Can a Car Accident Settlement Exceed Policy Limits?

A car accident settlement can exceed policy limits. However, the insurer may not pay more than the threshold outlined in the policy. Therefore, the defendant or another party may be personally liable for the settlement amounts over the policy limit. 

Auto Insurance Policy Limits in Florida

Florida’s minimum coverage for auto accidents is:

Florida does not require drivers to purchase bodily injury liability insurance. If the driver has bodily injury liability coverage, however, the minimum amount they should have is $25,000. In some cases, this is more than enough to cover your injuries and related losses. In other cases, you may find that this barely makes a dent in your damages.

Unfortunately, the insurer will likely not pay more than the limit amount designated in the policy. In this case, you need to explore other options.

Collecting for Damages Above the Insurance Limits

Regardless of the limits in the insurance policy, you may still have options for covering your damages such as medical bills, lost wages, property damage, or noneconomic damages. Your lawyer may be able to help recover your losses from sources such as:

Multiple Parties

If the other driver hit you with a commercial vehicle such as an 18-wheeler, city bus, or company car, you may be able to file claims against the driver and the company to recover your damages. If there were multiple drivers in an auto accident, you may have the option of filing a claim against each driver.

The At-Fault Driver

Many Florida drivers carry auto insurance so that insurer will assume liability for your damages. In many cases, the driver cannot afford to pay for damages. However, if you have exhausted other resources for compensation, you may go after the at-fault driver in court to recover as much of your damages as possible.

An Umbrella Policy

Some drivers purchase umbrella policies. An umbrella policy can cover all damages that exceed the amount of coverage provided by the primary auto policy. For example, if you have $40,000 in damages and the driver only has $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage, the umbrella policy will pick up the remaining balance.

Collecting from Your Auto Insurance Company

If you have an uninsured/underinsured motorist policy, you can use this coverage for any compensation you need above the other driver’s policy limits.

Your auto accident lawyer can investigate all possible sources for compensation and then advise on which legal options are available to you.

Bad Faith Cases

In a bad faith case, the at-fault party’s insurance company may deny a valid claim and refuse to negotiate a settlement to cover your damages. Rather than going after the defendant, in this case, you have the option of filing a bad faith lawsuit against the insurer. If you win your case in court, the insurer may be liable for up to 100 percent of your damages. 

Your auto accident lawyer can help you with your lawsuit by doing the following:

  • Establishing who was at fault for the accident
  • Establishing that the accident is what led to your injuries
  • Calculating the actual value of your case based on your total damages

Your lawyer can build a case based on all available evidence and then submit the evidence to the court. Your lawyer can help you get the maximum compensation possible to cover your accident-related expenses and other financial losses.

Getting Compensation Through a Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Driver

If you must file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, you must be able to prove the driver behaved negligently, caused your accident, and caused you to suffer injuries and damages. You must also establish the value of your damages.

A lawyer can help you establish negligence and the value of your case.

Compensation to Which You May Entitled in a Florida Car Accident Claim

The compensation to which you may be entitled depends on the circumstances of your accident. However, common damages in car accident cases include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity, if your injuries keep you from working in the same position that you had before your accident
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish

Understanding the Different Types of Insurance in Florida

Some drivers do not get the compensation they need after an auto accident injury because they do not understand the types of insurance and what might be available. There are several different types of coverage available in Florida, including:

Bodily Injury Liability

Bodily injury liability policies cover injuries that arise out accidents the policyholder causes. For example, a driver runs a red light and hits someone driving through the intersection. Their liability insurance would cover any injuries the other party suffered. This is the policy from which you would receive your compensation.

Property Damage Liability

Property damage liability covers damage you cause to another party’s property. 

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage applies in situations where the other driver is uninsured or does not have the coverage you need for your injuries and other losses. It also applies in hit and runs. If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, this policy can cover any compensation above the at-fault driver’s policy limits.

Find Out How Much Your Auto Accident Case is Worth

If you would like to know more about what options are available to recover your damages after your auto accident, contact the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato. We can help you get the compensation you need to cover all of your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. To find out more about our legal services, call us today at 954-633-8270 for a free case assessment. We handle cases on a contingency basis, which means you pay nothing out of pocket.

Kim JonesCar Accident Settlement Exceed Policy Limits
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How Long Do You Have to Go to Doctor After a Slip and Fall

There is no specific rule about how soon you should see a doctor after a South Florida slip and fall, but the sooner you get checked out, the better. Not only is prompt medical care important in ensuring you do not have any serious injuries that do not show up right away, but it could also be key in proving your accident-related injuries later. 

We encourage you to seek medical care after any slip and fall in South Florida. This could include:

  • Calling 911 and having an ambulance take you to the nearest hospital
  • Having someone drive you to your preferred emergency room
  • Making an appointment with your family physician
  • Going to a walk-in health clinic

Get Medical Attention as Soon as Possible After a Slip and Fall

There are two important reasons to see a doctor as soon as possible after a slip and fall accident. These reasons include:

Ensuring Any Injuries Get Prompt Treatment

We recommend calling for paramedics and letting an ambulance transport you to the hospital. This ensures you get treatment quickly and leaves little question about how your injuries occurred. If you do not believe you suffered injuries, you may instead opt to see your regular doctor. If you cannot get an appointment within 24 hours, though, you may want to consider going to the emergency department or a walk-in clinic instead. 

Many walk-in clinics can check you over and rule out injuries like internal bleeding in just a few minutes without an appointment. This is important even if you do not believe you are hurt. Some injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and injuries to internal organs, are not always obvious in the first hours or even days after an accident.

