Injured man decorates a christmas tree in Riverview, FL.

Tips To Avoid A Personal Injury This Holiday Season

More people are traveling this holiday season than having done so in the past two years. This means more vehicles on the road, more people celebrating (perhaps celebrating a bit too much), and a higher potential for accidents leading to injuries over the holidays. Our goal at Calandro Law is to help people stay safe and learn how to avoid a personal injury this holiday season.

People are often distracted by thoughts of meeting up with family, what gifts to get, and how to fit all of their holiday to-do-list into a busy schedule as they travel this time of year. This can lead to accidents on the road or while out on the town. If you have been injured in an accident in Riverview this holiday season, it may be in your best interest to contact the personal injury attorneys at Calandro Law. Our expert lawyers specialize in handling a variety of personal injury cases and can help you or a loved one recover compensation for your injuries.

Injured man decorates a christmas tree in Riverview, FL.

Safe Driving Tips 

The Christmas and New Year’s holidays are some of the busiest times of the year on the roads in the United States. Many people choose to drive rather than fly over the holidays in order to visit friends and family who live farther away, especially with fears over the rapidly spreading Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus. This increased volume on the road means a higher likelihood for car accidents, injuries, and in some cases, even wrongful deaths occurring. Here are some helpful tips for keeping yourself and any passengers safe while driving this holiday season: 

  • Be sure not to drive when you are tired. The holidays are a wonderful time to spend with family and friends, but all the holiday activities and shopping can exhaust us. Make sure to get plenty of rest before any long drives. If you start to feel tired while driving, pull over and rest for a bit or change drivers if you are traveling with another legal driver.
  • Before you leave for a trip this holiday season, get your vehicle inspected to ensure it is safe for the road. Make sure the coolant is topped off, you have an acceptable amount of tread on your tires, and properly functioning brakes.
  • Fill your gas tank up before you get on the highway for your intended destination. Holiday traffic can mean unexpected delays on the road.
  • Avoid looking at your phone while you are driving. Texts and calls can wait until you are parked safely. Try to have a passenger navigate for you if you are using your phone for directions.
  • For parents traveling with kids, make sure all children have their seatbelts securely fastened and that any small children are correctly buckled into a car seat or booster seat.
  • Many people may be driving from warmer climates to visit family in colder climates. Make sure you pack a safety kit in your vehicle with tools to help in case of inclement weather, such as icy roads. 
  • You should also keep a first aid kit in your vehicle in case of any injuries while traveling.
  • Stay alert at all times while driving over the holiday season, but be especially vigilant when driving in areas with a high concentration of pedestrians, such as in the city or at shopping centers. Pedestrians may be very distracted during this season or maybe intoxicated.
  • People planning on attending holiday parties where alcohol will be served should plan to have a designated driver or arrange for an Uber, Lyft, or taxi to take them home.

Holidays Mean More Impaired Drivers On The Road

An unfortunate reality of the holiday season is that more impaired drivers are on the road during this time of year. A higher amount of intoxicated drivers leads to more motor vehicle accidents including motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, and pedestrian accidents that often cause serious injury and even death. It is important to always be cautious while driving during the holiday season, especially at night. Be sure to look out for drivers that show signs of intoxication and report them to the police should you notice any. 

Signs that a driver may be operating a vehicle under the influence include:

  • Swerving
  • Driving at night without lights on
  • Inconsistent speed
  • Sporadic braking 
  • Sudden turns without a blinker
  • Slow response to traffic signals or blatant disregard of traffic signals

Christmas Trees Can Be An Unexpected Hazard

Christmas is just about here and that means many families already have Christmas trees up in their houses. Christmas trees are a wonderful tradition that brings beauty and pageantry inside the house during the holiday season. However, these lovely conifers can pose some risk to the safety of your family and home. 

Make sure to keep your Christmas tree well-watered while it is in the house. Trees that are not watered may dry out and can catch fire much more easily. Be sure to thoroughly check any Christmas lights you plan on putting on the tree before doing so. Damaged lights may cause a spark that could ignite your tree and lead to serious fire damage.

Never Climb A Ladder Alone

Fortunately, there is very rarely snow or ice in Florida. This means people looking to decorate the outside of their house (or the inside) can set ladders up without the extra hazard of snowy or icy conditions. However, you should always have someone with you when you are decorating using a ladder. 

Using a ladder to get on your roof creates a higher potential for a more serious fall should you slip from the top of the ladder or from your roof. If there is nobody around to see your accident, you could be left in a life-threatening condition with no one to call for help.

Additionally, ladders are not always stable, especially older ladders or when trying to place a ladder on uneven ground. Ask a friend or family member to spot you while using a ladder to decorate. They can help keep the ladder steady and help you avoid a trip to the emergency room.

Stay Safe While Cooking A Holiday Feast For The Family

The Holidays usually mean big meals for get-togethers with friends and family. This means more people cooking larger, more intricate meals than they typically would. With these more complex meals comes a higher risk for accidents in the kitchen, such as kitchen fires or knife cuts. Make sure you are paying close attention while cooking this season and try to minimize distractions while in the kitchen.

Keep these tips in mind while in the kitchen this holiday season:

  • Maintain your attention on the task at hand.
  • Be slow and deliberate when cutting with kitchen knives.
  • Stay mindful of any towels and oven mitts near the oven and stovetops.
  • Make sure to wash your hands before and after handling food.
  • Keep children away from hot burners and anything cooking on the stovetop.
  • Do not use a turkey frier within 10 feet of your home. Place it on flat ground and use a thawed and dry turkey.
  • Stay in the kitchen whenever you have something cooking on the stovetop

Contact The Professionals At Calandro Law

If you or a loved one has been injured in Florida this holiday season, the expert personal injury attorneys at Calandro Law are ready to help. Christmas and New Year’s should be times spent with family and loved ones, not worrying about a personal injury case. Our experienced legal team will take all the burden off of your hands, leaving you to enjoy the company of those you love. We will fight to ensure that you get the compensation you are owed after an accident.

If you are in need of a personal injury lawyer, schedule your free consultation at Calandro law today! Give us a call at (813) 563-6463 or visit us in person at our office in Riverview. 

Wishing you all a safe and happy Holiday this year from the Calandro Law family to yours!

Scene of a motorcycle and car accident in Florida

Common Causes For Crashes Between Motorcycles and Cars

Any driver in Florida should know that they need to watch out for motorcyclists when they are on the road. A motorcyclist should also be practicing safe driving habits in order to protect themselves as well. Riding a motorcycle Is an inherently exhilarating experience, but that aspect also makes it that much more dangerous. With this blog post, our hope is that we can share some information that could help make our roads in Riverview and the rest of Florida a little safer for everyone.  That education starts with covering the most common causes of crashes between motorcycles and cars. 

Issues can arise quickly when car drivers fail to account for motorcyclists and when drivers of any vehicle indulge in reckless, impatient driving behaviors. If you have been injured in a car accident or while you were on a motorcycle in Riverview, then you should consider contacting the personal injury lawyers at Calandra Law.  Our attorneys are highly experienced with these types of cases and are ready to help. 

Scene of a motorcycle and car accident in Florida

Accidents Are Serious, Especially for Motorcyclists

Do you know that over 5,000 motorcycle riders are killed each year in accidents? it should come as no surprise that a motorcyclist is less likely to survive an accident than someone in a car. In fact, the fatality rate is 27 times higher for someone who is involved in a motorcycle accident. With even more ways for drivers to be distracted while on the road, it has become extremely dangerous for the average motorcyclist in Riverview and the rest of Florida.

