Are Covid-19 Vaccine Passports Legal? Covid-19 Vaccine Passports, or a digital health pass, are seen as a reasonable method of assuring each other that we will be safe in social settings such as indoor dining, sporting events, theaters, etc. Some states embrace them and others, like Florida, have passed laws to prevent them. Let’s explore the legal issues involved. First of all, the federal government cannot control the individual states in regard to passports, unless it can make a reasonable argument that passports are necessary to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 from one state to another. This is very unlikely. Additionally, this action would have to be taken by Congress in Washington and that is even more unlikely. Individual states can act in this regard. For example, in Florida, not only did Governor Ron DeSantis issue an executive order banning the use of passports but he also signed into law landmark legislation passed by the Florida Senate and House of Representatives banning vaccine passports within the State of Florida in an attempt to stem what the governor described as “Government Overreach”. As it has played out in Florida, the governor’s desire to allow people to maintain their personal choice regarding vaccinations and to prevent any business or government entity from denying someone services based on their decision has created a major conflict with Florida’s largest industry, the cruise ship industry. Shortly after this legislation was signed into law, the cruise ship industry announced that most of their ships will require vaccine passports of some type for all crew and guests on cruises, including those in the several ports within Florida that service the cruise ship industry. It remains to be seen how the State of Florida will handle this situation. If this new law chases away the state’s largest industry, the legislators who voted for it will have some questions to answer when they face their constituents in the polling booth at the next election. Some states have attempted to execute voluntary policies without legislation. Individual companies seem to be allowed to demand proof of Covid-19 vaccinations from their employees or customers. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission stated that they will not punish any employers for doing so. In fact, if a company fails to require proof of vaccination, they may expose themselves to legal and ethical problems if an unsafe work environment results in needless contamination. An interesting question will arise if people begin to claim religious or medical reasons for not wanting to receive vaccinations. If denied continued employment for this reason, can an employee sue their employer? In certain states, probably. As a final thought, since we have no national registry, proving someone has been vaccinated is a vague and unclear process. Most folks who receive a shot are handed a simple piece of paper with the date and type of vaccine given and even a lot number. These documents are easily copied and without a national database, it is difficult to see how private companies or state governments can effectively verify the necessary information. In my opinion, these vaccine passports don’t infringe on one’s freedom because they are not required for exercising your rights as a citizen, such as voting or accessing government buildings, etc. Requiring them to ensure a safe workplace or safe sporting venues or sea and airports seems to be reasonable and a government mandate precluding private companies from enforcing them seems to be overreaching. In conclusion, the law either banning these passports or policies to enforce them either statewide or business by business, is evolving. No national standard can solve this mess of patchwork policies state by state because we are a country where the power is primarily in the states to address public policy issues such as this, not the federal government.
Florida Slip and Fall Settlements Slip and Fall settlements in Florida are usually determined through a series of negotiations between the injured party’s lawyer and the insurance adjuster for the insurance company that provides general liability coverage for the property (location) where the trip and fall or slip and fall occurred. The goal of these negotiations is to come up with a fair and reasonable settlement, if possible. The next step, if the parties cannot reach an agreement, would be to file a lawsuit and have a jury trial where six members of the community would decide who is responsible for the injury and what the value of the claim is. Whether the case settles prior to a lawsuit being filed or ends up in a full jury trial, the analysis to determine the settlement value of any slip and fall case requires that there be an evaluation of the two main parts of these types of cases: liability and damages. Florida Slip and Fall Liability First, liability is the part of the case where you have to prove that the injury was due to the negligence of the property owner. Usually this is based on a dangerous condition on the property that was either created by the property owner, or their employees, or was a condition that had remained on their property for a long enough period of time that a reasonably prudent property owner would have discovered it and remedied the condition prior to your fall / injury. As part of this liability analysis in Florida, if the property owner can show that you were not paying attention to where you were walking, or that you did something else to contribute to your fall, the value of your claim goes down significantly. If it was half your fault for not paying attention to where you were going and half the property owner’s fault for having a dangerous condition remain on their property