Protecting Your Legal Right to Pursue Compensation

In some cases, people believe they do not have time to see a doctor or there is some other reason that prevents them from getting checked over immediately following a fall. Later, they develop symptoms and see a doctor who diagnoses them with an injury. They need medication, physical therapy, or surgery. They may miss time at work, and it could cost them thousands of dollars. 

When they try to hold the building owner responsible, the insurance company will try to deny that the injuries occurred in the fall. Since days or weeks passed between the fall and their doctor’s appointment, it can be difficult to refute this. Going to a doctor right away clearly establishes a link between the accident and your injuries.

You Can Pursue Compensation as Soon as Your Injuries Stabilize

Under Florida premises liability law, you have the right to hold the owner of the property where you fell liable if their actions or inaction caused your injuries. This means you can pursue compensation for the expenses and losses you suffered related to your fall. This could include: 

  • The cost of ambulance transportation to the hospital 
  • The medical care you received
  • Your lost wages
  • Out-of-pocket costs
  • Pain and suffering

However, Florida law also sets a statute of limitations on how long you have to take legal action against the property owner. Generally, this is four years following the fall, but this is not always the case. 

We like to get started on this type of case as soon as the victim’s injuries stabilize. At this point, we have a good idea if they will need additional medical care in the future, require ongoing care currently, or if they will be able to return to work. 

Proving Your South Florida Premises Liability Case 

When we handle a slip and fall case, we build a strong argument on behalf of our client to show: 

  • That the homeowner, property owner, or business owner did not exercise reasonable care to help our client avoid injury; and
  • The owner should have foreseen the fall as a possibility; and
  • Our client was a customer, welcomed guest, or otherwise lawfully present on the property; and 
  • Our client suffered financial damages because of the fall and their injuries.

We conduct a full investigation into every slip and fall case we handle. This requires us to identify and analyze all available evidence to prove what happened and who is responsible. This evidence could include:

  • Interviewing eyewitnesses
  • Reviewing incident reports, police reports, or other documents
  • Obtaining and viewing any video of the fall
  • Looking at any pictures of the scene after your fall 

We also need to prove the severity and extent of your injuries and document your economic losses related to the fall. This may require us to: 

  • Enlist medical expert witnesses to explain your prognosis, current care needs, and future care needs
  • Request copies of your relevant medical records
  • Collect medical bills, receipts, and other documents
  • Work with experts to put prices on diminished earning capacity, future care costs, and other expenses

When we have a built a strong case to show negligence, liability, and the value of your damages, we will pursue compensation from property owner or occupier. We can sometimes negotiate a fair out-of-court settlement, but we can also litigate your case to recover the compensation you deserve. 

Call the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato About Your South Florida Slip and Fall Accident

If you or a loved one suffered slip and fall injuries in South Florida, the team from the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato will review your case and help you understand your rights. We may be able to pursue a payout on your behalf based on the state’s premises liability law. 

Call now at 954-633-8270 for a no-cost evaluation with a member of our team. We handle these cases on a contingency basis. You owe no attorney’s fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf.

Kim JonesMedical Care After Any Slip and Fall
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How Do I Report an Accident to Uber?

You can report an accident to Uber online or from the Uber app if you are a driver or requested the ride through your account. However, riders, passengers, and drivers of other cars involved in an accident may not want to file a report immediately

We recommend waiting to see if you have any injuries and discussing your accident with a South Florida Uber accident attorney before filing an accident report with the rideshare company. This may be especially important if you believe the rideshare driver caused the accident. 

Uber Makes It Easy to Report Accidents Involving One of Their Drivers

Uber offers easy ways for anyone involved in an accident with an Uber or in an Uber to file an accident report. The process may vary slightly depending on your role. 

Reporting an Accident When You Requested the Uber

Riders who requested the Uber can report an accident through the Uber app or by logging in online

To report in the app, you will need to click on “Account.” This is on the bottom right of your screen. You will then need to select “Help” and “Trip Issues and Refunds.” A list of your recent trips with Uber will appear on the screen. Check the date and choose the correct trip. Select “Help,” then “I was in an accident,” and follow the onscreen instructions.

Reporting an Accident as a Co-Rider, Someone in Another Car, or Eyewitness 

Anyone else involved in an Uber accident—or if you witness one—must report the accident through the company’s online reporting form. This is because you cannot choose the trip from your Uber app. 

Reporting an Accident as an Uber Driver

Uber drivers can report accidents through the Uber app in the same way riders can. You will need to click “Account,” then “Help,” and “Trip Issues and Refunds.” Once you have a list of trips to choose from, select the right trip, click “Help,” and select “I was in an accident.”

After you report the accident, Uber will email an Incident Report Form to you. This form will give Uber the information they need to determine what type of insurance coverage was in effect at the time of your accident and contact the correct insurance company. 

Let a South Florida Uber Accident Lawyer Handle Reporting Your Accident to Uber

If you were a rider or co-rider, or an occupant of another vehicle during an accident with an Uber driver, you may not want to rush to report the accident. We recommend discussing your accident and injuries with an Uber accident lawyer who is familiar with rideshare accidents before you report it. 

When an insurance claim gets filed based on the coverage provided by Uber, they will pull the information you provided in your accident report as well as the Incident Report Form the driver submitted. This will become evidence that the insurance company could try to use against you to reduce or deny your insurance claim. 

If you call our team before reporting the accident, we can handle this process for you. This protects your right to pursue compensation and prevents you from saying or doing anything that might jeopardize your case. 