Even if a motorcyclist survives an accident, they are often left with lifelong injuries that could include:

  • Paralysis
  • Amputation or other forms of disfigurement
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Coma

Motorcycle riders in Florida should note that many of these accidents are often caused by at-fault drivers. Hopefully, this blog post can help both drivers and motorcyclists be a little safer on the road in 2022. 

Drivers Are More Distracted Than Ever in Florida

This probably should not come as much a surprise either, but there are a lot of drivers on the road nowadays that are dangerously distracted. This is one of the most common causes of car accidents involving motorcycles in Florida. While smartphones may have made our lives easier in a variety of ways, they also made our lives on the road much, much more dangerous. 

Distracted drivers aren’t only a danger for themselves and their passengers, but also for anybody that is on or near the road that they are traveling on.  Many of the recorded deaths due to distracted drivers in Florida also involve pedestrians and bikers in addition to motorcycle riders. 

Distracted Driving Isn’t Only Caused By Cell Phones

Our society’s growing dependence on smartphones and other devices is a really easy factor to point to when it comes to the increase in distracted driving accidents. However, it is not the only cause of distracted driving and we would like to note some of the other factors that can distract the driver and cause a dangerous or deadly accident in Florida.

 These other distractions include: 

  • Conversations with passengers
  • Eating or drinking while driving
  • Attempting to put on makeup while driving
  • Paying more attention to the built in GPS

The average human being’s life has become more complex, the reality is that there are just more ways than ever for the average driver to be more distracted.  Our society has become more used to having access to motor vehicles, and this has not helped us to maintain that level of presence that would traditionally be necessary to safely operate an inherently dangerous vehicle

Drivers in cars and trucks have an inherent responsibility to be aware of everyone else on the road.  this is the only reliable way to account for motorcycle riders and ensure that you aren’t putting anyone at undue risk. If your mind is not on the task at hand, AKA driving, then you won’t be able to accurately absorb details from your surroundings and you may end up missing that motorcycle rider in your blind spot.  

Drivers Failing to Check Their Blind Spots

If a driver in Florida fails to spot the motorcycle rider and causes an accident, then it is going to be the driver’s fault (in most cases). This is because the driver when operating their vehicle has the implied obligation to be aware of everyone sharing the road with them, including motorcyclists, and to exercise the proper duty of care. What this means is that the driver should be actively scanning the road within their field of vision and accounting for the motorists in their general vicinity. 

There are plenty of drivers in Florida that spend most of their time behind the wheel with their eyes trained directly in front of them. This is a natural inclination if you are looking out for other cars and trucks that might pose a threat as they progress down the road. But this creates a serious threat for motorcyclists as they tend to be lower down and obviously smaller than the average car.

All it takes is be a brief moment of unawareness to trigger an accident that could be deadly for the motorcycle rider. Then there is also the consideration of how quickly the driver reacts to the situation. Some drivers are not able to react quickly enough in order to prevent serious damage or gas to a motorcycle rider. 

Our recommendation for any driver reading this blog post is to remember the value of checking and rechecking your blind spots before you make a move in traffic.  This is one of the more common areas where a motorcycle rider could enter your vicinity without you being aware of their presence until it is too late.  Just be safe in this next year and make sure that you are double-checking your blind spots before you make that next move.

Failure to Yield the RIght of Way

If you were to ask one of our personal injury attorneys in Riverview, it would say that one of the other common causes of motorcycle accidents they see is drivers that failed to yield the right-of-way when they should. This is what makes intersection is one of the most dangerous places on any given road in Florida for a motorcycle rider.

This has a connecting thread to the issue with drivers not doing a good job of checking their blind spots.  Drivers are often intent on trying to make that turn as quickly as possible and do not take the time to review their surroundings and identify other drivers entering or exiting the intersection before they make their move.  Things get very dangerous when the driver fails to yield to a motorcycle rider when they have the right away. 

The official guidance in the State of Florida is that a driver should take the time necessary to make sure that there are no oncoming motorcycles present before they decide to pull into the intersection. A motorcyclist reacting to a driver pulling out in front of them in this fashion is likely going to have to jam on their breaks which could end up causing them to get into a very bad accident. Be a responsible driver in 2022 and make sure that you take the time to review your surrounding before making a move. 

More Speeders Has Created More Danger for All Drivers in Florida

Does it just seem that everyone is in more of a rush on the road these days?  More speeders on the road have made our highways in Florida that much more dangerous for everyone. You may feel like you are a highly confident driver, but the act of speeding excessively will cause you to lose focus on the road. Your reaction times are also reduced when driving at high speeds.

Nearly a quarter of the auto accident deaths that occur each year are caused by excessive speeding. Speeding presents a very heightened danger for any motorcycle rider, but there are still significant risks for the average car driver as well. Remember that speeding in a situation could mean just driving too fast for the weather or road conditions, not necessarily driving over the speed limit.

Whether you are in a car or on a motorcycle, you will have less control over your vehicle when you are speeding. If something unexpected occurs, you will have less time to respond appropriately. A common event that our personal injury attorneys see is a car driver that was speeding too close to a motorcyclist and wasn’t able to properly break before colliding with the motorcycle. Being in a rush is not a viable excuse for making the road more dangerous for other motorists in Florida. 

Injured on a Motorcycle or in a Car? Speak With A Riverview Personal Injury Lawyer Today

The accident lawyers at Calandro Law have years of experience fighting for the rights of our clients and making sure they are awarded the compensation they need. Your initial consultation is always free and we are happy to help answer any questions you have regarding your case. Contact us today at (813) 563-6463 or fill out the form on the right side of the page for your free case evaluation. 

Women is paralyzed after suffering a spinal cord injury in an accident in Florida

Spinal Cord Injuries: Causes and Risks

The spinal cord is such a crucial component of the health and well-being of any individual. It should come as no surprise that spinal cord injuries can be some of the most devastating and serious injuries a person can suffer. But how do spinal cord injuries occur and what should you do if you suffered a spinal cord injury due to someone else’s negligence? 

There are many different ways a spinal cord injury can happen. These injuries can often be prevented but sometimes spinal cord injuries are a result of an accident that could never have been anticipated. When that accident was caused by another person’s actions, the victim may have the legal right to seek restitution for their pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Calandro Law can help spinal cord injury victims reclaim damages for their injury and ensure they are financially taken care of following an accident. Let’s learn some more about spinal cord injuries in Florida and when you may need the services of a personal injury lawyer.

Women is paralyzed after suffering a spinal cord injury in an accident in Florida

What Is Are Spinal Cord Injuries

A spinal cord injury (SCI) is a term used to describe when the spinal cord or any nerves at the end of the spinal canal are damaged. These injuries can often carry detrimental, even life-altering, consequences. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), there are around 17,000 new cases of spinal cord injures each year. 

The spinal cord consists of a network of nerve fibers that run up and down the center of the body. Your brain sends signals through the spinal cord to the rest of the body, controlling motor, sensory, and autonomic functions. Your all-important central nervous system is made up of the brain and the spinal cord. 

Injury to the spinal cord can be extremely disruptive to the body’s ability to properly function. Damage to an area of the spinal cord may prevent the brain from being able to send and receive signals through the spinal cord to and from areas of the body below the location of the injury.

