Archive for May, 2009

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Florida Personal Injury Accidents – Lawsuit Expert Advice

May 30, 2009

The following is an expert answer given by Florida Personal Injury Accidents Lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Subject: Lawsuit Dilemma

Question: Hello,  My family has filed a personal injury lawsuit and are in some disagreement with our lawyer over the culpability on the part of some of the defendants involved.  He feels that it will be difficult to prove negligence with some of the defendants and he wants to settle with them, yet wants to continue suing the remaining defendants.  Our family does not agree, we do feel they are culpable. He is still continuing with the depositions, however we wonder if he is only half-heartedly representing us against those particular defendants and just wants a quick settlement with them.  When you are in this type of dilemma, what do you do?  Look for another attorney that that would be more in agreement with us, and probably be more zealous? I would be grateful for any input you can offer.

Answer: Your question is a difficult one to answer for several reasons.

Your post does not indicate where the case is pending.  I am an attorney specializing in Florida personal injury accidents and claims.  The laws in your jurisdiction may be different, so please seek the advice of an attorney in your area before making any important decisions about your case.  You also don’t give any facts surrounding your case.  In order to give you an informed and accurate answer to your question, an attorney would need to review the entire file – crash or incident reports, witness and party depositions, insurance information, discovery responses, and evidence related to the claim, as well as having a solid understanding of the laws affecting your claim, before giving you sound advice on whether to change attorneys.  The fact that your attorney doesn’t agree with you and your family doesn’t mean he is not pursuing the claim zealously, nor does it mean that other parties are responsible in the claim.  In 16 years of representing clients in Florida personal injury accidents and claims, I have had many clients disagree with me about whether a party is responsible and to what degree. However, you have to give your attorney some benefit of the doubt.  He/she is trained in the laws of your state, and presumably is an experienced personal injury attorney.  You also need to have complete confidence in who is representing you, and if you don’t, you should at least get a second opinion from another attorney.  Before seeking a second opinion, you should identify an attorney that truly specializes in the type claim you have. There are many attorneys out there that will accept a good personal injury claim, even though they do not specialize in such a claim, nor have any intention of seeing it through to completion.  In Florida, we have a Statement of Client’s Rights that requires an attorney to explain his training and qualifications to a prospective client before agreeing to handle a Florida personal injury accidents claim.  If you have doubts, it is best to get answers to your questions now before moving the case further toward trial, or releasing any of the defendants.  To qualify an attorney, you should ask how long the attorney has been handling personal injury claims, and what type claims he specializes in.  Some attorneys handle car accidents, but won’t handle slip and falls, work accidents or medical malpractice claims. Also, ask the attorney what his Martindale Hubbell ranking is.  You should look for an attorney with an AV ranking, which means he is recognized by his peers and by judges as preeminent in his field.  If your claim is in Florida, please give me a call should you have any further questions.  You can contact me toll free.

For more information about Florida personal injury accidents, contact Florida premises liability lawyer, Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at jmmlaywers.com, or email him today.

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Driver Risk Prevention Can Help Decrease Florida Auto Accidents

May 29, 2009

With over 6.4 million auto accidents occurring in the U.S. every year, drivers everywhere should be cognizant of the role that driver behavior plays in crashes. According to a study done in 1985, driver error, intoxication, and other human factors contributed to about 93% of all accidents. Florida auto accidents follow much the same pattern. Ironically, studies confirm that most drivers believe themselves to possess above average driving skills and that most other drivers were inferior drivers. These paradoxical findings may explain much about the state of road safety today and what can be done to improve it: most drivers are overconfident of their abilities and are unlikely to focus on managing one of the largest risk factors of auto collisions.

In the study of driving behavior, demographic differences in risk profiles are striking. While young drivers have the best reaction times, their attitudes and behaviors place them in more dangerous situations than other drivers. Conversely, older drivers have slower reaction times, but tend to drive less frequently and more cautiously, reducing the frequency of Florida auto accidents and accidents across the county.

