase between 18-27% over the holidays. With more chance of vehicle accidents, it’s extremely important that you take care when driving during this time of year.
Three Main Reasons Why Accidents Increase During the Holidays
There are several factors that cause the increase of vehicle accidents over the holiday. Here are the top three:
1. Traffic Volume Increases
During the holiday between traveling for family and friend gatherings, shopping and running errands, and going back and forth between holiday parties, the volume of traffic increases on the road. With more cars on the road, there is more chance of an accident. In Florida, traffic also increases because people travel down from the North to escape the cold weather during this time of year.
2. There Are More Drunk Drivers
Almost everyone likes to enjoy a spirit over the holidays, but unfortunately, many people get into their vehicles after they’ve had one too many cocktails. According to the (NHTSA), on average 28... read article
They are the biggest vehicles traveling along with you on the highway, and to most people, they are the scariest. Tractor trailers; big-rigs, 18-wheelers; any name that you choose for them cannot understate the size and power that they exude.
Professional Drivers With Lots Of Blind Spots
Those who drive tractor trailers are professional people who drive for a living. They know the rules of the road just as well, if not better, than you do. The problem isn’t with the drivers; it’s with the truck itself as big trucks do not have the same capabilities as a smaller car. Due to their larger size, tractor trailers have limited visual capability and have more blind spots than a car. Seeing what is traveling beside them on the right is a big challenge because the blind spot on that side is very large. The same holds true with those traveling right on their rear bumper and directly in their front.
The best thing you can do to avoid an accident with a tractor trailer is to give them space on the roadway. Important safety tips include:
In Florida, boating knows no season. While the rest of the country suffers through beastly cold wind chills, we are flourishing in the sunshine. Going out on the boat is a way of life, but there are a few things that every boater should remember in order to keep passengers and crew safe and sound for the next trip out.
Leading The Way In Accidents
Unfortunately, Florida leads the nation in boating accidents and deaths related to those accidents. Though there are several laws on the books in regards to boating safety, many feel that the accidents come from lack of experience and common sense.
After all, there is no minimum age requirement to operate a boat, and there are no boating courses required for those born before 1988. This gives freedom to many people to simply hop in and go without really understanding what they should be doing.
Important Safety Regulations
The most important safety regulations can save a life when implemented. They include:
• All boats must have at least one life vest/life preserver that is sized correctly for each person on the boat. They must be U.S. Coast... read article
Imagine you’re driving down the street when you see a car on fire in a ditch. You pull over to see if anyone is in the car, and you see the driver slumped over and unconscious. You rush in and pull the driver from the burning car and drag him out of harm’s way. Thankfully, he’s safe from the burning car, but as you were dragging him away, his leg sustained a deep gash as it passed a sharp piece of twisted metal from the wreck.
Months later, you receive a personal injury claim saying that your negligence caused the gash that ended up severely infected and needed a surgical operation that led to the loss of a large area of skin. You might be a Good Samaritan for saving a life, but now you could be liable for several thousand dollars’ worth of medical bills.
Truth In A Story
This might be an exaggerated scenario, but it isn’t too far from cases that can occur. Many people might be hesitant to offer assistance in an emergency situation for fear that they can be held responsible if something... read article
There is nothing more devastating that an automobile accident that results in a severe injury or a fatality; unless the driver of the vehicle who caused the fatality was intoxicated.
Driving Under The Influence
In 2015, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reported that there were 10, 265 people killed and another 290,000 injured in DUI accidents. That’s over 300,000 people who chose to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol. Alcohol intoxication can:
• Slow down your reflexes
• Impair your knowledge of risk assessment
• Weaken you decision making skills
• Blur or double your vision
• Cause confusion
Though these symptoms should be enough to keep a driver from getting behind the wheel, many believe that they are cognizant enough to handle the drive. Unfortunately, the statistics show otherwise.
Who Is Responsible For Their Actions
Though it is each person’s responsibility to control their own actions, when it comes to driving while under the influence of alcohol, the laws in Florida can hold others accountable. Florida’s Dram Shop Laws can both protect and hold accountable those who serve alcohol to others.
