Shoulder Injury Claims Caused By A Car Accident

Posted By on February 9, 2017

Shoulder injuries are one of the most common car accident injuries which, in some instances, can be devastating to one’s health. Whether the victim is the driver or the passenger of the vehicle involved in the crash, he or she can suffer severe injuries to his or her shoulder(s) that can last a lifetime.

That is because the shoulder is a very complicated joint and considered one of the three most complex joints in the human body.  Why?  It has a ball and socket connection (as do the knees and the hips). Also, the structure of the shoulder includes interrelated muscles and tendons that allow not only for support of the joint but also motion of the arms, neck, and back.

Despite how common this kind of injury is in an auto accident, and the complexity of the joint, victims often face insurance adjusters who dismiss shoulder injury claims which makes these claims difficult to settle.

Here’s why.

Shoulder joint

 

1.  Different Types of Car Accident Shoulder Injury Claims

Shoulder injuries aren’t always black and white. Depending upon whether or not the bones are involved, there are many different shoulder injuries that can occur as a result of the impact of a car crash.

Below you will find details on each type of injury one can sustain to their shoulder.

A.  Fractures

A “fracture” is the medical term for a broken bone.  The shoulder is comprised of several bones that may not remain intact after a serious car crash. The bones that make up the shoulder are the:

  • clavicle (collar bone);
  • proximal humerus (top of arm bone);
  • scapula (shoulder blade).

Fortunately, most fractures to these bones can be treated without surgery unless the fragments are forced out of position. These fractures can result in one or more of the following:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising (mild or severe)
  • Immobility; or
  • Limited range of motion
  • “Dead arm” sensation

Doctors recognize that the scapula (the shoulder bone) is commonly fractured or broken from high impacts such as the force sustained in a car crash. This is true due to the fact that the scapula is protected by several muscles and the chest.

B.  Dislocations

Another kind of shoulder injury is a “dislocation.”  Here, the bones are not aligning in the joint as they should.

The shoulder has three main joints. These include:

  • acromioclavicular joint (collar bone joint)
  • glenohumeral joint (the ball and socket joint)
  • sternoclavicular joint (between the clavicle and sternum)

The dislocation of one of more of these joints after an auto accident can result in a lengthy recovery for a car accident victim. The victim’s recovery can involve ice packs, pain killers, the very unpleasant “popping back in” of the dislocated joint into the socket, or maybe even surgery.

C. Soft Tissue Injuries

Another type of shoulder injury a car accident victim can sustain are soft-tissue injuries.  Such injuries are tears (“sprains”) in the victim’s ligaments, muscles, or tendons as a result of the impact of the car crash. There can also be labral tears and rotator cuff tears in the joint itself (the “joint capsule”).

In addition to tears, there can also be strains and contusions (bruising) in the soft tissue.

These kinds of accident injuries are considered by doctors to be acute soft-tissue injuries because they are caused by a sudden trauma to the body, such as when a car accident occurs.

Soft tissue injuries to the shoulder after a car accident can be very serious.  For instance, if the car accident causes a severe sprain (Grade 3), then the shoulder ligament is completely torn apart.  The joint will not be functional for a significant period of time, and therefore, the accident victim should be compensated as such.

2.  Did You Seek Help of a Medical Expert to Treat Your Injury?

After a car accident where the victim has suffered a shoulder injury, more than one kind of medical professional can be involved in the care and treatment of the injured person. The treating physician may call in specialists, like an Orthopedic Surgeon to consult on whether or not surgery is warranted.

Medical experts can be expensive, which can increase the value of a claim.  Be aware, an insurance adjuster may claim the severity of a shoulder injury did not warrant surgery or the intervention of an orthopedic specialist.

3.  Difficulty in Treating a Shoulder Injury

Due to the complexity of the shoulder joint as well as the variety of damages the joint can sustain in the sudden impact of a car crash, these injuries can be very difficult to treat.

Surgery, Immobilization, Rehabilitation

Shoulder injuries may require more than one surgery, as well as prolonged physical therapy and rehabilitation.  The victim may suffer long periods of time where the his or her shoulder is immobile. Afterwards, the shoulder may have a limited range of motion during the healing process.  Sometimes, the shoulder joint does not recover full mobility, in which case, there is permanent damage and impairment.

Even if there is a dislocation or separation without any fractures, there can be weeks or even months of recovery ahead. The duration of this process can vary depending on how many broken bones are involved.

However, if a fracture is involved, this can mean months of specialized treatment and oversight of surgery and surgical recovery as well as immobilization, rehabilitation, and therapy.

Impact on the Value of the Accident Claim

From a legal perspective, because of the difficulty in treating an injury to a shoulder joint, an insurance adjuster may need to be educated about the accident victim’s pain and suffering. After providing the adjuster with the victim’s medical records and his or her course of treatment, the adjuster should acknowledge the victim requires an increased amount of medical care and treatment to help recover from his or her injuries.

In other words, depending on the course of treatment and the length of recovery, some shoulder injury claims can be larger than other bodily injury claims.

4.  What Caused the Shoulder Injury?

The nature of the shoulder injury itself may provide evidence on the issue of negligence and the cause of the injury. For instance, if the shoulder injury is sustained on the driver’s left shoulder, then the driver’s seat belt may have caused some of the harm.  How?

While it is true that the use of a safety belt saves lives, it is also proven that safety belts can cause injuries in a car crash.  This is true, regardless of what caused the car accident.

A shoulder injury can be caused by a seat belt in an auto accident for a number of reasons, including:

  • Having the seat belt on too tight;
  • Wearing the seat belt improperly (having the belt too high or too low on the body upon impact can result in a shoulder injury); or a
  • Defective safety belt.

An insurance adjuster will investigate if the belt itself caused the harm to the shoulder because of mis-use or because of a defect.

If the adjuster can support this argument, then he or she may use that as an excuse to deny the claim or make a low-ball offer.

Thus, a victim may need an expert opinion (this can be done via a sworn statement and/or a deposition), not only from the doctors, but also from industry experts, on safety belts and their use and operation.

Establishing Fault

It is important to any injury claim that the car crash victim be able to establish the other driver was at-fault. The insurance adjuster will try through all means necessary to assign fault on the injured victim to avoid paying any compensation.