Uber Provides Auto Insurance Coverage When Matched With a Rider

 From the moment an Uber driver matches with a rider, there is a $1 million auto liability policy that could provide coverage for your injuries, property losses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. If you suffered Uber accident injuries as a rider or co-rider, we can help you file a claim based on this policy. 

If you were in another vehicle, the insurance coverage that applies relies, in part, on what the Uber driver was doing at the time of the accident. If they matched with a rider, were on the way to pick up the rider, or had a rider in the car, the $1 million liability policy would apply if that driver caused your accident. 

If they were waiting on a driver, Uber provides auto liability insurance that is contingent on the driver’s own auto insurance policy. 

You Can Help Support Your Insurance Claim by Taking the Right Steps at the Accident Scene 

Sometimes, the difference between reaching a just out-of-court settlement and ending up in arbitration or court is having the right photograph or phone number. If possible, remain on the scene of the accident and gather evidence you can use later to support your claim. While the police work on the accident scene, take photos of any damage to the vehicles as well as the scene of the accident.

Write down the name and contact information of everyone on the scene, as well as which car they were in. Get the insurance information of the other driver, even if you believe your Uber driver caused the accident. 

Once you get home, write down or record as much about the accident and the scene as possible. Stick to the facts and ensure you use as much detail as you remember. 

Make Your Health a Priority

It is also important that you see a doctor as soon as possible. If you believe you have injuries, ask the police to call for an ambulance and go to the nearest emergency room. Even if you do not believe you have any major injuries, you should see your doctor or go to a walk-in clinic as soon as possible after the accident. This will help us connect your injuries to the accident and ensure you receive prompt treatment for any serious injuries they discover. 

Talk to an Uber Accident Lawyer From the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato

If you suffered injuries in a South Florida rideshare accident, you may want to talk to an Uber accident lawyer before you notify the company of the accident and your injuries. At the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato, we can report the accident, file your claim, and handle all communication with Uber about your case.

Let us go to work for you today. Call 954-633-8270 for a no-cost case review with a member of our team.

Kim JonesEasy to Report An Accident to Uber Online
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How Long Do You Have to File a Negligent Security Case in Florida?

Florida law limits how long you have to file certain types of lawsuits. Under Florida Statute 95.11(3)(a), you generally have four years from the date of your injuries to file a negligent security case or any other type of premises liability case in Florida courts. This may not apply in every case, though, so it is important to reach out to a premises liability lawyer as soon as possible after your injuries. 

We can review your case, determine the deadline to take action, and get to work identifying the liable party. We need to investigate the incident and collect evidence, build a strong case against the property owner or occupier, and try to negotiate a fair out-of-court settlement before we decide if we need to litigate your case. All of that takes time, which is why it is so important to get started as soon as possible.

Understanding When You Have a South Florida Negligent Security Case

In most cases, property owners are not responsible for the actions of a third party at their home or place of business. However, Florida law allows crime victims to pursue a case against the property owner under certain circumstances. This type of case is known as a negligent security case. Negligent security cases stem from incidents when a person is the victim of a crime on someone else’s property. 

If the property owner or occupier failed to take actions that could have prevented a foreseeable crime, they may be liable for the expenses and losses of the victim. Negligent security cases can stem from many types of crimes that lead to loss of assets or expenses such as medical bills, including: 

  • Robbery
  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Sexual assault or battery
  • Rape

Property owners and occupiers have a responsibility to take reasonable actions to ensure the safety of those that visit, including invitees, customers, friends, and others who are legally on the property. This duty may include taking security measures such as installing lighting in dark areas and having security guards present, depending on the nature of the business and a number of other factors. 

Both commercial and residential property owners, as well as occupiers who operate a business or live on leased property, can face legal action if they fail to protect guests from foreseeable crimes. In many cases, a property owner can take a few simple steps and prevent numerous crimes, or at least reduce their risk. 

Proving a Negligent Security Case in South Florida

To recover compensation from an out-of-court settlement or obtain a verdict and recover an award in court in a negligent security case, a crime victim will need to provide evidence to prove several factors. This includes:

  • They were on the property owner’s property legally; trespassers are unlikely to be able to prove a negligent security case.
  • The property owner or occupier did not exercise reasonable care in preventing the crime or give adequate warnings about the risk.
  • The property owner did not uphold their duty to offer reasonable security for guests on the premises.
  • They suffered injuries because someone else committed a crime that the property owner should have reasonably foreseen. 
  • They would not have suffered injuries if the property owner had upheld their duty to provide reasonable security. 
  • They suffered economic damages.

In short, they need to prove they lost money because the property owner failed to provide adequate and reasonable security to protect guests.

Negligent Security Cases Offer Another Option to Recover Compensation When the Law Allows It

In some cases, filing a negligent security claim is the only way a victim can try to recover their losses following a violent crime. They may have medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket costs, and pain and suffering with nowhere else to turn for compensation. Sometimes, the police cannot identify the party who committed the crime and inflicted the injuries, or they do not apprehend them. 

Even when they do catch the person who perpetrated the crime, the criminal is much less likely to have insurance coverage for this type of event than the property owner. For this reason, if a property owner failed to prevent the crime from taking place, you may want to consider pursuing a case against them. 

Some Types of Businesses May Have Immunity Under Florida Law

Under Florida law, you cannot hold the owners of some convenience stores responsible for negligent security on their property. Florida statute 768.0705 protects “convenience businesses” that implement certain security measures, including: 

  • Training employees on how to react to a crime;
  • Installing a security camera system;
  • Posting signage about keeping a limited amount of cash in the register; and
  • Using a drop safe.