The Dram Shop law in Florida states that a bar, club,... read article
Hit and run accidents occur in the state of Florida more frequently than you might think. By definition, a hit and run accident is any accident in which the driver leaves the scene without stopping to provide contact information. A few examples of a hit and run include:
• A car hits a pedestrian and leaves the scene
• A driver hits a parked car and drives away
• A vehicle causes an accident with another vehicle and keeps driving
Sometimes, the results of a hit and run accident are minimal; property damage toanother vehicle such as a light scratch or a small dent that is barely visible. Sometimes, the results can include personal injuries or even a fatality. No matter how big or small the damage or injury, the law requires that any accident in the state of Florida be reported to the police.
The Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act
On July 1, 2014, the penalties for hit and run drivers changed when the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act (section 316.027, Florida Statutes) was signed into Florida law. The law was created after Aaron Cohen, cyclist and father... read article
Commercial and residential properties in Florida must adhere to a set of building codes that ensure the facilities are safe for all who enter, or live on, the premises. When codes are violated, it can cost more than just a few dollars to fix the problem. When code violations cause injury, or worse, to another party, it can cost much more.
The Building Codes
The International Building Code (IBC) standards are followed by most property managers today. The codes ensure that building construction and maintenance stays safe for anyone who enters the property. Throughout the different jurisdictions in the state of Florida, separate departments are set up with inspectors who go out and inspect buildings on a regular basis. The inspectors rely on the code books that are used throughout the state. These codes are a matter of public record and can be found in the town hall, records building, or your city planning department.
Inspections And Violations
When a code inspector checks a building, they make sure that all structures and areas on the premises comply with all of the codes that are applicable. Any areas that do not... read article
It seems as though you can’t turn on the television these days without hearing about the latest scandals in the entertainment industry. The three little words that have accompanied these accusations and stories might just be the three most important words in any legal case: Statute of limitations.
All states have statute of limitation laws. These laws pertain to both civil and criminal law and vary from state to state and scenario to scenario. The laws are in effect to ensure that legal actions take place within a reasonable time period.
When it comes to criminal law, the statute of limitations can prevent the state from filing charges against a person after a lengthy amount of time has passed.
For example, if you stole a few CD’s from a local record shop when you were a risk-taking teenager twenty-five years ago, the statute of limitation laws on shoplifting can prevent that incident from creeping into your life decades later and upending your world.
Civil Law And Personal Injuries
When it comes to civil law, the statute of limitations refer to the time limits for filing a personal... read article
Animals can be sweet and loveable; often times, owners consider the family dog, cat, or other creature to be a part of the family. A furry family member, however well-loved, is still an animal that can be unpredictable and attack when least expected.
Beyond The Dogs
Dogs are the most common animal that you might identify with an animal attack, but they aren’t the only ones who can take a bite out of your fun. Most people recall the tragedy that occurred at one Disney World Resort when an alligator took the life of a small child. Alligators are considered to be wild animals, and it is difficult to hold anyone responsible when a wild animal attacks.
Those who are responsible can vary based on the animal and circumstances of the attack. They include, but are not limited to:
• Animal Owners
• Animal keepers – such as kennels, shelters, or zoos
• Property Owners – if the owner allowed a dangerous animal on their property
• Landlords – if the landlord knew that a tenant owned a dangerous animal
• Parents of Minors – if a person under the age of 18 owns the animal
In the case... read article
Before we can really get into how arbitration can negatively impact an insurance customer, it is of vital importance that we first understand what arbitration really is and what is involved.
What is Arbitration?
Arbitration is just one of several methods that are used to find an alternative dispute resolution or an alternative to filing a lawsuit. It is a method used to try and settle outside of court to save on court costs and fees and the time that it takes to go to court.
Arbitration should not be confused with mediation, however, because the latter is more of an informal process that involves the use of a third party to help resolve disputes and the mediation process is not binding on either party.
When is Arbitration Typically Introduced?
When there is an insurance claim after a car accident that cannot be settled, then the arbitration process is often deployed by insurance companies when the two insurance carriers are disputing over the fault of the accident and the damages that are involved.
An arbitration clause is often introduced in a contract to avoid resolving any disputes using mediation or... read article
Some major changes may be in the works regarding auto insurance in the state of Florida. House Bill 1063 is a 129-page proposal that could change the way we purchase auto insurance and could potentially save us money in the long run when it comes to our premiums and other costs.
Currently, you are required to purchase $10,000 worth of coverage in Florida for personal injury protection. Under this bill, however, that amount could more than double and reach a $25,000 limit. The supporters of the bill claim it will help save money in the long run, but to others, the numbers don’t add up to any kind of savings.
