The Importance of Wearing Seatbelts - Teenager Dies Of Traumatic Injuries From Car Accident

January 21, 2014

Most Florida drivers wear their seatbelts when driving. However, the younger population still feels invincible, that there's no way anything could happen to them as a result of not wearing a seatbelt. Earlier this month, a young Florida woman died from a collision with another young woman. Both cars collided in the middle of the roadway, as one driver was going northbound, and the other driver was going southbound. The young woman who died from the accident was in the front passenger compartment when authorities arrived. The other woman survived the accident, however, neither was wearing a seatbelt.

While there is some evidence that the surviving woman may have been under the influence of alcohol, it is likely the deceased occupant would have survived had she been wearing her seatbelt. This young lady would not have been violently thrown forward into the dash and windshield. Our Miami car accident lawyers understand even though the airbags in both cars deployed, this doesn't help drivers or occupants who do not wear seatbelts. This airbag could have served its purpose if the young woman had been wearing her seatbelt which would have held her in her seat.

Why Are Younger Drivers So Resistant To Wearing Seatbelts?

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Recovering from Burn-Related Injuries in Florida

January 20, 2014

Undoubtedly, car accidents can lead to serious and sometimes catastrophic injuries. These types of injuries unfortunately include severe burns, bodily disfigurement and sometimes death. If you were involved in an accident and suffered burn related injuries as a result, you need to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Even if you think that your burns are not serious, foregoing treatment can cause chronic pain and other long term medical conditions. Moreover, waiting to have a medical professional evaluate and treat your burns may affect your ability to obtain the money you deserve to sufficiently compensate you for all of your injuries. Further, it is also important to speak with a Miami burn injury attorney as soon as possible if you sustained burns in an accident. These types of cases can be extremely complex, requiring the help of an attorney who has the skills and training necessary to effectively represent you.

How do Burn Related Injuries Happen in Florida?

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Head On Collision Kills Young Coral Springs Woman

January 16, 2014

In the early morning hours of November 18, 2013, two young drivers collided head-on while driving on the Sawgrass Expressway. Kaitlyn Ferrante and 21-year-old Marisa Catronio were traveling west on the freeway. Kaitlyn was driving and Marisa was in the passenger seat. Another young woman, 20-year-old Kayla Mendoza, was traveling west on the same freeway, but was traveling in the east-bound lanes, going the wrong way. Kayla struck Kaitlyn and Marisa head-on, and Maria was killed on impact.

It is too early to know if alcohol or other substances played a role in Kayla's decision to drive in the wrong lane on the freeway, especially given that the accident occurred at approximately 1:45 in the morning. Regardless of the underlying circumstances of the accident, this story reveals just how dangerous head on collisions are, as Marisa died on impact. The other two young women are lucky to be alive.

How To Prevent Head On Collisions

Our Miami car accident lawyers understand that there's no easy way to prevent head on collisions while driving on a regular city, county or neighborhood road. However, inserting barriers on freeways is not nearly as difficult of a task to undertake. Marisa's family has already stated to reporters that they want something to be done to prevent drivers from crossing over the median on freeways, where any head on collision is likely to result in death. Some highways already have barriers to prevent drivers from crossing over the median into oncoming traffic, and this has proved to be successful in cases where drivers fall asleep at the wheel, especially with truck drivers who often drive for more than ten hours at one time.

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The Importance of a Disengagement Letter

January 13, 2014

Sometimes you become dissatisfied with your attorney's ability to manage your case and pursue the best possible outcome. As a client, you have a right to terminate your attorney's services in accordance with the contingency agreement you signed when you first formed your relationship with him or her. As you will see on our practice area page regarding changing attorneys during a lawsuit, there are a variety of reasons why you may determine a new attorney would be better suited to handle your case.

Terminating Your Current Attorney

If your current attorney decides to withdraw from your case, the most important thing you need to do is to ensure your attorney has sent you what is called a "disengagement letter." This letter is proof that you are no longer represented by that attorney, and you can then seek the advice and representation of a different attorney. Many times, clients will receive these letters and throw them away, not understanding just how imperative it is to keep this letter in your records.

When you look for a new attorney to represent you for your car accident case, your personal injury case, your medical malpractice case, or any other type of civil lawsuit where you have signed a contingency fee agreement, you will need to present the disengagement letter to your new attorney. This provides assurance to the new attorney that you are not currently represented in regards to your lawsuit and will allow your new lawyer to explain to you, what, if any, responsibilities you have to your former attorney..