Though we often take driving for granted, it is a demanding and complex task that requires the systematic processing of information and the timely execution of the least risky decisions.  Most driver education focuses on teaching how to mechanically operate a vehicle. If drivers spent more time studying and building safe driving habits, accidents could be reduced and damage to life and property could be minimized. One study compared the accident and violation rate of racing drivers, who have a high level of technical skill, with average drivers. The results indicated that despite their high skills, the racing drivers were involved in more accidents and violations. It is apparent from this study that reducing Florida auto accidents and those across the country depends less on raising skill levels and more on improving decision making and attitudes towards risk.

Important safe driving habits include risk prevention and space management. According to the National Institute of Driving Behavior, there are 7 vital components to driver risk prevention:

  • Social Wellness
  • Visual Awareness Skills
  • Information Processing and Decision Making
  • Risk Prevention Management
  • Vehicle Control
  • Vehicle Correction Skills
  • Desire for Excellence

Most of the time, people get into their car and drive without much thought. They don’t think about getting into possible auto accidents in Florida or other areas of the county because they believe they are very safe drivers. However, statistics show that we should all take driving more seriously. We need to engage in less risky driving behaviors (texting and using cell phones while driving, for example) and should be aware of our own overconfidence.

For more information about Florida auto accidents, contact the Florida auto accident lawyers at Joseph M. Maus, P.A.at 1-866-556-5529, visit their website at http://www.jmmmlawyers.com, or email them today.

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Hotel Shower Slip And Fall Case Question

May 27, 2009

The following is an expert answer given by Florida Slip And Fall Case Lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Subject: Slip and fall in a hotel

Question: I was in a hotel room in popular vacation spot in Virginia. I turned the water on in the shower before undressing in the hotel room. When I returned to enter the shower, unbeknownst to me the curtain rail was up too high and had been letting water out onto the floor (yes I had put down the wimpy little bath mat). When I attempted to enter the shower I slipped on the pool of water. I was lucky to have grabbed a pole on the way down and only ended up hitting my leg. My leg was severely bruised. I reported it to the hotel and they asked me if I needed immediate medical attention. At the time I didn’t think I did so they had me fill out a incident report. After a few days of icing my leg, I decided there was a serious problem. I called the hotel, left messages, was never called back. It took almost two weeks to get a manager, then he said he was never given my information, then I was given a insurance number. Now insurance says just go to your doctor and they will reimburse me. My leg isn’t as bad now but still has notable injury, my back hurts all the time. Is that all I’m entitled to?

Answer: The answer to your question depends on the law in Virginia for a slip and fall case, and how bad your injuries are.  I specialize in slip and fall cases but I am in Florida.  Laws vary from state to state so the law in Florida may be different than for a Virginia slip and fall case.

The best advice I can give you is to speak with an attorney that specializes in premises liability claims, i.e. a slip and fall case.  He can advise you what the law is in Virginia for slip and fall accidents such as yours.

Generally, a landowner such as a hotel owes two duties to persons lawfully on the property – maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition, and to warn persons on the property of dangerous conditions that the person may not be able to appreciate themselves.  The placement of a shower curtain rail in too high a location so as to let water pool on the floor is a dangerous condition that the hotel should have corrected, or at least warned guests of the potential for water to accumulate on the floor.  If you can establish liability against the hotel, you should be entitled to compensation for your injury, pain and suffering, lost wages, and whatever benefits Virginia law allows.

You should contact an attorney in your area that specializes in premises liability claims.  Many attorneys say they do "personal injury" claims, but after asking around, you’ll find they take anything that walks in the door.  Ask if they have handled a slip and fall case and how many claims like yours they have handled.  Ask them if they have tried any cases like yours.  If it is a large hotel or resort, there are most likely other cases like yours which have occurred there.

You should contact an attorney soon.  There are many steps your attorney should take now, i.e. notify the insurance company for the resort find out what types of coverage are available, obtain photographs, etc, that should all be done now.

Most attorneys specializing in premises liability claims handle the claims on a contingent basis,i.e. their attorneys fee is a percentage of any money they recover for you, and offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss whether you have a viable case.

For more information about a slip and fall case, contact Florida premises liability lawyer Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at http://www.jmmlawyers.com, or email him today.