This is important to know because convenience stores are common locations for robberies and other crimes. Still, despite this law, many convenience stores do not meet the criteria for its protections. If you or a loved one were injured at a convenience store, a premises liability lawyer can help you determine what options may be available to you. 

The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato Can Review Your Case for Free Today 

At the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato, our team can explain your legal rights and help you hold the responsible parties liable to the fullest extent allowed by Florida law. During your free case review, we will discuss the facts of your case and help you understand if you are eligible to pursue compensation from the property owner of the home or business where you were the victim of a violent crime. 

Call 954-633-8270 now for you no-cost, no-obligation initial consultation with a member of our South Florida premises liability team.

Kim JonesFile a Negligent Security Case in Florida
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Personal injury law allows you to file a legal claim or lawsuit against another party if you can establish that the party is responsible for an accident that resulted in your injury. The law allows you to recover damages (economic or noneconomic losses) that you incurred as a result of the accident.

Negligence, Careless Actions, and Intentional Injury

Negligence, careless action, or intent to harm can all be grounds for filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit. 

Negligence

Negligence is a failure to either provide reasonable care or act carefully in a given situation to avoid an accident. The at-fault party knew what the standard of care was, but did not meet it. As a result, an accident occurred.

Careless or Reckless Behavior

Recklessness is not the same as negligence. When someone acts recklessly, they understand the risks of their careless behavior, but intentionally engage in the behavior regardless of the risks. Consequently, their behavior caused an accident that led to your injuries. 

Intentional Conduct

The at-fault party intended to harm you and succeeded. When the other person intends to harm you, they may also be subject to criminal charges in addition to civil charges depending on the nature of the case. 

Different Types of Personal Injury Cases

There is a wide range of scenarios that can occur to cause a personal injury. Some of the most common personal injury cases include:

Vehicle Accidents

Vehicle accidents can include either personal vehicles or commercial vehicles. They may involve multiple vehicles, 18-wheelers, buses, pedestrians, electric scooters, or bicycles. The at-fault party may be intoxicated, driving carelessly, distracted, or negligent. 

Slip and Fall

If a property owner fails to provide a safe environment, a customer or guest could slip and fall on the property. Slip and fall accidents generally occur due to uneven floors, poor lighting, no railing in sidewalks & steps, or a lack of barrier & signage in a hazardous area. 

Medical Malpractice

A medical professional's negligence or careless actions may lead to an incorrect diagnosis, surgical error, or mistake in prescribing the wrong medication. Medical malpractice can happen in an emergency room, dentist’s office, or during the birth of a child. 

Negligent Security

In a negligent security case, the victim suffered from a vicious attack that may have been prevented if the facility owner or administrator had provided adequate security. Attacks often occur in hotels, apartments, restaurants, and businesses. 

Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can happen as a result of a severe cranial impact. Injuries are most common in sports and on construction sites. However, they can also occur in slip and fall cases, vehicle accidents, or pedestrian accidents.

Understanding Fault and Liability in a Personal Injury Case

People often use the terms “fault” and “liability” interchangeably. However, in a personal injury case, a personal injury lawyer may assign fault and liability to different parties for different reasons. 

Establishing Fault

The party that caused the accident is also responsible for your injuries. Therefore, your attorney will attempt to establish that the party is at fault based on evidence such as:

  • Photos or videos of the accident
  • Medical information including reports, receipts, or bills
  • Eyewitness accounts
  • Testimony from expert witnesses
  • Clues from the scene of the accident
  • Accident reports (police reports, property owner, etc.)

Establishing Liability

In a personal injury case, the party liable for your damages is typically an insurance company that provides some type of coverage for the at-fault party. Insurance protection could include auto insurance, liability insurance, or workers’ compensation

When you file a claim against the insurance company, an insurance adjuster will require proof that the at-fault party is at fault for the accident and that the accident is what led to your injuries. The insurance company may also request the total monetary amount of your damages. 

What You Can Claim as Personal Losses

When you file a personal injury claim, you may be eligible to account for two types of damages: economic and noneconomic.

1. Economic Damages

Economic damages are monetary expenses or losses that you incurred as a result of the accident. They may include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • In-house services
  • Out-of-pocket 
  • Disability or disfigurement

2. Noneconomic Damages

Noneconomic damages are more difficult to estimate because they are less concrete than economic damages. They may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship, or a significant decline in the overall quality of your life.

The Difference Between a Personal Injury Claim and a Lawsuit

When pursuing compensation for damages, you may file a claim directly against the party or their insurance company. With the help of your attorney, you may negotiate a fair settlement with the other party and recover your losses. 

However, the insurance company may deny your claim or offer you an unfair settlement that is too low to cover your medical expenses or lost wages. If the insurer refuses to settle, then you may have the option of filing a lawsuit against the insurance company. 

In a lawsuit, a judge or jury will determine who is liable for your damages and how much your case is worth. Your lawyer can take on your case, guide you through litigation, and represent you in court. 

A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You with Your Case

If you are the victim of a personal injury accident and someone else is to blame, then contact the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato. We offer comprehensive legal services for personal injury cases.

To find out more about our services, call us today at 954-633-8270 for a free case review. We can answer your questions, discuss your case, and help you explore your legal options. 

Kim JonesWhat Is Personal Injury Law?
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Some of the immediate symptoms of traumatic brain injury include:                                         

Loss of Consciousness

Loss of consciousness (LOC) can include being knocked out for a few minutes or being in a coma for several months. The duration of unconsciousness can indicate the severity of your head trauma. Furthermore, any type of LOC can indicate that you have a severe traumatic brain injury. If you lose consciousness, you should go to the hospital immediately. 

