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Judgement Proofing And Deep Pockets

Judgement Proofing And Deep PocketsAs a personal injury lawyer, your goal is to give your client the best settlement or trial result you possibly can. Not only is this in your client’s interests since it helps them recover after an accident, it’s also in your interest thanks to the contingency payment plan you’re most likely using. However, the settlement money has to come from somewhere, and individuals often cause more damage than what they can pay for themselves. That’s when personal injury law runs into concepts like “deep pockets” and “judgement proof.”
Judgement Proof
The term “judgement proof” refers to the fact that many people will never be able to pay a judgement in full even if the jury rules against them. For instance, let’s say an unemployed man with no insurance and no license gets drunk one night and crashes his car into someone’s front room. That man committed a crime and damaged a family’s home, and he possibly injured a family member in the process.

The man owes the family compensation for the accident, let’s say $100,000, but he has no insurance policy that could cover the damage and his net worth is... full post

Get The Most From Your Auto Insurance Claim

Get The Most From Your Auto Insurance ClaimFlorida has a big population, millions of tourists, a relatively small land mass, and just a few highways that cut across its length. All of that combines to give the state a high rate of traffic accidents, and so it’s always a good idea to remember your defensive driving training and stay alert when you’re on the state’s highways. However, sometimes you’ll end up in an auto accident despite your best efforts, and at times like this you should stay calm and keep the following tips in mind if you want to keep things from getting worse.
Gather Evidence For Yourself
No matter what happened, how serious the accident was, or who caused it, you can always help your case later when you’re filing a claim with an insurance company by gathering evidence at the first possible moment. The first thing you should do at the scene is make sure everyone’s okay and call emergency services, but after that you can use your phone to take pictures or jot down things like license plate numbers, driver’s license numbers, and insurance card information.

You should also collect any... full post

All About The Discovery Process

 All About The Discovery ProcessBy far, the discovery process is the most important part of a lawsuit before the trial itself takes place. Preliminary hearings and meetings between the two sides are important and can establish ground rules for the suit, but discovery is when all the evidence comes out and both sides get a chance to learn what each other knows. You can make or break a case during discovery, and the reason most lawsuits end in settlements is because of what comes out during this process.
Gathering Evidence
The first purpose of the discovery process is to give both sides of a lawsuit time to build up a set of evidence that supports their arguments. For example, if the case centers around a traffic accident this evidence could include pictures of the damaged cars, pictures of the people injured by the collision, a police report of the incident, medical bills, and a bill for the car repairs or a professional certification that says the vehicle is a total loss.
Examining And Cross-Examining Witnesses
Witness accounts are often just as important as physical evidence and official documents like the damage estimates. Witnesses who saw... full post

Don’t Look Now, But Uninsured Motorists Are Rising In Florida

Don’t Look Now, But Uninsured Motorists Are Rising In FloridaAll states in the U.S., with the sole exception of New Hampshire, require motorists to carry basic liability coverage on their auto insurance policies. In Florida, the minimum limits are $10,000 for bodily injury liability, and $10,000 in property damage. Drivers in Florida are not required to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist protection, but the way things are headed, it would be a good idea if they did.

The Highest In The Nation... full post

Florida State Legislators Tackle The Issue Of Uninsured Drivers

Florida State Legislators Tackle The Issue Of Uninsured DriversIn our 30 years of practicing law in Southwest Florida, we have seen it time and time again. An innocent person is driving, gets hit by another driver, and is severely injured. Then when it comes time to file a claim, they learn the other driver doesn’t have insurance, leaving the victim with few options to pay for their injuries. Finally, Florida legislators may be doing something about this serious problem.

Florida Has a High Rate Of Uninsured Drivers

The state of Florida legally requires all drivers to carry of minimum car insurance policy that includes:

● $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
● $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL)

Even though there are heavy legal fees for not carrying these required insurance coverages, there are still many drivers who do not carry car insurance. A recent study by the Insurance Research Council found that nearly 13% of all drivers in the United States did not have insurance. Furthermore, they also found that in the state of Florida 26.7% of drivers do not have insurance. This makes Florida the state with the second highest number of uninsured... full post

A Closer Look At Proving Fault In An Auto Accident

A Closer Look At Proving Fault In An Auto Accident Being hurt in an automobile accident can bring on a wide string of challenges to those wounded. Physical healing, financial hardship, and more can all happen as a result of a single auto accident. That’s a big part of why finding a good personal injury lawyer is so important. They can help you get the restitution that you are owed and get back on your feet after an injury.