too long, you would only recover half of what you would otherwise be entitled to. Proving liability at 100% or at least 90% on the property owner is critical to a good settlement in these types of cases. The more experienced your lawyer is in handling these cases, the more likely you will be able to prove most of the fault on the property owner. Florida Slip and Fall Damages The second part of the analysis to determine the value of a Slip and Fall settlement in Florida is known as “damages”. This is where you have to show, as a result of the fault on the property owner, what harm was done to you. Types of Florida Slip and Fall Damages The main types of damages you are entitled to recover for in a Florida Slip and Fall case would be: Past lost wages, medical bills and other out of pocket expenses already incurred: This number would be based on the actual bills already incurred in the past for medical treatment, medication, transportation, and actual time missed from work due to your injuries. Future lost wages and medical bills: This is based on an opinion of a medical provider usually. That provider would have to state within a reasonable degree of medical probability that you will likely be in need of additional and/or ongoing medical care or suffer future wage loss as a result of restrictions caused by your injuries. Past and future pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and other “non-economic” damages: These claims are difficult to value and are different in every case. The amount of pain and suffering one experiences has a direct correlation to the severity of the injury and the opinion of a doctor as to future impairment. The more serious and permanent the injuries are, the more value the pain and suffering claim has. Other factors would include the extent of the treatment to date. Was a surgery required? Are there any permanent scars or disfigurement? How do the injuries affect your ability to perform your normal activities of daily living? These are examples of some of the factors involved. There are a lot of factors that go into determining the liability and damages of any particular slip and fall or trip and fall case. It is critical to have an experienced attorney to help you determine the fair value of your case. I have been settling and filing suit against property owners for these types of premises liability claims since the early 1990’s and would be happy to evaluate your case. Just contact my office at [email protected] or visit our website for more information at www.robertgluck.com.
Slip and Fall Accident in Florida "Slip and fall" and ‘trip and fall’ are terms used to describe a type of personal injury case. These cases fall under the broader category of premises liability claims. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Over 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized as a result of a fall injury, most often a head injury or hip fracture, and falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Furthermore, One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head, neck or back injury. If your slip and fall occurred on someone else’s property, the owner, the tenant, a management company or some other party responsible for maintaining the property where your fall occurred, or a party in control of the property where your fall occurred, may be required to pay you money damages for your injuries. A lawyer can help you decide if you can sue for your slip and fall and if so, who the responsible parties might be. Can you sue for a slip and fall accident? You can sue for a slip and fall accident in Florida. You certainly would want to try to settle the case first because a lawsuit takes years to finish. Most of my clients settle their slip and fall cases with the insurance company for the property owner. With my help, they are usually able to recover a fair settlement without filing a lawsuit. If you do decide to file suit, you or your lawyer would file a complaint for damages in the courthouse, or now online, in the county where the incident occurred. There are some instances where you would be filing suit in other locations or even in Federal Court, but for the most part, if you get hurt locally, you would be suing in the county where the incident occurred. If you do file suit, there are certain procedural requirements you must follow to avoid your lawsuit being thrown out by the judge. Filing a slip and fall accident lawsuit First, if more than four years has passed, Florida’s statute of limitations would bar you from filing suit against the property owner. You must remember that a lawsuit must be filed within four years, even if medical treatment is ongoing and the parties are continuing to negotiate towards a potential settlement. Once four years passes, the defendant will no longer offer you a penny to settle your slip and fall case. The biggest and most common mistake many lawyers make in these situations is waiting too long and not settling or filing suit within the four-year statute of limitations. Assuming you are within the four-year time period required by law, you must file a complaint that states a cause of action. A cause of action is a fancy way to say it has to be a claim that is recognized under Florida law. For a slip and fall case, this would fall under the general category of a negligence claim and in order for you to be able to continue with your lawsuit you must allege in your complaint the correct elements. Those elements would be first that the Defendant you are suing (usually the property owner) had a duty to do something to protect you. If you were invited onto a property, the landlord would generally owe you a duty to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition, to remedy any conditions that