Car accidents occur everyday on our busy South Florida roadways. Sometimes, more than just your car is damaged. Oftentimes, the onset of pain from a car collision will not occur for several days or even weeks after the accident.
Even though you may feel a rush of adrenaline or even shock following an automobile accident, there are several things that you should do if/when you are involved in an accident:
Move the Vehicles
If the vehicles involved in the car accident are obstructing traffic, but can be moved, move them out of the way so that further damage can be avoided. Also, secondary accidents do occur when wrecked cars block the roadway. This can be especially true during high traffic times in South Florida.
Call For Help
Make sure that you and any other people involved in the car accident are all right. Contact the police so they can assist in the auto accident process, take witness statements and make a report. Even though the police report is generally not accepted in Courts, the insurance company of the at fault driver will often make a determination of liability based on the police report.
This is a crucial element. Make sure you get the all the other drivers' and passengers' information for all involved in an accident. This is typically done by the police, but sometimes at the scene the officers may not thoroughly obtain this information.
Do Not Admit Anything
As mentioned above, a car accident can leave you shaken and confused. This could result in you making an admission that may or may not comport with what actually happened from the accident. Admitting fault at the accident could impede a claim and may not be accurate.
Eye witnesses are key to encouraging insurance companies to accept liability and paying your claim. If there are no listed witnesses, most insurance companies will simply deny claims simply and make you prove the claim using an accident reconstruction expert.
Contact an Experienced Accident Attorney
An experienced car accident attorney will be invaluable in assisting you when filing your auto accident claim.
You should always consult with a physician after an automobile accident in order to ensure that the impact has not damaged your body's joints, muscles, bones or even, in some cases, your internal organs. An experienced car accident lawyer can assist guide you through this system.
Unfortunately, many insurance companies make it extremely difficult for individuals to proceed without an attorney. An experienced attorney can walk you through the process, make sure your medical bills are paid, ensure that any lost time from work is recouped from the at-fault drivers insurance an ensure that none of the time constraints for filing claim are missed.
The insurance company for the at-fault driver does not have any incentive to protect your rights. The insurance company's incentive is to save money on your claim by paying as little as possible. You should be wary of any offers from an insurance company that are made prior to you seeking advice from an attorney.
And remember, the law firm takes these cases on a contingency fee so that you do not pay anything if there is no recovery on your case.
Premises Liability (Slip and Fall)
Premises liability is an area of law that holds a property owner responsible for any injuries sustained by other people on their premises. Often times, premises liability cases involve “slip and fall” claims.
You may be able to file a premises liability claim if you injure yourself by slipping and falling on another person’s property. Slip and falls can occur when a property owner negligently allows an unexpectedly wet or uneven surface. It is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain their property and prevent visitors from slipping on wet or uneven obstacles like spilled liquids or unmarked holes.
Although a slip and fall may not seem like a serious event, it can leave you in a wheelchair. Unfortunately, the law has many rules and regulations concerning premises liability. An experienced premises liability lawyer will help you file your slip and fall premises liability claim.
The law was recently changed in this arena to favor business owners. So if you slip and fall at a place of business, make sure you determine on what substance/defect you slipped or tripped on. The burden is now on the person who slipped or fell to prove that the business owner knew or should have know about the dangerous condition on which you slipped. If you do not know what you slipped or fell on, take the time to find the condition or your claim could be greatly impeded.
These types of accidents can cause both economic and non-economic damages. Sometimes surgery may even be required. It is a fact that juries generally do not favor Plaintiffs in slip and fall cases. That is why you need an attorney with experience handling your slip and fall claim.
Dog bites occur all the time here in South Florida, and the effects can sometimes be devastating, and even lethal. In almost all dog bite incidents, the injured party will be able to recover compensation for their injuries.
Florida has a statute that actually holds dog owners strictly liable for the injuries that are caused by their dog in certain instances. There are nuances to the statute, which is why you need an experienced attorney to handle your dog bite case.
By contacting an experienced dog bite attorney as soon as possible after the dog bite, you will gain information on important rules and regulations like:
Statutes of Limitations
Personal Injury Damages
If you have been injured by a dog bite, you may be able to recover compensation. Due to the complexity of laws that would apply in Florida, you should seek the assistance of an experienced dog bite lawyer before filing your claim.
After an auto accident, it is the job of the insurance company to investigate the accident and determine how much compensation you should be paid. The insurance adjuster will talk to you about the auto accident and what damage resulted from the auto accident.
Keep in mind that the job of the insurance adjuster is to save the insurance company as much money as possible. This means they will attempt to have you admit fault, accept a small amount of compensation, or avoid hiring a lawyer.
Unfortunately, while an insurance adjuster may act as though they want the best for you, they don’t work for you. They work for the insurance company. The best way to deal with insurance adjusters is to hire an experienced auto accident lawyer and let your auto accident lawyer handle the insurance adjusters directly.
When meeting with an insurance adjuster, you should always have an experienced auto accident lawyer present. This will make the insurance adjuster take you more seriously, and, at the same time, your auto accident lawyer can offer valuable advice while responding to the insurance adjuster, as well as act as a witness to the conversation.
An auto accident can be a very serious situation, and an insurance adjuster may attempt to make your losses seem as small as possible. This is unfair to you. You deserve to be wholly compensated for your losses after an auto accident.
One of the fastest growing areas in Florida law relates to pharmaceutical and medication errors by physicians and pharmacists. Due to recent changes in the law, pharmacists now have a higher duty to patients when filling prescriptions. A pharmacist has the duty to verify if a prescription is correct, even though the physician has prescribed the medication. The pharmacist must use their expertise and training to ensure that a doctor's prescription is safe for the patient. Mr. Reitzell has handled cases against pharmacists who have breached this duty to their patients. An example of a pharmaceutical error arises when a team of treating physician's with different specialties is treating one patient. If those physicians prescribe medications that are contra-indicated or otherwise dangerous when combined, the pharmacy filling the prescription is in the best position to make sure the patient does not receive these medications. The pharmacist has a duty to the patient to use their expertise in filling prescriptions to ensure that the patient is kept safe from ingesting potentially harmful medications. Pharmacy errors also include over-prescribing medications or improper dosage.
Catastrophic Damages and Traumatic Brain Injuries
Many injuries that occur due to the negligence of others can be catastrophic in nature. These severe injuries include, but are not limited to: traumatic brain injuries, severe burns, paralysis, spinal cord injury, loss of body functions, organ damages, loss of limbs and permanent blindness or loss of vision. Mr. Reitzell has handled catastrophic damages cases and has the insight and experience to bring these difficult claims to a successful conclusion.
Additional Practice Areas
- Wrongful Death
- Trucking Accidents
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Slip and Falls
- Pool Accidents
- Products Liability
- Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
- Medical Malpractice
- Child Injuries
- Brain Injuries
- Bicycle Accidents
- Automobile Accidents
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTE: All case analyses and legal consultations with the Law Offices of Michael P. Reitzell are kept strictly confidential.
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