Disclaimer: Blick Blog discusses topics regarding general legal information for the purposes of educating readers only and should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Submitting a legal question or receipt of information on this forum does not create an attorney client relationship with attorney Michael C. Blickensderfer or Blick Law Firm. Attorney Michael C. Blickensderfer cannot guarantee a specific result in any legal matter. Also, this website and blog is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Florida.

Holiday Travel Tips

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 1.45.04 PMHoliday and winter travel is always stressful and busy, but can be dangerous under certain weather and road conditions. You can’t control the holiday weather, but you can make sure that you and your family are prepared for whatever may come your way during your holiday travels.

Air Travel
Airports can be a disaster at any time of the year, but the holidays are especially hectic. Following a few tips can keep you safe and sane while navigating the airport this season.

Plan ahead. Waiting until the last minute to plan your holiday trip puts unnecessary stress on you. Planning ahead of time will help you get lower airfare, book direct flights, and avoid bigger crowds at peak travel hours.

Give yourself extra time. While it is usually safe to arrive about an hour before your flight takes off, during the holidays always give yourself at least an extra hour to get to the airport. This will ensure that with the long lines and potential delays you don’t miss your flight, or are able to make new arrangements.

Pack as light as possible. Packing light will save you time and money in the airport. If you are planning to spend the holidays out of town, consider ordering gifts online or shipping them to your destination before you leave home.

Steer clear of the flu. The flu can spread like wildfire during the holiday season, especially in the confines of an airplane cabin. Before you leave home, visit your doctor’s office for a flue shot or nasal spray, and keep up on taking daily vitamins. Remember to wash your hands frequently, as cold and flu often spread through contact.CAR-ACCIDENT-LAW-FIRMS, CAR-CRASH, INJURY-COMPENSATION, TAMPA-PERSONAL-INJURY-ATTORNEY

Road Travel
Safety is especially important for drivers during the winter. Road congestion during the holidays is an added stressor and danger for drivers. Motor vehicle accidents involving bad weather, mostly ice and snow, take the lives of 6,000 Americans and injure 500,000 annually. The following will help you stay safe on your holiday road trip.

Have your car examined before you leave. Have your vehicle and tires checked so that you don’t end up stranded in the cold away from home.

Be prepared to change routes. Construction, road closings, and traffic hurdles can all alter your plans. Keep a map or GPS handy so that you can change your route as needed without delaying your progress.

Stop frequently. Winter driving can be much more stressful and strenuous than summer driving. Making frequent stops will help you de-stress and remain alert for the remainder of your drive.

Blick Law Firm is here for you this holiday season. While we hope you stay safe and warm during your holiday travels, our experienced team of attorneys is just a phone call away. Call 888-973-2776 for a free consultation with a personal injury attorney today! (Click Here)

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Holiday Safety | Tampa Bay Law Firm

The holidays are always a special time to spend with friends and family. Blick Law Firm wants to help you and your family stay safe and healthy to enjoy the season to the fullest. As the holiday season approaches, be aware of your surroundings, use good judgment, and be prepared.

We tend to spend more time out and about during the holiday season. At this extremely busy time of year, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and keep a close eye on your belongings. Keep the following in mind as you prepare for the holidays:

• Shop during daylight hours if possible. If you must go at night, never go alone and always park in a well-lit area.
• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
• Keep a hold on your purse or wallet at all times. Cross-body bags are the safest, because they are difficult to steal.
• Never leave valuables visible inside your vehicle, as it increases the risk of theft. Lock items in the trunk when necessary.
• If you must use an ATM, choose one in a safe location. Never throw your receipt away at the ATM.

The holidays are a time of celebration for families and friends. Remember the following if you are hosting or attending a party:
• Turn off any appliances and electronics that could cause a fire as soon as you are finished using them. Always have a fire extinguisher handy in case of emergency.
• Have non-alcoholic drinks available for guests.
• If you are planning to drink, know your safe limit, and arrange for a designated driver ahead of time.
• When you are away, leave a light on inside your home to deter thieves from entering.

Decorating is a huge part of many holiday traditions. Unfortunately, if proper safety precautions are not taken, decorations can pose a threat to your safety. Always:
• Place any sharp, breakable, or flammable decorations and ornaments out of the reach of children and pets.
• Be sure your Christmas tree and any other heavy decorations are mounted securely, so they do not fall unexpectedly.
• Inspect the wiring on lights and electronic decorations. Frayed or damaged wiring can cause fire.
• Do not place gifts or valuables near windows, as they may attract thieves.