As you regain consciousness, you may start to experience other signs of a TBI. Some of these signs may occur immediately. Other signs may be delayed. If you experience delayed symptoms, you should visit your doctor right away. 

Seizures or Convulsions

A post-traumatic seizure may occur within the first week or two after the accident. You may also have one or more seizures within the next several months or years. If so, your doctor may diagnose you with epilepsy.

A medical specialist can determine how likely you are to experience one or more seizures or convulsions by the nature and severity of your injury. They can also determine if you need to undergo one or more surgical procedures to correct your condition.

Double Vision or Other Eye Problems

Vision problems are common symptoms of a concussion or traumatic brain injury. After your accident, there may be an interrupted signal between the brain and the eyes. This can cause a wide range of vision problems such as:

  • Blurred vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Difficulty reading
  • Vision-related headaches
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Double vision
  • Difficulty moving your eyes in any direction

Eye problems do not always appear right away. As a result, your doctor may overlook them. As a precaution, you may want to visit your eye doctor for an eye exam.

Fluid Draining from the Ears or Nose

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may leak from your ears or nose after a traumatic brain injury. The fluid may be clear or blood-tinged. This indicates a tear in the membrane around the spinal cord or brain. This type of injury may require a surgical procedure to stop the leaking.

Vomiting or Nausea

Vomiting is common after a TBI due to the impact on both the head and the body. Although vomiting can be a sign that you have incurred a head trauma, it is not always an indicator of a severe brain injury. Vomiting can occur up to two or three hours after the initial accident with no cause for alarm.

However, if you continue to vomit multiple times several hours after your injury, you may need to go to the emergency room. Regardless of how many times you vomit, you may want to seek some type of medical attention right away. This is the only way to determine exactly why you are vomiting.

Neurological Problems: Dizziness, Slurred Speech, Weakness 

Since your injury affects the brain, numerous neurological problems can occur after your accident, such as:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness or poor balance
  • Slurred or hesitant speech
  • Inability to solve problems
  • Inability to understand abstract concepts
  • Poor coordination
  • Reading comprehension problems

Neurological problems can occur instantly, or they can gradually get worse. In some cases, the decline in neurological function can happen over the years. After an extended period, you may not make the connection between your accident and your neurological condition. Only a medical specialist can tell you if your condition is related to your accident.

Paralysis

Partial or full paralysis may occur on one or both sides of the body depending on which part of the brain was damaged. When your brain is injured, it may be unable to send or receive a signal to an area of your body. As a result, you may have limited function or sensation in the paralyzed area. 

Since paralysis is often unpredictable, you may or may not recover from your condition. Some paralysis may go away, restoring your function. Other types of paralysis may be terminal. You may have to undergo extensive physical therapy if recovery is possible. In other cases, you may need round-the-clock care for the rest of your life.

Memory Problems and Amnesia

A traumatic brain injury can affect your memory in various ways. In most cases, you may suffer short-term memory loss. For instance, you may remember things that happened in your childhood. However, you cannot remember why you went to the grocery store.

In addition, you may not remember things such as:

  • Details of a conversation
  • Where you put certain items such as keys or a wallet
  • Whether you agreed to or declined to attend an event
  • Losing track of time
  • Names or personal information of people you are close to 

In some cases, the injured person will not remember the accident that caused their traumatic brain injury.

Feelings of Depression or Anxiety

You may have feelings of sadness, loss, or despair long after your accident occurred. These feelings of depression and anxiety may seem overwhelming. Depression can be caused by physical changes in your brain or your emotional response to your injury. In some cases, it can be caused by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

The only way to determine if your depression is a physical, emotional, or mental response to your trauma is to visit your doctor for an official diagnosis. Your doctor may refer you to a TBI specialist who can diagnose your depression. 

Compensation for Your Traumatic Brain Injury Damages

If you suffered complications from a traumatic brain injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, or other damages. To find out more, contact the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato today. We offer legal services for victims of traumatic brain injuries. Call us today at 954-633-8270 for a free case assessment. You pay nothing unless you win your case.  

Kim JonesWhat Are the Immediate Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury?
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When you face accusations of committing a white-collar crime, you stand the risk of paying hefty fines and possibly even serving time in prison. The allegations alone can be enough to taint your reputation—perhaps even ruin your career.

Having legal counsel by your side from the moment you first sense these accusations brewing will help you immeasurably both in and outside the courtroom.

A white-collar crime lawyer in Ft. Lauderdale at the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato will vigorously defend the rights and interests of people who have been accused of white-collar crimes. Our staff is caring, responsive, and attentive, and our legal team will ensure you understand your legal options.

Call 954-633-8270 for a free consultation.

Types of White-Collar Crime Cases We Accept

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines white-collar crime as “illegal acts which are characterized by deceit, concealment, or violation of trust and which are not dependent upon the application or threat of physical force or violence.”

We represent defendants who have been accused of the following types of white-collar crimes in the Ft. Lauderdale area:

  • Bank fraud
  • Securities fraud
  • Wire fraud
  • Mail fraud
  • Medicare fraud
  • Healthcare fraud
  • Conspiracy
  • Drug conspiracy
  • Federal firearms offenses

We also represent both local and federal law enforcement officers for wrongful shootings and bad conduct.

The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato commits to giving you aggressive and results-driven legal representation. We will prepare your case with an ironclad defense, no matter what type of white-collar crime charges you face.

Devising a Strategic Defense for Your White-Collar Crime Case

Our legal team will immerse itself in researching the best defense to argue on your behalf.  State courts require that prosecutors prove a defendant’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” We will seek the right evidence to introduce that doubt.