A victim can prove the other driver was at fault by proving he or she was not acting reasonably at the time of the crash. Some issues to consider when trying to prove to the adjuster that their insured driver was at fault are:

  • What speed was his car being driven at the time of the accident? Was he speeding?
  • What were the road conditions at the time of the accident?
  • Was the driver being reasonably cautious and aware of the weather conditions and dangers, like standing water on the roadway?
  • Was the driver on the phone? Was he chatting with other passengers in the car?
  • How old was the driver? How much experience did he have behind the wheel?

Read: Was The Driver Reasonable in Your Loss of Control Crash?

5.  Is the Shoulder Permanently Injured because of the Car Accident?

When a shoulder has been severely injured in a motor vehicle accident, there can be a life-altering change to the body and the joint may never fully recover. There can be limitation of movement resulting in loss of control of the arm or hand to some degree as well as extended pain and trauma.  Arthritis may also develop as a result of a shoulder injury.

Replacement Surgeries

Medical advances are working to help victims of shoulder injuries.  This includes full shoulder replacements by orthopedic surgeons.  The procedure is called a “total shoulder replacement arthroplasty.”

However, these shoulder replacements are not as successful as other types of replacement surgeries.  Any claim valuation must include the potential need for continued treatment after replacement surgery has occurred, along with any possible complications, risk of death, pain and suffering, disability, loss of consortium, etc.

An insurance adjuster may consider these claims as unnecessary or unreasonable which is why your demand package needs to be complete when making a claim. Thus, you should include your medical records and the doctor’s recommended course of treatment.

Read: 5 Documents You Should Include With Your Slip And Fall Demand Letter

Loss of Use of the Shoulder

If true, shoulder injury claims should include a written opinion of a medical expert that the damages are permanent.  The loss of use of the shoulder joint can not only impact the victim’s enjoyment of life, but can also impact their ability to earn a living.

The accident victim will need the written opinion of the expert to convince the insurance adjuster the procedure was medically necessary. This usually comes in the form of a written statement by his or her doctor after treatment is completed, where the doctor will give a doctor report stating the permanent partial disability with the impairment ratio in a percentage format.

6.  Valuing a Shoulder Injury Claim

When an accident victim presents their injury claim to the at-fault drivers insurance adjuster, he or she needs to be prepared to go to trial if their settlement offer is excessive.

This means that they should reasonably “value their case” as part of their negotiation strategy.

  • How much will the insurance company be willing to pay on this claim in settlement?
  • What’s the bottom line that the accident victim is willing to take in settlement before taking the case to a jury?

In a shoulder injury, the victim must consider not only how serious that shoulder damage is (and the likelihood of permanent harm), but also how a jury would view their claim.  How likely is it that the jury will find the other driver responsible for what has happened?

Experienced personal injury lawyers will be able to help in this analysis.  Their past experience with juries – as well as their experience with adjusters and insurance defense lawyers – can be invaluable here.

Valuing the Case:  Calculating the Damages

Shoulder injuries will have some damages that are easy to calculate, and others that are not. There are two main categories for damages that an accident victim may receive: economic damages and non-economic damages.

Economic damages are those that are monetary, such as medical expenses. These may include emergency room treatment, hospitalization, doctor’s visits, and physical therapy.

The impact on the ability to work can be shown as monetary damages, as well.

Some permanent shoulder injuries can mean the loss of a career and therefore, lost wages.  For example, a commercial truck driver may no longer be able to drive a big rig after a serious shoulder injury.  His claim can include documentation to show how he must find a new line of work.

Often times, shoulder injuries may mean a long-term career adjustment.  For instance, a high school basketball coach who can’t shoot baskets any longer can still teach, but his job is still impacted.

Non-economic damages are those that are fluid; not monetary. These damages will also need to be compensated for. Below is a list of non-monetary damages a victim of a car accident who filed a shoulder injury claim may receive:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Wrongful death
  • Loss of consortium
  • Emotional distress
  • Disfigurement
  • Disability

For more on pain and suffering damages, see, “What is Pain and Suffering under Florida Law?

Valuing the Case:  Jury Awards

Finally, in a shoulder injury claim, it is important for a victim to understand how a jury might view a claim so he or she can understand how liability may be assigned to the parties.

  • Will they find the defendant sympathetic?
  • How strong is the evidence showing that driver at fault?
  • And what will the jury think about that shoulder injury? Will they think the seat belt contributed to the shoulder injury?
  • Will they discount the severity of the shoulder damage?
  • Will they disrespect the soft tissue injury?

What Should You Do?

In any car accident, even if you don’t feel any pain at the scene, the first thing to do is to seek medical treatment.  Shoulder injuries are sometimes not obvious. They can take days, or even weeks, to manifest themselves.

Additionally, a good piece of advice if you have suffered a car accident related shoulder injury, is to speak with an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer to learn about your rights, including learning how most insurance companies respond to shoulder injury claims and the type and amount of damages you may be entitled to recover. Most personal injury lawyers, like Alan Sackrin, will offer a free initial consultation (over the phone or in person, whichever you prefer) to answer your questions.

Read: Florida Personal Injury Lawsuit Risks

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Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.

If you found this information helpful, please share this article and bookmark it for your future reference.

What do you have to prove to get compensation in a Florida dog bite lawsuit?

Posted By on February 7, 2017


In this video, Alan Sackrin answers a question that he has been asked many times before by clients and visitors to this site. If you have questions after watching the video, Alan is available to talk with you now and answer your questions free of charge:

Q: What do you have to prove to get compensation in a Florida dog bite lawsuit?

A: In order to obtain compensation in a Florida Dog Bite Lawsuit, you must prove whose dog bit you or injured you. Sometimes that’s more difficult than one thinks. You must prove that you were injured by a dog, and that you did not instigate the dog or tease the dog, and cause the dog to come and attack you. Most situations in Florida there is strict liability on the part of a dog owner, and a dog owner is responsible for injuries caused by their dog in almost every instance. You also of course, must prove that you were injured as a result of the dog bite, or the aggressive actions of a dog. Many times a significant and serious bites and scars that result from dog injuries and many times if a dog chases after you causing you to injure yourself, you’re able to obtain compensation for whatever injuries that resulted from either a dog bite or from the aggressive actions of a dog.

Related:

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Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.

 

 

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Florida Personal Injury Lawsuit Risks

Posted By on January 26, 2017

In Florida, we have specific laws in place that address injuries caused by civil wrongs that include: 1) the failure to use reasonable care (negligence), 2) providing an unsafe or defective condition on property (premises liability) and 3) spoken or written words that harm a person’s reputation (defamation).