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Slip And Fall On Ice – Expert Advice

May 15, 2009

The following is an expert answer given by Slip And Fall Case Lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Subject: Slipped on ice breaking ankle

Question: I am in Wisconsin and there was a winter storm.I was walking into Best Buy and slipped on the ice (There was alot of it) and broke my ankle. It was a clean break and I was in a cast for about 7 weeks. This took alot of time away from my life and I feel I should be compensated in some way. The Insurance company will pay my doctor bills but that is all. Should I get an attorney? They said I would have to send a claim to the company that plows and takes care of their parking lot.  Thanks!

Answer: The answer to your questions depends on the law in Wisconsin for a slip and fall case, and particularly how Wisconsin Courts treat a slip and fall case involving ice.  I specialize in slip and fall cases but I am in Florida. Laws vary from state to state so what happens in Florida may not be the case in Wisconsin.  The best advice I would give you is do speak with an attorney that specializes in premises liability claims, i.e. a slip and fall case.  He can advise you what the law is in Wisconsin for a slip and fall case which occurs on ice.  Generally, a landowner owes two duties to persons lawfully on the property – maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition, and to warn persons on the property of dangerous conditions that the person may not be able to appreciate themselves.    You should contact an attorney in your area that specializes in premises liability claims.  Many attorneys say they do "personal injury" claims, but after asking around, you’ll find they take anything that walks in the door.  Ask how many claims like yours they have handled.  Ask them if they have tried any cases like yours.  Best Buy is a large company; there are most likely other cases like yours which have occurred there, thereby placing Best Buy, or the company that plows the parking lot, on notice of the dangerous ice condition.  You should contact an attorney soon.  There are many steps your attorney should take now, i.e. notify the insurance companies for both Best Buy and the parking lot company, find out what types of coverage are available from both Best Buy, and the company that maintains the parking lot, obtain photographs, etc, that should all be done now.  Most attorneys specializing in premises liability claims handle the claims on a contingent basis,i.e. their attorneys fee is a percentage of any money they recover for you, and offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss whether you have a viable case. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me toll free. Good luck.

For more information about a slip and fall case, contact Florida premises liability lawyer, Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at http://www.jmmlaywers.com, or email him today.

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Several Factors To Blame In Florida Boat Accidents

May 14, 2009

A 74 year old man was hospitalized in critical condition after his 60 foot yacht caught fire near West Palm Beach. A couple were found dead in the engine room after accidentally tripping the fire extinguishing system, depriving the room of oxygen. A 7 year old child is left in a coma after a nighttime collision between a 30 foot boat and a small bass fishing boat. Because of horrific Florida boat accidents like these, Florida leads the nation in dangers posed to local boating enthusiasts.

Every year, millions of locals and tourists alike bask in Florida’s famed sun while partaking in variety of outdoor activities. With more than one million registered vessels, boating is an increasingly popular method of outdoor recreation. However, with great fun comes great responsibility. Florida boaters reported 5,191 accidents in 2007, resulting in 685 tragic deaths (including 16 children under age 12). Most commonly, these catastrophes are a result of alcohol, careless operators, drug use, and excessive speed. Florida boat accidents come in a variety of forms, but the most frequent (and the most deadly) are collisions between vessels, collisions between fixed objects, capsizing, and falls overboard.

In as many as 80% of all boating deaths, the driver of the boat involved had not completed a boating safety education course. Though life preservers may seem like common sense, more than 80% of people who died in Florida boat accidents failed to use a floatation device.

Boaters who are involved in accidents are well advised to seek an attorney to help navigate the complex legal issues that may result. Depending on where your boat accident occurs in Florida, you may be subject to Florida laws, federal laws, or both. There are also a variety of navigational laws and engineering issues that come into play.

For more information about boat accidents in Florida, contact Florida boating accident lawyer Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529 for a free, no-obligation consultation, or email him today.

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Personal Injury Question

May 10, 2009

The following is an expert answer given by South Florida Injury Attorney, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Subject: personal injury question

Question: I was recently on vacation at a ocean front hotel. I was watching my nieces go back to their room and I saw the door start to close. I put my hand up to catch it and it was literally like a guillotine- severing my right ring finger. Is the hotel responsible? I am not sure where to go from here. Thank you.