Children are especially vulnerable during the holidays. Kids are easy targets for thieves and criminals, so to keep your family safe this holiday season, remind children:
• To stay close to you at all times in public.
• To go to the store clerk or security officer immediately if they get separated. Teach your children their full name, address, and phone number so that law enforcement can help them if necessary.
• Not to talk to strangers.

Blick Law Firm wishes you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday season. If you are the victim of a crime, involved in an auto accident, or injured this holiday season, our trusted team of attorneys is here for you! Call 888-973-2776 for a free consultation today!

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What to Look for in a Bankruptcy Attorney

Written by: Michaella Radich


Finding the right bankruptcy attorney could mean the difference between regaining financial security and prolonged struggling. There are five key things to look for in a bankruptcy attorney.


Legal fees are one of the most important factors to a client, but when it comes to legal assistance, you truly do get what you pay for. Most bankruptcy attorneys use a fairly standard pricing system for liquidation and person reorganization. The fee should include several services, like: consultation and financial analysis; the preparation of the bankruptcy petition; a review of the petition; attendance at the meeting of creditors; and follow-ups with creditors, if necessary. Some services, like litigation, however, are generally not included in a bankruptcy attorney’s flat fee. So, it is important to ask the attorney what costs could arise from any litigation resulting from the bankruptcy case.

It is important not to choose a bankruptcy attorney solely based on price. An attorney who charges significantly less than others in the same area and field, may not be very experienced with bankruptcy cases or may cut corners in handling your case.


Technically, any attorney can handle bankruptcy cases, but it is best to choose an attorney who has handled a sizeable number of bankruptcy cases. An attorney’s number of years of experience isn’t as important as the percentage of bankruptcy cases they have handled. An attorney with decades of experience, who offers a number of different legal services, may be less qualified to handle a bankruptcy case than an attorney with less experience who focuses heavily on bankruptcy cases.

Up-to-Date on Code Changesbankruptcy chapter 7

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act was enacted in 2005. While this law may not have any effect on your particular bankruptcy case, it is virtually impossible for someone who is not a lawyer to determine the law’s potential effect. Not all attorneys are up-to-date on the changes to Bankruptcy laws. The best way to judge an attorney’s knowledge is to ask in your consultation if the 2005 law will affect your case. If your attorney cannot answer this broad question, they might not be as caught up as they should be.

Personal Attention

Avoid getting run through the “bankruptcy mill,” by an attorney or firm that pays little attention to individual client’s specific needs. Being “run through the mill” often results in shoddy legal work and a disappointed client. A good way to avoid falling victim to the mill is by contacting the local bar association, who generally would not recommend such a firm. Avoiding a high-volume firm is another good rule of thumb for avoiding bankruptcy mills, as they usually pay less attention to individual needs.

Attorney-Client Relationship

Never choose an attorney who you personally don’t feel comfortable with. Even if the attorney is affordable, trustworthy, and well qualified, a good attorney-client relationship is paramount in bankruptcy cases because they are often very emotional life moments for clients.

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, let Blick Law Firm assist you in maximizing your recovery and receiving the full benefits you are entitled to. Call our office at 888-973-2776 to schedule a consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney today!

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Pulled over? Know your rights! | Criminal Defense

Written by: Michaella RadichScreen Shot 2015-10-19 at 6.06.09 PM

Everyone gets a little anxious when they see police lights flashing behind them. The most important thing to remember if you are pulled over is to remain calm. Speak to the law enforcement agency in a polite manner, and cooperate with him or her, as long as your civil rights are not being violated.

If you are stopped by police, pull over in a safe spot and turn your vehicle off. Turn on the interior light and roll your window partially, keeping your hands visible. Upon request, show the officer your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and registration.

What exactly are your rights when you’re pulled over in Florida?

You have the right to your own personal safety.

This means that the officer cannot force you to pull over in an area where traffic poses a threat to your personal safety and well being, or the safety of any passengers in the vehicle. The law enforcement agent must also respect your personal safety when you are being handled physically. An officer may ask to pat you down or search your vehicle, if they have reasonable suspicion, but as long as you are cooperating with the officer, any form of physical injury or abuse is unacceptable.

You have the right to remain silent.

Anything you say, even before the time of your official arrest, can be used to incriminate you in a court of law. The safest questions to answer when you are pulled over are your name, your address, and your date of birth. If you feel uncomfortable answering any of the questions the office asks you, calmly and politely tell the officer that you choose to remain silent. Your passengers may also exercise their right to remain silent.

You or your passengers may ask the police officer if you are free to go or if you are under arrest. If the officer states that you will be arrested or that you are not free to go, you have the right to remain silent until you consult with your attorney.