Challenging the Prima Facie Case

We will begin by searching for evidence we can use to discredit the state’s prima facie case. Prima facie evidence is that which is considered sufficient to prove the case against you. We will look for evidence that directly and substantially contradicts this evidence.

One example of prima facie evidence is when a person is accused of writing bad checks. The evidence against the accused consists of multiple checks written on a non-existent bank account. However, if the defense proves that the bank misprinted the checks’ account number, this will likely discredit the prima facie case.

Arguing Entrapment

Sometimes, a government agent will tempt or persuade an individual to engage in criminal activity that the person otherwise would not have committed were it not for the agent’s involvement. This is called entrapment, and it is an argument with which we can challenge the prosecution’s case, where relevant.

We can start devising your defense today: 954-633-8270.

Choosing a Criminal Defense Attorney for White-Collar Crime Charges

The importance of taking care when selecting your criminal defense attorney cannot be overstated. Your attorney is your advocate in the system.

On top of being passionate about your defense, look for a white-collar crime lawyer in Ft. Lauderdale who has a background in grand jury investigations, criminal litigation, and criminal appeals. In the case of white-collar crimes, these elements of the case are particularly substantial and complex.

The complexity of white-collar cases stems from their technical and financial roots, often growing into multi-faceted financial and business transactions. The preparation for your defense and litigation will benefit from having an attorney who has worked in the areas of both criminal and business law.

A white-collar crime lawyer in Ft. Lauderdale at the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato stands ready to preserve your constitutional rights as an accused citizen. If your rights were violated, we will take that information and run with it. We will investigate your case down to the last transaction to find any way to discredit the prosecution’s prima facie case. We will interview witnesses, devise innovative and effective defense strategies, and identify any weakness in the prosecution’s case against you.

Arguing for Reasonable Sentencing

Our commitment to you does not stop with building your case or litigating it in court. In the event that a jury finds you guilty, the United States Supreme Court entitles us, as your legal counsel, to argue for reasonable, appropriate sentencing. We will avail ourselves fully of this opportunity, which was made newly available by the United States Supreme Court in 2005, when it was decided that mandatory sentences are unconstitutional.

Call us today to get started: 954-633-8270.

Penalties for White-Collar Crime in Ft. Lauderdale

A white-collar crime conviction can result in a broad range of penalties, depending upon the nature of the crime and specific details of the case.

Possible penalties include:

  • Fines
  • Home detention
  • Community confinement
  • Paying the cost of prosecution
  • Forfeitures
  • Restitution
  • Supervised release
  • Imprisonment

Typically, the defendants charged with white-collar crimes are individuals; however, the government is entitled to also sanction corporations for these crimes.

How a White-Collar Crime Lawyer in Ft. Lauderdale Can Help Your Case

When a criminal defense attorney takes on a white-collar crime case, they must prepare to go up against government prosecutors. The prosecutors often team up with a variety of agencies to help investigate and prosecute the defendant, as these cases typically involve untangling complex transactions, then explaining them in a way juries can understand.

It is often a David-and-Goliath-type situation, and the successful criminal defense attorney must be able to do battle with good judgment, deep knowledge, an appropriate level of acumen, and unflappable confidence.

The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato will put the skills of its legal staff to work in supporting you for an ideal outcome in your case. We will honor your concerns, carefully research the accusations against you, and execute a legal strategy stemming from our 20 years litigating in Florida courtrooms.

The Ft. Lauderdale Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato Can Represent You

A white-collar crime charge and conviction can hurt you in many serious ways. Do not leave your freedom and your reputation to chance. We can stand by your side and see you through this accusation and on to better days. Call the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato at 954-633-8270 for a free case review.

Kim JonesWhite Collar Crime Lawyer in Ft. Lauderdale
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The first thing you should do if you slip and fall in a store is seek help from a medical professional. If you are seriously hurt and cannot get up, then lie still until the ambulance arrives. If you can get up, then call an ambulance on your own or try to go to the emergency room right away.

Even if you believe that you are okay, you should still visit your doctor to get an official diagnosis of your medical condition. Do not delay seeking medical treatment. Any delay could worsen any potential injuries and/or drastically impact your insurance claim or lawsuit. Once you have received the care you need, a slip and fall lawyer Fort Lauderdale can help you recover compensation.

Document Your Accident

Once a medical professional has checked you out, then you should document your accident. Follow up with the property owner and make sure they filled out an official report. The incident report should include all the necessary details, including:

  • Date and time of the accident
  • Location of the accident on the premises
  • Details of the accident
  • The cause of the accident
  • Any noticeable signs of injury at the time of the accident

You may also want to write down any notes based on what you remember. Highlight what you were doing just before the accident and what circumstances led to your slip and fall.

Contact any witnesses. Try to get names, numbers, or addresses. Also, try to gather any official statements from witnesses. You can use all of this information in your insurance claim.

Explore Your Legal Options

Now that you have gathered some information, you may want to discuss your legal options with a slip and fall lawyer. By consulting an attorney, you can go over the details of your accident, ask questions, and get sound legal advice on what steps you need to take next.

In addition, your lawyer will be able to speak on your behalf when the insurance company attempts to contact you. The attorney will know how to communicate with the insurer to ensure that they follow the legal process properly and that you receive a fair settlement.

Why You Should Avoid Giving Any Official Statements

In a slip and fall case, both the property owner and their insurance company can use anything you say against you. Therefore, you may want to limit your conversations about your slip and fall injuries to just you and your attorney.

You may also want to refrain from speaking with other people or posting anything public such as on social media. Allow your attorney to correspond with all parties on your behalf.