become known to the property owner and to warn you of the dangerous condition. After alleging that the property owner owed you a duty of reasonable care, you must next allege in your lawsuit that a result of their actions (or inactions), the landlord or property owner breached their duty of reasonable care by failing to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition or failed to remedy a condition they knew about or should have known about had they been acting as a reasonable and prudent property owner would under similar circumstances. Then, you must allege in your lawsuit that as a result of the property owners breach of their duty of reasonable care, that you suffered some form of injury. The damages you claim in your lawsuit could be for past out of pocket expenses, past medical bills, past lost wages, future medical bills, future wage loss and other economic damages. Additional damages you can claim in your lawsuit would be for non-economic damages in the past and future – such as your pain and suffering and loss of ability to enjoy life due to your injuries. In conclusion, if you allege in your lawsuit each of the elements mentioned above, you will be allowed to go forward. The case could either settle at some point or end up in a full jury trial. Either way, the first step would be to get your lawsuit filed properly. I can help filing suit for you in any county in Florida. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Call or email us for a review of your case. Dial (877) Gluck-Law from anywhere in Florida, or email me directly at [email protected]
Common Injuries from Slip and Fall Accidents Slip and fall injuries can be quite severe and cause a myriad of issues, including loss of wages, pain and suffering, and long-term medical expenses. Whether the accident happened at the grocery store, at the park, at a friend’s house, or even in your own home, you shouldn't have to suffer physically or financially due to the negligence of the property owner. So, what are some of the most common injuries from slip and fall accidents? Read below to find out. When someone falls due to the negligence of another party, the injuries will depend on the details of the fall. Obviously, a fall from an elevated position will result in more damages than a fall from ground level. Nonetheless, there are certain types of injuries that are common to most slip and fall cases. Those would include knee injuries, wrist injuries, low back, mid back and neck injuries, shoulder injuries or head injuries. Knee Injuries In regard to the knees, many times when the knee contacts the ground first, damage can be in the form of swelling, contusions or bruising. With conservative therapy, these symptoms resolve themselves many times. In the event they do not, a diagnostic test such as an MRI or CT Scan will be necessary to determine if any serious damage was done. A meniscus tear, ACL strain or tear or other ligament injuries, along with knee cap fractures, are all possibilities when the knee hits the ground first. Wrist, Arm and Shoulder Injuries The wrist, arm and shoulder are very common areas to be injured as well. Most people who are falling forward will instinctively place their arms in an outstretched position in an attempt to break their fall. This commonly results in wrist fractures, shoulder separations or other arm/elbow/shoulder injuries from the impact and force transferring through and up the arm to the shoulder. Back and Spine Injuries Next, the lumbar spine is an area of common injury from a fall. The lowest lumbar vertebra takes most of the force from a fall where someone lands on their rear end. Typically, there would be low back pain that is either localized or causing radiation of pain, numbness or tingling. The injury might also cause pain that travels down the lower extremities on both sides or just one, going into the thigh, to the knee, or sometimes down to the calf, foot and toes. Any reported numbness, tingling or radiating pain could be a sign of a disc injury in the lumbar spine. These types of injuries could be a bulging or herniated disc, the shock absorber type material that acts as a cushion between the vertebra in your spine. These are seen best on an MRI scan of the lumbar spine. The neck or mid back could also be injured when the body is put in an unusual position as one falls to the ground. Sometimes the neck could snap or the body could be twisted on impact, causing the mid-back or thoracic spine to receive injury as well. An MRI will show if these injuries are serious or just soft tissue in nature. Head Injuries A head injury is always a possibility from a fall as well. Hitting your head on the ground as a result of a fall can cause many problems ranging from post-concussion syndrome to a mild or severe traumatic brain injury. Headaches, dizziness and forgetfulness are possible symptoms that should result in a CT scan to accurately diagnose the extent of the trauma/injury. Understanding all the potential injuries that a fall can cause will help you assist your medical providers form a proper diagnosis and treatment plan standpoint. What Should I Do If I Was Involved in a Slip and Fall Accident? It’s critical you seek immediate medical help if you were involved in a slip and fall accident. Report to your doctor the severity, frequency and duration of your pain If possible, and be specific regarding the body parts that are injured. Also, to help your lawyer prove your case, take as many photos as possible of the location and circumstances of the fall and the injuries you sustained. If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident caused by negligence, Florida personal injury attorney Robert Gluck is here to help. Call (877) GLUCK-LAW to set up your free consultation.
