Articles Tagged with Wolfson Law Firm

If you settle your personal injury claim, you will need to sign a release to get the money. A release basically means that you are releasing, or letting go, your claims against the responsible party. In a car accident, that usually means the owner and operator of the other vehicle as well as their insurance company. In a slip and fall injury, it would be the property owner. In a medical malpractice case, the doctor and possibly the hospital would want a release in exchange for a settlement.

Miami Accident lawyer Jonah Wolfson

Releases are covered by basic contract law. There is an offer to settle and, if agreed, an acceptance of that offer. But there must be what is called a “meeting of the minds” which means that the terms of the offer and acceptance must be agreed to by both parties. If the acceptance does not match or “mirror” the offer, then there is no agreement.

In a recent Florida case, the importance of having a “meeting of the minds” was clearly demonstrated. After a car accident, the injured party offered to settle her claim against the other driver for his policy limits with USAA Insurance Company. In addition, she offered to release her claims against the other driver. However, her attorney specifically advised USAA that she would not sign a release containing a hold harmless agreement nor an indemnity agreement. The attorney also warned USAA that any attempt to release anyone other than the other driver would act as a rejection of her good faith offer to settle.

If you are injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to damages which can include future medical expenses and loss of earning capacity. However, Florida law requires that you must present sufficient evidence that a jury could, with reasonable certainty, determine the amounts of future damages.  Florida courts will not allow speculative future damages that are unsupported by the evidence – no matter how seriously a person is injured.

Consider the case of Erin Joynt who was severely injured when she was run over by a Volusia County Beach Patrol truck while sunbathing at the beach. She was vacationing with her husband and children from Kansas when a lifeguard ran over her head and body. Ms. Joynt suffered a fractured skull, memory loss, broken ribs, and a collapsed lung. She continued to have a lingering paralysis on the left side of her face. Her story received international attention.

Miami car accident lawyer

Joynt filed a negligence suit against the County, seeking damages for the injuries she suffered. After a four-day trial, the jury awarded $2.6 million in compensatory damages, broken down as follows: $2 million for past and future pain and suffering; $500,000 for diminished earning capacity, and $100,000 for future medical expenses.

According to the Miami New Times, Miami-Dade is the top county in Florida for fatal bike accidents. Every year we hear tragic stories of bikers who have died as a result of a driver’s careless distraction, neglect, speed, or recklessness. When bicyclists are hit, they face more serious injuries. Without the protective chassis of a car, bikers are more likely to suffer serious head injuries. Sadly, in car accidents involving bicyclists, drivers are more likely to walk away, while bikers are more likely to face life-altering injuries. Personal injury attorneys in Miami can assist bikers who have been hit or injured.

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Yet, the onus is often on bikers to keep themselves safe. Bikers are constantly reminded that they must follow the same laws as automobiles. Likewise, bicyclists are encouraged to wear helmets to help prevent head injuries. Yet, recent studies indicate that helmets may not keep bikers as safe as all the publicity for helmet use indicates.

According to Bicycling magazine, helmets were designed to prevent wearers from catastrophic skull-shattering or cracking injuries, but they are not designed to prevent bikers from concussions. The reality is that concussions can be far more dangerous injuries because they may not be immediately diagnosed on the scene of the accident. Furthermore, an untreated concussion can lead to brain damage or even death.

If you slip and fall at Publix, Target, Walmart or most large retailers, chances are your fall was videotaped by a store surveillance system. You probably think this is a good thing because then everyone can see what happened. Not so fast.

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Most major retailers have closed circuit video surveillance systems for two main reasons. First is theft prevention. The second, and equally important to the retailer, is to defend against premises liability claims. Under the current law, these stores typically object to producing the video until AFTER the claimant has testified under oath and that decision rests with the trial judge.

 

 

The decisions on the issue have evolved over the years. Originally the Florida Supreme Court said that defendants could withhold video surveillance tapes until after the plaintiff testified. The video in question was taken after the accident occurred and while the claim was pending. This is the type of video taken by the private investigator hiding in the bushes.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be facing a range of new concerns—from lifestyle changes related to your injuries to lost time at work and medical expenses. The last thing from your mind may be your social media posts or that golf accident you had two years ago. Yet, if you are seeking representation from an accident lawyer in Miami to receive a recovery for your injuries, your social media use, prior injuries, and even the kind of medical care you receive can have a huge impact on the outcome of your case. Here are five things to be aware of if you’re in the process of working with or finding a car accident attorney.

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  1. Disclose all prior injuries. You must let your attorney know about any injuries you may have suffered before your accident—even if they are minor. If these injuries come up in court and aren’t previously disclosed, they can hurt your case. An extreme example of this was recently reported in the Miami Herald. A man won a $184,429 personal injury recovery, but had this verdict thrown out when it came to light that he had sustained injuries when he was tackled by police officers after taking a drunken golf cart joyride through the city.
  2. Avoid posting to social media. Anything you say in social media may be used against you—whether or not it pertains to your case. Even an innocent vacation photo can impact how a judge or jury perceives your claim. You can significantly damage even a straightforward case if you post the wrong picture or say the wrong thing. Your best bet is to avoid social media until your case is over. Or, if you must post something, pass it by your lawyer first.
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