Monthly Archives: April 2012

What is a Personal Injury Case?

A personal injury case is a legal contest between private parties where one side is seeking money damages from the other side as compensation for injuries. A person or group of persons who bring a personal injury case are alleging that they were emotionally or physically harmed due to the negligence or intentional conduct of the other party.

The most common types of personal injury cases are those based on claims of negligence and typically involve car accidents, slip-and-falls and medical malpractice. Other personal injury claims may include trespass, defamation of character, battery and assault and theft of trade secrets or copyrights.

Under the law of negligence, a plaintiff must prove that:

1) The defendant owed him or her a duty to act reasonably and safely.
2) The defendant breached that duty.
3) The plaintiff suffered harm as a result of the defendant’s negligence.

Negligence under the law means acting in a way that fails to conform with a specific standard of conduct, thereby putting others at risk for injury. Some examples include firing a gun recklessly, speeding on an icy roadway or failing to caution customers that your store floor is wet.

If your case is tried in court and you win, a judge or jury could award you damages to compensate you for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering and, in some cases, additional damages as a way of punishing the defendant for their flagrantly negligent conduct. *Most states now have caps on the amount of damages plaintiffs can receive.

What is the cost to retain a Tampa personal injury firm?

Lawyers do not charge clients up front for legal fees associated with bringing a personal injury case. They get paid a portion of whatever the client wins, plus any additional legal expenses.

If you are seeking a possible personal injury claim or you are unsure of the ways in which hiring a personal injury lawyer may help, call Blick Law Firm today to receive your free consultation. Call us at 813-931-0840.

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Bank of America test pilots ‘Mortgage to Lease Program’ letting those facing foreclosure rent their home

Bank of America launched a pilot program offering some of its mortgage customers who are facing foreclosure a chance to stay in their homes by becoming renters instead of owners.

About 1000 homeowners facing foreclosure in Nevada, Arizona and New York are test piloting this “Mortgage to Lease” Program offered by the bank.

Underwater homeowners who are struggling to make hefty mortgage payments are giving their homes to the bank and turning around and renting for up to three years at a lower monthly cost.  If the program is successful, it may be rolled out in other states.

How to qualify for the program?

Participants must be at least 60 days behind on their mortgage, have a deficiency in the loan to value, no second mortgage, exhausted their mortgage-modification alternatives and make enough income to pay the rent*The loan must be owned by Bank of America.

The goal of this program by Bank of America?

The goal is to see potential benefits from helping to stabilize housing prices in the surrounding community as well as, curtail neighborhood blight by keeping a portion of distressed properties off the market.

Homeowners can’t apply for the program. If you qualify, Bank of America will contact you. Fannie Mae has a similar program, though it is not widely used.

Will this program work?

Depends on the homeowner’s individual circumstance. While some might want to stay in their home, others might be better off moving.

How will the bank benefit?

Bank of America will avoid costs of foreclosure and earn money when the home is eventually sold.

Although this program is not yet available in Florida, contact a Tampa real estate attorney today to discuss your housing options.  Attorney Michael Blickensderfer is experienced and able to assist you with your short sale transactions, loan modification or foreclosure defense. Call us today at 813-931-0840.

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What options do I have to stay in my home?

Thank you for watching Minute with Mike, free legal advice answered by attorney Michael C. Blickensderfer every Wednesday at Noon.

Whether you are looking into leaving or staying in your home, you should check out all your options.

Blick Law Firm provides top legal council for those seeking Loan Modification options, looking to do a Short Sale on their home, or assisting those in Foreclosure Defense.

With over 25 years legal experience, Attorney Michael C Blickensderfer can assist you with guiding you in the right direction, considering what is best for you and your loved ones.

Blick law Firm is a local Tampa Bay law firm specializing in personal injury, criminal law, Chapter 7 bankruptcy and real estate law all across the state of Florida.

For further information regarding real estate law and your options to keep your home or sell, please visit our website at or call 813-931-0840.

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Does filing bankruptcy cover medical debt?

Rising health care costs and the financial situations you may face leads many to medical expenses that can quickly escalate into piles of debt. With more employers cutting insurance contributions, the demand on medical consumers only increases.

Luckily for debtors burdened with medical bills, medical debt is considered an unsecured debt by the bankruptcy courts, and may possibly be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Ohio University conducted a survey of personal bankruptcy filers for 2007 and found that nearly two-thirds of petitions filed personal bankruptcy because of medical-related debts. Of those, nearly 80 percent had health insurance.

Not only can unexpected illnesses bring on bills but the prolonged effects of illness or injury can be loss of work and less income to pay off those bills.

Medical bankruptcy is an especially complex issue, and should be sought for council before proceeding by a Tampa bankruptcy attorney that can help you during your financial hardship. To learn more about your options to discharge medical debt, contact attorney Michael Blickensderfer of Blick Law Firm and ask about our consultation services today! 813-931-0840.

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DUI conviction remains on your record for life!

No one can drink alcohol and still drive safely. Drinking and driving causes accidents and deaths every day and therefore the penalties in Florida are tough.

If you drink and drive the result may be:

  • Jail time
  • Loss of your Florida drivers’ license
  • Heavy fines
  • Increased auto insurance rates

A conviction will stay on your Florida driving record for life.

If it is going to stay on your record, why hire a DUI criminal attorney? While the conviction can not be dismissed, a DUI attorney advocates on behalf of the client for a better outcome, which will impact life as it relates to school, work, insurance rates, etc.

Florida has a Zero Tolerance law for drivers under 21. This means that any driver under 21 that is stopped by law enforcement and has a blood alcohol level of .02 or higher will automatically have their Florida drivers’ license suspended for 6 months. The .02 limit really means that you cannot have a single drink and then drive.

For drivers over 21 the legal limit in Florida is .08. Regardless of your age be aware that drinking and driving is a serious offense. Below summarizes the penalties in the state of Florida for a first offense DUI.

Florida Penalties for DUI First Conviction:

  • Fine – $250 to $500
  • Community Service – 50 Hours
  • Probation – Not more than 1 Year
  • Imprisonment – Not more than 6 Months
  • Imprisonment with BAL of .08 or higher with a minor in the vehicle, not more than 9 months
  • License Revocation – Minimum of 180 days
  • DUI School – 12 Hours

For more information regarding Florida DUI conviction’s penalties and seeking legal representation to better the outcome of your situation, contact Blick Law Firm today! 813-931-0840.

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PIP Law Changes Affect $10,000 Coverage in an Auto Accident

Thank you for watching Minute with Mike, free legal advice answered by attorney Michael C. Blickensderfer every Wednesday at Noon.

Blick law Firm is a local Tampa Bay legal firm specializing in personal injury, criminal, bankruptcy and real estate law all across the state of Florida.

In recent Legislation news, the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) law was recently changed to ensure auto accident victims seek medical treatment quickly to qualify for full insurance coverage.

Florida’s PIP insurance law as adopted by House Bill 119 now requires those injured from an auto accident to seek medical treatment within 14 days of their injury.

If an accident victim does not seek treatment within the 14-day window, they will loose access to full PIP coverage.

The practical effect of these changes will be to limit most PIP claims to only $2,500 in benefits, as most auto accidents involve soft tissue cases not falling under the “emergency medical condition” definition. Everyone is required to obtain and pay for the $10,000 in PIP coverage, but the insurance companies will limit claims to $2,500, resulting in a windfall to the insurance companies and an injustice to the policy holder/ accident victim.

For further information regarding PIP Law changes in Florida please visit our website at or call 813-931-0840.

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