Articles Posted in Lawsuit & Litigation

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While you enjoy the insurance company commercials on television, you should also keep in mind that insurance companies do more than just advertise. They invest significant amounts of money in studying you and your behavior, actions and tendencies. One area that the insurance industry is most curious about is why people hire personal injury lawyers after car accidents.

The standard belief within insurance companies is that personal injury lawyers increase the cost of claims. Insurance companies measure the average cost per paid claim. This category is referred to as claim severity. Other measurements that every insurance company relies on include frequency and loss costs. Insurance industry executives are convinced that car accident attorneys negatively and significantly impact all claims costs and that results in higher premiums.

So, it is natural that insurance companies would spend some of their research and development money on trying to figure out why so many people hire lawyers after a car crash. Veterans in the industry believed for years that delays in processing claims often led people to hire attorneys. But a recent study brings that belief into question.

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court-room-300x198If you have a personal injury lawsuit in Miami, sooner or later you will likely end up in mediation. So what is mediation? It really doesn’t involve deep measured breaths, closing your eyes and focusing inward (although that might help during an actual personal injury mediation). Florida law and Rules of Civil Procedure provide for and encourage settlement of all legal disputes. The primary format for alternative dispute resolution in Miami is called mediation.

What is a Personal Injury Mediation?

Mediation is a basically a settlement conference with an impartial third party called a mediator who is trained and certified. It usually takes place at a neutral location like the mediator’s office. The parties to the lawsuit attend with their lawyers. Often in personal injury mediation, there is an insurance company involved. The insurance company will usually have a claim representative or adjuster attend the mediation with the insurance defense attorney. Some insurance companies will have designated field representatives who attend all the mediation conferences in the particular jurisdiction. On other occasions, an adjuster will attend the mediation by phone or Skype. In order to attend by phone or Skype, the parties would need to agree. If the parties do not agree, then a motion to allow the adjuster or representative to attend by phone can be filed with the court and a judge can rule on the issue. Typically in a Miami personal injury mediation, the parties will agree to allow the insurance company representative attend by Skype of conference call.

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courtroom-300x225-300x225Let’s start with the assumption that you are well-educated and charming. You are board certified and have all the specialist certifications anyone in your field could hope to have in a lifetime. You love your family and your country. You know your field. People call you an expert and seek your opinion. So, does that mean you are ready to be an expert witness? Not necessarily.

The Miami personal injury lawyers at the Wolfson Law Firm have worked with experts in Florida for more than 60 years. Here are the top 8 things our attorneys say you should know about testifying as an expert witness:

  1. You are what your records say you are. If there are any public records that might prove embarrassing, you can rely on a decent trial lawyer to find them. Understand that part of trial work is investigating the witnesses. That includes civil and criminal records; any state or federal records that are available; and even the property appraiser. If you are going to be an expert in court, then you should make sure your online presence in social media is pristine.
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court-look-300x300If you have a personal injury case, you might feel that you have no control. Everyone else has the power – the attorneys, the insurance company, the judge, or the jury. But that is not entirely true. You do have some power. You have the ability to avoid the mistakes that can cause you to lose your personal injury case. It doesn’t matter if you were injured in a car accident, truck accident, slip and fall, motorcycle accident or any other type of serious injury. In every personal injury case, there are missteps you should avoid.

So what are those mistakes? Based on the experience of our Miami personal injury attorneys here are the top five:

1. NEVER TELL A LIE

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No ParkingA member of the well-known Miami Mas Canosa family has filed a class action lawsuit against Tremont Towing because his car got towed from a private parking lot during non-business hours. He claims that the towing company violated Miami-Dade County and City of Miami Beach laws requiring private property owners to authorize every tow with a signature. The lawsuit alleges that Tremont Towing cannot operate under a blanket request to tow vehicles without specific individual approval. The class action lawsuit also alleges that the City of Miami Beach gets a percentage of the tow fees and, as a result, the City is also named as a defendant. While taking such a position is popular (everyone hates towing companies until you need one), it is wrong and the class action lawsuit should be dismissed.

The County law clearly states that certain sections of the County’s towing laws do not apply in any municipality that has adopted and maintains in effect ordinances or regulations governing the same matters. Miami Beach has adopted its own local towing ordinance, including procedures for the removal of trespassing vehicles from private property. It specifically states that during non-business hours, a towing company does not need permission from the property owner to tow vehicles that are illegally parked. The lawsuit admits that the Plaintiff trespassed on the subject property for at least one hour and a half on an early Sunday morning. However, there appears to have been no business open during the hours that Mr. Mas illegally parked his vehicle and was towed. In other words, Mr. Mas’ vehicle was towed during non-business hours.

Tremont Towing attorney Ralph Andrade told the Miami Herald that he is confident that the class action lawsuit will be dismissed.

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Technological advances are changing the way lawmakers think about car accident law and about traffic regulation. According to the New York Times, companies like Google know more about traffic patterns and driving behavior than the regulators who are put in charge of solving the city’s problems. In a city like Miami, where traffic leads to accidents and causes endless gridlock, the New York Times reports that cities are calling upon technology companies to help solve their traffic problems.

The federal Department of Transportation recently announced a partnership with the company that owns Google to provide city officials with traffic data to help them better solve problems of gridlock, traffic jams, and accidents. The hope is that with the better data, the cities will be able to find more efficient ways to move goods and people.

Part of the work will involve the anonymous analysis of billions of miles of trips logged in smartphones. The hope is that better tools will be developed to help cities understand where congestion is highest and how these problems can best be solved. Information about where commuters are going can also help city planners find better solutions to common gridlock problems. Computer models may also be able to help city planners find solutions that actually work. For instance, they can model whether a carpool lane would help alleviate congestion, or whether it makes more sense to build a new train line.