Tuesday, January 24, 2017

5 CRUCIAL STEPS TO TAKE AFTER A WORKPLACE INJURY

Despite the efforts of OSHA and other safety organizations, workplace injuries happen every day. In fact, in Florida, over 100,000 people were injured while at work in 2015. Workplace injuries can be severe, which is why understanding what to do after suffering a workplace injury is crucial. In this blog, our Tampa personal injury lawyer will cover the five steps you should take after a workplace injury.

1. Seek Medical Attention Right Away
Whether you feel from a ladder or you bumped your head hard on a shelf while stocking, you should always seek medical attention as soon as possible after your injury. Often people don’t realize the extent of their injury until days later and the longer you wait to receive treatment, the more opportunity the insurance company has to deny your claim. For more information on correctly seeking medical attention, check out our blog on How to Choose the Right Doctor For Your Injury.

2. Report Your Injury
You should report a workplace injury to your employer as soon as possible. Injury reports should be made through your supervisor, HR manager, or another manager right away. In Florida, you employer has seven days from the time you reported your injury to report it to their insurance company. Their insurance company is legally obligated to provide you with an insurance brochure within 3 days receiving notification of your injury.

3. Document Everything
If you wish to receive adequate compensation for your injuries, we suggest meticulously documenting your injuries to the best of your abilities. Take photos of your injury as it heals; make notes of all the activities you were unable to do while healing from your injury. Keep track of the gas and upfront costs you paid for medical treatment.

4. Contact a Tampa personal injury attorney
While the workers’ compensation laws in Florida are designed to protect employees and not employers, often, insurance companies act in what’s in their best interest and not in the best interest of the employee. Many injured employees who don’t retain an attorney after their injuries receive substantially less in their workers’ compensation settlements. A skilled workers’ compensation attorney can fight on your behalf to ensure you are awarded the maximum compensation for your injuries. Learn more about hiring personal injury attorney in our blog about why you should not wait to hire an attorney.

5. Stay Off Social Media
In our experience, one of the quickest ways to jeopardize your personal injury case is to post about it online. While we certainly don’t suggest you delete your social presence online, we do suggest you seriously think about everything you post before you post it. Were you injured at work and as a result are you unable to stand for long periods of time? Perhaps think twice before updating with a photo of you and your family at Disney World. Do you often check in at the gym? During your injury case, you might want to refrain from checking in to different locations as there have been previous cases where compensation has been denied due to check-ins at the gym.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

ONLY 1% OF DOCTORS ACCRUED ONE-THIRD OF MALPRACTICE CLAIMS

According to a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, only one-percent of doctors and physicians accrued one-third of all medical malpractice paid claims over the past ten years. Many of these physicians had the following qualities in common:

Most were male
Most were of older age
Most were practicing in a wide range of subspecialties such as obstetrics-gynecology and surgical subspecialties
Most had previous claims filed against them
The lead author of the study, from Stanford School of Law and Stanford Medical School, states that certain factors may be contributing to these malpractice claims, such as poor communication skills and provision of substandard care. The author states that it is important these factors are identified and remedied during an early stage to prevent issues from occurring within the healthcare system.

The Study

To find accurate results, the team examined 66,426 claims within the National Practitioner Data Bank that were compensated against Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine and Doctors of Medicine in America from 2005 through 2014. To obtain fair results, the study excluded claims against doctors over the age of 65. In order to pinpoint characteristics of the doctors with multiple claims, researchers examined the following qualities:

Qualifications
Paid claims
Age
Sex
Trainee status
Specialty
Practice location
Location of medical school
The results showed that although 6% of all active doctors throughout the United States during that ten-year period had a paid claim, only 1% of these doctors with no less than two paid claims accounted for 32% of all filed claims.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

MOST MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS CAUSED BY AUTOMOBILES

Every year in the U.S., thousands of people are injured or killed in motorcycle accidents. Typically, accidents involving motorcycles result in more severe injuries than passenger car accidents because riders are more exposed to the elements and lack the protective surrounding structure that a car has. Most motorcycle accidents – roughly 75 percent – are caused by automobile negligence and are not the fault of the motorcyclist. Because motorcycle accidents often involve severe injuries, personal injury awards can be significant.

Drivers’ Duty of Care
Drivers have a legal obligation to exercise care on the road for everyone’s safety. This means obeying traffic lights and signals, stopping at stop signs, driving within the speed limit, yielding when necessary, and abstaining from driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Failing in any of these regards can constitute negligence and can make a driver liable in a personal injury lawsuit. Motorcyclists who are injured as a result of a driver’s carelessness can sue the at-fault driver.

For example, if a driver failed to signal or check their blind spot before merging into another lane and, as a result, hit the motorcycle driver, the injured motorcyclist would have the right to sue. Damages for which they would be held liable may include medical bills, pain and suffering, rehabilitation, and property damage.

Conversely, a motorcyclist also has a duty of care. If a motorcyclist drives in a careless way, including weaving in and out of traffic, cutting off other drivers, or taking turns too quickly, they could be the ones responsible in the event of an accident.


Saturday, December 31, 2016

PROVING LIABILITY AFTER AN AUTO ACCIDENT

In order to make a claim for compensation after an auto accident, the first thing you will need to do is prove whose negligence caused the accident. In other words, you to prove that the other party made a mistake and that that mistake is what led to the collision. Even if it seems obvious who was at fault for an accident, an insurance company will want evidence before they’ll be willing to pay.