These personal injury laws are written to make victims whole when they are injured in a car accident or slip and fall by providing compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost earning capacity and the loss of the enjoyment of life.

The good news is that most personal injury claims settle out of court because of the certainty provided by these laws.  However, there are instances where victims are left to file a lawsuit to obtain justice for their injuries, which can take months or even years before a fair resolution may be achieved.  Unfortunately, time isn’t the only risk a victim may face when dealing with a personal injury lawsuit.

 

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Courthouse, Broward County, 11-21-2010 (10)

Photo Credit: By Georgia Guercio (Own work)

 

Risks of Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Often, accident victims are unaware of the time, expense and risks associated with filing a personal injury lawsuit, or any type of lawsuit for that matter. For example, even if a victim prevails at trial, the amount of money he or she may recover may not be enough to cover the expenses of hiring experts, paying a lawyer, and paying medical providers.

In fact, there are many risks associated with personal injury lawsuits including:

1. Motion to Dismiss

After a victim has had their life turned upside down, a defendant can make a request for the presiding judge to review the lawsuit and dismiss it without it being submitted to a jury for their consideration.  Dismissing a case means that the judge has signed an order ending the lawsuit (it can be done for substantive reasons, like the plaintiff failed to state a claim or provide sufficient facts to warrant a lawsuit, and/or technical reasons, like the defendant wasn’t properly served with the lawsuit).

Fortunately, in some instances, the lawsuit can be refiled (if the lawsuit was “dismissed without prejudice”).  In other instances, the lawsuit may be blocked from ever being filed again (that happens when the lawsuit is dismissed with prejudice).

In order to avoid or prevail against a motion to dismiss, experienced personal injury lawyers will make sure to investigate and properly address issues such as:

a.  Jurisdiction

Does the court have the power to hear the lawsuit? Does the judge have authority over the people involved in the case and/or the power to address the subject matter of the lawsuit? Should the injury lawsuit be filed in state court or federal court?  In Florida, some personal injury claims may even be a tribal matter.  For instance, some slip and falls at the Hard Rock Café and Casino must be heard under tribal law.

b.  Venue

Lawsuits must be filed in the proper county.  If a victim is hurt in Miami, can the lawsuit be filed in Broward County, simply because it is more convenient for the victim?  The likely answer is no.

c.  Parties

Often, accident victims have to difficulty determining the correct party to sue.  For example, if a victim slips and falls and breaks their arm at a shopping mall, then they would need to sue those responsible for that accident.

In this case, the victim may want to consider suing the owner of the mall, as well as the owner of the store, and even the operator of the cleaning company contracted to keep the floors clean.  If a defendant can show they are not a responsible party, then the judge can dismiss the lawsuit until the victim is able to identify and serve the proper party.

2. Motion for Summary Judgment

After filing a lawsuit, the defendant normally responds by filing a formal “answer” to the complaint. Thereafter, the discovery process begins, which is where each side requests documents and information from each other and from other parties who may be helpful to the case.  For example, during discovery, the accident victim can request that a store turn over its incident records or surveillance video.  Also, a store manager can be deposed by the victim to get sworn testimony of things like what he or she saw and heard that day.

After some discovery has occurred, a defendant may then move or ask the court to enter a judgment in its favor, and end the lawsuit, because there are no issues in dispute or because the lawsuit was filed after the statute of limitations has passed.

Statute of Limitation

In Florida, personal injury cases have to be filed within a certain time frame.  The Florida Legislature has set these deadlines in specific statutes, called statutes of limitations.

According to Florida Statute 95.11, personal injury claims must be filed within 4 years from the date of an accident.

If a victim does not meet that deadline, then no matter how serious their injuries may be the lawsuit will not be permitted to continue. By law, the judge is required to grant a motion for summary judgment in favor of the defendant, thereby ending the lawsuit forever.

3. Costs of Litigation – Time and Money

Most personal injury claims in Florida do not go to trial.  Many of them don’t even reach the courthouse as a lawsuit.  The great majority of accident claims are settled between the parties in pretrial settlement negotiations.

For those cases that don’t settle, the victim is left to file a lawsuit to have a jury determine if compensation will be awarded. In order to win at trial, an victim will have to prove liability and damages, which can be time consuming and expensive to do.

Time

It can take time to gather what is needed to meet the accident victim’s burden of proving liability and damages. During the discovery process, the victim’s lawyer will send interrogatories (written questions served to a person requesting answers under oath), find and discuss the case with expert witnesses, send out requests for production (documents such as medical records to review), and submit to the defendant requests for admissions (for the purpose of having the adversary admit or deny statements given by the person serving the request.)  Preparing, sending and reviewing this information can take weeks or even months to complete.

In addition to discovery, litigation can be delayed due to the time it takes to set and attend hearings. For example, if a Plaintiff files a motion to compel a defendant to provide better answers to discovery, then that motion needs to be heard by the judge presiding over the lawsuit.

The Plaintiff will get a date and time for the hearing, but that happens only after coordinating a time and date that works for the adversarial party. This process of exchanging emails and phone calls to review calendars and find a date that suits both sides can be tedious. There is also the risk that the only available dates for a hearing are weeks, even months, in the future.

Money

A major expense in personal injury litigation are expert fees.  Written opinions from medical professionals may necessary to evaluate things like permanent bodily harm and lost earning capacity.  Doctors’ rates to support damage claims are expensive.  Sometimes, an accident reconstruction expert will need to give an opinion on what caused the car crash or slip and fall injury.  Engineers may charge an hourly fee to prepare and present their expert analysis of fault and liability.

Litigation costs can pile up quickly.  These include filing fees, deposition transcriptions, court reporter costs, photographic and video production and even copying costs.  The good news is that the victim’s personal injury lawyer will advance all of these costs and the victim will only be required to reimburse the lawyer if he or she is able to obtain a settlement or verdict against the defendant.

4. Proposals For Settlement and Paying The Defendant’s Attorney’s Fees

In Florida, there is the possibility that a plaintiff will not only lose the case, but also the court will order the victim to pay the legal fees incurred by the defendant or the defendant’s insurer.

If an accident victim has substantial assets, there could be a great risk in not accepting an offer of judgment served by the defendant. That is a large risk for an accident victim to consider when deciding between accepting a proposal for settlement from the defendant or going forward with the lawsuit and letting a jury decide the value of their claim.