Driving Safety Tips that may have prevented many of the injury cases I have handled since 1989. I have been representing victims of traffic crashes in Florida since 1989. During that time, I have seen first hand how failing to follow basic driving tips and basic defensive driving strategies have cost the lives of innocent victims on our roadways. In this blog post, I will discuss six driving safety tips for defensive driving that, if followed, may have prevented many of the thousands of injury and death claims I have handled over the years. Driving Safety Tip #1: Pay Attention To The Cars In Front of You Most people understand that they should pay attention to the vehicle in front of them. What you should also keep in mind is that the driver of the vehicle in front of you may be distracted and not paying attention to the traffic or roadway ahead. By paying attention beyond the car in front of you to the road and traffic conditions ahead of that car, you could be prepared, even if the car in front of you is not. Driving Safety Tip #2: Manually Check Blind Spots Many accidents I have handled over the years involve lane changes where a blind spot prevents the driver from seeing along side of him or her. Many new vehicles have lane assist features and warn of a car in a blind spot. If your car does not, and even if it does, you should manually turn your head and look before lane changes. Sometimes a vehicle comes into the lane along side of you at the same time you are attempting a lane change. Clipping a vehicle during a lane change at a high rate of speed on the highway for example, causes spin outs and crashes into retainer walls and other vehicles. A quick look to the left or to the right over your shoulder could prevent many of these collisions. Driving Safety Tip #3: Be Aware and Slow Down at Intersections At intersections, don’t always assume the other vehicles will stop for you. It is a good practice to look ahead and at least take your foot off the gas as you enter, in case you need to take evasive action for other vehicles that may not be stopping as they should. If you are waiting at a light and it turns green, wait two seconds before you begin to move. Many times, you could avoid a crash by doing this when the vehicles on the cross road may be trying to “beat the light” as it changes from yellow to red. Driving Safety Tip #4: Keep Your Distance Rear end collisions are a very common cause of crashes involving injuries that I have handled over the years. Many of them could have been prevented if drivers would stay back at least one car length per every ten miles per hour. Assume that the car in front of you may make a sudden stop at any point. Traveling far enough behind to be able to come to a complete stop and avoid a crash requires time and distance. If you are one car length behind the car in front of you on a highway traveling 60 miles per hour for example, there is no way you would be able to avoid a crash if the car in front stops due to a tire blow out or even a sudden stop by a car in front of them. Driving Safety Tip #5: Wait For Traffic to Clear Before Making A Left One of the most common types of crashes I see involve cars making a left turn in front of oncoming traffic while waiting at a solid green light. Obviously, the vehicle going straight has the right of way but many times, the vehicle waiting to make a left turn misjudges the distance and speed of that oncoming vehicle. It is always best to just wait for traffic to clear completely or for a turn arrow. If it is a busy intersection and you are forced to make a left quickly due to no separate turn arrow, consider making a right turn one block ahead, another right turn and then another right turn. This should take you where you want to go safely. Driving Safety Tip #6: Put Your Phone Down Finally, we all know the biggest safety tip for drivers is to remind them to put the cell phone down. Texting and even involved telephone conversations can be very distracting. Loud music that prevents you from hearing the sounds of the roadway, such as horns honking, etc. should be avoided. Certainly, you should never drive with iPods in your ears. Distractions within the vehicle from other passengers should also be avoided. WHAT TO DO AFTER AN AUTO ACCIDENT Check for anyone injured and call 911; Take a photograph on your cell phone of the other driver’s identification; Take a photograph of the rear of their vehicle with the tag number as well as the sides if a commercial vehicle with writing on it; Take a photograph of all property damage to all vehicles at the scene as well as any tire marks or debris on the roadway; Take names, addresses, phone numbers, emails from any witnesses; Diagram or take photos of the location/intersection of the crash; Do not discuss the details of the accident with the other driver or accept blame for the accident; Seek medical attention right away if injured; Call an attorney to represent you before you begin talking with insurance adjusters. In conclusion, these are some of the driving tips I have found to be most helpful and ones which, if followed may just keep you alive one day. If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a Florida accident, contact the Law Offices of Robert Gluck. We handle various Florida personal injury claims such as those arising from motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, slip and falls, product liability, and wrongful death. Robert Gluck has been handling these cases since the early 1990s and will be happy to discuss your case with you. Just call him at 877-GluckLaw or email him at [email protected]