Spinal cord injuries can vary greatly in severity, location, type, and symptoms. The severity and location of your injury will play a major role in the symptoms and potential loss of function you experience.

Common Causes For Spinal Cord Injuries In Florida

Spinal cord injuries can happen for any number of reasons. Most frequently, injuries to the spinal cord are caused by some kind of forceful trauma. However, the range of causes for spinal cord damage can include:

Who Is At Risk Of Spinal Cord Injuries 

The NSCISC reports that car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. This is due to the extreme forces that are enacted upon the spine during a crash. People involved in other motor vehicle accidents will also have an increased likelihood of suffering damage to their spine. Individuals living in areas with high levels of violent crimes will also have an increased risk for suffering a spinal injury as violent crimes, especially shootings, account for around 11% of spinal cord injuries.  

Slip and fall accidents are also a major contributor to spinal cord injuries, especially among elderly adults. Athletes that compete in dangerous or full-contact sports (football, hockey, lacrosse, skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, gymnastics) will also have a higher risk of injuring their spine. Additionally, diseases that affect the bones and joints (arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer) increase the chances of damage in the spinal cord developing. 

Spinal Cord Injury Signs And Symptoms

Not all spinal cord injuries will share the same signs and symptoms. Damage to the spinal cord which leaves a person without any feeling or motor function below the injury site is known as a complete SCI. An incomplete SCI occurs when some feeling and ability to move are left below the injured portion of the spine. 

Location of the injury, such as the neck or lower back, will also play a role in the symptoms a person may experience. As a general rule, the higher up the spine the injury is, the more of your body will be affected by the damage. 

It should also be noted that people may not realize they have suffered a serious SCI following an accident. If you believe you or someone else has suffered a spinal injury after a traumatic accident, make sure the injured person does not move until they can be attended to by medical professionals. 

Signs and symptoms of spinal cord injuries people often experience include:

  • Severe pressure or pain in the back or neck
  • Numbness and weakness
  • Partial or total loss of the sense of cold, heat, or touch
  • Difficulty breathing, coughing or clearing the lungs
  • Trouble with balance or walking
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control
  • Spasms 
  • Paralysis or loss of control and feeling in certain parts of the body

Diagnosing Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries should always be diagnosed by a medical professional. They may perform a physical examination while discussing symptoms that have been experienced with the patient. Modern diagnostic tests can also provide more accurate information as to the location and extent of a spinal cord injury.

A doctor may use an X-ray to image any possible fractures, tumors, or other issues in the vertebrae. Herniated or bulging discs along with blood clots in the spine can be detected using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Nerve damage within the spine can be revealed through myelography. A computerized tomography (CT) scan can also help doctors determine what is at the root of your spinal injury.

How To Prevent Spinal Cord Injuries

The good news is that there are many ways for you to help reduce your risk of suffering a spinal cord injury. As mentioned above, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. Be sure to always wear a seat belt when driving or riding in a vehicle. If you have kids, securely fasten them into an appropriate safety seat. You should also never operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This not only keeps you safe but also other people on the road.

Elderly people have an increased risk of suffering spine injuries, especially from slip and fall accidents. Older people should use non-slip rugs or mats on surfaces that may get wet or slippery, such as in the shower. It is also a good idea to install rails, banisters, and grab bars in places where they may need extra support. Be sure all rails, banisters, and grab bars are kept securely fastened. 

For athletes and individuals who engage in full-contact sports or dangerous activities, wearing the proper safety equipment is crucial or reducing your risk of injury. Helmets should always be worn when engaging in risky activities, such as football, hockey, skiing, biking, and motorcycle riding. 

How A Florida Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

If you have suffered a serious spinal cord injury, the long-term effects, such as total or partial paralysis, can completely alter your life and leave you with massive medical bills. You are entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering when your injuries have been caused by another person’s negligence. The personal injury attorneys at Calandro Law can help you get the restitution you are owed.

Whether you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, or some other type of accident, our expert lawyers have years of experience handling all manner of personal injury cases. The attorneys at Calandro Law are prepared to take on insurance companies on your behalf and ensure you get a fair settlement for all of the financial, physical, emotional, and mental damages you may have suffered as a result of your accident.

Personal injury attorneys will launch a full investigation into your accident to gather all the necessary evidence to support your claim. Your attorney will work closely with your medical care providers to show documentation of your injuries and to accurately estimate the cost of your past, current, and future treatment needed for your accident injuries. 

You are allowed to represent yourself in a personal injury claim in Florida. However, it should be noted that victims who hire professional legal representation are awarded higher settlements on average. 

People who may be concerned about the cost of hiring a personal injury lawyer should know that you will not owe anything unless your attorney wins your case. The legal fees for your personal injury claim will come out of the settlement amount awarded. 

Speak With A Riverview Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Damage to the spinal cord can be terrifying and often life-changing. Make sure you and your family are financially taken care of in your time of need. Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Calandro Law in Riverview. Our legal team considers our clients to be family and we will fight tenaciously to get our clients the compensation they are owed for the pain and suffering they have endured.

When you are ready to fight for your settlement, Calandro Law is ready to help. Give us a call today at (813) 563-6463 to schedule your free case evaluation

Lawyer discusses denial of auto insurance claim with client in Florida

What To Do If Your Auto Insurance Claim is Denied

One of the worst situations for victims who have been injured in a car accident is auto insurance companies denying their personal injury claims. This can be an extremely difficult situation, especially if you have expensive medical bills to pay. So, what do you do if insurance companies deny your claim?

Florida drivers spend plenty of money each year on auto insurance coverage with the hope they will never need it. Unfortunately, the day may come when you need to file an injury claim after a serious car accident. When an insurance provider denies your claim, it is important to know what your legal options are and what you can do to fight for your compensation. 

This article will look at why an insurance company may deny a claim, what you can do if your claim is denied, and how a car accident lawyer can help you get compensation for the damages you have sustained.

Lawyer discusses denial of auto insurance claim with client in Florida

Reasons For Denying An Auto Insurance Claim In Florida?

There are a number of reasons your insurance provider may deny an injury claim following a car accident. Insurance adjusters assigned to investigate your case will look for any reason to deny your claim or offer you a lower settlement in order to save money for insurance companies. Insurance companies may choose to deny all or part of your claim based on what they believe they are contractually obligated to cover. 

An auto insurance provider may deny an insurance claim for the following reasons:

  • The claim is higher than your policy limits
  • The vehicle listed in the claim is not covered by the insurance policy
  • The claimant is not covered by the auto insurance policy
  • Your insurance provider determined they were not responsible for coverage after investigating who was at fault in the accident
  • Your insurance policy was not renewed or the premium was not paid resulting in your policy not being active at the time of the accident
  • The claimant was driving without a license or was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash
  • You waited too long to report the claim from the time of the accident
  • The injuries or damage reported in the claim was determined to be preexisting 
  • Your insurance policy does not cover all or part of what is claimed
  • The insurance company determines you were lying about the information on your coverage or in your claim

An auto insurance company may choose to deny your claim for any of the above reasons, but that does not mean they are right to. It is possible the insurance company has a legitimate reason to deny some or all of your claim. However, if you believe they were wrong to deny your claim the expert attorneys at Calandro Law in Riverview will help you fight for the compensation you are owed.

Once an auto insurance company has denied your claim, you will need to take further action to prove your case. Your next steps will depend on the type of claim you filed and the expressed purpose for dismissing the claim.