How Your Slip and Fall Lawyer Can Help Your Case

Your lawyer can be valuable in helping you get the maximum compensation for your slip and fall injuries and other damages. They can help in the following ways:

  • Manage your case throughout litigation
  • Handle all of your paperwork, communication, and clerical duties
  • Act as your sole legal representative in all areas of your case
  • File a lawsuit, if necessary
  • Ensure that your rights are protected and that you are not taken advantage of
  • Negotiate a fair settlement to cover all of your damages

Gathering Evidence to Support Your Claim

One of the most important steps you take after your slip and fall accident is gathering all necessary evidence to submit to the insurance company. The evidence will establish liability and help you determine the total value of your case.

The legal team working on your case can obtain the following evidence:

  • Footage of the accident caught on camera
  • Statements given by eyewitnesses
  • Medical documents detailing your injuries and expenses
  • Lost income while you were recovering
  • Accident scene investigation
  • Out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident

Do Not Take the Store Owner’s First Offer

A slip and fall accident can hurt a store’s reputation. Therefore, the owner may do everything they can to keep the incident from going public. As a result, the store owner may try to handle the situation by offering you an early settlement quietly.

While a quick settlement may seem like a noble gesture at first, you will want to discuss your options with your attorney before agreeing to a quick offer. Accepting a settlement prematurely may diminish the value of your damages. You may also incur additional expenses later on if you have a long-term medical condition or permanent disability.

What Happens if the Insurance Company Denies Your Claim

Just because you were injured does not mean that the property owner will admit fault or that the insurance company will accept your claim. The insurance adjuster will scrutinize your claim heavily and use any reason to turn your claim down or minimize your payout.

Your legal team will work hard to present your case and fight for fair compensation. However, if the insurance company refuses to accept your claim or offers an unfair settlement, you may explore other legal options.

Your attorney can file a lawsuit against the insurer and take your case to court, if necessary. You do not have to accept the insurance adjuster’s rejection or decision.

Contact Your Slip and Fall Lawyer Today

Before you make your next move after your slip and fall accident, contact the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato. We can help you navigate the legal process so that you can recover all of your damages. To find out more about our legal services in South Florida, call us at 954-633-8270 for a free case assessment.

Kim JonesWhat to Do if You Slip and Fall in a Store
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In a negligent security case, you have to prove that the establishment or institution failed to provide adequate security to protect you from an attack by a third party.

The facility owner or administrator did not provide enough security to keep you safe when you needed protection the most. Therefore, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the entity and recover your economic or noneconomic damages for your negligent security injuries. A negligent security lawyer can help you establish these elements to ensure you receive fair compensation from the insurance company.

Element 1: Duty of Care

Businesses and other institutions such as bars, government agencies, or educational facilities have a duty to keep their customers, visitors, or other occupants safe. They must provide security that is adequate enough to prevent foreseeable dangers.

The entity had a fundamental duty to keep you safe while you were on the premises. The duty can be either implied or express. For instance, an establishment has a duty to keep all approaches and the surrounding area safe for patrons. Reasonable measures might include ensuring the parking lot or area between buildings is well-lit at night.

Element 2: Breach of Duty

The company must have failed to keep its property safe. For example, the company failed to replace burnt out lights between buildings on its property.

Element 3: The Breach of Duty Led to Your Injury

You were assaulted walking from one building to another because of a poorly lit area between the buildings. The company failed to uphold its duty to you and as a result, you suffered injury.

Element 4: You Suffered Damages as a Result

As a result of the attack, you suffered physical, economic, noneconomic, or other damages. You must have evidence that can substantiate your damages.

Examples of Negligent Security Claims

In a negligent security case, a property owner or organization failed to provide a safe environment. As a result, you were the victim of an attack. Examples of negligent security claims include:

  • ATM robbery
  • Store parking lot mugging
  • Hotel room assault
  • Apartment or condominium assault
  • Gas station robbery or mugging
  • College campus sexual assault

If you experienced these or similar types of attacks, then you may be entitled to submit a lawsuit against the company or organization and recover damages. Your negligent security lawyer can provide evidence that the attack against you could have been prevented if it was not for the company’s negligence.

Proving a Foreseeable Injury

The company or other entity may state that there was no way that anyone could have foreseen an attack or an injury. The defendant may use this position as a way of relieving the company from any liability for your attack and subsequent injuries.

For example, if the establishment was in a safe area and there was no history of crimes occurring on the property, the property owner may claim that they had no duty to provide extra security.

Your negligent security lawyer can gather evidence, such as prior incident reports to prove that the attack was foreseeable and that the company should have taken measures to prevent it. Your attorney may further demonstrate that the attack would never have happened if it was not for the company’s negligence.

Furthermore, your lawyer may use a combination of factors to determine fore see ability, including:

Impending harm 

The property owner knew or should have known that the attack on you or someone else was imminent based on previous occurrences of the crime in the area.

Prior Cases of Attack

The owner experienced similar cases of attacks on their property but did not improve security after the instance.

Taking All Circumstances into Consideration

The owner should have looked at all the circumstances surrounding the property to determine if they needed to add more security to prevent criminal activity. For example, a bar where heavy drinking can occur may need security even if the area is not unsafe.

Obtaining Evidence of Your Damages

Your lawyer may obtain evidence to validate your claim further, such as:

  • An accident reconstruction expert
  • Revisiting the scene of the attack
  • Medical reports that confirm the negligent security injuries
  • Eyewitnesses who saw the attack

Your lawyer can investigate the scene to determine how the company could have provided adequate security measures to prevent your attack. Furthermore, your lawyer can investigate the case to see if the company was aware of the possibility of an attack and did nothing to prevent it.