The new bill would effectively replace Florida’s no-fault insurance system with a new structure that will instead require motorists to obtain bodily injury coverage of $25,000 per person. They say the rise in coverage is to compensate for the rise in healthcare costs and is necessary to help cover the medical costs that are involved following an accident, claiming that $10,000 is no longer a sufficient amount of coverage.
Supporters are also stating that the new structure will save... read article
If you have been involved in an accident or you have questions about the process or what to do when filing a personal injury claim, then a personal injury attorney is the best person to go to when faced with these challenges and questions.
What is A Personal Injury Attorney?
A personal injury attorney is someone who can provide legal services to people that claim to have been injured, either physically or psychologically, as the result of the negligence of another person, company, government agency, or any other entity.
They are a civil litigator that is familiar with personal injury law or tort law, and their primary goal is to help the injured party regain their footing, receive proper compensation for their injuries, and help prevent and discourage others from committing the same offense in the future.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
Many cases can be considered a personal injury case. Typically, any claim that involves an injury to the body or the mind is well within the confines of personal injury law. Some common cases include animal bite injuries, auto accidents, bicycle and pedestrian accidents, boating accidents, brain injuries, slip... read article
If you are faced with a contract, and you are being pressured to sign the document right away, you should step back and take a minute to assess what it is you are about to sign so you can better determine if you clearly understand exactly what it is you are signing.
We see many contracts throughout our lifetime, whether it is from the sale or purchase of a home, obtaining car insurance, or signing a claim that we are filing. It is always a good idea to read the contract through very thoroughly and even have your attorney look it over before you sign to ensure that you are signing something that will not come back to haunt you later.
Rule number one to signing a contract is never to feel rushed or pressured to sign. Often this is the reason that is given when people are asked why they signed the contract before reading it. However, reading is a vital step unless you are ready and willing to face any consequences later.
“Standard” Contracts and What to Consider Before Signing
Slip and fall cases typically fall under the umbrella of personal injury law, and these cases state that the owner of a property may be held liable for damages or injuries that occur on their property. While they are considered personal injury cases, they also fall into the category that is better known as premises liability claims.
What is a Premise Liability Claim?
In a premise liability claim, the injuries sustained on the property are usually due to unsafe or defective conditions on someone else’s property. The majority of personal injury and premise liability claims are also based on the negligence of the person who owns the property because they have failed to ensure a safe environment.
In order to win a premises liability claim, then the injured party must be able to prove that the accident was caused due to the owner’s negligent behavior and their failure to use reasonable care when it comes to their property.
It is also important to remember that even if the conditions were seemingly unsafe, it does not necessarily mean it was due to the property owner’s negligence. The owner must have been... read article
If you have filed a claim for compensation following an accident in Florida, then you have probably already filed a claim with your own insurance company under personal injury protection, or PIP, coverage. However, if the injuries and damage are more severe, then you will have to file a different claim in order to seek compensation.
Florida Accident Compensation Laws
All laws regarding car accidents differ from state to state, so it is important to familiarize yourself with the laws in your current state before filing your claim for compensation following an accident.
Statute of Limitations
The Statute of Limitations for an automobile accident in Florida is four years from the date of the accident.
Any non-permanent injuries are covered by Florida’s PIP insurance laws and no other limits exist.
No-Fault and Comparative Negligence
Florida is just one of a few states that employ no-fault car insurance and compensation laws. The no-fault insurance is why you must first file the claim with your own insurance company under PIP coverage to cover the injuries resulting from the accident.
When the injuries and damages are more severe, however, you... read article
Insurance companies are organizations that are looking to profit and may not always have your best interests at heart when it comes to any sort of claim. However, the focus of an insurance company really should be on the welfare of their clients, rather than the bottom dollar and their overall annual revenue figures.
The following are just a few things you should know about insurance companies and what may happen behind closed doors after they receive your payments.
Too Good to Be True?
When it comes to insurance, if it seems too good to be true, then chances are, it is. When you see a very low insurance premium for a plan that is vital and necessary, then you should probably take a closer look at it to be sure it is what you are expecting.
Perhaps the amount you are insured for is a lot less than you were expecting, or the deductible is much much higher. Premiums that are exceptionally low should always raise a red flag and definitely, warrant a closer inspection before purchasing and signing.
Credit is Always a Factor
We all know how important our credit... read article