Types Of Auto Insurance Claims

There are two types of insurance claims you will typically file following a car accident in Florida. One is a first-party claim and the other is a third-party claim.

First-Party Claim

A first-party claim is when a driver files a claim with their own auto insurance provider. Car accident victims will typically file a first-party claim under the following circumstances:

  • The driver has a personal injury protection (PIP) policy
  • The driver was responsible for the accident
  • The at-fault driver was uninsured 

Florida is a no-fault state which means drivers will have to file a first-party claim with their own insurance companies no matter who was at fault for a car accident. Florida requires all drivers to carry PIP insurance which covers medical expenses and lost wages for injuries up to $10,000. However, serious car accident injuries can often exceed what is covered by your PIP policy. Victims can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company for the remaining damages.

Third-Party Claim

A third-party claim is a claim a driver files with the driver’s insurance company after an accident. You will typically file a third-party claim if you believe the other driver was responsible for the accident. You can also file a third-party claim in Florida if your injuries and damages were not fully covered by your PIP policy. However, you will have to show that the other driver was responsible, at least in part, for the accident and your injuries. 

It should be noted that third-party claims are much more likely to be denied than first-party claims. This is because you have a contract between you and your own insurance provider. Your insurance company has a primary obligation to you to cover what is outlined within your policy. A third-party insurance provider has a primary obligation to cover their policyholder, not you. 

What To Do After Your Auto Insurance Claim Has Been Denied

The process for getting a denial of your claim overturned will depend on whether you filed a first-party claim or a third-party claim. 

In the case of a first-party claim being denied, make sure to get the reason for denial expressly stated in writing. Your insurance company should include this in their denial letter. If not, make sure you request a written explanation for the denial.

Once you know why your claim has been denied, you can attempt to overturn the decision by providing additional evidence to support your claim. Evidence that can help strengthen your claim can include:

  • Police reports
  • Witness statements
  • Photos or videos of the accident scene
  • Medical bills and injury documentation
  • Repair quotes

If you have sufficient evidence to prove your claim, you can file an appeal with your insurance company. You can also ask your insurance provider for an appraisal. If this proves unsuccessful, you may need to enlist additional help. Your options may include:

  • Hiring a car accident attorney to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf
  • Hiring an independent claims adjuster to review your case
  • Filing a complaint with the Florida Division Of Consumer Services

You can use these same options to try and contest the dismissal of a third-party claim. You can also pursue a first-party claim after a third-party claim has been denied if you have not already done so.

Speak With A Riverview Car Accident Attorney Today

If your auto insurance claim has been denied after a car accident in Florida, the tenacious car accident lawyers at Calandro law will fight to overturn the decision and secure compensation for your damages. Our legal team knows how to negotiate for a fair settlement with reluctant insurance companies. We will work to make sure you are not left to pay for the costs of an accident you did not cause.

If you need professional legal representation after a car accident, contact Calandro Law today at (813) 563-6463 to schedule a free case evaluation today!

Man discusses a personal injury claim with a personal injury lawyer in Florida.

9 Things To Know About Your Personal Injury Claim

Going through the process of a personal injury claim can often be longer and more exhausting than people realize. If you are recovering from an injury after a car accident, motorcycle accident, or another incident, you may not have the energy or time a personal injury claim demands. This is why many injury victims turn to experienced personal injury attorneys for help.

Man discusses a personal injury claim with a personal injury lawyer in Florida.

Whether or not you plan on hiring a lawyer to represent you, there are a few things everyone should know before pursuing an injury claim. Understanding these aspects of the personal injury claim process will make your experience better and give you a better chance at success. With that said, here are 9 things to know about your personal injury claim:

1 – You Must File Your Lawsuit Within The Statute Of Limitations

What is a statute of limitations? A statute of limitations is a law that governs how long you have from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. Statutes of limitations can differ from state to state. There may also be different statutes of limitations for different types of crimes. 

The Florida Statute of Limitations states that victims or the state have four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the defendant in a personal injury case. There are some exceptions for special cases but it is always best to file a claim sooner rather than later. 

There is usually better evidence available to support your case when you file closer to the date of the accident. Additionally, witnesses and even individuals directly involved in the accident may forget important details over time. It is best to gather statements and have a lawyer launch an investigation into the accident before years have gone by. 

You may also lose your right to file a claim if you wait to file a lawsuit until after the statute of limitations has expired.

2 – Make Sure To Build A Strong Case

In order to give yourself the best chance of being awarded a fair settlement, you must build a strong case to support your claim. One of the advantages of hiring a personal injury attorney is that they know exactly how to prove negligence in a personal injury case. An attorney can help you collect the evidence and documentation you need to strengthen your claim. Your attorney can also keep track of all of this information for you so you don’t have to.

However, some people may choose to forego professional legal representation. They may wish to handle the case on their own or simply do not want to pay for an attorney. Here are some tips to follow for building a stronger personal injury case:

  • Gather all relevant evidence 
  • Complete and maintain any documentation to support your claim
  • Make sure to get the contact information for all parties involved (witnesses, first responders, lawyers, insurance agencies, medical providers)
  • Draft up a demand letter
  • Send your demand letter to the at-fault insurance company along with all relevant records, documentation, and bills
  • Negotiate with them for a settlement you are satisfied with
  • Prepare to take the case to court if a settlement cannot be reached

3 – Consider Future Damages

It is crucial to consider any future costs you may incur from your accident when you are calculating how much to ask for in a personal injury settlement. This can include economic damages, such as future treatment or lost wages, and non-economic damages, such as emotional suffering or long-term disability. 

Factoring in the cost of future damages into the settlement amount you request in a demand letter ensures you are being compensated for the impact your injuries will have on your life. Including these damages in your claim will typically increase the value of your case significantly.

4 – Do Not Accept The Initial Offer

Insurance companies will typically try to convince or coerce you into accepting their initial settlement offer, especially if you do not have a lawyer representing you. The problem is the initial settlement offer is almost always lower than the compensation you need and deserve. 

This is why steps 2 and 3 are so important.

By adding up all of your current bills and expenses and calculating your future expenses, you will have a better understanding of what you should be awarded. This will help prevent you from accepting an offer that is unfairly low. You will be able to identify an undervalued settlement offer immediately and can counter it with an offer that satisfies you.

Claimants also have a stronger leg to stand on in negotiations when they have collected all the necessary documentation, bills, and evidence to support the settlement figure they are asking for.

5 – Your Personal Life and Medical History Can Impact Your Case

It is important to realize that insurance companies will do whatever they can to gain leverage in a case and distance themselves from full responsibility for injuries. What does this mean for the claimant? This means insurance companies may do extensive research into your personal life, professional life, and medical history to try and minimize their liability for your injuries.

They may look at your: 

  • Medical history
  • Criminal background
  • Employment history
  • Social media accounts

Insurance companies are looking for anything they can use to devalue your claim. For example, let’s say you injured your knee in a slip and fall accident. If you had previously injured that same knee, they may claim that your injuries were primarily due to a pre-existing condition. They may do this even if your previous injury was several years old and completely unrelated. 

A history of financial delinquency or criminal activity can also negatively impact the value of your claim. Keep in mind that your past can affect the value of your claim and you need to be prepared to provide strong evidence to justify the settlement amount you are seeking.

6 – Injury Victims Can Become Targets For Solicitation 

There are many types of solicitors that will try and take advantage of the difficult financial situation many injury victims find themselves in. They often take the form of loan lenders who offer fast money to help you cover immediate medical expenses while you wait for a settlement. 

