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.

Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer Makes a World of Difference

BLICK-LAW-FIRM,5Personal injuries, whether brought about by an accident or by negligence, can leave you vulnerable. Personal injury claims are best handled by an experienced personal injury lawyer, who can both provide you with peace of mind and ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to. The following are four benefits from hiring a personal injury lawyer to seek the justice you deserve.

With an experienced personal injury lawyer, you receive the compensation you are entitled to. All too often, insurance companies try to lower the amount of benefits you receive by contesting your claim or making the offer more appealing to be accepted earlier. Not all quick settlements are doing your case justice, and an experienced personal injury lawyer knows this. Hiring a lawyer will ensure you don’t settle for less than you deserve after suffering an injury.

A personal injury lawyer can help you avoid intimidation from parties that can take advantage of your injury. Severe personal injuries may keep you in the hospital, out of work, and/or losing income. Outside parties may see this as the perfect opportunity to take advantage of your situation, using intimidation tactics, ranging from legal technicalities and incomplete appraisals about your condition, to get you to yield. A personal injury lawyer will have your best interest in mind, and can speak on your behalf regarding your injury and your case. Don’t let outside parties bombard you with stress and legal jargon, when your lawyer is there to help.

The benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer far outweigh the costs. While hiring a lawyer can be expensive, those costs will be worth it in the end, when you are granted the compensation you deserve. Serious injuries come with serious compensation, and by hiring a lawyer, chances are you will be able to pay off your legal expenses and still have money left over following your case’s settlement. Achieving early settlements without legal advice, may leave you with less than you deserve and need to cope with your injury.

A personal injury attorney can ensure that your personal injury case is a solid case. HeadhuntingLawyers are legal experts, who understand the court system better than anyone else. They also have all the right connections to ensure that your case is solid and in good standing when you get to court. Hiring the right legal team can make all the difference in a personal injury case.

If you or a loved one has recently been injured and don’t know where to turn, the answer is simple. Blick Law Firm’s highly professional team of attorneys has over 30 years of experience in handling personal injury cases. If you have not yet acted on your personal injury claim, call Blick Law Firm at 888-973-2776 today for a free consultation! For more information, [Click Here]

Posted in Blog, Personal Injury | Leave a comment

Florida Bar Approves New Animal Law Section

??????????????????With increasing frequency, pet owners, breeders, animal activists, and other are turning to the legal system to settle disputes over animals and to protect the creatures. This has led the Florida Bar to recently approve an Animal Law Section, which goes into effect July 1. The Bar is encouraging attorneys to begin or continue developing their expertise in this area of law.

Gil Panzer is a family law attorney located in Boca Raton who helped create the new animal law section. “The animal law field is expanding rapidly,” Panzer said. “I think that’s because so many people are interested or involved with animals. About two-thirds of households today have pets, more than children.”

The new animal law section will replace the Florida Bar’s Animal Law Committee, which was created in 2004. Unlike committees, sections have the power to provide input on legislation, giving animal attorneys more pull over contested issues like puppy mill regulations, housing and public access rights for service or therapy animals, and negligence standards for groomers, veterinarians, and pet product manufacturers.

Tallahassee attorney Ralph DeMeo will chair the section. He believes that the section’s creation provides an opportunity to educate both Bar members and the general public on the role animal law plays in other areas of law and will prove how great the need for the new section is. According to DeMeo, more than 1,000 Bar members have indicated interest in joining the new section this summer.

South Florida’s animal activists are some of the section’s most avid supports. “It’s tremendous and long overdue,” said Michele Lazarow, a Hallandale beach commissioner who is passionate about banning “puppy mills” and similar large-scale breeding operations. “I think there is a paradigm shift away from animals being viewed as property, and I think it’s happening very quickly.” Lazarow added, “The section will be a tremendous help to advocates who need lawyers.”

Marcy LaHart is a former Palm Beach County attorney and is recognized as one of Florida’s first animal legal specialists. LaHart currently handles cases from around the state, and reports that most of her animal cases come from South Florida, “because that’s where the condos are.” The majority of LaHart’s clients are pet owners fighting to have companion animals under the Fair Housing Act.

People with service animals often have trouble when they go to public spaces or move to housing with condo or property associations. These pet owners, even those suffering from debilitating and limiting medical conditions, are often asked to prove their need for a service animal.

