Monthly Archives: August 2012

Burn Victims: Recovery for Pain and Suffering

Every year, innocent victims of fires incur life altering burns, pain, and disfigurement and are forced into a life of constant rehabilitation. The pain and suffering that results are an unfortunate and devastating aspect of the severity of injuries that can occur due to exposure to fire; and most times the burn victims themselves are not even at fault.

If another party is responsible for the fire, you are entitled to seek compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering. Compensation for pain and suffering includes any pain, disfigurement, emotional distress, disability, and even embarrassment attributable to the burn injury sustained; and the recovery for these damages includes both present and future losses.

Cases involving burn victims vary in their severity, but ultimately are traumatizing no matter how severe; and the pain involved in treating these injuries is overwhelming. Many factors are considered when assessing the amount of recovery available to burn victims, beginning with liability, the severity of the burns, the amount of rehabilitation and treatment required, the extent of the disability incurred, disfigurement, and the extent of emotional distress. These factors are difficult to quantify in terms of recovery, but  can result in substantial awards for damage.

If you or a loved has been injured in a fire, call Blick Law Firm today at (813) 931-0840. Call today to schedule a free 15 minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer. Think quick, call Blick.

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Republican National Convention 2012

As host to the Republican National Convention, Tampa Bay has the national spotlight shining brightly throughout the city. Reports suggest that with the mass influx of people, crime rates have actually gone down considerably. This trend is being attributed to both the added force of 4,000 law enforcement officers that were brought in to maintain the peace and the recent downpour of rain brought by Hurricane Isaac.

Nonetheless, people have taken to the streets to voice their opinions and protest various issues. Protestors have reportedly been peaceful and though only a few arrests have been made, it is only midweek and it is important to be aware of the potential violence that can occur.

Originally, city officials worried that the riots that took place last year in St. Paul, Minnesota, at the Convention would repeat themselves here in Florida. Last year in St. Paul, thousands of protesters packed the city and hundreds were arrested during the Convention’s first day and hundreds more on its last. Some smashed cars, punctured tires and threw bottles in a confrontation with police. Fortunately, violence has not tainted the peaceful assembly of concerned citizens here in Tampa.

Ultimately, protesters can say and do whatever they want as long as they don’t cross the line into criminal behavior. Behavior such as: carrying weapons, fighting, physically opposing police officers and/or concealing your identity is illegal and may lead to arrest and other criminal consequences.

If you have questions about your Constitutional rights or are concerned about the potential dangers of protesting and getting arrested, call Blick Law Firm today at (813) 931-0840. Schedule a free 15 minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer today. Think quick, call Blick!

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Florida Hurricane Safety

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.

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Short Sale Common Questions

Homeowners are often unsure of what options are available when they reach financial hardship. A short sale is an agreement by a mortgage lender to sell property for an amount lower than the balance owed in order to relieve the buyer of the mortgage obligation.

A short sale can be a helpful tool when trying to avoid foreclosure. Depending on the negotiated amount of the sale and the timeliness of past mortgage payments, a short sale may help avoid the huge hit to your credit score that foreclosure causes. Additionally, short sale participants can later purchase a home in a shorter time than those who foreclose on their property.

A short sale can be completed by finding a buyer to purchase the home who is willing to pay current market value, and having the mortgage provider agree to the sale. Any shortage after the sale will then either be written off by the lender and an IRS 1099 is issued to the seller, or a deficiency remains which the lender may pursue to collect against the seller.

The short sale process can be complicated, and the lender may not be willing to negotiate. It is important to know that a real estate attorney can help negotiate the sale and terms with the mortgage lender and provide you peace of mind that your sale is being handled by an accountable professional.

If you have legal questions regarding your short sale or you are considering your options, call Blick Law Firm today at (813) 931-0840 to schedule a free 15-minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer.

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Florida Boating Laws

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.

If you have been stopped while boating and need legal advice, call Blick Law Firm today. Schedule a free 15-minute appointment with attorney Michael Blickensderfer. Think quick, call Blick.

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Back to School: Bullying and Child Safety

For many children, returning to school is an exciting time to reunite with old friends, meet new ones, and begin a fresh start in a new school year. However, for some children, school has become a place they have learned to despise because of exclusion and teenage bullying. In recent years, bullying has become a growing concern for parents and school officials alike.

The growing problem has gained visibility through horrible stories of verbal, physical, and even sexual abuse that has been taking place in schools all across the United States.

In response, Congress has sought to enact the Safe Schools Improvement Act to implement anti-bullying measures which would require U.S. schools to report bullying and to provide intervention and prevention programs. The U.S. Department of Education has also issued guidance to schools, colleges, and universities, making it clear that schools have not just a moral responsibility, but a legal responsibility, to protect all students from harassment and bullying.

The Department of Education has also launched the website to provide information to school officials, parents, and children on what is being done to prevent bullying, and what to do in the event your child becomes a victim.

If you need advice, or are concerned about abuse at your child’s school, call Blick Law Firm today at (813) 931-0840 and schedule a free 15 minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer. Think quick, call Blick!

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