Answer: Your email does not say where the hotel was located.  I am an attorney in Florida, so I can tell you about Florida’s laws, but I would encourage you to speak with an experienced premises liability lawyer in your state to find out what laws may apply to your personal injury question.

In Florida, a hotel owes two duties to its guests – to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition, and to warn guests of dangerous conditions which the guest might not be able to appreciate.  If the hotel failed to properly maintain the door so that the door slammed on your finger as you described, then the hotel is most likely responsible for your injury, medical bills, and damages.

There are a number of things you need to do to pursue your claim. First, you should have put the hotel on notice of the claim while you were still there.  If you haven’t done so already, you should call them immediately.

The next thing you should do is retain an attorney who can help you with your personal injury question.  Most premises liability/personal injury attorneys handle cases on a contingent basis. That means that you do not owe attorneys fees or costs if there is no recovery on your file.  An experienced premises liability/personal injury attorney can help with your personal injury question and will know what steps to take to pursue your claim.

For instance, you can request the hotel to produce complaints or incident reports of other people that were injured in a similar manner, or other people that have complained about doors closing too quickly.

Your attorney can also check to see if the hotel has "medical payments" insurance coverage. "Medpay", as it is called, will reimburse you for any out of pocket medical expenses you incur as a result of being injured at the hotel.

You should speak with an attorney about your personal injury question as soon as possible if you intend on bringing a claim.  Records get lost and memories fade over time.

If your claim happened in Florida, please give me a call to discuss it further. Good luck.

For help with a personal injury question, contact South Florida injury attorney Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529 or email him today.

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Slip And Fall Case Question – Expert Advice

May 7, 2009

The following is an expert answer given by Florida Premises Liability Lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet

Subject: Slip and fall case

Question: I had some pre-existing problems with sciatica under control and I fell down in someone’s garage 11/08/08 because there was  a step which I didn’t see because of lack of lighting. My injuries were to my knee, my face, I broke my  eyeglasses, and  few days later my back started hurting me a lot and then sciatica returned. I’m still having problems and keep going to the doctors. They can’t inject my spine with cortisone because I am on Coumadin and aspirin. My question is, since I had a preexisting condition,  can I sue the owner?

Answer: The answer to your question depends on what state you are in. I am an attorney in Florida specializing in car accident, slip/trip and fall, and workers compensation cases.  I can tell you whether you have a slip and fall case in Florida, but you should speak with an attorney in your area to find out whether a claim for an aggravation of a pre-existing injury is allowed. Florida allows a claim for aggravations of pre-existing injuries.  In fact, there is a jury instruction that has been approved by the Florida Bar that specifically deals with aggravations of pre-existing injuries.   Most people, once they reach the age of 30 years old, start to develop degenerative conditions, especially in their neck and back.  You will need to discuss with your attorney how to distinguish the extent of your injury before you fell down, versus how bad it is now.  If you injury has become worse, your medical records and diagnostic tests should document that.  One issue you will have in your case is how it happened.  There is case law in Florida that says changes in elevation in a house are to be expected, and because of that, it is going to be difficult to bring a claim such as yours even if there was poor lighting.  You will need to speak with an attorney about how and where your accident happened.  For instance, there may be code violations that exist in the area where you fell that may provide a basis for you to recover against the homeowner.  You should also speak to an attorney about whether "medical payments" insurance coverage exists.  Most homeowners have insurance coverage for their house, and most homeowners policies have medical payments coverage.  This is insurance money that will pay for your out of pocket medical expenses that result from being injured on the property.  Most slip and fall case lawyers handle cases such as yours on a contingent basis.  That means that you do not owe attorneys fees unless the attorney recovers a settlement or verdict for you.  The attorney’s fee would be a percentage of the money recovered, usually 33-40%.  If you are in the South Florida area, please give me a call.  I have been specializing in personal injury claims including slip and fall cases for 16 years.  If you’re in an area other than South Florida, I can probably still refer you to an experienced slip and fall case attorney in your area.  Good Luck.

For more information about a slip and fall case, contact Florida premises liability lawyer Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529 or email him today.

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