Bicycle Safety Tips If you are a cyclist in Florida, then access to bicycle safety tips and information is critical. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, Florida roadways result in over 50% more deaths than the next closest state. They report that in 2020, there were 5,935 bicycle crashes. This is down from 2019, which had 6,665 reported cycling crashes. There were also 161 fatalities in 2020, and 157 in 2019. This is surprising, considering the use of bicycles has significantly risen in Florida during the Covid-19 pandemic. Florida Bicycle Injury Statistics: It is no surprise why Florida is notorious for being a dangerous state for cycling. See below bicycle accident statistics for the last 3 years. 2020: There were 5,935 reported bicycle crashes, 5,568 injuries from bicycles, and 161 fatalities. 2019: There were 6,665 reported bicycle crashes, 6,229 injuries from bicycles, and 157 fatalities. 2018: There were 6,590 reported bicycle crashes, 6,183 injuries from bicycles, and 160 fatalities. Sharing the road with motor vehicles makes cyclists in Florida much more vulnerable than those using other modes of transportation. With some basic knowledge and information on bicycle safety, you can proactively avoid being a statistic. My Top Bicycle Safety Tips Include: Obey The Laws: In Florida, bicycles are legally defined as vehicles and bicyclists are considered drivers. A bicyclist has the same rights to the roadways as motor vehicles and must obey the same traffic laws. Those laws include requiring Florida bicyclists to wear a helmet if under the age of 16, lighting equipment when riding at night and working brakes. A bicyclist can be charged with a moving violation for running stop signs or a signal or riding on the wrong side of the road – against traffic. Following these laws will not only keep you legal, they will keep you alive. Visibility: Wearing some type of light reflector is required by law and having more than one is just common sense. Many drivers are distracted and you want to do everything possible to make sure they can see you. That would include red bicycle lights that flash in back, and white lights in front. Wear bright colored clothing and try to ride on well-lit bicycle routes. Maintenance: Before each ride, check your bicycle to be sure it is in working order. If your brakes fail while riding in traffic or around others, where a sudden stop becomes necessary, that could cause serious injury or death. You have a duty to maintain your bicycle in a reasonably safe condition and to avoid any risk of harm to others caused by your failure to do so. Wear A Helmet: As mentioned above, if under the age of 16 in Florida, a helmet is mandatory, but for the rest of us it is very necessary as well. The law may not require it, but again, common sense does. If you become ejected from a bicycle for whatever reason, striking your head on the ground becomes likely. Head injuries can be avoided by following this simple safety tip whenever you get on a bicycle. Distractions: Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t wear headphones or earbuds because they will prevent you from hearing possible alerts, car horns, etc. Pay attention to your surroundings and always assume that a vehicle driver does not see you before you make a move. Parked cars always pose a risk as well if a car door opens in your path. Finally, don’t ride impaired. Following these basic bicycle safety tips just might keep you alive. If you have any questions about bicycle accidents or injuries caused by bicycle accidents, contact my law firm at (877) Gluck-Law and schedule your free consultation any time.
The Florida Legislature is in action and several bills are up for consideration this year that may significantly affect the rights of personal injury victims. The bills that I would like to discuss are House Bill 273, House Bill 719 and Senate Bill 420. Together, the effect of these bills is to fundamentally change the way automobile collision cases are handled in Florida. These bills seek to remove Florida’s No-Fault or P.I.P. (personal injury protection) laws that require all parties injured in an accident in Florida to be responsible for the first $10,000.00 of their own medical bills, no matter who’s fault an accident is. These bills currently being debated in the Florida legislature seek to replace that system with a “fault” system where the party that is at fault for a traffic crash, not the injured party, would be responsible for carrying mandatory bodily injury insurance coverage to pay for injuries caused to another party. This “re-write” of our automobile accident laws will be the first major change since the early 1980’s and some say is long overdue. The insurance industry would argue that chiropractors, MRI companies and other medical practitioners take advantage of the current no-fault system, billing for excess services that are not necessary or for over-billing for services that are. Either way, they would argue the current system is rampant with fraud and a change is necessary. On the other side, the medical providers would argue that the system should remain as it is so that medical treatment could be guaranteed for anyone injured in an automobile accident, no mater who is at fault. If the changes are made to the current system, as sought in these bills up for consideration by the Florida legislature, it will be even more important to have the right personal injury lawyer representing you if you are injured in a car accident in Florida. Under this new system, if it happens, your lawyer will have to prove it is the other party’s fault or NONE of your medical bills will be paid. If this “fault” system will work, it will be necessary for each driver to be required to carry at least $25,000.00 of coverage for injuries they may cause to others. Even this may not be enough. You will then need to consider adding uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your own policy to pay for your injuries that may be above and beyond the coverage available to the party that was responsible for your injuries. With the escalation of medical bills, with an MRI or CT Scan in a hospital costing over $5,000.00 in some situations, it is critically important to require all drivers and owners to carry enough coverage to pay those whom they harm. If the legislature does not make the minimum required bodily injury limits high enough, millions of Floridians will be left unprotected from car accident medical bills. Please check your uninsured motorist coverage before the legislature acts and make sure you have enough to cover a hefty hospital bill and possible future loss of earnings or ongoing medical expenses. If you have questions about Florida’s current No-Fault system or the ramifications of a switch to a “fault” based system for car accident cases in Florida, feel free to contact me with your questions or concerns and I will respond on social media to share your question and my response with others. Also, I am offering a free review of your auto insurance policy to all Florida residents. If you think you might have a case that we can help you win, please call me today for a FREE consultation: 954-583-8999 in Broward, 239 403-3728 in Naples and throughout the state of Florida at 877-GluckLaw.