The following evidence can be used to establish liability for an auto accident:

Police reports. A police report can be one of the most important pieces of evidence about an accident. These reports include the officer’s observations about how the accident occurred, including evidence that a driver may have been speeding, whether any tickets were issued at the scene of the accident, and more.
Photos or videos. After an accident, the injured person should take photos or videos of any visible injuries, damage to their vehicle, and the area surrounding the accident scene. Not only is this proof that you suffered damages, but it may provide visual clues as to how the accident may have occurred and whose fault it was.
Witness testimony. The injured person should take the name and contact information of any passerby who witnessed the accident. This testimony can shed light on the circumstances of the collision.
The more documentation and evidence you have, the stronger your personal injury claim will be, and the more likely you may be to receive a fair payout. An experienced auto accident lawyer can investigate your accident and gather the necessary evidence to build a strong claim in pursuit of the compensation you deserve. Even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you may still be eligible to collect compensation based on Florida’s pure comparative negligence standard.

Examples of Liable Parties
Depending on the circumstances, the following entities may be held liable in an auto collision:

The at-fault driver for operating their vehicle in a negligent manner
The city for failing to maintain roads
The auto part or tire manufacturer for creating a defective product
A third party who caused you to get into the accident
Speak with a Tampa Auto Accident Lawyer About Your Case
If you’ve been hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault, it is critical that you work with an attorney who can help establish liability for the accident so that you can pursue full compensation in a timely manner. At The Florida Law Group, we have handled countless car accident, truck accident, and motorcycle accident cases and recovered millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of our clients. With a reputation for success, we have become known for our trusted legal advice and extensive experience in personal injury law.

Monday, December 26, 2016

WHAT HAPPENS IF I'M INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT WITH A PERSON WITHOUT INSURANCE?

In the state of Florida, it is mandatory for drivers to obtain car insurance when they register their vehicle. Due to Florida's no-fault laws, each driver involved in an accident must rely on their own policy to compensate them for any injuries and car damage, regardless of who was at fault. The minimum insurance is $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL).

If you suffered from a personal injury during a car accident, your PIP benefits are intended to pay for medical expenses and compensate you for lost wages or replacement benefits. PDL benefits will cover the cost of damage caused to your property. In Florida, it is illegal for a driver to be on the road without insurance. Those caught without insurance may have their license suspended until they can show proof of insurance and pay a fine of $500 for every violation.

So, what if the other driver is uninsured?
If you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, you are not responsible for their damages. Insurance companies are legally supposed to offer UMI coverage to their clients, and if they refuse, they must sign a written document claiming they declined the offer.

It is strongly recommend to get UIM coverage in case you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist. This can also help that you are properly compensated for your injuries. Furthermore, since the state does not require you to obtain bodily injury liability (BIL), which covers costs of other's injuries, other drivers may not have this type of coverage to cover your costs.

If you suffered from a personal injury in a car accident with an uninsured motorist, you can also file a personal injury claim, so long as you can prove the other driver's negligence.

If you would like to receive further information regarding uninsured motorists and personal injury claims, contact The Florida Law Group to speak with a Tampa car accident attorney.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

DISTRACTED DRIVING & HOLIDAY ACCIDENTS

In all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, sometimes safety is not the first thing on our minds. It can be easy to get distracted with everything there is to do during the season, including shopping for gifts, running errands, planning and attending parties, and taking long car trips to visit family and friends. With so much going on, drivers can often become distracted, which can have serious consequences.

Here’s what you can do to avoid being a distracted driver this holiday season:

Avoid anything that could distract you behind the wheel. This includes using your cell phone, eating, listening to overly loud music, etc.
Before reversing your vehicle in a crowded parking lot, make sure you take an extra few moments to check your surroundings.
If you are driving to an unfamiliar location, make sure you review your route before you set out instead of trying to read your GPS or map while you are driving. If you get lost, pull over to a location where you can focus on your GPS safely.
Make sure you get enough sleep before you get behind the wheel. Fatigue is a huge contributor to preventable accidents as it causes the driver to easily lose focus.
Slow down! The holidays can be a hectic time, but remember that it is not worth the risk to your safety or the safety of others to be in a constant rush. Be present and drive safely!

Friday, December 16, 2016

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER

Choosing a personal injury lawyer after an accident is not always easy. While there are many competent and honorable personal injury lawyers in practice, there are a number of unscrupulous firms that will engage in unethical (and sometimes illegal) practices in order to gain cases. Earning themselves the derogatory title of “ambulance chasers,” the conduct of these lawyers is not befitting what is necessary for high-quality representation. If you have been injured and are seeking legal representation, do some research beforehand and be wary of any lawyer who contacts you soon after an accident. When you know what makes a good lawyer and what questions to ask, it will be much easier to find the right person to represent you.

While researching a personal injury lawyer, seek answers to the following questions to make sure a potential candidate is the right fit for you and your case:

How many years has the lawyer been in practice?
What areas does the lawyer focus his or her practice on?
Is the lawyer board certified?
What kinds of awards, recognitions, ratings, and reviews has the lawyer received from clients, peers, and rating organizations?
What experience does the lawyer have with cases similar to yours, and what was the outcome?
Who will be working on your case? Is there support staff? How often will you be working with them?
Is the lawyer easily accessible when you have questions or concerns about your case? Are they available by phone or email? What is the average response time you should expect?
Will the lawyer keep you updated on the status of your case?
What percentage of the lawyer’s cases go to trial? Will they be willing to go to court to seek a better deal if a settlement offer is insufficient?
If you’ve been injured, you should be able to trust that your lawyer is experienced, qualified, and has your best interests at heart. When you sit down or talk on the phone with a lawyer during an initial consultation, asking these questions will go a long way in helping you make an informed decision about who you want representing you after an accident, and may mean the difference between winning and losing your case.