A Question Of Fault

However, in order to get you any kind of compensation it will be important that you understand fault and what it means. Under Florida law, those who are hurt in an accident on Florida roads can file an auto accident lawsuit to get the money they are owed – but they can only do so if they are able to show that the accident was caused by the actions of another party.

Specifically, it must be shown that the other party acted in a negligent or reckless manner and that those actions directly led to the injuries at the heart of the lawsuit. In the case... full post

The World Is Not Always Kind To Car Crash Victims

The World Is Not Always Kind To Car Crash Victims People rely on their cars for all sorts of things. They use them to travel to vacation destinations, get kiddos back and forth to school, and commute to and from work. Not to mention, all of the other stuff that happens in-between like shopping, going to the movies, or hitting a club for a night out on the town. However, with so many drivers on the open road at any given time, accidents are sure to happen periodically.

According to research by Statista, there were approximately 222 million drivers with valid licenses in the United States in 2016. As for Florida, the study shows that residents accounted for 15,076,358 of those licensees in 2017. Of course, there are also tourists, employees in The Sunshine State for business, and people driving around without a valid license as well that are not included in the statistics. In other words, there are typically a bunch of cars on the streets both during the day and night.

It is important to remember to keep a cool head if an accident occurs. The situation... full post

Florida Ranks Second For The Least Affordable States For Auto Insurance

Florida Ranks Second For The Least Affordable States For Auto InsuranceA new study published by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) found that Florida has the least affordable auto insurance next to Louisiana. The study assessed all 50 states in the US and used an affordability index to determine the rankings. The index was based on a comparison of the average cost of auto insurance and median household income. These costs are the result of a variety of factors and the impact is statewide.

Why Is Florida Auto Insurance So Expensive?

The IRC found there are a number of factors of why auto insurance is so expensive in Florida compared to other states including :

● The Number Of Accident Injuries: Florida is consistently ranked by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA) as having the most crashes across the country. Florida has the highest motorcycle accident rates, the second highest number of fatal accidents, and the third highest number of DUI accidents. More accidents, means more claims are being made for damages, injuries, and wrongful deaths. Those costs are then passed onto the consumers.

● Personal Injury Protection (PIP):... full post

When Car Insurance Meets Hurricane Season

 When Car Insurance Meets Hurricane SeasonHurricanes don’t hit Florida every year, but they show up often enough that both the people and the buildings that sit on the coast have to keep them in mind. Structures need to be ready for flooding, high winds, and flying debris, and people need to have a plan ready so they’re prepared for when a hurricane decides to visit. However, car companies don’t make their vehicles with hurricanes in mind, and so often they’ll end up totaled by the storm. So what kind of insurance pays out when that happens?


Flooding is a major concern when a hurricane comes along, both along the coast thanks to storm surges and thanks to flash-flooding further inland. All it takes is one to two feet of water to carry off a vehicle, even a big truck, and you’ll be lucky if it’s drivable afterwards. This is especially true if the flood is seawater, because the combination of salt and water can cause a lot of corrosion is a short amount of time. If your vehicle isn’t a complete write-off from the water damage and... full post

Things To Know About A Steering Issue That May Lead To A Car Crash

 Things To Know About A Steering Issue That May Lead To A Car CrashVehicles use a lot of different components to travel down the road safely and successfully. There are ball joints, tires, control arms, axles, and too many other parts to list. These essential items are seldom thought about unless something goes wrong, and most owners expect them to work correctly. However, regularly maintaining your car is a vital part of keeping everything in working order and running smoothly. Failing to practice such a routine is asking for trouble as breakdowns, accidents, or both will likely occur. For instance, people that do not keep the correct amount of anti-freeze or oil in their engine may experience engine failure, which can leave the car stalled out in the middle of the road and makes it an easy target for another vehicle to hit.

It is usually recommended that shocks become changed anywhere between 50,000 and 100,000 miles. These pieces are vital for preventing the car from bouncing all over the place while it is being driven. If the parts do not get replaced after wearing out, the operator's ability to control... full post

How Can You Spot Insurance Fraud?

How Can You Spot Insurance Fraud?It’s one thing to get into an accident on the road with another driver because of bad road conditions, someone driving while intoxicated, or inattentiveness at the wheel. It’s quite another thing, however, if you find yourself in an accident, the other person claims you are at fault, but the reality is the whole thing is staged. It seems unbe-lievable, but some have faked a car accident in attempt to get free money from auto insurance companies.

This type of insurance fraud happens all over the country and the world. In fact, many insurance companies have anti-fraud departments that are set up to try and discover—and then defuse—fraudulent insurance claims.
If you’re on the road and you get into an accident, but something about it doesn’t feel right, how can you be sure? Are there any signs you can stay alert for to tip you off to the possibility that you are being victimized by a staged injury for insurance fraud purposes? We have a few popular techniques that some people like to use.

