Archive for April, 2011
April 25, 2011
In my 15 year career as a lawyer spent entirely on handling personal injury cases, I cannot tell you how many times I have received a call with the caller simply asking, “Do I have a case?”. This is not an easy question to answer and one in which many factors come into play. In fact, many times, I cannot answer this question immediately as a potential case requires investigation into how the incident occurred, whether the negligent person/company has insurance and whether your injuries and damages are significant enough to present your case to a jury. I will try to break down the basics of a personal injury case below. As with any legal guide, it is almost impossible to include all information in written form so if you have any further questions or comments, please call my law firm at 561-266-9191 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3 basic elements of a personal injury case:
In order to pursue a personal injury case against someone or a company, you need to be able to prove that the person/company was at fault or was negligent in causing your injuries. For example, if you slip and fall on a puddle of water that a company left in the aisle for hours, that company may be negligent for leaving the water in its aisle. However, if you trip and fall over your own shoelaces there really is no one else to blame for your fall but yourself.
Many times, we will need to conduct an investigation into liability to determine if someone was at fault. Using that same puddle of water example, if we determine that the water was a problem at the store because it was leaking from an A/C unit for months and several other people fell in the same spot, your case becomes even stronger. In another example, in a car crash in an intersection, we may have to try to find witnesses to the crash to confirm that you had the green light. If those witnesses, however, confirm to us that you, in fact, had the red light, it would be very hard to pursue a case for you. It is crucial in any potential personal injury case that you obtain names and information of any person that may have witnessed your accident.
2. Insurance coverage
Insurance coverage is NOT an absolute requirement for a viable personal injury case. You may still sue the person or company that caused your injury and obtain a Judgment against them and then try to collect that Judgment through a collection proceeding. Although this is all possible, having insurance on the other side does make your case much more viable as the insurance company will normally try to settle your case first and, if not successful in settling the case, the insurance company will pay the Judgment after a jury has rendered a verdict in your favor.
The final basic element to a personal injury case is damages/injury. If you were rear ended in a car crash but were lucky and did not suffer any injuries, you really do not have anything to pursue other than a claim for property damage.
In fact, in a car accident case, in many States, including Florida, you will need to prove that you have a PERMANENT INJURY prior to being able to recover damages for pain and suffering. If you are not able to prove you have a permanent injury, you may only be able to recover your past and future medical bills and lost wages.
It is imperative, if you wish to pursue a personal injury case, that you seek medical attention and talk to your physicians about your injuries. If you fail to seek medical attention and wait for months before going to a doctor, your case may be affected as a jury and/or the insurance company may not feel that you were injured because you waited so long to go to a doctor.
Again, the above 3 elements of a personal injury case are only the tip of the iceberg. There are many other factors involved that determine (1) whether you have a case and (2) how much you case is worth. Many times, the value of your case will not be determined until you have completed your medical treatment as no one knows what your injuries are until the doctors render a final opinion.
Please feel free to contact my office at 561-266-9191 or email us at email@example.com.
April 20, 2011
Welcome to our new Aronberg & Aronberg website. Much appreciation to our website designers THEOGK.COM. Our website is now live and in the final stages of edits and revisions. We hope you like it and feel free to contact us with any comments and/or suggestions. We value your feedback and will try to incorporate your ideas into our website.
We would like our new website to be as interactive as possible and have added a few features such as CHAT LIVE, CONTACT US forms, and our BLOG.
As much as time permits, we will try to keep our blog active and updated on a daily/weekly basis. Again, feel free to send us your suggestions and comments on relevant legal news and articles that we can incorporate into our BLOG.
We want to thank you for visiting and we look forward to sharing this internet interactive experience with you.
We are happy to announce that our law firm settled a Stock Investment loss case arising out of inappropriate and unsuitable investments purchased by a local Boca Raton investment firm. We resolved the case for close to 100% of the net out of pocket losses suffered by the clients.
This case was particularly satisfying for our firm because of the nature of the case in that our clients were elderly and we felt were taken advantage of by the stock broker and the investment firm. The settlement now puts the clients back into a position that they were in prior to giving the stock broker their money.
Our law firm welcomes you to call to discuss your potential investment loss case. Please call 561-266-9191 for a FREE CONSULTATION or visit our Law Firm website at www.aronberglaw.com.