The problem is these loans are often predatory and target people who are in a very tough place. These loans typically have extremely high interest rates and usually leave victims in a worse financial place than they started. Victims may end up using a large portion of their settlement to simply pay off their loan.

It is not advised to take one of these loans but if you do decide you need one, be sure to read the fine print carefully. Look at the interest rates and calculate what the true cost of the loan will end up being.

7 – Be Patient

Personal injury claims can take quite a long time to be fully resolved. You should be wary of any personal injury attorney that guarantees a quick settlement or fast cash. It can take a good amount of time to gather all the evidence and documentation to build a strong case and even longer to negotiate for a fair settlement. 

Remember to be patient and avoid accepting an undervalued settlement simply to get compensation faster. A personal injury attorney can help you deal with injury expenses you cannot afford to pay until you have gotten a settlement. They can work with medical providers to arrange for payment to come out of a settlement once you have been awarded compensation.

8 – Look For A “No Fee Guarantee”

Injury victims who decide to hire a personal injury attorney should look for an attorney who works on a contingency basis. A contingency fee basis means that you will not be charged any attorney fee unless your lawyer wins your case. Most personal injury attorneys who operate under a contingency fee will take a certain percentage of the awarded settlement as their fee.

Be sure to discuss this fee with your attorney before you hire them. The benefit is that you will not have to pay for your attorney out of pocket and your attorney has extra incentive to win the case for you. 

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Calandro Law do not charge their clients anything until they have won the case. Additionally, you schedule a free case evaluation with Calandro Law. During your evaluation, an expert lawyer will inform you of whether or not you have a strong case, the estimated time it may take to resolve your case, and what your legal options are going forward. 

9 – Be Prepared To Go To Court

Despite all the preparation, evidence building, and negotiation time you invest into a case, there is still a chance your case could go to trial. A personal injury claim will go to court when neither party can agree upon a settlement amount.

Claimants are legally allowed to represent themselves in a personal injury trial but this is almost never recommended. If your claim is going to trial, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced personal injury attorney. There are many legal pitfalls and procedures that can be difficult to navigate for individuals who are unfamiliar with the technical letter of the law. Having a trial-tested lawyer in your corner offers you the best chance at a favorable outcome.

Speak With A Riverview Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence in Riverview, the personal injury attorneys at Calandro law are prepared to get you the settlement you deserve. Let our legal team do the heavy lifting for you. 

We will run a full investigation into your claim and gather all the pertinent evidence and documentation to build a strong case for you. Your attorney will offer you expert legal advice and guide you through the entire process of settling a personal injury claim. They can even represent you in negotiations and legal proceedings without you needing to be present.

Clients do not owe anything unless we win the case. When you are ready to fight for your compensation, we are ready to hop in your corner. Contact us today at (813) 563-6463 to schedule your free case evaluation.

Lawyer distributes money awarded in a personal injury settlement in Florida

How Much To Ask For In A Personal Injury Settlement

If you have been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries and any damages you have suffered. The first step is making sure you are treated for your injuries and medically stable. Next, you need to file a personal injury claim but first, you must decide how much to ask for in a personal injury settlement.

Determining how much to ask for in a personal injury claim can depend on a number of factors. No two cases are exactly alike. This means fair compensation is determined based on the circumstances surrounding your particular case. 

A personal injury attorney can help you understand how much compensation you can reasonably expect to be awarded in a claim. A lawyer can help advise you of your legal rights regarding your accident and how much to ask for in a personal injury settlement. 

Keep reading to learn more about how compensation for a personal injury is calculated and how to negotiate for a fair settlement.

Lawyer distributes money awarded in a personal injury settlement in Florida

How To Calculate Compensation 

There are generally two types of damages to factor into the total compensation for a personal injury: economic and non-economic damages. 

Economic damages are typically easy to calculate because they have a solid monetary figure attached to them. You or your lawyer will add up all of these damages together to form the solid base amount of how to ask for in a personal injury settlement. Economic damages can include:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages 
  • Future loss of earning capacity

Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate because they are more subjective than economic damages. Non-economic damages can include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Emotional or mental distress
  • Disfigurement
  • Disability

A personal injury attorney can help you calculate the value of non-economic damages you have suffered. Lawyers usually use two methods to determine the value of these damages: The daily method and the multiplier method. 

Daily Method

The daily method factors in your non-economic damages on a per-day basis as the name suggests. Your lawyer will usually use your annual salary as a model for determining a daily value of loss. They will then multiply this value by the number of days it took you or will take you to recover. 

Multiplier Method

The other method for calculating non-economic damages is the multiplier method. This method involves adding up all of your economic damages, also known as special damages, and multiplying them by a certain number. The multiplier number is typically between 1 and 5. 

Lawyers determine this number based on the severity of the accident and your injuries with 1 being the least severe and 5 being the most. For example, a lawyer may use a multiplier of 4 or 5 for a client that was injured in a car accident that left them paralyzed from the waist down permanently. They may use a multiplier of 1 for a client that suffered a fractured bone but is expected to make a quick recovery. 

Other Factors That Can Impact A Settlement

The factors listed above will be the primary information used to calculate your settlement amount. However, there are other factors that can have an impact on your negotiations and how much you actually ask for in a settlement.

Other factors that can impact your settlement include:

  • Insurance policy limits: Many injury claims have a predetermined settlement amount that cannot be exceeded based on the terms of your insurance policy.
  • The scope of injuries and treatment: Injury victims who have suffered extensive injuries or will require long-term treatment for their injuries may wish to seek a higher settlement amount.
  • The case goes to trial: Most personal injury claims are settled out of court but some may end up going to trial. If your case goes to trial, you are relying on the jury and the judge to make a final determination on how much compensation you are awarded. There are also additional attorney fees to consider in a case that goes to trial. 
  • Legal representation:  Your settlement can also be impacted by your decision to hire a personal injury attorney or not. It should be noted that people who hire professional legal representation have a higher probability of not only winning a settlement but also being awarded greater compensation on average. 
  • Negligence laws: Negligence statutes for the state in which the accident took place will also play a factor in what you can seek compensation for in an injury claim and how long you have to file a claim.

How Much To Ask For In A Personal Injury Settlement

Once you have added up all of your economic damages and calculated your non-economic damages, you are ready to start negotiating for a settlement. Negotiating is the crucial word here. You will most likely need to negotiate with insurance providers or the defendant in order to receive a settlement from an injury claim. 

Start High

Claimants will typically begin the negotiation process of a personal injury claim by sending an initial demand letter. This letter should include a settlement amount that you are looking to collect as compensation for your injuries. You should always start with a number that is notably higher than the amount you would be satisfied with accepting in the end. 

This tactic will give you room to maneuver to a more reasonable amount as the negotiations proceed. Insurance companies will typically counter your offer with an offer lower than what you are looking for. From there, both parties will continue negotiations until either a settlement amount is agreed upon or the claim goes to trial.

It is not advisable to start with a figure that is outrageously high though. This will typically result in an unreasonably low counteroffer, getting negotiations off to a bad start. A good rule to use is to start with an initial demand that is 75% to 100% more than what you realistically expect to be awarded. 

Never Accept The First Offer

You should never accept the initial offer or counteroffer by an insurance adjuster. This offer will almost always be lower than what would be considered fair compensation. Insurance companies will often try to trick claimants into accepting their initial offer. They use this tactic to get away with paying smaller settlements than the claimant deserves. 

