When you're injured in an accident, your recovery will be the single most important focus in your life for some time. But, it's important to understand that you may have to recover in a physical and financial sense. Medical professionals offer help with your healing, but what about your financial recovery?
Seeking a settlement through a personal injury case is one of the only ways to get a full recovery, and even those filing a claim with their own insurance company may end up discovering that it can be difficult to reach a point where you can make a total financial recovery. As such, getting help is important. However, it all starts with understanding the different truths about a personal injury lawsuit and your settlement.
The Truth About Those Settlement Offers
The biggest thing that injured victims need to keep in mind is that those initial settlement offers you may receive from an insurance company are very likely to be too good to be true. The reason? Because they're usually an offer that is made to try to get you to accept it on the rounds that you... read article
For the average person, the understanding of lawsuits is seems pretty straightforward. If you’ve been injured through the negligence of someone else, you naturally want that person or company to be held accountable for their actions. Going to trial for a civil lawsuit is the way to do that, and this means engaging the services of an accident lawyer, or some other kind of personal injury attorney. The important thing, however, is that this person represents your case, and argues it to the jury, convincing that jury that your case is sound, and you deserve the financial damages you are suing for.
But it may surprise you to know that even though this is the common perception, there are lawyers out there—quite successful ones—that spend the majority of their time not going to court, and advise their clients against it. There are reasons why such lawyers feel this way, but you may not agree with their reasoning. So why would a lawyer spend all those years attending law school, getting certified, joining a legal practice, and then avoid the courtroom? Here are the reasons.
The reality of... read article
An unfortunate Arizona woman may have the distinction of being the first person killed by a self-driving car thanks to a collision in mid-March. The SUV in question was an Uber vehicle and driving 40 in a 35 zone, nothing too crazy. Still, it was fast enough to kill someone as she was walking her bike across the road at night.
By all indications, the Uber SUV didn’t so much as slow down before the collision. On the other hand, while the vehicle was in its autonomous mode it also had a driver sitting behind the wheel. The driver was there as a safeguard, to prevent this sort of thing from happening, but since it did it’s all but certain the driver also didn’t notice the pedestrian before it was too late.
This recent accident in Arizona once again brings up the question of who exactly is at fault when an autonomous vehicle crashes or hurts someone. Should the person behind the wheel have been paying more attention and reacted fast enough to stop or mitigate the accident? Do the companies that designed and implemented the... read article
Earlier this March near Miami, a pedestrian bridge over US-41 collapsed onto the road below and killed six people. And while that’s the main issue, the bridge also destroyed several cars, ruined the road beneath it, and blocked traffic for days as rescue workers cleared 950 tons of wreckage and recovered the remaining bodies.
The pedestrian bridge was a recent addition to the highway, a way for people to walk between Florida International University and nearby Sweetwater without crossing the busy highway directly. The main span had only gone up five days before the accident, which means the accident wasn’t a matter of ordinary wear and tear. Something was seriously wrong with the bridge’s construction, and it’s very likely we’ll see six wrongful death lawsuits (or one class-action suit) pop up in the near future.
The Warning Signs
It’s too early yet to know exactly what happened, when, and why, but what we know at this point is already troubling. Two days before the collapse, an engineer working on the bridge noticed a crack and sent a message to a Florida Department of Transportation official, but the engineer... read article
Florida’s Supreme Court made two major changes to the state’s workers’ compensation laws back in 2016. First, they extended temporary injury payments from 104 to 260 weeks, and second they lifted the restrictive lawyer compensation plan that made many Florida attorneys avoid workers’ comp cases entirely.
Business groups predicted doom and gloom regarding workers’ comp insurance premiums, but the big payouts they expected haven’t come to pass and the premium rates have gone down for 2018. As such, Florida legislators made only one change to the workers’ comp law since 2016: they’ve added PTSD as a covered condition for first responders.
The Strain Of Emergencies
For a long time, people have placed mental disorders in a separate category from physical injuries. That’s why until now workers’ compensation hasn’t covered any mental disorder or disease unless it was the result of a traumatic brain injury, and even then it would often take some convincing to get insurance companies to cover their treatment. However, people now understand more about how the brain works and what can cause mental problems, and it’s leading to more effective treatments, better medications, and more sympathy for... read article
There’s a reason the Florida offense “driving under the influence” doesn’t have the word “alcohol” in it. It’s because alcohol isn’t the only drug that makes it harder to someone to operate a car: there are plenty of alternatives both prescription and illegal, and any drug can qualify so long as it impairs the driver’s faculties in some significant way. For instance:
Marijuana slows your reflexes and reaction time and it can mess with your ability to judge timing and distances.