Right now, it is unlikely that a large number of attorneys will choose to exclusively represent animals and their owners, because the money isn’t there yet. But as Florida joins 17 other states with animal law sections, and the attitude toward animal rights evolves, the practicing of animal law holds future promise. For more information, [Click Here]

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Obama’s Immigration Program Faces Supreme Court

BLICK-LAW-FIRM,3When President Obama announced his plan to prevent deportation for parents of children who are legal citizens or residents in late 2014, Florida was one of 26 states show legal opposition. This week, the Obama administration will ask the eight Supreme Court Justices to lift a lower court injunction blocking the implementation of Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program.

The injunction came about in February 2015, when a federal judge in Brownsville, Texas ruled against the executive action. The group of 26 states, led by Texas, believes that the president is overstepping his boundaries and attempting to impose unnecessary costs on state governments.

Supporters of the program have faith that the eight justices, namely Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy, will show support for the Obama administration through their decision. Immigrant Rights groups are hopeful that the Supreme Court will find that the states do not have the right to sue the federal government to bar such immigration actions. If the case is decided in Obama’s favor, the case could be thrown out and the administration could start implementing the new program.

This paramount decision comes at a time when there is an empty chair in the US Supreme Court, following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. With just eight Supreme Court Justices, there is a likely possibility that the decision will be split 4-4. In the event of a split decision, the lower court’s ruling would be left in place, which would all but guarantee that the program will not be implemented before Obama leaves the office.

Immigrants and pro-immigration activists from will travel from around the country to the District of Columbia to show support for Obama’s program, which would protect nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants. The Florida Immigration Coalition is just one of many groups traveling from Miami to the nation’s capital this week.

Jorge Cortes and Jacqueline Lopez are two immigrants making the journey from Miami to the District to show their support for Obama’s DAPA program. Cortes said, “I’m?????????????????? going to Washington because we are demanding justice for the rights of millions of families who deserve to enter the system.”

Lopez is making the trip because she wants undocumented immigrants to be able to live peacefully in safety. “We want an opportunity,” she said, “so we can work and live in peace. We do not want to separate from our families and we do not want to live in fear anymore.” Call Blick Law Firm today at 888-973-2776 to set up a free consultation! For more information, [Click Here] and [Here].

Posted in Blog, Immigration | Leave a comment

Gov. Scott Passes New Law to Protect Children, Vulnerable People, and Pets

BLICK-LAW-FIRM, MICHAEL-BLICKENSDERFER, TAMPA-LAW-FIRM, BLICK-LAW-FIRM-TAMPAFlorida has recently experienced an increasing amount of cases of pets, children, and other vulnerable people being left in overheated cars. As a direct reaction to this problem, Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a bill that will make it legal to break into a car to rescue pets or people that are believed to be in danger of suffocation or other harm.

The bill went into effect in early March, along with 16 other bills Scott signed into law. The new law comes just in time for Florida’s hot summer weather, when it is most dangerous to leave any person or animal inside a vehicle.

“Florida has seen much warmer than average temperatures in the last 12 months. In fact, the period from March 2015 through February 2016 ranked as the hottest on record for that stretch,” said Chris Dolce, meteorologist at weather.com.

In 2014, there were as many as 32 reports of children dying in hot cars, according to Kids and Cars. PETA reports that animals can sustain brain damage or die of heat stroke after just 15 minutes inside a hot car. The bill applies only to domesticated animals that may be kept in the home as pets (not livestock or other farm animals) and all people.

Under the new law, any person who breaks into a car in an attempt to save either a child or domesticated animal from suffering complications due to overheating, will not be held responsible for the damages to the vehicle. The individual cannot be sued, as long as they have done the following:

• Checked to make sure the vehicle is locked
• Have a reasonable belief that based on the present circumstances the person or animal trapped in the car is in imminent danger of suffering harm
• Called 911 either before or immediately after breaking into the vehicle
• Use only the necessary amount of force to free the trapped person or animal
• Remain with the person or animal until law enforcement arrives on the scene

At Blick Law Firm, our desire is to help the hurting and defend our client’s rights during their times of need. If you or a loved one needs legal advice in one of our many areas of expertise, call our office at 888-973-2776 for a free consultation with a trusted attorney today! For more information, [Click Here].

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Leading Causes of Personal Bankruptcy

DISNEY, DONALD-TRUMP, CELEBRITIES, BANKRUPTCY-ATTORNEY, FINANCIAL-HARDSHIP.5An alarmingly large number of Americans have filed for bankruptcy in recent years. Below is a list of the most common sources of modern American bankruptcy.

Medical Expenses
A study conducted by Harvard University shows that 62 percent of all personal bankruptcies have resulted from medical expenses, more specifically the hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills from rare or serious diseases and injuries. Close to 80 percent of Americans who filed for bankruptcy because of medical expenses have medical insurance policies.