Should You Hire A Personal Injury Attorney?

You are not required to hire a personal injury attorney in order to file a personal injury claim in Florida. However, there are a number of benefits that come with hiring professional legal representation for your case.

Personal injury attorneys offer their clients a wealth of knowledge regarding the state and local laws that govern personal injury accidents. A lawyer can help guide you through the process of filing a claim and navigating the technical language involved in litigation. Attorneys help advise their clients on their rights after an accident and what their legal options are moving forward.

Your lawyer can even represent you in negotiations and legal proceedings without you needing to be present. Let your personal injury attorney do the heavy lifting for you. They will negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and can represent you if your case goes to trial. 

Claimants who obtain professional legal counsel have a better chance at a larger settlement and a successful outcome from their claim. Best of all, there is little to no risk in speaking with a lawyer. Most personal injury lawyers offer FREE case evaluations and many do not charge their clients unless they win the case. 

Speak With A Riverview Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence in Riverview, the attorneys at Calandro Law are ready to hear your case. Our legal team will work closely with you to understand the extent of your injuries and get you the compensation you are entitled to. We will launch an investigation into your case to help gather evidence that strengthens your claim. 

The expert personal injury lawyers at Calandro Law have years of experience negotiating with insurance companies for fair compensation for our clients. We offer services in Florida for a range of injuries and accidents. Our practice areas include: 

When you are ready to seek compensation for your injuries, Calandro Law is ready to represent you. Contact us today at (813) 563-6463 to schedule your free case evaluation.

Black mold develops behind kitchen sink.

How Do You Know If Your House Has Mold?

We have all heard of mold causing issues for people and their households. However, many of us still wonder: How do you know if your house has mold? Mold in your home can lead to very serious health complications. Knowing how to identify the signs of mold in your house and how to protect you and your family if there is a mold problem in your house.

When mold is left undetected and untreated, it may not only mean health issues for you and any others living in the house but also may lead to structural damage as well. It is always best to address the issue as soon as possible if you suspect there is mold in your home.

In this article, we will look at what causes mold to grow, how to identify mold in your house, and how a toxic mold attorney can help if you have suffered health issues from toxic mold exposure. Toxic mold can be 

Black mold develops behind kitchen sink.

What Is Mold?

Molds are different types of fungi that tend to grow in warm, humid, and wet environments and can be toxic to the environment around them. These molds can grow inside or outside as long as the conditions are right. 

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the most common types of mods found growing in homes are Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus. These may be the most common but there are thousands of different types of mold that can develop indoors. 

Mold can enter your household through various pathways including:

  • Doors
  • Windows
  • Vents
  • Heating and air conditioning systems

Some molds can even be brought in unknowingly by people or pets when it attaches to clothing, shoes, or fur. No matter how this toxic invader gets into your home, make sure you know how to find the warning signs early and what to do if you find mold.

Health Issues That Can Arise From Toxic Mold Exposure

One of the first warning signs that you may be developing health issues from mold exposure is the development of allergy-like symptoms. Mold exposure can lead to symptoms that are very similar to those caused by allergies. People suffering from mold exposure may experience the following symptoms:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing and difficulty breathing
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Sore throat 
  • Watery, itchy eyes
  • Sinus headaches
  • Itchy, irritated skin

Pay attention to where you are when these symptoms are the most noticeable. It can be a good indicator that you have a mold problem if your symptoms are exacerbated while at home and get better when you are outside or away. 

Some molds that grow in the house can become toxic and cause even more dangerous issues. Toxic molds may lead to life-threatening health problems if left untreated. People who have had prolonged exposure to toxic mold can develop:

  • Internal organ damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Mental impairment
  • Cancer
  • Death

How Do You Know If Your House Has Mold?

There are some high probability places in the house to check if you are concerned you may have a mold problem. The most common places to find mold indoors are:

  • Bathrooms
  • Basements
  • Drywall
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Wallpaper
  • Carpet
  • Under sinks 
  • Behind toilets
  • Around plumbing lines

Your house is especially at risk for developing a mold problem if you have recently experienced flooding, a leaking roof, or a burst pipe. The wet conditions produced by such events are ideal for mold to grow.

Warning Signs To Look For

The major issue with mold in the house is that it can lead to very problematic health issues for anyone living in the home and can contribute to structural damage. This is why it is so important to pay attention to any signs that mold may be growing in your house. The good news is that mold is often easy to identify, especially when a large growth has formed.

Key mold indicators to be on the lookout for are:

  • Moldy Smell: Many molds can produce a strong, musty scent. It is sometimes compared to the smell of opening a very old book. A persistent moldy odor in the home may indicate a potential mold hazard.
  • Apparent Mold Growth: Mold can come in a variety of colors and forms but some can become easy to spot when growing in large clusters. Mold can be black, white, gray-green, or gray-brown. Some molds found behind wallpaper or vinyl can even be orange, purple, or pink. 
  • Water Leaks: A water leak in the house can be a perfect breeding ground for mold. The problem with leaks is that they sometimes occur behind walls or in other hidden areas and may go unnoticed. Be sure to get any known leaks fixed quickly to avoid mold growth.
  • Areas of Condensation: Certain areas in the house can cause condensation to build up, such as windows and metal pipes. Be sure to regularly check these areas for mold growth.
  • Water Damage: Be sure to look for signs of water damage in your home. Areas, where water damage has occurred, are perfect for mold growth. Look for signs like water stains, discoloration on the wall, ceiling, or floor, or bubbling, peeling, or cracked wallpaper.
  • Previous Flooding: Homes that have experienced flooding recently or in the past have a high probability of developing a mold issue. You should always check areas of your home that have been flooded before for potential mold.

What should you do if you detect mold in your house? You should schedule a professional mold inspection right away. They can do a full sweep of your house to determine just how serious your mold problem is. 

It is a good idea to contact a toxic mold lawyer if you discover mold in your home but you are not the property owner. Renters should not have to pay for the cost of removing mold, repairing damages, or medical bills for mold exposure in a property they do not own. 

How A Toxic Mold Lawyer Can Help

A toxic mold lawyer can help tenants recover damages suffered due to toxic mold from landlords that are refusing to pay or accept liability for toxic mold in a household. 

Property owners are responsible for providing a safe and healthy residence for their tenants under Florida law. When landlords allow a mold problem to go untreated, it can not only lead to damages to their property or the property of tenants within the household but also lead to health issues for the tenants.

Property owners or landlords that refuse to address claims of toxic mold put forth by renters could be held liable for damages associated with mold exposure. A toxic mold attorney can help you seek compensation for damages such as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Property loss or repairs
  • Loss of income
  • Breach of warranty of habitability 

Anyone seeking compensation for toxic mold exposure must be able to prove that the party they are filing a claim against was directly responsible for the damages they have suffered. A toxic mold lawyer can help prove liability. 

Your lawyer will perform their own investigation into the case to gather all the pertinent information. Toxic mold lawyers will work to establish that the responsible party had a duty of care to provide their client with a safe living space. They will then show that this duty of care was breached either through deliberately not addressing a mold issue or being negligent in the care and upkeep of a property. 

Speak With A Toxic Mold Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been exposed to toxic mold in your house, condo, or apartment, contact the local toxic mold attorneys at Calandro Law in Riverview, Florida. Our experienced toxic mold lawyers offer expert legal guidance and are ready to help you and your loved ones in your time of need. 