03/28/2021 It is with great pride that the Law Offices of Robert E. Gluck, P.A. announces that its A+ rating and accreditation with the Better Business Bureau for Southeast Florida and the Caribbean has been renewed for another year, through February 2022. Each year, all members requesting renewal of their business’s accreditation with the Better Business Bureau undergo a complete re-evaluation to ensure that their strict standards of lawful business practices, ethical advertising and positive customer experiences are continuing to be met by the company seeking such accreditation. The Law Offices of Robert E. Gluck, P.A. is honored and humbled to be approved for this continued prestigious affiliation and pledges to all potential clients our law firm’s ongoing efforts to provide the finest legal representation possible for your situation. Robert Gluck is a Personal Injury lawyer serving the state of Florida. He graduated from the University of Miami Law School (cum laude) in 1989, and has been a practicing trial lawyer ever since. The Law Offices of Robert Gluck has locations in Plantation and Naples, FL, and is accepting cases throughout the state. If you would like to discuss your personal injury case with Robert Gluck, call 877-Gluck-Law.
3 Secrets Insurance Companies Don’t Want You To Know There are three secrets I have discovered during my 32 years of practicing law that insurance companies don’t want you to know about your personal injury case. 03/26/2021 First Secret Insurance Companies Don’t Want You To Know: First, whether it is Allstate, State Farm, Geico, Progressive, U.S.A.A., Nationwide or any of the other large insurance companies that are likely going to be on the other side of many car accident cases or homeowner’s insurance claims involving injuries, or other premises liability claims, they have what I would call a team of “nice adjusters” who are specifically assigned to communicate with anyone bringing a claim that is NOT represented by a lawyer yet. Once a lawyer is in the picture, the file is usually transferred immediately to the “regular” adjusters that deal with lawyers in handling most personal injury claims. This group of “nice adjusters” have as their main goal to prevent you from feeling as if you need to go out and hire a lawyer. They want you to believe that they are going to help you to get the most fair settlement possible and that the more you cooperate with them the better off you are. They will usually assure you that they will be fair with you, and that you don’t need to hire an attorney. The fact is, most studies show that unrepresented injured parties receive significantly lower settlements than injured parties that have hired a lawyer to represent them. The lawyer will know the full value of your claim, based on the legal damages allowable under the law applicable to the location where your injury occurred. Insurance companies know that a lawyer who documents the claim properly and makes the correct legal arguments to the insurance company on your behalf will almost always get you a better result than you would be able to get on your own. Second Secret Insurance Companies Don’t Want You To Know: The second secret Insurance Companies don’t want you to know is that you don’t have to, and in most cases should NOT settle your case right away. Many of the elements of damages in a personal injury case are not known at the beginning and until someone recovers fully from their injuries. This may take months or longer, and therefore it is impossible to know the full value of the case right away. Most automobile or slip and fall cases in Florida carry a 4-year statute of limitations. That means you have plenty of time to make sure you are aware of all your damages and if and when you will recover fully from your injuries before you settle your case. Once you sign a release, upon settlement, it is too late at that point to come back and recover more, even if the injuries get worse. Let the lawyer decide when it is time to settle. Third Secret Insurance Companies Don’t Want You To Know The third and final secret Insurance Companies don’t want you to know is that a good lawyer does make a difference. Once you are finished treating with your doctors and your lawyer presents an injury demand package to an insurance company in an attempt to settle your case without a lawsuit being filed, the more organized, thorough and well documented your demand package is, and the more knowledgeable your attorney is, the more likely the initial settlement offer will be higher. Ultimately this will likely result in more money in your pocket at the end of the case. Before you go it alone, think about what a personal injury lawyer could do to significantly increase the value of your case. The insurance companies already know this and that is why the hope you never hire a lawyer. Be safe and be smart. I hope you enjoyed this blog post which discusses 3 secrets insurance adjusters don't want you to know. You can find other informative blog posts by clicking here. If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a Florida accident, contact the Law Offices of Robert Gluck. We handle various Florida personal injury claims such as those arising from motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, slip and falls, product liability, and wrongful death. Robert Gluck has been handling these cases since the early 1990s and will be happy to discuss your case with you. Just call him at 877-GluckLaw or email him at [email protected]