Opioids slow you down and leave you drowsy, making it hard to concentrate on the road. The same is true for a large number of other prescription drugs, and even if you have a prescription you can get in trouble for taking them and then getting behind the wheel.
LSD and other psychoactive drugs cause hallucinations, and you definitely don’t want someone behind the wheel who can’t tell what’s real and what isn’t.
Cocaine and other powerful stimulants can make it hard to concentrate on the road, plus they can make the driver more aggressive. That’s not a trait you want to see in someone driving... read article
Florida is home to a lot of amusement parks. There’s Disneyworld and Universal Studios, of course, but you can find plenty of other places to ride roller coasters, race down waterslides, and otherwise have the time of your life.
Unfortunately, sometimes those fun times can end in a hurry. Not every amusement park maintains its rides at the same quality level as Disneyworld, and not every park keeps its walking areas as clean as they need to be. Thrill rides and roller coasters have a large number of safety features and backups to keep passengers safe, but that doesn’t stop accidents from happening entirely.
Duty Of Care And Duty To Follow Directions
For their part, amusement parks have a responsibility to keep their rides in safe and working condition, and if a ride breaks down they have a responsibility to keep guests from trying to ride it anyway. This is called the “duty of care,” which means that if you own something dangerous it’s your responsibility to keep people safe while it’s in use.
On the other hand, guests have a duty of their own: they have to follow the instructions... read article
If you’ve watched many courtroom dramas, you’re probably used to seeing crazy things happen in front of the bench: surprise evidence, witnesses with shocking testimony, and bold accusations that cause the whole courtroom to explode into an uproar. After all, what’s a drama without a few good twists and turns?
As it turns out, the answer to that question is “most actual court cases.” As exciting as a few surprises can be, it’s not fair to the other party to spring something like that out of nowhere and not let them prepare a good counterargument. Surprises like that can sway a jury even if they’re misleading or beside the point, and so both sides in a case deserve to know what the other side is preparing before they start making arguments.
The Discovery Period
The discovery period takes place after the plaintiff (or the State in criminal cases) files a lawsuit and you go through the initial hearings, and it ends when it’s time to start arguing the trial itself. Discovery usually takes longer than any other part of the trial, and that’s not just because this is the time when both sides... read article
Your spinal cord is one of the most essential parts of your body. It’s a thick bundle of nerves that link your brain to the rest of your body, and it’s protected by a set of loops in your vertebrae. These bones go a long way towards keeping your spinal cord safe, but if they get hit with enough force they can break or dislocate, and this can then damage or break the spinal cord.
Your neck is particularly vulnerable. The neck has a lot of mobility so you can look around you, the neck vertebrae are relatively small, and the spinal cord is thick since it meets the brain at the base of your skull. If you stop moving too quickly your head can snap around, and that sudden movement can damage your spinal cord without doing anything to the bones that are supposed to protect it.
Out of the top ten list of spinal cord injuries, four are directly related to street traffic. They include pedestrians hit by moving vehicles, bicyclists who either fall off their bikes or get hit by larger vehicles, motorcyclists who go through... read article
In the United States, people tend to think of driving first when they wonder how to get from point A to point B. However, sometimes walking is the best solution, either because you don’t have a car, the distance is short, there’s no parking anywhere closer, or you just want to get some exercise. Cars are common, but everyone uses their feet sometimes.
However, pedestrians and cars don’t mix. Florida has some of the most dangerous streets and highways in America, and that’s not a statistic you want to be a part of. So if you’re going to walk very far in Florida, there are a few things you should know whether you’re a local or you’re from out of state.
Wear Bright Colors
Visibility is important if you want a driver to notice you in time, especially at night. Ideally you should wear clothes with reflective patches if you do a lot of walking at night, but if you don’t have anything like that you should at least wear bright colors that stand out even when the light is dim. Fortunately, bright colors aren’t hard to find... read article