Does this seem unfair?  It may be unfair but it is the law.

When the Florida legislature wrote the law on offers of judgment and demands for judgment, it did so on the basis of being in the public interest to promote settlements in order to ease the burden on our courts.  Under Florida Statute 768.79, the parties are usually required to pay the adversary’s attorney fees in a personal injury lawsuit if the following occurs:

  1. Defendant serves an offer of judgment (settlement offer in a very specific form);
  2. Plaintiff does not accept that offer within 30 days; and
  3. The result of this can be that the plaintiff does not receive a final result that is more than 75% of the offer.

If, for example, a plaintiff requests a $100,000 offer of settlement and they only award $50,000, then the defendant is entitled to have its attorney’s fees and costs incurred from the date of serving the offer of settlement deducted from the $50,000 award. The plaintiff may end up with a judgment against him/her, especially when the jury awards little to nothing and an offer of settlement was made by the defendant.

How does the defendant collect?  Just like any other bill collector. A judgment is entered by the judge and filed in the court house records, stating that the plaintiff owes the defendant a set amount which covers both costs and attorney fees incurred by the Defendant.

What if the defendant’s costs and fees total more than the judgment against the defendant?  Then the court will enter a judgment for the defendant in a net amount (total court costs and legal fees less amount of the judgment against the defendant).

What if the defendant has insurance that provides a legal defense? The plaintiff will still have to cover any judgment even if the defendant has an insurance policy that covers legal expenses. The insurer for the Defendant is entitled to recover its attorney’s fees and costs incurred from the date of serving an offer of judgment to the Plaintiff.

5. Damages Capped by State Law

Here in Florida, the legislature has passed statutes that “cap” damages in some kinds of personal injury cases.  This has been done in the public interest as decided by the lawmakers.

Damage Caps set a specific amount that is the maximum the accident victim is allowed to receive in their personal injury claim.  That’s all the victim will be able to recover from the defendant, doesn’t matter how serious he or she has been hurt.

Non-Economic Damages

Usually, Florida Damage Caps apply to “non-economic damages.”  We’ve discussed non-economic damages before.  Economic damages are those things you can easily document, like medical bills and lost wages.  Non-economic damages are fluid; non-monetary losses.  They aren’t as easy to prove.  Pain and suffering damages are an example of “non-economic damages.”

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are another kind of damage that is capped (limited) for Florida personal injury claims.  If a victim is hurt in a car crash or a slip and fall due to a wrongdoer’s reckless and wanton behavior, then a victim may feel that those responsible should be punished beyond making the victim whole.

That is the purpose of punitive damages: to punish the wrongdoer, independently of the amount of damages proven to be suffered by their victim.  See our earlier discussion on punitive damages for details.

However, punitive damages are limited (capped) in Florida personal injury cases.  Under Florida Statute 768.73, punitive damages can be no higher than 3 times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000.00, whichever is greater.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice claims have additional Damage Caps under the Florida statutes.  See Florida Statute 766. 118.  These are special limitations placed upon negligence claims against health care providers.  They limit recoveries even more than the standard damage caps for personal injury claims.

What Should You Do?

Personal injury lawsuits, like most lawsuits, comes with risks. Risks related to time, money and, in some instance, a victim’s well being.

If you have suffered serious damages in an accident here in Florida, and are considering settling your case or are assessing the risks of filing a lawsuit, then a good piece of advice is to speak with an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer to learn more about some of these issues, including how most insurance companies normally respond to personal injury claims claims and the type and amount of damages you may be entitled to recover. Most personal injury lawyers, like Alan Sackrin, will offer a free initial consultation (over the phone or in person, whichever you prefer) to answer your questions.

Related:

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Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.
 
 
 
 
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Can I prove injuries if I didn’t feel any pain at the time of the car accident ?

Posted By on January 24, 2017

In this video, Alan Sackrin answers a question that he has been asked many times before by clients and visitors to this site. If you have questions after watching the video, Alan is available to talk with you now and answer your questions free of charge:

Q: Can I prove injuries if I didn’t feel any pain at the time of the car accident?

A: If you did not feel pain at the time of the car crash, or shortly thereafter, you still can prove that you have sustained injuries, and sometimes significant injuries, as a result of that crash. Many people, at the time of a motor vehicle collision, are hurt but don’t realize it because there’s adrenaline flowing. Many people legitimately are not hurt at the time of an accident but the injuries are felt hours or even days later; that is not an uncommon occurrence.

However, in Florida car crashes, it is important for a plaintiff to prove that he or she has sustained a permanent injury from a car crash in order to recover money for pain and suffering. Sometimes, in those situations, it may be difficult for a jury to believe that a permanent injury was sustained when there was no injury claimed at the time of the accident. However, it still can be proved through your doctor’s testimony, through your testimony, and the testimony of people close to you.

Related:

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Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.

 

 

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Do I have to reimburse my personal health insurance company for medical expenses from my personal injury case?

Posted By on January 17, 2017

In this video, Alan Sackrin answers a question that he has been asked many times before by clients and visitors to this site. If you have questions after watching the video, Alan is available to talk with you now and answer your questions free of charge:

Q: Do I have to reimburse my personal health insurance company for medical expenses from my personal injury case?

A: If you have personal health insurance that has paid some of your medical bills resulting from a Florida personal injury case, you must reimburse that health insurance company some of the medical bills in most instances. That’s because of a concept known as subrogation. Since the health insurance has paid for medical bills that you are claiming resulted from the negligence of somebody else in a personal injury lawsuit in Florida, equity and fairness requires that at least some of those medical bills be returned to the health insurance company. Now it all depends upon the amount you recover and how difficult the case was. The health insurance company will negotiate with you and sometimes take pennies on the dollar.

Related:

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Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.

 

 

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Why Does It Matter If Someone Wasn’t Acting Reasonably At The Time Of An Accident?

Posted By on January 12, 2017

In Florida, we all know that an accident victim has the right to pursue money damages against a negligent wrongdoer (aka the “tortfeasor”). That, of course, assumes the victim’s injuries were caused by the tortfeasor’s action (or inaction).

The law in Florida, like most states, is that a tortfeasor is held to account for his or her failure to act reasonably.  Failing to act reasonably (or acting negligently) is the backbone of most personal injury law.  How does this work? To prove negligence and recover damages after an accident, a victim must prove the tortfeasor did not consider the harm they might foreseeably cause another person.