Defining Adequate Security

While security is a clearly defined compliance issue for some companies in specific industries, there may be no guidelines or regulations that dictate what measures a company should take to secure their premises in other industries.

For instance, Florida Statutes §§ 812.173 and 812.174 outline precautions that convenience store owners must take to secure their properties such as:

  • Installing a security camera
  • Posting a notice that says the cash register contains less than $50
  • Using a drop safe to eliminate quick access to cash
  • Providing training to employees to deter robberies

Not all companies must abide by these types of statutes. Therefore, it can become more challenging to establish a duty of care or prove a foreseeable injury. However, all business owners and organization administrators must provide some level of security regardless of what type of facility they own or manage.

Your negligent security lawyer must establish that there was a reasonable and definable level of adequate security that a company should have provided to prevent your injuries. They must also show that the company failed to provide adequate security according to the reasonable and definable standard.

Contact Our Law Firm About Your Negligent Security Case

If you have questions about your negligent security case, then contact the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato. A negligent security lawyer in South Florida can review your case. We can advise you as to your best course of action to receive compensation for your damages. Call us today at 954-633-8270 for a free case evaluation.

Kim JonesWhat Do You Have to Prove in a Negligent Security Case?
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Liability for an electric scooter accident depends on how the accident occurred and who is at fault. In some cases, several parties can share liability. Many of the most common accidents occur due to operator negligence, manufacturer error during production or design, or a collision with another party such as a vehicle, pedestrian or a bicyclist.

Regardless of how the accident occurred, if you are the victim, then you will need to establish liability so that you can receive compensation for your damages. An e-scooter attorney can investigate the accident, look for evidence, and then help you build your case against the at-fault party.

Determining Who is Liable for Your e-Scooter Injury

One or more of the following parties may be liable for your e-scooter injuries:

The Scooter Operator

The scooter rider may have been negligent or careless while operating the e-scooter. As a result, the rider ran into you and caused your injuries. You may have been a cyclist or a pedestrian on the sidewalk.

Vehicle Operator

Since e-scooters operate alongside other vehicles such as bicycles, cars, or commercial vehicles, accidents can occur between the scooter driver and the driver of the other vehicle. The other driver may have hit you while you were operating your scooter. Likewise, a scooter driver may have caused you to swerve and get into an accident while you were driving your car.

The Scooter Manufacturer

The scooter company may have designed a defective part. Also, the scooter company may have violated a city ordinance in allowing you to operate the scooter in a restricted zone.

A Property Owner

Property owners are responsible for keeping their commercial property safe at all times. The property owner may have created an unsafe environment. As a result, you were in an accident due to dangerous riding conditions.

Evidence You Can Use to Establish Liability

Your e-scooter accident lawyer can help you build your case by obtaining evidence that another party is responsible for your injuries. Evidence that you can use to establish your claim includes:

  • Photos or videos of the accident site
  • Medical documents including reports, bills, or receipts
  • Statements from eyewitness
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Revisiting the scene of the accident

In a more severe accident, a police officer may arrive to fill out an accident report. Your lawyer can obtain the accident report along with all other documents and evidence to validate your claim and negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.

E-Scooter Companies and User Agreements

One of the ways that electric scooter companies attempt to remove themselves from any liability for a scooter accident is by forcing the user to sign a digital agreement. Every company has its own version of the user agreement. The agreement essentially states that the company is not liable for any accidents regardless of the circumstances. The rider agrees to ride at their own risk and gives up any legal rights if an accident occurs.

What this means is that there is no insurance readily available to cover your damages if you suffer injuries in an accident with an electric scooter and the rider is at fault. The electric scooter company does not have an insurance policy in place for third-party injuries. Chances are, the rider also does not have any specified insurance to cover your damages.

However, if you were injured in an e-scooter accident, and the electric scooter company is responsible for your injuries, you may be able to seek damages from the electric scooter company’s insurer. You may want to consult a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options. An attorney can work on your behalf to investigate the accident, establish who was at fault, and also help you determine the value of your case.

Examples of Common e-Scooter Injuries

Companies such as Bird, Lime, Jump, Lyft, or Spin now offer e-scooter rentals in metropolitan and suburban areas throughout South Florida. While e-scooter rentals offer convenience and affordable public transportation, they have also drawn criticism for causing injury to both the rider or other parties.

Some of the most common examples of injuries include:

  • Young or unsupervised children riding on the scooter
  • Using electric scooters on sidewalks instead of the bike lanes
  • Users riding electric scooters in groups
  • Multiple riders on a single scooter
  • Improperly placed scooters in transit or at charging stations
  • Operating scooters in non-designated areas

In addition, accidents can occur due to scooter malfunction, road hazards, collisions, and improper parking.

What You Can Claim in an e-Scooter Accident Case

In an e-scooter accident claim, you may be entitled to seek compensation for the following damages:

  • Medical expenses including emergency room and hospital stay
  • Pain and suffering or other noneconomic damages
  • Lost income during your recovery
  • Pain pills or other medication
  • Projected future medical costs or disability

What you can claim depends on the nature of the accident, your total damages, and who is responsible for your e-scooter injuries. A lawyer can help you determine the estimated value of your case to get you the compensation you deserve.

The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato Can Help You with Your Case

If you would like to find out more about your legal options in an e-scooter injury case, contact the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato. We can represent you against the electric scooter companies and get you a fair settlement. To find out more, call us at 954-633-8270 for a free case evaluation.

Kim JonesWho’s Responsible if I Get Into an Accident with an Electric Scooter?
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