Job Loss
Job loss, whether from layoff, termination, or resignation, results in an obvious loss of income. The loss of income and other benefits that come with a secure job, forces the unemployed to drain their financial resources. Unfortunately, those who cannot find another form of employment in a timely manner often must file for bankruptcy.

Poor Credit
It’s a well-known fact that many Americans struggle with managing their finances. Credit card bills, installment debt, car and other loan payments can all add up. Once the borrower is unable to make even the minimum payment on each type of debt, filing for bankruptcy is likely the only option left.

Divorce or Separation
Going through a divorce or separation is not just emotionally draining; it is often financially draining, too. Paying legal fees, dividing marital assets, deciding on child support and visitation, and maintaining two separate households puts a strain on finances for the many Americans who go through this process every year.

Unexpected Costs
Emergency spending can certainly add up, but some of the most common unexpected costs are associated with loss of property, due to theft or severe weather events. Many homeowners don’t realize they need specialized coverage for earthquakes, floods, or tornadoes. If they don’t have that coverage, they are likely to lose their homes and valuables and spend quite a bit rebuilding their lives.

There are a variety of reasons Americans turn to bankruptcy, but often, common sense, sound financial planning, and preparation for the future can prevent bankruptcy from being your only available option. At Blick Law Firm, we understand that filing for bankruptcy is an emotional experience. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, our trusted team of attorneys can help maximize your recovery and provide you with the benefits you are entitled to. Visit blicklawfirm.com to fill out an evaluation form, or call 888-973-2776 for a free consultation today!

Posted in Bankruptcy, Blog | Leave a comment

10 Things to Remember if Stopped for a DUI

FRAUD, CRIMINAL, WHITE-COLLAR-CRIME, DEFENSE-ATTORNEY, TAMPA-LAW-FIRM 1When stopped for a DUI, whether you believe you are guilty of driving above the legal limit or not, it is important to remain calm and cooperate with the law enforcement officer who stopped you. The following are 10 important things to keep in mind if you are pulled over for a DUI.

1. Pull over properly.
Slow down and pull your car over to the right side of the road, when it is safe to do so. Using your turn signal will help notify the officer of your intentions.

2. Remain in your vehicle.
Turn your vehicle off and remain inside the car with your hands on the steering wheel. If it is dark outside, you should turn the vehicle’s interior lights on. Do not get out of your vehicle unless the officer asks you to do so.

3. Don’t act suspicious.
Avoid any behaviors that might make it seem as if you are trying to hide or dispose of something. Fidgeting in your seat, leaning to one direction or another, or any other uncharacteristic body language may lead the officer to ask you to step out of your vehicle for a pat down, and possibly to search your vehicle.

4. Follow directions.
Listen to what the officer tells you and cooperate with him or her. You cannot drive away until the officer gives you permission to do so.

5. Be mindful of what you say.
Simply answer the officer’s questions, without offering extra information, arguing, or using an offensive tone of voice. Advise your passengers to do the same.

6. Act normal.
Remember that you are being observed by the officer, his or her partner if they have one, and potentially video equipment on their vehicle. Any strange behavior might signal the officer that further action should be taken.

7. Answer “How much did you drink?” carefully.
It is routine for officers to ask how much someone has had to drink when pulled over for a suspected DUI charge. It is best to either remain silent or assert that you cannot remember the exact amount you had to drink before getting behind the wheel. “Underestimations” about the amount you’ve had to drink can be used against you in court, so it is best to avoid giving an amount all together.

8. Think carefully about BAC testing.
Implied consent means that by acquiring a driver’s license, you consent to taking a BAC test. Refusing to take the test may result in worse consequences, but if you are seriously intoxicated, refusal might be in your best interest. In Florida, refusing to take a BAC test for your first DUI offense results in a one year license suspension; refusing to take the test for your second and third offenses results in an 18-month license suspension.

9. Don’t do any tests that aren’t mandatory.
Officers may ask you to “walk the line” or stand on one leg. Before complying with such requests, ask if the DUI test is mandatory.

10. When in doubt…
If you have any doubt that the person who pulled you over is a police officer, politely ask to speak with a supervisor for clarification, or tell the officer you’d like to follow them to the police station.

A DUI defense attorney, like the trusted professional traffic lawyers at Blick Law Firm, will ensure your rights are protected, guide you through the court proceedings, and help you obtain a favorable outcome for your case. If charged with a DUI, it is important to seek legal counsel immediately. Call Blick Law Firm today at 888-973-2776 to set up a free consultation! For more information, [click here]

Posted in Blog, DUI | Leave a comment