Example of our imperfect Florida legislature….
State Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, usually comes across as a courtly politician. As chair of the Senate Rules Committee, his handling of the Eric Brody claims bill last week unfortunately came across as callous.
Eric Brody has now been victimized twice. The first time came when a Broward County sheriff’s deputy slammed into his car, putting him in a coma and leaving him with a serious brain injury. The second time came last week, when Brody and his family traveled to the state capital for a scheduled hearing on his claims bill — only to be told the committee had run out of time and would have to reschedule the hearing.
The debacle left Thrasher to deliver an apology and a promise for a hearing after the Easter recess. “Certainly, we appreciate the Brody family for being here,” Thrasher said. “I certainly wouldn’t ask you to come back. Certainly, you’re welcome to come back.”
The Brodys don’t have much choice. A long-term health care plan would cost roughly $10 million, and although a jury ruled that the Brodys should be awarded a $30.7 million judgment for lifetime care, the family will need legislative approval to get any payment toward the judgment.
So far, no claims bill has made it to the floor of either chamber this session, and the Florida House hasn’t even scheduled the Brody bill for a hearing. And in a tough budget environment, it’s understandably a long shot.
Still, that didn’t stop the Brodys from making the seven-hour drive from Sunrise to Tallahassee to participate in what they believed was their chance to be heard, especially since their claim was on the agenda. Given what Brody has been through — through no fault of his own — he deserved to have his scheduled hearing last week.
The Brodys clearly don’t have the resources of the many big-business interests that either have representation in Tallahassee or can readily afford to make the trip to the state capital when necessary. What little money they have left is primarily going to Eric’s treatment.
In a 60-day legislative session, time is of the essence. But you’d think lawmakers would give a family seeking help in the form of a claims bill the opportunity to a hearing, which is more than the Brodys received. Yes, lawmakers are busy, but that busy? Really?
Call The Law Offices of Aronberg & Aronberg 561-266-9191
April 19, 2011
How our cars got safer
By Gibson Vance
April 16, 2011
Traffic deaths in the United States have dropped to their lowest level since 1949, according to a report released this month by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Remarkably, this drop occurred even as Americans drove 21 billion more miles in 2010 than they had the previous year.
The drop in fatalities is due in large part to the fact that cars are getting safer. Since the introduction of the Ford Pinto nearly four decades ago — a car synonymous with danger, destruction and executives putting profits ahead of consumer safety — amazing advancements have been made in auto safety. The technology is better, regulations are stronger and buyers have more information. Not surprisingly, consumers are drawn to cars with the latest safety features.
Yet these factors alone do not tell the whole story. History shows that litigation and the civil justice system have served as the most consistent and powerful forces in heightening safety standards, revealing previously concealed defects and regulatory weaknesses and deterring manufacturers from cutting corners on safety for the goal of greater profits.
The Ford Pinto litigation sent a strong message to the auto industry. Unfortunately, manufacturers have still sold dangerous cars. In June 2004, a Dallas-area mother stopped her Ford F-150 truck to speak with her husband through the driver’s side window. Her 3-year-old daughter leaned out the passenger’s side window and accidentally hit the rocker switch, causing the window to close on her neck. When her parents noticed moments later, it was too late — their daughter was strangled.
As power windows became more common, so too did instances of children being strangled. Seven children died within a three-month period in 2004. Manufacturers were aware of the issue, and the fix was relatively simple and inexpensive. In response to regulations in other countries, European and Asian cars already used a safer switch — one that must be pulled up to raise a window — and so did many U.S. manufacturers on cars they offered to foreign markets. Yet incredibly, U.S. manufacturers did not install the safer switches on domestic cars because NHTSA had no rules governing power-window safety. Litigation eventually forced universal acceptance of the safer switches in 2006.
It is easy to take for granted just how much safer vehicles have become and how safety measures have been standardized. For years, the auto industry has worked to undermine regulations and limit its liability by pushing for complete immunity from lawsuits when their vehicles comply with minimum federal safety standards. This would, in short, be devastating for consumers.
Recall that the Pinto’s design met all government standards of the time. Had compliance with federal standards been a complete defense of vehicle safety, Ford could not have been held accountable for the many burn victims that the company was later shown to have anticipated.