What is Negligence?

Negligence is a type of tort (a tort is a civil wrong where someone is injured). In Florida, our negligence law is made up of both statutes (laws written by our legislatures) and court opinions.

Additionally, under our negligence laws, tortfeasors can be held to compensate a victim for damages to the person as well as to their property.  Of course, not every loss related to a tortfeasor’s negligence can or will be recovered by the victim.

Watch: What are types of pain and suffering damages you can recover in a Florida slip and fall lawsuit?

Reasonable and Prudent Standard

Florida law places limitations on accident claims.  Meaning, before an accident victim can recover compensation, he or she will need to prove that the wrongdoer failed to act in a “reasonable” manner.

In Florida, every person is held to a “reasonable and prudent” standard.  So is every business. 

It is only when the tortfeasor fails to act reasonably that the tortfeasor can be found negligent under the law.

This means when you drive your car, you are expected to drive as a “reasonable and prudent” driver would under the circumstances.  If you are a grocery store, then you are to keep your store aisles clean and free from spills as any “reasonable and prudent”  grocer would do.

Doctors, are held to the same standard.  When a surgeon performs surgery, he or she is expected to act in the same manner as a “reasonable and prudent” member of the surgical profession in the community would do so.

The Florida Supreme Court explains it this way:

Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care, which is the care that a reasonably careful person would use under like circumstances.  Negligence is doing something that a reasonably careful person would not do under like circumstances or failing to do something that a reasonably careful person would do under like circumstances.

Florida Supreme Court Form Jury Instruction, Negligence, 401.4.

 

Scale of justice gold
 

Accident Claims and Reasonableness

Let’s consider two big areas of negligence law and damage claims:  car accidents and slip and falls.

In both of these injury claims, there will be an injured person, and there will be a negligent party.  Maybe this is another driver.  Maybe this is a business owner or operator, like a restaurant, a supermarket, or a hotel.

For both of these accident claims, the burden of proof is on the victim. The victim must show someone was negligent and the negligence caused their injuries.

A victim does this by providing authentic and admissible evidence of negligence.  In a personal injury lawsuit, these requirements must be met in order for the jury to consider their claim.

The key elements to prove of each of these types of negligence claims are: (1) a legal duty of care was owed to the victim; (2) that duty of care was breached; this (3) caused the accident; and (4) damages resulted from the accident.

The duty of care is the first element that the accident victim after a car crash or slip and fall injury must establish.  What is that “duty of care”?  The answer is to act in a reasonable and prudent manner under the circumstances.

Negligence exists when the other driver (or the store or hotel, etc.) failed to act reasonably in the circumstances and someone was hurt because of it.

Here are some examples:

Car Accidents

After a car accident, a victim will file a claim for damages with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.  If the at-fault driver failed to drive as a reasonable driver would have under the circumstances, then he or she should be deemed negligent.  Here are 4 types of common car accident claims:

1. Loss of Control Car Accident

It’s not easy to define a “loss of control” car accident, because these kinds of crashes involve all sorts of circumstances.  For instance, someone who jackknifes on the highway and causes an accident is responsible for a loss of control car accident.  Depending on the facts, a rear-end accident may also be classified as a loss of control accident.

The key here is that the other driver was not able to control his or her vehicle.  And, the key to his or her liability will be if he or she was not acting as a reasonable and prudent driver would act under the circumstances.

For more factors to consider in a loss of control accident, see our post, How Do You Know If A Driver Acted Reasonably In Trying To Prevent a Loss of Control Car Accident?

2. Rear End Car Accident

Rear end crashes happen all the time here in Florida.  They happen for several reasons.  Maybe the at-fault driver was distracted.   This might be from road noise, or from his own activity like texting on their phone; eating in the car; or checking the GPS.

Often, rear end car accidents happen when the driver in the front car gets scared because of a road hazard.  Maybe an animal darts into the road ahead.  Maybe a basketball bounces into traffic, and the driver is afraid a child will run out into traffic.

Also, a driver may suddenly decide to take a right hand turn, right into the path of another vehicle that has the right of way.  Or, maybe the front car slams on its brakes for whatever reason.

The key here will be if the driver was acting reasonably at the time of the accident.  Was it reasonable to be distracted by their phone?  Probably not.  Was it reasonable to brake because of a basketball bouncing into the car’s path?  Maybe so.

For more factors to consider in a rear end car accident, see our post How Do You Know If A Driver Acted Reasonably In Trying To Avoid A Rear End Car Accident?

3. Backing Car Accident

A backing crash happens when a driver puts his vehicle in reverse and hits the gas pedal.  He or she drives into or over someone who is not in a car.  The victim may be walking, or on a bicycle.  Backovers can happen on public or on private property, like a restaurant parking lot. Often, children are the victims of these kinds of accidents.

Was the backing driver reasonable or was she negligent?  Each case is different.  For more factors to consider in a backing car accident, see our post discussing Backing Car Accidents in Florida.

4. Pedestrian Accident

Pedestrian accidents happen when a driver hits someone on foot with his or her moving vehicle.   Insurance companies usually assume the driver is at fault in these kinds of cases.  However, this is not always true.

There are situations where the driver was driving defensively and will not be found negligent and liable for the accident.  For example, if a child suddenly darts out into traffic, then the driver may not have been able to avoid the accident.

Was the driver reasonable or negligent in your case?  Each case is different.  For more factors to consider in a pedestrian accident, see our post How Do You Know If A Driver Acted Reasonably In Trying To Prevent a Pedestrian Accident?

Slip and Falls

Slip and fall accidents happen in all kinds of places.  Anytime someone loses their footing and falls, that is considered a “slip and fall” accident.  It may be caused by a substance on the floor at a grocery store, or a napkin left on a restaurant floor, or the slip and fall is caused by soap scum in a hotel shower tub or shower.  One thing remains the same for all slip and fall accidents: Florida’s premises liability law will hold the owner or operator of the premises liable for the accident if their negligence caused the fall and the victim is injured as a result of the negligence.

1. Stairways

Falling down on a stairway often results in serious bodily injuries.  So much so, insurance companies have done research studies on stairway slip and falls to try and minimize these risks.  Stairs are required to have all sorts of safety features as a result:  things like handrails at a certain height.