Depending on how much time and money your former attorney spent working on your case, the disengagement letter may be accompanied by a list of expenses. You should not be responsible for these expenses out of pocket. However, if you recover compensation through the representation of a new attorney, your former attorney may ask that a portion of your recovery be reimbursed to cover the costs spent while working on your case, so you should be prepared for this if you choose to change attorneys.

The Dual-Representation Issue

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Miami Woman Killed By Drunk Driver While On Her Way To Church

January 9, 2014

Drunk driving is rampant is South Florida, and too many innocent people are being seriously injured or killed. While it is always heart-wrenching to lose someone in to a drunk driving accident, it is especially saddening when the victim was known for being such a wonderful, giving person. At the end of October 2013, Fannie Ash was on her way to Jordan Grove Missionary Baptist Church on a Sunday evening. This was routine for Fannie Ash, as she always greeted worshipers on Sundays, supervised the children and was devoutly involved in participating in Church sermons.

As Fannie was walking across the street after leaving her home, a Ford pickup truck slammed into her. The man who hit Fannie Ash claims the elderly woman jumped out of nowhere. Witnesses say that after the man hit Fannie Ash, he drove off. The man did end up coming back to the scene and admitted to the police that he was the man who hit, and killed Fannie Ash. Our Miami drunk driving accident lawyers discovered that the police suspected the man to be under the influence of alcohol, as his eyes were blood shot, his speech was slurred, and he smelled of alcohol. The man was subsequently charged with DUI manslaughter.

The man's conduct ended Fannie Ash's life and scarred her family and friends forever. Witnesses to the accident knew Fannie Ash very well, so this made the incident even more tragic. This was a woman who devoted her life to helping others. The heartbreak her family suffered should not be felt by anyone else. Fannie Ash's story must be shared to encourage Florida citizens to avoid driving under the influence. While Fannie Ash cannot come back, her family can seek justice by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

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A Young Girl Dies of "Morphine Toxicity"

January 7, 2014

The use of pain medication is rampant in the United States. Whether it is prescribed for back pain, cancer patients, or for those who recently underwent surgery, the use of this type of medication has grown across all ages and all types of people. As a result, our Miami personal injury lawyers see how it arguably has become the norm, which influences us to forget just how dangerous pain medication can be.

We all know about the addictive nature of pain medication, but we tend not to think about how a pharmacy error can be deadly. Pain medication is often the only form of pain relief available, so the dosage must be accurate, or serious injury, and even death, may occur. The pharmacy is the last step between the doctor prescribing the medication, and the patient ingesting the medication. Therefore, as patients, we heavily rely on a pharmacist's expertise to dispense the proper dose of a medication.

Tragedy Strikes A 6-Year-Old Girl

In August 2013, a mother sued her longtime pharmacy for providing her 6-year-old daughter with a toxic dose of morphine that ended her life. According to the family's attorney, the pharmacy provided a dose of morphine that was ten times greater than what had been prescribed. The dose of morphine was in liquid form. Just one dose was too much, with the young girl's fate lying in the hands of the pharmacist.

This young girl had sickle cell anemia, a disease that causes excruciating pain. The small dose of morphine that was supposed to alleviate the young girl's suffering ultimately ended her life. Had the pharmacy simply filled the prescription as directed by the doctor, this young girl may still be alive today.

What We Expect From Our Pharmacists

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A Pharmacist's Mistake Could Cost You Your Life - Miami Wrong Medication Claims

December 31, 2013

With the generic pharmaceutical industry growing and taking over nearly 90% of market share, the same medications may look different depending on what pharmacy you choose you to fill your prescription. Further, our Miami personal injury lawyers know that many prescriptions have very similar names. As humans, we all make mistakes, but when a pharmacist makes a mistake, the consequences could leave you or a loved one very ill, or could even end your life. Pharmacists are held to a higher standard as healthcare providers, so they need to be especially cautious and detail-oriented when dispensing the medicine you take. After all, the pharmacist knows more than you do about the medication, and you put your trust in your pharmacist to ensure you are getting the medication that has been prescribed to you and in the correct dosage - not the wrong medication that could harm you.

A Florida Family's Close Brush With Death

In early 2012, a mother shared her son's story to West Palm Beach's News Channel 5 regarding her son's experience with a potentially life-threatening medication. This mother and her son were both lucky because the mother diligently examined the medication that was dispensed to her son. Her son has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and is prescribed the medication "Intuniv" by his physician to treat the condition.