Put another way, without the civil justice system, gas tanks would still explode in rear-end collisions, seat belts and airbags would not be standard, and cars would roll over onto roofs that would be easily crushed.
There are multiple reasons behind the welcome news that traffic deaths continue to decline. But the role of the civil justice system is often overlooked. Litigation has spurred safety innovations in vehicles for more than half a century and will continue to be essential in keeping Americans safe and holding manufacturers accountable.
The writer is president of the American Association for Justice.
April 18, 2011
When tragedy strikes close to home…we are all reminded to DRIVE CAREFULLY….Pay attention to the road, dont drive when tired, wear your seat belt and DO NOT DRIVE AND TEXT!!!
Two Broward County teens were killed and three others were hurt Sunday night when the pickup truck they were in crashed along Alligator Alley, ejecting some of them, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
The single-vehicle accident happened in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 75 near Mile Marker 92 about 8:30 p.m.
According to FHP, the crash killed two teens from Weston, Sasha Abitante, 18 and Juan Zambrano, 17. Both of them were passengers in the 1997 Dodge pickup truck being driven by Nickolas Wagy, 18, of Weston, an FHP report said.
Two other passengers, Dylan Delgado Brian Corbet, both 18 and both from Fort Lauderdale, were taken to hospitals in critical condition while a third, Gabriel Fernandez, 18, of Weston was hospitalized in serious condition.
Wagy, the driver, suffered minor injuries, the report said.
According to investigators, Wagy was heading east on I-75 when, for unknown reasons, the pickup drove onto the unpaved median. While trying to get back on the road, Wagy overcorrected twice before the pickup overturned, ejecting some of the passengers.
It wasn’t immediately clear which of the vehicle’s occupants were ejected, but according to the report Wagy was the only one wearing a seatbelt.
April 14, 2011
Is Barry Bonds guilty? Of what? That has been the hot question after the jury came back with news of a “verdict”.
After starting deliberations on Friday, April 8, 2011, the jury of 4 men and 8 women convicted Barry Bonds of one count of “obstruction of justice”.
They could not reach a decision the charges relating to perjury. That means, there could be a second Barry Bonds trial if the prosecutors want to retry him.
The fact that the jury convicted Barry Bonds of obstruction of justice and not of perjury is a strange turn of events. It leaves a lot of questions at this point: will Bonds’ guilty verdict affect his chances at the baseball Hall of Fame, for instance?
The grand jury indicted Bonds on the obstruction of justice charge because of his alleged lies, specifically stating that he obstructed justice by being “intentionally evasive, false and misleading” in his testimony.
It’s hard to understand how the jury could have convicted Barry Bonds of obstruction of justice when it couldn’t decide whether he committed perjury in front of the grand jury.
The only conclusion is that the jury found Barry Bonds guilty because he was evasive and rambling while testifying before the grand jury. Maybe they thought he was not intentionally lying???
This may bode well for Bonds when it comes to sentencing – it is hard to believe that evasiveness will translate into much of a prison sentence (if there even is one). A long period of community service is certainly in the cards.
As of now, the judge has dismissed the jury and has declared a mistrial on the perjury charges. A hearing has been set for next month, and one should expect the defense to request that the judge set aside the verdict given the outcome of the perjury charges.
After that, it will be up to the State to pursue Bonds for second time. I, for one, believe that our time and money can be spent on other, more productive projects. Anyone else agree or disagree???
April 10, 2011
A herniated disc injury to your spine often occurs in an automobile accident. The stress put on the spinal column in a car collision can cause a piece of the spinal structure (called a disk) that separates your back bones or vertebrae, to move out of place. These injuries are sometimes also called slipped or ruptured disks. These disk structures can push out into the spinal channel and press against spinal nerves, producing severe back, neck, leg pain and possible hand pain. If you experience a sharp pain in the back, leg, hand or foot after an accident you should see a doctor immediately.
Back injuries caused by slipped disks can be a lifelong problem. They can be caused by a single car accident. Many accident victims do not seek legal advice until it is too late. After an accident, back and neck injury problems sometimes go unnoticed and undiagnosed, the victim hopes that the pain will simply fade. In some cases people recover fine, in others a disk has been dislodged and a lifetime of uncompensated back pain begins.
