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Auto accidents can be devastating, and injuries sustained in an accident can begin a timeline of treatment and therapy that can take months to complete.
If you are involved in an auto accident, it is always important to know what steps to undertake to protect yourself and avoid damaging your potential personal injury case. Many people are unaware that there are several ways they can actually damage their Florida auto accident claim. Here are some important things to avoid that will help ensure your claim is successful:
1. Revealing Information via Social Media: Today’s generation is technologically savvy, a fact which defense attorneys or insurance companies use to their advantage. People can update their status, tweet, write a blog post, or check into places in real time, making themselves more susceptible to public scrutiny. In an auto accident case, Internet research is conducted to help prove that you may not be as injured as you claim.
It is important to understand that what you post or tweet can potentially help the opposing insurance company and hurt your case. Be cautious when posting photos or comments that might discredit your claim. For instance, think twice before posting a status about going to the gym when you claimed to have severe back pain from a recent accident.
2. Lack of Witness Information: Any type of auto accident can cause stress and impair your normal thought process. It is important to stay as calm as possible and gather proper information that will help your case later on. One of the key ways to help your claim if you are not at fault is to identify witnesses. It is important to corroborate your case with eyewitnesses because it will minimize debate from insurance companies. Do not assume the investigating office will collect this information. Take matters into your own hands if possible and ask for witnesses’ contact information promptly after the accident.
3. Giving a Recorded Statement to the Opposing Insurance Company: This is a very common mistake. Usually when an auto accident occurs, the insurance companies are notified right away. Once insurance companies are notified, they move quickly to obtain a recorded statement about what happened and information about your current injury. Most people feel that they have to give a recorded statement to the opposing insurance company and answer their questions. THIS IS FALSE. There is no requirement that you give a recorded statement.
Often, the other insurance company is looking to take advantage of your mental state and lack of knowledge about the matter at hand. Therefore, do not ever give a recorded statement without first consulting your attorney.
4. Take Opposing Auto Insurance Companies Lightly: If you are not at fault, the opposing driver’s insurance company will conduct an investigation during your case. This may include surveillance, photos of damages or video footage of you at some point during the process.
Honesty is the best policy. If you attempt certain activities that might seem questionable, admit them. We understand that over the period of the claim process, you will be treated for injuries and your physical health will improve. However, when an auto accident victim denies something that an insurance investigation later reveals to be true, it will hurt your claim.
5. Waiting too Long to Get Medical Treatment: Most people involved in an accident assume the pain or injury will go away in time. Unfortunately, that is always not the case and complaints may progressively worsen.
Insurance companies monitor the gap between treatments. If you wait even a few days to start treatment, they assume you may not be as injured as you claim. Prompt medical attention is necessary in evaluating your claim and if injuries are severe, report to the hospital. Once you visit a personal injury attorney, request appropriate medical care. Any complaints and symptoms should be well documented and recorded.
Personal injury claims all vary in severity, and often times they involve lifelong consequences that require extensive future medical expenses and years of pain and suffering. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the actions or negligence of another, call Blick Law Firm today at (813) 931-0840.
Weather conditions in Florida frequently cause safety concerns on the roadways, and it is important to be aware of potential dangers and take safety precautions to avoid them.
Inclement weather causes tricky road conditions like standing water or flooding. These road conditions often times conceal dangerous debris, tree branches, and even power lines that are not visible. Many drivers attempt to drive through flooded areas and risk encountering hazards to save time or to avoid an inconvenient detour; drivers should always consider the safety risks and take necessary precautions by avoiding flooded areas.
Many times, weather conditions cause traffic lights to become inoperative, creating confusion on the roadways that can lead to deadly collisions. When encountering a downed traffic light, every driver approaching the intersection should come to a complete stop and yield the right-of-way to any vehicle which has entered the intersection.
Be cautious, and consider that the roads are wet and cars are more prone to skidding and loss of control.
In the event Hurricane conditions cause the need to evacuate, have a plan ready, know where you will go, and research several alternate routes in the event of closed roads and severe traffic congestion.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of dangerous roadway conditions, call Blick Law Firm today at (813) 931-0840 to schedule a free 15 minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer.
A Real Estate Closing is the final step of the home purchase process, whereby the buyer and seller sign the papers to transfer the ownership of the home. In order to complete this final phase of the purchase process, it is important to understand the timeline of requirements that take place leading up to the Closing.
First, a buyer must open an escrow account with a neutral third party, whereby the buyer provides earnest money to be held in consideration of the purchase in order to demonstrate good-faith that the buyer fully intends on completing the sale.
Following the opening of an escrow account, the buyer then needs to take 5 necessary steps to protect their interest in the home. These 5 steps are as follows:
- Complete a Title search
- Purchase Title Insurance
- Complete a Home inspection and Pest inspection
- Negotiate the Closing costs; and
- Lock the interest rate of the mortgage.
These steps are important in the completion of any Real Estate transaction, and many times it is important for the buyer to seek legal counsel prior to moving forward with the purchase process. An experienced real estate attorney can provide professional legal advice, and interpret the very complicated language involved in most Closing documents. The attorney is also capable of identifying potential problems with your purchase documentation, and can save you the hassle of dealing with unexpected complications that may arise during the Real Estate purchase process.
If you or a loved one are considering purchasing a home and need advice on what to expect, call Blick Law Firm today at (813) 931-0840. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer. Think quick, call Blick!
Everyday Florida drivers get behind the wheel unaware that their driving privilege has been suspended, cancelled, or revoked. Law enforcement officers make daily arrests for driving with a suspended license which can lead to complications when trying to reinstate your driving privilege.
In Florida, it is a criminal traffic offense if a driver operates a motor vehicle with knowledge that their driver’s license is cancelled, suspended, or revoked. Receiving a citation for Driving with a Suspended License requires a court appearance.
The following charges may result from Driving with a Suspended License with knowledge of the suspension:
(1) First conviction is a second degree misdemeanor;
(2) Second conviction is a first degree misdemeanor;
(3) Third, or subsequent conviction, is a third degree felony and possible jail time may have to be served.
It is important to know that multiple infractions of Driving with a Suspended License can lead to very serious consequences, and drivers with repeated violations can become listed as a Habitual Traffic Offender.
The penalty of driving with your license suspended, whether you have knowledge or not, can be serious and generally lead to complications with your future driving privilege.
If you or a loved one have been arrested or issued a citation for driving with a suspended license, call Blick Law Firm today at (813) 931-0840. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer.
The waters of Florida are both a national and international resource alike, and recreational boating on these waters contributes to the well-being of both residents and visitors. As a result, boating laws are in place to protect the safety, aesthetics, and future of Florida’s waterways.
Florida law enforcement officers and Florida Wildlife officials patrol the waterways daily to ensure safety and compliance with boating laws. It is important while boating to be aware of the laws regulating waterway use, and be informed of what your responsibilities are.
By law, all watercraft operators are responsible for operating their vessel in a reasonable and prudent manner with regard for other vessel traffic, posted restrictions, the presence of a divers-down flag, and other circumstances so as not to endanger people or property. Non-compliance with the safety rules of the waterways can result in both non-criminal and criminal violations.
In Florida, laws against boating while impaired by alcohol or other drugs are as strict as those for driving a vehicle while impaired. Florida law prohibits anyone from boating under the influence (BUI). That is, it is illegal to operate any vessel or to manipulate any water skis, sailboard, or similar device while intoxicated due to alcohol or any combination of alcohol, a controlled substance, or drugs.