Our legal team will fight to get you the compensation you are owed for any damages you have suffered as a result of your mold issue. Contact us today at (813) 563-6463 to schedule a free case evaluation. 

11 Factors That Stall Personal Injury Cases

11 Factors That Stall Personal Injury Cases

Collect Critical Evidence From Your Accident With These Expert Legal Tips

The most important thing to personal injury plaintiffs is how long it will take for their case to settle, not how much they could make from it. Florida personal injury lawyers are hard pressed to answer this question. For a case to be resolved, no set formula or deadline can be set for each aspect of the case. A court case can slow down or grind to a halt for many reasons, and because of the actions or inactions of many parties. A stalling or slowdown of your case may be entirely appropriate in some cases, albeit frustrating, while in others, such a tactic is simply a means for avoiding liability. It is important to understand what caused your case to slow down so that you can understand how best to pick up the case. Here are some factors that could delay your case:

  • Nature of Your Injuries.
  • Treatment of Recovery.
  • The Legal Process.
  • Certainty of Liability.
  • Lack of Cooperation from Insurance Company.
  • Distracted Legal Counsel.
  • Delay Tactics.
  • Case Complexity.
  • Client Cooperation.
  • Filing Personal Injury Lawsuit.
  • Trial.

In this article we will discuss these in further detail. Continue reading to learn more about each of these factors that could stall your case.

  1. Nature of Your Injuries. Some injuries take weeks or months for the full impact and extent to be known. Your case settlement negotiations may have stalled due to the unpredictable nature of your medical condition. Insurance companies or other responsible parties may need more information about the cost of your care before making a decision. It is important to wait until you and your legal team have an accurate estimate of the amount of care you will need in the future and your medical providers can forecast your future costs. Trying to move forward with settlement negotiations too soon could result in compensation that does not cover future medical needs.
  1. Treatment and Recovery. Settlements are generally larger after an injury is treated by a physician or hospital, as opposed to a chiropractor or physician assistant. (Appointing reputable doctors is essential.) Reconstructions are also associated with high settlement values. A recovery period’s duration is equally important. A longer recovery usually involves more follow-up appointments and prescriptions for medical treatment, for example. These indicators of a longer recovery period tend to boost settlement values. Additionally, soft injuries tend to result in lower settlements in part due to this reason.
  1. The Legal Process. The process of pursuing a personal injury claim is a few steps long. When the case is tried in court, it can become significantly longer. It is best to hire a lawyer to help you file a complaint against the defendant. Finding and serving a defendant might take a month or two. During the discovery phase, which includes depositions, both parties present their accounts of events from their perspective. All evidence and statements have to be prepared before pre-trial motions can be scheduled. When scheduling civil cases, setting a court date can delay proceedings. Depending on who is liable, the lawsuit can continue until a settlement is reached, which can happen at any time, or the case can go to trial, where a judgement or jury verdict will determine the outcome. Most cases end in settlements, mediations, or arbitrations.
  1. Certainty of Liability. As we have discussed so far, alleged injuries have an impact. There’s a preliminary question, however: is the defendant at all responsible for the injuries? Having an answer to that question with certainty has a lasting impact on the value of a settlement. Settlements will usually reach the higher end of the range for a given case when one side is clearly to blame for the victim’s injuries. Therefore, personal injury attorneys can add a great deal of value to their clients by effectively arguing liability questions. Lawyers can help their clients build the strongest cases regarding liability by interviewing credible witnesses and compiling relevant evidence.
  1. Lack of Cooperation from Insurance Company. The insurance company or defense attorney can take actions to deter payments, which can stall cases, especially those involving larger potential settlements. It is not uncommon for insurance companies to prolong litigation in order to get a lower settlement. A defense lawyer may use similar techniques to be intentionally slow to produce documents and evidence to prevent their client from paying much, if anything. If you suspect this is happening continue to reach out to your insurance carrier. Send frequent emails and make multiple phone calls. Check in on the case to see if they’ve made any progress so far. Request specifics.
  1. Distracted Legal Counsel. There are some attorneys who take on more cases than they are capable of managing. If he or she believed that you would easily settle your case, he or she could rake in fees with relatively little effort. As your case became more complicated, your attorney may have had other clients demanding more of his or her attention, which caused you to lose his or her attention. Does your lawyer’s office still treat you well when you call them, or do they promise a callback that never materializes? You deserve an attorney who will prioritize your case, so if your attorney consistently fails to make progress in your case despite you providing necessary information and documentation, you might want to consider hiring a new attorney.
  1. Delay Tactics. During your negotiation process for a settlement, the parties you seek compensation from have a direct impact on the time it will take to settle your case. Insurance companies often drag their feet in personal injury suits in an attempt to panic plaintiffs into giving up rather than expend the time, money, and frustration involved. You can choose to give up the claim if delays caused by the liable party cause your recovery to be forfeited; wait it out, hoping your persistence will be rewarded; or bring your claim to court. Litigation is also a lengthy process, and many cases take months or even years to resolve. Both parties, however, will be given deadlines by the court, and a defendant who fails to meet them will likely face sanctions and financial penalties.
  1. Case Complexity.  A case may be drawn out if there are more liable parties and expert witnesses. It can take more time to figure out logistical matters along the way because of scheduling and paperwork. Complex personal injury lawsuits take time since there are many moving parts.
  1. Client Cooperation. In order to win a case, the client must cooperate in every aspect of the process. Delays can sometimes be caused by them inadvertently. Changes in phone numbers or addresses, for example, can make it harder for attorneys to contact clients. At a critical time in the legal process, a lack of communication could lead to missed information and appointments.
  1. Filing Personal Injury Lawsuit. Litigation begins when your lawyer files a lawsuit on your behalf. When the lawsuit is filed, the clock starts ticking on when the case might go to trial. In general, it takes one to two years for a personal injury case to get to trial, depending on the state’s pretrial procedures. The statute of limitations establishes the time limits within which a lawsuit must be filed in every state.
  1. Trial. Mediation is often successful, but if it isn’t, the case will go to trial. Generally, a personal injury trial can last one day, one week, or even several months. Many states hold trials for just a half-day instead of a full day, which may increase the length. Although that doubles the length of a trial, it allows the lawyers and judges to accomplish other tasks in the afternoon. In trials, the mere fact that the trial is scheduled for a certain date does not mean the trial will occur on that date. Due to the judge’s schedule, trials are often pushed back. In the event of your trial being moved, you should not automatically assume anything negative has happened. It is common for trials to be delayed for the most benign of reasons.

The time it takes to resolve a personal injury lawsuit can vary from months to years, no matter how meticulous the client or the lawyer is. When you’re faced with delaying tactics from an insurance company, a qualified injury attorney can help you negotiate with them. Experts can devise a plan before and after contacting the insurance company based on their expertise.

As a matter of fact, they can handle those negotiations directly, so you won’t have to worry about it. Our lawyers have experience drafting demand letters, and they know when formal proceedings on your personal injury case are appropriate. Our attorneys at Calandro Law in Riverview, Florida have experience with stalled negotiations and are not intimidated by the insurance company’s tactics. Contact us here to schedule a free case evaluation. We’re prepared to skillfully navigate all aspects of your case even when there are delays.

After a Car Accident in Florida, Who Pays the Medical Bills?

After a Car Accident in Florida, Who Pays the Medical Bills?