Did the owner of the stairway act reasonably and take steps to prevent a slip and fall (was there adequate lighting or were slip resistant strips in use on the stairs)?  For more factors to consider in a stairway slip and fall accident, see our post discussing Stairway Slip and Fall Accidents.

2. Parking Lots

In Florida, owners of parking lots have two duties of care to their invitees:  (1) to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition and (2) to give warning of concealed perils.  Burton v. MDC PGA Plaza Corp., 78 So.3d 732, 734 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012).

Failure to warn of a crack in the asphalt footpath may be negligence, just as having failed to mop up standing water after a thunderstorm.

Again, did the owner of the parking lot take reasonable steps (were the wheel stops and speed bumps painted yellow or was proper warning signage in use) to prevent a slip and fall accident?  For additional factors to consider in a parking lot slip and fall accident, see our post discussing Parking Lot Slip and Fall Accidents.

3. Restrooms

Public restrooms need to be clean and well-maintained so they are safe for those invitees who have access to them.  If there is a slip and fall accident in a public restroom, then all sorts of failures on the part of the business owner may have contributed to the victim’s injuries (slippery floor, poor lighting, leaky roof, etc.).   The key here will be if the owner or operator of the public restroom acted reasonably in trying to keep the restroom safe for patrons.

Was the owner of the restroom reasonable?  Here are some factors to consider in a restroom slip and fall accident, discussed in our post “How Do You Know If A Business Acted Reasonably In Trying To Prevent a Restroom Slip and Fall Accident?

4. Stage or Elevation

Any kind of change in a footpath, like going up as you step forward, is considered a “stage” or “elevation” for accident claim purposes.  These are called “change in elevation slip and falls.” They can be caused by all sorts of things, like raised seating areas, platforms, piers, mezzanines, or curbs.

Did the owner of the stage or elevation act reasonably in trying to prevent an accident from occurring? What steps did he or she take to protect against foreseeable injuries?  For factors to consider in a stage or elevation slip and fall accident, see our post Stage or Elevation Slip and Falls in Florida.

5. Walkway or Hallway

Accidents where someone falls and is hurt in a walkway or hallway can happen in a wide variety of locations and businesses.  After all, there are walkways and hallways in most business establishments.

For a successful negligence claim, the accident victim must show a failure to maintain reasonable care of the area, causing the slip and fall (like not treating a tile or marble floor, or another slippery surface, with a slip resistance film or not mopping or waxing the floor regularly).

Was the owner of the walkway or hallway reasonable?  For factors to consider in a walkway slip and fall accident, see our discussion on Walkway or Hallway Slip and Fall Accidents.

6. Entryway

A business owner or operator owes a duty of care to its invitees from the minute they cross the property line.  If someone slips and falls in a business entryway, then that owner will be liable for that accident if they were negligent in taking care of that entryway (like not having slip resistant mats when it is raining outside or failing to replace old or damaged mats or mats that are curling).

Entryways must be both inviting and safe.  Was the owner of the entryway reasonable in taking care of the area when you slipped and fell?

For factors to consider in an entryway slip and fall accident, see our post discussing 30 Questions to Ask After an Entryway Slip and Fall.

7. Office

When you are injured in an office, the business owner or operator may be held liable for the accident.  However, if you are an invitee the law will be applied differently than if you are an employee.  In Florida, if you are injured in an office slip and fall accident, then you may have coverage with your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage.

However, in both situations the question of negligence will be the same. Was the owner of the office reasonable (like safely positioning trash cans or boxes out of foot path traffic or in a spot where someone won’t trip over them) in trying to prevent this kind of accident in the office?  For other factors to consider in an office slip and fall accident, see our post discussing Office Slip and Fall Accidents.

Do You Have an Accident Damages Claim?

If you have been hurt in a slip and fall accident,  or in a car crash, then the key to your accident claim is whether or not a duty of care was violated.  If the person (or business) who caused the accident failed to act reasonably, then they can be held liable for your damages. Damages can include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering  and more.

If you or a loved one has suffered harm due to the negligence of another person or business, a good piece of advice is to speak with an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer to learn about some of the issues that can arise, including how most insurance companies respond to these claims and the type and amount of damages you can recover. Most personal injury lawyers, like Alan Sackrin, will offer a free initial consultation (over the phone or in person, whichever you prefer) to answer your questions.

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Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.
 
 
 
 
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Should a passenger file an insurance claim against the driver of the vehicle the passenger is in or against the other driver if the other driver is at fault?

Posted By on January 10, 2017

In this video, Alan Sackrin answers a question that he has been asked many times before by clients and visitors to this site. If you have questions after watching the video, Alan is available to talk with you now and answer your questions free of charge:

Q: Should a passenger file an insurance claim against the driver of the vehicle the passenger is in or against the other driver if the other driver is at fault?

A: If you are a passenger in somebody else’s car in Florida, and you own your own car and you’re injured in that accident, you must first make a claim against your own car insurance for PIP or no fault benefits. As far as a bodily liability claim, if you are a passenger in one car, and another vehicle’s driver caused the accident, you make a bodily injury liability claim against that other driver. If that other driver did not have any bodily injury liability insurance, there is a chance that you can make what’s called an uninsured motorist claim, and proceed against the insurance company of the driver of your vehicle. It’s a very complicated question and it’s nuance depends upon a variety of factors.

Related:

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Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.

 

 

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What happens if the damages in an auto accident lawsuit exceeds the amount of liability insurance?

Posted By on January 3, 2017

In this video, Alan Sackrin answers a question that he has been asked many times before by clients and visitors to this site. If you have questions after watching the video, Alan is available to talk with you now and answer your questions free of charge:

Q: What happens if the damages in an auto accident lawsuit exceeds the amount of liability insurance?

A: When the damages that you have sustained in a motor vehicle collision exceed the amount of liability insurance the at-fault driver has, there are several things you can try to do. One is to proceed against your own uninsured motorist insurance company, if in fact you have uninsured motorist insurance. Or if you were in someone else’s car, you could proceed against that person’s uninsured motorist insurance. Sometimes you can do asset checks to determine if in fact the person who caused the accident had assets from which you can collect in addition to the liability insurance. Many time, unfortunately, someone is badly injured and a person has minimal liability insurance, minimal assets and there is no uninsured motorist coverage available. Sometimes, unfortunately, you are forced to settle the case for much less than your case is worth.

Related:

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Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.