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Florida State Tight End Nick O'Leary's Life Spared in Tallahassee Motorcycle Accident

December 19, 2013

This past spring, Nick O'Leary, Florida State's tight end and grandson of famous golf legend Jack Nicklaus was involved in a serious motorcycle accident. On May 2, O'Leary slammed his motorcycle into a vehicle that negligently cut him off, sliding for 75 to 100 feet with the remainder of his motorcycle smashing into the windshield of a passenger bus. According to the accident report, O'Leary luckily walked away from the accident with only non-life threatening injuries. Undoubtedly, it is surprising that O'Leary survived the accident, given photos of the accident depicting a motorcycle that is barely recognizable.

While O'Leary's life was thankfully spared, some people aren't so lucky. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2001 and 2008, over 34,000 people in the U.S. were killed in a motorcycle crash, with approximately 1.2 million others sustaining non-fatal injuries. In fact, our Miami motorcycle accident lawyers know that motorcycle accidents are on the rise, with a 55% increase in crashes from 2001. With these startling facts in mind, it is important to realize that safety is key to preventing these serious and sometimes fatal motorcycle accidents. Consider the following tips:

1. Wear a Department of Transportation (DOT) approved helmet and protective gear. Wearing a DOT-approved helmet is an extremely easy yet life-saving step you can take to protect yourself. These helmets are made in accordance with certain safety standards set by the DOT. Also be sure to purchase a helmet that fits you properly. Helmets come in all shapes and sizes and as such, it is key to have one that is right for your size. In addition to wearing a helmet, it is also important to wear protective gear such as leather clothing that can protect you from the sun and help reduce injuries should you fall from your bike. While you may wonder why many motorcyclists will wear heavy leather gear on a hot Florida day, it is mainly for the purpose of keeping themselves safe and protected from the elements.

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South Florida's Elderly Population Most Vulnerable To Pedestrian Accidents

December 17, 2013

As of 2011, the Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Pompano region of Florida was named as the fourth most dangerous metropolitan area in the nation for pedestrians to move about, according to Transportation for America. South Florida has a large elderly population, and Miami-Dade County has the largest amount of elder pedestrian with vehicle accidents in the state. Our Miami personal injury lawyers understand that efforts have been made to make South Florida safer for our elderly population, but such efforts have not proven to be successful.

As people grow older, their ability to move, see and hear becomes a limitation on their activities of daily life. The elderly feel healthier in today's world than they did ten, twenty or even thirty years ago, so many of these individuals are choosing to live in their own homes as opposed to assisted living facilities. While assisted living facilities offer care in helping the elderly walk down the street to the market, or for simple exercise, many elderly individuals living in their own homes do not have this luxury.

What Can Be Done To Limit Elderly Pedestrian Accidents

There are a variety of safety measures that can be taken in South Florida to help prevent our elderly population from suffering significant injuries and even death from accidents, whether they are hit by a cyclist, or by a motorist. The measures listed below, if followed, could be a step in the right direction in preventing tragic, unnecessary injuries and deaths.

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Identity Theft Insurance - Florida Ranks Highest In Country for Identity Thefts

December 11, 2013

Most people know what basic types of insurance are available to consumers. Car insurance, flood insurance, hurricane insurance, health insurance, life insurance, and long term care insurance are widely known. However, many people are not aware that identity theft insurance is yet another way to insure against potential harm. In Florida, identity theft is rampant, ranking higher than any other state.

To combat the wrongful intrusion on the privacy of Florida citizens, insurance companies have become clever. They are now offering identity theft insurance coverage. It is astounding that 1 in 23 Americans are affected by identity theft. If your identity is stolen and you file a claim with your homeowner's insurance company, our Miami insurance claim lawyers know you may be able to receive the amount of money stolen up to a certain limit, depending on your policy, lost wages in addition to the processing fees for forms and mailings that are required to get your life back on track without having to pay a deductible.

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How to Appeal a Denial Of Your Health Insurance Claim

December 10, 2013

Health insurance has been the key to quality healthcare for millions of Americans. Most plans allow for you to see the doctor of your choice, cover the cost of your prescription medications, and allow you to receive emergency care without being stuck with the entire hospital bill. However, there are times when health insurance companies refuse to approve certain claims. When this happens, many people tend to ignore their insurance carrier's decision and simply think they have no choice but to either not receive the care they want covered, or foot the bill and pay for the care themselves.