The Intentional Cut Off

This is a fairly sophisticated staged accident that requires two vehicles on the... full post

Can You Sue Your Insurance Company?

Can You Sue Your Insurance Company?Under ordinary circumstances, an insurance policy that you take out for yourself, your home, your car, or even your medical or dental health represents one thing; peace of mind. The idea, of course, is that you pay premiums every month with the hope that you never need to take advantage of it. But, in the event that something does happen, an unexpected, expensive misfortune, such as a car accident or a storm or even earthquake damaging your home, the insurance that you’ve been paying all this time will “come to the rescue” and compensate you for the costs of repair/treatment/restoration, so you don’t have to shoulder all this financial burden yourself.

But what happens if, after all those years of faithfully paying money every month, some misfortune does befall you, and your insurance company refuses to honor their side of the bargain? Are you just out of luck?

Acting In Bad Faith

Under normal circumstances, an insurance company is both legally and ethically expected to act “uberrima fides,” or, “in good faith.” All this means is that whatever conditions or stipulations they lay out in a contract with a customer,... full post

How Social Media Can Affect Your Accident Claim

How Social Media Can Affect Your Accident ClaimSocial media is quickly becoming a regular go-to for most people, and it has the power to play an even bigger role in our lives now. People jump to their social media accounts for a variety of reasons such as to update their friends and family on what has been going on throughout their day, they want to share a nice meal they are having, or they may even be using social media to check up on people the easy way.

However, did you know that social media can negatively affect an accident or personal injury claim you may have filed? What you say and do on social media may affect your personal life because nothing you put on the internet remains private. There is always a chance that someone can take what you say wrong, or you can unknowingly admit to something that may have been previously overlooked. All of these have the power to affect your personal injury claim.

What A Defense Lawyer Can Do

Once you file your accident claim for personal injury, the defense lawyer is going to go to any lengths... full post

Prevent Yourself From Needing A Car Crash Lawyer By Avoiding Drivers Showing These Signs

prevent-yourself-from-needing-a-car-crash-lawyer-by-avoiding-drivers-showing-these-signsRemember back to the days when you first got your license. The feeling was spectacular, and aside from meeting your parent's curfew, little else stood between you and the freedom of the open road. Unfortunately, many of us participated in countless acts that were distracting, and some people never seem to outgrow the actions. Eating, talking or texting, and even listening to loud music can impair one's ability to drive safely. Rowdy passengers or pets, jumping in and out of the vehicle operator's lap, can also undermine a person's capabilities. The list of things that can cause distracted driving could go on forever, but even practicing the most cautious habits is not always enough to stop accidents.

There seem to be more people on the roads now than ever before. Cars must share the roads with cyclists, and vice versa, while all motorists are obligated to always remain on the lookout for pedestrians. Glancing eyes away from the street, even if for only a mere second, is a recipe for disaster, and one that can alter a person's life forever. A wreck can not only hurt a person physically, but it... full post

New Florida Law Has Potential To Cause Coverage Disputes

new-florida-law-has-potential-to-cause-coverage-disputesRidesharing companies, such as Uber and Lyft, have become increasingly popular throughout the state of Florida over the past few years. As the companies have grown, legislation has been necessary to help protect the citizens of Florida. The Florida legislature recently passed a law that defined new insurance requirements for ridesharing companies. However, the law could result in many coverage disputes.

Legislation Was Needed As Ridesharing Companies Grew

Ridesharing companies have been rapidly expanding across Florida. Uber has over 40,000 drivers in the state, with no signs of slowing down. Currently, Uber and Lyft are competing to enter and establish themselves in the South Florida marketplace. Lyft’s Florida general manager has claimed that the company is “the fastest-growing ride-sharing network in Florida. Since 2014, Lyft ridership has increased three-fold.

As ridesharing companies grew, local municipalities rushed their attempts to pass legislation. This caused problems because the laws were inconsistent from municipality to municipality. Not only did this cause confusion for drivers, but it also created problems if drivers drove from one municipality to another, or drove in a municipality that they weren’t registered in.

St. Petersburg Senator Jeff Brandes introduce... full post

An Automotive Recall Can Leave Drivers And Passengers In Need Of A Car Crash Lawyer

an-automotive-recall-can-leave-drivers-and-passengers-in-need-of-a-car-crash-lawyerMany of us take the conveniences that our vehicles add to our lives for granted. A driver can hop in a car, at any time, and head out in search of food, clothing, or whatever the moment holds in store. People that are more spontaneous can even venture off on cross-country trips to visit landmarks and other locations in an instant. Automobiles provide retail outlets with essential goods that consumers need to make it through the rat race that is called life, while taxis, limos, and other driving services allow them to get from one destination to the next. Most folks feel comfortable and safe when they get behind a car's steering wheel. They do not expect an accident to occur, nor do they intend for one to happen. However, these incidents are always a possibility, but whenever an automotive recall is part of the equation, the risks of becoming involved in a wreck significantly increases.