How to Prove the Seriousness of an Injury in a Personal Injury Case | Personal Injury Herniated Disc As a personal injury lawyer in Florida since 1989, many clients have asked me over the years how I go about proving the seriousness of an injury in a typical automobile accident or slip and fall injury claim. A common injury in these types of personal injury cases involves a herniated disc in the neck, mid-back or lower back area of the spine. Many times, an insurance adjuster for the large insurance companies, Allstate, Geico, State Farm, Farmers, Nationwide and U.S.A.A., just to name a few that I deal with regularly, will try to downplay a spinal injury as just being “whiplash” or a “soft tissue” injury only and therefore, nothing serious. Your lawyer needs to be well versed in the tools that can be used to persuade an insurance adjuster of the seriousness of your injuries, thus increasing significantly the value of your case. One of these tools is the use of diagnostic testing to objectively prove an injury. That way, an insurance adjuster does not have to rely solely on the truthfulness of the injured person but instead can see, if presented properly by the lawyer, how the objective diagnostic testing corroborates the patient’s subjective complaints of pain. When the science matches up perfectly with the complaints of the injured party, it is like two pieces of a puzzle that fit perfectly together. A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine is basically a group of large powerful magnets, radio waves and a computer that create images by evaluating, slice by slice, how much light passes through your body one thin layer at a time. The image created from this technology is much more reliable and in depth than a regular x-ray. A regular x-ray, by the way, is the typical diagnostic test performed in an emergency room after a crash or injury. The x-ray shows broken bones but cannot diagnose things such as disc injuries and other injuries to the spine. One of the things that we look for on an MRI, as a typical result of many collisions or falls, is the effect on these discs that make up the space between the vertebra in your spine. They are in your body to act as a “shock absorber” between the bones and on heavy impact they sometimes rupture, causing the material inside the disc to migrate to the adjoining tissues and nerves. When this extruded disc material touches or impinges upon the nerves in the spine, it could cause numbness, tingling or pain in the area of the rupture as well as possibly radiating into the extremities. Typically, if a disc is ruptured, also known as a herniated disc, it would cause symptoms following a particular nerve distribution pattern. As a lawyer, if I can “put the pieces of the puzzle” together for the insurance adjuster, I make their job easier and it results in the client obtaining a larger settlement. If I can show that the complaints are consistent with the same nerve distribution pattern as would be expected from a disc that herniates in a particular level of the spine, correlate that with the other medical testing, along with evidence of the extent of the impact on the vehicle, these are the pieces of the puzzle necessary to show an insurance adjuster why my client is entitled to a larger recovery. Using this approach, I just turned a very minimal Geico offer into a $100,000.00 settlement, by showing the adjuster how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. In conclusion, I would say, after 32 years of settling cases with insurance companies, that every case is a puzzle waiting for an experienced lawyer to put the pieces together. If you have any questions about your situation or how to prove the seriousness of an injury in a personal injury case, call me any time to discuss it. I look forward to speaking with you. If you need immediate assistance from a lawyer that you can reach 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call the Law Office of Robert E Gluck, P.A. right now. All of Robert’s clients receive his cell phone number so that they can reach him when they need him. Call or Contact our office with any questions you may have now at 954.583.8999. I am currently accepting cases throughout the State of Florida. Contact the South Florida law offices of personal injury attorney Robert Gluck by calling toll-free at 1-877-GLUCK-LAW or you can email me directly at [email protected]. Serving Broward, West Palm Beach, Miami, Tampa, Orlando and Fort Myers/ Naples. There is no fee unless you win.