 

 

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Florida Hotel Negligence Claims

Posted By on December 29, 2016

Florida is the top travel destination in the world making the Florida hotel industry essential to our economy.  In 2011, there were over 370,000 hotel rooms in the State of Florida – and that number has skyrocketed since then.

Florida Hotels Have Deep Pockets and Are Prepared To Defend Themselves Against Negligence Claims

Millions are made by these hotels each year by providing hospitable places for their guests to stay.  Business travelers may visit a downtown hotel for a single night; families on vacation may reside in a local resort for weeks at a time.

In Florida, this enterprise is known as the “hospitality” industry.  From small bed and breakfasts to the largest resorts here in South Florida, hotels work to provide their clientele with a “home away from home.”  It’s big business here.

In fact, we have an international reputation for having some of the most luxurious, and inviting hotels in the entire world.  Florida hotels work hard to build a welcoming reputation and to establish continuing relationships with their guests and clientele.

Accordingly, the Florida hotel industry is sophisticated as it relates to protecting itself.  Most hotels have varying types of insurance coverage in place to protect against their negligence, including accident liability (general liability coverage), auto liability, liquor liability, food borne illness liability, cyber liability and premises pollution liability coverage (i.e. mold claims). They also have a time tested strategy of arguing that their liability is limited when it comes to compensating a hotel negligence victim.

 

Biltmore Hotel, Palm Beach, Florida

One of the most famous hotels in the world is the Biltmore Hotel in Palm Beach.


 

Do Hotels Have a Special Duty of Care Under Florida Law?

Florida law recognizes the unique service that our hospitality industry provides to its customers.  Hotel guests are dependent upon these businesses to make sure they are safe from harm.

There is a special kind of vulnerability when someone trusts a hotel to act as their second home: a place where they sleep, take a shower, and leave their property behind.

Accidents do happen at hotels and people do get hurt, sometimes severely, as a hotel guest, patron, or visitor.

Consequently, our legislature found it necessary to regulate the industry.  Hotels and motels operate under a defined “duty of care” established by Florida law.  The hotels must meet minimum operating standards in their business operations.  Otherwise, they can be held liable for damages resulting from their failure to meet those minimum standards.

See our earlier discussion of the hotel industry’s desire for profits and how this balances with their duty to keep people safe from harm, “Florida Hotel Guests and Hotel Injuries: Do Hotels Consider their Duty to Provide Safety and Security as “Risk Management”?

Florida Statutes: Hotels are Public Lodging Establishments

Under Chapter 509 of the Florida Statutes, hotels are defined as “public lodging establishments.” This is a series of laws passed by the Florida Legislature to make sure that hotels exercise special precautions to protect their invitees in the course of their business operations.

These laws force hotels to take precautions against people getting hurt in slip and fall accidents as well as other accidents, like site hazards (e.g., drowning in an unattended swimming pool or ocean waters) and during criminal acts (robbery, assault, rape).

However, precautions can cost money.

Sadly, all too often hotels choose to neglect the dangers in order to increase revenue, and that’s when accidents happen.

Do Hotels Have a Special Relationship Under the Law with Their Guests?

In addition to statutory laws, the courts have imposed a common law duty of care upon the Florida hospitality industry.  Hotels can be found liable for negligence by the courts when their guests, patrons, or visitors suffer harm because of the hotel’s mistakes or carelessness.  As one Florida judge explains:

“[A]n innkeeper has a special relationship with his guests which gives rise to a duty to protect them against unreasonable risk of physical harm.” Adika v. Beekman Towers, 633 So.2d 1170, 1170-71 (Fla. 3d DCA 1994).

Are There Different Levels of Care?

Yes, in Florida there are different legal duties owed to different types of people.  For example, a Florida hotel does not owe as much duty of care to a trespasser as it does to the guest who is staying in the penthouse.  See, What Type Of Legal Duty Does A Florida Property Owner Have For Injuries To Visitors?: Florida Premises Liability- Invitee, Licensee, & Trespasser Distinctions.

Accordingly, an accident victim can expect a hotel defendant to try and argue a lesser duty based upon the victim’s status: invitee versus licensee versus trespasser.

3.  Special Jurisdiction:  Hard Rock Café and Indian Hotels and Resorts

Visitors to Florida may not realize that some of our most popular hotels and resorts are owned and operated independently of state and federal law.  They are tribal properties and Florida negligence law does not apply to some accidents that happen on tribal land.

Thus, for example, if you are injured at certain locations within the Hard Rock Café, then tribal law will apply to your accident claim.  (The Seminole Tribe owns and operates the Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos in Florida.)

See, Florida Hotel Liability: If You are Hurt in a Tribal Hotel, Resort, or Casino on Indian Reservation Land Then Florida Injury Laws Will Not Protect You.

What Are The Common Ways People Get Hurt at Florida Hotels?

Over the years, we have seen all sorts of ways that people can get hurt on hotel property.  It seems as if danger lurks around every corner.  Guests and other patrons have been victims of hotel negligence while swimming in the hotel pool, eating in the restaurant, or walking back to their hotel room across the parking lot.

Additionally, hotels have been found liable for injuries sustained by food poisoning, slip and falls in private bathrooms, or trips over guest room furniture.  Sadly, some very serious hotel injuries have occurred due to criminal acts perpetrated on hotel guests or patrons on the hotel premises, such as in badly lit areas of the hotel grounds.

Premises Liability – Slip and Fall Accidents

Simply stated, Florida’s premises liability law protects guests staying at a Florida hotel who are injured in a slip and fall. Here are the two ways a hotel can be held accountable to a victim:

1. Florida Premises Liability Law 768.0755

Florida Statute 768.0755 is the law that applies when someone falls at a business premises and the cause of the fall is from a substance on the floor.  Under the law, a guest who is hurt in a fall on hotel property can recover compensation for their injuries provided he or she can prove that the business establishment had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken action to remedy it.

Since Florida Statute 768.0755 is so important, we recommend reading our earlier posts which discuss the legislative amendments to the statute, which increase the burden on an accident victim to prove their claim.  See:

2. Florida Premises Liability Precedent

There may also be liability for the hotel based upon Florida court case precedent, where a legal duty to keep patrons safe is placed upon the hotel owner or operator.

6 Common Hotel Slip and Fall Claims

Perhaps the most common accident at a Florida hotel involves someone getting hurt from a slip and fall.  We’ve discussed these dangers before.