Have you been involved in an automotive accident, and do you believe the negligent act of a manufacturer is to blame? If you answered yes, and live in Punta Gorda, or a surrounding city, our car... full post

What If The Other Driver Is Uninsured?

What If The Other Driver Is Uninsured?No one wants to think about what may happen in the event of a car crash, or other automobile accident, but when things like this occur, that’s when insurance companies step in. Except when they don’t.

Unfortunately, it’s far more common than people think. In a study conducted in 2011, it was found that the national average for America was one in every seven drivers may be on the road without any kind of auto-insurance. These drivers may need a car, but either don’t want—or can’t afford—monthly insurance payments, so they cancel their insurance policy once they’ve used it to get approval on a car.

Florida is a “No Fault” state, meaning that for damage of up to $10,000, insurance companies can automatically handle these payments without any need for going to court. But what happens if you get into an accident with an uninsured driver here?

Making It Right Afterwards

If you get into an accident where you are not at fault but the other party has no automobile insurance, there are essentially three options.

It is possible for you yourself to... full post

Florida Accident Law Has A Complicating Statute

Florida Accident Law Has A Complicating StatuteThe legal system is incredibly complex. And the interpretation and enforcement of laws and judgments can be so convoluted that it requires trained professionals just ensure that the requirements of the system are properly observed. But because of the complexities that are involved our laws, sometimes regulations arise that—even with the best of intentions—can often make a job more complicated than it needs to be.

In Florida, Statute 627.4136 is one of those things.

It’s not something that a client will ever have to know or worry about, but for the lawyer representing a client in a personal injury case, it is something that all Florida lawyers have to navigate as a tricky obstacle on the road to justice.

Better known as the “nonjoinder statute,” this regulation states that when someone goes to trial as the defendant in something like a personal injury case, that person alone is on trial, and no third parties can be involved or even mentioned regardless of their connection to the defendant, until after a verdict is reached.

In plain English, this means that if someone has... full post

You Don’t Have To Settle For Less

You Don’t Have To Settle For LessIf you end up in an accident, or if you get injured on the job or while you’re at some other commercial location, then if your injury is serious enough it’s likely that you’ll have to deal with an insurance agency in order to get compensation for damaged property, medical bills, and lost wages. In fact, it’s very possible that you’ll lose track of the original person or business entirely and only ever speak with the insurance claims adjuster just as soon as you leave the site of the accident.

However, it’s worth pointing out that even though the adjuster is paying you money, he or she is not actually on your side. Paying out claims is the biggest drain on any insurance company’s revenue, at least if it’s operating correctly, and as the person who determines just how big this drain is, claims adjusters are strongly encouraged to make this drain as small as possible. That means keeping a watchful eye out for insurance fraud, but it also means that they may see fraud where... full post

6 Things To Keep In Mind For A Long Drive

6 Things To Keep In Mind For A Long DriveThe end of the year is traditionally a time for families to get together all across America, and with the way American families move around, that means it’s the season for long-distance car rides. At All Injuries Law Firm, we’re all too familiar with what can happen if someone gets too fatigued from driving for too long, and we’d like everyone to have a safe and happy holiday season. As such, we’re offering a few tips to those of you who plan to save money on air fare and go on a road trip instead.

1. Tune Up Your Car In Advance

If your vehicle is in need of a tune up or a specific repair, then you do not want to drive hundreds of miles away from home with something like that hanging over your head. Like a long-distance runner getting in shape for a marathon, you want to make sure your car is in the best possible condition before you start on a long journey.

2. Don’t Drive Nonstop

Despite how driving requires... full post

Why You May Need Help When Dealing With Insurance Companies

Why You May Need Help When Dealing With Insurance CompaniesAn accident is already a pretty traumatic experience. The physical and mental injuries sustained can leave you permanently damaged and unable to support yourself. The last thing you want is to have insurance companies deny your claim and refuse to give you the help you need. Sadly, that can often be the case.

In your time of need, you would hope that the insurance companies would have your back. However, insurance companies will do a lot to avoid paying you the compensation you deserve. Even when your claim is accepted, it is likely the insurance companies will underpay you as much as possible to keep more money for themselves. This wouldn't be such a terrible thing if accidents were cheap. However, accidents often create a large amount of financial issues that you may be left struggling with.