You have the right against illegal search and seizure.Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 6.04.27 PM

If police suspect you have a weapon, they may pat you down. Beyond that, you have the right to refuse consent to search you or your vehicle. Refusing consent to search does not give law enforcement probable cause. But, it is important to remain calm and polite at this point, because officers who perceive your tone of voice as threatening or defiant, may try to use this as probable cause to get around your refusal for consent.

In any case, remaining calm and non-violent will ensure your personal safety and the safety of your passengers. If you feel any of your civil rights have been violated when stopped by a law enforcement agent, think quick and call Blick! Our expert criminal defense attorneys are here to help. Get a free case evaluation by calling 888-973-2776 today!

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Tampa Traffic Proves Fatal for Pedestrian

Written by: Michaella Radich

CAR-ACCIDENT-LAW-FIRMS, CAR-CRASH, INJURY-COMPENSATION, TAMPA-PERSONAL-INJURY-ATTORNEYSOn the morning of Tuesday, October 6, 2015, a 17-year-old student of Chamberlin High School, Alexis Miranda, was crossing Busch Boulevard, when she was struck by a car and killed. The incident occurred about two blocks west of North Boulevard. Sadly, this type of fatal accident involving pedestrians is not uncommon in the Tampa area.

After the death of an 8-year-old girl on Busch Boulevard in 2013, Tampa City Council announced that increasing pedestrian safety on Busch was an urgent matter. As part of this effort, the city paid $1 million to fix sidewalks, repaint crosswalks, and add crosswalk countdown signs for pedestrians.

The major problem for pedestrians on Busch Boulevard, is that there are stretches as long as half a mile, without any crosswalks at all. This means many pedestrians try to cross the four- and six-lane road at their own discretion. Busch Boulevard, however, is not the only road where these fatal accidents involving pedestrians occur in Tampa Bay. East Hillsborough Avenue was the scene of crashes killing two 15-year-old pedestrians, one in 2011 and one in 2014.iStock_pedestrian cross walk

Being cautious and aware of your surroundings is the best way to stay safe, whether you are walking or driving. For pedestrians, it is crucial to cross in designated crossing areas, because this is where drivers are actively looking and expecting for them to cross. Flashing lights have been added to many crosswalks in the Tampa area to increase driver awareness and pedestrian safety.

As a driver, you not only have to look out for other vehicles, but for pedestrians. While pedestrians should use crosswalks, especially on busy roads with multiple lanes, they often cross in areas that are not designated. For the safety of the pedestrian and driver, drivers should always be on the lookout for pedestrians crossing the street and veering off sidewalks.

Should you or a loved one be involved in an automobile accident, Blick Law Firm is here to help you. Visit our office or call 888.973.2776 for a free consultation with one of our trusted personal injury attorneys today!

Source: http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/accidents/chamberlain-high-student-17-struck-and-killed-by-car-in-tampa/2248543

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Motorcycle Safety | Personal Injury

Written by: Michaella Radich

Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death and disability in the United States. While 20% of car accidents result in death or injury, a whopping 80% of motorcycle accidents result in death or injury. Additionally, motorcyclists are 16 times more likely per mile traveled than vehicle passengers to die in an accident.Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 7.28.31 PM

What can you do to prevent motorcycle related injury or death?

As a motorcyclist, there are several precautions you can take to protect yourself while on the road:

  • Complete a rider education and safety course before operating a motorcycle, so that you have the basic knowledge and skills needed to drive a motorcycle
  • Wear a helmet (helmets are 67% effective in preventing serious brain injury)
  • Make yourself visible to drivers by always using headlights and brake lights and wearing reflective gear
  • Wear thick protective clothing that covers your skin
  • Never weave in and out of lanes
  • Give yourself and other motorists enough time and space to react

As a driver, a heightened awareness for motorcyclists on the road can be crucial to their safety and your own. The following are some safety precautions to take when sharing the road:

  • Leave a full car length and full lane’s width between your vehicle and motorcyclists
  • Remember that inclement weather and poor road conditions cause serious threats to motorcyclists’ safety, so their driving patterns may unexpectedly change in these situations
  • Always be on the look out for motorcycles, as they are small and difficult to see
  • Be aware that from your vehicle it is difficult to judge the needed stopping time and distance for a motorcyclists
  • Check your blind spots actively before switching lanes

After a crash, an injured motorcyclists’ life depends on rapid and appropriate emergency medical treatment. Injury severity and timing are critical to the motorcyclist’s survival. If you witness or are involved in an accident involving a motorcycle, dial 911 immediately.

As always, Blick Law Firm has your best interest and personal safety in mind. Should you or a loved one be injured in a auto accident, we are to help. Contact us at (888) 973-2776 to schedule a free consultation with one of our trusted personal injury attorneys today!

Sources: nhtsa.gov, msf-usa.org

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