Getting hurt in a car accident can throw your life into chaos. As you manage your growing pile of bills while attending doctor’s appointments,

It is unfortunate that car accidents occur every day. The number of accidents in Florida is higher than almost anywhere else. In one recent year, more than 400,000 car accidents occurred in Florida, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. There were 2,915 fatal car crashes, and more than 41 percent of them involved injuries. California and Texas were the only two states with higher fatal accident numbers that year. The increased number of fatalities attributed to Florida’s large population is undeniably a contributing factor. Although Florida has an increased population, it ranks near the top when comparing the rate of fatalities per mile driven.

An experienced Florida car accident attorney can assist you if you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident.

In a recent year, 166,881 accidents in Florida resulted in injuries, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Patients who suffer injuries in a motor vehicle accident often require medical attention. Costs associated with healthcare can rapidly add up. Financial burdens often cause victims to become overwhelmed. There are many Florida residents who are struggling to afford the cost of medical care. There may be compensation they are entitled to that will help car accident victims cover medical expenses. Contact Calandro Law if you’re in need of a personal injury attorney to evaluate your case and determine how much you would be entitled to.

In this article, we will discuss all possible options to cover your medical bills after a car accident in Florida. Continue reading to learn about these options in light of Florida’s No-Fault laws and other factors.

Collect Critical Evidence From Your Accident With These Expert Legal Tips

Is Your Accident Under No-Fault?

You need to determine whether Florida’s no-fault system applies to your case in order to know who will pay your medical bills after the accident. All drivers in Florida are required to purchase no-fault vehicle insurance. You will be covered by your insurance if you suffer less serious injuries in a car accident.

 Generally, drivers look to their own insurance to recover for their losses regardless of fault. You can bring a claim against the at-fault driver if you suffer a severe or permanent injury that meets the definition of a qualifying injury under Florida law. Your medical bills are payable once you find out what type of case you have.

Your Car Insurance

Despite being expected to be repealed, this PIP law still stands. A minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage is required. After a car accident, this type of insurance will cover your medical bills, no matter if you were at fault or not. There are, however, some nuances to Florida’s PIP insurance laws. Among these subtleties is that PIP only covers 80 percent of medical bills. PIP insurance, then, only covers $4,000 of your medical bills in the case of $5,000 in charges – and that is if your injuries are considered an emergency. If your injury is not considered an emergency, you can only claim $2,500 in benefits. Additionally, PIP does not cover every type of treatment. You most likely will have to pay out of pocket for alternative treatments like acupuncture, as PIP will not cover them.

Your Private Health Insurance

Just like any other injury situation, you may be able to use your health insurance for your medical treatment following an accident. In the end, only your deductibles and copays remain your responsibility. Otherwise, your health insurance policy should be easily usable. Private and public insurance plans are included in this. Your health insurance can only be used to cover coverage-specific expenses. For example, if you require an ambulance ride but the cost is not covered by your insurance policy, you might be responsible for the costs. The hospital may however let you make small, minimum payments until your full settlement amount arrives if you know you’ll be entitled to it. You may be required to reimburse your insurance provider after you receive a settlement in some instances. In addition, if you were not at fault, the other driver’s insurance company may be contacted for reimbursement. Nevertheless, all of this is secondary to the fact that, if you have insurance, your bills can be covered. After all, that’s why you have insurance!

Paying Your Own Medical Bills

Medical bills may sometimes have to be paid out-of-pocket, which is obviously the least desirable option. The insurance company for the other party may not pay if the other person lacks health insurance or if fault cannot be established. It is possible for you to negotiate a hold agreement with your healthcare providers until your case is settled. If you’re awaiting your settlement, you can make small payments (or none) in the meantime without sending the issue to a collection agency. You may also be able to secure a loan to pay your medical bills. You may want to avoid this scenario unless you can get a personal loan at a great rate. These loans may be offered by predatory lenders, who demand a large part of your settlement in exchange for extremely high-interest rates. During this time, you might be better off borrowing money from family and friends, especially if they know that a settlement is expected. Fortunately, a Miami personal injury attorney can help you negotiate with the insurance companies so you can avoid borrowing money and receive a full, fair settlement quickly.

The Other Driver Could Cover Medical Costs

Only drivers convicted of drunk driving or operating a taxi in Florida must carry bodily injury insurance. Data shows, however, that most drivers possess bodily injury insurance. Florida drivers were reported to be uninsured at nearly 27 percent in 2015. Despite being the highest in the country, almost three-quarters of drivers are insured.

It is still possible to file a personal injury suit against the other driver even if he or she is without bodily injury protection. Whenever a driver is liable, his/her assets would be recouped. It may be possible to recover damages from the driver’s employer if he or she was at work when the accident occurred.

A Third Party Could Pay your Medical Bills

Damages resulting from car accidents may be covered by third parties in some cases. There are a number of situations that may expose a third party to financial liability, including:

  • An uninjured party causes the accident. Did another driver swerve into your lane to avoid collision? Did another driver’s actions cause you to slam on your brakes? There is a possibility that the other driver is responsible for damages, even if they were not directly involved in the collision.
  • Poor road conditions or damaged traffic devices caused your accident. It is the responsibility of the city and state governments to keep the roads safe. Signage and lights need to be visible and working properly, and roads and bridges need to be repaired. You may be able to sue a government agency if you are involved in an accident because of poor road conditions.
  • An accident involving a commercial vehicle. There are unfortunately more truck, bus, and taxi accidents than we would like to think about. It may be possible to sue the truck owner, the employer and the driver of a commercial vehicle if you are involved in an accident with one.

Other Options to Pay For Medical Costs

There are also other options for paying for your medical costs following a Florida car accident, including:

  • MedPay. Florida car accident health insurance, or MedPay, helps pay for some of the costs associated with Florida car accidents. Your PIP copay can be up to two thousand dollars, which is covered by MedPay. MedPay may cover costs not covered by PIP insurance depending on the coverage you have selected.
  • Worker’s Compensation. Your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage is required to cover the full cost of your medical bills, including deductibles, co-pays, and transportation expenses incurred while going to and from your doctors’ appointments if your car accident occurred while on the job.

How Calandro Law Can Help

It is stressful to be involved in a car accident. You don’t want to think about a stack of medical bills you can’t possibly pay while dealing with car damage, missing work, and dealing with your injuries.

Here at Calandro Law, we understand how difficult a time this can be for car accident victims. Let us help you get compensation for your Florida car accident as quickly as possible. In any case, if we think the settlement you’re offered isn’t fair, we will let you know. It may take longer to fight with insurance companies – but your chances of receiving more compensation will be higher.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. We offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. During our discussion, we will review all the details of your case, as well as any settlement offer you receive. Our lawyers will discuss the possibility of a larger settlement with you if we feel we will be able to achieve it.

Oncoming SUV hits and kills man on Causeway Boulevard

Oncoming SUV hits and kills man on Causeway Boulevard

Oncoming SUV hits and kills man on Causeway Boulevard

An oncoming SUV struck and killed a 27-year-old man on Causeway Boulevard early Sunday. According to a Florida Highway Patrol news release, the accident occurred around 6:19 am Sunday near 82nd Street S. A 78-year-old Wimauma man was driving an SUV when he saw the 27-year-old who had been sitting or lying down in the road. The SUV hit and killed the pedestrian. According to the FHP, the 27-year-old is from Brandon, but has no other details.

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