So why is financial compensation needed after an accident?

Medical Bills

If you were injured because of an accident, you most likely have some expensive medical bills. Even if you only end up with minor damage, it... full post

Understanding Florida's No-Fault Car Insurance Laws

Understanding Florida's No-Fault Car Insurance LawsBeing in a car accident is already a stressful experience. The injuries you sustain from the accident alone can make it difficult to carry on normally. The last thing you want to deal with insurance companies. Many companies will go out of their way to avoid paying you the compensation you need or simply make the process overly complicated. However, they might not be the only reason why things get complicated after an accident.

In 2013, Florida put in new insurance laws that change the way insurance works after a car accident. So before you hop into your car, there are a few things you might want to know about Florida's insurance laws.

A No-Fault State

Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to the payment of auto insurance claims after a car accident. This means that drivers are required to carry auto insurance that pays for personal injury protection benefits also known as PIP. This protects the policyholder after an accident and helps pay for any medical expenses and some non-medical-related costs that occur because of the accident.

Minimum... full post

The Unfortunate Mysteries Of Brain Injuries

The Unfortunate Mysteries Of Brain InjuriesThe human brain is an immense and complicated organ, one with well over a dozen specialized areas and which reacts poorly to any amount of tampering. It can change emotional states in an instant by being exposed to nothing more substantial than a spoken word, and a direct injury could potentially change a person’s personality forever.

Banging Your Head

While sports, particularly football, tend to get all the media exposure when it comes to concussions and other brain injuries, the majority of all traumatic brain injuries reported in the United States come from car accidents. Your head doesn’t have to impact anything directly to cause a concussion: when your car suddenly decelerates from full speed to a full stop, the momentum transfers to your body. This momentum can swing your head around with real force, causing a whiplash injury to your neck and a less visible injury to your brain.

Whiplash can potentially cause lasting damage to your spinal cord, and while that’s a serious concern, the consequences of a brain injury can be long-lasting, debilitating, and worst... full post

Keeping Safe With Trucks

Keeping Safe With TrucksNo matter how commonplace it may be, it’s important to remember that driving is really a very dangerous activity. It can be safe enough so long as you and everyone else on the road follows the rules, but when it comes to trucks, buses, and trains, there are a few extra tips you may not be aware of which you should keep in mind if you want to stay safe.

Beware Of High Fenders

Trucks, including 18-wheelers, pickups, and SUVs, are designed to different standards than regular cars, and that includes having a higher clearance off the road. This allows them to climb over higher obstacles than a car can manage, but in order to do that their fenders are higher up than the fenders on a car. This means that your vehicle’s first defense in a front or rear collision won’t work, and in fact the truck’s fender may deal significant damage to your trunk or your engine while leaving the larger vehicle relatively unharmed. As such, while you should always keep your distance from the cars in front of... full post

Standing Up To Insurance Companies Is Easier With Help

Standing Up To Insurance Companies Is Easier With HelpBeing involved in an accident of any kind can be difficult. The injuries you sustain can make it difficult to carry on with your life normally, and the days following an accident are often fraught with stress as you realize that you're not only injured physical, but financially. Consider some of the costs associated with an accident:

Immediate medical billsFuture medical billsFuture medication costsLost wages from workFuture lost wages from work

These financial issues can create a situation where you're left struggling to pay your basic bills along with the various bills associated with your injuries. That stress can make it harder to recover physically, as well. And to make things worse, insurance companies don't usually try that hard to pay you any kind of compensation.

It's usually the exact opposite – insurance companies will do their best not to pay you a dime that they don't absolutely have to. They'll use a number of tactics, but most commonly they'll either offer you a settlement amount that's far lower than what you're actually owed, or they'll drag... full post

Understanding Florida’s PIP Law Time Restrictions

Understanding Florida’s PIP Law Time RestrictionsThe year 2013 introduced Florida’s new PIP laws, and these are laws that every motorist should be familiar with and concerned about. PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection, and the state of Florida requires each motorist to have at least a $10,000 policy covering PIP in order to operate a motor vehicle in the state. PIP in an insurance policy covers the driver and his or her injuries should he or she be involved in a crash, regardless of fault, but this law also brings some concerns to motorists when it comes to their coverage and what this law can do for them.

The PIP law was created to crack down on insurance fraud, but what it actually seems to have accomplished is making it more difficult for motorists genuinely involved in accidents to get the claim settlements they need to recover from their injuries in a safe and healthy way. When a motorist in Florida is injured in a vehicle accident, their insurance provider is tasked with covering their medical expenses and lost work wages, but the PIP... full post