Common Reasons Why Health Insurance Claims Are Denied

Our Miami insurance claim denial lawyers know how health insurance policies can be long, difficult to read, and not clearly communicated to the insured. Most people know what their deductible is and what their co-pays are, but that's it. The list below demonstrates some common reasons why your insurance claims may be denied.

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The Independent Medical Examination (IME) Following An Auto Accident

December 2, 2013

If you have been in a car accident and filed a lawsuit against another driver, then you likely know what an independent medical examination (IME) is. The correct term is actually DME (Defense Medical Exam) because there is nothing "Independent" about the doctors performing these exams. The IME (DME) is often a required component of a personal injury lawsuit involving an auto accident, as in all personal injury claims.. If you have filed a claim for personal injuries resulting from a car accident, the opposing party's attorney (who represents the opposing party's insurance company), will have a doctor evaluate you and form an opinion as to whether the car accident, and thus the opposing party's conduct, was the actual cause of your injuries.

Is An IME Legitimate?

An IME is not really independent for many reasons. First, the defendant's attorney and the defendant's insurance company, is choosing the doctor that is evaluating you. Our Miami motor vehicle insurance claims lawyers know this doctor is getting paid big bucks to find that your injuries are not really related to the car accident at all. The doctor does this for a living, and some get paid $900 an hour or more for their time in reviewing records, examining the patient, writing reports and testifying.. While the doctor may agree that you are injured, he or she may indicate that you already had this particular injury prior to the car accident.

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Construction Work-Related Fatalities Are Rising In South Florida

November 29, 2013

Florida construction is booming once again. With the increased in building comes the increased risk for accidents and injuries to occur on construction sites. Even the most careful workers are at a substantial risk of injury or death while on the job. With the surge in construction-related fatalities, one must wonder if profit and the need to build quickly and cost effectively are benefits that contractors feel outweighs the risk of fatal accidents and injuries due to cost cutting measures..

In 2012, our Miami personal injury lawyers discovered that thirty-three South Florida workers lost their lives while on the job. Even more troubling, 227 Florida workers were killed on the job state-wide in 2012. Of these 227 deaths, 41 of them were from Florida's construction industry. The variety of construction work-related fatalities ranges from falling from heights to being electrocuted to being crushed by equipment. With today's technology, safety measures are supposed to be better than ever.

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Airbag Defects At All Time High

November 25, 2013

Airbags are the cushions between us and the crushing impact of a car's windshield. We put our trust in our cars' ability to deploy airbags when colliding with another motor vehicle. In today's world, technology is so advanced that the automobile industry should have no trouble designing and manufacturing airbags without causing harm to customers. Unfortunately, airbags have been failing quite frequently in the past year. In fact, the number of defects resulting in recalls has reached a record high in 2013.

Our Miami car defect lawyers have found that car manufacturers have recalled more than 6 million cars due to defective airbags. This astounding statistic reveals that there is a serious problem with airbags not working as they are intended. The defective quality of these airbags is that they have failed to deploy during car accidents, injuring thousands and killing one driver. While it is positive that car manufacturers have recalled the vehicles in an effort to fix the problem, it is still quite frightening to realize that airbags are failing their drivers so often. It is a scary thought that your car's airbag might not deploy as it should upon impact in a car accident. Because of the airbag failure, it is even more important to drive safely so that there's no need for an airbag to deploy.

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Florida Law Regarding Non-Compete Agreements

November 17, 2013

The business world has become so competitive today that many companies are requiring that their employees sign non-competition agreements ("non-compete" agreements) as a condition of employment. Our Miami commercial litigation lawyers know how these agreements are essentially restrictive covenants that limit the time, place and manner in which an employee can work if he or she chooses to leave a particular job. For example, if you work in the high frequency trading industry and you wish to work for a different company, your non-compete agreement may restrict you from working in that same field for at least one year. Whether this is fair depends on a number of factors.

In Florida, Fla. Stat. § 542.335 is the governing law regarding the validity of non-compete agreements. These restrictive agreements are completely legal so long as the following conditions are met:

• The agreement must be reasonable in time, place and manner, meaning the agreement cannot restrict your ability to work in an area of business outside the realm of your former employment;

• The agreement must be signed by the employee; and

• There must be a legitimate business interest for the imposition of the restrictive non-compete agreement (such as the protection of trade secrets, confidential business information, interference with customer base, the risk of a former employee going to a competing company that is within the same geographical area, etc.)

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