Here are some examples of common slip and fall accidents where the Florida hotel’s negligence caused someone harm:

  • Slip And Fall at the Swimming Pool or Spa

Hotel Accident Claims: Hurt in the Hotel Pool

Can a person entering a hotel to use the swimming pool without authority change their status from trespasser to invitee by befriending or conversing with hotel guests?

  • Trip And Fall Over Broken Hotel Furniture

Does a Hotel Have a Duty to Protect You From Hidden Defects?

  • Slip And Fall In a Hotel Room Bathroom, Shower, or  Bathtub

Slip and Fall in Your Hotel Bathroom: Florida Hotel Accident Claims

How Do You Know If a Florida Hotel Acted Reasonably In Trying To Prevent A Bathtub or Shower Slip and Fall?

  • Slip And Fall In Stairways

How Do You Know If A Business or Property Owner Acted Reasonably In Trying To Prevent A Stairway Slip and Fall Accident?

  • Slip and Fall Because of Missing, Damaged, Or Worn Floor Mats

How to Settle a Walkway or Hallway Slip and Fall Accident

  • Slip And Fall In Parking Lots

Hotel Off-Premises Liability: Hotel Guest Killed Crossing the Highway

Burns

Burns have different causes.  Chemicals can cause burns to human skin.  Fire and its flames can cause serious or fatal burns, too.  Electrical burns can happen in hotels that can be very serious.  Even hot water out of the shower can scald a hotel guest.

Hotels can be held liable for burn injuries when they are shown to have failed in their duty of care.  Premises liability can be demonstrated in the failure to maintain hot water heaters properly, to repairing electrical cords or outlets, to neglecting proper swimming pool maintenance.

  • Chemical Burns From Too Much Chlorine In Pool

Hotel Accident Claims: Hurt in the Hotel Pool

  • Burns – Hot Water Thermostat To High – Chemical Burns

What duty does a hotel operator have towards its guests?

Injury from Sloppy Repair or Maintenance

Hotels have a duty to keep their property well maintained.  Since so many people come through the hotel properties each day, cleanliness is a priority and housekeeping must be top-notch.   Likewise, food preparation and food service operations must be safe.

Some common accidents that happen when housekeeping or hotel workers fail to do their jobs in kitchens, bars, restaurants, or laundries include things like bed bug outbreaks as well as food poisoning. See:

Duty to Protect Yourself at a Hotel, Bar, Theme Park, Concert — Who Has The Responsibility to Protect Customers Against Injuries?

Tourist Injuries: How Florida Tourist Hurt While Here on Vacation or on Business Can Get Help Under Florida Law.

Victims of Criminal Acts

Criminals may find Florida hotels very tempting spots in which to prey upon tourists and business visitors for crimes like robbery, burglary, or rape.  Sometimes, festive atmospheres in bars, lounges, or private party rooms sour as emotions run high and fist fights erupt (or other violence).  When crimes occur, criminals will be investigated and charged by law enforcement.

Hotels are aware that they can attract criminals and are legally bound to fight crime on their property.  Things like security guards, hotel room locks, security cameras, and proper lighting of hallways, garages, etc., are all steps that responsible hotels take to keep people safe from theft, assault, and other crimes.

When crimes do happen on hotel property, a crime victim may be able to recover compensation for their injuries.

Florida hotel negligence laws provide the hotel crime victim with monetary damages (pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses and more) for the harm they have suffered in the criminal act.  If the hotel failed in its duty of care, that crime victim may have a claim based upon premises liability.  For details, see:

  • Security Issues

Hurt in a South Florida Hotel? Does Florida Law Protect You From Negligence of Hotel Security and Hotel Operations?

Crime Victims’ Compensation in Florida: Money Provided for Florida Victims of Crime Who Are Injured and Hurt During Crime

  • Assaults – Guest, Staff, Non-Guests

Hotel Accidents: Hurt by Another Hotel Guest?

When should a hotel have a security guard to protect its guests?

  • Inadequate Lighting

Florida Hotel Laws: Who Controls and Regulates Hotel Safety and Security for Hotel Guests in Florida? Federal or State Laws?

Poor Lighting Can Cause You to Fall: Slip and Fall Accidents and Inadequate Lighting

  • Liquor Liability Accident Claims

Florida Dram Shop Laws: Do Victims Of DUI Accidents Have A Civil Damage Lawsuit Claim Against Bar, Hotel, Restaurant That Sold The Drinks?

What Should You Do If You Are Pursuing a Florida Hotel Injury Claim?

For victims of an accident at a Florida hotel, it is important to investigate how the law protects hotel guests, patrons, and visitors from the type of injury that the victim has sustained.

  • Are there Florida statutes or other Florida law that cover what has happened?
  • If so, what are the requirements placed upon the accident victim to get justice from the negligent hotel owner or operator?
  • What damages will be covered under Florida law?

If you can show that the hotel was negligent (by proving the hotel breached its duty of care), then the hotel  can be held liable for your injuries.

If you or a loved one has suffered harm at a Florida hotel and you have questions about dealing with a claim or an insurance adjuster, a good piece of advice is to speak with an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer to learn about some of the issues that can arise, including how most insurance companies respond to these claims and the type and amount of damages you can recover. Most personal injury lawyers, like Alan Sackrin, will offer a free initial consultation (over the phone or in person, whichever you prefer) to answer your questions.

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Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.
 
 
 
 
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How does an insurance company decide how much they will pay to compensate someone for an injury?

Posted By on December 27, 2016

In this video, Alan Sackrin answers a question that he has been asked many times before by clients and visitors to this site. If you have questions after watching the video, Alan is available to talk with you now and answer your questions free of charge:

Q: How does an insurance company decide how much they will pay to compensate someone for an injury?

A: Insurance companies will look at the liability or the fault aspect of the case as well as the damages and will analyze whether it believes it’s insured, is it fault in the case or partly at fault in the case, and it will also look at the nature and extent of the damages. Insurance companies are highly skilled in evaluating cases given the fact that they have had thousands and millions of such cases. They generally categorize such cases depending upon the injuries you sustained and they offer an amount based upon what they’ve offered in the past and what they’ve seen juries give when cases go all the way through a jury.  Again, they will analyze the issue of fault or liability, and they will analyze the nature and extent of the injuries including any future damages and future medical treatment that’s going to be needed.

Related:

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Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.

 

 

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