Common Symptoms of Herniated Discs
If after an accident, you notice any of the symptoms below see a doctor and then consult with a personal injury lawyer.
Back Pain: If you experience sudden and intense back pain it is a strong sign that a disk injury may have occurred. Lower back pain is the most common symptom since the most likely disks to herniate in an accident are the bottom two discs in the spinal column. Ruptured discs in the lower back put pressure on the sciatic nerve causing sharp pains in the legs extending into the feet. Over time, pressure from this disk can cause chronic pain and numbness, and the back muscles in the affected area may weaken and become damaged.
Numbness in back or legs or hands. A herniated disk can cause numbness in the calf, foot, toes and hands and fingers. The injured person may have difficulty walking or performing daily activities. Any other strange sensations in the back, legs, toes, hands or fingers that occur after an accident such as weakness or tingling may be from a slipped disk.
Car insurance companies have conditioned many people to think that all back and neck related complaints from car accidents are minor and not worthy of compensation. In fact, car accidents represent a large percentage of serious back injury cases in the United States. A serious back problem may lead to a chronic pain, inability to work and lost productivity. A herniated disk claim should be handled by an attorney who concentrates on personal injury cases.
The Law Offices of Aronberg & Aronberg concentrate solely on personal injury cases. We have a combined 42 years of trial and personal injury experience.
Please call the Law Offices of Aronberg & Aronberg at 561-266-9191 for a Free Consultation at No Cost or obligation.
April 8, 2011
Sun Sentinel Editorial
Recently, the Florida automobile insurance industry has engaged in a massive media campaign designed to convince legislators and consumers that there is rampant fraud in Florida’s No-Fault/Personal Injury Protection system.
As in all areas of business, fraud related to PIP claims does exist, and efforts should be made to root it out. The truth, however, is that only 4 percent of alleged PIP fraud cases referred to the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Insurance Fraud actually result in convictions. The legislation being proposed has little to do with preventing fraud but is instead designed to increase insurance company profits by making it easier for insurers to delay payments and deny PIP claims.
The proposed bill imposes multiple cumbersome requirements on medical providers and policyholders before their bills will even be considered for payment. One of the more outrageous proposed provisions would require medical providers to submit to deposition-like questioning, examinations under oath, before they could get paid.
The end result of such draconian requirements will be that medical providers will be unwilling to accept PIP insurance as a method of payment. Since most accident victims do not have health insurance, they will be unable to get the prompt treatment they need — as was the original intent of PIP.
Another troubling component of the proposed legislation is that it reverses Florida’s longstanding policy of requiring insurance companies that wrongfully deny a claim to pay their policyholder’s reasonable attorney’s fees. This provision provides the only means by which a policyholder can obtain competent legal counsel with the necessary experience and skills to litigate against a billion-dollar insurance company.
All of this comes on the heels of a Dec. 21 report by the Insurance Services Office, the Property Casualty Insurers Association and the Insurance Information Institute that showed an increase of more than 60 percent in insurance companies’ net profits from 2009 through the first three quarters of 2010. Further, despite claims by some that auto insurance costs in Florida are skyrocketing, a March 14 report by insure.com indicates that the average Florida auto insurance premium is below the national average. The report also showed that in the past year, Florida actually dropped from 25th to 29th in ranking for most costly insurance rates by state.
Ultimately, the provisions contained within these bills will discourage good doctors/medical care providers and attorneys from helping those injured in an auto accident.
Let’s focus on fighting real fraud and preserving the original intention of the PIP law.
April 6, 2011
We have been retained by the family of young man who was killed in an automobile crash in the Disney resort area in Orlando, Florida. The young man was on his way home from working at Disney when another vehicle went through an intersection crashing into our client’s vehicle. The crash is under investigation and we are trying to determine through witness testimony whether the other vehicle ran through a yellow turning red traffic light.
Unfortunately, due to tragedies such as these, our law firm is required to help families through incredibly difficult times. Funeral issues, life insurance, and many other issues need to be handled with the utmost of care. Being a law firm owned and operated by husband and wife, we feel that we are inherently prepared to help families through these difficult times.