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Hurricane Irma Claims—It’s Not Too Late

It has been two years since Hurricane Irma hit the coast of Florida, and some people are still recovering from devastating loss. Yet some homeowners may not have been impacted as much as others. Often roof damage from a heavy storm or hurricane is not immediately apparent. Have you filed your Hurricane Irma claim? If not, or if you have discovered additional damages, it is not too late to file or reopen a claim.

Statute of Limitations

There is a limitation on how long you have to file a claim after a hurricane. According to Section 95.11(2)(e), Florida Statutes, you have up to five years from the date of the loss to file an action for breach of property insurance contract.  Many people think that a lawsuit has to be filed right away. However, you actually have until September 10, 2022, before you run out of time under the Statute of Limitations. 

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Three Types of Compensation in Personal Injury Cases

When you are involved in any type of personal injury case, there are certain types of compensation for which you may be eligible. While only an experienced attorney can determine what types of compensation are likely, it is a good idea to be familiar with the different types of compensation going into the process. There are three primary types of compensation, or damages, which can be awarded in personal injury cases.

stock photo of insurance claim form

Compensatory

Compensatory damages is the type of compensation that is the most concrete. This type of compensation includes things like lost wages, medical bills, property damage, and ongoing medical care. These damages are ones that you can easily prove you deserve based on the merits of the case and the financial losses you sustained regarding the injury.

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Why You Should Not Accept the Initial Insurance Settlement

When you have an accident that leads to an injury, chances are you will be dealing with an insurance company. You may be working with your own insurance company. Or, if the accident was the fault of another party, you may be dealing with their insurance company. In either case, you should never accept an initial bodily injury settlement that they offer without first talking to an attorney.

The Insurance Investigation

Insurance companies use a lot of different factors to determine how much compensation for which you are eligible. This may include the extent of your injuries, your related medical bills, property damage if applicable, the cause of the accident, and more. Insurance adjusters investigate claims that are made on policies to ensure that they are handled appropriately. After the initial investigation, a settlement is offered. This settlement is usually the bare minimum that will cover your losses as determined by the insurance company. In some cases, the settlement may not even cover all of your financial costs related to the accident. We often say, “insurance companies are in the business of collecting premiums, not paying claims”.  

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What Constitutes Negligence in Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury cases often times come down to a question as to who is at fault, which usually means proving that the individual or company was negligent causing the injury. Regardless of the type of personal injury case or the accident involved, you have to prove that the other party was negligent in order for them to be required to pay you compensation for your injuries. 

image of car crash with emergency responders

Definition of Negligence

Negligence in personal injury cases is defined as the failure to use reasonable care in a given situation, but it really goes beyond this. You have to be able to prove that the responsible party actually caused the accident by not doing something, or doing something, that directly caused the accident.

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What You Need to Know about FMLA

The Family Medical Leave Act is complex, and sometimes even employers don’t understand the law. If eligible, FMLA allows you to take unpaid leave from work for up to 12 weeks for your own serious medical condition or to care for a family member with a serious medical condition. You can also use FMLA in a couple of other situations. It is important to understand your rights to leave when it comes to the Family Medical Leave Act. Here’s what you need to know.

Photo of parents with a baby between them

Not Everyone Qualifies

Not everyone qualifies for leave under the FMLA. Employers who have less than 50 employees do not have to provide leave under FMLA. As an employee at a qualifying employer, you must have been employed for at least one year and worked at least 1250 hours the previous year. Before you file a lawsuit for your employer failing to provide you with leave under FMLA, make sure you qualify.

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Three Reasons You Need an Attorney After an Auto Accident

After having an auto accident, you have a lot on your mind. You have to get your vehicle repaired or replaced, take care of duties you missed while you were injured, and play catch up at work. You also have to be concerned with dealing with insurance companies, doctors, and follow-up medical care. Having an attorney after an auto accident gives you some much needed support during this time. Here are three reasons you should hire an attorney after an auto accident.

Prove Your Claim

In order to get full compensation for your auto accident, you will need to be able to prove that you were not at fault, who was at fault, and how the accident happened. Much of this information comes from the scene of the accident. But if you didn’t get photos of the scene or contact information for all witnesses, some investigation may be necessary. At times, a reconstruction expert is needed to determine how the accident happened and who was at fault. An attorney can assist with gathering this and other evidence to prove your claim.

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What is Wrongful Termination and What Can You Do?

You may or may not know that Florida is an at will employment state. This means that you can leave your job at any time for any reason. It also means that your employer can fire you at any time for any reason, or for no reason at all (so long as it does not violate some specific federal or state law). With these laws in place, it may seem that there is no such thing as wrongful termination. However, even in an at will state, you have rights as to how and when your employment is terminated. Here’s what wrongful termination is and what you can do about it.

whistleblower

Definition of Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination is the type of case that you have against an employer if they fired you for a federally protected reason. For example, if your employer fires you based on any type of discrimination such as gender, religion, sexuality, or race, you will have a wrongful termination case. You may also have a wrongful termination case if your employer fires you after you blew the whistle on their unethical or illegal activities, either as a company or from specific individuals within the company.

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3 Common Injuries from Auto Accidents

Auto accidents happen frequently in America. In fact, there are about six million car accidents every year in the United States. With so many accidents happening all around us, it is no wonder that there are some injuries that are the most common in these types of accidents. Here are the three most common types of injuries that result from car accidents.

Whiplash / Spinal Injuries

Whiplash is the most common injury related to car accidents. Whiplash occurs when your body is thrown forward against your seat belt. While the seat belt prevents you from going through the windshield, it does not stop the force that drives your body forward upon impact. Often people with whiplash also have injuries from their seat belt itself, or from the air bags deploying.

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What Not to Say at the Scene of an Auto Accident

When you have an auto accident, there is usually an at-fault party. If someone else is responsible for the accident, you want to make sure that you protect your right to be compensated for your injuries and property damage. To protect yourself, you must be very careful about what you do at the scene of the accident. One of the things you need to pay attention to is what you say. Here are a few things that many people say at auto accidents that can ruin your case.

image of car crash with emergency responders

I’m Sorry

You should never apologize or say the words “I’m sorry” to anyone involved in the accident, including witnesses. Even if you are only saying that you are sorry someone is hurt because you are being empathetic, this can be held against you later. If you apologize or show empathy, it could be argued later that you admitted fault.

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Why You Should Have an Attorney to Negotiate with Insurance Companies

Whether your personal injury case involves a slip and fall accident, an auto accident, a motorcycle accident, or a construction accident, more than likely there will be an insurance company involved. There are several reasons you should not try to negotiate with insurance companies on your own. It is always best to have an attorney.

stock photo of insurance claim form

Looking Out for Number One

Insurance companies are only looking out for themselves. They want to pay out as little as possible, because providing settlement checks cuts into their profits. While they are obligated to provide compensation, they are going to do everything they can to pay as little as possible. They will likely offer you a very quick settlement if you are willing to take their initial offer. This initial offer is usually much lower than the compensation that you are actually entitled to. Instead of taking whatever the insurance company offers, it is important to consult with an attorney and allow them to negotiate on your behalf.

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